Endless Detours

I have a list about 3/4 of a legal sized paper long filled with things to do around the ole’ homestead.  I try to do as many as I can each day I have off; I often don’t succeed in even finishing one but most of the things on the list can be put off for a few days.  This is good, because when I do start a project I often find that I can’t finish for one reason or another, or I find that what should have taken 2 or 3 hours takes all day.

I wanted to make a chicken tractor for my girls; I can’t just let them roam due to the neighborhood cats — I doubt a cat could take down a full grown, very well nourished Rhode Island Red, but I don’t want to lose one taking a chance either.  This means that I can’t leave them out for any length of time unless I’m right there watching them, I did try to let them out while I worked on the other side of the house and I caught one of the neighbor cats getting ready to pounce when I returned to check on them.  So.  Back to the tractor….only I wanted to make a bigger one, like 4 x 8 since they’re full grown and deserve a little more room.  Then, since I have at least one girl that never lays until after like 1 pm, I also wanted to make a nest box to attach to the tractor.  Then, since I’ve learned about the niceties of little things like hinges on the nest box tops, I had to dig up the hinges I bought.  So, I ended up, 3 days later and much frustrations later, with a 4 x 8 pen that is too heavy to move around, with a nesting box that is ridiculously too large (24 x 16 x 26).  Back to square one.  So, with Mr. Tin Foil’s help today, I simply took some garden fence I have left over from trellises last year and wired the pieces together and to our fence to make a fenced area that we can watch out for them from the kitchen in.

Grapes.  I have wanted grapes for the longest time, but I also had planned to make an arbor after I built our back patio.  Well, an impulse purchase had me bringing home two little bare root grape plants about a month ago.  Since they started sprouting leaves in the house, I planned to get them in the ground several days ago, right after I finished the chicken tractor (do you see where I’m going here?)…they finally got in the ground after dark tonight; I found that we have a foot thick layer of colechi (concrete hard clay from hell) in the side yard as well as in the front and it took much longer to dig through it than I had planned — at least for one of the plants.  The second plant I planted closer to the back of the property and thankfully the layer is neither as thick nor as hard as it is 7 feet farther toward the street.  I love my pick axe.  It has saved me many times in situations that a shovel is merely for digging out the pick axe rubble.

Nearly all my tomato, cucumber, eggplant, and tomatillo starts have died; I left them on the front porch overnight and apparently it is still much too cold for them even though it isn’t freezing any more.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get more started in time to produce while the season is hot.

I need to replace the pavers that the construction crew moved when they built our deck, but since they moved a bunch of gravel out of the driveway and into the paver area looking for the sewer line (another long story) I need to make a sifter so I can sift out the rocks before I try to put them back.  Well, I’m still working on that because I didn’t measure before I drilled some nice cedar posts left over from the deck together.  My landscape cloth is 2 feet wide, my square is 2 1/2 feet wide.  So, when I get my next day off I’ll be taking it apart, making the pieces smaller, and putting it back together so I can staple the cloth to it and get busy.

Another impulse purchase:  honesuckle.  I loved this plant growing up, and I didn’t realize it would grow in our climate.  I got a small plant and hope to espalier it along the back fence; if it does well I’ll get more gradually so that we have a living fence rather than the garden temporary fence we now have.  I did plant that earlier today and thankfully the colechi layer was almost non existant where I decided to plant it. The chickens LOVED the grubs I pulled out of the dirt while digging!  They were hanging around at the edge of the fence just waiting for the next one to show up.

Now, no time is wasted if you learn a lesson supposedly, but I seem to learn a lot of lessons and not get much done.  I sincerely hope I get better at this time management thing in yard work soon!

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