Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tale of a Chicken Coop

While many people would consider WeeHavyn's small size to be a disadvantage, I find it a wonderful challenge and a blessing.  I love finding ways to make the most of each square foot of either house or lawn.  It's even better than a rubix cube (which I freely admit to pulling the stickers off of).  It also guards from my tendency to go overboard.  If three chickens are good, thirty must be better, right?

The best way to make the most of WeeHavyn is to use everything for more than one purpose and the chicken coop is no different.  Since the back yard is narrow, dark, and steep, it's not terribly useful.  A very small deck, serving as a sort of fire escape, sits behind the house.  It's too small to really be useful as it is, so we've decided to expand it in two stages.  The first stage of expansion has become the chicken coop.  The outside corner of the new deck will also be the support for an umbrella clothesline as there just isn't anywhere else at WeeHavyn without trees.

The deck expansion took one day, with the exception of the railings.  The coop, chicken house, and nest box took two more days.  I expect the railing and painting will take another day.  Maybe two since I want to get fancy with the paint..

Hmm... I think I need another chicken.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tying Loose Ends

My first unfinished project finished
One of my great personal failings is I tend to collect projects.  Where other people collect dolls or plates, my life is cluttered with things begun, but never finished.  The result of this is that I can never quite relax.  These little unfinished tasks prod my conscience any time I am idle.  Nothing is ever done because these things haven't been finished.

I have decided that this summer I am going to take back the joy of just playing I had when I was a child.  I remember long days of flitting from one joy to another without a care.  I lost that somewhere along the way, buried under all these things that "need to be done". 

So I have begun the sorting process.  I'm making a list and checking it twice.  What NEEDS to be done?  What can be abandoned, sent to the thrift store, or given away?  This process is much like the downsizing we did when we moved into the woods. 

After all... Projects are things too.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Of Planting Strawberries

Sunday was glorious here in the Ozarks.  It was a perfect Spring day from the moment the Sun crept over the horizon, gently nudging me awake, to his tender farewell amid balmy breezes.  The trees are wakening and one can almost feel the energy of them pulsing as buds swell and leaves push their way into the beckoning sunlight.  Dryad that I am, I spent a moment welcoming each one back from his or her long winter nap.
Lettuce, Spinach, and Kale for Spring Salads

Amid joyous birdsong and gentle breezes, it was impossible for me to keep still.  One hundred strawberry plants slumbered gently in my refrigerator, only needing the touch of soil, warmth of the Sun, and a drink of water to awaken and fan their frilly leaves at the bright blue sky.  I buzzed about finishing up my second Garden Barrel.  The first has long been planted with lettuce, chard, and spinach.  Yet these cool weather plants, happy even when frost still sprinkles it diamonds upon leaf and branch, are not as satisfying as strawberries who bear the anticipation of sweet summer delights.

It was late afternoon before the tiles were laid level and the barrel was filled with rich potting soil.  I brought out fifty plants and teased them gently apart.  Each plant was carefully trimmed, laid in its pocket, and tucked in as gently as a child at bedtime.  It doesn't look like much yet, but fifty-two strawberry plants will soon awaken to flirt with the World, sending siren songs to bees with pure white blossoms and to me with crimson berries.

I have given them soil and water and worms, the Sun must do the rest.