Monday, August 31, 2009

Ewww! That smell...

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It's amazing, but it seems that everyday that goes by the skunk smell gets worse! The smell didn't bother me that much the night it all happened. The basket got skunked, and the broom and the shovel, etc., so the poor basketless hen laid her egg on the skunky straw. Why don't I clean this up and nail the basket back up? Because it all smells too bad. Bad enough that it hurts my nose and makes me feel a little sick. So, I run in, check for eggs, and run back out. Well, I don't run, but I do hurry. Maybe it will smell better tomorrow? Or I should paint? Or, what? Then the place would smell like skunky paint. I guess I will just wait the smell out.

I wonder if the skunk smell works something like poison oak? I remember falling off a tire swing when I was a teenager and rolling down a hill covered with poison oak and not getting a reaction. Neat! But, after that experience, every time I would come in contact with poison oak I would have a worse reaction. Maybe that's what's happening with the skunk smell?
This is a photo that shows the chickens on the porch yesterday eating lettuce and melon, but it also shows the screen door that I got for 10 dollars. Only problem was that it had a doggie door in it, and people find out in a hurry when they move up here that doggie doors are a no no. All kinds of wild critters will come in your house if you have a doggie door. So, my solution was to unscrew the dog door and add some screening. I have seen screen doors for 4 foot sliders going for over 100 dollars. This was much cheaper. I have another screen door that I need to re-screen and I will use it here. The metal panels on the bottom of this door make it sturdier, but I like the more open look.
Tom put this solar light in the shed. There is a small solar plate that catches the sun on the outside and provides the power for the light. It always seems to be on, none of the off and on as you open and close the door, at least I think that is how it works. I haven't shut myself in the shed to find out if it goes off. Not yet. That's the chicken feed in the garbage cans.
This is the blue sky we had on this the last day of August. Some days the sky is so blue it is hard to believe. Here it is only about half as intense a blue as it can get. I remember Mary looking up at the sky one day and exclaiming, "What's that!" She was startled by how blue the sky was. There is this feeling in the air that fall is on its way and cooler days will be here soon. And rain!

The fire in Auburn is 70 percent contained, fire info here, and there are photos and a photo gallery link at that site too. There was a bad fire in Auburn in 1988 called the Auburn fire, so there was talk of changing the name of this fire to the 49'er fire, but I don't know if they changed it yet. If you google for the Auburn fire, you get info on both of them.

[5 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fire is Back!

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Everything seems very peaceful after all the excitement last night. Kristine says my boots and some of the chickens smell like skunk. I couldn't sleep last night. Too much adrenaline I guess, so I spent most of the night reading and then slept in late to wake to news of a fire down the mountain in a nearby city.
They are having a terrible time trying to get some control of the fire because of the wind that is blowing the fire all over. Right now the fire is near a hospital and the airport. Very scary! I'm going back to watch the news. Wind and fire are a very, very bad combination. The heat and fire are bad enough. I was in the Bel-Aire Fire in 1961 that burned thousands of acres and it was driven by wind too. I hope the wind shuts down tonight and gives the firefighters a chance to contain the blaze.

[4 eggs today]

Good thoughts for the Firemen
and everyone in town.
~:>

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Slowly I Go... DIY Window Seat

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(skunk update 10:00pm)
http://www.freeclipartnow.com/
Well, I went pretty fast chasing the skunk!
Ok, this isn't the skunk I chased around the chicken coop and pen tonight, but it was little like the one in the photo and cute. Kristine called down to me, "Did you lock up the chickens?" Yikes!!! No! It was about 10 and very dark and the chickens were not locked up! I hurried out to the coop and went inside to check on the hens and just about stepped on a chicken. No! When I flashed the light on the critter it was a skunk! Not a big skunk, but it was a skunk.

What would have made a great comic video then began as I chased the skunk around the coop and pen with a broom, threw buckets and pieces of wood, and Tom also helped try and get the frightened skunk to leave. It was huddled up in a corner and wouldn't budge for all my broom swinging and prodding until Tom got it to run out in the pen. Then Tom opened the chicken pen gate from the outside and I was able to broom it toward the gate and it left. Yea!!!

