i just realized i didn’t post this here last week: Project Update from last weekend.

we started a flat of letuce and another of kale on Sunday. because…*drum roll, please*…we got the greenhouse finished! every single seam in the greenhouse is caulked shut. when it was 50 degrees out saturday, the greenhouse was almost 100. with vent management, and thermal mass (both water tubs are full, making 70 gallons all told), i think this is worth trying. we kept it above 30 in there all week, when it was cold enough to form an inch-thick crust of ice on the dog’s water last night–and the seeds didn’t freeze. i have hope. i really want homegrown greens this winter! enough that i’m willing to go out on a limb and try to sprout them now. but we *sealed* that greenhouse, and i think this is possible. *fingers crossed*

we also ran chicken-wire fencing over wire fence on the north side of the barnyard, from the chicken coop to the acequia. now the younger hens cannot go *through* the fence. this makes getting the hens into the yard and back to the coop a one person job, not two or three, and not a full-time occupation of chicken-chasing. less than fruitful-feeling, that. so, now Kit can let the hens out every time it’s nice out, without feeling like he has to spend all day chasing the dumb things back out of the barnyard (away from the dog) or, alternatively, supervising the dog/chicken interactions, and the birds can be eating grasshopper larvae in the garden all winter long, yay!

then, in a fit of well-realized ambition, Kit and I pulled the dishwasher out from under the counter, got it disconnected and the water-connector thingies all sealed up under the sink, cleaned up the ick resulting from what Kit is starting to call “the Sanchez effect” –i.e., the discovery of exactly how poorly our predecessor in the house, Herman Sanchez, installed something, usually discovered when we are trying to fix or redo it– and then Kit even got a bottom shelf built in resulting enormous open space on sunday. we had not used the dishwasher so much as once since acquiring the house, and when we bought the place, the home inspector said it leaked. we’ve been storing plastic containers in it; an inefficient use of space at best. but the real thing there is that not only is the space better-used by much-needed shelving, but the corner between the dishwasher and the wall was completely empty. no access; blocked by drawers on one side and the dishwasher on the other. something like 10 square feet of potential shelf space, wasted. in that tiny little kitchen! so, by removing the unnecessary, unattractive and unused Appliance of Water Waste, we open up close to 20 square feet of shelf space. since we have an eentsy little bulk foods problem, and a strong desire to have even more bulk foods in the house in light of current economic conditions, all this new shelf space is A Good Thing. Here is the new kitchen cabinet, with the bottom shelf that Kit made and installed. Thanks to for the bookshelf-wood that is becoming these shelves!

and from the angle that shows the depth of the newly-revealed space:

and, to cap the weekend, Kit and I also finally installed the lovely handmade curved shower-curtain rod my dad made for us. it’s been sitting in the bathroom in a corner since March, when we brought it back from NC, waiting on me to have sufficient time at home/psychological energy to possibly go out to the barn and chop 1/8″ off the curtain rod, so it would fit. first that was delayed by no electricity in the barn and an inconvenient power tool set up. we fixed that months ago, though, so then it was waiting for summer to slow down. and it’s been on my winter catch-up list. naturally, the project took less than 20 minutes to actually complete, an “of course” for something that waited nine months for the Round-To-It to come ’round. and, naturally, it didn’t even require resizing! we put it up there with the end-caps on to measure how much we’d need to cut off–and by gently pushing it together, we could fit it in as-is, stronger than if i’d cut that tiny bit off to begin with. so we levelled it and put the screws in, and ta-da! between that and the new coat of paint on the mirror-frame (matching the newly-painted trim in ‘s room), the bathroom is looking downright classy all the sudden.

i went into the weekend with a long list of potential proejcts, but nothing specific picked out, and that worked out really well to prevent overload and still get a lot of stuff done. Sunday we put compost on all the trees out back, and i finally redid the drip system to those trees, so that it runs over the new bridge now, instead of through the barnyard (where the hose is at constant risk from Nom Dog–she who is teething, and enormous). speaking of Nom Dog, that beast simply has no manners at all. she is walking up to people and stuffing her nose in their crotch by way of saying hi. And Sunday, she spent most of the day trying to bite us. in a playful way, more or less; grouchy-playful, Alan called it–but it still went on all day. i had her with me while i was working on the irrigation, and we went up to the greenhosue to get parts for like, two minutes, during which time i looked away from her for a whole moment, and when i turned around, she was simply gone. on a hunch, i ran out to the road and walked south down the street—-she was two doors down, flirting with the neighbor’s collie dog through their fence. the neighbors were standing there watching the dogs, and were not bothered at all that Thistle was there, thank goodness. the collie was unimpressed. i said, “i take my eyes off her for one minute!” and the girl replied, “be glad she didn’t get any further!” they’ve clearly been through that one themselves. :) i got Thistle back into the back yard with me with the only further incident of having to pry her out of the compost pile by force (which actually kept happening all day). Nom Dog, indeed. now i have to find time to rake the compost pile back into shape; i’m not too willing to ask someone else to take that on! not to mention getting around to installing front-doors (made of pallets, naturally) on both compost bins, to prevent further incursions from dog or chickens. i chased chickens out of the pile all day Sunday, too.

This weekend, cutting more firewood down small enough to fit in my itsy-bitsy yurt stove, possibly working on those compost bin hinged fronts, and whatever else floats to the top of the pile by Sunday. i think i’ll take the same approach as last weekend, and let the list resolve itself in the moment, and hope for greater productivity thereby. more snow is predicted for Monday. it’s been a wet week–snow this past monday, melting into the newly-tilled-with-compost garden over the succeeding days, followed by a good solid rainstorm yesterday. i pray the rest of the winter is this wet!