Coop Coop! Run! 2019 Projects Done!

Hooray hooray. Today we finally were able to get the work done on the chicken coop to get it ready to hold actual chickens. Yesterday, while enduring the longest lines ever at multiple stores, Chris was able to get all the materials we needed to finish the coop, plus a feeder and waterer.

Roofing in progress.

This morning we got going as soon as we were coffeed up, and with assistance from my brother-in-law Jim and less assistance from me, Chris got a really cool arched roof on the chicken run that will thwart even the most clever hawk or owl. HA! Raptors go eat something else!

One good-looking chicken run!

It really ended up looking pretty spiffy. Once we got the roof on, Chris and I fired up Hilda the 4-wheeler and rode around the property looking for ideal branches to turn into perches for the chickens, so they can have fun while cooped up in the run.

Feed and water holders are hanging. And the big stick for roosting is installed.

Vlassic came with us, and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the far ends of the ranch. I showed Chris every inch of the place, and we even visited the horses and Fiona.

Nest boxes are ready for hens!

I was very happy that Vlassic behaved well with the horses. He started to chase Fiona a couple of times, but she gave him the annoyed donkey look and he backed off. In the end, everyone got along just fine. That’s one dog down, and only four to go…

This sweet great Pyrenees will be adopted soon, we hope.

After we finished putting a wind barrier up on the north side of the chicken coop, we took a break, then went over to the Cameron Touch of Love to finish the last touches on the dog run we’re donating.

Sandra checks out the shade area of the dog run.

Chris and his dad put together the shade roofs for the entry and another area on the run, and also installed wind blocks in one area that will also provide a bit of shade in the summer. We got help from the Fords, our cat rescue folks, so it went pretty quickly.

That’s me in the hat. I’m not supervising. I’m helping attach the wind barrier/shade cloth.

I took a lot of pictures of the dogs at the pound with the camera I got loaned for Christmas. I wanted to practice taking close-ups.

A sweet puppy who’s heading to a new home in Colorado soon.

And I also took some bird pictures. I’ll still work on the photography thing.

Yes, I can identify these birds! I was far away from these black vultures.

Luckily, there was a sad dog named Bud at the pound who I felt sorry for, so I got him brought out to the dog run and played with him. He’s so well behaved that he hates to pee or poop in his pen. He peed for a full minute when he got in the pen, then we played and played. He loves kids and is sweet, but energetic. I hope he gets a family soon.

We came home, and Kathleen and her daughter kindly cooked a New Year’s meal. MMM. Black eyed peas! I hope to make some tomorrow, if I can get any when I get back to Austin.

Vaguely successful telephoto shot.

What a fun day we had! It was a perfect ending to the year. The last month has seen things start to improve, at least in our little world. I’m going to keep focusing on our family, our friends, and what we can personally make an effect on.

My favorite picture so far with the “real” camera.

That’s why I’m so glad we can help with Milam Touch of Love and the dogs at the pound. We CAN make a difference there.

Bragging on Our Family

I‘m so proud of the work that Lee’s nephew, niece, and brother (Chris, Kathleen and Jim) did yesterday at the Cameron dog pound. On behalf of our company and through the Milam Touch of Love organization, they put together a huge, safe dog run so the pound puppies can get exercise and play with each other. It’s also a great place for potential adopters to get to know the dogs. Below is a slightly edited version of what I wrote for Hearts Homes and Hands this morning.


happy woman and dog
Here’s Sue Ann with Carlton, the day she adopted him from the Cameron Touch of Love.

Yesterday was a fun day for Hearts Homes and Hands! We got to fulfill our promise of building a big dog run for the City of Cameron Touch of Love facility, which is our local dog pound. Lee and Sue Ann got two of their wonderful dogs from the facility, which strives to adopt out all dogs that come in, unless they are too sick or injured.

We donated the money to buy the materials to the Milam Touch of Love organization, which supports the welfare of all animals in Milam County, and on which Sue Ann has served on the Board since it was founded. As we shared earlier, we got the materials on Thanksgiving weekend, but had to wait until our crew came back into town before the big job of building the dog run could be done.

Teamwork!

Unloading the materials

Early yesterday morning, our team arrived at the pound, where Sandra Ritch, the Cameron Animal Control Officer was eagerly waiting. Our Administrator, Kathleen Caso, led a team consisting of her husband, Chris (the mastermind of this project), Jim Caso (Chris’s dad AND one of our clients), and our dedicated office queen, Meghan Land, who is also on the Board of Milam Touch of Love.

The run uses lots of sturdy fencing panels
Buiding the vestibule.
Lots of toting.