Now after a shower I feel a little calmer. I need some tea. Thank goodness it was a baby skunk and didn't seem to know how to hit us with its scent. Poor thing. I do feel sorry for it, but I don't want it to have a chicken dinner. I bet it eats eggs the chickens leave in the woods.

Now back to the original post.
I went pretty slow on the finishing touches on the window seat.
This is what the window seat has looked like since the 19th. I have tried to work on it in fits and starts, but never got much done. I just kept making a bigger mess. That's what happens when I don't have a clear idea of how to accomplish something except how I want it to look when I'm finished. But...
after cutting more sheet rock and ply it all finally turned into this. I put the drawers back in and stuck the vent cover on just to get an idea of what it will look like after I put on some joint compound, paint and put on some wood finishing pieces. It is amazing what can happen if I just keep working at something long enough.

I had originally planned to put a thick piece of decorative wood across the bottom, but finally went with thick ply with a piece of sheet rock over it. It is hard to see, (click on the photo) but there is a little ledge under the drawers. I will need to put a wood strip across under the drawers because if someone steps on the edge of the sheet rock it will break.

There is wood behind the sheet rock, so a strip of wood over it should work out ok. It's not like there's going to be a lot of use. The window seat gets the most use by people when they sit there to answer the phone. Morgan jumps up there when we leave her in the house. I can tell because she leaves her footprints on the window sill. I think she sits up there looking out the window toward the gate waiting for us to come home.

[5 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kathleen!

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Happy Birthday to Kathleen!!! Sorry, this greeting is one day late, but I did put up a birthday greeting on our Ning scrapbook site. You can see that we are enjoying your happy birthday cake! Hope you had cake and ice cream too and had a fun day. Miss you. Visit soon? Remember the German Chocolate cakes that your Grandma Dolores used to make. Wow, those were so good. Much better than these store bought, but needs must.
This is one of the Light Brahmas, maybe Pastey, who was giving me a bad time last night when I was looking around the coop and pen for eggs. She was the only one in the coop except for the broody nesters, and she was very vocal in her dislike of my presence. I think she sleeps on that slanty surface. She must have good balance and sharp nails. I always see her up there at night when I lock up the hens. She's a big girl and has staked a claim on the nest roof.

[6 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Morgan Eating Lettuce?

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Morgan is licking her chops... chicken?
lettuce?
I don't know what she was eating, maybe it was chicken feed. Kristine and I checked her foot tonight and the area where it was stitched is healed, but it looks strange. So, we will give the vet a call tomorrow and get some advice.

Kristine almost didn't get home because of another fire causing the road to be closed. The fire is covering 30 acres and is on our side of the river. Hope they can get control of the fire tonight when it is relatively cool. It must be horrid fighting fires in 90 degree weather. I checked again and the fire is 75 percent contained. There are over 200 firefighters working with lots of equipment and air support. They plan to get the fire out tonight. There are so many homes and towns nearby that they are doing all they can to get the fire under control. We are very grateful to all the firefighters who risk their lives for all of us.

video
Morgan followed me into the pen, when I was feeding the hens their lettuce treat. I know Morgan likes to chew on grass, but I really don't think she likes lettuce. I used to have a doberman pinscher who loved to eat lettuce if it was covered with italian dressing. I do miss my dobes. They are so smart and loving. I know that is not the image they are stuck with.

I worked a little bit on my window seat and cut some wood, but quit because it was too hot. Hey, I'm old, I need to take it slow in the heat. I'll get to moving faster when it gets cooler.

