Pink House Princess

My pal Debbie (Daisy’s second mommy) and her husband Walter have had a standing invitation to spend a romantical night at the Pink House for many months. They both work very hard and have lots of responsibilities, so it took a long time for them to find a night to come over. Finally we agreed on a date and they arrived, ready for 24 hours of fun and laziness.


Neither had ever driven a golf cart, but they quickly got the hang of that and were seen motoring all around our neighborhood.

Debbie is a little more whimsical and crazy than Walter so I expected her to provide some shenanigans during her brief stay. She did not disappoint!

IMG_2344 - Copy

Debbie rings the bedside bell and her dutiful husband arrives with her delicious breakfast.

I don’t even know how to do this with my camera! She set it up to take this picture. I need some schoolin’.


A selection from the varied Pink House library

Later, my nutty friend thought it would be fun to count the flamingos. I had never done this and she thought it her duty to take a tally.



She came up with an astonishing number and I followed up with my own count and came up short. She asked if I found the 4 in the bathroom. No, I didn’t even remember that there were four flamingos in there! Very thorough woman!

Debbie & Walter had dinner at H2O that night. This is a lovely little restaurant in our neighborhood. The owners are very kind to let me leave my biz cards on their counter and they often offer Pink House guests a complimentary dessert or glass of vino.


They wisely chose dessert. 🙂

After Walter had performed his husbandly duties (serving breakfast–get your mind out of the gutter people!) Debbie allowed him some private time, reading his book on war or something manly like that.



Unbeknownst to him, Debbie was taking an aerial shot of him having a peaceful moment.

Hey Jim, Walter doesn’t even have a bald spot!  Wow! He must have a nicer life (wife) than you do! 🙂

Actually, Walter had been worried that the visit would be too “female-centered” and it was, but he agreed that he had a nice time and he even left is book to add to my library. He said it needed a bit more “man-centered” reading.

I’m so happy I could provide a nice diversion for my friend. She’s done so much for me and I love her a lot. She and Walter will be back and they’re even thinking of  reserving a night for their son and his wife.  The only disappointment she experienced is that she didn’t get to visit with her sweet Daisy. So sorry Debbie. 😦


I miss you too Mommy Debbie!  BWWWAAAWWWK!




Before & After

I’m taking a detour from Kitties, Bunnies & Chickens today, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of opening the Pink House to guests.  I love before & after pictures so I have a few here for you enjoyment.


Summer 2014

We purchased this great little house that was right next door to us. It was quite lovely as it was, but I had a desire to own a pink house so we went to work making it happen.


Summer 2015

As you can see, we didn’t change much about the appearance of the front except for paint and a bit of landscaping. It was a pretty house to begin with, but now it had the look we wanted to give the charm of a tiny vacation doll house.



Mostly cosmetic changes

The back of the house, however was a different story. We saw the potential for a back yard and covered parking, so my handyman, financier, and love muffin, Jim Burlingame got to work with pen and graph paper to make a new design. PS–He would really hate me calling him “love muffin” but he doesn’t read my blog so I can get away with murder.


Great potential

We wanted to do these things to the back: Cover the porch, move the stairs to the side, build a two-car carport/storage shed/golf cart bay, move the picket fence, pull up the parking pavers to make a patio area, sod the former parking space, extend our privacy fence next door to create a private back yard and make a paver pathway to our back yard gate.


Step one: move the wide stairs and make narrow steps on the right side.


Step two: cover the porch. (I have these guys’ number if anyone wants it. Good workers and easy on the eyes!)


Move the picket fencing


Begin framing the carport


Pour the carport


How’d these get here???


relocate picket fence


Carport roof, golf cart shed & storage room


Jim & I put all this sod down. No, he didn’t yell at me too much….NOT!


Laying the patio–You want this guy’s number too! Boomba was absolutely great.




Laying the golf cart pad



Paver pathway to my back yard gate, sod, dog wood tree. Almost done!


Needs just a bit of paint and landscaping…



 Whew! It took about four months to complete all the construction, but when we were finished…



Psssst–For dramatic effect, go back to the original picture of the back yard to compare.

