Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Great Pumpkin Lights Again

Every October 1st, we (as in Greg) put up The Great Pumpkin Light.  When our kids were little, it was always such a big deal.  And then the interest sort of waned.  However, we put it up anyway.  Now, we have three grandkids who look forward to seeing The Great Pumpkin.  I love to drive up at night and see the orange glow from several houses away, guiding us home.
It isn't Halloween here until The Great Pumpkin Lights the night.
We are enjoying our much cooler weather now.  I have neglected the yard work all summer because of the heat.  Greg was out of town over the weekend and I did a lot of work out in the grove.  It felt good to be outside and working, but boy did I pay for it the next day.  My back is still ailing me!  Mostly due to that pile right there!!!
We get a lot of volunteer trees that pop up in the grove.  We try to pull them before the roots get too strong.  But when I was out there, I found several that were too big for me to even pull up.  I stripped the leaves, and fronds, and will have Greg saw them off next weekend.  This saw tooth palm tree volunteer has me scratched from head to toe!  These you do not want to let get too big!!
There were probably 8 volunteer avocado trees popping up. Some were quite tall already.  Like this one that I could not remove myself.
The ivy has gotten out of control, and has enveloped several of the orange trees, choking them out. 
Boy do we have our work cut out for us!!
I gave the chicken coop a thorough cleaning this weekend too. I hosed everything out, then let it air dry before I layed clean hay and put their laying boxes back.  I do this about every 3 or 4 months.  I give it a complete mucking out, once a week.  But a heavy duty clean, every few months.
They are located in the middle of the grove, underneath the canopy of two enormous avocado trees.  Their makeshift run I built from wrought iron fencing that we no longer use.  And then I wrapped it in chicken wire.  It needs to be reinforced though, because we have a couple of escapees every day.  I like to keep them in the run until they have laid, otherwise I find eggs in the most peculiar places.  This is the coop from the back.  The little hutch on the left is what I use for chicks if I have any that are sick or need to be culled.  The playhouse I also use for my chicks when I have them.  But now I keep it full of fresh hay, and they all go in and out of it, and even sometimes lay their eggs there.
This also provides a safe place for them, should there be hungry hawks flying overhead, or any other foe that might appear.  We do have coyotes and racoons and lots of hawks.
They hop in through the open windows and can seek shelter and safety.
All of my chickens have primarily stayed in the grove for their scratching and pecking.  They do amble out to the grass for some pecking in the evening hours.  But not these two city slickers.
They prefer to drink from my water cans, and help with my repotting of plants.
They have chosen this spot behind the hibiscus plant in the corner of the yard to lay their eggs.
This happens to be right outside the back door, and is quite convenient for collecting eggs quickly!  I took this out of the window in the laundry room.  My screens open up with a simple latch and I can easily hand things out to Greg when BBQing and such.  Now if only I can rig something to lower down from the window and scoop up the fresh eggs, without ever even setting foot outside the house!!
Hello Blue!
Yesterday, this silly girl spent all afternoon out on the patio.  I swear she thinks she is a cat!!!
She wants to be the centerpiece I think.  Believe me, I am discouraging the table top behavior!
Then I found her on the hutch that is on my patio.
And then, a few minutes later, on the wicker settee.  Really?  You are chicken, not a kitty cat Blue!!!
This chicken really reminds me of Snacker!  In their previous home, I think they were very used to having the run of the backyard and patio included.  They seem to like to stay pretty close to the house, whereas the other 5 prefer the grove.  But they are mingling together more and more now.
I leave you today with a photo that has nothing whatsoever to do with this post.  It is just funny, and I told him it would wind up on my blog!!!  Our son's friend Brian, who is very much a friend to all of us here, stopped by the other night, as he often does.  He was playing with Noah, and I heard a lot of bantering going back and forth between he and Noah about who is a bigger baby.  I knew I still had a few old pull ups in the cupboard from when the kids were getting potty trained.  I snuck one to Noah and told him to give this to Brian.  He was so funny!  Then Brian, being Brian as only Brian can be...proceeded to put the pull up on!!!!  What a character this guy is!!!!
It's fuzzy, but I had to post it.  Brian is always good for some laughs!!!! 
Well, that's about it from my neck of the woods.  There is even a chance of rain in the forecast for us.  Which is almost unheard of before November!  I can't wait!
Happy Day!
XO  Kris


Heather - The Good Life said...

