Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

February 29, 2008

The Chooks...

I love that name for them; Chooks. I learned that phrase from reading a bunch of Aussie blogs and I think it's just a fun name for them. And here, as promised are "The Chooks":

They saw the camera coming and huddled together. They do this everytime we put a hand into the brooder. I try to make sure that I move slowly to not frighten them, but it doesn't always work. The boys have been handling them at least once a day, so they are slowly becoming hand trained. Any one out there have there birds trained to not hate being touched. Any suggestions?

Here's one of the Ideal 236's. They are by far the fastest maturing birds of the group that we ordered. I haven't been over to my neighbors house since he got his birds, so I wonder how the Reds are doing. Of all the birds, these Leghorns are the flightiest though. They get very skiddish and bee bop around the coop everytime I have to reach in for anything. They'll get there though, I have not doubt.

Sorry that this pictures a little fuzzy, it's one of our black Minorcas. I was surprised today to mind out that the black Minorcas are considered one of the Endagered Classic breeds. So, I guess I am doing my small part to help preserve the rarer breeds after all. These Minorcas are shaping up to be the lovers of the bunch though. They always come over to check me out when I reach in. If I have a bit of feed in my hand they will jump right up there and perch on me and eat it. Polar opposite of the leghorns.

I hate to say it, but we lost a bird early this week. "Buffy" the Buff Minorca was pasting up (another chicken term, basically it's the chicken version of being really plugged up if you get my drift.) and although I was on top of it, cleaning her and making sure she got some water, she just wouldn't eat or drink on her own and left us on tuesday morning.

I thought a little Chicken cam video might be fun. Hmm.. Chicken cam? I may have too try this one again some time.


February 28, 2008

Bookcases finally finished.

Well? Whattya think? They're all in and stocked. Click on the picture to open the image and view an animation of the install process. Start to finish they took me roughly a month and cost approximately $600.00. For custom cabinetry I'd say we came out ahead considering I was estimating around $2100.00 if we had bought bookcases, and then they wouldn't have been custom fit like this. All I need to say is that Momma's happy so I'm happy! (Well trained aren't I?) This is a picture of the book cases that we had seen at the furniture store and picked up a brochure for. I modeled them after these, and am pretty happy with the result. I didn't put any doors on the bottom, but I can add those any time if I feel I need to.
Now, I am happy to say, I have finally finished all the big projects IN our house. Time to move to the outside. This weekend I am going to figure out a way to construct a temporary green house under our south facing covered porch. It is washed in sun from about 10 through sunset so I can't see why it shouldn't work to get my cold weather crops started early. As always, I'll detail my trials with this here on the blog.

Another big thing coming up this weekend is to spend some time working with my fifth grader K~ on his science fair project. He came up with the idea of doing a project about comparing earth sheltered homes with traditionally constructed homes. I guess I've been rubbing off on him. We found an earth sheltered home on accident last year, and he's been talking about it ever since. Phelan, I'm sure you'll be interested.

Finally, the chicks are a little over being a week old now and they're feathering out so nicely. It's like they were just delivered yesterday... they grow up so fast... I'll post a bunch of new pics of them tomorrow. Hope you'll stop by.


February 26, 2008

Revisiting Alternative Fuels

One of my first blog entries was on alternative fuel sources. In it I stated that I felt that bio diesel would be the best alternative to wean us from fossil fuels. In some ways I still agree with that, but in so many others I have changed my mind greatly. I think that if getting off fossil fuels were the biggest issue, to me at least, then bio fuels would be a pretty acceptable solution. But over the last year, since I made that statement, I've learned a lot about how that solution could impact other areas of out lives. Take for instance the fact that I learned today; wheat prices have risen to record levels. This may not seem like an issue to a lot of people that don't buy wheat (we do.) but I think everyone buys either bread or flour, cereal, or any other number of other products that are grain based and are being pushed aside for bio fuel and ethanol production. Add to that the fact that the ratio of calories of fossil fuels energy used to the created calories of bio diesel energy. If it's not a flat curve, it's very close. Is it one of those damned if you do damned if you don't scenarios? Perhaps we would be putting less CO2 into the atmosphere, but with everything going up in price and reducing in availability, we won't be driving as much anyway. What do you think?