The carport is tiny, but we’ve had two large SUVs parked here at once. We wanted to make the smallest parking area possible so as not to overpower the scale of the house. This is basically the smallest it can be and still remain code.  The advantage of moving the parking all the way to the left and making a yard out of the former parking pad is that we now had a large private yard where the pavers used to be.


And a covered porch sheltered from rain and sun.


OK, since this post is critter-free, I’ll put one in just for fun.


Strike a pose Rowdy!

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I do “before & afters” for the inside.



Dixie Chicks

I arrived at my parent’s house too late to relocate Daisy & Gracie to their home in the barn, so they slept peacefully in the bunny cage overnight. In the morning, Daddy & I carried each bird to a room in the barn where they could see and be seen by Daddy’s chickens, but they couldn’t mix with them. I hate to be a broken record, but when you add a new chicken or a couple of new chickens to a large flock, they are often attacked and even killed.  Things usually work out if you give them all time to get to know each other through a fence.  Daddy promised to keep them separated for at least a week, but I won’t bet money on it. William Dudley Dobbs does not take direction well, from his eldest daughter or any other member of the human race. It’s Bill’s way or the HIGHWAY! Love you, Daddy!

So Daisy and Gracie made their entrance into a flock of mostly Rhode Island Reds and the hens got to gossiping as hens will do…


That color CAN’T  be real!  BWWWAAAWWWK!

Daisy wasted no time in sampling some chick food…


My compliments to the chef!

And while Daisy munched on a “welcome to your new home” breakfast brunch made by yours truly, Gracie made a killer dust bath in the soft dirt. The other chickens watched with a bit of envy while these two newcomers enjoyed special treatment.


Mr. Rooster watches with VERY special interest!

Daddy has two big Rhode Island Red roosters who are both in the running to be Gracie’s father.  I had a talk with Daisy concerning what might happen when the big guy “introduces” himself to her.  I think she may have already had such an experience on Debbie’s farm but I thought a little chat about the facts of life couldn’t hurt.

Here is one of the Roosters letting everyone know who’s boss!

And here is a little banty rooster that I call Fancy Pants trying to imitate his idol.



Meanwhile, Jim buried little George along side our many pets who have crossed the rainbow bridge.  He said a few words over the grave and placed a little memorial.


Thanks Jim. 😦

I’ll keep you posted on Daisy and her new family.  As I suspected, Daddy released her to the flock exactly 24 hours after I left. THANKS FOR WAITING A WEEK DAD!  Fortunately, Daddy & Mamma said that Daisy is prancing around the barnyard like the Queen of Sheba and she and Gracie are completely at home with their new friends.  Whew! I’ll have my sisters take pictures of her frolicking with her flock and I’ll keep you posted on her each time I go home.  Thanks for going on this journey with me. I loved being the chicken lady and I thank everyone who made it such a wonderful experience. Here is a lovely photo of Daisy’s last visitor at the Waters…


Thank you Emma Jane! You are both beautiful girls! 🙂


I was excited to see what happened Thursday morning after the chicken slumber party in the coop the previous night. I assumed they all had a restful night and the chicks would trot down the gangplank behind Daisy to begin their chicken day. And that’s just what happened!  Success! I was happy that the babies could sleep in the coop with Daisy and now I could clean my filthy chicken-poop encrusted screened porch. My plan was to keep the chicks until I heard one crow from George. That event was about two weeks away.

It was not to be.

After Jim left for work, I started sweeping and wiping down the porch. I lifted my eyes to see all three chickens happily pecking the ground and enjoying life. I watched them with pleasure most of the morning as I cleaned the porch. I was about to stop and go in for more coffee when I noticed something big and feathery leaning over one of my chicks. I started to run, but was too late. The hawk flew off trying to carry George’s lifeless body and I scared him enough to drop my brave little rooster. I picked him up and went inside to wrap him in an old towel. I went back out to the coop and couldn’t see Daisy or Gracie. They were both huddled together in terror in the nest box. I didn’t see the attack, but my guess is that George was defending the girls. Even little roosters have a protective instinct and many times when I tried to pick up Gracie, she would yell and George would “bow-up” at me.