Sounds like you've been busy, busy. That's funny about the chicken acting like a cat. Maybe she is just exploring now that the weather is cooler. Take care Kris. Heather

Karen Bates said...

Oh, my your girls have such a lovely home to roam! So lucky to have a Mama like you. Yard work sure does take a toll, I am in the midst of it here too. Down in the 30's at night, about 68 during the day so perfect for yard work...must get out there again today, after my workout and walk.

Cheryl said...

I love, love the pumpkin light tradition!!! Your girls are very, very, very lucky to have you taking care of them!!

Dawn said...

Love the story of the chickens and the city slicker ones. My bestie has a chicken that likes to go for car rides, if she leaves her door open while taking grocery's in she ends up taking a chick to work with her. LOL Many times she has had to turn around and take the chicken home. It also like to be held like a cat would.

Gloria said...

Love your chickens and your pumpkin light!

Gloria said...

Love the egg!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Kris first off I am laughing so hard I am crying. Second I am so sorry. Naughty girls. They would jump on that old bench but I never caught them on the patio table but I see they are being very naughty. They were used to roaming the yard but geez they have the whole grove. Are you still going to be my friend? Maybe they think they need to be up near the house since my yard was so small. Stinkers.

Mereknits said...

I love your chicken stories, they are so individual, all their little personalities so different. Glad it is getting nicer for you, we are expected to have a break in the humidity which will help our heat.
Hugs to you,

Criossa said...

HAHAHA! chickens can be so silly. When Fluffy had baby chicks we kept them in the house at first. Every morning I would find them snuggled in bed with her.

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, Girl no wonder your back was sore with all that work you did in the grove. I think the picture of Brian is hilarious. Glad you've got rain coming but please keep it, I don't need any snow. It does seem so early but the farmers are saying it is going to be a hard winter...yuck, maybe we can come back to Ca. to get some sunshine.
Hugs, Noreen

Debbie said...

Oh Kris you are always soo busy and get so much done. No wonder your back was sore. I hadn't heard we might be getting rain...very exciting! Brian is obviously a riot!

~Niki~ said...

still trying to get my husband to get the halloween decorations out for the front yard. it's been in the 90's here but I think by thurs it's supposed to be in the high 70's! ya!
love all your pics. love the pic of your grandson ha ha.

Pammy Sue said...

I never thought I'd say this, but, Kris, I love your chickens! I want some chickens, dammit! Wish I had some of those avocado trees too.

Lynne said...

Great chicken stories Kris! They certainly have some nice property in which to roam around.
Yard work-ugh-don't remind me.

Grayseasailor said...

We are hearing we might be getting a series of rain storms up here too so we need to get some yard work done before the wet weather gets in the way. I still want some chickens, but am not sure "we" are all committed to the idea :) sending you gingerly hugs in respect of you sore muscles :( xxx from Gracie

Whosyergurl said...

Kris, What a lot of growth in the grove! You are a good chicken mama! Funny of the guy w/the pull-up on. Just like a man.
xo, Cheryl

Tania @ Out Back said...

It's nice to catch up on what you have been up to Kris!

Oh dear I think those chookies were spoiled at their previous home...they like people company :)

Those pull-ups almost fit too, bet it was hilarious!


corners of my life said...

The "vintage" Great Pumpkin Light is ever so charming!

Holly said...

What naughty chickens, perhaps you can call a "chicken whisperer" to deal with these issues. Some chickens have no manners. They are so darn cute. Looks like you've still got a lot of work ahead of you our in the grove. Take it easy and don't hurt that knee. Hugs.

Pam said...

I love your chickens! Cute photo of Noah and Brian - it sounds like Brian is pretty silly.

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

There is never a dull moment around there. Adore the daily chick tales. I have to say, I love "Spring has Srung", but not too fond of "Fall has Fallen", especially when there is yard clean up to do. Leave it for Greg, don't hurt yourself. Thanks for all the kind words this morning. You are quite the inspiration to me too.

Grammy Braxton said...

Love the great pumpkin light! We haven't decorated for Halloween since the kids were small. Seems kind of sad. I love the chickens. They certainly know how to make themselves at home. Glad you were able to do some yard work, but hey, take it easy. You don't have to do it all in one day!!!


Linda Primmer said...

The pumpkin light is wonderful. I have to laugh at the photo with Brian wearing a pull-up. Love the chickens. They look right at home.

Jill said...

So good to hear you are getting warmer temperatures! Enjoy!! Love the pictures of Blue... and that last picture just made me laugh. Have a great day!!