Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's Christmas!

Unfortunately the kid came down sick late at night on the 23rd, so the three of us are having the traditional quarantined Christmas so we don't endanger my mom.

For a tree, we got a Grand Fir this time.  It smells awesome but is so dense I got maybe 1/3 of my ornaments on it, so it's Christmas Lite this year.  Due to the small, odd shape to our living room and having to position the tree away from the heating vents, the one and only place it can go is here, which means the packages must be arranged so no one trips over them and kills themselves by falling into a Christmas tree.  So the packages kinda wandered down the hall a bit.

The kid gave me some quality teenage eyeroll when she saw I'd been a smartass with the 'Naughty or Nice' markings on her Toblerone, which by the way was the size of a telephone pole.

She loves plastic dinosaurs, when I saw this one I had to get it for her.  Dino jazz hands!

He looks like one of your buddies running up to tell you the greatest joke ever.
 I love his facial expression, I giggle every time I look at him.  I may have to get one of these for myself.

We had a fun, if very quiet, day.  I've stocked us up on Kleenex, ice cream and cold meds, and made a crock pot full of cream of roast chicken soup.  Hopefully the kid will have things as easy as we can make them, especially since we got skunked on the snow they promised us and she's wondering who she can officially complain to about this disgrace.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Chickmas!

Santa hats on chickens!  Time to humiliate the roosters!

I dunno, it's just funnier with the boys.  Bloop is first, doing it wrong since he fits in the hat better in this direction. 
He wanted to kill me.

Then Weedcat the Head Roo.  He clearly did not find it as funny as the kid did.

Weedcat is a big, heavy guy and hard for the kid to hold, so my husband took over.  Poor Weeds humored us.
Instant dignity removal.

Mushroom the bantam Cochin roo wore his hat in style, he  is a jaunty little guy!

Happy holidays from all us chickens!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Auntie Em, Auntie Em!

While it wasn't quite a twister, it got damned windy today, scarily so at sustained winds of between 65-76 mph.  Local weather stations clocked gusts of 93 mph, while at Lake Tahoe they had 70 mph gusts and people were surfing the 7 foot waves on the lake.

Right about midday our chicken coop and run started coming apart, despite our building it stand against the high winds we have here.  On the run the peak cap was torn loose.  We ran outside in the damned wind to fix it before it got worse.

Also, the wind had ripped the coop doors off, tearing one off the hinges and splitting the other in half vertically.  In this picture you can also see the daylight coming through where the peak cap used to be.

The chickens were not about to come out of the coop and I don't blame them.  We agreed that if we couldn't repair the coop right away, it was going to be another episode of '50 chickens in the house' until we could.

So we were highly motivated to do the repairs now, despite the nearly 100 mph winds.  We fixed the doors first.

Onto the coop and run roof went my husband, while I stayed below and handed up materials, worried and prepared to render first aid and call 911.

Luckily for us repairs were made and he didn't get hurt, and we retreated back to the house...where the power had gone out.  Right about then the kid was due at the bus stop, so we drove down to pick her up so she wouldn't have to walk home in screaming winds.  She was wide-eyed and told tales of the bus getting blown around and having to dodge branches coming down while the kids screamed.

We took a quick drive around the neighborhood and realized we got off lightly.  The place down the street had not one but two of their trees fall on their house.
We congratulated ourselves for having the foresight to have had the neighbor's elm trees trimmed a few months ago.

More damage was all around, like this 100+ year old barn having it's roof peeled back like an old-school sardine can lid.

Fences and trees were down.

This poor guy had his fence blow down, which in turn took his tree and felled it against his house.

One of the local parks had several trees with broken branches.

We're used to high winds here, windstorms lasting days with sustained winds of between 25-70 mph are common, so everything is built for it.  But this was ridiculous.

The shingles from this guy's house were spread in a two-house radius around his house.

We realized that most of the shingles were coming from the other side of the house and this was the lee of the house, so we drove around to the next street to see if we could get a look at the windward side of it...

...and yeah, the poor guy's house and garage was pretty much peeled down to the plywood.  He could probably gather up the shingles and put them back on, they'd come off in big hunks.

Eventually, later that night the power came back on in our area, we were luckier than other places that had no power for a couple of days.  Hopefully we've had our big storm for the year!