Friday, September 28, 2012

Flo face plants

I know you've been wondering. Are we going to name the chicks?! Well of course we are! Allow me to introduce you to the cutest gals on the block, made extra cute for their ability to fall asleep on the fly. Literally. These little ladies will fall asleep anywhere at any time. And they will sprawl out and make a big show of it, which makes it even STINKIN' CUTER!

See the red light? That's their heat lamp, keeping them warm so their little bodies can do the business of growing like weeds. So without further ado, meet (from the top): Pearl, Flo, and Dot. They are our white/yellow easter eggers. The darker ones below that? Those are Eva and Beaker (Abby's and Gavin's respectively).

Aaaaaand, here we have Flo (short for Flossy), who was eating one minute and snoring the next. God love her.

That's Eva next to her, wondering if she should wake her up and allow her to regain her dignity even though the photo had already been snapped.

Apparently the answer to that is NO. Because Eva turned her back on poor Flo and laid down for her own nap while Pearl meandered over and snuggled in for HER siesta.

I know what you're thinking. I use a lot of Spanish words for someone who doesn't know Spanish. It's all in an effort to confuse you, dear reader.

Are these birds not hilarious?? I'm having the best time getting to know them and their cute personalities!

the sweetest little chickies EVER!

Last week I posted about my chicken order. And do you know that a few hours later they called with news? Some easter eggers had hatched. THAT DAY! And would I like these or would I like to wait for the next batch? Which could be who knows when? Well HECK YES, I WANT THOSE CHICKS! And thus began our adventure with backyard chickens.

We are now part of a growing trend called "Urban Farmers." We will raise our chickens in the backyard. They will have a coop. And we will let them out each morning to "free range" in the yard, allowing them to eat bugs and grass. But of course we will feed them real chicken food also. The most important thing to know is that HAPPY CHICKENS MAKE LOTS OF EGGS! And I intend to make these new family members VERY HAPPY.

I got a call from the post office at 7:19 a.m. on Friday that my chicks had arrived. Come get them! they said. And off I went, unsure of what I would find. But here's how they show up in the mail (in case you're wondering!).

So then I brought them home and opened them up, with Abby's assistance, of course. There's some really great video of this process, but since I haven't mastered the blog thing yet, I can't get it to upload. Grrrrr. Or rather, bawwwwwwk bawk bawk bawk!!!

Anyway, let's talk chicken coops. I am a recycler. I like repurposing things. And I like getting gifts that have been repurposed. I love giving life to old, chippy things. So when The Man asked what I thought of using the kid's playset to repurpose into a chicken coop, I jumped on it! I had actually tinkered with the idea and then figured he'd never go for it. So here it is in all it's kid glory:

And here it is today, minus the slides and the swings. We're using extra wood from the deconstruct and some pallet wood I got from a friend (Thank you Shawn!!). We did have to purchase some plywood since this is an older structure to begin with.

Here's the coop itself, where my little gals will sleep and nest, protected from wind and rain.

And this is the run, underneath, where the old "rock wall" got turned into a ramp for the hens.

And the best part is that the girls are so excited, they keep standing around the water cooler talking about how much fun they are going to have on the Frakes Family Farm!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I'm the kind of person who is all or nothing. Black or white. Rule follower extraordinaire. I'm either going to start and complete a project or I won't begin at all. You could even say that I'm obsessed or indifferent.

So this latest obsession of mine is exciting. CHICKENS!

Oh yes. Chickens. I'm going to raise them in my backyard. Because I can! And because I LOVE fresh eggs that look like these!!

I've ordered my Easter Egger bantam chickens online. And when they get here there will be some FUN TO BE HAD AT OUR HOUSE! You are welcome to bring your kids for a field trip. Because if they were coming to your backyard, I WOULD TOTALLY INVITE MYSELF OVER. Don't even kid yourself that I wouldn't.

Stay tuned... Next up on Channeling Kim: Making the perfect loaf of bread straight from the wheat berry....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Birds and Cookies and Nails, oh my!

This morning my phone rang at 7:28 a.m. I didn't recognize the number, and to keep it from ringing and waking up The Man I answered quickly. "Hello?" I almost whispered. "KIM?!" (Is this my dad? It kind of sounds like him, but more like the something's-wrong-we-need-to-chat voice). "Yes?" I say. "THIS IS BOB. YOUR NEIGHBOR??" "Oh! Hi Bob!" I smile. I've been waiting for Bob to call. This is exciting!

Bob came to my husband about a year ago and asked him if we would be offended if he built an aviary in his backyard. He was planning on buying and training some homing pigeons. Would that be okay? Well, since we erected a batting cage in our backyard, along with a 3 story wood play set, and eventually an above ground pool, we felt like saying no would be bad. Because we never actually considered consulting Bob before we did any of that. Oops.

Well as time passed, the aviary went up. And he did a nice job with it, too. He built it by hand and even painted it white. It's lovely, quite frankly! And when those baby pigeons were born he invited our kids and us over to take a peek. He taught us all we ever wanted to know about homing pigeons. And then he told us he was planning on racing them. Racing them?! Really?? That is so freaking cool, I can hardly stand it.

So you see, when the call came this morning from Bob, I was pumped. Why, you ask? Because he is training them to race home from Denton, Texas for their first race!! How fun is that?!?! And since he works, he needed someone to watch for them and write down their time of arrival. Hello?! Um, YES! I'd LOVE TO!! So this morning at 8:45 a.m. I sat my happy butt down on my wicker chair in the middle of my yard and sipped coffee while I waited for Bob's birds. Oh yes, I did.

And then, just as I wasn't paying attention, they showed up! Like a wisp of air! There they were!

And it took them about 9 minutes from their first appearance to going inside to rest. Watch how this happens. At first they were flying loops around the house. They made about 5-6 loops and then they all landed on Bob's roof.

Then, one by one, they jumped from the house to the aviary and made their way inside, to their personal nests. HOW COOL IS THAT??

Now, I know you can see how this was such an exciting event that my day must have ended then and there. But no, my dear reader. I went on to make cookies from scratch for my two darling and perfect children. ha, ha, ha.

Aaaaand, then I skipped lunch, because I ate too much cookie dough. So, I painted my nails. :) And made my own personal pinterest-looking picture of my essie flavor (chinchilly, by the way).

Happy Tuesday to you!