Friday, May 31, 2013

Gypsy Goes on an Adventure and Photo Shoot Fail

It seems like someone is always getting to go outside for the first time around here!  Before it was the chickens, then the goslings.  Well the past few days it has been Gypsy!  She has shown quite an interest in wanting to go outside.  The first day or two were for very short periods so that I can acclimate her gently.  She looked a little tense at times:
Sensation overload...
But before long, she really started loving it.  Jake and Arwen are excellent with cats, and as you can see their first meeting went quite well.
"Please don't scratch me like Aura does..."

"Why does she look so poofy?"  "She is trying to scare us..."
As I watched Gypsy outdoors, she gave me an idea.  I saw her smelling the flowers...
And thought it would be cute to get a decent shot of her smelling them.  Well, she didn't feel like cooperating so I moved on to the chickens.  Clearly, they thought the flower was completely terrifying and potentially life-threatening...
"Oh dear me!  What is this evil contraption?!  Will it ruin my hairdo?"

"Get behind me, kids!  It might eat try to one of us!"
So then I tried the doggies.  Jake just really wanted to eat the flower...
I would tell him, "No Bobo!  You shouldn't eat it!"  And he would saunter off, his feelings all hurt.  So I'd coax him back.  I FINALLY got a decent shot...
Goodness me, that was more work than I bargained for! 
Oh, one last thing that made me laugh.  See this sad, forlorned look Bill gives me through the trees when I go out to pull him off the pasture??
"Gee Ma, can't I stay a few more minutes?"
What a little drama pony!  Haha!  Oh I love my fur babies.  Hope you all have a LOVELY Friday!  Woohoo!! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Future plans, hopes, and dreams.

Today, it is windy.  Like seriously blow-you-over windy.  See here:

I tried taking a few pictures, but most of them came out blurry because of all the wind.  I have recently seen some bloggers talk about future hopes and dreams for their backyard farm haven, and I thought that would be fun to share since this day is too windy for much else.  I don't know that I have mentioned it before, but we currently only live on about 3 acres beside a large cattle ranch.  Most of what we own is woods and underbrush; I would say only about an acre is "mowable".  We have recently started utilizing some of the woods for Bill to graze on and he is LOVING it! 

I have a list written up for our future goals for our Little Bitty Farm!  A few goals include:

- Using only non-GMO seeds next gardening season.
- Build a rainwater irrigation system.
- Build a bigger chicken house and a few separate breeding apartments.
- Build a barn for Bill!  He has a shelter now, but it is definitely what I would call makeshift.
- Get GOATS!  (Maybe even a milk goat!)
- Flowers... everywhere!  Use vines like grapes, Wisteria, and Morning Glories along the unsightly fences for the dogs.  Maybe I could even find something Bill wouldn't eat to dress up his paddock area!  Also, I would love to plant more roses. 

Here are some pictures of a few spots and my plans for those areas:

Most of our property is made up of this kind of stuff; a lot of brush and woods and uneven footing.  I have been told it would be perfect for goats!
Fence off woods for goats.

This spot we are thinking about pulling up the raised bed boxes and just turning this into a garden area on the ground, using a tiller.  Not 100% sure on that plan though, seeing as how I feel like our gardening skills still need a LOT of work before we jump in too deep!
Potential future garden area.
This picture isn't great, but across the white line (the gravel road) is an area that would be perfect for a few fruit trees.  And an even bigger dream?  Add a Koi pond!
Ultimately, we would love to have more land.  For someone who loves animals, flowers, and experimenting with veggie gardening, I sometimes feel cramped on our little space.  But I am so thankful for it - it is a wonderful home!

What are your hopes, dreams, and goals for your homestead?  I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Little Bitty Life's Facebook Page

Hello my kind followers!  

I just wanted to let you know that I am opening up my Little Bitty Life Facebook page for likes.  I started it months ago, but never said anything because I wasn't sure if I was ready for it.  But today, I decided, I am ready!  I will be posting photography of our animals and flowers, links to my blog posts, and status updates on our animals and farm life.  I also hope to share tips, posts, and pins from other backyard farmers and gardeners!  Please come join us!  Also, leave a comment with a link to your Facebook page if you would like me to "like" you back. 

"Did you hear?  We are getting our own Facebook page!"
"Our own Facebook page?  WAHOO!!!"
Aura and Pearl jumping for joy!
"We wanna be the first fans!!"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cleaning the Chicken Coop

Yesterday, we gave the chicken coop a good clean.  I know everyone does something a little different when it comes to chickens, so I thought I would share our method of cleaning the chicken coop.  I think there are lots of right ways to do things with chickens, so just pick what works best for you and your flock!

Dirty nesting boxes.

Dirty coop.

We raked and swept old pine shavings out.  Don't forget to dust for cobwebs, too!

Then we dusted the bottom of the coop and nesting boxes with DE.

Added fresh new pine shavings.  I plan on adding more... I ran out yesterday!

Also added fresh pine shavings to the nesting boxes.

 I recently learned that some people freshen up their coops by using mint.  We have TONS of spearmint so we picked that and....

...spread it all over the coop floor! 

