Archives for June 2016

Cooped Up

It sure would be awesome to have unlimited disposable income! Sadly, I don’t fall into that category.  Lately I scrimp and scrounge to make ends meet.  Being the DIY freak that I am, I tend to save things for future possible re-use whenever I can, rather than go out and buy new. Coop2You never know when a piece of PVC, or 50 pieces of it, may come in handy.  I have bricks and sticks and lumber and glass and boxes and wire and steel and tape and…and… and….you get the picture.Coop1

It happens that I’ve had this giant chain link fence dog kennel for well over 15 years.  It was given to me by former neighbors; they salvaged 3 of 4 sides during a yard renovation, and handed it over.  I slid it butt up to my shed and secured it tight to the shed.  It has served me well for dog containment when I mow the back yard.

But now, we’re dialing things up a few notches!

Since acquiring Cleopatra and Aphrodite (my two beautiful hens) they’ve been living inside of my cheap little camping screen Coop0tent and roosting in Jacks dog crate at night. I carry that crate into the sunporch every night for the girls safety, and then back to the tent in the morning. Guaranteed to be quite tiring after 7 days of it.

OOOh I feel a DIY idea coming on…..

After about a minute of inspection, that chain link kennel appears to have a whole new and exciting purpose—to become the girls chicken coop. I could see it in my minds eye—and with the help of my tool-maker friend, we got to work building their new home.

What’s a girl to do with a pile of PVC pipe and fittings?

Well make a chicken coop roof of course!


Step 1, cut fittings to clip onto the top of the fence frame.Coop4Coop5

Step 2, cut roof beams to size.

Step 3, assemble and clip onto fence.



Coop7Coop8Step 4, wrap chicken wire around entire kennel and roof to prevent any potential predator threat.  I used clear tie-wraps and the wire that the chicken wire fence was bound with to tie everything down.

Step 5, raise their “temporary” nesting box off the ground until I can afford to build them a nice little house.

Step 6, position the crate so they have an indoor place to retreat to.Coop9

I just happened to have a big, heavy duty, high table that was starting to decompose a little after 20 years of use at the hot tub. It is well built out of pressure treated decking wood and still very useable.  It’s perfect for the crate to sit on top of, and the heavy duty shelf underneath is just the right size to hold 2 nesting boxes.

Step 7, create and install perches for their entertainment and enjoyment.

Step 8, lay a fine floor of hay.Coop10

Step 9, strategically position ample food and water sources.

Step 10, attach waterproof tarp over a portion of the roof and sides to create a buffer from wind and rain.

And wha-la!  Time to bring the girls in for the big reveal!

I hope they like their new home!

Because I already had most of the materials to complete the job –this entire project ended up costing only $40.00 for chicken wire.

Now for some egg action!


Thank you for reading my post. Have you had a similar experience?  I’d love to hear about it!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  I share information about all kinds of products, places and services I’ve found to be exceptionally great, or exceptionally not great under my “Whats New” blog category—along with many of my own handy little DIY ideas like this one. If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!



My Elephant


All this in the back of the truck?

It’s been exactly two weeks since I got back home to Minnesota. Two weeks.  Pretty sure I slept for over one whole week of it.  The rest of the time, I’ve been on yet another adventure—I’ve been tackling the elephant on my property.


You know the saying— “How do you eat an elephant: One bite at a time”?


Um, anyone see my tooth brush?

Well I came home with an elephant of a “to-do” list, with some things that just couldn’t wait. And I came home TO an elephant of a “to-do” list that also included things that couldn’t wait.  Packing last fall took about a week.  Packing to come back home, took three.  Just getting the vehicle packed took a week!  I couldn’t have squeezed another box in the trailer.  In other words, I had plenty to get done in a big hurry, and I was still not over being sick.

