That slow hissing noise that sounds like air escaping is the sound of me decompressing. As I explained in a post two and half weeks ago, I was swamped at my programming job and working crazy hours. My employers aren’t slave-drivers or anything. It was just a case of a big-ass project requiring some serious rewriting of a ton of code that I inherited before I could add my own code. We hadn’t anticipated that, which put me way behind.
The project manager offered to extend the deadline by a couple of weeks, but that would have meant juggling everyone else’s schedule for testing, migrating, etc. I don’t like being the reason a project is delayed, even if it’s not my fault. So I chose to go into full-metal-jacket mode instead. I coded from morning until bedtime, including weekends. (I did grant myself permission to relax on Easter.)
The official deadline was Friday. I got ‘er done on Saturday. Close enough. I don’t plan to look at any code whatsoever for a few days. My brain needs a rest. My body, on the other hand, needs to get back to work.
The coding marathon meant putting our double spring project on hold. We did manage to make a bit of progress before the marathon began, however. For the fencing project (the first spring project), I finished cutting down some annoying trees (more like overgrown weeds) that were either in the fence line or just in front of it. Now we have nice, clear path.
The trunks of a couple trees I cut down will make decent firewood after drying out, so we tossed the chunks on the other side of the fence. Those will go in the barn to join the rest of the firewood supply.
We also finished putting up the tall poles to raise a net nice and high over one of the old chicken yards (the second spring project).
That’s Chareva in the picture below, getting ready to flip up a second layer of fence. After taking the picture, I of course assisted. Actually, we had Sara come out to assist as well, since we figured it would take three pairs of hands to flip up a 100-foot fence.
That’s as far as we got before I went off on my coding marathon.
We got lucky with the weather this weekend, so as soon as I wrapped up the coding, it was spring project time again.
Spring definitely sprung during the delay. Take a look at the chicken yard in the photos above. Sure, the grass was growing, but not exactly a jungle, right? Now take a look at the photo below:
That stuff was thigh-high. Along with the grass and weeds, much of it was a cover crop Chareva planted months ago, some kind of red winter wheat. (Don’t worry; we’re not planning to eat the stuff.) It’s kind of pretty, but almost certainly home to countless ticks and chiggers. No point in giving them access to our clothes at nearly waist level, so I planned to take The Beast in there for a feeding frenzy.
Unfortunately, The Beast needs a repair job. Before I even steered it to the chicken yard, the wheels stopped moving. The drive belt is intact, so whatever’s wrong, it’s beyond my ability to fix. So, after uttering ancient curses known only to small-time farmers, I ended up knocking down the tick-and-chigger habitat with the blade attachment on my Weed Whacker.
I’m sure the chicken yard is still full of ticks and chiggers, but now they’re at boot level instead of thigh level. When we work outdoors, we tuck our pant legs into knee-high boots, then spray everything from the knees down with Deep Woods Off. Seems to do the trick.
The job on Sunday, which was sunny and a perfect 65 degrees, was to string paracord to hold up the net. As we discovered when we built the current chicken yard (the first one we got right), these tent stakes slide nicely into the top of the poles. Then we can run the paracord through them.
I held the ladder steady (a not-unimportant job on the bumpy, hilly, rocky ground) and Chareva strung the cord. The first time we used this method to raise a net nice and high, we found the key is to string a lot of cord, with plenty of crisscrossed lines to keep the net from drooping.
Weather permitting, we’ll finally be raising that net later this week. When we dismantled the chicken yard last year, we just rolled up the net and tied it to a fence. Weeds have since grown up into it, we’ll have some de-weeding to do. But give us a couple more good workdays, and we can finally move those chickens to a secure yard with a high net and plenty of fresh ground to peck.
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