It's interesting to me to look back at my opinions and ideas as they progress. It's one of the things that I love about blogging. I get to share and watch myself evolve, as well as receive input from you and learn about your opinions and ideas. Thanks for the time you give me it's made my life much richer.

Tomorrow: A big bookcase update for those aspiring DIYers out there. If I can do it you can too!P~


I had to share this. Caught red pawed with his head in the chicken coop. Our little chihuahua, Marcello is very interested in these little peepers that he can hear but generally can't see. Sunday I had them out of the big coop while I cleaned it and changed it over to "big bird" bedding of pine shavings. Well M~ got a good peek at them, in fact they were pretty interested in him as well and kept jumping on top of their feed dish to get a better look at this "thing". It was so cute, how could I not take a pic.

Eat what you can..

and Can what you can't, that's the old mantra from the Victory Garden era of our parents and grandparents. We dug into the cold storage and brought out some of our homemade homegrown pickles and pickled beans this weekend to enjoy with our sandwiches. (HM bread too, but I didn't click fast enough and it was gone... better luck next time.) I also finished with another jar of sprouts. These have really become a sandwich staple around our house. Especially during the cold winter months when we have literally nothing growing in the yard. So much in fact that I am now keeping my eyes open for a new, larger container to sprout them in.
This jar makes approximately the same amount as you would get from the small plastic containers in the grocery store and it's just not cutting it anymore. We go through one of these in one Saturdays lunch.

A~ and I were driving home from a trip to town this weekend and were talking about our progression from really just an ordinary family, taking our lifestyle for granted and being totally disconnected from it, to really paying more attention and building habits that could sustain us if/when the current climate of plentiful food, cheap energy and easy transportation changes. I'm not a defeatist, but I am a realist. There will come a day when we as a society will have to answer for a very long period of very unsustainable living. I think we'll get through it, I mean if Cuba can we can, right? Well as we were talking about it, my thoughts on the subject gelled into a pretty clear idea; we were lucky to become aware when we did.

In effect by accepting the fact that changes are going to happen, we have seized the opportunity to prepare ourselves and to mentor our children in a way of living that will be much less impacted in the future, purely because we are beginning to provide more and more of our own sustenance. We have the opportunity to make mistakes, and take the time to find out what works for our particular family. Time that many people won't have in the future. We are not, at this point, very different from most American families. In some ways we are, but in many ways we're just not. But I do think that one of the main differences is the fact that we are trying. That's really what the 100 ft diet comes down to for me, trying to make the biggest impact in my diet and my families self reliance that I can.


February 24, 2008

Family ~ Isn't it about...time

Our church has some commercials on television that say that, and honestly, church or not, it's a good idea. We don't do it enough, with projects and day to day stuff, but it's really what I think makes a strong family strong. It's these times when we get to talk, and laugh and sometimes get a little raucous. Oh yeah, and as you can tell from the pictures eat some really tasty, not so healthy treats.
We played Monopoly tonight, it's one of those games that we try to dissuade the boys from, since to date we have never managed to actually finish a game. That aside, we had a good weekend, got a lot done and ended with some quality time together.

Today was also my oldest sons birthday. D~ is not with us, he lives in Washington state with his mother. Today he was 15 and growing right up. It's hard to believe that I'm old enough to have a 15 yr old. I don't feel that old?! I miss him every day; but that, is a topic for a much longer post.

I hope you all had a great weekend. Check in tomorrow for a 100 ft diet update from this weekends meal.

February 21, 2008

This and That

I was thinking about what I wanted to post today, and as things are a bit slow, I thought I would give you a little bit of "This and That".

When I introduced you to our new house hens the other day I was going to show and tell about the setup I'm using for my brooder for those out there who might be wondering or are looking into getting some birds of their own but didn't have time or the room for it. Basically what you have here is your standard re-purposed Dell computer box from the office. I took a piece of scrap PVC and made it into a cross beam to hang a 150 watt heat lamp from. The Chicks need to have an approximately 95°F temperature. I hung the lamp about 18inches above the floor of the brooder and the chicks love it. So much so in fact, that when we turn the light off for more than about ten minutes (Which we were instructed to do by my new book 'Living with Chickens' that my wife got for me and I love!) they gradually start to chirp and squeal louder and louder until they are down right vociferous. So what happens when the light goes back on? Well, then it's lights out for the girls. They suddenly quiet down, take a couple gulps of food and water, and then crash, they're out cold for a nap; obviously exhausted from all the commotion.

