Saturday, January 30, 2016

Frugal Couch Project

Part of the fun of planning a little cabin on our land is planning how to furnish and decorate it. I'm trying to keep the furniture as minimal and frugal as possible. 

The other day, I found a couch at one of the thrift stores. 

Matt very nearly wouldn't let me buy it. He's not a fan of the 1970s decor. 

But the couch was comfy and only $70. 

I promised him I'd re-cover the cushions and that was enough to get him to compromise. 

Once I got looking at fabric, though, I realized it would be over $100 to cover all the cushions in upholstery fabric. 

We brainstormed, and purchased two cheap velvet and fleece blankets from Wal-Mart for $30 total. 

This afternoon, I measured and sewed until each cushion had a fitted cover. It took about two hours. 

The couch isn't reassembled yet, but I can already tell he's going to like it. No more 1970s couch. 

The Land

This month, we found and purchased a small piece of unimproved forested land about 30 minutes from our house. We plan to put a tiny house/cabin on it and enjoy some family time or respite time there. 

Right now, covered with snow, it doesn't look like much, but just wait till spring comes!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


In the last post, I wrote that we had baby bunnies. Well, now we have baby bunny. Just one. 

Because we needed to muck out the bunny cage, we had to move the nest. And we didn't know which doe was mama. One of the ones we chose as a likely candidate ended up scattering the babies out of the nest. Two died over that first night, but one was still alive in the morning. Barely. 

I warmed him in my hands, and fed him some half n half using a twist of paper towel to suck on. 

My cousin, who has a small, organic farm, suggested a Pritchard nipple. We bought one, along with some Kitten Milk Replacer, suggested by Uncle Google. 

Every morning, when I check on him, and find him still alive, I'm amazed. Everyone I've talked to says that bunnies are really, really hard to bottle raise. 

He sleeps in a small box with a scrap of fleece to burrow into, and a heating pad on low. He's in a bird cage so the other pets can't molest him; at least that's the theory. 

Today was day 4. Taking it one day at a time. I call him Taco, because wrapped in a blanket in my hand, he looks like a little soft taco. But Matt says Taquito fits better at this point. 

And isn't that tiny ear just adorable?

Update: Little Taco only lived seven days. I miss him terribly. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Farm News

Our little farm in the city is flourishing!

Almost daily, we get chicken eggs and duck eggs. Puddles the Duck laid her first egg the other day, and it was a big, double yolk egg!

Then, when we went out this morning to muck out the bunny cage, we found a little nest of fur. 

Tucked inside were three tiny newborn baby bunnies!

We moved them into a safer, more sheltered box. Everyone is excited for babies!!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Teaching Algebra to a Third Grader

A gifted third grader doing algebra isn't the same as a ninth grader doing algebra. His attention span isn't as long. His writing skills are not as well developed. 

Some things I do to make it work:

Use manipulatives wherever possible

Go slowly. 

Do only as many problems as he can do without getting overwhelmed. 

If I'm willing to break a long lesson into several days' worth of work, and skip the review, he stays excited and interested. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What visitors do

When people visit, they often are delighted to meet a tame duck. She is such a novelty that people want to interact with her. She tolerates it, but you can see by her spread tail that she's nervous. Still, it's a fun experience for visitors. And occasionally, Puddles really warms up to someone. 


Puddles has an owie on her beak. It bled a surprising amount for being a beak. Luckily, it's healing well.