Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Chicken Shed

It started with our find on Craigslist.  This little shed/playhouse was right around the corner from our home. Cute, tin roof, good price.  Perfect.

We knew the stairs would have to go.  We couldn't understand why the family wanted to sell, especially since they had two small children.

The minute we put it on our property, He-Man decides it's too nice for a coop.  He puts up a mock extension to get an idea of what it would look like if we expanded the size.

And so the building begins...
... one side for a coop, another side for lawn equipment storage and the original center area: a garden shed.

The balcony rails will be recycled for the porch railings.

This is the back view.  On the left is the coop with a clean out door under the roost, a ventilation window and then of course, the regular door.  The center section (under the round window) is the garden tool (rakes, hoes...)and feed storage area.
The double door area to the right is the lawn equipment section (mower). 

This is the front view.  A small side note here: see the corner brackets on the porch?  I bought those more than five years ago and stored them with a coop in mind.  It's so great to finally see them used.

Doors going up in the back.

Once all the doors and windows were in, the chickens were released from their huge converted refrigerator box to the coop.  I had read from chicken blogs that the easiest and cleanest material in a coop was white sand.  It's a desiccant that dries up the poop and keeps their feet clean.  I rake out the dried poop from time to time.  So far, so good.

This is basically the finished product of the outside before the vegetable garden beds were planted. 

Then came the chicken run.  It had to be tall enough to walk inside so when the time came to clean it, there would be no problem.  It also had to be 100% totally enclosed to protect against predators.  This is the front view...

... this is the back view before the chicken door was put in.  I had saved some big limbs from our lightening-struck oak tree to be used for seating and perching by both humans and chickens.

I think this is their first time venturing outside.  I imagine they are thrilled since they've lived in our laundry room for one month or more.  Then the coop for another month or more.  

And this is one of our family favorite past times: sitting in the run and giving the chickens treats.  We're very exciting people!  I call it "Run Fun".  I added the hay to give the chickens something to scratch through while looking for bits and bugs. 

Once again, I just have to thank He-Man.  I never dreamed my simple request for a chicken coop would become this fantastic chicken palace.  We love it. 

Love From Whippoorwill Road,
and Hens
(plus one rooster).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's Been a Long Time...

... since my last post.  There's been a lot going on and I'm slow to recover, I suppose.  Here's a recap of all my justifications for putting off my blog:

Planning for the first wedding in our family was a big project.  There was the ordeal of finding something to wear.  It's a challenge to find a nice outfit for the mother of the groom.  I looked for something that would be appropriate for a garden wedding.  Classic, breezy slacks with a matching, slightly tailored jacket.  Not in white but definitely not in black, either.  That's all I wanted.   How hard could it be?  

What I found was mostly career outfits that would have looked like I was going to a power lunch.    Nothing.  This drove me to look at dresses.  Words can't describe.  I don't do dresses or skirts.  I don't like short sleeves.  I don't do strapless or sleeveless.   I don't do ruffles or flimsy.   It was during this time I considered becoming a fashion designer for all the middle aged women out there who are not into that toned muscled look. 

I also considered wearing an Indian tunic.  You know, the long sleeve, long shirts that cover ones rump and have long graceful slacks.  They are lovely.  Might as well flex multicultural muscles if you don't have them on your arms, right?  I didn't go that route, but was so tempted.

Ever since Colson got his first manicure and pedicure before his chemo, he's been wanting to return to the nail salon.  Since I was going, how could I refuse him?  So, before we left for the wedding in Savannah, we both got a nail makeover.  

The wedding was spectacular.  My daughter in law was gorgeous and my son never took his eyes off her.  It's great having a front row seat at these events.

As you can see, I found something...  don't know why this photo is so blurry... really...  I didn't do it...

St.Patty's Day, March 17th
Some people really get into this fun holiday.  Take my sister and her husband, Tim.  They love it.  They hosted the family get together.  

We also celebrated my mom and Tim's birthday that day.

I think this is the first time we've ever celebrated Tim's birthday, as a clan.   There's a lot of men in the family who love to cook: my husband, my sons, my brother's in law...  
My husband, He-Man, was thrilled to give Tim a pressure cooker.  Tim was thrilled to receive it.  I think for the next thirty minutes they discussed how to cook meat quickly in one of these things.  

And I just love these two.  What a blessing to have them in such good health.  And I firmly believe this is the biggest reason we have such a great extended family: a reverence for our Almighty Creator.

Spring birthdays.  My daughter, Smarty-Girl turned 21!  One of my other sisters has a birthday, too.  This is my other sister with her two spring chicks.  

Once again, the clan gathers to celebrate.  This is also our annual fish fry at my parent's home.  My dad fries the fish he caught from his pond and we just party.

Then it's time to head outside for the "Beat the Piñata While Trying Not to Clobber Someone in the Head" event.  Just a little side note here: look at the two newlyweds in the background.  She's in the orange shirt.  Then there's He-Man and my dad in the rockers on the front porch.  Meanwhile, Tim is doing a little dance, still excited about his pressure cooker gift last month.

