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Our Backyard Chicken Coop

10 Jul

Time to show you our backyard chicken coop and the six hens who live there! That’s right, we are officially chicken farmers (words I never thought I would say).


We love it! And the chickens have been a lot of fun so far.

Ben and his business partner, John, built the coop from scratch over the course of a few weekends.


We painted it Benjamin Moore’s Amherst Gray and the trim is Behr Premium in Ultra White.


It was a test run to see if we liked the color (we did), so now our house is in the process of getting painted that color too!

IMG_4758We planted that Arborvitae bush on the left and some climbing clematis on the right to provide some shade for them.

There are three total windows that open and close so they can get a nice breeze in there.


Here are the nesting boxes, so you just lift up the lid to collect your eggs.


We even hung a little welcome sign outside of the door.

Here’s Ben inside the coop giving them food and water.


And then there are the chickens!

IMG_4763We have three Rhode Island Reds and three Barred Rocks. The big black and white one in the middle is Edna and she is the only one laying right now. She is a few weeks older than the others.

The chickens have a door so they can go between the coop and the run whenever they want. Every so often we let them out of the run and into the open yard. They LOVE grass.. and dandelion leaves!

IMG_4764Did I mention how amazing the eggs taste? SO much better than the store bought ones. We only get about 1 egg a day right now, but are looking forward to when all 6 hens start laying and we have a ton of fresh eggs each day!


Saying Good-Bye to Macy

31 Oct

It’s been a sad couple of days around here as we lost our cat Macy Monday night. She escaped from the rental and we found her a few hours later by the side of the road after being hit by a car.

Although she didn’t get to move into 12 Oaks before she died, we laid her to rest there tonight. We found the biggest tree on the property (the huge weeping willow in the front) and buried her there with her favorite blanky, her favorite toys (a ping-pong ball and a mouse her foster Mom gave us when we adopted her), and a picture of Ben, Doc and I with a note on the back. We marked the spot with the biggest rock we could find on the property.

Macy’s resting place

We also planted a new tree, a red maple, in her memory.

Anyone who has pets knows how much they become part of the family. On top of that, I have never lost a pet before (my childhood cat is still kicking at 18), so it is a new experience for me.

At risk of being the crazy cat lady,  I’d like share some of my favorite photos of her and share a few of the things I will always remember about her.

Macy acted more like a dog than a cat. She would pant when she got hot, growl, drink out of the toilet, bark at birds and squirrels, and was best buds with Doc. We would often find them cuddled up to one another on Doc’s bed or in front of the fire.

They even shared a birthday, the 4th of July. And we didn’t make that up, that’s what the vet told us.

Macy was fearless and loved climbing trees, ladders, or anything she could. She never got stuck or needed rescuing. A few times we found her locked in the attic because she would climb up there without us knowing and we would shut the hatch.

She was no stranger to construction. When we first got her we were in the middle of a full bathroom remodel. Here she is in the first week we got her and then in the same shower niche a year later.

She was a pig. It didn’t matter what you were eating (ice cream, chicken, even salad), she was there scrounging to get some.

More than anything, she made you feel like you were home. She was always there to greet you when you came home, sleep between your legs at night, barge in on you in the bathroom, and cuddle up (on her own time) with you on the couch.

We will miss her dearly, but take comfort that she will be out at 12 Oaks with us. RIP Macy girl. xxoo

P.S. We were going to wait a little while longer until we moved in full time to 12 Oaks to get more done, but given the circumstances, we are getting the heck out of this rental and into the house tomorrow.


30 Oct

Doc got his first taste of the country last night. Or should I say smell? As the title suggests, he was skunked!

Here’s the story: I had to head out to 12 Oaks by my self at night, so naturally I brought the dog along for protection. As we were walking up to the front door, Doc sprinted off chasing an animal. I didn’t think anything of it, until I caught a bright white stripe down the back of said animal. I called him over telling him to come before he got sprayed. But it was too late. As he walked up to me my eyes started to burn from the smell. Imagine how bad it smells when you are in the car and you smell a skunk from the road. Multiply that by about 1,000%.

There was no way I was letting him into the house so I left him outside and called Ben. Just from being next to him and walking into the house, the whole house (and likely me) started stinking of skunk. Ben said he would come pick Doc up and put him on the back of the truck so he wouldn’t stink up the car. He called Petco and they recommended we bathe the dog in their self-serve dog wash area.

Ben and our house guests, Trevor (our sister in law’s brother) and Mike (his colleague) who were stranded in Chicago because of Hurricane Sandy, showed up and threw him on the back of the truck.

At Petco, people started gagging from the smell. They gave us “skunk off” shampoo and skunk deodorizer and Ben washed him up. We also got some doggy perfume to help.

The dog is still a little pungent, but not too bad that he can’t be in the house. We’ll see if he learned his lesson. For all of us involved, I sure hope so.