I’m playing a game called How Many Outdoor Projects Can One Tackle at The Same Time? Sometimes it’s exciting and sometimes it’s like being stuck in a very long game of monopoly in which you keep getting sent to jail. No wonder The Husband is a little reluctant to join me. There is The Great Vege Garden Expansion Plan, for which the big pile of timber has been delivered. That is exciting. Next we’ll get to see how my planning pans out. And then there is the garage.

We have made immense progress on the garage. The garage was a terrible point of procrastination. We never got things set up properly when we moved in; stuff was just dumped all over the place and joined by more stuff, the old carpet on the garage floor wasn’t even flat and was just getting dirty and horrible and we had the biggest pile of flattened cardboard boxes ever. The Husband thought we could use them for the fire. We are most of the way through our second winter and we have not used that many, plus we get enough from deliveries here or to The Husband’s work. The garage was a dirty, messy, trip-hazardy eyesore. It didn’t help that rats started taking the garage for their own until I got the bait station. Take that ratties! The garage is now mine! I mean ours. I jumped off the procrastination train and started the garage tidy-up. Go to jail, take a dust mask, watch out for rats dead or alive and do not pass GO.

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The garage part-way through the clean-up. You can’t see the messiest part, which is off to the right, including the cardboard capital of the world.

I did ‘my half’ of the garage, which included setting up a nice corner for my chicken gear and moving a lot of large items around. The Husband was a little reluctant to do ‘his half’, which contained the workbench, all his tools and things, random bits of wood and the cardboard capital of the world. While The Parents were here to keep an eye on The Little Fulla, I seized the moment and ‘encouraged’ The Husband outside to crack down on ‘his half’ of the garage. I helped him. It’s no fun being in jail by yourself. Especially when there is the threat of rats. I never saw a rat or mouse whilst cleaning in the garage (I love you bait station!) until The Husband uncovered one under the cardboard city. It was dead, flattened and largely decomposed but it was HUGE. Ewww! I wonder if that was the one that was in the ceiling some time ago. It sounded like there was an elephant up there. No wonder I went through so much rat bait to start with. It probably took a lot to kill that thing.

We did such a great job, it is now looking like a proper garage, well, one that isn’t used for a car. We can walk in it freely, the floor has been swept, many cobwebs have been swept off the walls and rafters and, most importantly, we can find things and get them out easily and I can use the side door to go in and out of the chicken pen. Hooray! We still have a little bit to do. The smaller freezer needs to be moved away from the workbench and put next to the other one, the extension cord needs to be threaded up along the rafters so it’s not a trip hazard, The Husband needs to sort out his tools and workspace and we need to do a little more sweeping and disposing of things.

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You mean the garage has a floor?
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My chicken corner and one of the upright freezers. We couldn’t even get out the side door before, but now I can go straight out to my chickens.

Space had to be cleared in the garage in order for another ‘fun’ task to be done. Trying to find a closer source of wood shavings for the chickens, I bought some wood shavings that were said to be “good for chickens”. Well, The Husband arrived home with the giant sack, which is over 1 cubic metre in volume, and I found that these ‘wood shavings’, which I would describe more as sawdust/shavings/wood chips, were wet through the whole bag. On what planet is that good for chickens? Wet bedding or even substrate for the run is BAD for chickens. Since we already had it, it was huge and neither of us are good at complaining or taking things back, I am just resorting to drying it out, batches at a time, on a tarpaulin on the garage floor. Hence the double success of cleaning up the garage. If all else fails it would make great garden mulch. In the mean time, I have been using hay in the coop, which is not so easy-care or as efficient as wood shavings. I might just have to get some of the usual wood shavings if the new stuff doesn’t dry out quickly.

 

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Part of ‘The Husband’s side’ of the garage, which still needs some organising. Oh, and my wood shavings drying station.

The follow-on project from cleaning up the garage is cleaning up the carport in preparation for it being dismantled and in working towards the berry beds of The Great Vege Garden Expansion Plan. I started doing this, but now the carport has collected not only the what-is-that-thing-I-can-see-from-space stash of flattened cardboard boxes, waiting to go out on the road for recycling, but the giant bag of wet wood shavings. Walking through the carport at present is almost as bad as walking through the garage was.

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Carport can also be translated as clutterport. Or return-to-jail. Forget don’t pass GO, don’t pass at all! It’s SO fun going in and out to the chickens and cleaning their gear at the carport tap every day. We need to unload our lovely and very long timber from the trailer so we can put stuff on it to take to the dump: the old carpet, the crap shack on the left (yes, that’s still floating around) and various other bits and pieces.

But wait, there’s more. I need to get the orchard fenced, which is reliant on the vege beds getting built as chicken wire is going to be attached to one side of them, so the chickens can move to fresh ground and get away from the carport that needs to be dismantled. I also want to set up a small fattening pen for at least two of the roos that are destined for the other side of the rainbow. The dog kennel that was left here could be converted into a decent small coop for them. I just need to put a roost in it and figure out something for the door.

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The weeds are ready for the chickens but the fencing isn’t. And yes, that is one of my pruning mountains in front of the feijoa tree. I started removing it, really!

And then, we need to take back the big wooden gates that I used in the fencing of the current chicken pen and install them along the east side of the house, which is going to require posts and other things as well, before The Little Fulla gets too wild. Then we will still be able to drive round to the back when need be, yet keep our little fidget contained. You see, everything is dependent on something else at the moment. It’s like a crazy project triangle. Or hexagon. Or some shape that doesn’t even have a name. I barely know what to do when I go outside because there are so many things.

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The two big gates have been handy for fencing in the chickens but we kind of need them somewhere else…

That is not all, but those are the more urgent big things that need doing. And that’s aside from the fruit tree pruning that I still need to do but haven’t been able to do because it’s been wet for weeks and weeks and I don’t want to encourage disease. I need to prune the apple tree, the big pear tree and the two fig trees. Plus, I still have a few pruning mountains I need to deal with. I think three’s the current count.

Yup, this is life in the fast lane. Can I pass GO now? I would like $200.

Last night The Husband came home from work with a bunch of flattened cardboard boxes. Apparently his sister, who has just sold her house, might need some. There are no words. NO words.

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