In other developments, I can finally see my yard. Well, at least part of it. Somewhere around the end of November or the first week of December '07 I lost my yard. Literally! And I didn't see it again until last week when the current melt off began.

Now I can see at least a third of my garden beds, and a good 3/4 of the back yard. So, Pro's and Con's? First of all, it's great to see a little ground in the back, and Lord knows A~ and I are both tired of shoveling snow! Those are Pro's for sure. But now I'm starting to smell spring in the air. It's not here yet, but it's around the corner. This means I'll get hit with spring fever any time now, and yet not be able to get out and work the ground. That and the fact that we'll soon be in the season here where we could potentially have to shovel our driveway, and mow our lawn in the same week. Definitely a Con!

Also, I've updated my to-do list with some Spring items that I need to take on. This weekend, I hope to finish getting the bookcases into the basement, perhaps not stocked with stuff yet, but down there nonetheless.
Till next time!

February 20, 2008

The bookcase update

I thought I'd post you guys an update on the bookshelves that I've been working on. This weekend my dad and I built a makeshift paint room in third car part of my garage and brought in the bookcases. As I mentioned previously, I bought a paint sprayer to use with my compressor. We never seem to have a lack of projects around here and painting always seems to be a part of them, so we figure this was a good investment.
These are the bookcases in the middle of their first coat of paint. We have been using Olympic Premium Interior Latex paint lately for both walls and projects like these bookcases, and have been very happy with it. Not only is it affordable at $17-$20/gallon, but it is Green Seal Approved with zero VOC's so we're able to keep costs managable, while keeping out environment free of toxic vapors and odor. Not to mention a much more environmentally-friendly cleanup. I recommend this product if you are planning any painting in the future. You can find it at Lowes.
And this is me, clouded by the haze of the atomized paint. Let me just say again how glad I am at the zero VOC status of this paint, because I sucked in a bunch of it. Mask or not, it was a mess. Tonight I applied a good second coat, and they're starting to look really good. Of course you know I'll post again when they're done, maybe even before that. Till tomorrow.

February 19, 2008

Guess who's here?

Today's the day!!
After a long weekend, and waking up with an incredibly sore back, I got a call at 7:00 AM from our local postmaster to tell me I had recieved a package containing my live poultry order. So I threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt and ran down the street to pick them up.

The company I purchased them from, Ideal poultry of Cameron TX was absolutely great to deal with. I looked into a couple of other hatcheries, one in Iowa and another closer to home in Idaho, but I felt that Ideal gave me the best "feeling" about their care for the birds and I like that fact that they are a family business. I couldn't have been happier. I recieved a e-mail the day after placing my order, and when I replied to it with a couple of questions about the process not only did I not get the canned auto response, what I did get was a personal reply from a real person; Kibbie. I asked questions of her a couple of times, all of which were answered in less than 12 hrs. Add to this the fact that they included extra males at no additional charge to me in order to ensure the safe travel of their birds and I am really impressed. If you have any questions about raising chickens of your own, I suggest you send them an email and ask, I have no doubt they'll be as helpful to you as they were to me! (And no, I am not getting paid for this endorsement. I believe a customer referral is the best source of advertising for any business, and if I get treated right I'll go out of my way to spread the word.)

At any rate, the chicks are healthy, and chirping quietly. Actually as I write this, they are sleeping quietly, but they were chirpy little girls and boys this afternoon. The kids love them to death. After finishing their homework today they just layed around the front room floor taking turns giving the birds a little love and announcing every time one of them pooped on the floor; Lucky us! (We have hardwood floors, I don't suggest this with carpet!) We took it easy with the little ones today, but we do definitely want to hand train them from the time they're young to be used to the kids. No sense having the boys be afraid to go into the coop later right?

So now I'm a little bit of an outlaw. Why? Because the ordinance change has not yet been voted into law. I have faith it will, and I will be very active in expressing and pushing for why I believe it should, but nontheless, right now I am skirting the law a bit. I justify it by saying that the birds will be kept indoors, house then garage, for a month and a half to two months, depending on weather, and by that time the law should have passed. I do have to say for the record though, as I have before, that I am a pragmatic farmer. Whatever birds I have over the number that I am eventually allowed to keep, be that 2 or 6, will be processed for food. I love animals and everything, but I am not in this for any other nobel cause other than better connecting myself and my family to our food source.

