Welcome to the Lazy Dog Ranch!

We hope you will find inspiration, information and most of all humor as we share our adventures in advancing a more sustainable lifestyle in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Making of a Farmgirl

Today was about the joys of rebellious shopping.  My niece Anna is spending her spring break on the farm- a place where she is just as much at home as the soil.  Unfortunately our first task was a miserable one-  Grandma wanted us to go out and get an Easter Dress, tights and new sandals... EEEWWWWWW!!  Now Anna is a lot more "girly" than her Aunt Shannon. She has her opinons and very quickly picked out a tasteful cotton dress, sweater, tights and shoes.  Her goal was not to have a frilly dress, but go get the Easter shopping out of the way so she could go to Tractor Supply Chick Days and play with the baby animals.  ATTTA GAL!

Now I simply could not help but to outfit her in a new set of Overalls and she also picked ( a very stylish  I might add ) Pink Tractor Supply Hat and Pink John Deere childrens work gloves.  I felt vindicated knowing she was more excited about her new "farmgirl" clothing than the frilly dressy stuff.  Somehow, I can't seem to get it across to my "city slicker brother" that pink dress shoes and dresses do not constitute "playclothes".   So between Tractor Supply and past visits to Goodwill - we now have her covered.  Our only disappointment today is we could not find her "work boots" like mine.

So after adequate chick time, we headed home to do chores.   All I can say is that kid can work.  In the space of an hour we fed dogs, cats, horses, chickens, cleaned the coop, picked up limbs from the yard - whew!  No wonder I am so tired! 

Anna exhibits such joy when visting.  She finds the Magic in our mundane...all the daily tasks we don't even consider- she enjoys and approaches with such excitement. 

All I can say is Poor Chuck!  You thought you got away from your sister only to have a daughter just like her! 

Of course unlike Great Auntie Erna did for us-  I will not teach her to cuss.... but if she gets a note home from her Spanish teacher-  She did not learn

"Dos cervezas, por favor."   from me!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chickn' Tractor - Phase Three

We have had chickens now for 4 years and each Spring leaves us wanting to improve upon our current "Chicken Tractor". Karl took advantage of this very windy, rainy day to work on "Phase 3" in the garage.

I was wooed by an edition of Southern Living to consider free range chickens. An article showed a nice little chicken advertised as "bug control" in a perfectly manicured garden. HAH ! In retrospect, the lady obviously had a landscaper and her little floofy dog had been groomed and did not "wear the colors" of country dogs who just love to eat and roll in chicken poo. While I love my "Ladies" they are not kind to my landscape or garden beds and have unfortunately this year destroyed my entire winter crop of kale and collards.

So after much research - on to Phase 3!
We are constructing A Frame style coops with attached runs which we can scoot across the lawn- similar models online sell for boutique prices- but we figure we can use salvaged cedar and other materials to find a situation which will protect the birds, the gardens and my sanity.  Dreams of poo free shoes are not far away!

If you would like to learn from our mistakes- check out our Chicken Page!