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Contrary to what this blog would make you think about our lack of progress on the house we have been working like crazy. Our recent big project was a hen house for our girls, Chunky Penny, Lady Whistle and Ms Jackson.

Naturally before building a hen house we thought we should go ahead and tear out the non-retaining retaining wall that the previous owners “built” out of broken bricks and concrete blocks. Here’s a quick BEFORE shot to make you see just how heavenly our back yard looked when we moved in:

FULL DISCLOSURE: the yard didn’t look this nice when we moved in. I took this the morning we started the new retaining wall which was just a couple of months ago. Since we moved in we added the butterfly bush and the rain barrel that will eventually catch the run off from the garage.

Anyhow – after a day of building the wall and learning that our next-door neighbors are really amazing, wonderful and generous (even moreso than we previously suspected) this is what we had to look at:

 

 

The next step was to build the hen house. Little Brother Anthony arrived (in jorts) to aid in the construction.

 

 

We made a ton of progress that weekend and then promptly walked away from the project for awhile due to work, travel, etc. You can see by the change in attire and the leaves on the trees how much time passed.

TIME WARP:

This is much nicer to look at, no?

Now the girls live out there as happy as can be. I love to look it every day as more leaves fall and it settles in to look like part of the landscape.

This project would not have been possible without the help of friends and family who donated time, supplies and food. I feel like I’m dedicating a book. Huge thanks go out to Anthony for jumping in and getting us moving on the construction; to Sierra and Tommy for helping to engineer and build the wall; to Ton and Sonja for lunch, tea service, gravel and dirt moving and all around moral support (and for giving birth to Sierra all those years ago); to Tammy, Barbara, John, Eric and Jan – neighbors who donated scrap lumber, chicken wire, shovels, etc.; to Dad, Kate L, Terry, Natalie, Cliff M and Janice D for donating license plates; to Mom for hanging out with Whistle and most of all, to Steve, who continues to indulge every crazy whim I get.

I am so happy to have built something for the hens to live in that makes our home a more interesting, fun place to live, with the generosity and kindness of so many people involved. My heart swells.

 

 

You may remember that when we bought our house it had two kitchens. “Ooh la la” you might say. You would be wrong. Both were/are totally gross (but workable). The upstairs kitchen is now well on it’s way to being a super awesome big-boy room for Whistle. I’m too busy getting ready for my show next week to go into much detail but here are some pictures of the before and during. The after will have to come later.

Kitchen: before. To me this was the cutest room in the whole house when we bought it. But we didn’t actually need two kitchens, let alone one on the second floor.

These cabinets/counters/sink caused  a small bidding war on Craigslist. Believe it.

Steve took up the vinyl flooring and we had the floors redone and the plaster walls/ceiling repaired. The former owners used 3″ nails for every home “improvement” project so when we removed the cabinets we destroyed the walls.

View where the cabinets used to be. Steve cut new baseboards and put down new 1/4 round in the room. The after pictures will show that.

Now, back to work for me.

I dare you.

You won’t regret it.