[5 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Greens For The Hens

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I found a treat for the chickens in the frig! Tom picked up some bags of old lettuce at the grocery store when he stopped for groceries the other day. The produce people put the wilted lettuce and greens in the back work room and Tom checks and sometimes he lucks out and comes home with greens for the girls. Above are two Light Brahmas, Curly the Cochin in the middle with her feather feet, an Australorp on the left and an Orpington on the right. The chickens do like the greens. I'm sure they would love to forage among wild grasses, but all they have to kick around are piles of leaves. Poor hens.
Still not much happening around here, so I'm resorting to photos of food again. Kristine wanted quesadillas for dinner which makes for a good photo op. First I put a skillet on very low heat with the low sided skillet for a lid and let it heat up. That's my oven. Then I spread some salsa on the tortilla, grate some cheddar and some monterey jack cheese, and slice some onions. Sometimes I put sliced olives, refries, peppers, etc. You can add what you like. I usually use a lot more salsa, but this is Hot. Too hot for me. I didn't have any of the mild so had to use what I had in the pantry. I keep hot salsa around to kill off a sore throat and cold. I wish it came in smaller jars.
No oil or anything in the pan, just drop the tortilla in and put on the "lid" and as soon as the cheese melts take it out.
Fold the tortilla over and you have dinner. We are not very hungry so that's all we will have, besides it is too hot. But I do think I will have some leftover cold green beans with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make up my green treat.
[5 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kristine... Where Are You...

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Morgan knows! Morgan follows Kristine or perhaps herds her? Poor Kristine knows no peace. Wanna bet that Kristine is on the other side of the door? Morgan has been watching the chickens and is doing a great job and she is not limping on her wounded foot.
This is my quick way of fixing dinner. Chicken and broccoli. After I turn the chicken the first time I put the broccoli in with a cup of water and put the lid on until the broccoli is done. I had a lot more fun cooking when the girls were young, but now I mostly cook fresh vegetables, meat and once in a while rice or noodles. Nothing exciting. I love to eat and by keeping meals simple I find that I can keep my weight down.

Not much happening today!
[8 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chicken In A Basket

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A tisket, a tasket, a chicken in a basket. This Australorp hopped in the basket while I was looking for eggs. She looks pretty content in the basket. I put the feed in the barrel again tonight. I don't often find the basket occupied.
This is a a view of the house and garage under the hole in the trees.
See the dead tree? This happens in the summer mostly and then the trees fall over and usually don't make it to the ground. They usually get hung up in the branches of nearby trees and just hang there for years until they finally fall apart in pieces. You don't want to walk under these dead trees and get hit with a dead branch. Some of the branches are as big as small trees.
This is the area I am using to cut up the sheet rock. I would like to sheet rock these walls, or at least the area around the sliders.

[10 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rain? You've Got To Be Kidding

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Does this look like it rained last night? No. Not to me either. I was asleep and woke up to the sound of rain. Rain? It was almost 100 degrees yesterday, so how could that be rain? It must be wind, but it was rain. Great big rain drops, wind, and branches falling out of the trees.
My miter saw! I jumped out of bed and hurried out to cover the saw. I got my plastic paint drop and used that to cover the saw, which was not very wet. Then this morning I took the tarp off the chicken pen and used it to cover the saw and table. I had left the saw uncovered for awhile to dry out before I covered it up. It has been too hot for me to get anything done. I have been waiting for the temp to go down out of the 90's. The heat is oppressive and I melt and can't get anything done.
I still need to paint these shelves, but this is what I did with one of the baskets I painted. My kitchen is small with limited counter and shelf space. I'm still building in there. So, the spice basket works out well for me as a space saver. I took the doors off the cabinets to open the area up. I may paint them and put them back or not. I haven't decided.
The other basket is holding guest bath supplies: soap, bath scrubbies, shampoos, etc.

[8 eggs today]
I put the chicken feed in the barrel
tonight before I locked up the chickens.
Got to keep the feed dry
and I have to wonder how much feed
the forest critters eat?
I may save feed if I keep this up.

Smiles
~:>

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ahh... Come On Out!

