Thursday, 16 July 2009

Happy 29th Birthday & a sneak peek

Tuesday was my daughter's 29th (gulp! where did time go?) birthday. This picture of her is one of my favorite, besides her Sr. pictures from high school, and she took it herself-with her cell phone! I love it because it shows her beautiful blue eyes and bright smile so well. I am so proud of her. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, but she is also beautiful on the inside. My Mother always told me that "pretty is as pretty does" and I, for one, happen to think that this young woman does pretty great!When most of the other girls in high school were talking about who they slept with over the weekend, this child was witnessing to her classmates. She is a wonderful Christian young woman, a great Mom to her two beautiful girls, an awesome daughter and a thoughtful granddaughter.

So, for her birthday, I took the day off to spend some time with her and the girls. I told her we would do whatever she wanted to do and she decided she wanted to work on a project that we had started, but hadn't had time to finish.

I arrived at her house about 8 a.m. Her husband had taken the day off to help watch the girls so that we could work on the project. He was cooking pancakes when I arrived so I got to enjoy a delicious and fun breakfast with all of them. Then he took charge of the girls and my daughter took me outside to show me the garden that they had put in. We picked some of the squash and chatted about her garden. Then we went in and went to work on this: I have a BAD habit of trying to do projects for her rather than letting her do them herself, so I tried really hard to supervise instead of do. It was a great learning experience for both of us.
My Mom & Dad came by for lunch, then we put my Dad and the girls down for a nap and three generations of women went shopping for a couple of hours.
We had a WONDERFUL day. And my daughter and I both got new clothes.
My daughter says this was her LAST birthday, and she was glad to get to spend it with her family! Next year she'll be 29 AGAIN! Does that mean I don't have to get older either?
Check back for the finished project. It's SO CUTE! I think you'll love it.

Friday, 10 July 2009

An Emotional Start to the Day

This is Dandy, my precious and beautiful Silver Laced Bantam Cochin rooster. My handyman found him dead in his chicken coop this morning. He was still warm when he found him. We have no idea why he died. There were no wounds, no signs of parasites, nothing. He was just laying lifeless on the floor.

I held him and cried! Yes, I'm that crazy lady who cries over a dead rooster!

Dandy liked to jump in my lap and let me stroke his beautiful, soft feathers. I had plans to breed him and raise his babies to keep and to sell. He was just starting to crow and sounded like a boy whose voice was starting to change. It made me smile every time I heard him.

I never thought I could be so attached to a rooster, but there ya go!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Beachy Nesting Boxes

As I said in the previous post, we moved our little bantam chickens into the old, re-worked coop. Why, you ask? I thought you would never ask!

First-to get them away from the standard chickens that were picking on them relentlessly and Second-to give them a place where they could breed in peace. But, because we moved the original nesting boxes into the new coop, we had to come up with a new set of boxes for the bantams.

Since Lowe's already gets a disproportionate share of our income, my handyman decided to take a look around the garage to see what we already had that could be made into nesting boxes. Over in the corner, behind the door, he had stashed the bi fold doors that were originally on all of the closets inside the house. We had already used some of them on the 2008 coop for the doors that you see opened to the inside of the coop in the previous post, and for the little pop door that lets the chickens in and out of the coop. We had also used one to make a door from the pen out into the yard, but that one was removed during the remodel of the pen.

So, my handyman took one bi fold door, one piece of plywood that was already the right size, a few scraps of furring strips, a bunch of screws, a good helper (me) and went to work:

The plywood just happened to be the size we needed to make 2 nesting boxes, so no energy was needed to cut it to size.

The nesting boxes needed to have a sloping roof so that the chickens won't (supposedly) roost on top and do what chickens do when they are roosting (poop!) and make a mess of the nests. My handyman took a good look at the bi fold doors and decided that the lower, solid portion of the door would make perfect end panels.

He cut the panels 14" in the back and 12" in the front. Then he made a center divider by cutting a portion of the louver section to the same size, cutting in between the louvers to make life easier (and to keep the louver from falling out). Then he centered the panels on the plywood and screwed them together from the bottom, into the thickest part of the door sections.Then he laid the remaining portion of the door across the top to see if it fit and it did! All he had to do was cut off 2 louvers to make it the right size. Then he added 2 pieces of furring strip to the front of the box. These are to keep the straw bedding and the eggs from falling out of the nesting box.I found the left over spray paint from my co-workers office re-do, took the nesting boxes outside and covered them with beautiful, beachy blue paint.We screwed them into place in the coop and filled them with straw bedding. Now we just have to wait for the bantams to get a little bit older and discover that egg laying is what those big blue boxes are for!

Just between you and me, I've already seen one of them checking them out! I'll keep you updated.