Archive | October 2013

Chicken Coop Update

The chicken coop in our backyard is almost ready for my chickens at the Ag. Center to move into. My grandpa has worked really hard on it. Sometimes I help him and sometimes I just have time to say `Hi Grandpa’ and `Good job; it looks great.’ And sometimes I just watch. My mom says that my work will start when they move in.

Anyway, one day I worked on insulation. I wore ear plugs because Grandpa was sawing lots of boards and it was too loud. I stacked up the insulation inside the walls. It was fun! Then when Grandpa started pounding on the roof, all the insulation fell out onto the floor! I couldn’t help him put it back the next day because I had to go to the Writing Center to work.

Another day I tried to help with the fluffy kind of insulation. My mom showed me how to use the big staple gun. Then she helped me pull the trigger for the staple to hold it in place. But the staple gun was too hard to pull the trigger all by myself.

Finally we figured that the best way for me to be part of the work was to bring my work outside! And that was perfect! My mom gave me an old rug to sit on and I made pot holders while my mom and grandpa worked on the chicken coop. I was present. One time my mom suggested I stand up so that I could see a hot air balloon up in the sky. No thank you. I just wanted to sit and do my potholders. But in the morning when my mom opened up the newspaper,

`Look, Mathalia, here is a picture of the balloon that you did not want to stand up to see.’

The picture was in the paper and it was really cool. I was rather ashamed of myself that I did not take a break from pot holders so that I could watch the balloon float across the sky.

So the next time she suggested that I get up to take a picture of Grandpa cutting out the little door for the chickens, I decided to follow her suggestion. And I am glad that I did. I got some good photos of Grandpa using the sawzall.

On Saturday we listened to the Grizzly football game while we worked:  mom and grandpa on the electric and me on my pot holders. It was fun! Grandpa did some `showy’ work like making the really cool door for the chickens. It will be my job to open the door for them in the morning so that they can go outside to get some fresh air and exercise. And I will close it in the evening so that a raccoon or other animal can’t get inside to eat them.

He also put in their nesting boxes. We are going to take a little break from the work: he is going to California and I am going to Billings but when we get back, sometime before Thanksgiving, we should be able to move my chickens into their coop. Grandpa made the coop big enough for me to go inside, out of the wind and snow. It will be fun. I will feed and water them, check for eggs and clean them out. I am excited!

Buddy Walk Fun!

Saturday morning and my mom was all `hurry up, Mathalia’ and `be quick, Mathalia!’ She wanted to take care of the chickens BEFORE we went to the Buddy Walk. We got to the Ag Center and had to work fast.  I was in charge of the food and my mom gave them water. I found a mouse in the chicken food! So then of course, we had to take a break for pictures of the mouse. I was brave and scooped him up in the scoop. Then he jumped into the bucket. I don’t know if we got a picture of him jumping because he was so quick. My mom was quick making curtains for the chickens so that they would have privacy when they lay their eggs.

We were on time for The Buddy Walk. My friend Mary Ann gave me a t-shirt. This year it was in Griz colors for the Buddy Walk. I tried to take a picture of the balloons going up in the air. I got my camera out and ready but they were already too high up in the sky. I hung out with my friend Molly. We walked the mile-loop together. It was fun! They had pizza and cookies for everyone to eat for lunch. I am eating gluten-free and dairy-free so I could not have any cookies or pizza. I was a little disappointed but I brought my gluten-free sandwich and snacks so it was okay.

The craziness started when my friend Rebecca came with her friend Elizabeth.

`Do you want to do the photo booth, Mathalia?’

Well, I did not know what a photo booth was but I followed along. Rebecca gave me all kinds of hats and scarves to try on. I did not argue with her because I love to dress-up. This was like my `dress-up box’ at home except it was even better. Rebecca kept giving me different hats: a chicken hat; a big hair hat; lots of hats. I did not say anything. I just did what they told me to do: try this on Mathalia; here’s a scarf, Mathalia.  Then they said, `Come on, Mathalia.’ I had to go inside a very little room with my mom, Rebecca and Elizabeth. We were all four squished inside a itty bitty booth. Then they said `smile or `be goofy’ or I don’t know what they were telling me to do.

