Building Things: Floats, Chicken Coops, More

Hiya hiya (a brand of knitting needles), everyone. I’ve been trying to write this all day, but I can’t complain, because my lunch hour, when I often write, was pleasantly filled with a nice conversation and lunch with my friend Melissa. We had one of our usual hour-long regurgitation of the highs and lows of our lives since we last saw each other, which was way more fun than sitting at my desk typing!

Harvey supervises the painting of our giant wooden Hermann house.

Yesterday was an equally full day. Kathleen and Chris made it to Cameron Saturday evening, so we set out to do on Sunday all the things we’d originally planned to do over the whole Thanksgiving week. Not everything got done, but we sure did a LOT. We’re really grateful to Chris for how hard he worked.

It’s starting to take shape!

Saturday we started out working on our float the the Cameron Christmas Parade. The good news is that we already have a truck and a trailer, so yay. And another good thing is that a marvelous invention, the battery-operated Christmas light, has enabled us to light the float without putting a big ole generator on the back of the pickup.

Vlassic is dubious about the quality of my tree construction. Hey, it’s worth every penny of the $30 they paid for it.

Kathleen bought dozens of batteries for all those lights! I built the Christmas tree to go on the float while Chris and Kathleen made an amazing replica of Hermann’s house, which is on all our different business logos. We were glad we could work in the garage, because it was a windy day.

I can’t wait to see the house finished. How Chris made the heart out of blue painter’s tape is beyond me!

The tree is on the float, some lights are up, and the house is ready for the door and window borders. It also has Christmas lights on it now.

While the paint was drying on the first coat of Hermann’s house, we all piled into the truck to get the many, many dog kennels and shade covers we are donating to the Cameron dog pound. My fellow MTOL Board member, Meghan, had paid for them the day before, but it was quite a challenge to find them and get the staff at the Hearne Tractor Supply to believe us.

This poor girl was not the world’s best fork lift driver, but she got the job done. The future float held all its load well, though.

But, as you can see, we did it. We were even laughing a lot by the time it was all done. And we also had to drive to Rockdale to get two more. At least it was scenic, and sorta fun to slow down all that holiday traffic with our slow truck and trailer.

Kathleen almost got squished between the hen house and the truck window. I’m glad she lived.

What about the Hens?

While we were in Hearne, we spotted the hen house that was there last time we came by, marked 1/3 off. Merry Christmas, me, I now have a chicken coop and a chicken run! This will hold my three hens and a couple more until we can get the bigger one up from Lee’s dad’s farm, where Kathleen had been raising guinea hens for a while.

It looks like the Clampett family is about to set off with their little house.

I enjoyed “helping” Chris as he set everything up. We still have to get a covering for the top of it, block off all the edges securely, and install a watering device (I hope Ralph will sell me the one they already use at the other chicken house), but it’s almost ready!

A house! We had to reinforce its light-weight construction a bit, and I had to paint a part red, but it’s pretty cute. And the fence will give the hens room to roam. Once we train certain dogs not to chase them, we can let them out.

Bonus chicken info: I discovered that Buffy is NOT the only chicken producing eggs. Either Big Red or Little Red is laying every few days! They aren’t deadbeat old gals after all. They deserve a new house.

You can see where Chris cut away the chain link for hen access, and strengthened the attachment of the house to the pen. Not bad for a couple of hours of work!

What We Didn’t Finish

We weren’t able to go put the dog run together at the dog pound, so that will have to wait until the next time Chris is in town, which should be just a few weeks. I know everyone there, especially the dogs, is excited for it.

I’m looking forward to how we fulfill the parade theme on our Hearts, Homes and Hands float! Kathleen is going to make all the signs this week, and we will put everything together when I get there on Thursday. Maybe I’ll bring Vlassic along to ride with me.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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