And the nesting boxes!  It smells great and actually repels bugs.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Potts and her brood feasted on grass clippings while head roo Petrie watched us VERY closely!
A word on DE - diatomaceous earth.  If you use it for chickens, be SURE to get food grade!!  DE is great for killing lice/mites that often affect chickens.  It is also great to kill any other bugs like flies, roaches, etc. that may happen to walk through the chicken coop.  So basically, I use it as a natural pesticide for my chickens.

That is our method for cleaning the chicken coop!  Do you have any tips?  How do you clean your chicken coop? 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day!  A huge THANK YOU to all of our soldiers who fight for and protect our freedom in the good ol' USA.  We are so blessed!  What did you do for Memorial Day weekend?  Here is a peek at what we did:



On Saturday, we had some gift cards that needed using.  First stop was Noodles Italian Kitchen.  (Pictures from their Facebook page - check it out!  Noodles Italian Kitchen)  This restaurant has dim lighting so it is really romantic - especially when you finish your meal sharing a warm slice of chocolate cake with a side of creamy ice cream drizzled in hot fudge.  Oh trust me, it was GOOD!!

Noodles has the most delicious fresh baked bread!  They also have really fresh and crisp salads.

I had a pizza - I think it was this one.  Mmmm I get hungry just thinking about all this food!

Next we headed to Hobby Lobby and I used the remaining balance on an old gift card on this lovely piece of decor:
And then we stopped by a car wash and, of course, Wal-Mart.  I was really needing a planner to keep track of all the craziness going on in my life, so I picked up this:
And the rest of the evening was spent watching Lion King!!  We love watching Disney movies together.  



On Sunday, we attended church in the morning and evening.  Between services, Ben fired up the grill for some turkey sausage, chicken, and hamburgers.  

We made enough to eat off of through Monday so we wouldn't have to cook again.  Good thinkin', huh?  Haha!  The rest of the evening after church services were spent watching more Disney movies.  Fun times - just relaxing time with me and my honey!



Of course the day has really only just begun, but I got up early to spend some time with the doggies, kitties, and chickens to share with you all.  
Little missy prissy sassy pants.

My favorite chicken.  He needs a name!
Mrs. Potts and her brood, growing so fast.
Someone is obviously really excited about having a day off!!
Doggy racing!
If that ain't a grin I don't know what is!

Nope, she's not growling!  That is a smile!

Those are some happy pups right there.

One of my favorite photo subjects...

"Get out of my photo shoot!!"

I am not really sure what we will do the rest of the day... probably something really fun like cleaning up horse poop and working on my medical reports.  We had such a relaxing time all weekend that today I want to spend my "time off" getting caught up.  Who knows if that will actually happen though.  Ha!  Hope you all have a lovely rest of your day!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gosling Parade

Today was our little gosling trio's first ever visit to the great outdoors!  They were a little uncertain at times, but overall they did really well.  They followed me and always came when I called which was precious and also good because sometimes the cats were looking a little too interested.

They are already about two weeks old... and I just can't believe how fast they are growing.  It is crazy! 

Following me around... so cute!
Buffet time!

Friday, May 24, 2013

10 Terrific Tips for Moving Your Cat to a New Home

Howdy LBL readers! Today we have the special treat of having Christina from Corstina guest post for us! Please sure to visit her blog, you won't regret it! From favorite Pinterest pins to insightful posts about her life, Christina's blog is full of Christian living and love.

Hey everyone! I am so excited to be guest blogging on Lana’s blog today. Since I work for a moving company called U-Pack®, I get asked a lot of questions about anything and everything moving related. Lana loves cats (isn’t Siri beautiful?), so I thought, “Why not about a post about moving your cat?” Purrrrrrfect!

10 Terrific Tips for Moving Your Cat to a New Home

  • 1. Make sure you have the right sized carrier for your cat. The carrier should be large enough for your cat to fully turn, stand up, and move around.
  • 2. If you’re flying with your cat, call your airline to find out their requirements for pets. Each airline is different, so find out sooner rather than later.
  • 3. If you’re traveling by car to your new home, get your cat used to the car by driving your cat around the block in its carrier at least once per day.
  • 4. Take your cat to the vet before you move. You need to make sure your cat is healthy enough for travel and that vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • 5. If you can, put moving boxes around your house to get your cat used to them. Most cats, like Siri, love boxes, so leave an empty box around for them to hide in come moving day.
  • 6. Or consider putting your cat in pet daycare on moving day. This way, there’s no chance of running off due to loud noises or escaping out the door that’s going to be open and closed numerous times throughout the day.
  • 7. Avoid a catastrophe! (Sorry I couldn’t help it!) Put your cat on a leash or harness when you take breaks from traveling. Also, make sure your cat has the right identification just in case.
  • 8. Cats aren’t big on change, so keep to your cat’s regular routine as much as possible throughout the moving process.
  • 9. Give your cat plenty of familiarity during the move by putting their favorite toy in the carrier and packing up their favorite spots last.
  • 10. Once you arrive at your new home, immediately decide where your cat’s food, water, and litter box will go. This will instantly give your cat a feeling of establishment in your new home.

Okay, so those are some of my best tips for moving your cat to a new home! If you have more tips to add to my list, leave a comment and let me know! Thanks, Lana, for letting me guest post today on your blog!

Thank you, Christina!  This is great information to keep in mind if you are moving your precious kitty cats.