The Truck Cap Chicken Tractor (Reblog)

Saving this idea. See, I inherited my own truck topper….


The Quaint Homesteader

Saturday we started to work on our Truck Cap Chicken Tractor, which is a portable chicken coop with a Truck Cap as the roof. We are building it in two separate parts, the Cap and the Run.  We  don’t have a whole lot of carpentry experience, and don’t have the best tools, but we are doing the best we can.  Here are some pictures:

We plan to put four wheels on the base so we can move it, because the cap is kinda heavy. For nest boxes, I thought some milk crates that we picked up on freecycle would work, mounted under that rear window.  Does anyone have any objections to that idea?  Also we aren’t sure how we want to build the chicken door in the front panel.  I would like to have a horizontal door that folds down to make a little exit ramp, but I’d also like…

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Finally (Almost) There

To say this has been terrible would be an insensitive comparison to the real trials of life: death, tragedy, loss.  After all, at this moment we are on a quest for dirt, right?  This is a happy time.  But it hasn’t been.  It’s been hard.  Unexpected things appeared, namely some pretty major water damage on the rental house. This led to shaken trust, hurt feelings, hundreds of heated discussions, and repeated thoughts of walking away from the whole thing.  Basically the beautiful fantasy was wiped away and replaced with muddled garbage.  No peace; no security.  Fear. Continue reading “Finally (Almost) There”

I’m Not Good

The key to my freedom lies within me. Intellectually, I know this yet I’ve not been able to grasp the concept in the practical sense. I’ve blamed my upbringing. I’ve blamed my mother. I’ve identified the bane of my existence and I’ve named it: Guilt. It’s my go-to emotion. Anger ends in guilt. Good fortune ends in guilt. Elation can even end in guilt because it oftentimes travels through asinine behavior before it’s through.

I can try and explain the rationale behind what I’m about to declare, but the attempt will surely diminish it. It will be more of the same reasoning and self-validation that has been confusing me and leading me back to zero for about ten months now. So what I believe to be the secret to my personal freedom I will simply state:

I’m going to quit trying to be a good guy. It’s not who I am. It doesn’t fit.


Grasp that concept, baby. Neutral is the ocean. Sometimes nurturing, sometimes destructive. Existence is pure. Nature is pure. Imperfection is pure. Life doesn’t stop to question itself. Its rhythm is not good or bad. It just is.

Let me be like that.

So Close But So Far Away

This journey is getting boring and worse. Waiting. Complications. Money out. Negotiations. Fear. Conspiracy theories. Taking offense. Blah blah blah.

Where the hell is the peaceful zenlike oasis? Is there light at the end of this tunnel?

“Someone please tell me it’s not a train”

Continue reading “So Close But So Far Away”

Seventies Kitchen Forever

Yeah, I know. I’m supposed to rip out these old cabinets and install granite and stainless. Well I’m not doing that. Those cabinets are in beautiful shape and are cool, especially that little decorative thing over the window. I do want to change out the floor, I think, but to something convincingly retro. And some kind of fun backsplash needs to happen. Guess what I saw on Craigslist for $125? An avocado stove that looks and works great, according to the poster. (Probably will save appliances for last touches, if at all.) But either way, this kitchen is going to rock. Hot tub time machine, here we come!
Avocado stove

Water Damage, Radon, and Termites, Oh My!

Can we just be done with the inspections and especially the findings already?  The water damage is real, possibly extensive.  This is on the rental house only, due to cheap leaky skylights in a very nice expensive metal roof.  And because the rental is an efficient “earth house”, it is half buried into the ground…which is damp.  So, Gordon ordered a termite inspection.  And threw in a radon inspection. After all, our current house just underwent a radon inspection, so it must be a sign.  Signs.  Not my favorite things, unless they point me in a happy direction.

Then we got the inspection report for the home we’re selling with ninety million fix-me requests attached. Some legitimate: You want your roof to be fully functional, even if the “dysfunction” was a single shingle overlapping in the wrong direction. Some not so legitimate: The bath tub’s slow drain hasn’t bothered me for five years and Are your children really going to climb up the stove and tip it over? Some downright wrong: No, just no, you never fully drain a pool that has a liner, and for moderately high cyanuric acid? Come on!

Needless to say we were a bit stressed and overwhelmed yesterday. Just have to wait for the official reports back on the new place and address the things on our house without spending a ton.

Mr. and Mrs. C’s Land

Pecans, persimmons, pears, apples, muscadines, and one scraggly little peach tree occupy the property. Mr. C. walked us all around today, identifying so many plants, pointing out where the invisible fence line is (surrounding an impressive 3 acres or so), and giving us what felt like an orientation as he was handing over the keys to the kingdom. This was a home, built, maintained and nourished by one family for forty years. Mr. C. had a quick step and a glow about him as he told stories about the goats they used to have, and mischievously encouraged Eddie and I to bite into a green, mouth-puckering persimmon. Mrs. C greeted Gordon with an embracing handshake and me with a pair of lovely mangoes grown at their new subtropical home. She showed me a picture of their mango tree, the large ripening fruit cleverly covered with socks to discourage grazing squirrels. She told us how they’d been praying that it would be a family to buy their place.

Today, there with the people whose home it actually is, the land felt more mine than it had before.

pear pecan

Boys trying out the place
Boys trying out the place