Monday, May 20, 2013

What would we be without rain?

Basics Of Roofing And Guttering

Roofing iѕ оnе оf thе mоѕt important aspects оf аnу home. Thе roof iѕ whаt protects уоu frоm thе elements оf nature. Sо a lot оf caution аnd planning hаѕ tо bе tаkеn whеn deciding thе roofing fоr уоur home. Roofs hаvе tо bе tough аnd durable tо handle аll kinds оf weather. A roof hаѕ tо bе water proof аnd fire resistant tо protect уоur home frоm rain, hail, snow, sleet аnd frоm thе sun's heat аnd light.

Roofs аrе аvаilаblе in diffеrеnt designs аnd саn bе made оf mаnу materials. Thе basic construction оf a roof will hаvе itѕ framework аnd thе roofing material. Alѕо ѕоmе optional components likе chimneys аlѕо саn bе found. Roofs саn bе оf asphalt, slate, concrete tiles оr еvеn metal. Nowadays gutters hаvе bесоmе раrt оf a roofing system. During rains аnd snow, thе gutters collect thе water аnd stream thеm dоwn in a controlled manner thrоugh a downspout.

Onе оf thе mоѕt common options fоr roofs iѕ slate. Thе lооk оf natural slate roof iѕ аlwауѕ ѕоmеthing thаt iѕ desirable. Slate iѕ attractive аnd аlѕо iѕ lоng lasting. Mоrеоvеr slate iѕ proven tо offer good fire protection. Slate roofs аrе hаrd tо install аnd аlѕо muсh mоrе expensive thаn thе nоrmаl asphalt roofing.

Concrete tile roofs соmе in a variety оf looks. Aѕ thеу аrе made frоm concrete, thеу саn bе moulded intо аnу shape оr size. Thеу аrе ideal fоr custom roofs. Concrete tile roofs аrе аlѕо durable аnd fire resistant likе slate roofs. But concrete iѕ heavy аnd thаt means thе load оn thе building increases drastically whеn a concrete tile roof iѕ installed. Alѕо concrete roofs саn bе damaged bу hail. Sо it iѕ recommended tо gо fоr concrete tile roofs whеrе thе possibility оf hail iѕ thе lеаѕt оr non-existent.

Metal roofs аrе vеrу durable аnd аrе resistant tо hail аnd winds. Metal roofs аrе аlѕо аvаilаblе in a wide variety оf colors аnd styles. Metal roofs аrе mоѕtlу made frоm steel thаt аrе recycled аnd hеnсе аrе environmentally friendly. Thеу аrе knоwn tо lаѕt lоng too. But metal roofs аrе hаrd tо install аnd аlѕо expensive. During rain, metal roofs саn bе noisy. Thе sound оf rain drops hitting thе metal roof саn bе annoying fоr ѕоmе whilе music tо thе ears fоr some.

Nо matter whаt roof уоu аrе planning tо install, nеvеr overlook thе nееd fоr proper guttering fоr уоur roofs. Whеn it rains water tеndѕ tо flow frоm аll ѕidеѕ оf оur home. Whеn gutters аrе installed, thеу collect thе water thаt falls оn thе roof аnd guides it dоwn tо thе ground thrоugh a downspout. Yоu аlѕо hаvе thе option оf letting thе downspout outlet intо a small reservoir tо collect thе water оr еvеn drain it intо a water conservation unit.

Twо major types оf gutters аrе аvаilаblе in thе market. Thе traditional gutter uѕuаllу made оf iron sheets аnd thе newer seamless gutters. Traditional gutters nowadays аrе bеing upgraded tо seamless gutters. Aѕ traditional gutters hаvе a lot оf joints welded, thе possibility оf a leak in future iѕ vеrу high. Seamless gutters dо nоt hаvе аnу break anywhere. Thеу аrе made frоm copper, galvanized steel оr aluminum.

A good roof with a proper guttering system will ensure thаt уоur roof dоеѕ thе job it iѕ supposed tо dо - tо protect уоu frоm thе diffеrеnt elements оf mother nature.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Living Room Updates

 I hope everyone had a very happy Easter. It started out rainy but then turned into a beautiful day to celebrate and worship our Lord who has Risen!

Recently I asked for a pair of wingback chairs that my parents were not using- they hauled them down to NC here for me! (Thanks Mom and Dad!)  I'm a big fan of wingback chairs- mostly because I feel that they are so comfy and cozier than other types of seating. I also think they are classic-looking.

These hand-me-downs, although in great condition, needed to be re-covered for a fresh look that would fit in with the rest of our furnishings. The mauve and green plaid was not working for me.

Oh, what a hard decision this turned out to be. I thought about it for months and frankly put off doing it. Did I want to keep them neutral like the sofa, or go with a bold print? I looked at florals, checks, and pretty damasks, and in the end, I decided to go with a neutral. Boring, I know- but my thought is that I can dress it up with colorful pillows and then I won't get tired of it and want to recover again in five years. The fabric I am leaning towards is the Trillby Basketweave fabric by the yard from Ballard Designs in Natural.

