Friday, April 6, 2012

Update post

Wow, look at me not posting for most of March! I guess this just became an update post...

My father in law spent the better part of March here at our home in Arizona. He and my mother in law had planned to spend a week at the very beginning of March but then he decided to try a laser spine surgery. While she went home, he ended up staying for three weeks. At first I was a little concerned about having him (or anyone) in my house for that long. Turns out my fears were unfounded. He and I had a really nice time together. Since he's a photographer (and a Realtor) and an avid people watcher, we had a lot in common. We managed to go out shooting pictures one day and would have liked to have done more but it just didn't seem to work. We enjoyed our days drinking coffee and talking on the patio. Just my kind of company. I was surprisingly sad to see him go when he finally did leave.

The Flockers are no longer at our property. They are now residing at Mamoo and Papa's acreage where they enjoy several snacks a day (instead of just one), bedtime stories and constant supervision by Mamoo. One of those things is a fib, I'm not saying which one. So basically one of our neighbors had a problem with the racket the girls were making on a daily basis. The singing about laying an egg routine was one particularly annoying factor apparently. So I begged Mamoo to please take them to her home so we didn't have to give them away. Eventually she and Papa gave in and said they would take them on. Mister C and I loaded up the coop in our neighbor's pickup truck (why yes, it was the same neighbor that complained, why do you ask?) and loaded the girls up in a kennel in the back of the jeep, and headed three miles over to my folks place.

Unfortunately, since they had been free-ranging for a majority of their day at our house, they were less than thrilled at being more cooped up (literally) in their new locale. You see, Mamoo and Papa live on a acreage that is in a little bit more natural setting that our home. They have coyotes running through their property regularly and hawks circling overhead daily. So the girls couldn't just be running around loose unsupervised. Additionally, while our yard is small, we have a substantial number of trees, shrubs and plants. If a hawk did fly over, the girls would dive under the nearest plant and get out of sight. While my folks property is about seven times larger than ours, they only have a few trees that are fairly far apart, and a couple of shrub-like plants. The girls would be sitting ducks, sort of.

Last week I started searching in earnest for fencing to put around the coop so they could be loose safely during the day. I tried Craigslist with no luck and finally decided I needed to buy new. I priced out Home Depot for their fencing and then decided to try Lowes. Lowes had a ten by ten dog kennel that was six feet tall. And it was going to cost me about 1/2 the price of the same sized fencing at Home Depot. Additionally, since this was a kennel and not a fence, there was no holes to be dug for the support poles. Perfect. So I got the go-ahead from Mister C to make the purchase and Papa and I went back after he got off work to pick it up. In the meantime, Mister C had suggested using the block wall surrounding my folks place as two sides and expanding the kennel from ten by ten to twenty by twenty. Good call Mister C! Papa and I put everything together and released the Flockers, who proceeded to get even dirtier than normal taking a sand bath in their new expanded space. I haven't spoken to my folks yet but I think I'm going to try and get a few plants in the fenced in area for my girls to chew on. I'll just casually sneak them in under the cover of darkness and claim ignorance when they ask me about it.

Moving on.

Everything is leafing out in my yard. My strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are really putting out leaves and looking good. My grapevines both look really healthy and are growing daily. The cherry tomatoes have a bunch of green babies all over them and the peppers are starting to get little peppers. We have sprouts of cantaloupe, watermelon and cucumbers starting as well. The orange tree is finally finished flowering and if even half of the currently pea-sized fruit makes it to fruition it will be a banner year for oranges. I still haven't plucked the last of the lemons off the tree yet and Mister C is working his way through the grapefruit (which I don't love). Yeah, it's looking like there's going to be some awesome fresh food in our backyard this year.

And lastly, I am now on the "Jeep Diet". What the heck is that you might ask. Well, that's when your charming husband removes the doors from your jeep and you realize that all the world can now see exactly how much extra weight you're carrying so you decide to start keeping track of your food and trying to exercise. Miserable man.