Sunday, May 11, 2008

I have my limits

Sometimes I'm a Type-A person: I want things done and I want them done quickly and correctly. This often makes me a pretty decent leader on projects. This quality, however, is a liability when it comes to marriage.

I asked Dave to help me do some gardening earlier. I needed to put some compost on our beds and plant some tomatos and peppers today. Dave isn't the kind of guy that takes direction well. Actually, he might take it well from other people, but not me. So when I started giving him instructions on what I needed help with, he just walked away.

This doesn't make me angry anymore, but when we first moved in together it annoyed the fuck out of me. He would ask me if I needed any help, and I would tell him, "Yes! Could you grab a spatula?" (I was making an angel food cake) He would act like I was asking him to move Africa over a couple inches, rolling his eyes and letting loose a dramatic sigh.

I don't ask him for help much anymore, but when he offers it, I know to say "Thanks, I got it." I've learned that offering help is just a way to make him feel better about planting his ass on the couch and calling up Baseball Tonight on the TiVo.

Anyway... The peppers and tomatoes and basil and lettuce and arugula are all planted. I'm planning on having some bitchin' salads this summer once everything grows in. I have Super Father-in-Law Bobby to thank for it all. The man is a true gem. One in a million. So is Vicki, my Super Duper Mother-in-Law. I really hit the jackpot in the In-Law Lottery.

Actually, funny thing about Bobby is that we're a lot alike. Dave is very much like Vicki, chatty and personable when he wants to be, reserved when he's out of his element. Bobby and I both love working with our hands, cooking, building stuff and gardening. We also enjoy chatting about business and economics. Bobby works for a multi-national bank as a manager of corporate lending. He was astonished that I could keep up when he was explaining the sub-prime mortgage fallout. He's a smart guy, but unlike his son (le husband), he doesn't make a big deal about it.

Bobby has agreed to help me in my latest endeavor: raising hens. That's right. I'm going to be an urban chicken lady. I ran some ideas for a hen house by him last night and he actually seemed pretty excited about building it. I'm going to draft some plans for him and we;ll go from there. It's not exactly rocket science, building a hen house, but you have to control several variables (heat, light, venthilation, proximity) and still keep the hens safe from predators, the most notorious of which in our area would be the feral cat. Bitches.

There is a ton of information on the Internet about raising chickens, different breeds of chickens, how to build hen houses, etc. Which is awesome, because when it comes to raising poultry I am fucking clueless.

A friend of ours that lives close by has about seven hens. She's a little fast and loose with her wits, mostly because she has three kids, but I think it's awesome that she doesn't have to buy eggs. Chickens cost almost nothing to take care of, they give you fertilizer (also known as poo), they keep your lawn tidy, they take care of pests (boy do they love to eat grubs!) and they're fun to watch! If we get two chickens we'll pretty much have an ark here, though. Two chickens, two dogs, two cats.

Dave has taken a couple of days to get wild in Austin with his best friends for his 36th birthday. I'm OK with it because he is on the back side of his 30s and it does pretty much go down hill from there. I made sure his friends all knew that there would be no strippers/hookers and that Dave is not to do any shots. No tequila, either. I know I sound like a joykill, but if you've ever seen Dave drunk and then hung over you'd know it's for the best.

What's on my needles right now?

Waterfall scarf for Mom

Not your average dishcloth (washcloth) for Sara (1 of 6)

Basic sock recipe socks for Dave

Urchin hat for me!


The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Holy cow, are you allowed to just go get hens? Aren't there like zoning issues or something? I'm really excited to hear about this!

Jo said...

You can have as many hens as you want, but no roosters. Good thing you don't need roosters for eggs!

Olivia said...


In both Plano and The Woodlands I've had a couple. One proper white eat/lay/poop type called Cammie. She laid double-yolked eggs.

The real pet was Silky who was with us for longer. Her eggs were like ivory, small and with exquisite yolks. She was a Japanese silky hen, check them out - they're soooo pretty and very friendly.

We'd feed them layette feed mixed with grains, I think, in addition to any leftovers. it's been over 10 years since Silky died so I forget those things. In Plano Dad built a large coop for her that transferred indoors during inclement weather. In TW though, she had an outdoor run and at night slept in a dog taxi in the garage ;) she was practically litter trained in that respect, didn't like to mess up her bed.

One day, one day...I will own chickens, rabbits, and birds again! One day!

Jo said...

Yay for chickens! I didn't know that they were such good pets until I started researching them. Then I found out that chickens actually have a lot of personality. I was like, WTF? Chickens have personality?

Awesome! I'm almost done designing my hen house. It's going to have asphalt shingles and everything, with an attached wire run! YAY!