March 14, 2010

Hen House is Here!

There's a short version and a long version to this story.

Short: the henhouse arrived on Saturday morning and we put it in place. It is awesome.

Though satisfying in that we now have a henhouse, the story of its arrival and installation, which involves the murder of a rhododendron, sleep deprivation and brownies, deserves to be told in long form. So here I go with the long version:

"He's one mile away."

These are unwelcome words at 7 am on Saturday morning, no matter who the "he" in question is, but Erik repeated himself sufficiently to rouse me from bed.

Mark King was minutes from our house with the chicken coop perhaps a 'tad' earlier than we expected, but it wasn't going to install itself.

I stumbled around looking for warm clothes and caught a glimpse out of our third-floor window of a minivan pulling what looked like a small house down our sleepy neighborhood streets. I ran outside with my camera.

We guided it into our driveway, and then had a "now what?" moment once we realized that it weighs 500 pounds (true fact). Erik helped the guys unload it from the trailer, and I helped by taking pictures.

We rolled/heaved/shoved/hauled it closer to its intended home behind the shed and to the foundation that Erik and I had built for it last weekend:

(this foundation)

. . . but we encountered a problem. Four problems stood resolutely in the way, in fact: two 50-foot tall Douglas fir trees, a 6-foot tall chain-link fence, and one very unhappy and very doomed rhododendron bush.

Now I can rest easy knowing that all worked out in the end, but in that moment, I was anguished by the thought that we'd just paid for this gorgeous coop and had planned for its arrival for months only to realize that there was no way to get the damn thing behind the garage. So I took charge and decided to make things better . . .

. . . by running away to fetch brownies and coffee for the folks who, I was sure, would figure things out just fine without me.

Viola! I returned 10 minutes later with steaming coffee and a plate full of brownies to find three men scratching their heads, staring at a very stuck chicken coop.

Should we tip it on it's side? (uh, it weighs 500 pounds, so, no.)
Should we try taking it around the other side of the garage? (yeah, not going to happen either.)

The fence had to go. And the rhododendron had to die.

At this point I put down my camera (hence, no pictures) and actually helped, but eventually, we squeezed the hen house into a very tiny space.

It was like giving birth, but backwards. With a 500-pound chicken coop.

(I'll post a video clip of the final seconds of this battle soon. Can't now because my computer and I are arguing.)

So that's the long version of the story. Erik has more cuts and bruises from the whole ordeal than I do, but I have more pictures. And now our chickies have some serious real estate.

So back to my original question:

What color should we paint it?