Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
We had a very nice Thanksgiving. We hosted my father (Grandpa Ba) for the week, shown here playing with Dada on her playscape. For Thanksgiving day we also had Julie's mother Peggy, her friend Bill, and Julie's brother Tommy, as well as our neighbors Jay, Linda (Jay's sister-in-law and our neighbor), and Linda's mother Evelyn. The weather was perfect--about 75 degrees with a little breeze. We served dinner on the screened porch. It was nice to finally have enough room to host Thanksgiving for crowd.

After dinner we all repaired to the livingroom to watch football in high def on the big screen--something we'd been looking forward too since we got the A/V system installed.

All in all it was a very pleasant holiday.

So Cute

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Here is Dada looking particularly cute, playing inside the chicken coop under construction.


Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Have finally achieved sufficient completeness on the chicken coop to allow the chickens their freedom for the first time. Still need to do some work on the enclosing chicken wire (I mean poultry mesh) and some additional finish work, but the basic enclosure and protective electrified wire is in place.

The chickens seem to be very happy to finally be allowed on the ground.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gratuitous Dada Picture

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Grandpa is in town and we all went to Amy's Ice Cream for lunch. I took this picture as Dada played on the playscape after lunch. I especially like the glint of sunlight off of the bars.

Friday, November 10, 2006

New Chicken Coop: Progress Report 3

On Thursday afternoon (essentially on my lunch break) I finally got the door attached to the chicken house, making it secure enough to move the chicks out of our house and into theirs. I also put on a third section of roofing to better shelter the open side of the chicken house.

Here are the chicks (now really more pullets) digging their new digs. The next step will be to build the door for the coop as a whole and then screen then whole thing in with chicken wire (technically "poultry mesh"), but that will take at least a whole CIMG3992weekend, which I won't have until after Thanksgiving.

Here is a video of the girls being girls in their new house:


Originally uploaded by drmacro.
It was 90 degrees today, 10 Nov, in Austin. The record high is 91, we might well reach it.

Julie and Dada met a few of us from the office for lunch at the Little Deli, our regular lunch spot, especially on warm and sunny days.

Dada was being her cool self, working the shades.

Enjoy that chip....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New Chicken Coop: Progress Report 2

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Last night I was able to get the remaining sides and top of the chicken house screened in securely. I would have gotten the roofing on except I didn't have the right driver bit for the roofing screws. I should be able to get the roof on tonight, along with temporary screening across the front so we can put the chicks in ASAP. The chicks are starting to molt their down feathers and it's making a bit of a mess in in the music room so I need to get this finished up ASAP.

As a present to myself I stepped up to an electric staple gun and it made a big difference, making it possible to put 14mm staples in with some speed. I want to see a raccoon pull those puppies out.

Monday, November 06, 2006

New Chicken Coop: Progress Report 1

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
The chicks are growing fast and will soon outgrow their little pen in the music room (and our patience with having a flock of chickens in the house). I'll be traveling quite a bit between now and the week of Thanksgiving, I realized that if I didn't at least start on the chicken coop now it might not get built before Christmas.

So I spent all day Saturday and Sunday slapping it up. The first picture shows the result after the first day of work. I got the foundation in place and the four walls minimally framed out and raised.

On Sunday I focused on building the chicken house, which will be a three-walled, roofed space where the chickens will roost and where we'll attach the nesting boxes at some point. Once the chicken house is screened in we can move the chicks there while I complete the rest of the screening operation to make the full coop critter proof.

CIMG3980This second picture shows the results of my efforts on Sunday. You can see the chicken house in near right corner.

It looks pretty rustic now because I've built it entirely out of leftover lumber from the construction, which has been out in the weather all summer. Once it dries out we'll paint it to match the house (more construction leftover).

I was hoping do everything with construction waste but there wasn't enough trim lumber (1x4, 1x2, etc.), so I'll have to buy some of that, and I had to buy the foundation pillars and roofing (corrugated plastic) but the total out-of-pocket should still be less than $200.00, which isn't too bad).

CIMG3978Finishing it will require adding more framing as necessary to support the screening, making a door, and putting on the wire, which will take some work because it's got to go down into the ground to prevent critters from digging in.

Dada's New Leotard

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
This morning's Dada picture shows her in her new leotard, for gymnastics class. Dada was very excited to have the leotard and wore it most of the weekend.