Friday, April 14, 2017

to the front

The chickens got moved to the front yard.  I just couldn't keep Ziggy on leash any longer.  The coop was fucking heavy and I got help from a 64-year-old friend.  Because middle-aged women can do anything, even chicken magic.  She got eggs as her reward and said: wait, this is a lot of eggs, are you sure? (it was about 9)  I looked at her and scoffed.  These birds are giving me four-six eggs per day.  How many eggs can one person and one dog eat?  (Because yes, Ziggy gets hardboiled eggs, especially those that are slightly cracked.)

The neighbors are awe-struck by these chickens and everytime Ziggy goes crazy I look out and there are people standing and staring at them.  Two conversations: one with my direct neighbor, all in Spanish because she just said screw it to trying in English.  She's from Chiapas and I was so delighted to hear that because: agricultural revolutionaries!  She said she loves the countryside and so does her husband (which I knew from our conversations - and our contest to "who can make their frontyard more country?").  I asked if they'd be willing to take care of the chickens when I have to travel and she was exuberantly agreeable to doing anything I need. 

I'm having the hardest damn time reading for school.  So much to do and the motivation does not exist.  I had a two-hour window yesterday afternoon that I spent in the hammock with my book.  I read two pages, but I sure did enjoy laying in the hammock otherwise.  I don't know how to force myself to read - if I say: "OK, I have to sit here for 30 minutes," then 30 minutes pass with the book in front of me but no reading.  IF I say: "OK, I have to sit here until I read this chapter" then I sit and do nothing until an emergency or a phone call or something else happens to interrupt.  I'm awful. 

I just have so many chores and they distract me.  I need to put wire on the outside of the coop with fasteners that can't be ripped up, to protect them.  And I had this great idea to put up a fence along the edge of the yard as kind of a barrier but also to be used as a trellis for cucumbers and squash.  And now I really need to move that huge pile of dirt because I really need to park in the space where it is.  And I need to replace some fence boards in the back that Ziggy showed me are decayed straight through.  And cook - I have a ton of vegetables to eat but they don't prepare themselves (I want a salad with chinese cabbage and chicken, and I want a frittata with mizuna or green beans).  And work the bed with fertilizer and then plant collards and chard.  And and and and and and and and and ... Maybe my neighbor has a friend from Chiapas who needs a green card and we could marry and he be my farmer buddy.

To be fair, I was really lazy yesterday because of backpain.  I really just wanted to sleep all day because of the pain that was bad enough to induce nausea and general malaise.  I am somewhat better today but still should take it slow. 

I'm on the edge of ordering some electrified poultry netting (with solar charger) to let the gallinas run free and protected.  They could still be there for hawks but I'm more concerned about cats and stray dogs and raccoons - especially as I could just let them have the run when I'm home and paying attention.  I wouldn't be able to save all of them from a hawk attack but they wouldn't be obliterated.  I'm excited about them removing my grass for me. 

Ah, fuck me.  My tenants at my old house are moving out.  They've been there for almost three years (first her, then he moved in later) so I can't complain.  But ... now is not such a great time, especially with short notice and my final exam coming up and such. 

Maybe there's not much to do to repair it.  Maybe it'll just be a matter of a few hours.

Maybe.  Sigh. It's always more work than I expect.

Maybe my neighbor here can do any necessary repairs.  It's just hard with the language barrier and it's awkward because of giving money to neighbors, etc.   I asked him to repair my gate here and he said he'll do it tomorrow so we'll see how that is.  I've seen some of his work so I know he does a good job, but it can be hard.  Today when we were talking about the gate, he told me of things he'd repaired here for the seller of the house and he was told to half-ass it, like caulking rotted soffits.  If things work out well, I may have him take care of all those things since he already knows the issues and it's convenient. 

This may change things with my other tenant - she may need to start sharing the yard.  We'll see what happens. 

I may find things that aren't the tenants' fault at all - like leaking roof or something that they haven't noticed or told me about. So it could be a bigger deal than I'd like.  But, she did tell me last month that they would be looking to move out in the next few months so it's not a surprise, and better to get it done, I guess.  I could charge more rent, too. 


  1. As I have said so many times, I think it is now in our very DNA to want to keep chickens. I swear- a part of me was missing until Kathleen brought me those first babies.

    1. A car just stopped right in front of the coop with a woman in the passenger street absolutely gawking. Why did the chicken cross the road? Because the people were pointing and staring.

      Also: do chickens normally act hungry? It seems like I'm feeding them enough, but every time they see me they all stare like I'm starving them. I mean they are giving me six eggs every day so far and they were only giving their previous owners four ... so should I give them more food as thanks? I'd rather not overfeed them but how do I know?