Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

We celebrated Mother's Day in one of the best ways possible; we played in the garden all day. I weeded and trimmed, and my husband worked all day to make me a new coop for my chickens. Since the old coop is a 80+ year old shed that is past rickety this is such a swanky upgrade for the hens. The tin roof and the wire mesh came off the old coop and aviary, as did the door!

My mother started a tradition when I was in high school of asking her teens to spend all day on Mother's Day working in her garden. For her it was a great way to get big projects done with a minimum of griping and we teenagers loved the fact that it was a 'free' gift. Screened porches got painted, fish ponds cleaned, bushes dug out and replaced, trees trimmed. We had a good time and began looking forward each year to the day and the work we'd do. My own husband joined in the work when he was still only a boyfriend and he worked so hard my mom told me he was a keeper! Now I get to enjoy the same day in the garden, although my own daughters pitch in at their own scale; they make sand cakes, or have wagon races or make fairy houses in the bushes for me. Someday they'll cut down a tree or repaint the lawn furniture, but not yet.

My daughters played so joyfully in the garden all day, friends came and went and all had a good time. The children were giggling and laughing so hard and we periodically brought out new snacks or beverages to keep them going. In the late afternoon my neighbor showed up with paints and paper and we all sat at the picnic table and made paintings. I realized about 20 minutes into the process that some of the paint my youngest was mostly finger painting with was acrylic paint, not fingerpaint. A l-o-o-o-n-g soak in the tub got her squeeky clean and I am not going to think for even one second about what substances are responsible for those intense colors in the paintings she made!

The new chicken coop is almost finished. The perch and feeder need installed, the water can hung at just the right height. Over the summer we'll add a small enclosed room for winter, new perches and maybe even a sliding hen door to the yard. My whole family be at the Henside the Beltline Coop Tour this weekend, checking out all the fancy and regular coops and maybe next year we'll put our new coop on the tour. The girls will be ready with the sand cakes.

The Henside the Beltline Tour de Coop is Saturday, May 16th from 10-4. You can come pick up a map at Ornamentea on Saturday; bring a few cans of food or a cash donation for Urban Ministries food pantry. More information can be found here.