It was Ruth's idea. She came by at the beginning of the week to see what we've been up to. Maria showed her the things she has been playing at during her break, and we made sandwiches, and watched Geoff and William setting the posts for our chicken run... then came the idea part, and she suggested we organize a work party. She took Mother Prerogative and volunteered Holly and Rich, planting the seed for a planned afternoon of working, followed by a potluck dinner.
It took me a while to accept that asking for help can be a healthy, sound, good idea, and finally, I sheepishly invited friends and family to ignore our dust, pardon our shutters and clutter, and come over to help us. It was a charming invitation... part begging, part coercion, a little shame, and a little bribing. The great thing is... it worked amazingly well!
The guys are digging trenches and setting baseboards for the framing of the chicken run.
Have I mentioned our chicken run? It's been in the plans ever since we moved here. The barn was going to house the chickens at night, then we would build a run for days when free-ranging is out of the question. Well, since then... I've taken over the barn for my own flock, and we've had a predator parade taking pets, one by one. Suddenly, the chicken run has become a high priority, with significantly greater attention paid to security concerns. It will be wired, all the way around, top and bottom and walls. And it will have an interior fence dividing a space for goats, and for chickens.
Now, about the playhouses. The cute kits are from Costco. They are cedar playhouses, with adorable details, and playhouse charms. And in the chicken run the two playhouses will be adapted as a chicken coop, and goat pen! It looks extravagant. Okay, by many standards it is extravagant. But honestly we found this to be a budget friendly approach to housing our critters. We could not buy the lumber and hardware, then measure and cut, for what we paid for these. In fact, just yesterday I saw a prefab chicken coop, one third the size and twice as expensive as our cottage!
I'll be adding some things to make the playhouses safe, and comfortable for the goats, and the chickens... like adding roosts, and nest boxes. We are fortunate in that we don't have serious weather concerns. In our coldest weather, I may hang up some heavy duty canvas curtains in the windows, but there's no call for sealed frames, or insulation. I have white paint for inside the chicken's house... something I can scrub clean, hose down.
Now, for the record: She asked for a food processor. She did not ask, 'Do you have any Trader Joe's pie crusts, simple, tasty, and ready to go?' I actually do happen to have a food processor, brand new, waiting for me to overcome my hesitation about new-to-me gadgetry. My mommy, so generously, had it sent to me last September, and I have been anxious and unsure about it ever since!
Anna B broke that sucker out and gave me the quick intro on what happens to be a rather deluxe and shiny Cusineart. No doubt I have a lot to learn, but at least now the box is open, and I can see there are no monsters in there.
Not only did we have the happy company of friends and family, and see the completion of lots of projects, and plans, but all was followed by a really delicious dinner, and some lovely 'round the dining table talk. And by the way, the pie was scrumptious. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Ruth, Rich and Holly, Anna B, Paul, Janece, Sarah, and John, Amira, Izzy, Nick, Bambi, Maria, Max, Alex, and William, and Geoff. You each brought something wonderful to the Bird House, and made our lives better for it.