Sweat Equity

After waiting and waiting for some magical sum of money to find me in order to do some much-needed tasks around our homestead – and realizing that it simply wasn’t going to appear from nowhere, I set out, full of purpose and ambition to git her done with what I had or could glean from the land. As it were.

What seemed an incredibly daunting project came slowly to fruition as I plodded forward, one task at a time. Get the kid in the car. Get to Home Depot. Get fence posts (they cost what I made in lessons this week – so far, so good.) Get home (after feeding pigeons and taking an rc helicopter break – oh, and then lunch…) and finally set to work. The goal? Create a larger run for my expanding flock. One that will finally keep the goose and the roosters contained so that I don’t have to personally escort my piano students into the house for their own safety. A run that will keep my hens happy and healthy and prevent me from accidentally stepping in piles of poop every time I step out of my kitchen door. A much needed improvement. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I had a variety of handymen and fence guys over to give me bids. The highest was $3,800! Can you imagine? Sheesh. Guess I thought I’d present the project to my good old mom for underwriting. Couldn’t bring myself to. Glad I didn’t.

Yesterday was a long, hard day. But after a good eight hours of hard labor, I now have an expanded run, complete with gate and even flower boxes under the coop windows. Lovely and functional and a source of great DIY pride. I must credit my generous neighbors for donating the chicken wire, which relieved me of a good $200 purchase. As I’d loaded up the second-hand roll of wire into my car, I still didn’t believe I would transform it into anything useful. I truly doubted my abilities to deal with the mess of wire with any success. But aha! I have! Invigorated with what I accomplished, I have also now begun other little fixes. The door that won’t close. Done. The nesting boxes that are coming apart. Done. And after having used my chop saw once again I can feel my blood boiling with the possibilities of added improvements…

I was utterly exhausted last night, yet ironically find it hard to sleep in this morning for all the things I’ve yet to do. My goal is to simply “de-sketchify” my place. Make sure it’s in basic working order. And in the back of my mind one goal looms, still cloudy and unattainable as yet: to make my place easy to watch over should Elihu and I go out of town. We really hope to – and have for these past three years, but it has been our feathery charges which have blocked our escape. If I can make it easy to feed and water them, to get them in at night, then I can hire someone to do so. I need the girls to stay put for this to work! I am fueled by the vision of everything in perfect working order. There is no going back to bed for me.

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