Well, here we are again back at the chicken ranch. My construction crew and I are still working hard on my baby chicks’ condo.

The outside of the chicken house has really taken shape since my last column was published. My chicks’ country bungalow now has a second window. I helped Paul cut out the second window with a hand-held electric saw. That was pretty cool. Since the saw was pretty heavy and cutting through the wall was a bit awkward, I had to grunt while I was working.

When I put the saw down, Paul’s wife, Shelly, asked what that weird noise was. She thought it sounded like my little neighbor boy who lives down the road. I spoke up and said “No, it was me.” That old grunting habit seems to follow me everywhere — tennis, running and now in the world of construction.

I am pleased to report the roof is complete. Paul cut and measured rolled-roofing material to protect my little girls from leaks. Working on a roof is very tricky; I think. I was thrilled I didn’t have to go back up there that last time. Paul measured and made sure each piece was straight for Shelly and me to tack onto the sides of the roof.

Throughout this experience, I have discovered that I am a woman of many hidden talents. Not only can I really hammer in a nail, but I also can use a caulking gun like there is no tomorrow. I really impressed Paul with the job I did on my windows. I wonder if Bob Villa needs any help?

I also learned that my dad has hidden talents, too. Not only can he do really good impressions of Kermit the Frog and Ernie from “Sesame Street,” but he picked up some useful information from his PBS TV hero and craftsman, Norm Abrams. We had a slight problem with the door — it was not completely flush with the floor. My dad literally jumped up and said, “Wait, I have an idea! Make a wedge, make a wedge! That is what Norm Abrams does.”

And you know what, it worked. Good job, Dad. I have never seen him so thrilled. He even did a little dance. Not as impressive as Susan Boyle, but OK. Good job, Dad. I have a feeling he will be talking about this wedge until the end of time.

Not only is the outside taking shape but the inside is too. This is going to be some swanky chicken house. Shelly and my dad are a mini-construction crew in their own right. They put up most of the paneling; unfortunately, I don’t think Shelly’s fingers enjoyed it much. I am glad I had an ice pack in the freezer for the times when she missed the nail and hit her finger instead.

One major job yet to be finished is the ceiling. I don’t think any of us are looking forward to that project. One of the last touches to my chicks’ condo will be building their nests and roosts and of course painting. I also will have to buy more supplies and of course their feed. I already purchased pine shavings for them to lay their eggs in.

According to my calendar, my girls will be here in less than a month. I am very excited. Heaven help my poor post master when that shipment arrives. I can promise you one thing, I won’t be like Lucy Ricardo, from “I Love Lucy,” when she brought all of her baby chicks home. Do you remember that episode? Lucy and Ethel spread feed all over their living room floor and turned the thermostat up to 90 degrees to keep them warm. Nice try, girls; I can safely say that I won’t be doing that.



Angie Bicker is the lifestyles editor with the Clinton Herald. She has been with the Herald since 2001.

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