First Blood

This morning I decided to start attaching the wire fencing to the posts for the garden fence.

But first I drank several cups of coffee to fortify myself because I knew the roll of fencing was heavy and unwieldy. When I felt that I could face the ordeal, I put on my old work clothes, which is really just a favorite t-shirt that now is shabby and has several holes in it. I tied my hair out of the way and went outside.

The morning was beautiful–comfortably warm with a tinge of autumn coolness  underneath and very breezy. Summer would be perfect if every day was like today. Rain is forecasted for this evening and tomorrow, but I’ll believe it when I see it. The weather has toyed with me all summer, promising rain that never came.

downsized_0824180833I carried my kitty litter bucket filled with tools–hammer, staples, huge wire cutters, and assorted other things–over to where I was going to begin. The “old” garden currently has a four-foot fence around it; we are replacing it with six-foot fencing and then continuing on to fence in the new garden area. I decided to start at the back of the garden and work over to the front.

I tugged the heavy roll of fencing to position it and then rolled it across the new garden area to the first post, which is in the corner of the chicken coop and the garden. The curious chickens gathered around to gossip about what I was doing. I left the roll on the ground while I pulled out staples, removed the old fencing, and pulled up the t-posts that had held it. I had originally planned to remove the old fence in sections as I worked so that if I had to stop, there would be no opening into the garden for the deer to get in and eat our crops. However, it didn’t work out that way.

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Starting post

I unrolled enough fencing to go from one post to another. Then taking a deep breath, I heaved up the roll so it was standing on end. I felt like a highlander in a caber toss competition. While I tried to move the end of the fencing to the post, the whole roll tipped over. I heaved the roll up again, and it fought back, tearing my glasses off my face and nicking my face in the process. Fortunately my glasses were neither scratched nor broken. “Well played,” I silently saluted the roll. “You have gotten first blood.” I imagined the fencing dueling with me. I imagined it grabbing hold of me and scratching me. I imagined it wrapping itself around me and tipping over, imprisoning me on the ground where ants and wolf spiders could crawl over me until EJ came to my rescue hours later, after he returned from work. “Ah ha!” I thought. “I am not giving up so easily.”

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The back side of the garden

I finally had to remove the old fence all along the back. I lay the roll on the ground and unrolled it until I could stand it up and lean it against the old dog house in the corner of the garden. Then I moved the wheelbarrow halfway between the starting post and the dog house so that it held up the fencing. Wrestling with the free end of the roll, I positioned it on the starting post and hammered two staples into it–one at the top and one at the bottom. Then I pulled the fencing to the next post. I tried to hammer staples in, but I could not pull the fencing tight and hammer at the same time. I could stretch the fencing tight or I could hammer–not both. Finally I realized that this was a two-person job. I will have to wait until EJ can help me. Without worrying about making it tight, I loosely hammered the fencing to each post–just enough so it won’t fall down. “You won this match,” I told the fence. “But this isn’t over yet.”

From far away, the fence looks good. (See the photo at the top of this post.) The really good thing about such a tall fence is that we can plant climbing veggies along it so that it doubles as a trellis. I can’t wait until we can get the fence up.

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Bowl full of beans

When I put my tools  away, I picked green beans from the garden, filling a colander with them. Soon I will go out to the kitchen and blanche and freeze them so we can enjoy them in the winter months.

The rest of my day I spent cleaning the house, doing laundry, and planning my next battle with the fence–with EJ as my reinforcement.

 

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