Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I am in constant conflict

I am in constant conflict. This is why.

I am a visual person.

I LOVE free or cheap materials/ food/ furniture/ fabric/ animals......stuff.

I appreciate function over form.

Our family has rented our homes for 11 years (!) mostly because my husband was in school for his undergraduate degree then his masters. Then the housing bubble expanded across every part of the country known to man and we couldn't find a house that both fit our budget and our large, rambling family. (Now, finally, prices are returning to normal and we anticipate buying a house by summers end.) So in the mean time we've been renting. In our case, renting a house means that I cannot paint or replace the carpet or put up book shelving. So on an every day living level, I've been frustrated because I can't make the inside of my house look the way I want.
We have recently, however, been allowed to have rabbits and chickens, which I am thankful for. But I'm finding that having animals is an even greater challenge to me, the visual, conflicted farmer!

The chicken coop is a great example.

Here's a picture of our sweet, little, red coop. It was built in about 1933 and is very sturdy and roomy and was given to us (IE: FREE). It used to be brown and now it is red. Since red is my favorite color, the new paint is an improvement. But, I would like to place rocks around the foundation and paint the trim white. There is a small back window that is screaming "shutters, I need shutters!" Plus the door needs some updating. I've not put anymore work into the coop right now because I'm not sure we will be able to take it with us (the last move was pretty hard on the structure. I'm not sure it can take another big move.) It's untapped potential drives me crazy on a visual level. But, it works great as is so right now, it remains "uncute" .....function over form.

If a person were to further inspect the grounds that the chicken house occupies, one would notice that there is something or somethings around the side of the building just, almost, not quite out of sight.
What is all that stuff on the side?

What IS all the junk?! My husband would say that this is a slash pile waiting for a big burn. My poor, sweet, long-suffering husband. He is even more visual than I am. These kind of messes drive him crazy! But he doesn't complain........too much.

Ahhhh! What a mess! My eyes! They are becoming sore just looking at this pile!

Well, this "junk" are (is?) crates. Big, wooden, free crates. Three of them. My plan is to put the chicken wire (from that roll you see standing up) around the perimeter of each crate to make chicken tractors. Or, maybe, turkey tractors. The blue tarp will go on the ground in the garden spot for a quick weed kill. But first the compost has to be spread out a little more. Also, there is a spare cage from our recently deceased buck rabbit. It has already been cleaned and is now getting the "sun" treatment (this is where an animal cage/ water bowl/ nesting box is cleaned out then allowed to lay in the sun for the bleaching/ sterilizing effect. It's some thing I thought was a good idea a long time ago and I've just always done.) Also present are the metal bottoms to all the rabbit cages. The cages are in the chicken coop and the manure is allowed to fall into the deep litter to be scratched and picked at by the chickens. So even though we are not using them right now, the metal bottoms might come in handy some time. You never know! And I didn't even address the goofy, I-thought-it-was-a-good-idea-to-paint-a-tree-on-a-door door.

Almost every thing in this picture was free or acquired very inexpensively. And though none of the acquired "stuff" will be used right away, every item will be needed some time this summer. Already having the "stuff" means one or two or three less trips I have to make to town and dollars I don't have to spend. So it's a good thing, this trash pile. Probably all good farmers have a trash/ junk pile or two they can pick from on the property that saves them money and time.
But it surly is sore on my eyes.
And so I remain.....conflicted.

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