Lucky for me I’m a “list master” and can detail out and prioritize pretty much anything needing to get done, calculating time, cost, and materials needed; and do it in a very short time. On my way home I carved out this quick starter list:


What to do when I get home:

Set up screen tent for temporary coop

Get birds set up in tent


Set up Holly and the girls in the house

Clean fridge in house

Bring food in

Prospect for work/projects

Florida follow ups

Salvage any remaining house plants

Plant/re-pot new flowers, herbs and tomatoes

Get coop supplies

Clean fridge in camper

Unpack trailer

Clean trailer

Trailer repairs: 2 wheels, awning, 2 gutters, upper back right side, waste piping, fridge wall, fridge electronics

Sweep helicopter seeds

Take out patio stuff and set up

Repair/replace patio lights

Set up fountain

Build the coop

Take down screen tent

Sort through mail

Register truck

Register @ Hy-vee

Financials/evaluate biz plan


Organize projects and paperwork

Mow front

Mow back

Weed gardens


Install air conditioner

Repair porch door

Repair guest room balcony door

Put clothes away

Brush out dogs

Dog baths

Do my hair

Sort and put stuff away: PR Brady Biz, Florida biz, hunting, fishing, recreational

Sort and organize for Garage Sale

Test/turn on water for outside—possibly repair

Repair bathtub faucet

Catch up on email correspondence

Draft and initiate new website schedule

Clean and reorganize office

Clean guest room

Clean master bedroom

Clean basement

Clean living room

Clean dining room

Clean kitchen

Clean bathrooms

Clean and set up sun porch

Build Hollys cage

Get well

Go on a bike ride

Get over stuff


Throw a party


Come on in and have a seat?

This is the reality I was faced with on June 4th. It took all of 10 minutes to visualize, and another 10 to commit it to print. My working copy is far more detailed as to what’s involved, including estimated time to complete things and what’s needed to do it. In the last two weeks I’ve managed to accomplish the items in bold. At one bite at a time and frequent naps, it will eventually all get done. Trouble is, things will keep getting added to the list.

Thank the Gods for my dear neighbors who have been so very helpful, and hospitable. I’d still be trying to back my trailer into the driveway if not for Randy! The first week home, June woke me up and fed me dinner almost every day—as I was crashed out exhausted from full days of “elephantitus”!


And I wore every single thing…..not!

The goal for next week is to get everything unloaded and put in its proper place. Right now, there’s no getting through the living room with the stacks of boxes and gear everywhere.  and you KNOW you’re in trouble if you’ve converted your Toy Hauler bathroom into your closet…..

With a constant eye on Sunny Girl’s cyst, I’m hoping our routine Betadine cleanings of the area will keep her stabilized until I can scrape up the money for a vet visit.

Of course, one can’t ignore the fact that the weather is simply BEAUTIFUL here, and it’s the perfect time to go fishing, bowfishing, or tooling around the woods. I am eager to cook some awesome grub and get chillin’ on my patio, or out to some of the free music in the parks, and art fairs and festivals around the Twin Cities. It’s almost fireworks season, too!

Ohhh so much to do!

One bite at a time.

One bite at a time.

That’s the way to get through my elephant adventure.


Thank you for reading my post. Was it inspiring?  Scary?  Funny?  Unbelievable?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  Life is an adventure—and it begins today!  Why wait for an invitation to live an amazing life full of great experiences? There are lots of inspirational stories under my blog category, “PRs Amazing Outdoor Adventure Update”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. 




It’s been twenty-some hours since “take off”. Twenty some hours since the end of my latest winter adventure.

What an adventure.

A six month adventure.

A busy, hard-working adventure.

A turbulent, dizzying, adventure.

An adventure and then some.

A quagmire of mixed emotions are poking at me; an irritating reminder of what I’ve just left behind. An ominous realization of what I’m heading back to.  Trying to balance between the two and find peace seems impossible.

Just keep driving.

I try to think about past years adventures, and how excited I was to share my experiences. Those memories keep me alert for a few miles, but I still feel unsettled.  The long journey home is flying by compared to past years.  I’ve no idea why my mind keeps clouding up with a strange emotional angst.  I know I need to take a break.

After a five hour rest I’m refreshed, and on the last leg; I’ve just passed exits for Madison Wisconsin. There’s an absence of city life as far as the eye can see.  Rolling green hills, farms and open country.  I missed spring.  As my wheels hum along the dark highway, thoughts drift back to the past six months.  Sure, there was good.  And there was bad.  Then, there was the really bad.