When that Piñata breaks open, my sister (the one who we visit for Christmas, the one who celebrates her birthday in April also) comes charging in to scoop up her share of the candy.  

We also found a shed from Craigslist.  We had been searching for something we could turn into a chicken coop.  It's been two years that I've wanted chickens.  Fortunately, this shed was right around the corner from where we live and my husband loved the fact that it had a tin roof.

The owner had little girls and I could not understand why he wanted to sell.  It was charming.  

We got it onto our property and within minutes, He-Man states it's too nice to convert to a chicken coop.  He's going to add onto the shed and nails this up to give me a visual of what it could look like with the sides extended. 

And sure enough, the building begins.  

I look forward to showing you the progress.  
Take care and thanks for stopping by 
Whippoorwill Road.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Major Whippoorwill Update

I would like to thank some of Whippoorwill's readers for checking on me during the last two months of blog silence.  Thank you for your concern, thoughts and prayers for our family and especially for Colson.  He's doing well in every way.  He's done with chemo.  His lab results are normal.  Now, we're just waiting for his hair to grow back.

Finally, the major update of what's been happening on Whippoorwill Road.  
Thanksgiving Day, our refrigerator went out.  Yep, with a house full of family, it went "Ka-Put".  Though we avoid all shopping on Black Friday, Richard was forced to be part of the frenzy to buy a new fridge.  That very same day, Big Ol' Nasty Dog's right jaw swelled up incredibly.  Again, dropped a lot of money to cure the bacterial infection the vet said he gave to himself from scratching so much.  That dog! (sigh*)

Then came December:
The picture below is Colson at "Wally World", kicking up his heels after the very last chemo treatment.

Then, I took him to see his favorite long anticipated movie.  I think he's seen it three times!

I decided to keep Christmas super simple.  No big decorations this year, no tree.  I even made no-bake cookies with my little niece.  I have to say, it was a no stress holiday.  
Though we had no tree, my sister always decorates five!  We celebrated Christmas day at her home.  Nice!

The Saturday after Christmas, my son and his fiancé arrived.  We had a family dinner with them and my husband's brother and his family.

He-Man and I were supposed to go to Las Vegas right after the first of the year.  Instead, we went to... Kentucky! oh well.
We've hired our neighbor, an arborist and landscaper, to replant our back property line.  

My dad got a pacemaker.  We drove him and my mom to a hospital in Atlanta on a very dark and stormy morning.  I'm so glad we could be with them.

This brings us to February:
I hosted a Bridal Shower for my future daughter in law on Saturday.  It came out so beautiful but whew!, I was so stressed over it.  We had furniture stashed in almost every room of the house.  Sofas in the garage, dining chairs in the master, tables in my daughters room, miscellaneous in the laundry room... You can only imagine!

It turned out really wonderful.  I had collected teacups for years when I lived in Massachusetts and I'm a firm believer in using all your treasures now.  So, everyone got a different teacup.  

The little girl in the blue (my cousins daughter), seemed to enjoy it most of all.  She delighted in drinking tea from her special cup.  It was a treasure for me to watch these two little ones pouring tea and feeling very grown up.  

Even Buns enjoyed the company.    

My son has found a gem.  We are thrilled to welcome her into our family.

Yesterday, before the SuperBowl, Colson helped my sister's son do a Power Point presentation for an Anti Smoking assignment.  Then, it was off to my sister's house for the game.  I wasn't invested in the teams so I could relax watching it.    

Ahhh, today has been a pajama recovery day.
Tomorrow it's off to Atlanta to find something for the wedding!
Just a few things that's happened on Whippoorwill Road.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thanksgiving, Come and Gone

Fall is quickly leaving and soon winter will be here.  Yay!  
Now, before you groan, let me just say that fall here in Georgia is what some call summer.  For instance, yesterday it was a lovely 70 degrees.  That's summer to me.

It was 70 degrees for Thanksgiving, too.   We were the hosts.  It's always wonderful having the family together.  

It was just cool enough when the sun was going down to roast marshmallows.  

Soon it became too chilly for some of my family members.  Here are three of my four sisters.  We all love cold weather except for my sister in the front right of the photo.  

If a tropical breeze blows, she freezes.  I had to loan her my heavy winter coat.  A coat that has kept me warm during long New England winters.  As long as she was wearing this, and sitting by the fire, she was fine!  
Please note all the kids are in short sleeves.  And there's Colson in the background, with the white tee shirt and shaved head.

Thank you to so many who have prayed for him, sent their best wishes and concerns our way.  It has meant so much and has humbled me at times when you've inquired, commented and prayed for him.  He's doing really well.  

 He has one more chemotherapy appointment.  

He's still smiling, still laughing.  It could have been a lot worse.  When I think of all the other things we could have gone through, all the other diagnosis he could have received, I realize we have nothing to complain or whine about.  We're one of the lucky ones.  He'll be cured, he'll go on.  
Many people don't have that opportunity.  We have so much to be thankful for.  I'm grateful for life, for medicine, for love, for family, for friends...  

It's been a thank-filled 
Thanksgiving here 
on Whippoorwill Road.