Light is disappearing fast in the evenings and mornings now. I have been ploughing on with the Demo Project while I can. A great achievement was the removal of ALL of the firewood from the old woodshed. Woohoo! It was a big effort, comprised of countless wheelbarrow trips back and forth between the woodshed and the new wood racks, and trying to find places to fit all the wood.
I did almost the entire lot myself, with a little help from The Little Fulla. The Husband moved one wheelbarrow load of wood, but he did it wrong. I don’t mean he ruined my system of smaller bits at the top, bigger bits in the middle and natural tree wood at the bottom, although he did stuff that up a little, I mean he stacked it wrong. He tried to tell me that wood shouldn’t be stacked so tightly otherwise it won’t dry out. I informed him that 1) this wood was already dry and 2) we needed to fit as much as we could on the wood racks otherwise it was going to be stored on the GROUND. I spent extra time re-stacking The Husband’s loose wood. I knew we were going to run out of space. Obviously, we do need another wood rack, so I will save space for one along the fence. The Husband did come out and help on the final evening of wood wheelbarrowing, but then we started running out of places to fit the wood, after having already stacked some in front of wood rack #1 and some in the gap between the two racks. When the going got tough, The Husband got going. Into the house. Apparently the mozzies were killing him. I had to finish the last two loads by myself in the dark. But looking at the empty, rotting woodshed the next morning gave me a fantastic feeling. Except for the sight of a certain occupant.
Ok, no more dead rats.
The Saturday before last, we had a little adventure to go and get the new chicken coop. It was a 1 hour 40 minute-drive with the three of us crammed into The Husband’s work van, towing a trailer. We had a quick stop at the beach, picked up some cheap avocadoes, visited the Hobbit-style information centre in Matamata, aka ‘Hobbiton’, and came home with the pieces of the chicken coop. Somehow, these pieces ended up being stored on the deck, so now we have a somewhat uninspiring and oppressive view of plywood.
The next worksite tasks were digging out the top layer of rubbishy soil from the woodshed before the chickens could get to it and removing all the bits and pieces from on or around the woodshed: the food and water vessels, the bit of wood fence that helped shelter the food and water, the wire that stopped crazy Jane and Mary (not entirely) from flying into the top of the woodshed (that seems ages ago now, but it was only a year ago), bricks that had gathered around the sides and so forth.
Then the real dismantling began. I unscrewed or prised off long, thin pieces of wood that were holding the plastic under the roof down. Then it was time to begin roof removal. Wait, no, then it was time to sweep the masses of cedar needles and dirt off the roof. Prising the nails out of the heavy corrugated iron sheets proved to be very difficult on my own, with The Little Fulla running around down below getting up to mischief to boot. Once The Husband got on board in the evening, progress shot up and we got the roof down. Then the real demolition began.
As Friday drew to a close we had the black plastic from under the roof down, the thin sheets of I-have-no-idea-what-they’re-called lining down and the roof framing down, which consisted of timber and a big metal frame that didn’t span the entire roof. I was so glad to get that roof down. I didn’t trust it enough to stand on at the end, but The Husband got up there to finish getting all the randomly placed nails out. There was borer. There were large ants nests. There were whitetail spiders. There were all sorts of funny things going on.
Saturday was even more productive. The Husband seemed to enjoy demolishing the woodshed, which was down in the time it took me to get The Little Fulla to the toilet and back. Some of it could simply be pushed over, the wood was that rotten. All the wood was moved to the Demolition Mountain against the wall of the garage, which is growing ever bigger. The roof lining, which smells decidedly like ants, is being broken up into small pieces for the rubbish. There are bits and pieces of stuff EVERYWHERE.
As I began to get the first horizontal fence paling down from the hideous brown fence, The Father arrived with a special load. Sand! The Little Fulla finally got his sandpit filled with sand, and we’re all very stoked about that.
By the end of the weekend, we had gotten the whole first section of brown fence down, with the exception of the post closest to the garage door and the lowest planks that are holding back dirt, and The Husband had removed the last stump, the camellia stump, which proved to be probably the worst stump we have had to remove and broke a number of metal hooks that were fitted into the drill during The Husband’s drill-jack method. The stump didn’t look so bad back when most of it was under the dirt in the raised garden bit. The Husband said in a stern voice, “That is the last stump I am doing.” With the stump gone, I am now lowering the dirt level so the rest of the fence can be removed without dirt falling all over the concrete part. Once this is done, We can begin siting and assembling the new coop.
The view we have gained is really something. To look out, well, beyond the plywood-enclosed deck, on a country view of paddocks and fruit trees is so much more marvelous than looking out on an ugly brown fence, black plastic and old structures. I am VERY pleased. Some of this view will get blocked out by the new chicken coop, but it won’t be terrible to look at and it won’t take up all the space.
With all this work going on, the chickens really must have thought the world was ending this time. I mean, the sky was falling! They are kind of pleased though, because there currently is no pen separation, meaning they can walk through the ‘fence’ and hang out wherever they feel like within both ‘pens’. I’m too busy trying to get the work done to worry, and the Cedar Pen ground has been newly covered in either hay or dirt from the raised bit anyway, so they should be fine until I get some fencing sorted. Frodo has been part time in the Hospital Cage and part time out with the others while her foot heals from bumblefoot. It is healing nicely, I’m just worried about her being out too much with potential worksite hazards around, especially considering the attention that she is now drawing from both young roosters. Let’s just say they’re both very keen on her.
I am feeling tired but very, very good about this project. Carry on!