I focus on remembering the good times. Friends.  Fun outings.  Whistling ducks.  Sunsets on the beach.  Sunrise on the boardwalk.  Accomplishments.  Kinship and kindness.  Caring for sweet animals.  The laughter of children.  Greetings and conversations with strangers.  Making new friends.  Enjoying great meals.  Treasured moments with special people.  Yes it was a good winter.

Suddenly my thoughts start to derail—feeling dread for the insurmountable “to do” list waiting for me at home. Who knows what I’m returning to?  Then, instantly, thoughts shift to tremendous feelings of sadness, loss, heartbreak, hurt, disappointment, failure, frustration, futility, confusion and regret.  Terrible feelings stack up in my mind that I cannot push away; pressing on my chest hard and deliberate.  I begin envisioning pieces of conversations I’d rather forget, rerunning scenes from situations that should not have occurred.  I relive bits of the past 6 months that brought me to my knees more than once in sheer aggravation.

The dark sky unleashes a downpour of rain that forces me to pull over. Thunder, lightning, and whipping wind rocks the truck and trailer for half an hour.

In the privacy of my vehicle I realize this string of negative recollections is choking me breathless. It’s wrapping around my soul, squeezing me tight, stopping me from celebrating any of the good.

How can this be? This is not me! My thoughts slam into the single, most prevalent question….

What the hell did I just do with my life?

For someone who strives to see the glass as half full, it’s been pretty hard to accomplish it this time. I’m finding this last adventure is one I don’t want to share.  I don’t want to talk about it.  I don’t even want to think about much of it.

Perhaps I’m just going through a phase.

Perhaps I just need to decompress.

Perhaps it’s just from being stuck in the wee hours of the morning in a thunderstorm.

I don’t even feel like me.

The rain subsides, and we’re back on the road. I continue racing northwest on the wet highway with a powerful feeling of wanting to recluse.  Of wanting to curl up in a ball and disappear.  Somehow, I just don’t feel like reaching out to my people .  Feeling  worn out and broken I realize I’m developing a kind of resolve, and craving quiet, drama free space.  I’m still not healthy. I do feel like sleeping for a week—maybe two.  Oh I can see my bed.  Pillows and blankets and cool 60 degree nights.  I imagine my bathroom—my retro, yellow and red bathroom.  I miss that bathroom.  I picture my patio. There I am, gently rocking back and forth on the swing, listening to the traffic out front. I imagine shuffling about in my kitchen, cooking something amazing.  I miss Jack.

With a heavy sigh I revert back to that epic question……..

What the hell did I just do with my life?

Just keep driving.

The landscape is beginning to look familiar now. The sun has sprung up over the horizon behind me. A new day is here, and I am almost home.  “Welcome To Minnesota” is a sight for sore eyes as I cross the St. Croix river.  Street lights are flicking off as the city wakes up to a beautiful morning.

This road warrior is pounding down the highway–closing the gap on the last 20 minutes of the drive. There are no cars on the road. Everyone must still be asleep.  It’s a cool 63 degrees, halleluiah.

I need to figure out what the hell I just did with my life. And what’s next.

I have so very much to do.

There is so much to do.

So much.

I carefully make that last curve in the road. My house is just up ahead.

So much to do, indeed.

What’s that? Is that my place?

OH, WOW!barefoot

I pull over and park in the street, pushing the quagmire of mixed emotions I’ve been burdened with out of my mind. I jump out of the truck and run across the road to my house, excited and amazed.

Everything is simply going to have to wait until I do one simple thing—I just need to do one thing:

Off come the shoes, and with joyful abandon, I proceed to dance barefoot across my beautiful green lawn and brand new driveway!

Now I’m home!


Thank you for reading my post. Did it invoke anything in you? Was it inspiring?  Scary?  Funny?  Unbelievable?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  Life is an adventure—and it begins today!  Why wait for an invitation to live an amazing life full of great experiences? There are lots of inspirational stories under my blog category, “PRs Amazing Outdoor Adventure Update”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. 

 If you find yourself spending your time not doing what you love, I invite you to contact me to create your own, amazing adventure.  As always, please feel free to share with others who may find meaning and value in exploring limitless possibilities with PR Brady AdVentures. Thanks again!