The Adventures of Draco, Lola & Juno: Baby It’s Cold Outside!

This morning it was extra chilly outside, so the heated indoor coop was filled to the brim with both chickens and ducks, leaving a few leftovers seeking shelter and warmth elsewhere. I found some of them huddled together inside the (snow) covered chicken tunnel:

Brrr!! Even the pups were feelin’ the chill so when we came back in this morning the girls headed right for their warm blankies (which I’m using to cover the new couches until my waterproof covers arrive):

Draco has the thickest coat of the three and didn’t seem phased by it at all, though:

Not much phases him. Well, except the chickens, ducks, turkeys, the Newfoundland across the street, the cat, the smell of bacon cooking…

Have a great weekend! 🙂

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Backyard Farming in The Empty Nest: Too Cute To Kill!!

Winter is definitely here to stay now but the poultry gods have been very kind to us lately!

We recently replaced most of our older laying hens with some lovely $3 apiece (!) Wyandotte pullets who will be ready for egg laying this spring and we also came across a Craigslist ad for more freebies this week.

This time we scored about a dozen healthy, pasture-raised hens (and three roosters – see below) along with seventeen big, fat ducks from a local hobby farm:

We immediately butchered two of the roosters since they were obnoxiously loud (as are these particular ducks) and the rest will all be done sometime this week:

We have plenty of room for everyone in the cozy, heated coop:

And our poultry tunnel that leads to the big pen is working out beautifully even in the snow since we covered it with a heavy tarp:

I’ve mentioned before that this time of year is the best time to find lots of folks around here who are downsizing their flocks because they don’t want to spend the time or money caring for chickens, ducks, etc. through a long, cold winter and they know there aren’t a lot of buyers out there this time of year so it’s cost effective to just give them away.

Why would they give them away and not fill their own freezers? A lot of people have a surplus of meat already and some don’t have the heart to butcher and eat critters they’ve often raised from hatchlings.

Especially if they’ve named them (again, see below)!

I don’t blame them, of course, but we don’t mind the butchering part (well, the hubby doesn’t!) and we are happy to scoop them up so we can fill our freezer! It saves us a fortune and it’s a win-win for everyone (well, except the poultry of course – ha!).

There are a couple of exceptions this time as to who ends up in on the chopping block (literally!) since I’ve fallen madly in love with this little pair of bantams who are honestly just too darn cute to kill:

Ricky and Lucy are still pretty young and are quite the pair and are the only bantams in our flock. Lucy is just such a doll:

And handsome Ricky rarely leaves her side:

So naturally  now that I’ve named them they will live happily ever after here at the Empty Nest and will most certainly enjoy their stay since all of our critters are extremely spoiled.

Even the ones we eventually cull and eat (duck dumplings – yummmmm!!!).

Speaking of that, Santa is bringing the hubby a top-of-the-line chicken plucker to make his job much, MUCH easier:

With so many to butcher now (and so many to come) we feel like it’s well worth the investment (around $400). I’ll be writing an Honest Review on it in the near future once we put it to the test.

So stay tuned and happy backyard farming!

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Vintage Furniture Find Of The Week: Hancock & Moore Sofa and Loveseat

We decided it was time for a new couch since our sectional was 10 years old and has seen better days.

We definitely put it to good use when the nest was full!

We would probably hang onto it longer but the problem is, it is big and bulky and awkward and makes it really hard to do the Christmas decorating. In order to put my tree where I want it the whole sectional has to be rearranged and sticks out into the room. Boo!

Plus, our oldest son could use more stuff in his new house, so the timing was right (Merry Christmas to him ha!).

We spent a few hours shopping around and had *almost* settled for a really pretty loveseat and recliner from Ashley Furniture before we remembered our local consignment/antiques store always has a lot of great pre-owned, high end furniture at really, really great prices.

We’ve bought quite a few antique (non-furniture) pieces from them including our silver tea set and antique scooter and I love visiting them just to browse all their goodies even if we don’t buy anything (but we usually do).

So we headed over this afternoon and were thrilled to find a gorgeous vintage Hancock & Moore sofa/loveseat combo for a fraction of the original price:

I knew a little bit about the quality and durability of Hancock & Moore furniture but I’d never sat on any before so I didn’t realize how amazingly comfortable they are! I also didn’t realize they were hand crafted:

Hancock & Moore has been making masterpieces since 1981 when master craftsman Jimmy Moore turned his lifetime passion for furniture making into a legacy. Jimmy grew up learning the skills of an artisan, turning wood into beautiful, heirloom furniture. He spent hours hand-carving, sanding, sewing, and upholstering exclusive pieces using this timehonored approach.

To this day, up to 80 hours are spent handcrafting a piece of Hancock & Moore furniture. Every sofa, game chair and bench bears the signature of the artisan who created it, reflecting the hard day’s work that went into its construction. To Hancock & Moore, custom-made furniture is the purest form of self-expression. That is why they have spent the past 30 years creating furniture exactly as you envisioned, making it truly as unique as you are.

These are several years old and still in almost perfect condition and are just sooooo comfy.

There is a reason people pay so much for them brand new and while a new couch from Hancock & Moore is in the thousands and way (way!) out of our price range, we are very, very happy with being the proud second (or third or ?) owners of this lovely set.

The price? Just over $700 for both. Merry Christmas to me!

Now it’s a matter of keeping the pups off of them. We ordered these waterproof sofa/loveseat covers to help keep them safe until we find better ones that give us better coverage:

The reviews were pretty good on these covers so I’m hoping they do the job and I’ll update here with an Honest Review in a few weeks. The bottom line is though; if you’re looking for quality pre-owned furniture definitely look for the Hancock & Moore label.

We are extremely happy with our new (old) furniture!

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