That being said. I look forward to keeping you posted on the progress of the girls, and hope those of you debating making the plunge into raising fowl can learn along with me.
Till tomorrow.

February 15, 2008

Welcome & Weekend plans

Well I suppose at least a quick welcome message is in order. A comment of mine with regard to the 100 foot diet challenge over at path to freedom was posted today and I've noticed a bunch of new visitors, so welcome and I hope you'll take a few minutes to look around. I'm a bit eclectic I know, but hopefully that will mean there's a little something for everyone. If you don't find a lot of 100 ft diet posts right now, it's because this weekend is the first time since the beginning of December that I've seen my yard through the snow. But keep checking in, Seeds should be getting an early start soon.

In other news, (sounds like I'm an anchor man doesn't it.) it's shaping up to be quite an eventful weekend around here. I went to work early today so that I could get home early and get right to work in the garage. All the building of the bookcases is completed, and they are sanded and rough prepped for painting. Tomorrow, I will get an early start again so that I can do a final dusting in the garage, tarp off the "paint room" and situate the cases for painting. Later that afternoon when the sun has warmed the garage a bit, we'll do the painting. We bought an air powered spray gun that we'll be using to shoot our favorite paint; Olympic brand, zero VOC Satin. We're doing it this way to get a more even coat and better finish. I mean, no point trying to save a little money by building our own furniture if it's going to look homemade right? My dad will be up visiting again tomorrow, lending a hand where it's needed and spending a little time with us.

Sunday, our boys will be heading into town to spend the holiday with their grandmother so A~ and I will be having a rare day alone together. I suspect there will be some finish painting to do, but I think we'll still have a bit of free time to enjoy each others company.

Monday, I'm heading up to the mountains for a ski day at Snowbasin, home of the downhill runs from the 2002 Olympics. This is the only day I go skiing anymore. It's just too expensive to do more often than that. There are a couple of guys from work and I that started this tradition about 6 yrs ago and it's become just that, a tradition, one that I'll no doubt be paying more that just dollars for. (Hopefully the excersises I've been doing will keep me from paying for it too much!!)

Wednesday next week should be a big day around here too, but I'll leave you guessing about that one for a couple of days.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Watch for final pictures of the bookcases next week.

February 14, 2008

SHMILY (Happy Valentines Day)

It’s Valentines day. Did you remember? Are you in the dog house? I think I did OK, I did get a good kiss this morning so that’s a good sign. Let me ask you though, is this the only day you go out of your way to tell your sweetheart you’re thinking of her/him? I heard a great story years ago about an old couple that would leave little notes for each other all over with the simple letters S.H.M.I.L.Y on them. It was their way of telling each other that at that moment, whether they were there or not, that they were thinking of them. SHMILY…See How Much I Love You. It’s a simple thing really isn’t it. Give it a try, at first they’ll look at you a little weird like “What the heck is this? You don’t know how to spell smiley?” But after you explain it, your bound to get a laugh and a smile. Before you know it, it’ll be a competition to see who can find the most creative place to stick one; Medicine cabinet, rearview mirror, lunch bag, you get the idea. As for me, I’ve been really slacking about doing this lately so honey, I love you, Happy Valentines Day and  keep your eyes out for
S H M I L Y !!


To all of you out there in the blogosphere, Happy Valentines Day. Now, get off the computer and go post some SHMILY notes!!

February 13, 2008


My wife asked me the other day about permaculture. I have only an basic knowledge of it, but I think that I agree with it's principles to a very great degree.
I cannot accept that all the things put on this earth, were put here to exists by themselves. We are, humans, plants, animals and earth, meant to interact and depend on each other. I believe that when we look at the environment that we live in, whatever that may be, there is some way that we can learn to harmonize with it. I guess that's what a lot of the things that I am curious about really come down to, learning a way of being responsible for myself and my families happiness, while not taking away from something elses. Growing a garden for instance, provides us with food and, I believe, a better standard of living. But my doing that doesn't take away from my neighbors happiness or standard of living, rather I hope it adds to it. It opens dialogue between us through backyard talks about what's working or what we're trying, encourages community through sharing the fruits of our labors and, I believe, generally adds to the neighborhood. It also provides a healthy ecosystem right in my yard where bees, lady bugs and other benefitial insects can thrive; and that's just gardening. I guess Permaculture as I understand it is not only a method for building sustainable, permanent agriculture, it's a idea about how to build permanent culture, cummunity and a way of thinking about our actions.