I knew at this moment that my chicken days were over. I called Daddy and asked if I could bring Daisy and Gracie to live with him. Of course he said yes. I called Jim at work to tell him my plan. He tried to talk me out of it. He said he could build a safe chicken run with wire and heavy boards to keep predators out, but I didn’t want to live in fear of that hawk coming back to kill again. I don’t blame the hawk. He was just being a hawk. I blame myself for being complacent and confident that my chickens were safe in the pen where they could run into the coop if they saw danger. I felt very sad and guilty and rightly so. I managed to get Daisy and Gracie into the bunny cage for the long drive to Purvis.


I’m very sorry George. I enjoyed raising you for seven weeks. You were a funny sweet bird and I promise I’m going to see that your sister has a fun and safe life with my Dad.IMG_2044

To be continued…

Growing Up Chicken

George & Gracie are almost big enough to bunk with Daisy in the coop at night.


NOT ready for our close up!

They flew up to Jim’s shoulders and “decorated” his jacket one second after I snapped this picture.


You go first George!

I told Daisy that it won’t be long until she has to make room for two more chickens in her boudoir.


Wut you talkin’ ’bout Willis!

They’re still sleeping on the porch under the heat lamp because of the cold temps.


Notice George’s larger comb. Plus he’s starting to get his “wattles”. (the googly red thing under his beak)

 So Tuesday evening my pal Susna came over for a visit and I lost track of time. After she left it was already dark and I realized the chicks were still outside in the fencing with the coop. I went to retrieve them and I couldn’t find them! Lo and behold, they had followed Daisy up to the coop and were drifting off to sleep.


We’re big now! Heat lamp SCHMEAT-lamp!

Daisy is just off frame with her giant fluffy chicken butt pointed at the chicks.  Her body heat warms the temperature of the interior of the coop by several degrees.

So George and Gracie spent their first night with their friend, the big yellow “mama” bird. A great day for chickendom! Now I can clean my screened porch and use it for human relaxation instead of a chicken nursery. It may take a few days.



Celebrity Moment

The chicks are beginning to explore the outside world now that they have proper feathers and there has been a break in the weather.  I put some doggy fencing in the yard last week for them to enjoy sunshine and scratch the ground for tasty tidbits.


Wait a second! Who said we could have more chickens?

Don’t worry Daisy, they’re only temporary guests. As soon as they are a little older, I’ll take them to their new home. Meantime, you need to be nice to them because they’re babies!


Now listen here you two! I’m the boss see! You remember that and we’ll get along just fine. BWAAAWK!

I have to keep them separated from Daisy until she decides to play nice. Meanwhile, neighborhood folks walking by have been enjoying the pastoral view in my back yard and some stop in to say howdy.


Hi Miss Evie! Glad you stopped by!

This is the cute little grand-daughter of my neighbors, David and Brenda. They have three lovely daughters and five lovely grand-daughters. (one on the way!) I’ve met the whole family now, but when I first met Brenda I was asking about her offspring and she was filling me in on all the kids, husbands and grandkids.  She mentioned that her son-in-law was Bobby Jon Drinkard and I stared at her blankly thinking OKaaaaaay….


Gracie thinks Bobby Jon is cute!

Well, I may the only human in Alabama who didn’t know that one of our own starred in the wildly popular TV show Survivor. Brenda explained who he was and after I met him a few times, I decided he was a very handsome guy of course, but more than that, he’s a sweet person and a good father, husband and son-in-law.  He brings his own little girl over to pet Buster and chase chickens and kitties once in a while. All of Brenda & David’s family live in our neighborhood and they are all a wonderful part of our lives.


Gracie shows off for Mr. Bobby Jon! LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!

Of course I googled him and found out that he was on the episodes “Palau” & “Guatemala”. Bobby Jon Graduated from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations/Print Journalism. He’s appeared on news segments such as: Entertainment Tonight, Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, The E Channel, The TV Guide Channel, ESPN, VH-1, and the CBS Early Show, and was in the film WE ARE MARSHALL. I think it’s fun and cool to have our own neighborhood celebrity, and even though I was late to the party, I’m now a huge fan. The dude has some serious chicken-holding skills so he’s OK in my book.

Oh and I forgot to mention that in 2003 Cosmopolitan Magazine named him one of the 50 most eligible bachelors in the United States?


Not anymore!

Good job Hayley. And by the way…I think your husband is the lucky one!