Continue reading “Bragging on Our Family”

Oh, Buffy Hen! (And a Long Day or Two)

The Internet ate what I was writing earlier today, and it has been a long couple of days, so you luck out and get to read about the CHICKENS again. I’ll also share some cute dogs before getting all thoughtful again tomorrow.

This evening, Kathleen and I went over to feed the animals, as usual, just before sunset. We heard a LOT of mooing, and when we got there we saw the Vrazels’ cattle in the race. Other cattle were in the pens. As you can see, these were mamas and babies (hooray, I got to see the spotted ones up close).

We are very dubious about this confinement.

They said they were going to AI all the mamas, which meant there was no way for us to get to the horses. I said I’d do it in the morning. No problem. It was fun watching them move the little ones away from their moms. They were displeased.

So, we went back to the chicken area, where Big Red and Little Red were eating some popcorn that Yanelly must have given them. I gave them some feed and scratch, then looked around for Buffy. She was nowhere to be seen, so I figured she must have finally bit the dust. Also, there were no eggs in their new nest (they have totally deserted the old coop).

Continue reading “Oh, Buffy Hen! (And a Long Day or Two)”

TEAM: It Sorta Has “Me” in It

Well, apparently I did NOT have an original thought on this topic.

How many times have you heard the saying that “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’?” More than enough, I’m sure. It hints that we should all be selflessly working together to achieve our organizational goals, a thing that totally goes against the annoying American worship of independence, yee haw.

I admit that I have always wanted to be a member of a team. Gosh, if only I wasn’t small, chubby, and extremely slow, I could have even been on a sports team at some point in my life. But, though I was very accurate at kicking and throwing a football, girls couldn’t play on those teams (and my distance sucked). As a young adult, I was politely asked to stop participating on my husband’s volleyball team, because they were actually competitive. Sigh.

Continue reading “TEAM: It Sorta Has “Me” in It”

Dog Shelter Education

[Here’s my post I tried to do yesterday.]

Hey, let’s change the subject. Cheerful stuff! No one reads this kind of post! I’ll write anyway.

Thor was my back-seat companion.

Yesterday afternoon, since there was no internet in Cameron anyway, I went on a fact-finding mission to Aggieland Humane Society in Brazos County with my MTOL co-directors, Jean and Mark. Our brains are now very full.

We met a smart person

We found the whole facility to be warm and friendly. You feel welcome as soon as you approach the place, too.

The entry area. This building was originally a house.

We met with the executive director, Kathy Bice, who started out as an Animal Control Officer and has learned the animal shelter business from the ground up. She was incredibly generous with her knowledge of building animal shelters. More important, she gave us invaluable information for ways to raise the funding our Milam Touch of Love organization will need to create a quality facility for our county’s animals.

Continue reading “Dog Shelter Education”

More from Ledbetter Park

The Portacool is still holding up, and I’m dying from smelling barbecue on an empty stomach. I’m now the only staff, but since business is not brisk, it’s fine.

We did see a beautiful bug and I got a great photo of it on Meghan’s tattoo. Perhaps it’s Rugosana querci. Or not. But it’s beautiful and tiny.

This little fellow is about a quarter inch long.

A lot of our volunteers have dropped by, including Tom and Windy, who do the kitten rescue and fostering for the Cameron Touch of Love. They got these bright shirts so people can easily see them when they are rescuing cats from “interesting” places. We all love the color!

A little later

We were also visited by Mary Lou and Janiece, from Rockdale. Thanks to them, I got some lunch!

Mary Lou checks out the display.

Janiece is the Animal Control Officer for Rockdale. They have lots of dogs available, and not much space, so they’d be a great source of a new canine friend!

Janiece and I are full of love for MTOL.

Milam Touch of Love is also helping their pound out with their donations. Next we are trying to figure out how to open a shelter for the animals out in the county, who can’t be taken to the pound. Yes, I can’t adopt them ALL!

Public Service Announcement over!

And later…

My own family even came! And Kathleen donated. We decided to head out early, so we only have a half hour left.

Lee, Kathleen and Michael having fun.

That’s good, because the cooler is getting sad.

Perils of Sun Sensitivity

Live Blog!

Hey. Just a short post asking you all to think of me as I sit near fire ants until 4 pm. I’m doing yet another Milam Touch of Love event. I’m in charge so I can’t leave. And sun is my enemy! I got sunstroke in high school. Since then, ugh.

Meghan and Michael day hi.

Luckily one of our volunteers brought a porta-cool thing, which should help, and our canopy will help once the sun is higher. And I have ice. And a neck wrap.

Porta Cool!

The good news is we are near the coffee guy. And he’s open!

Coffee guy.

More later! Come by the Cameron FunFest and Barbecue Cookoff to see me.