Just Another Busy Weekend Day

Since we now have a chicken laying eggs regularly, we decided that the back of the nest box ought to be, you know, attached somehow (Liza has knocked it off and ended up in the shed already, which is just confusing for her). So this morning Noel went off to the hardware store and got some hinges, cupboard latches, and a handle. And look at that.

Fancy new hardware for the nest box

And here's the view inside. My own morning project is visible there: a pair of privacy curtains for the box.

Inside the nest box

See, there was this piece of paper in the box that I was using to block the light from the gap in the back cover. Liza pulled it free and was sitting with the paper over her head, presumably to get a little privacy for her laying. So I made her a pair of curtains.

Nest box with curtains

The dog fabric was just some extra stuff I had around. I also had cats, but I thought the chickens might prefer the dogs. I basically made two hemmed pieces and stapled them in place, so when the girls want to redecorate, they're easy to replace.

Joan was not sure what to make of the curtains, but Carole went in and hung out for quite a while (they're practising for when they start laying).

Joan checking out the curtains

Well, with that out of the way, I went inside and prepped the pantry (which is to say, put away a bunch of tools), then taped it:

Pantry taped

And mudded:

Pantry mudded

I discovered when I was mudding the parlours that it works best for me to do the non-corner mudding first, let it dry solid, then do the corners. Just in terms of not having to rework the mud all the time. I also do thinner layers and more of them, which professionals would never do because it takes so much longer. I find it easier to do that way, and time is not a huge issue on this project.

I also find that using lightweight drywall mud works much better than regular weight: it's a lot easier to sand and it is faster to dry, or so it seems to me.

I got around the pantry pretty fast, and tomorrow I will do the corners. I find that the corners are what makes it feel really solid and room-like for me. Then we have some sanding, and another coat of mud, and more sanding.


When I'd finished the pantry, I went out to do some weeding. I signed up to be on the Bay-friendly gardens tour, and they called to ask to see the garden. So of course it happens to look really bad right now, with piles of stuff from making the shed and waves of weeds in the roses, and tomatoes totally out of control, and I think I lost a large planter under a branch of the nectarine, and so on. It's really kind of chaotic right now. So I took the mower, the loppers, and my little wagon and went out front to rip out wagonloads of Bermuda grass from under and inside the roses, and to do some much-needed summer pruning (in this climate we prune roses twice a year, or we have eight-foot rose bushes).

The chickens appreciated my work. I brought them piles of weeds to peck at and eat through, and lots of fresh snails to eat. The crazy thing is that I hardly made a dent in the Bermuda grass. That stuff is phenomenal: too bad it kills every plant it encounters. Time to get a backpack sprayer and deal it a heavy blow with herbicide; my weeding only seems to rejuvenate it.

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posted by ayse on 08/09/08

2 Comments

I'm on the island as well.

We prune roses twice a year? I don't think I knew that. I always do it in January. But mine are quite unattractive right now, with long crazy canes going in all directions.

Is it okay to prune while they're still blooming?

Thx

Oh, yes, the twice-yearly pruning thing was kind of hard to wrap my head around, too. I prune in January and July, usually (this year in January and August because of procrastinating). The July pruning definitely helps with the mid-summer crazy-canes, and it encourages a second flush of blooming if you have single-bloomers (I find it also helps clear up the foliage to make a nicer-looking shrub). Don't do as drastic a pruning as in January, just kind of whack them back to the size you want, if you know what I mean.

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