Reclaiming the Barn, Part 2

As I headed to the barn this morning to let the chickens out I grabbed my camera and took a shot of the morning mist in the mountain across the street…

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There’s just something about a misty mountain that I love.  I don’t think I will ever tire of seeing it.

Once the coop door was open the mayhem began…

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Chickens running everywhere – to the nest boxes, out to the paddock and stopping for some scratch and feed on their way and the whole time they are chatting up a storm!

I headed back to the house for some coffee.  It was a perfect morning to have coffee on the front porch with CountryBoy.  And LizzieBelle, and Creamsicle, and Greyfus.

Speaking of Greyfus, he had a wild hair this morning and was feeling pretty good…

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This photo is deceiving as he looks calm and relaxed while hiding in the ivy but in actuality he was flicking his tail had a wild look in his eye.  Then he tore off the porch at who knows what.  Silly boy!

After our morning coffee CountryBoy whipped up a delicious farm breakfast before he headed out to the barn to start closing in the stall that will become the future chicken coop.  If you missed yesterday’s blog post about our reclaiming the barn project you can catch up HERE.

While he was gathering the necessary tools and searching for salvaged pieces to use I did some housework and got part of tonight’s supper going… black beans – my nemesis.  More on that later…

Here’s the stall we are closing in and turning into the chicken coop…

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By the time I got out to the barn CountryBoy had already finished closing in one side of the stall/coop using the wood he cut away from the equipment shed/barn and had most of the rafters set in place.  It was a good thing this project was on the agenda today as CountryBoy informed me (when I finally got out to help him) that we had lost a chicken from what looked like a predator.  Sadly, it was the girl I snapped a photo of yesterday – the frustrated girl waiting on a nest box.  We’re assuming it was a raccoon since something got into the feed cans recently.  Coons are crafty about getting into containers and they can climb anything.  We sealed the lids of the feed cans and were hoping they wouldn’t find the girls roosting in the rafters.

It seems when there are animals on the farm that not only is it our responsibility to take care of the animals but now we have taken on the job of always trying to outsmart varmints or maybe even the animals themselves.  This is our predicament at the moment.  sigh.

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Anyhow… several trips up and down the ladder with each and every board was quite tedious and painful with his bad knees.  I was able to help a little bit with sending the scrap pieces of plywood up to him to be nailed down…

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By mid afternoon all the plywood was in place and the knees were shot so it was time to quit.

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The opening will be covered with wire fencing to allow light to come in and to help with ventilation.  Although we wanted to get it done today there was just too much work left to do before it would be ready to be occupied.  Hopefully in another day or two it will be ready and we can move the gate and shoo the girls out to the paddock.  That will be a fun (or maybe interesting is a better word) night showing them into their new coop!  And, hopefully, there will be no more rafter roosting girls falling prey to a predator before we can get it done.

Now back to my nemesis… beans.  As some of you know (but most probably do not) beans and I don’t always get along.  Now, not in the way I’m SURE you’re probably thinking right now, ha!  I mean as to cooking them (grin).  I seem to have the hardest time getting dried beans to actually cook.  I always follow the directions on the package but they never cook in the time it says they should cook.  There have been times when supper has been quite late as we waited for whatever beans were on the menu to get soft.  sigh.

Well, I decided to get the beans going first thing today and if they got done before supper I would turn them off and simply reheat them.  Well, back and forth from the barn to the house checking the beans.  The allotted cooking time had come and gone and my beans STILL weren’t done.  ugh.  I decided to put a lid on them and after another hour or so they were finally showing signs of being done.  Will wonders never cease?!

I’ve been hankering for some beans and rice so that’s what we had.  I decided to do my version of a dish we used to get at TropiGrille (a restaurant in Florida we occasionally frequented) that had rice, your choice of black or red beans, your choice of grilled chicken or steak and then the toppings of your choice at the condiment bar.  We usually got diced onions and salsa.  Well, after starting the beans I discovered we didn’t have any more chicken in the freezer so it was a meatless meal.

While the rice cooked I chopped up some onions as well as what was left in the jar of jalapeño stuffed green olives (yum!) and I opened a jar of salsa I canned last summer…

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YUM!  This was actually my SECOND bowl.  I had devoured most of my first bowl before I thought to take a picture…

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It was SO good.  For me to eat TWO bowls of it you know it had to be good because I never go for seconds.  On anything.  Of course, I WAS hungry so maybe that’s why!

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