The Crazy Chicken Lady Gazette Vol. 1, No 2

Bringing you all the chicken poop that’s fit to print, and some as what ain’t.


Wherein the Noodle Dog Learns He Cain’t FLY

Fall has come creeping up in dribs-n-drabs and the weather has cooled enough for us to get some things done about the place.  This means me prepping chicken for the freezer… and convincing Bob that I need that back deck done!  The temporary steps we got (mummmbbble) months years back to replace the deteriorated ones are now themselves rotting and rickety.  I must confess that when we bought the wood for the job we had no idea that illness would settle in like an unwanted relative and stay with us for so long.  However we are now, relatively speaking, fit and ready for getting the job done.

And so it was, that while Bob worked at laying on and screwing down the planking, the Noodle needed to potty from time to time.  Having become used to the deck being there (albeit not screwed down) he has taken to flying off the steps and then right back up when he’s done his business.  Yesterday when he had to go I would pass him through the door to Bob and he would set him down to ‘go’.  However, at the end of the day when he went out, he did his business and then instead of coming to Bob for a lift into the mudroom,  he raced up the steps and, for all intents and purposes, tried to fly!

I give him credit for form and gumption.  The deck is 12 ft long and he made it just past center before he began losing altitude and crashed into a cross beam, tangled his legs in it, rolled, and then fell to the ground in a swan nose dive.  Had there been a diving pool below he would have won on that swan dive alone.  As it was, he jumped up and looked at us with a most confused expression, then shook himself off as if to say:  “I’m OK!”       <— (Click, it’s funny I promise.)


Thankfully, today finds him totally fine and full of spunk.


Regarding Miss Dixie

Dixie wanted you to know that she is no longer being incarcerated by the neighbors.  The lady of the house lamented as how sad she was to let out all her chickens to play in the grass and bask in the sun, and then listen to Miss Dixie complain all day…

Hm… ya think?

I cheerfully suggested that since their garden was done for the summer and that Miss Dixie preferred to sleep in our tree each night, that she just leave her to run free.    I am so happy to say that she has done just that.  I rarely see Dixie over the fence, as she has begun hanging out in the temporary quarters with the *Stay Puft Gang and the three Little Red Hens.  Apparently, she thinks they have the best eats.  I even spied her visitin’ with the Cornish just this morning, well, until Crow started giving her unwanted attention.  😉


On the Business Front

I have been working feverishly to complete a long overdue project for a friend and I’m happy to say it is done, mailed and has been received.  I am now going to apply the same efforts and steam to make new items for my Etsy shop.  The crickets have taken over and it is well past time to add some new fall and winter items.  I will post these as they are completed and added.

See y’all next time!


*Stay Puft Gang:  My euphemism for the meat chickens out back. For the uninitiated Stay Puft is a fictional Marshmallow character from the movie, Ghostbusters.

The work continues and Bob gets nailed

We spent the day up on the mountain again yesterday.  I was riding bareback on the suburban grass eater all day, while Bob slaved away inside removing the infamous floating wall.

At one point I saw him coming across the bridge in his demo regalia (space suit, face mask, and goggles) and he was carrying a gas can.

“You’ve been out here for a long time, I figured it was time for a fill-up.”  he said.

He was right, there was only about a quarter-inch of fuel left in the tank.

We hired a man with a tractor to come out and bush hog the pastures.  When the Octogenarian was here she had the young man from down the road keeping the place looking like a park!  However, when she left and we asked him to continue the service, well, since we weren’t around every day he seemed to lose interest.  But hey, it was summer, he’s only 17, and he had friends to hang with and football practice.  I actually do ‘get it’ , but we decided we couldn’t support his summer activities and had to let him go.  😉

That left the 2 – 3 acres around the house, cabin, and pond to mow.  Going non stop, it took me from about 9:00AM til 1:00PM.  I was almost done and I looked up again to see Bob out by the drive and waving at me.  He wasn’t looking so cheerful this time.  Disengaging the blades I zoomed up to the drive.  I arrived to find that while he was working he had been stabbed in the forearm with a very ugly  and rusty nail.

It had been well over 10 years since his last tetanus shot.

He had been prying off the old oak planks on that floating wall, when one of them swung back.   The weight and force of the plank falling then drove a nail right into the muscle causing the puncture and resultant swelling.  We talked about whether or not to go to the ER for a tetanus shot because we knew the ER would be expensive.  Being nervous about infection we went anyway.

One shot, a prescription for antibiotics for prevention of infection (2,000 mg per day!) and $200.00 later, we were on our way back to finish and clean up.  Oh well, it’s only money, and money well spent judging by the high dose of antibiotics prescribed.

So, as it stands:

In my next post I will explain a bit about cabin building in the 1800s!  It will be interesting!  I promise!  😀

Under Development: a new kitchen for the old farmhouse

You will recall from my last post, that we discovered dank and damp wall coverings in the kitchen.  What we had presumed would be a fix and refurbishing job was suddenly turned into a gutting of the entire kitchen.

Which, by the way, I feel bad about.  I suppose I don’t expect anyone to understand this, but when we first toured the Mountain Farmlet and met the Octogenarian, we had promised her we wouldn’t remodel.

That snippet of the conversation went something like this:

Octogenarian,  “… and when you remodel you can…”

At which point we both cut her off and said, “NO, we like it as it is.”

