I made a little chicken coop.
It is full of charming amenities, my favorite being the gangplank.
The completion of the coop is a good thing, because the chickens in my garage are getting a bit pungent and my son finds it necessary to hold his nose every time he walks by them. To really drive home his point, he feels further compelled to mimic gagging and then take deep, nourishing breaths as soon as he steps back into the house, as if he hasn't been near fresh air in hours. I think the chickens kind of feel the same way, because one of them made a mad dash for freedom on Tuesday, which was foiled only because, after two months in a box, she may have become agoraphobic and froze mid-step when she realized she couldn't handle the sanity bashing large-ness of the garage.
Unfortunately for the chickens, I am going on vacation tomorrow and have not yet finished their fencing, so they are stuck in their stinky garage box for a while longer. I expect them to be raving lunatics by the time I get back, but I don't know that they'll actually seem all that different, what with them being chickens and chickens being kind of erratic to start with. But I feel badly.
The problems lies in the fact that I am a haphazard carpenter (and I apologize to all true carpenters in the world -- I don't really have the right to claim that I am any kind of carpenter, even a crappy one). I make lots of drawings and calculations, and then I order some wood and get busy messing it all up. Close observers will note, for example, that one side of the coop is completely smooth.
It is entirely lacking that charming and fake rough vertical siding look that the rest of the coop sports. Almost as if some fool carpenter wannabe cut that side of the coop in the wrong direction and had to flip the siding (which comes in a sheet that has only ONE textured side) around so it would fit. Maybe this alleged carpenter has an issue with north-facing walls, since it was the north facing wall of the last chicken coop that somehow was built a full inch shorter than the other three walls.
Incompetence notwithstanding, I was determined to finish the fencing today so that I could move the stinky birds out of the garage before the house sitter had to deal with them and their jail breaking experiments. I moved all the bits of lumber out to the new coop and was starting on the first fence section when my mind wandered innocently off to consider the task of nailing the chicken wire to the fence boards and I had a sudden spasm of clarity. The fencing is 48 inches tall. So I cut the upright supports at 48 inches, right? Only by the time I finish nailing them between the top and bottom rails, the fence wall will be 51 inches tall. Laid out on the floor for the visual learners among us, it will look kind of like this:
DUH! The supports are too long and I will be able to tack the chicken wire to the bottom or the top of the fence, but not both. Plus, chicken wire only pretends to be 48 inches tall. By the time you are finished doing battle with it, it will have taken on entirely new dimensions which bear no relation to the hole you are trying to cover. I could hear the predators snickering as they watch me from the bushes.
Now I'll have to shorten all of the supports by about 3 inches. Normally, I would just issue a little golf language and barrel ahead, but, like I said, I'm headed on vacation tomorrow. My garden is about to be overtaken by weeds, my suitcase (and everyone else's) is unpacked, my house is a mess, and -- if past behavior is anything to go by-- I'm pretty sure my family will want to eat some dinner again tonight. Plus, I seem to be busy blogging right now. Even I can't make believe that time will warp enough to let me get all this stuff AND a fence done before we leave. So, like I said, I have been forced to retreat from my chicken plans. I am defeated. But only for now.
On the up side, Isabel finished weaving camp today. Camp was held at a 19th century reconstructed village/museum. Kids who go to one of the camps wear period appropriate clothing and --as far as visitors to the museum are concerned-- become part of the re-enactment. They spend the week learning about 19th century farming, cooking, schooling, or crafting and soaking up some of the feeling of a different time. At the end of the program, I got to see her fine finished products (a bag with handle, a scarf, a rag rug and a bunch of bookmarks-- it turns out you can get a lot done when there is no TV) and I got to watch her weave with complete confidence and enthusiasm on a two different looms.
Great experience, proud parental moment, but dampened by a potentially disastrous discovery: I have a whopper crush on the 22" floor loom she was using. And I don't really even weave that much. It was just so cute. And petite. And it looked like so much fun to sit there and work the pedals and weave beautiful things. I think the problem is that I'm a tool junkie. I love my spinning wheel and am now tracking down an astounding number of other "must have" spinning and fiber prep tools. I have also been known to take loving pictures of things like my new hacksaw and my framing hammer, which I celebrated in a post last year. And now the loom. And really, really, really: I don't weave that much. But I have a major thing for all the Stuff.
Moving away from unnecessary possessions, I was surprised a few weeks ago when my watermelon did this:
All on its own. I did not cut that heart shape out of the wedge. Honest. The little bugger fell out while I was cutting the wedge. Weird, huh?
And again, I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping cameras out of the hands of children. Here, in condensed form, is a sampling of the pictures that resulted from Matty's recent photography obsession.
Most seem to be action shots; all are of the dog. And there were over 150 of them on my phone. I can tell it was Matty taking the pictures by the little feet that show up now and then. And the total disregard for holding the camera still while taking the picture.
Thank goodness he has taken up drawing. Here is his first picture:
It started as a picture of me, but he felt the need to add himself and then El Husband to the collection. I'm the one in the middle. In case you were wondering, the black dots at our midsections represent the food in our tummies. It would appear that we are quite transparent. I'm no critic, but I think it's brilliant.
No time for knitting news today. Not only am I too consumed with loom lust to report on the two sweaters that I have finished,
but I would kind of like to go on vacation tomorrow, and I haven't packed . . .