Monthly Archives: September 2009

The List

Well, folks – my camera is still out of whack. I’ll deal with that at some point soon.

The chicky-babes are good! The come out in the morning just like little school girls, and they go in at five each evening without me even herding them – I just go out and close the door. They seem to appreciate the cukes and apples, but the real hits are  broccoli and green grass. They seem to be warming up to my presence too. (Or at least, they seem to have started seeing me as a somewhat harmless food dispenser.)

This week, everything around here is about tucking in for the Winter. I have a cold, which is not optimal for outside work, and it’s been raining for three days besides. However, I still managed to get some things done today. And I managed to get things organized in my head, which is half the battle. 

Done

  • The RV waste tank pipe is now connected directly to the septic tank. No more lugging the transfer tank around … over a pile of bricks and rubble. All I have to do is pull the lever to send the euphemistically-named black water to its septic destination.
  • The yard is cleaned up, annuals have been tossed, flower pots are put away, and chairs are sitting in a pile ready to go to the storage unit in Plattsburgh. 
  • One side of the house is almost clear of junk wood and house rubble. It’ll be done tomorrow.
  • Refilled the propane. We have about 80 gallons, which will hold us a while until we have the time and money to get a big house-sized tank. 

To Do

  • Finish up skirting in the RV with 1″ foam insulation, and spray-foam the seams. (Three sides done, one side left.)
  • Put a little ceramic heater in the hatch with the RV plumbing.
  • Put that window seal tighten-with-a-hair-dryer stuff on the RV windows. 
  • Finish up the insulation and planks in the cabin. 
  • Haul off the junk wood and rubble from the other side of the (used to be) house.
  • Move the logs over to line the driveway so people stop driving on my grass. 
  • Get the Halloween stuff and Winter clothes out of storage in Plattsburgh. 
  • Fix the windshield seal leak in the Jeep. (!)

So, ya know. It’s real life around here this week. It ain’t a barrel of laughs, but we’re fed, dry, and warm.

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Crazy for the Girls

Well, I bought two more chickens.

Long Story Short – The first Chicken Lady ended up coming up with chickens after I already had bought the four Red Star hens. Soooo, two almost-laying hens arrived in a kitty carrier this morning. One of the new ones and one of my Reds are going to a friend, so that’s cool. I’ll still have the same number of birds, but it was a nice chance to get another type of hen into my little flock.

orpMy original girls, even after just four days, were not happy. Especially not happy to have a big, fat, older Buff Orpington taking over their yard and their house. They got a little territorial – lots of clucking, and rather than just meandering toward treats as they usually do, they totally dove for them. Like little vultures.

With new sisters arriving this morning, we had quite a menu

Menu du Jour

Sliced Cucumbers
Laying Mash
Broccoli Florets
Rain Water

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Chix Pix from the Stix

Ladies and Gentlemen … the girls!

They’re still a little wary of me, but better. At least they’re to the point where they don’t scatter when I walk up them. And I have picked a few of them up. They calm down after a feather-pet or two.

Nervous or not, they’ve made themselves right at home.

They figured out the roosts and were all up there in a row when I went out to open the door thing morning. And they seem to like their yard. Their favorite treat? Apples? Nah. Cukes? Nah. Green grass. They love it. Of course, they’ve already pecked their yard clean. As for the spare bale I had covered with a tarp in their pen … Their project today was to shred the tarp, sit up on the straw bale, and sun themselves all afternoon.

The Official Photo

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Miss Mona, Leader of the Pack and Ruler of the Roost

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Pick a Little, Talk a Little, Cheep Cheep Cheep
(That’s one of my favorite musicals, Carole!)

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Chickens are Chickens (The Musical)

The Ladies have arrived.

I am the proud new Daddy to four 12-week old Red Star hens. They just arrived, and they are scared chick-less. Perfectly normal – They were born and raised in a field with a lot of brothers and sisters. I’m sure they are wondering where they are and what’s going on.

I’m going to leave them in the Chicken Chalet for a day, let them have some time to grasp the fact that it is their new home. I’ve also been going out every half-hour and taking them an apple. (I find that bribery with delicious treats works on most species.) It also sort of helps to sing to them a bit – quietly and gently. Follows, their personal song. I think I’ve sung this to them ten times already this morning. Can you almost hear me coming up the walk to the Chicken Ranch, opening the gate, opening the door, and singing gently to the birds? It’s totally a musical.

Chickens are chickens.
Chickens lay eggs.
Chickens are chickens.
You gotta catch them by the legs.

Don’t worry. I don’t really catch them by the legs.

chicken2And … my camera crapped out. I got some photos of The Ladies, but now the camera won’t work. If I get it to work later today, I pop some pics up. Meanwhile, here’s a pic of an adult Red Star. (Mine look exactly like this one, honestly.) Red Stars are a laying breed, a cross between Rhode Island Reds and Leghorns. Prolific layers, cold-weather hardy, and gorgeous too.

You have a great day too. Time to take The Ladies an apple.

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Anatomy of a Chicken House

Sorry folks. Had a few bad internet days there. The good news is that the internet is back, and my camera is fixed.

Big doings around here this week! We had our first frost, I’m well into my Fall prep, and … the chickens are coming Wednesday morning! Plenty to post about this week, and I have some awesome pics to show you throughout. Today, I covered the new patches of grass with some extra straw I had, and it totally feels and looks like Fall around here. However, in celebration of my avian arrivals on Wednesday morn, today is about their new home. A few folks asked how I put the thing together. Here ’tis – Anatomy of a Chicken House.

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Tear Down Time Lapse

There’s still plenty of wood to haul off, not to mention a stone foundation to bury. But we’re getting there. Thought this would be fun – wish they were all from the same angle, but … ya know. Note the arrival and the movement of the RV.

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What’s That Strange Icy Sensation?

Oh. It’s ice.

I suppose the timing was not terrible, but … we ran out of propane at about 5:15 this morning, 31F outside. Suffice it to say, I got out of bed a little early. Mercifully, I had decided to switch to the electric water heater yesterday (we have a dual water heater), so I at least warmed up with a hot shower. And I promptly turned the little space heater on.

jeepiniceThis all puts me in mind of one of my personal credos – Be vigilant. I was not vigilant. I had a lot going on this week, and I did have that nagging reminder in the back of my head. I’ve developed a sort of propane clock, wired through and hooked to my brain. It nags at me … “You are going to run out of propane sometime soon.” I ignored it. This has happened before, only it wasn’t quite as cold. So, with ice on the windshield this morning, I was offered another reminder to remain vigilant. I think of events like this as reminders from the universe. A sort of cosmic, “Now, in case you didn’t learn the first time, let’s go over this again.”

S0, ayup. It’s time to start making sure the tanks are full. Time to finishing the skirting on the RV. Time to check the antifreeze. Time to go to the storage unit in Plattsburgh and get out the winter coats. Time to buy heat tape. Time to put the ice scraper in the Jeep.

We got an Adirondack Winter coming, folks. And she’s in a bad mood.

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