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Morgan doesn't understand that if she stands in the doorway and waits for the chickens to come out that the hens are not coming. The chickens are not afraid of Morgan, but there are only a few of them who will approach Morgan in the doorway and pass her. Morgan must look like an obstacle to the girls or Morgan is to be avoided?
So, just to confuse things some more, I called Morgan into the pen. The hens are still not all that excited about leaving. What gives? Poor Morgan. No. Don't go in the pen. Yes. Go in the pen. How can I expect Morgan to know the rules if I break them.

This old thing was laying all over the place with nails sticking up, so maybe Morgan got hurt on this little disaster. I picked up the pieces and leaned it back together. I need to get some nails and some wood and stick it back together. My brother built this little dog house and used it to cover the faucets. Works great. It keeps the faucets hidden and relatively clean except for spider webs. The real pay off is that it protects the faucets from the wind and cold during a freeze and keeps the pipes from freezing.

On the way back to the house after locking up the chickens tonight I took this picture of the opening in the trees over our house. My view of the sky is kinda limited unless I get to the side of a mountain. Kinda pretty blue and pink skyset?

[8 eggs today]
The Hen Cam lady on her blog here
said that her hens are molting and have stopped laying.
So, I guess I can expect that to start happening
around here pretty soon.
She also has a new Goat Cam.

I think it would be neat to put a cam on a hen and let it record as she went through her day in the coop and in the woods. I don't think the hen would be thrilled to wear a cam. I wonder how heavy they are? The Hen Cams look a bit too large for a chicken to wear. Maybe a goat?

Smiles
~:>

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back On The Job

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Look ma, no bandage. Just a cut on the side and stitches were taken out of the cut between her pads. Morgan is showing off her foot. I'm not too sure Morgan was that happy to go back to her chicken duties. She wanted to come back in the house with me when I came back from collecting eggs. I think she got to like sleeping in the house. Much cooler!
Morgan was waiting to greet the chickens as they made a quick escape from their prison. Henny Penny was first in line to find that the door was open and brave the big outdoors. The hens did some running around, flapping of wings and clucking when they were loose. I think they were happy!
This is my messy popcorn making last night.

[9 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Party Tomorrow?

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I was out collecting eggs again today and I found one out in the pen in the dirt, but the good thing is that the chickens didn't eat it. The bad thing I found was that the hens automatic waterer seems to be leaking as there is a wet area under it. I would like to think that the hens were dusting under or next to the waterer and knocked it about and spilled the water. I will have to keep a check on it to find out if it is leaking. Poor hens. They would like to get out in the woods and party. The pen is really too small for them. Tomorrow Morgan goes to the vet to get stitches taken out of her foot, but will she still have a bandage?
Here is my miter saw. Before I got this saw I used to make my angle cuts with a miter box. This is much faster and much more accurate. I am very careful and I wear eye protection. If I'm going to be making a lot of cuts I also wear ear protection because of the painful noise it makes.

[11 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Socked!

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Morgan is not happy with her sock. Kristine and I put the sock over her bandage to cut down on the chances of Morgan taking off the bandage again. The vet said that since dogs sweat between their pads that the sock should be ok as long as the sock let the air through. The vet also said that she put gauze between the pads to allow for air flow and that Morgan probably didn't like the feeling and that is why she took the second bandage off. The vet told Kristine to tape the sock on with the tape going up the leg as that would hold better than taping around the leg. Seems to work. The sock is still on. Two more days and back to the vet on Friday. Tom will take her. He is visiting his Mom on his birthday. Kristine and I get to eat the cake!
Tom put up a new ceiling light
and things were looking bright.
And then it went off again and then back on.
?
Here is my latest project. I built the window seat, drawers and hutch. Now I'm in the process of putting on the finishing touches. I wanted to put wood across the bottom. This is a trial piece of sheet rock to see what it would look like. I think I will take it off and cut a piece of plywood the same size to put behind it for strength. I also need to build some shelves for the hutch part. I found the windows in an antique store. I'll build the shelves last because I haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to do that.

[7 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Can I Please Go Out?