You should have seen her smile.

It was, and still is our ethic that if you buy an old home, then you should like it for what it is.  Don’t go in with the thought that you are going to tear down walls, put in modern decor, or pretentious contraptions you really don’t need in a house that is almost one hundred years old on one end and two hundred years old on the other.

And yet, if it is broken or unhealthy we understand that you must fix it.  And so it is we find ourselves faced with an unforeseen and expensive job on our hands.  Oh, by the way, the old place needs a new roof too, but we guessed this much before we bought it.  Let me explain.

Did you know that if you fix the foundation under your home that the movement in leveling it will travel up the walls and right into the rafters?  Think of it like this:

Stand with one foot on a stair or curb and try not to let your knee bend.  What just happened?  If you don’t let the knee bend, then your back wants to bend to keep you upright.  Now think about that roof.  The sides of the structure are not going to bend like your back did, so all of that new stress follows up the supports of the structure, and ends in the rafters and braces.  Hence, leaks are going to happen.

And they have, as we knew they would, but we went ahead with the work, because it simply had to be done.  However, what we didn’t expect while all this was going on was to have one of the wettest summers in the history of  N. Alabama.

And,  friends, we have leaks

We are meeting with the roofer to sign on the dotted line on Sunday afternoon.   Nice roofer!  He knows we’re only there on Sundays and that it is a two hundred mile round trip for us.   This flexibility will allow Bob to be a part in the picking out of tin roof color and signing on the contract too.  😉

Now, tomorrow we will finish gutting that kitchen and the little keeping room.   We were told by the foundation man, that the little passage wall between them is non load bearing and so our plan is to remove it.  This will give us a nice Galley kitchen.

I had wanted to do this with the wood battens:


I can think of no feasible way to seal them from the outside elements.   As well, the location of our new home will absolutely not let us.  Located in the country, and on a farm, we are surrounded by rodents.   There are also brown recluse spiders, *mud dauber wasps, and snakes.  So unless we completely seal the walls on the inside, then it’s a fact of life that these creatures are going to find their way in.

No thanks!

And this brings me to the planning stage of the new kitchen that I want to look very much like this:

Looks like our layout!I found this on the “This Old House” [TOH] website and you can view the complete article by clicking on the photograph.

Now of course there are concessions to be made, and bargains to be struck, such as, Bob wants a dishwasher, and I want more cupboard space.  😉  And their will be tweaks to this layout, such as, we will have to add that window over the sink, and I want the stove over by the sink line up on the left side of the room.  Also, I will not be getting that lovely apron sink, or the new vertical wood planking on the walls, or the stone counter tops, or even those lovely custom-made cabinets!

My version will be:  A stainless one bowl, drop in sink; Formica counters, and the cabinets will be our version of functional storage purchased and retrofitted from the Habitat Restore.  Oh yes, and the walls will be wallboard , thanks to Bob Villa’s handy tips for installing it with a sealed backing on those outside walls.

I am toying with the idea of a pass through opening on the wall to the dinning room.  The dining room is a bit dark on this side, and there is no useable space for a new window in there.  It is my feeling that some of the light from the kitchen windows will pass through and light up the dining area nicely!  Indirect light is better by far than no natural light in a dark corner of a room.  Agreed?

Playing around with my ideas, which are based on that lovely TOH plan has brought me to a very rough rendering of our future kitchen:

Future-Kitchen-Plans  I am no draftsman, and please note that four blocks = 1 sq. ft.

We have a very tiny kitchen!

With no further bumps along the way, putting  a monkey wrench into the works (yeah right) then this is to be my general layout. 

However, we shall see how it all plays out.   🙂



That outside door in the keeping room is definitely slated for an upgrade and may require the services of a professional.  It is original to the structure, but it has to go!  (Due to its vintage status it will be saved and repurposed.)


I am getting tired of hearing grown men groaning and swearing when entering and exiting a 5  foot 6 inch door!!!  🙂


*Mud Daubers:   It will take some time… but those mud daubers are going to find it increasingly difficult to gain entry into the walls from the outside.  I have never seen so many of them in one place, and their stings are bad!   It took three weeks for the lump on my upper arm to go away.  😯

Sometimes you just need to take a moment

I have been spinning my wheels for a couple of weeks now.  Trying to get things done and it was just impossible!  Why?  Because my studio was a HOT MESS!

So, taking a day off from wheel spinning, I cleaned up, organized, and put almost everything I had pulled out from the fabric wall…

 back where it belongs.  Wondering about my little Barista Bears everywhere?  They are space blockers to keep my naughty kitties off my fabric!


Well, I am done cleaning and putting away, but it still looks cluttered.  I think I need to hang some shelves on this wall.  Maybe a gallery above with a quilt hanger below?  Someday maybe, but this week it was more lighting for my cutting table!  I am very happy to have the light.  That little window just doesn’t help.

More light means better accuracy when I cut my fabric.

Trust me… this IS cleaned up!

Now that I am in a state of organized confusion I will get back to work.  What am I working on?

  • the quilt blocks on the process board
  • an apron for Julie in Australia (mock ups also on the process board)
  • and a rug out of THESE…

I found them in the laundry last weekend!

I wonder what he imagined I was gonna do with them?


What has kept you busy this month?