And then suddenly: it was over and they pulled me out so the next people could take their turn. It was crazy fast and confusing. But I just did what they told me to do and it all worked out. Because a few minutes later the pictures were done! We put the pictures in a big scrapbook. I wrote in the book about how much I like the Buddy Walk. I have only missed a couple of times in all twelve years. My friend Margaret and her daughter were volunteers. I hope that next year my mom and I can be volunteers at The Buddy Walk.  We said `goodbye’ to Rebecca and Elizabeth and Mary Ann. My mom and I were walking to the car and then I finally said something. I said: `mischievous.’



Oh yes, Mathalia, you were very mischievous! You tried on lots of funny hats, scarves and glasses. The photo booth was silly and mischievous.

`I was mischievous with the funny hats.’

Yes, you were very mischievous with the funny hats, Mathalia. Did you have fun at The Buddy Walk?

Yes, The Buddy Walk was fun! Now I know that I like to do photo booths. Photo booths are fun because I can be mischievous!

Happy Chickens!

The story starts with `sad’ chickens at the Ag. Center  My mom and I were at the FFA Fall BBQ in September. I was having lots of fun seeing all my old FFA friends and eating a potluck dinner. They roasted Lefty and Harold—goats that were friends with my goat, Kanga. Well, Harold was the mean one. But Lefty was a very nice goat. Anyway, I ate some of Lefty’s meat. It was good. It is called `chevon.’ I liked it. My mom was being silly and she just ate salads.

Anyway, back to the `sad’ chickens. It was dark and we were in the car headed for home when my mom suggested that we visit the chickens, `just to see what they do at night.’ We drove around back close to the chicken coop; all I had to do was open the car door. But I didn’t.

`Don’t you want to get out, Mathalia? To see the chickens. Maybe they have started to roost.’

`No. I stay in the car.’

`Aw, Come on! It will only take a minute. Don’t you want to see them find their bed for the night.’

`Stay in the car.’

So I waited for my mom and when she got back all she talked about on the way home was how `sad’ the chickens were: `Oh, Mathalia, the chickens were so sad; they had no place to roost. I counted seven chickens up on the window sill. All the others were huddled next to the door. The poor chickens! We will have to tell Grandpa and maybe he can build them a nice roost.’

And so we told Grandpa. Two days later the next thing I know is that we had an appointment to go out to the Ag Center with Grandma and Grandpa after dinner. There was a big surprise in Grandpa’s truck!  Thank you Grandpa!’

We drove out to the Ag Center in the truck. This time I got out and went to the chicken coop—my mom did not need to try to coax me. I wanted to see how the chickens liked their new furniture. Grandpa put them into the coop. I couldn’t really help very much but I could take pictures. Grandpa drilled the `ladder’ or roost onto the wall so that it would not fall down. And then he drilled the nesting boxes in place.

When everything was all done, we stepped to the side and waited in the big doorway and watched the chickens. They were so funny! They didn’t know what to do with all the new stuff in their hen house.  Popping their heads up and down, looking and looking.

We wondered if they would want to go on the roost without any coaxing. We watched and waited. And then one flew up on one rung and up another step and up another step, just checking it all out. Most of them liked it right away. They settled in very comfortably for the night. They were the `happy’ ones. Then there were some who wanted to stick with their routine of roosting in the window. I completely understand where they were coming from; they wanted their `normal’ sleeping place. But they used the first rung as a launching site to get to their window destination. Three chickens did not want to have anything to do with the new roost. They were huddled next to the door and my mom grabbed them one by one, handed them to me and I put them on the first rung of the roost. Poof! Each one of those three chickens flew right back down to the floor! We tried a couple of times and then just let them have their way. Silly chickens!

Homecoming: Parade and More

Last Saturday was such a crazy day! I was excited about the Art Fair, the Parade and the chicken coop! I slept in a little because I was so tired from Thursday and Friday at the Art Fair. My mom was `hurry up’ this and `hurry up’ that all morning. It was crazy! I had to put on lots of layers because it was cold and I had to wear Griz-wear because it was Homecoming. I also had to pack my lunch, my camera, and my Art Fair stuff. Grandma came and then they both left for the Art Fair because grandma was going to watch my booth during the Parade.

I got ready and then I left for the Parade on my own. My mom just happened to find me walking to the Parade on her way home to pick me, `Where are you going Mathalia?’

I am going to the Parade.

