Where to even start?
There have been so many things going on around here! It’s just been a flurry of busy-ness trying to stay on top of everything.
My follow up post to the horrendous amounts of rain we had received was going to be much different. I wanted to share that Kim had went broody and the measures we were taking to try and “break” her of it. I wanted to share about the treasure trove of pallets we had found to use as building material for our sleeping cabin at our property. I wanted to do an entire blog post about the freebies we’ve acquired and what they would be used for. I wanted to do a delightful post to let everyone know that little Molly had started laying, and instead of being an easter egger, she turned out to be an olive egger.
But alas, this post ain’t that cheery.
It’s the post I’ve been putting off. I’ve had to come to terms with our current reality, allow myself to grieve and sort things out. Then, put on my big girl panties, dust myself off, wipe my tears and move on.
I’ll condense this post as much as possible. Because I find as I’m typing, I have a lot I want to say, but this is not the place to go on and on and on.
Yes, we did find an absolute treasure trove of HUGE, solidly built marvelous FREE pallets! As many as we want for the taking. The warehouse we found them at said take them, they were just throwing them away anyhow. (Clutch the pearls and gasp! WHY would you just throw them away?!) So, we began bringing them home, as many as our little truck would carry and still roll down the road. Thankfully, the warehouse isn’t too far from our house! We began stacking them in the front yard, off to the side of our house, dismantling what we needed to from them and delivering as many as we could safely carry to our homestead property to store each trip we made. Our plan was to go ahead and clean out our garage to make room for the stockpile. (Kind of took away all the excuses we had thus far for NOT cleaning out the garage.)
A Code Enforcement officer came knocking on our door one day. Said “they had received a complaint”, but wouldn’t specifically tell us about what. Once he got here, it didn’t really matter what the initial complaint was though. He was already here, so he made it worth his trip. The pallets fell under the “no outside storage” violation, as did a gas can we had on the porch. The chickens – my lovelies, my girls, my pets and partners, fell under the “no livestock allowed in some residential areas”. Actually, they fell under a very gray area of the code, that could be left up to anyones interpretation of it. (The code however, is perfectly clear that you can own a Vietnamese Pot-Bellied pig as a pet, as long as you don’t breed it. And as long as it is properly housed. I’ll give you just ONE guess what our County Commissioner owns as a pet.) Anyhow, he gave us one week to get everything in order and avoid a costly citation.
Yes…I cried and was hysterical, absolutely crushed. Yes…we discussed fighting it. Yes…we were angry, disgusted, felt violated and intruded upon.
But, that didn’t change the fact that we had one week to comply or have to pay a hefty fine AND still comply. So, the frantic search began to find a loving, appreciative home for 6 chickens. And working each day cleaning our garage and moving these enormous heavy Rock of Gibraltar pallets to an inside storage area. The gas can was no sweat by the way.
I felt a lot of “how DARE you!”, and found myself resenting anyone driving by our house. That was a lot of resentment to feel, considering we are the third house in the neighborhood, and we are on a corner. Still, I was angry at anyone that drove by.
My best friend and land partner was such a dear at calming me down. I was ready to buy myself a Vietnamese Pot-Bellied pig, name him Spite and build him a proper pen in the FRONT yard out of PALLETS. I didn’t though. (But I may have mooned a neighbor that was staring too long into our backyard as she walked down the road when I was working in the garden. I really loved those chickens. Desperate measures are sometimes necessary during wartime.) She told me “Everything happens for a reason. We’ve just got to be patient until we figure out what the reason is.” Ok, I went with that.
We had an incredible amount of help and support from our friends. Everyone was asking everyone to ask anyone if they wanted some chickens. Our only requirements were that they went where they would be taken excellent care of and appreciated. You don’t have to spoil them as much as I do, but they’re not “just” chickens.
And we found it.
They have gone to live with my mother and her husband. Which is very odd, given the fact that my mother does not like animals. Period. Of any kind. She’s terrified of any kind of critter, domestic or wild. Her husband jokes, “She won’t even let me have a goldfish!” So, I was a bit weary of carting 6 chickens to live there. But, I quickly realized that they are not for her. They are for him. Loading them up and delivering them, along with their houses and pens was incredibly heart breaking. I had reserved the right to say no if it didn’t appear that they would be safe. But once we got them to their destination, any fears or reservations I had were quickly dissolved.
The look on his face when those 6 lovelies came bursting out of their travel pen and into their respective pens was priceless. Everyone should have the experience of witnessing – and feeling – that kind of deep down genuine happiness. He looked like a 6 year old that had received EXACTLY what he asked Santa for. Yes, they are appreciated. Yes, they are loved. And yes, they are still getting spoiled. He took me around and showed me his garden. This is the first time in several years that they’ve lived in a place that he could have himself a garden. As I sat on the front porch visiting with my mother, he went and got the neighbors from both sides to come over and see the chickens. A friend of theirs stopped by and he had to show them as well. He was firing questions quicker than I could answer about what they ate, how many times they laid eggs, how much hay to put in the house, what kind of chickens were they. I had to explain that they were his now, and while I would tell him what I did, that didn’t mean he had to do it that way. Now, he was raised on a farm, so he knows good and well how to take care of chickens. I think he was just afraid that I might regret him having them if he did things differently. He wanted me to know they’d be taken care of. I get reports of how they are doing and how many eggs they are getting. I realized that with their garden, and now the addition of the girls, there’s 2 expensive food items that they no longer have to purchase from a store anymore.
Their names have changed, and I’m learning to be ok with that. Khloe has become “that big yellow one”; Kim and Kourtney have become “them 2 big brown ones” (ok – Kim is a bit more red than brown, but I’ll let it go); Molly has become “that little one with brown spots around her head – Molly” (seems she kept her name and received a title – I think I know which “necessary” somehow.
We’ll leap down the rabbit hole a bit with my next post.