Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Yesterday was my last day working off-site (occasionally) for the first 4 1/2 months of 2012.  I feel ten years younger just knowing I'm back to writing full-time again. I still have the occasional church gig but, other than that, I'm free and clear to navigate as a full-time copywriter again!  I will probably sleep better at night not having to keep three balls in the air every week.  It's a relief.  Three jobs is too many (especially when the one that just ended cost me more in lost writing projects than it was worth, which is the opposite of the way I expected it to work out; oh well, live and learn!)

This past weekend Jackie, Phil, Wendy, Casey, Jamie and I built a hen house and a chicken pen for our six chickens, which we raised from infancy.  They are now looking like pint-sized versions of what will become their adult selves, so we had to get the facilities made for them. They have been freed from a small (goat-sized) cage to the great outdoors, and they love it. They have started to teach themselves to fly.  They sure know how to peck for food already; that comes naturally!

I set a large dog igloo in the center of the "barnyard" so they have a place to get in out of the rain and sunshine if they don't want to climb the ramp into the hen house.

They don't know how to climb the ramp yet. They will descend it, but I haven't seen them ascend it yet, so I have to collect them to put them in bed at night until they figure that out.  (Some night time critters are small enough to get in through the chicken fence, so they need to be shut in at night.)

We put plastic netting over the top of the pen so flying predators (eagles, hawks, owls) can't get at them so I have to walk hunched over slightly to get around in their pen (no fun for older backs, but do-able).  I'll take some photos soon so you can see the new chick digs.  I swear the hen house looks like Snoopy's doghouse (except for the color). I want to put a plywood "sleeping Snoopy" on top, but Jackie says no.  Too bad.  It would be fantabulous, methinks!

I'm thinking of laying down some sod in the chicken pen. We seeded the area a few weeks ago but I think the wee hens are going to eat that all up in no time at all...  Sod is very inexpensive right now at McLendon's Hardware... something under $2 a roll, if I'm not mistaken...  I could put down the whole expanse for $50, probably... or at least enough so they'd have forage while the rest grows in!

Today I pushed some of the cable spools up the hill so Laverne and Shirley (goats) can get up into the prickly trees and eat the new buds that are emerging. It's a hawthorn tree, I think, and they just LOVE it, so they've been standing on their hind feet to get at it for days. Today I figured I'd help 'em out. The spool elevates them another three feet (approx) so they have more of their favorite forage now.  I'll take pix of that during the next sunshiny day, too...

Stay tuned!

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