Friday, March 19, 2010

Palace de Poulet

Can I just gloat for a minute? This is a KICK ASS CHICKEN COOP! Ok, I'm good now. I just needed a minute to express my absolute joy with how this turned out. Mom was kind enough to buy the materials for it and her and Joe conceptualized while I was in Beloit. After a few days of hard work, this is what had materialized:
Here is the coop mostly finished. Joe used leftover fence boards to line the outside as an additional deterrent to critters, plus, it looks cool!

I helped Joe put up the chicken wire, as it can be a pretty cantankerous material to work with.

We even wrapped the wire over rafter gaps and pinned an extra five inches into the dirt floor. Hopefully, this will stop wild birds stopping in to steal food and deter burrowing.

We also put up metal flashing to cover the cut chicken wire ends. This is more for my peace of mind than for the chickens. I had visions of me trying to untangle myself from ragged wire edging at six in the morning and decided that an extra ten bucks to cover the edges was totally worth it...

Here's the finished inside, complete with feeders and coop (a gift from Jan and Neil). Don't Red and Blondie look happy? I think they do...

Here it is, all finished and beautiful. I am just tickled pink at how this turned out and couldn't have imagined how my original idea would morph into this palace! Thanks Joe and Mom for creating such a enviable coop!

Oh, and here is Miss Red "Houdini" Hen trying to escape while I was taking pictures. My iphone inadvertently took this shot while I was chasing her down...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Peeps

My friends and family are....the greatest. I had many offers of help with my recent move, some of which I took. I want to thank the people that heaved and pushed and pulled and carried all my crap to the new house. People like Johnpaul and Linda, Alexandra, Suellen and Paul, Mary, and Carlos with his Magical Moving Team of Three. I sincerely appreciate all your efforts and hope that I get the opportunity to repay you in kind.
There are, however, a few people that have given me so much support over the years (emotional, financial, physical) that I could never repay them even if I tried. And the real clincher? They would never expect to be repaid. They are the best people a girl could know and I'm constantly amazed at what we accomplish together. I would like to publicly thank those who mean so much to me and helped me immensely with this most important step in my life.

Adrienne and Paul Lulay
Loyal, Creative, Always Prepared, and TALL!!!
This super-duo always have the right tool, always! If it's not in the house, it's in the truck. If it's not in that truck then it's in the other truck. And if they (by some crazy fluke) don't have something, they know someone who does. If you need help, they hook up the horse trailer and blaze up I-5 to the rescue! They give great advice, enable my crazy schemes, and make a mean breakfast!

Jan and Neil McMahon
Practical, Wise, and Unendingly Supportive
What can I say? They're the best surrogate parents I could ever hope for. Since the age of 14, I've earned valuable spending money trimming sheep and farm-sitting (something I would have done for free) at Spinning Ewe Farm. They know when I'm down about something and always know how to cheer me up. Whether that means getting on the computer and helping me do legwork, or sitting me down with a bowlful of lamb stew and Maury, it always works. I leave feeling more prepared, or reassured, and with whatever else Jan feels I need (cheese, dishtowels, a silverware set, a new chicken coop, wine glasses, potholders, a Carhart t-shirt, eggs, and the list goes on...), the most valuable of which is advice stemming from years of experience. They tell me when I'm overreacting (or under reacting), when I should take action and when I should be patient. They are truly the best of people.

My Parents
How on earth could I have gotten this far without them? Answer: I wouldn't have. They are a source of unending support and encouragement. If I need help, they're there. If I need money, they're there. If I need someone to talk to, they're there. Mom is always willing to jump on a plane to bail me out when I start to freak out and Dad's voice of reason is only a phone call away. I would not have had the confidence to buy a house on my own had my family not been willing to go look at houses on Christmas Eve. We all loaded into Joe's truck, crawled through freezing empty houses, then ate dinner at the Creekside while debating the many pros and cons of each house. Had they not been willing to hash out all the details, I would have been very hard pressed to make a decision on my own. I love my family and while we're not perfect, we're pretty damn good.

These are the special people in my life and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say "thanks", even though that single word seems to be excruciatingly inadequate. They help me get through life with all it's ups and downs and I hope we can stick together always. They are my Posse!

So close....

...and yet so far! This is absolute kitty torture, but what the hell, it builds character!

The ten little Ameraucana chicks are all doing great and getting new feathers everyday!

The Cutest Little Sushi Eater in Oregon

Mark's favorite are the salmon eggs, which he eats by the handful!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More Progress!

Here's a table that they were going to throw away at our Nut plant, but I rescued it. It would make the perfect dye table or potting bench. Alexandra came and picked it up and will use it when she dyes until my garage is more organized.

Here's the final look into my newly cleaned-out garage! It took several days and SIX dump loads (the last of which is in the back of my truck, ready to go), but it's finally done, swept out, and ready to receive all my precious tools and gardening supplies!

Next on the list, is a new chicken coop that will (hopefully) curb the wanderlust of Red Houdini chicken and a new fence around the backyard. Also, I have been convinced that my kitchen needs to be painted before I move in, so there's a trip to Lowe's scheduled for my lunch break. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Home Improvement

Well, things are ticking right along at the new house! Yesterday, Mom and Jan volunteered to come over and help me get organized before Moving Day. Apparently, there are things about the new house that bother the two of them much more than they bother me. Granted, the crooked striped wall paper in the kitchen bothered everyone, but they are determined to paint the kitchen, even though I'm planning a larger re-model later....
Here's Mom, happily cleaning. After seeing the picture, she challenges anyone to drive 12 hours, arrive at midnight, clean their daughter's new kitchen the next day and look better than she does in this picture :-)

It's amazing how much better mint green paint looks when it's clean. Not great, mind you, but better...

Here is Jan, gleefully removing the hideous striped wall paper. The glue-smeared wall underneath looked better than the actual paper...kind of shabby- chic.

On Saturday, my very loyal friend Bill came up from Philomath to help do Demolition! We ripped out a very moldy office that had been "creatively" built inside the garage. Now, I just have to schedule some dump runs to get rid of old drywall, carpet and wood!
There's one wall down!

Three walls down! After I took this photo, we cleared out the last of the insulation and wood. The only thing left to rip out is the carpet and a few pieces of wood bolted to the concrete. Then, I can get started on my dream garage and seed-starting station!