Dan: Hey Grace, later this week I’ll be picking up 12 chicks.
Me: Yay! I can’t wait for you to bring them home. I will love them and they will be my friends.
Before you think my husband and I have some kind of strange marriage arrangement, let me explain. The twelve chicks he picked up, are animals. You know, baby chickens. Besides, what guy could even pick up 12 chicks in one day? I mean, really. He’d have to look like 1995 Clooney, do the dishes, and clean the house.
If you had told me on my wedding day that in 5-1/2 years, I’d be living in rural VA with my husband and 12 chickens and plans for other livestock animals, I would have been really concerned. I would have been thinking that it was a 2nd marriage because there was no way the groom standing in front of me was the one I’d eventually be living with in Virginia. The one who could sit inside for days at a time programming on the computer, didn’t like outdoors and the only tools he ever picked up was a hammer and screwdriver from a cheap IKEA tool set. I would have told you that you were looking into the future of someone else’s life, surely not mine.
But here we are, and it is my life. And still married to the same guy. Whew.
One of the reasons we wanted land, was so we could get chickens. Fortunately for us, the house we moved into, the previous owners used to raise ducks, so we already had a shell of a chicken coop to work with. I was seriously in love with the slate roof, and I immediatley envisioned a lantern hanging in there. We’re still working on that vision though, because there are still outdated, fluorescent lighting fixtures in our house that need to be changed. So you need to wait, chickens.
When Dan told me he was going fix up the chicken coop, I honestly was a little skeptical of how it would turn out because his skill set level as far as building anything stopped and started at “IKEA kitchen table.” But we were able to get a bunch of old reclaimed barn wood to use as siding to enclose it. it wasn’t until I said, “Oh, I thought the wood was a nicer color when I first saw it, are you going to stain it?” That Dan realized he had actually nailed the wrong side of the wood facing outwards. Once he undid all the work he spent the whole day doing, and flipped the wood over, it looked much better. And other than hammering his fingers about 10 times and a saw falling on his neck which left a serrated scar, he came out unscathed. His man beard even grew a little bit thicker when he finally emerged from the coop. It does that when you do manly things, you know. Shoot a deer, thicker beard. Bush hog a field, thicker beard. Tell your wife she’s the greatest, thicker beard. It’s scientific, man.
So even though the coop is not completely done, we’ve made a lot of progress and it was ready for my friends and they immediately christened their new home by pooping all over it, spilling the water, and putting their feet up and relaxing. I guess I should really stop referring to them as my friends though, because people are starting to wonder why I have 12 friends locked up in a tiny house on my property. And one day while we were out, Dan mentioned killing the chickens after they were done laying eggs I screamed, “YOU MEAN YOU ARE GOING TO KILL MY FRIENDS?” And I really don’t want him to go to jail because people think he is killing actual human beings. But seriously, I don’t want him to kill my friends.
And if you’re wondering how the dogs greeted them…Chase shook like a leaf with excitement and pounced like a cat on one of them. Don’t worry, the chicken lived to tell about it. And Nala, well, she is terrified and if one gets even 50 feet from her, she will run for the hills.
So here is our progress, it was extreme makeover: chicken coop edition at the Estate of Grace. I just wish we had a ribbon cutting ceremony, even though my friends wouldn’t have cared because they just want to eat bugs and peck my eyes out.