`Okay, have fun! Are you going by yourself?’

No I go with mom.

`But how did you know how to find me?’

My mom said that I was very lucky to find her just on the right street. Whatever . . . I knew what I was doing even if she didn’t. 🙂

Before the Parade, she wanted to check on grandpa in the backyard working on the chicken coop! We took some pictures. And then grandpa needed some help holding the walls up. My mom helped him and I was in charge of taking more pictures. It was fun! We said `goodbye’ to Grandpa. We walked to the parade together!

We were a little late but not too bad. I saw lots of friends and I took lots and lots of pictures. My mom said that maybe I should turn off my camera in between floats to save the battery. NO WAY! I wanted to be ready for the next great shot. My camera battery was just fine. I was able to take pictures all the way through the parade.

I saw the fiddle float which my brother and sister were in when they were in middle school. I saw MCT friends in the Oliver Twist float. I saw the Chinese flag on the International Student Float. I saw the `M’ on Mt. Sentinel Float. I loved it all. My mom had fun taking pictures of me and she really likes the marching bands. The parade was all done and then we went to grandma at the Art Fair.

After the Art Fair we checked on the chicken coop. Wow! Grandpa really worked hard while we were having so much fun. I took more pictures of the coop and flowers in the backyard. Mom put dinner in the oven and asked me to set the table while she walked back to the University to get the car. `Yes, Okay, I will set the table.’

She picked up the car. We had left it at the U-C and walked home because that was faster than getting into the football traffic. She unpacked the car and then came looking for me:

`What have you been doing while I was gone? Why didn’t you set the table, Mathalia?’

`Homecoming is all done.’ First I have to take off my Griz-wear, put away my new Griz-headband and put on my regular clothes. Then I can do other things like set the table and eat dinner. Don’t you know?!

Of course my mom knows this about me. I just had to remind her. Silly mom!

Homecoming: Art Fair Fun!

Last weekend was Homecoming at the University of Montana. I was excited about setting up my booth at the U-C Art Fair and selling pot holders again. The last time was almost a year ago at the Holiday Art Fair. My summer was so busy and fun with all my FFA activities that I didn’t take my pot holders to the market the whole summer!

Grandma offered to watch my booth while I went to the parade. So I got to sell pot holders and I got to go to the parade! I could not have done it all without my grandma and without my mom. I am afraid that my mom did most of the work getting ready but I took lots of pictures. 🙂 On Tuesday my mom tried to get me to help her count pot holders to check inventory. No thanks. On Wednesday she tried to help me pack the car with all the supplies for the table. No thanks. I  was all for taking pictures of the counting and the packing but not so much for the helping!

Thursday morning my mom didn’t even bother to ask me to help her set up my table. She got up early and was at the U-C at 6:00. Then she came home to eat breakfast and make her lunch and went back again to open up.  This was very nice of her but the only thing was that now the car was at home and she did not buy a parking pass. Hah! So I had to walk to the U-C carrying my pot holder bag and my lunch. My mom told me to hurry up and be quick. I did hurry up and I was quick but I guess I was not quick enough for her because around 10:00 she came to look for me. I don’t know why she did that?! I saw her coming around the Grizzly Bear on campus. When she saw me, she stopped walking so fast and furious and smiled and laughed at herself. Of course, I know how to get to the U-C. Silly mom!

I loved doing the Art Fair for three days! I saw so many many friends: Big Sky High School friends, Grizzly Pool friends, Writing Center friends, church friends, Math Department friends and new friends. It was lots of fun! Of course, I liked selling my pot holders but mostly I liked seeing my friends. I made some new friends: I traded my pot holders for a beautiful pink scarf. And I traded pot holders for a picture of a waterfall. And my friend Brenda gave me a new pair of mittens that she makes out of old sweaters.

On Saturday when we were all done, I did a much better job helping pack everything up and take it to the car. My mom was proud of me and grateful because she was very tired and wanted to get home so we could relax.

All packed up, we started to head home but we got stuck in a long line of cars!! The game was just over and I guess everyone wanted to go home at the same time. So you know what my mom did?!  Crazy mom! She said, this is great Mathalia! It is a beautiful day. We have been cooped up all weekend. Let’s walk home and enjoy being outside and getting some exercise. I will come back and get the car later. And so we walked home and I walked quickly because I was hungry!