I had a list of chores I wanted to get done today. I had laundry to wash today. Since the day was beautifully sunny, I decided to hang them on the clothesline to drive. I got a little chilled hanging up wet clothes. The high temperatures reached only into the low 50s and the slight breeze made it a feel a litter colder. When I finished hanging the first load, I came in the house and warmed my hands with a hot cup of coffee.
When we got our ducks and chickens last year, we moved them into the garage when they were old enough. We put their coop in the garage surrounded by a dog cage to keep them contained. We got the shed build for them last autumn because we felt they would be warmer–and so EJ could have his garage back. When we got them settled nicely in their coop, we dismantled the dog cage and shoveled out the used straw. I used the dismantled dog cage panels for my expanded chicken pen that I put up last week.
The straw remained in a pile outside all winter. Today I shoveled it into our wheelbarrow and took it to the hot tub inside the duck pen. The hot tub was left here by the previous owners. It is unfixable. For more than a year we discussed how to get rid of it. We decided that probably our best option was breaking it up and discarding it, but we were too busy with other projects to get it done. Plus there were difficulties: We didn’t want to risk breaking it apart in summer when it might be buzzing with bees, but in winter it is cold and snowy. Last autumn EJ decided that he might as well use it as a raised bed so he pulled it into the back yard next to the other raised beds that the previous owner had made. EJ said that the old straw would be good for the garden so today’s chore was moving the straw to the hot tub raised garden. It took a lot of wheelbarrow loads and trips–maybe a dozen?–to move the old straw, but I got it done.
While I worked, I enjoyed listening to the birds singing in the forest. I can hear their songs echoing through the forest as they call to each other. It’s really very pretty.
This weekend EJ had a lot of back pain so he rested as much as he could. Well, almost as much as he could. He helped with the last two loads of straw, and he shoveled dirt from one of the wooden raised beds into the hot tub. He emptied the wooden raised bed because it doesn’t have adequate drainage. He will put in drainage and fill it with new dirt. EJ also fixed the gate into the ducks outside pen.
While we worked, the ducks just wandered around, enjoying life and their pool, as they always do.
EJ wanted to move some of the trout lilies into the little flower garden at the front of the house. I went with him down to Deer Meadow. He shoveled up three or four lilies, which I put in the bucket we carried with us. I wore my pair of old ratty slip on shoes–like sneakers but without a back. I like slip on shoes so I can quickly get them on and off without the need to tie and untie them. When EJ handed me the first trout lily with a clump of dirt, it was just heavy enough that I slid backwards out of my shoes–and I even slid out of my socks!–and I fell on the grassy meadow. I laughed. EJ thought it was pretty funny too.
I had planned to get other chores down today: I wanted to dig up more tiger lilies to plant along the driveway, I wanted to get the dog food and poultry feed from the bags into mouse-proof buckets with lids, and a bunch of other things. However, I was so tired from moving the old straw and doing laundry–and cooking, and vacuuming, and taking care of poultry–that I decided that that was enough work today. The next few days are supposed to be even nicer than today, so I can gradually work through my list.