The Hen House

I’ve talked a little about our hen house. It originally was built to be attached to the barn but has since moved a foot away and down the hill. When we first moved in, we actually never even knew it was there. The blackberry vines were busy shielding the horror with their own horror- and our poor eyes could not get past the thorny foliage to see the structure behind them.

My husband’s first thought was, “Tear it down- it needs to be sneezed over.” Okay, so that reference was towards the whole barn- but I can assure you he meant the same for the chicken coop.

Chicken Coop

This was the chicken coop after we cleared some berries. It’s muddy and filled with goat berries (no relation to the berry vines outside). The windows were mostly cracked or broken and it looked like an animal had attempted to get in through the chicken wire on the back. Large gaping holes were left. Here is where J is assessing the floor and, really, where to begin. Note the support beams leaning where the structure was moving downhill.

Hen house floor

He took out most of the rotten floor and then dug out the bottom beams adding more support structure to it. You could still sneeze it over at this point if you tried really hard.


Here I am freezing my butt off, staring at J doing his magic. Yes I live in Oregon, but as I am a Californian transplant I still have never quite acclimatised to the cold. Yes, 65 degrees is cold.


This kind of works requires major sledge action. There is probably 2 feet of goat poop under there.


Here is the side of the barn where the coop (excuse me, goat house) was attached. All of that is ex-berry vines. Do you like the Queen-Anne’s Lace strewn about? Those will be so pretty when they pop up again. If something doesn’t eat them first.


You find wonderful things digging in the dirt. This would have made some bird/fish happy. Instead it gets to eat goat poop. For all you bug lovers, we found this attached to the light bulb inside the hen house. I didn’t realize it was there until after the bulb had been on for a few hours.


Now the hen house (chicken coop, goat shed- whatever it is until we actually finish it) is almost done. I decided to whitewash the inside and I am letting my painting arm rest, lest it become twice the size of my other one with the burly muscles I’ve been developing with Mr. Miyagi’s ‘brush up- brush down‘ technique we all learned in Karate Kid.


You can see here the back wall that one was a gaping opening, now enclosed. J filled in that wall and added a door to where the broken window once was. The boards that are darker are ones that are wet still because they’re old and gross. The white wash will help wick up the moisture- but we really probably need a good couple of summer days to fully dry them opaque.


The hen house door is made complete with steps down. I still have a lot of whitewashing to do.


When you white wash properly, you are basicly taking hydrated lime and adding water (some people add salt, flour, powdered milk, other things) to make a clear wash. I am not watering down white paint- so this is harmless for animals. It goes on thin and dries white. Which is why it isnt a paint- it’s a white wash. Get it? White. Wash.

I know, I’m brilliant.

But as you paint it on it does smell quite chalky, so my brilliant self decided that I would experiment and add something to make it smell fresher. Maybe something that would release over time, but not stink out the chickens or people who happen to be in the hen house.


What I did was take this soap, grate it, then boil it in some hot water and add it to my hydrated lime and then the bluing. The bluing will be fine- people have done it for centuries. I have no clue if the lye in the soap it- or anything else in it for that matter- is going to interfere with the curing or reliability of my white wash, but that is why I call it experimenting. I’m sure I will find out soon enough. Or you rocket scientists can tell me and put me out of my misery.

All this dirt and work has made me hungry.


Here’s a picture of Abbie and Justus sharing a hotdog last summer .


I’m not ready.

I have only just begun to enjoy what Summer we have had- as short as it has been- in Oregon, and here is Fall, creeping in. Fall and Winter last so long here, as Spring is more an extension of Winter or a faux-Fall. But I am a deeply seeded warm weather person and finding ways to extend that is super important to me!

I have a million projects I need to do and no matter what it just seems like I wake up with a dozen more swimming around my head. Here are a few, to fill you in:

  1. Choose curriculum for my 7th and 8th graders. I home school them and this has been the one evading me. I’m pulled in so many academic ways as where to go that I haven’t been able to make up my mind. And here, school is starting in a few weeks.
  2. Build the after-school center for my 3 middle kiddos. My plans are to build a 3 cubby bench system for shoes along with a wall system consisting of backpack/coat hooks, file holder for homework packets/folders and cork board to pin field trip notices, encouragement notes and Bible verses per each child.
  3. Organize the family room. We have a lot of papers, toys, books, and misc that need to find a home. I’m still designing a system for that room since it also doubles as our home school room.
  4. Build side tables for the family room and living room. I have a few ideas for these!
  5. Build a coffee table for the living room. Right now I’m using my black cedar hope chest for this, and we really need a shorter square table that is great for gathering around!
  6. Build 2 loft beds for the older girls. We would like to move all four girls into one room and make 2 loft beds for the older girls with the younger ones sleeping underneath.
  7. Put up shelving. We need shelves in a bad way. We have a couple of very adventurous kids who love to get into things. Even high things. We just need more unreachable places to store things! I also need places to store my photography equipment and books and… well, everything. I do not have an office- instead, my husband and I both have half our bedroom as our office area.
  8. Put up photos on the wall. As a photographer, it is a mortal sin that I have exactly one photo on my wall. Yes friends- one. It’s a canvas shot I took of Emmalia. And that is it. It’s time to put up our family ! I haven’t had the frames to put them into nor the money to get them or print out suitable shots! This is something we are working towards!
  9. Create my chalk mantle piece and put it up. I have a whole bunch of phrases I want to put on a chalk board I am making, but it’s huge and I need to find the perfect board for it! This is going to hang over my mantle.
  10. Organize my kitchen dishes. Most of my dishes awkwardly do not fit in the kitchen. It desperately needs a better solution!

Now this is, by no means, the extent of the list of to-do’s. But it’s a start, to give you an idea.
Just listing it makes me feel guilty for not working on it at the moment! Better get started! At least you know what to expect.

Monday I am going to attempt to be gone for a day at a lighting workshop

In The Beginning….

Jynesis 1:1
“In the beginning, Jyn made several blogs before she realized she needed to make another…”
Okay so this website has had many facelifts. Originally I just wanted to secure the name. Then I decided I needed to utilize it and made it a photography go-to page to link to alllllll my other places.
Today- it becomes *ta-dah!* my blog of creations, crafts, how-to’s, inspirations, and I think you get the point.

I had one that was filling that gap somewhat that kind of disappeared on my main site. I say it was hacked- they say it was a plugin error. Either way, it must have been meant to be, because here we are.

As we start a new school year, I hope to document some of my projects, share my inspirations, and connect with those of you who like to do the same! Happy reading!


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