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Coming Soon: http://underthebedgallery.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Christmas Letter


The End.

Just kidding. But read here why that is acceptable...

Kathy and Eleanore put their Christmas letter together in record time this year. It took a little while for me to decipher all of the words because their penmanship is pure chicken scratch.

Dear Friends and Followers,

2011 was a busy year for us. It seems like all we did was work, work, work. Day after day it seems like we have nothing to show for it. But, as we reflect on the year as a whole we realize what blessings we are truly thankful for.

It may not be the barn of our dreams but we have food (most of the time), clean water (usually) and a roof over our heads. Every couple of months we get new bedding. You know how ladies like to redecorate. Also, we made a couple of other upgrades; the sun on demand and a new water feature!

More importantly, we have our health and we hope all of you do too.

Merry Christmas.

Kathy and Eleanore

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First Impressions

Though it may not seem fair, first impressions have a lot of impact. For example:

My first thought - Who would put their hen in a sweater?
My second thought - Oof, she isn't too pretty.
And then I read...

Does a coddled hen catch your eye? It is a curious sight. But it also represents a serious issue. Year-and-a-half-old hens in British battery farms—known as factory farms in the U.S.—are deemed expendable, despite having several years to live and many eggs to give. These images show how folks are opening their hearts and homes to these refugee birds.

I’ve always gravitated toward offbeat subjects and people. So when I learned about rescue hens, I could imagine a great visual story about a quirkily important cause. What’s more, unlike some animal-rights activists, the battery-hen advocates I’ve met in London and southern England are refreshingly open-minded, working with the farms to adopt hens and reform the system.

Next year European laws will ban conventional battery cages. Some of England’s 11.1 million battery hens will move to bigger digs. Many will need to be “re-homed.” I hope the humor and humaneness in these photographs raise awareness of the situation. —Ed Thompson

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Barn

I spotted this barn back in September when Aaron and I were in Augusta for the half IronMan. I wrote down the contact information on a business card and told myself that if I still thought about it and pined for it for a few months, then I could get it.

Of course, this photo doesn't do it justice. You can come come on over to the house and see it in person. (Just call first so I can pretend that my house is always that clean when you get there.)

I'm not real sure what the draw was for me. I was walking through a shop called Gallery on the Row while the athletes were out doing something athletic. I first came across a print of a dog on a people bed, comfortably snoozing in messed up sheets. It looked enough like spoiled Charlie on our bed to give to Aaron as an "I'm proud of you for accomplishing this incredible race and staying dedicated to all of the training associated with it - even though I sometimes complain about it" gift.

Anyway, I was headed to the counter to pay after a bit of perusing and it just got me. Something in me stirred. I'm pretty sure I let out a quiet "Oooh".  Everything about it, the matting, the frame. It was just so appealing. Even the price wasn't bad. But, alas, I am cheap and practical and made a lot of excuses not to buy it right then and there.

About a week ago I was thinking about it and decided to see if I could find that business card. I did. And quickly - which surprised me. I sent an e-mail to the gallery and to the artist (Sandra Whittaker) to tell them that I was interested in this framed piece, or a print if this one wasn't available. Sandra got back to me and let me know that it is an original painting and if I was interested she would put a SOLD sign on it so no one else could buy it. Sandra and I exchanged the necessary information and on Tuesday after work, as soon as I could get the bubble wrap and cardboard arranged haphazardly on the floor, hung up my Red Barn in Winter.

That "New" Math

I just realized that in my happy birthday post to my dad, I said that he was going to be 2x my age and I was going to his 1/2 his age.

I was incorrect.

I am not 30 this year.
I am 29. (as of the 12th)


Hey Family - Did any of you notice?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Electric!

When I got home from work yesterday evening I started preparing for angle bracket installation. I grabbed some screws, a power screw driver, the angle bracket, the 3 way power splitter, and the new water fountain; then headed up the coop on foot.

Kathy and Eleanore had already put themselves to  bed in the nesting box. They were so peaceful before I so rudely turned on the lamp.

The first screw went in easily. The second screw, not so much. I am really glad no one was there to pass judgement on my creative use of the screwdriver. After the bottom screw was finally seated, I figured the hard part was behind me. Now all I had to was plug it in.

Before I left the house I toyed with the idea of wearing Aaron's headlamp/Charlie's headlight - but decided against it due to the amount of fur. I would be fine though,  the sun had not set all the way yet. And, I had the lamp anyway. Worst case, I would walk back to the lit house in the semi-dark.

What I failed to remember was that in order to plug the splitter into the timer into the really long extension cord which in turn I would plug the fountain into, I would have to disconnect power to the lamp.

I am standing in the doorway with my feet on the ground.
The chickens are over near the feeder clucking and pecking.
I unplug the lamp.
The clucking gets louder.
The splitter is in my hand, but backwards and I can't find the holes.
I hear a dog. Or maybe a coyote. Not close, but close enough.
I fumble for the prongs on the back of the timer and the extension cord receptacle.
I re-organize the parts in my hands and study the spacing.
I unplug the extension cord.
The chickens are noisy. I still hear that animal/those animals.
I wonder where the chickens are now. Are they heading for the door?
More fumbling.
I get the timer plugged into the splitter and the splitter into the extension cord.
The timer is in the middle spot.
#&%@ !
More fumbling as I move it over a spot.
I plug in the fountain.

At this point I am relieved as I have light, two chickens, and the technology to keep water from freezing.

I have one little snafu (I just looked this up to see how to spell it - had no idea it was an acronym - I'll just keep going as if I were ignorant to that fact) though. I have the extension cord coming in from the left side of the door - the hinged side. And the only suitable place for the fountain was on the back wall (right side of the door). I will have to do some cable management before the fountain is electrified so that Kathy and Eleanore are not tempted to perch on a power line between the nesting box and water.

Fried Chicken?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Big $pender

I haven't made it to Home Depot yet, but while picking up the "groceries" for my gals I came across a heated water fountain. It is a little bit large - 3 gallons! - so I hope the bracket can handle it. 

Oh and about a week ago, I bought a barn. It arrived yesterday.

Pictures soon!

(Ew gross:Maybe not Fruit Flies)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hanging it up

In an effort to maintain to cleanliness of the drinking water in the coop, I have finally purchased an angle bracket. It is my hope that this angle bracket, once installed, will suspend the full water fountain with ease.

Here is a picture of the feeder for reference. It looks pretty similar.

You might be asking yourself why I don't just hang the water up on the perch like I did the food. The answer - I don't always step up into the coop to feed and water the chickens. I just lean in from my door. (i.e. I am lazy.)  Also, when the temperature gets below freezing I have to change the water more frequently. It is difficult, when you have a beak, to drink ice.

This afternoon I will be doing some shopping for Kathy and Eleanore. First stop will be to the grocery store (Tractor Supply), and then onto Home Depot for a new bedroom suite (fresh hay).

Friday, December 9, 2011

Shoo fly, don't bother me!

Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.

Aaron and I have engaged ourselves in a new activity when we get home from work. Fly swatting.

We have had the exterminators come "fix" the problem a couple of weeks ago. Since then we have taken the matter into our own hands. Each night we decrease the population by at least 90% and each day come home to a new swarm.

"I feel like I need to go to church. I have done a lot of killing lately."

"You'd think one of the survivors would go spread the word that their friends are dying."

We are pretty sure they are coming in through the sink drain. I'm not sure how they get into the pipes that lead to the sink drain, but I would like to figure it out.

Thursday, December 1, 2011