While I was reading on this tonight, I found a very interesting video on a project that was done in the middle east. They were able effectively de-salinate and re-hydrate the ground and begin producing edible crops in an area previously written off.

Enjoy, and share your thoughts if you like.

February 12, 2008

Minorcas and Leghorns

Well I made up my mind. I'd say we, but really it was me. As long as the family gets the white eggs, I get the birds. I looked into rare breeds, to try and see if they were something that I want. I know there are a lot of good reasons to get the rare/heritage breeds, but I chose these two for a couple of reasons. First of all, our primary purpose for getting chickens in the first place is for eggs. We're pretty pragmatic about that fact. As much as I could reason that the heritage breeds need the help, and I'm sure they are very good pets, if we're only going to be allowed 5 birds, we want producers. Later on when I have more land and more time, I'll indulge myself.

The two that I did settle on, actually three, are Black and Buff Minorcas, and Leghorns; particularly "Ideal 236 Pullet". Ideal 236 is a special breed of Leghorn that breed in the 60's by the company that I am ordering my chicks from. (More on them later.) I am getting three of the Leghorns, and one each of the black and the buff minorcas, I'm getting the different types because I just like the idea of having a little variety in the clutch. I figure one black and one buff (Tan) bird will break up the monochromatic white of the leghorns, and they are also supposed to be prolific layers of white eggs as well.
So next I need to figure out how to set up a brooder to keep chicks in for the first few weeks. Anyone have any good ideas? I'll probably just use a cardboard box with a heat lamp and feed and water. As they grow, I can add a second one if need be.

I have a question for my readers that do have chickens or are experienced with them. I heard the other day that one of the hens, in the absence of a rooster, will take on the role of a rooster and "rule the roost" but will not lay eggs. I don't know about this one way or the other. Any help?
Till next time

White Leghorn Picture - http://content.answers.com
Black Minorca Picture - http://www.mypetchicken.com

February 9, 2008

The Library

Well since I was talking about it in yesterdays post, and since today I finished the rough assembly of the last of 7 bookcases that we'll be putting in the basement, I thought I'd share my progress so far with you.

It all began when my wife and I decided that we wanted to get some bookcases for our smallest basement room. We took a quick run down the street to our local furniture dealer. We looked around and got an idea of what it was that we (she) wanted and what they would cost. Once buying enough to fill the area that we wanted to fill was out of the question (It would have cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2100.00), we decided that I'd try to replicate as best I could the cases that we had decided on. That's them in the catalog picture that we modeled our cabinets after.

So I drew up some plans that I think should be pretty solid, yet not look it. (That's my biggest shortfall in carpentry; building too solid, to where they look utilitarian rather than like furniture you'd want to display.) I was pretty nervous when I got ready to start this project. I always feel like the more ambitious my projects become, I'll eventually overstep my abilities, but A~ has faith in me so I try my best. Anyway, I purchased the MDF board that I planned to build it with, and made the good decision to have the board ripped at the store. They have the proper equipment to do the job much more consistantly that I do and if you've ever tried to rip 4x8 sheets of plywood on a home-use sized table saw you know it's not fun. I spent the next week and a half or so a little at a time cutting and prepping boards for assembly. Basically I was getting the pieces for the cabinets trimmed, drilled for screws and all the small connecting pieces to a state similar to when you buy the furniture in a box that needs assembly.

Last weekend my Dad came out on Sunday to watch the Superbowl and helped me in the morning with assembling some of the bookcases. I was able to get another couple done through the week and today, as I said, I finished the rough assembly of the last two. Here's where I'm at so far. You can start to see how they mimic the style of the ones from the store. Today we also made it to the hardware store to pick up some moulding that we're going to place over the seams after the cases are in place to give them the effect of looking like one solid built in unit.

