Friday, January 22, 2010

The Chicken's Court and Extreme Makeover :: Barn Edition

So. Last we saw our feathered friend, she was hanging out at the kitchen door, eye-balling Maria's boots and making a heartbreaking appeal to be let in out of the storm. She wanted me to be sympathetic and kindly, willing to bring her indoors, and pour her some tea, offer her the recliner, let her hold the remote. She refused to get back in her coop and I refused to open the kitchen door, so she braved the 80 mph wind gusts and weird weather almost all on her own.

I figured she was safer at the back of the house as any place and I wasn't going to worry about her or Joe, too much, but then came the alarming upgrade... the news that the storm was packing not 60 mph gusts, but 80 mph wind gusts and then I didn't feel like a hard-nosed farmer any more. Even though I had been monitoring the situation closely and regularly securing their "shelter," knocking barrels of water from the nylon covering, propping it up, it was obvious that my perspective has become a bit skewed. In fact she was probably much safer at the kitchen door than in her coop, because her coop has become a horrible, shameful, sorry sham of a shanty town.

Exhibit A :: The horrible, shameful, sorry sham of a shanty town-chicken coop and rabbit hut: West facing.

Prosecution: People, this is an outrage. This is not fit for a chicken, let alone a Lady. We can hardly make heads or tails of this cattywampus conflagration. Is it a shelter, or a scrap heap?

Defense: Hey. Hey. Settle down there. Our client has been working diligently and under tremendous duress, and she has made terrific allowances for Lady Betty Orpington. The family table was volunteered for a coop. They even brought Betty along on the Emergency road trip to Oregon. And what about the swift action taken to protect Lady Betty from those two freaky fowl who tormented her?

Exhibit B :: The horrible, shameful, sorry sham of a shanty town-chicken coop and rabbit hut: East facing.

Defense:Oh, gee whiz. We motion for a recess.

Prosecution: Willful and blatant podunk farming methods. This is a travesty. This hurts the eyes, and gives new meaning to embarrassing.

Defense: Bad weather. The weather beat the tar out of the shade, which was put up in consideration of the pets. This unfortunate image was taken after two storms that came in succession and in the midst of a third storm. While it may appear as though the farmer has been thoughtless and less than skillful in her barn raising, please do note that she made every effort to beautify and enhance the environ. Her resources, both monetary and skill-wise are, obviously, limited. But her intentions have been noble.

Exhibit C :: The horrible, shameful, sorry sham of a shanty town-chicken coop and rabbit hut: South side.

Defense: Alright already with the parade of ugly. She will make amends. Honest. On the first clear day, when she isn't sitting at robotics or folding socks, or loading the dishwasher while trying to figure out Kanji characters and detangle her daughter's hair, or making enchiladas for thirty people... on that day, she will make all of this beautiful. And safe. And lovely to behold. And until amends are made and the Suburban Farm Guild is satisfied, Betty is more than welcome to stay at the kitchen door with impunity, coddled even, and of course adored.

Agreed. Maria and I even put Joe in our mini hut and set him next to Betty. Out of the wind and rain, together and content, for now. The winds are howling and the "shelter" gets uglier with every blast.

What was I thinking? Honestly, it looked better before the bad weather, but clearly we are in need of an extreme barn makeover. At least I know my heart is in the right place, and once upon a time I did make them a respectable home.

Don't worry Lady Betty. We love you.

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Update: At approximately 10:57 PM, Thursday, January 21, 2010, amateur farmer, Natalie, left her bed and covers to rescue one rabbit, Joe E. Bunny, and a Lady Betty Orpington, from gale force winds, driving rain, hail, lightning and thunder. Assisting with flashlight duty was William, kind and tenderhearted son. Her husband, amateur farmer Geoff, stood in the kitchen thinking supportive thoughts. Betty and Joe slept in the bathroom. Betty is reported to be asking for a canopy bed.


Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Yep it's been a crazy set of storms. I keep hearing about trees falling down on cars/houses. Fortunately our roof is holding up, no leaks. But I can't say the same about our poor gutter. It's only a 5' stretch that needs to take all the water from the roof ... poor thing gets overwhelmed when the storm is the fiercest and then just bales water over the side. Try to stay warm and dry. I'm sheltering under blankets.

I bet Betty and Joe were glad to see you last night. Good farmer!

Andylynne said...

Hope your holding up under the weather onslaught. Hope the stoms pass with no further damage. And if thing persist, a nice sage for Betty would be a good color choice for the canapy cover

tara said...

Oh my, the things we do for our farm friends. The things I have done for injured and sick ducks, chickens, rabbits.
Great story.

mtnchild said...

You are too, too funny!!! LOL

But, I can relate. I have 5 ladies living in a dog house inside a kennel wrapped with old tarps protecting the girls from our weather. In a way I'm glad that we haven't had much of a winter, but next year we need tons and tons of snow. The girls will have a new (to them & me) very sturdy chicken house - if I have to build it myself from scraps.

I am so glad everyone is properly protected from your furious storms.


Tiglizzyclone said...

I feel for poor Betty. I am glad she got to stay in the bathroom. We have been getting tons of rain here!

judy in ky said...

Your shelter reminds me of the tent we put up for the feral cats in our back yard. We keep waiting for our neighbors to complain.
It's clear that your heart is in the right place. Lucky critters!
Your shelter may be ugly, but it represents a lot of love.
p.s. cattywampus... I love that word!