Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Change of Plans Again- Rabbitry/Chickens

Well, you know Murphy's Law? Well, I'm a Murphey by marriage. The added "e" in the last name just makes the law extraordinary in both the occurrence both good and bad.

Well, a last month I talked about buying the new rabbitry/chicken area. I also talked about awaiting pennies from heaven from Social Security. We even mentioned it again on our July Tea Time.

 Things that make me go "GRRR!" I wrote this whole blog and even edited it and when I opened it back up later only the above had saved! "E" for extraordinarily bad. So I begin again.

I might mention here that when we talk about something this much, we are stressing about it. The thing is that each of us were stressing in our own ways, but it was bad. We were sweating the full payment when they delivered the rabbitry/ chicken coop. Each day, I'd pull up my bank account and find no Social Security check and start the day off bad. Normally, I do not stress this type of stuff. I write it down and shove it into my GITG (Give it to God) box. But, I was still "playing" with this worry.

I finally went to see Bobby at the shed place. He greeted me with a "Hello!" and followed it up with, "We've got a problem and it's my fault." This is never a good thing. I followed him into the office with an overwhelming sense of dread.

8x12 Sort of like this
There was an addition error ( or multiplication ) made in the final cost of the building we ordered to the tune of $800 that we would owe in addition to the other. My first inclination was to cancel the order. But Mel and I had a partnership where we discuss almost everything concerning the homestead so I knew I had to talk to her first. We had yo have a building for the angoras. After losing two last month, we couldn't afford any more losses. We're talking about future profits here. I told this all to Bobby and asked if he had any solutions. "Well, I do have a repo. It's smaller, but it is wired, and insulated. I can let it go for $1,550."

Now I don't know about you, but when I hear "repo" it can mean several things. 1) shoddily built and surrendered, 2) owner had trouble paying for it, or 3) the previous owner trashed it. Yes, I've had more bad experiences than good in this area. We'd had some pretty bad thunderstorms over the past week so I felt sure that if it was poorly built or the previous owner had trashed the building, the evidence would show. We walked across the "showroom" yard to the building.

Bobby explained to me that the previous owners has cut some openings in the original building. The first thing I saw was a small pet door in the front door. Perfect for the cats to enter the rabbitry while we are in there. The front door also had a quarter panel cut into it that was screened giving an appearance of a Dutch door. Perfect for ventilation when it got cooler for the rabbits. There was also a 16"x16" screened door cut into the side. Bobby thought it was a perfect place for the air conditioner. It's not, but that's besides the point. But true to his words, there was R-13 batts of insulation between the studs all around the building. No framed window through. Two outlets in either on long sides and a light bulb fixture in the ceiling. The fact that the gamble roof started at four foot high would mean reconfiguring the cage set up and the building being smaller meant it could house less rabbits with a work station. But it was doable. There was also a four-inch square drain hole in one corner of the floor. I told Bobby I'd have to talk to Mel. Even though it was my money, it's our homestead. To sweeten the deal, he offered a payment plan of $71 a month. It would lift the financial burden off of us greatly.

Jenn and her boys
Down in Brunswick, my 6-month pregnant youngest daughter, Jenn with beloved in tow, was overseeing the clean up and out of my property there. She now has the house almost ready to be listed. God bless her.

I might have mentioned here that an oak tree fell (Murphey's Law extraordinarily bad) on my pool 14x25 house during a storm there. My homeowner's insurance would not pay for it. Instead they canceled my insurance because I wasn't living there full time anymore! It was part of the reason for Mel and my last trip there. But, we would have had to makes several trips there to accomplish what she did within a week by corralling old friends. The building has been demolished and removed, but she did manage to save one of the double pane 3x3 windows knowing I needed it. It will fit in the rabbitry very nicely. All the old carpet has been removed and while I've thought for all these years that nothing but the concrete slab was under them, lo and behold, beautiful wood tile flooring was underneath. I only have to replace the flooring in one 8x12 room. All it cost me for this labor and hard work was $65 for a pizza and beer party, and the pool table with stained glass light. I was going to give it away anyhow. Oh, and these friends of hers also provided the dumpster to haul away the trash. Not only is this child of mine an extraordinary pastry chef, she's got too many talents to mention. I can't sing her praises enough.

Anyhow, Mel agreed with me that $800 error was too much. We needed to cancel the order. We went to see the repo building. She agreed that it was better than nothing. We could work with it. By buying the building and carport separately, it would cost more up front, but it would save us money too. With the purchase of the previous set up, we'd have to put in a floor, wire it, and insulate the building. We calculated almost $2,000. The overage of buying the pieces separately amounts to $700.

We went in last Saturday to sign the paperwork on the rabbitry. We started pricing water proof walls to cover the insulation in the building. We couldn't do it for less than $400. Yep, we were counting pennies again. The hole in the floor was perfect for a poo drainage system Mel designed. We'd need PVC pipe for that and PVC panels for that. New cage wire because we wanted the outdoor set up exclusively for meat rabbit production. Mel said she HAD to show me the ReStore in Clarkesville. It was huge! It was honestly half the size of my old one. But we went, saw, and conquered. We both saw these light panels and went "Ah ha!" Just wait until you see what we do with them. We also picked up a kitchen sink and counter top for the butchering station and the work station inside the rabbitry. All in all, instead of costing us a couple hundred dollars it cost me $75. Stay tuned a video is coming.

At long last on Monday, the wayward check arrived in my account. Only three weeks late, but Hallelujah! I'm surprised I didn't wake Mel up with my loud "Thank you, Jesus!" and me jumping up and down doing the Snoopy dance of happiness. I went back to Bobby and said we needed to renegotiate our deal. His response was, "What? Already?" We went inside and paid him in full for the building. Then I went to Walmart to wire Jenn some money. She had offered to drive a Uhaul with all the things I wanted out of the house up here. Actually, her beloved offered. So he's coming Friday to take the strain off Mel. Wasn't I singing this child's praises above? It goes double now. He'll also be bring my two oldest grandsons to help with the heavy lifting. It is also on their way back home to their homestead.

Hmm, I think I'll go back into town to see Bobby again tomorrow. This time to order the carport. Think he'll welcome me with open arms seeing me this quick again? Just wait until I order our tiny houses when my house sells. We'll make his week.

While life on the homestead was fraught and stressed a week ago, it's better now. Maybe it's a good thing Blogger ate my previous written blog. When God closes a door, He always opens a window.

Be blessed.



  1. So excited for both of you, Jo. God does seem to bring us close to the edge sometimes, but He sure has a way of working things out. Always happy to see a blog and vlog from my two favorite homesteaders.


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