I should have written a post yesterday really, since The Challenge began on the 10th October ;-) I was just so pooped, though, I couldn't think about putting words together in coherent sentences LOL I'm pretty flippin tired today, too, so please excuse me if there are spelling mistakes and other grammatical hiccups in this post!
So what, I hear you ask, is making me so tired? Well, Adrian has four days holiday this week and we are working in the back garden. So far we've been really lucky with the weather ~ it's stayed dry and warm, and today has been very sunny indeed. We have plans for a fair few changes out there ~ you've often heard me referring to the garden as resembling Steptoe's Yard ;-) ~ pretty much a major overhaul of it all, actually! Realistically, I think it will more than likely take us a good couple of years to get everything done but we'll get there eventually :-)
We made a start a couple of weekends back and it's amazing how much tidier ~ and bigger ~ the garden now looks, even though we barely threw anything away! The shrubs (still) temporarily living in tubs are now all sitting together alongside one of the fences; the wood waiting to be cut up either for burning or to be used to make things is neatly stacked together and covered with a large plastic sheet; the bags of pebbles, sand, wood chippings, compost, etc, are all standing alongside the stack of wood, like with like; and the flowerpots are also stacked together, along the fence near the shrubs :-) It still takes me by surprise when I go out to the washing-line or the chickens to see just how neat this all now looks ~ and as an added bonus, I'm in much less danger of tripping up over something and doing myself an injury!
Right now we are concentrating on logs and chickens :-D Adrian made a super ~ large ~ log-store just prior to my back 'going', which won't be moving anywhere I'm relieved to say (the log-store, not my back ~ although I hope the latter has no intentions of 'going' again!). He decided, though, that we needed more log storage facilities but as he doesn't have a lot of spare time these days, thought he'd buy one. A lot of online research then took place (during which I began to think he could be using all that time to actually make one!) and eventually a likely candidate was selected. So said log-store arrived ~ flat-pack, naturally ~ and Adrian began to put it together and stain it green to match the rest of the garden woodwork. Well, I'm sorry to have to report that my hubby was not a very happy bunny by the end of the exercise. He reckons that this log-store is not all that well made and consequently is not going to have a very long life *sigh* He's also not convinced that, even with this second log-store, we have quite enough storage would you believe! The answer, of course, is a third log-store.....which he is going to build himself ;-D Thankfully, log-store number three is only going to a small one so hopefully won't take too long to build.
We have also decided to give the chickens a new, combined, house and run. The run area is a little longer than the one they have at present but also a little narrower, which is okay since the big girls are out for a few hours most days, anyway. The actual house is quite a lot smaller than the shed they currently live in but they only use a shelf in there to sleep on or sit by the pop-hatch watching the world go by! Their new house is raised up off the ground and has a floor which slides out to make for easier cleaning. It will certainly make this a lot better for me as I still find cleaning the hen house very hard on my back. I had to make a choice: if I wanted to continue to have pet chickens then I had to do something drastic regarding the cleaning aspect of their house. The other option was that once all the girls had gone to that great hen house in the sky, then I didn't have any more :-( 'Twas a pretty easy decision to make in the end ;-)
Since we had previously coralled all the bits and pieces neatly into one area, we were left with a vacant space large enough for the new hen house/run. Adrian did most of the hard work of laying some slabs straight onto the bare soil yesterday, which took absolutely ages since we had to get the flippin things pretty level for the house/run to sit on, even though it's only going to be there temporarily. But we also managed to get the house/run put together which we were very pleased about. The laugh, though, was that the instructions reckoned it would only take about half an hour to build. Guess how long it took us?? Nearly two hours! We are happy with this house/run, though; it's well made and sturdy :-)
Today I started staining the house/run ~ which is turning out to be a rather long task! To be fair it didn't actually need to be stained as it has been pressure-treated, but I want it green to match the rest of the garden woodwork. So far, I given both ends, which includes the nest-box since it is attached to the outside of the house section, and the back two coats of stain. I shall probably give all these a third coat tomorrow, then make a start on the front and inside the run area. I'll bet you can guess how stiff I am this evening!
Whilst I was busy with my pot of green stain, Adrian was clearing a space for the new yet-to-be-built log-store. He had to dig out a fair amount of soil so he could lay some slabs ~ properly this time, I hasten to add ;-) Actually, I'm a wee bit concerned about all the soil we have yet to dig out and move. We definitely need to hang on to it, as I know that once we get our planned raised beds built it will take a lot of soil to fill 'em up! In the meantime, though, we have to actually put the stuff somewhere and our garden is not what you would call big.....Oh well, that's a bridge to cross later methinks!
Adrian also finally got round to shoring-up our garden table ~ one of those little jobs which he's been meaning to do for months LOL It's lovely and sturdy now, and just needs to be sanded down and painted.....at some point ;-)
So tomorrow will be another day of staining for me ~ building and bad-language for Adrian ;-D