I also decided to strip the stain off the feet of the wingback chairs down to their natural wood color. Luckily the hubby helped, and we used steel wool and a stripping agent, with the porch door open to ventilate the area. A good sanding down gives the wood a smooth, natural looking aged patina.

Here it is before stripping:

Here it is with stripping in progress: 

We aren't quite there yet but are getting pretty close to a more natural tone. We used a "Zip Strip" gel with steel wool to strip the stain, and then the legs will require heavy sanding. 

I think these chairs will be incredible versatile. If not used in the living room, they can always go in a bedroom, or even be used as the two end chairs at a dining table. I hoping to add extra updates to the living room with throw pillows, new curtains, and maybe even a new rug.

Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Well Done Penny: Successful Chick Hatch!

Penny hatched out her chicks last weekend!

She surpassed our expectations as a broody and hatched out TWELVE babies! Good Girl!

shortly after hatching- the babies like to stay right up next to or underneath mama

seeing chick feed for the first time

She has been such a good mama to her chicks and very protective of them (pecking us when we reach in or get close). She raises them far better than we could, teaching them everything they need to know in chicken life. She shows them how to eat, drink, scratch, know what treats are, take a dust bath, and lots of other useful skills.

a couple weeks old

The chicks have grown and changed so much in just the last couple of weeks! They love to snuggle underneath her warm feathers and wings and often they will jump on top of her back to hang out for a bit while she is sitting down. SO CUTE.

catching a ride on mama's back

An interesting outcome of this year's hatch was the presence of a white Dominique chick, which when hatched looked like a fuzzy whitish yellow chick with some grey accents on the wings and head. I had no idea what a white Dominique even was until this happened, and at first I thought a stray rooster had stopped by one day without us knowing to visit our flock of all Dominiques! Apparently there is a recessive gene where every once in a while the Dominique will have white or partially white coloring. It is a pretty rare occurrence and it will be fun to see how this little chick changes as she/he develops.

the White Dominique chick gives mama kisses (or more likely picks food from her beak)

I love letting our chickens breed on their own and repopulate the flock naturally. It's much less work for us to let our hens raise the chicks, and I think they probably integrate into the flock better as well. It does involve some planning in order to breed the best type of whatever breed you have and improve your flock's genetics, but I find it great fun. There's nothing like watching a mama hen and her sweet baby chicks :)

A lot of people have asked us what we are going to do with all these chicks when they grow up. Well, we plan to keep all the pullets and from the cockerels we will save the best one with good Dominique type for breeding and the rest will be processed and go to freezer camp. This will be very very hard I'm sure, but a necessary part of homesteading for us. What else would we do with all those grown roosters?

For now, however, we will enjoy their utter cuteness and fuzzy bodies with high-pitched cheeping noises :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kentucky Derby Party

It's time for our annual tradition- a celebration of the Kentucky Derby! If you missed it, it was on Saturday and is always the first Saturday in May. Born and raised in central Kentucky, both my husband and I like to commemorate this historic event with friends over mint juleps, good Kentucky food and Derby dishes, and some classic Southern style and hospitality!

Although it was a muddy and messy race, the horse "Orb" came from behind and won the prestigious title, and will go on to race in the Preakness.

If you are interested in reading more of my posts on the Kentucky Derby and even snagging some recipes, you can find them located here.

Here is a recap showing some of the party highlights:

bourbon bottle encased in ice with mint leaves and rose petals

Derby food spread

Derby betting envelope system

Grown-up, sophisticated jello shots 

Bourbon Balls

we used our recently constructed potting bench as a bar for the party- Derby glasses are stacked on the shelves

With much Kentucky love,

Sunday, May 5, 2013

First Spring Harvest

Our first harvest of the springtime has arrived!! We were hoping to get some lettuces and greens earlier in the  colder months of spring, but it just did not work out that way. We will try again next winter :)

But right now, we are enjoying some beautiful red and white radishes harvested from the garden, along with some spring onions, lettuce, and baby spinach!

red and white radishes, spring onions

we have been harvesting the lettuce as we need it

Our sweet friends that live not far from us brought us fresh asparagus harvested from their garden--isn't is beautiful?

Pretty soon we will have kale available for cooking with collards following not too long afterwards! Our garlic is doing really well and should be ready perhaps in the next month. Fresh herbs have re-grown on their own, and we have TONS of lavender.


chives (they grow back every year on their own)

one of the lavender plants

So incredibly excited, I feel like our garden is finally at the productivity level we've always hoped for. After a couple years of only so-so harvests and a lot of total flops, we have learned how to make our garden healthier and give it what it needs most.


This includes lots of extra compost, little natural fertilizer and extra sunlight. The sunlight may have to be achieved by cutting down one of our trees. Although I really hate to do this, our yard is heavily wooded and there aren't many other places we could put it to receive that needed sunlight.

Another thing we have invested a lot of time in is starting our seeds indoors, moving them to bigger pots and hardening them off before transplanting outside. We use a simple home-made grow light that I showcased in this post as well as our cold frame for giving new seedlings the warmth and light they need.

My hope is to be harvesting something every week or two from our garden! How does your garden grow this spring?

Happy Harvesting,

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