Saturday, March 12, 2011

Remodel Update

As I wrote earlier in the week, I have finally pushed myself to start building the nesting boxes that the girls so desperately needed.  I started out with a double box, and after going back to the drawing board a couple of times,  I managed to get it built. Later that night my full-timer helped me hang it on the wall.

The next day, I am glad to report that I collected 13 eggs and the girls utilized both sides of the double box, plus the nests that were on the ground that they had previously been using.  The following day we recieved 16 eggs. 

You have to love progress.

I had a break from the wind the next day, so instead of beginning construction on the rest of the boxes, I planted 10 grapevines.  I have needed to get them in the ground, but there hasn't been a day that the wind wasn't cruising at 25-30 mph.  It makes doing most things outside almost unbearable.

By Friday, I was ready to knock out the next couple of box sets.  We were back to 30 mph winds, and it seemed like the best thing to be doing.  That was until I smelled grass burning and noticed a nice haze hanging in the air.  No, I was not starting a fire, but somewhere south of me, I could tell that something was in serious trouble.  I jumped in my truck with the dogs, and headed out to see if I could find the culprit.  Due to the windy conditions, I called 911 in progress to let them know.  That was when I was informed of the major grass fire in Rhome.  The 911 operator wasn't sure if the smoke would have hit my area, but thought it was a possibility.  Then she very nervously asked that if I found anything else burning to quickly get back to them.  Thankfully, after driving around for a while, I did not find anything else burning.  High Fire Danger days are always a huge concern to me.  How would I manage that?  God would have to help me, otherwise I don't know how we could survive it.  We meaning all living things on this farm.

When I got back to the house, I watched a little bit of news to get an idea of what was going on with the fire, and then went back outside.  I felt like I would have a better chance of seeing the fire coming and reacting, than hearing about it on the news and being able to have time to respond.  There are certain people that should not be allowed to talk live on television.

Back outside, the nesting boxes went pretty quickly.  I built another double box, but made an adjustment on the height.  Some of the girls are pretty big, and I thought it might accommodate them better.  I had a break when everyone got home and we all grabbed something to eat before I headed back out to the barn to finish.  I drug my full-timer with me because she is free for spring break and wasn't bogged down with homework.  I told her she didn't have to do anything but man the stereo and talk with me.  I ensured her that it would be fun.  So, as promised, we were having a pretty good time.  That is when things got a little interesting.  I am not sure if I can give you a full visual on what happened, but I will do my best.

I had finished the single box and we were installing a little perch on the front of the box.  To do this, I cut two pieces of 2X2 lumber to the same length.  Then flipping the box on its side, I used two wood screws to attach each 2X2.  One screw at the front, and another at the back.  I had marked the bottom of the box so that I could mount them both in a uniform fashion.  I had my full-timer holding the top of the piece so as to keep it on the mark.  I had my knee up against the bottom of the piece so it would stay in place.  As I was drilling the screw into the lumber, I was leaning over the top of my drill.  I do this so that I can see better, and so that I can get some leverage behind the drill to push with.

Public Service Announcement:  Do not do this!

In the quickest moment in time, my knee slipped off the bottom of the board, and with all the speed that the drill was turning, that board spun also.  The top of the board was already slightly screwed in.  The bottom swung up and around and WHACK!  Let me tell you, Sugar Ray had nothing on this board.  Talk about a mean right hook.  It hit me full on in the face, a couple of inches below my eye, hard.  I immediately grabbed my face with both hands and went down on the concrete. 

My full-timer rushed in and started a rapid fire series of questions...

"Are you O.K.?"

"What happened?"

"Did you hit your eye?"

"What happened?"

"Did you hit your mouth?"

"What happened?"

"Did you hit your nose?"

"What happened?"

I am sure that I was not answering any questions with words, but I am also sure that she wasn't allowing time for words anyway.  It went on so fast that I finally just started laughing.  She did not think this was funny, and this is probably when she really got concerned.  I just couldn't help it though.  I finally got it out that the board hit me in the face and then she wanted to see.  I pulled my hands down and that is when I really got worried about her.  She won't ever admit it, but she had tears in her eyes.  Then she immediately had a look of fright, and was grabbing me by my arm trying to drag me to my feet to get me inside.  That is when I started freaking out more.

"What's wrong?"

her - "Come on!  We got to go inside!"

"Why?  I don't want to tell your Dad.  Is it bad?"

her - "I don't know, but there is blood."

"A lot of blood?  Do I need stitches?  We are almost done.  Can't we finish?  Hand me a paper towel?"

her - "We have to tell Dad.  I can't tell how bad it is, there is blood everywhere.  What happened?"

"Why can't I ever finish a project without getting hurt?"

her - "I don't know.  I only looked away for a second, and then Whack!  You were on the ground."

"I told you we would have fun."

her - "You have a weird sense of humor.  When I leave, we are going to have to hire you a nanny."

This went on, back and forth with a lot of laughing included, and finally with a little pressure, the bleeding stopped.  It was a small, surface scrape.  Nothing needing stitches or a trip to the Emergency Room.

Thank you, Lord.

I had some ice in a cup, and managed to clean myself up and we were able to finish and get the new boxes hung.  I did have some explaining to do when I came inside, and there is a little swelling and discomfort today, but I should recover.  I literally feel like someone hit me upside the head.

The Man in Charge has given me a new rule to follow due to this incident.  I now must wear gloves and safety glasses at all times when projecting.  He has also enjoyed frequently quizzing me on what the rules are...

"Now, what are you supposed to have when you are working?"

The good news is that the boxes are working great.  Here are some pictures that I shot this afternoon, and yes, that is Lola.

He thinks that I put these here for him.


  1. Oh my god, Candi! If you make it out of this farmer thing alive and in one piece it will truly be a miracle!

    Can I sign up to be a purchaser of some of your Keifer pears? I make killer pear preserves and Keifer are the ONLY kind to use. I used to get them from Nancy but she cut her tree down -- how could she do that to me?

    Now be careful out there cuz I need you to keep writing. Love ya. Clarebelle

  2. You can definitely be on the list for pears, but it may be a while. I think it is 2 years to fruit.
    I have an awesome recipe for pear honey butter...yummy.

    No, I can't believe she cut down her tree. Did you not share your preserves?

    Don't worry about me too much. I only have surface wounds from this battle. My guardian angel kicks butt! (My full-timer is convinced that he is begging for a raise.)

  3. My goodness, I leave for the weekend and all kind of things happen. I think I have an extra hard hat and Danny says he has seen pink ones maybe for your birthday. Nope after some thought I think we might not want to wait that long.
    So what does the cat lay?
    Have a good SAFE week....I think I will rethink me using the saw as I have just graduated to a potato peeler.