All told I think they'll end up looking pretty good. When you factor in the fact that we'll only be into them about $550 - $600.00 compared to the projected $2100.00 and they certainly start to look even better! I'll make sure to post a couple of pics of them when they're all finished and in place. Should be another couple of weeks since we're planning on prepping through this week, and painting next weekend. Then with some finish work, and moving them down the stairs and we should be able to be finished by the weekend of the 24th, just in time to start building my new chickens home. The work of the faithful do-it-yerselfer is never finished. These home projects are one of those things that I never necessarily look forward to, but always begin to enjoy while I'm in the middle of it, and am immensly proud of when I'm finished.
Doing this type of work and building things to meet our needs is sort of my equivilent to my wifes baking our bread, or cooking from scratch. It gives us the ability to live at a level that we otherwise may not be able to if we did things like everyone else and bought everything we needed premade. It's a big part of what makes us succesful on a single income, and something I hope we can pass on to our boys. I watched it in my father to a great degree, I remember him putting bookshelves up in their master bedroom, and fixing things until they just couldn't be fixed any more. It's not the easiest way, but I realy do believe that it is the best way for us. You never know what your capable of till you try.


February 8, 2008

What to say

I find myself in an unusual place. I have nothing really to say. Well that's not entirely true I guess. If you ask my wife she will probably tell you that I prattle on and on about chickens now that I know I'll be able to get some soon. We should get this breed or that breed, this is how I want to build thir coop, yada yada yada, you know the drill. What I mean is that I haven't really had an opportunity to try any new experiments, no new breads, no yogurt, no turning the compost or planting new plants. Not a lot new going on around the ole homestead. I have, however, just about finished my bookshelves that we'll be placing in our last unfinished room in basement to make it our library; that will certainly be a relief.

It's been driving me a little bit mad though I have to say, to read about so many of your early season plantings, and seed orders. I hope to get to some finalized planting lists very soon.
Sorry for the lackluster posts of late. Things should pick up soon.
Hope you are all well.

February 5, 2008

Not 1 or 2 or 3 or 4

But Five! Chickens that is. Even better than the four I had hoped for. Tonight I went to the city planning commission meeting and waited patiently through discussions about the particulars of business sign placement, parking lot easements and a particularly drawn out debate about whether or not to allow a variance for barbed wire fencing to separate residential and agriculture lands. Finally we got to the proposed land use ordinance that dealt with me getting to have chickens.

As it turns out, the commission chair person was the one that had proposed the change to the ordinance. The proposal would set chickens and rabbits apart as separate from both household pets and farm livestock. As he rightly put the matter, chickens are a very simple and low impact animal that would not be unreasonable to allow for keeping in our suburban area. The numbers that he proposed were up to 5 hens, or four rabbits, or a combination of the two not to exceed 6 total. The measure still has to pass a commission vote, and then the city council, but the support seemed to be there.

So now I have to ask, because you are my master mind group for this type of thing, any suggestions for breeds? We do want to have white eggs because that's what my wife and kids prefer, and heck I'm just gonna be happy to get some birds. I'm leaning towards either Leghorns or Black Minorcas. Does anyone have any experience with either of these. I know Phelan at Homesteading Neophyte has a possessed Leghorn rooster, but since we won't be allowed to keep roosters so I'm not worried about that. Either way, any information or suggestions are appreciated.

February 1, 2008

Here Chick Chick Chick....maybe soon.

Ok, I have a bad habit of sometimes talking myself out of things before I really look into them because "I already know the answer". But I do have one very good asset; my wife.

I've wanted to have a couple of chickens here at the house to raise for eggs. If not to completely supply them then to supplement what we use. Also so that we know directly where our food is coming from and to provide the healthiest for our family. I looked into the city ordinances for the suburban area where we live, and in my "expert" opinion, we were not allowed to keep any. (You know, because even though I'm not a lawyer, I think I'm totally qualified to analyze the city ordinance legaleze.)

So now enter the wife. Always trying to look out for me and make me happy, she takes the immensly logical step of calling the city and asking for the ordinance expert. Turns out, that we can after all have chickens, but only two. For now anyway. Timing is everything.

As it just so happens we were told by this ordinance expert that this Tuesday at the city counsel meeting they will be discussing and taking comments on a motion to modify the code to allow up to 4 hens. I plan to be there. And hopefully I can get a couple of others to do the same.

I've said it before and I will again. I completely believe that focusing on a thing and truely believing in it will bring it too you like a magnet to steel. Focus on the way that that you picture a thing being and the solution will present itself. Very simply, a positive outlook is really the best tool for realizing our goals. That and a really great spouse of course.

Wish me luck with the counsel.