In the nick of time …

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Thursdays are grocery run days in our household. That means we drop down to the city. It also means the list of other errands has grown over seven days and there are usually a number of other stops to make. I am quite happy living in the country. One of the habits this has developed is this ‘run for supplies’ type game plan.

COVID variants are raising their talons in our region. The third wave is registering in new cases and in deaths. One of our local schools was shut down for two weeks. My aunt’s Long Term Care Home is in lockdown due to a case there … Time for raising the caution level. This meant we ordered our groceries online again this week. That frees up time for the other stops. Last week I noticed these shed windows on sale at Home Depot. I looked them over and could see them making all the difference in ‘The Roost’.

I had cleared out most of the clutter that built up in there over the past year. NOW you should (or should not!) see the ‘Tack Barn’. That will be fun to reorganize during the next stretch of sunny days. Now IT looks like a tornado packed it and the door’s job is to hold it all in. Now ‘The Roost’ will be Coop #2 – perhaps a full time home for the Red Sex Link girls – who are much smaller than the big Orpingtons.

So here is my first attempt at installing a window. Learned a few things that I then used on the other side.

Looking good for a job done by this here rookie! Framing the windows even gave me the motivation I needed to try the skill saw on my own. I’ve been nervous that my scattered way of thinking wouldn’t have the focus needed to use it safely. However, doing these projects this spring has shown me that I can focus intensely when I need to. And wow – a skill saw is MUCH quicker than a reciprocal saw when you are cutting two by fours!

As usual the flerd kept an eye on my progress. Every now and again I’d feel a chicken peck at my boot – or feel Rosie nudge her way past my hip to see how far along I was. Dottie parked herself on my ‘saw horse’.

By this time it was past our usual dinnertime. I had tools spread across the paddock, lumber and old wire fencing and nesting boxes scattered outside the ‘Tack Barn’. The clouds were dark on the horizon promising today’s stormy weather. But more importantly – there were sixteen faces looking for their evening meals. So I put aside the reno long enough to water and feed them all – tuck them all in – and returned to find the sun was down.

I hung a flashlight on the wall and kept going. It was sooooooo satisfying to get it all done before calling it a night. Above is a panorama shot of the newly dubbed coop – ‘The Roost’. I looked around and could remember this space being filled with our first large round hay bale … and how we thought we were going to have to cut the hay bale with our chainsaw to get it in there. I remember cold December nights being in this space with Kyla while I took apart one of those big round bales and forked it all into a loose pile in the back. She buried herself in the hay and chatted away for more than an hour … until she realized she couldn’t feel her toes any longer. The donkey’s used the barn as a ‘feeder’. For a while it sheltered fifty square bales. Then it evolved into the ‘straw’ barn. And last summer into the ‘storage barn’. Sign of a good building I think!

This was how I left it when I finally had cleaned up the paddock – tossed too much into the Tack Barn and hauled away a pile of old wire and wood for recycling. I will admit to waking to full on smiles a few times last night knowing that today we’d offer it to a new group of ‘Tweedles’. Uhuh… I think that is what I’ll call these girls too. (Generation number two – following Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Deb.) Not too sure I’ll be able to tell them all apart.

They seemed very happy and interested in their new space. They sure were hungry and thirsty. The training eggs are in their nesting boxes. They made a beeline for the two dust baths. And were having a lovely time scratching in the green hay I loosened up in their corner. Welcome Tweedle Newbies!

Meanwhile – across the paddock in the Chicken Palace – the other flock was squawking their complaint about being shut-in. The rain and the wind were terrific this morning. The temperatures are dropping to zero. So I decided to get them some fresh hay to root around in as well. I scattered in some Chicken Scratch to give them treasures to find.

We are all having a restful indoor day – hiding from the weather – staying warm and cozy. Hope you are too!

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