We had quite a full day of hard(ish) labor!
DH worked hard to tweak and almost finish the chicken coop. We bought the "condo" a few months ago. D added the hardware cloth to the back, and re-purposed fencing for the side, and for a while we let them out and just blocked off the other side so they could hang out under the condo. Today we took fence panels that we already had and lay them from the roof of the condo to a support beam on the fence. Then lots of tweaking (to make the rain roll the right way), and the large side panel went in. All that's needed is to add the gate! The chickens love to hang out under the condo. You can just make out their shapes through the hardware cloth.
While DH was tweaking the chicken coop, I was working on our beds and paths. Our entire yard was covered in 5-12 inches of chipped wood from the trees we took down several months ago. B"H it killed most of the grass, except in one corner of the yard where the layer was thinner than elsewhere. I dug out a main 4-foot path, and several 2-foot paths. It's not all that visible in the picture. It's much clearer in person! The middle circle on the right is where BE"H the fish pool will go. There's a 4-foot path around that circle for full access. Then lots of rectangular beds. I piled the composting wood chips from the paths onto the beds. Some of the beds are built up a good 15 inches. Next we're going to keep it well-watered and add great quantities of nitrogen to help break down the wood chips. If all goes well, we should have plantable soil by February. We also would like to get a fresh delivery of (free!) wood chips to fill in the paths so if all goes well we can repeat the process next year. The price sure is right! The city recycling center has free compost, but we would have to hire a dump truck to get the quantity we needed. We have a very miniscule budget for this, and the idea was given to us by Dave, our local county extension advisor. With so much mulch, the nice thing is that even when it pours we don't get muddy areas.
We had such a great day today. It is very satisfying to work hard like this all day and then sit back and feel like you've really accomplished something tangible. And D. and I are both so enthusiastic that it is a big pleasure to share the time together. The kids had a great time too! Eli's becoming very handy with an ax. Amirah loves to snuggle with the chickens. Avi likes to walk around banging the ground with sticks. And Raizel loves to keep everyone organized and on task. :)
On a completely different subject......... this is my sweet little talmid.
He loves, loves, loves this Hebrew book. Can you see how utterly plain it is? He loves it, and his reading is getting much faster and I am so much looking forward to reading chumash with him, especially now that he has a more experienced chumash teacher! Poor Amirah, my guinea pig. :)
And now to bed, to, please Hashem, wake up with renewed muscles and a good Monday. The last few Mondays have been much too whiny/grumpy so I'm really hoping we can get this one off to a good start! We're not really taking much time off now - maybe a day or two - since we had our nice two-week vacation in November. So... onward!