Odd Jobs

We have had some very nice weather with temperatures up in the low to mid-70s. EJ tells me that people in other states don’t talk about the weather very much, but in Michigan the weather can change from day to day–or even moment to moment–and it affects our activities. For example, the recent nice weather enabled me to get some odd jobs done outside.

I moved this big rock in the foreground to this side of the driveway.

On Tuesday I finally moved the large rock–actually a small boulder–from one side of the driveway to the other. Last autumn I had moved it from near the old dog pen to the side of the driveway, but both EJ and JJ had complained about it being there where, they said, they could easily slide into it. So I moved it to the other side of the driveway where it’s farther from the edge and where there are a lot of other large rocks. Rocks of all sizes are an important part of our anti-erosion efforts. They slow the rush of water that would carry the soil with it. The rock was heavy so I rolled it and slid it across the driveway.

My clothesline

Since we weren’t expecting any rain on Tuesday, I washed laundry and hung it out to dry on the clothesline. There was a strong breeze so the clothes dried quickly. I love drying the clothes outside because I drink in the beauty around me and listen to the symphony of birds as I work. And the clothes smell wonderfully when they are air-dried.

I moved the one box next to the other. The ducks gobbled newly uncovered insects.

I decided to move the wooden planter box that EJ had emptied on Sunday, even though he told me to wait until we could do it together. With the horrible back pain EJ has been suffering for the last few days, I didn’t want him to try to lift anything heavy. The box was much heavier than I expected. I could barely budge it. So instead of moving it where I had planned, I simply moved it inch by inch next to the other box. It’s good enough. It will allow us access to three sides of the hot tub garden and we can still easily access the two wooden boxes. The ducks were interested in my work and as soon as I moved the box, they came in to quickly eat the insects that had been under it.

I dug up and moved a few more lilies. I think I’m mostly done transplanting lilies, although there are a few more that I could re-locate if I choose. As I moved the wheelbarrow of lilies down the driveway I slipped on the gravel and fell. This was the second time I have fallen–the first was on Sunday. I was wearing my regular sneakers this time so I can’t blame my shoes. I bruised my elbow but otherwise suffered no damage.

I didn’t think I’d be able to work outside yesterday because rain was forecasted. There were some dramatic clouds and the wind was very strong, but other than a couple sprinkles now and then, the rain held off so I was able to get a few more odd jobs done.

You can see my t-post trellis is at the right.

I decided to fix a sort of trellis for the climbing roses in the little flower garden at the front of the house. I decided to use t-posts and chicken fencing. I found some short lengths of chicken fencing in the back of the old pickup truck. We have been putting old junk in the back of the pickup until we can dispose of it. We can either take it to the drop off site on the county Cleanup Day on May 6th or EJ can drop it off at the dumpsters at work. One of the perks of his company is that employees can dispose of their trash in the dumpsters for free. Once I freed the chicken fencing, I took it, the t-posts, and some tools to the flower garden. I pounded in the t-posts and fastened the fencing to them. EJ said the roses will climb 15 feet high so the t-posts aren’t really tall enough but they are good enough until we can get taller wooden posts. At least the roses will have something to climb up.

Re-purposed basketball hoop frame

In the process of trying to get the chicken fencing out of the back of the pickup, I found a piece of junk that I thought would work wonderfully for a roost for the chickens. Later I asked EJ what it was and he said it had been the frame for a basketball hoop. I put it on top of the small coop inside of the big coop, and last night when I put the poultry to bed, I saw Sassy and a couple hens on it. I’m proud of my repurposing.

Little flower windmill

I also found our little metal flower windmill and fastened it to a post at the corner of the outside chicken pen as an anti-flying predator device–serving the same purpose as a scarecrow. Besides, it’s cute. The strong wind has really set it whirling.

It is very windy again today. Originally heavy rain was forecasted, but now the meteorologists are saying that the heaviest rain will remain west of us. If it rains I will work inside the house. If it doesn’t rain, I will find more outside tasks to do. I would like to finish burying the end of the drainage tile at the top of the driveway and also prepare the raised beds. However, I want EJ’s input about how he wants them done. I’m sure I can find other tasks though.

The warm weather has made the landscape noticeably more green. I love watching the progression of green in the Spring. You can see the difference in the photos below. One was taken on April 25 and the other on April 27. It won’t be long before the leaves completely hide our neighbor’s house.

JJ’s classes end next week. He said that all his college professors have told him how much they’ve enjoyed having him in their classes. They’ve said that he is intelligent and adds a lot to class discussions. That made him feel good.



3 Comments on “Odd Jobs

  1. Great for JJ. Too many times those kinds of compliments are left unspoken. Hope EJ’s back stops hurting, and you be careful with that falling business. Enjoy this spring weather while it lasts!


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