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This is Morgan asking Kristine if she can please go outside. Morgan does the stare thing. This breed of dog stares at sheep to move them. The staring can get a bit nervy until you get used to being stared at. Morgan is ok and she didn't take her bandage off today. I watched her and she is blocked off the stairs to keep her out of the loft!
This is the path by the front gate.
I'm either going to donate this climber or sand and paint it. I'm not sure which it will be yet. My brother put this thing together. What a puzzle that was. There are bolts sticking out that could catch and give you a scratch, so I will also have to go around and saw them all down first if I decide to keep and paint it. Maybe?

[9 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back To The Vet

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Morgan pulled a sneaky attack on her bandage this morning. She has been so good, but this morning she went upstairs after she ate. I thought she went up there to be with Kristine. No. She went up there to be by herself. She misbehaves when she thinks no one can see her. She went to her hiding spot in the loft. She took the bandage off, so, Kristine had to take her back to the vet to have the foot checked and re-bandaged this time with a purple wrap. I will tape a sock over the bandage tonight and when I can't watch her tomorrow. I probably would put the collar on her, but I can't find it. I'm looking forward to Friday and getting that bandage off. At least I think that is what is going to happen. Maybe they are just going to take out the stitches and will wrap it again?
The chickens are doing ok.
It is hot enough that they are not very energetic.
And seem to be content to eat and dust.
And lay some eggs.
Today there was a little wind so I spent some time outside raking my paths and the wind kept the mosquitos away. I still have more raking to do. Hopefully, there will be a breeze tomorrow.
I think I will be working with the miter saw tomorrow and doing some staining, painting and working with the joint compound.

[9 eggs today]
!
Smiles
~:>

Sunday, August 16, 2009

'till Friday

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Morgan is looking perky. She will have to wait until next Friday to get the bandage off. We have been trying to keep her off the stairs because she has slipped a time or two on the way down. There is a barking dog outside that has her all upset tonight. So, to keep her quiet we put her on her bed in my room. I keep checking on her to make sure she is not taking her bandage off. I tell her to "leave it" and she does. Good Morgan!
This is the state of my kitchen ceiling tonight. One of the light has stopped working and Tom is doing his electrical wizardry. I hear different things. Maybe the fixture is broken or there is something wrong with the wiring? Tom will figure things out tomorrow. I hope.
My scary looking dinner. Tom and Kristine made up their plates like normal people. I made a jumble of leftovers. Well, I did cook the asparagus tonight, but the spaghetti, tri tip, and corn were leftovers. I heated them all up separately and for some reason added them all to my bowl. Looks strange, but it tasted good. Kristine said I had to take a photo of my jumble dinner. How desperate is that for something to post. Kristine is behind the Mac giving me a bad time.

The chickens are fine. It is going to be a long week for them until they can be let out to free range next weekend. I collected one egg this morning and three this afternoon. Hmmm... So, are they not laying because they want out, or did they eat the other eggs, or is it time for them to slow down their laying? I'll just have to wait and see.

[4 eggs today]
4?
Where's the rest?
Did the chickens eat them?

Smiles

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Poor Chickens

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I'm in the coop collecting eggs this afternoon. The hens are remarkably calm and nice to each other considering that they are used to being out and about in the woods during the day. Morgan is doing well today. She hasn't messed with her bandage. She woke Kristine up three times last night. The first two times she nosed Kristine and then held her paw up for Kristine to see. I guess it was hurting. Awwwww. The third time she wanted out to potty. So, Kristine put her in with me, so she could get some sleep. Poor Morgan. I remembered to take her out today.
There are two hens sitting on this one nest area. Some of the hens like their own private spot to lay and other like to gang up and lay together. The most I have seen is three hens crowded together.
All the hens are either out in the pen or in a nest box except for these two, who are on the top roost. They are getting first dibs. The other night I counted ten hens crammed up there on the top. Amazing, but there are three or four hens who like to sleep on the ground.

I am still sheet rocking and will be painting tomorrow. Tom got the flat paint for the walls today, so I can always paint walls. I was hoping for some wood to use for finish work, but I will make do with sheet rock. Amazing what you can do with sheet rock. I'll take some photos when I get finished.

[8 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>