Who Needs TV When You Can Laugh at Your Own Awkwardness?

It’s been a funny old week. The virus reared its ugly head again after a long spell of having things pretty good here in New Zealand, compared to other countries. We faced a potential lockdown decision again. At least this time we had the advantage of hindsight. Can you guess where I could be found in the days before the decision? At Bunnings and at the timber mill, getting supplies. These were things we needed in the coming weeks anyway. I didn’t want to be stuck without seed raising mix for spring seed sowing. I didn’t want to be stuck without enough screws or timber. Or concrete mix. Or wire. Or gudgeons.

It turns out we get to be at Level 2 (except for our poor northern neighbours) for a while longer. I’m still glad we’ve got plenty of project supplies on hand. I’ve been pretty good at acquiring things we needed in the months after the initial lockdown because you never know if you suddenly won’t be able to access them. But I’m up to my ears in projects, big and small, and hadn’t gotten some of the things necessary to start certain projects. Now I have lots of options. I was feeling very excited about all the projects and was eager to cut the timber that was piling up under the carport.

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It’s getting a bit crowded in the carport. Time to use some timber.

I cut the timber for the base of our greenhouse frame. This will help stabilise it and provide something to attach the door and front framing to. I haven’t screwed the base together yet because the ground needs some weeding and leveling.

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The greenhouse frame almost has a base.

Then all my projects got a little stalled. Do you know the saying, ‘If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning’?

We were carrying a large length of timber, of the raised bed-150x50mm-4.8m-long kind, to the back carport. Let’s just say if one person suddenly drops their end without warning, the weight of the timber will cause the other person to drop their end, and if that person’s leg is in range of the timber, then… Big ouch. I have a big bruise, scrape and swelling on my leg, which is very sore and reduced me to hobbling. And not being able to do many of the things.

It is frustrating for me not being able to carry on with the outdoor projects. I am not a very happy couch potato specimen. I felt bored for the first time in ages. But, things could have been worse. Boredom is not about not having things to do, it’s about an attitude. I could sit around feeling annoyed and sorry for myself or I could choose to be thankful and focus on what I could still do. I’m thankful I just got an injury and not a horrible virus. I’m thankful that somehow my leg bent so that the timber hit my leg on the muscly part just above my knee instead of my kneecap or my foot. I’m thankful that I’ve been allowing and encouraging The Little Fulla to do chicken chores with me, morning and night, so he was able to show The Husband what to do to help him. There are extra chicken chores at the moment with two batches of chicks and mums. I’m thankful that it happened on a Friday evening, so The Husband was here and could do all the things. Or at least most of the things. I’m thankful that there are still things I can do. I folded the washing pile on the couch. I cut my fringe. I cut The Little Fulla’s hair. I knitted. I perused seed catalogues, which was perhaps more dangerous than useful. I blogged. I prayed. I chatted to friends. And I got some rest too. It’s amazing what you can do when you take on an attitude of thankfulness.

My leg is feeling better than it was, but I still need to be patient while it heals. I will repeat that loudly to myself. I did get some amusement out of watching The Husband and The Little Fulla chase the rooster around in the morning. Winston Cheepers has been going into a cage in the garage at night since he likes to wake up very early. He’s a good boy though and The Little Fulla can pick him up off the roost to put him into the cage at night. However, in the morning Winston Cheepers does not sit quietly, but is raring to go. He will shoot out of the cage like a bullet if you don’t grab him. I forgot to warn The Husband about that. Winston Cheepers made a bid for freedom into the garden.

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Winston Cheepers is a good boy, but he is very frisky first thing in the morning.

Meanwhile, the neighbours have people traipsing through their property because they’re selling their house. It is really reminding me about how many strange things I do. A homesteading lifestyle has become very normal to me, but sometimes I forget that it’s not normal to most people. The place where my ‘normal’ tasks and our ‘make it do’ philosophy hits other people’s perception can be a source of amusement for me. Last time that property was being sold a mass of prospective buyers got a front row seat of me turning a giant compost heap with a garden fork. Recently, people got to see me perched up in the bouncy fig tree, pruning it with the saw, while down below The Husband looked like he was having a weird front yard sale as he emptied the entire, copious contents of his work van onto three trestle tables and on the ground and proceeded to sort and tidy all the bits and pieces.

There’s a part of me that wants to do slightly awkward outdoor tasks when people are looking at the neighbours’ property, for amusement’s sake. But then I do also want good neighbours. It’s just as well I don’t have any chickens to butcher at the moment. That would fall under the more-than-slightly-awkward category. I stalled at the door as I was about to hobble out for some fresh air because I saw people walking through the property. Do I really want to be the weird neighbour with the gammy leg? I decided I better not go outside with the makeshift crutches that The Husband had provided for me. One was a mop. The full-on, floofy cotton strand kind. The other crutch was the Smiting Stick strapped to a piece of the vacuum cleaner pipe, to make it taller.

The Smiting Stick is a piece of driftwood shaped like a walking stick that we found on the beach at Kekerengu, in the South Island, on our way to a family event in Christchurch in 2007, about a year before we moved down there. We called it the Smiting Stick because The Husband had great fun smiting things with it on the beach.

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The finding of the Smiting Stick in Kekerengu, 2007.

The Smiting Stick came with us on our trip and came home with us. And it is still with us 13 years later. It has some good memories that Smiting Stick. But I wasn’t keen to make weird memories for potential neighbours with that sort of crutches get-up. That was when I decided I better do some hair cutting instead. Inside the house.


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