Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring break Stay-cation

Several years ago my employer changed their policy so that ANY became off is considered "paid time off", meaning sickness, vacation, and even holidays. As a result and because of my kids, I've become very stingy with my days off and when everyone else is off for a holiday, that is not one we traditionally celebrate, I choose to work instead. So when I take any time off, I really try to fit as much as I can into the time and catch up on my long list of things I have put off.

Since it was spring break, I decided to splurge and take the whole week to spend with the girls and tackle projects that included: painting house or at least the door, where there has been a sampling of painting for almost a year, cleaning out my closet enough to fit everything back in, paint the living room, and not cook a single meal.

The week was supposed to start off with a trip to Paris, Texas for my aunt's 90th birthday party, but before that can happen, Dad threw a wrench into things when he built a chicken coop.

You might wander how Dad building a chicken coop changed the plans so much, but back yard chickens is something I have wanted to do for a long time and when evidently just needed him to start the ball rolling for me to join us.

So the plan was to leave from Dallas early enough to go to the flea market in Paris, buy some chickens and then go to Auntie Margie's party.

But then the weather forecast called for almost a 100% chance of rain and Mom refused to ride in a car with chickens on the inside and share their air, so instead we waited for Lisa, Gillian, and Darcey to arrive, and ALL of us rode together for the 2 hour drive, which makes for a very interesting ride!

The birthday party was a great chance to see so many cousins that I had not in a long time and to honor my aunt.

Sunday was church, lunch, and then a trip out to visit with more cousins and dinner. We had a good time reminiscing while watching DVD of old home movies of our crazy trips to Colorado when we were much younger.

Driving back, I'm not sure how it happened, but the topic of how I talk to babies came up and everyone in the car agreed, then demonstrated what a weird way to talk to babies. We were laughing so hard that I had to make a really quick and unexpected trip to the gas station for a bathroom break.

Monday, we get a call early from my sister Lisa, saying we have 10 minutes to be ready so go buy chickens! We're talking a house full of women (OK, mostly teens and younger), but all scrambling at once to get ready and out the door, while quickly grabbing breakfast that Mom prepared on our way out the door.

When we saw the chickens, I was hooked and before we left, while Dad was sensible and only bought 6, I bought 3, along with 2 very young baby chicks.

Dad had his coop all built and ready for occupancy and we had nothing, so there was a quick dash to rig a system to let them invade our shop, which is just one step up from a lean to. I was sure our dogs would not care and/or pay attention to the chickens, especially Ollie is blind, but there was something about them that proved so desirable that we had to reinforce all means to protect them, while we set up the babies in my bath tub.

Somehow Tuesday is a blur of watching chickens, checking on chickens, feeding, watering, and then trying to protect chickens, but trying to find a means to accomplish that took up a LOT of time.

Plans in place and material bought, Dad and I started construction of a chicken yard for ours, but we got sidetracked when we went to a friend's house and bought even more chickens!

So let's recap:

We have 3 chickens, one that is old enough to lay and the other 2 old enough to be outside, we have 2 babies, that are living in my bathtub, that chirp so loudly they keep the girls awake at night, and now we have 4 teenage chicks that are old enough to be outside, but not mixed with the other 3, so they are in the dog carrier on the deck.

In between, we have managed trips to Home Depot, Lowes, Wal Mart, and the Apple Store, for repairs, not purchases, and Grace got spacers for her braces that start next week.

Today I decided the girls needed a break from chickens and we had a good time playing miniature golf, batting cages (a new experience, but one Annabel will want to repeat often), and go-cart rides, which if they had they had their way, now all 4 would have one!

The chicken yard was completed today and our crazy older birds were released from their seclusion in the shop, although only one chose to investigate the real world.

My front door still has the samples of all the colors I was trying to choose from, the living room still has the old color, the stuff from my closet is still in my bedroom floor, and I can only remember 1 or 2 meals that I have not cooked.

This has been a great week!

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