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We have rafters!

We have rafters!

What a gloriously gorgeous day it has been today. To be outdoors working on the chicken coop without a jacket on of any sort and to be perfectly comfortable, even a little warm. The sun shone and the sky was a brilliant blue. There was a bit of gusty breeze but it wasn’t a cold breeze. We’ve had the door to the deck open most of the day and the cats have been happy as can be. It’s funny how in fall 58F/14C feels a little chilly but in spring it feels so very warm.

Bookman and I got the rafters up on the coop today. It went along really easy because Bookman had the brilliant idea of using two C-clamps to hold the rafter on instead of me trying to hold the rafter still while he drilled. It went so fast and easy we didn’t know what to do after that because we had expected it to be a thing. So we measured a board to attach the run door frame to and then attached that to the coop. And then we put up another board on the other side of the run for attaching hardware cloth to and then there was nothing else to do because we need hinges for the door before we build the door frame so we know if we need to make any allowances for the size of the door to fit it into its allotted space.

And we are also ready to start cutting plywood. But the plywood is under a tarp that still has a bit of snow and ice on it and we didn’t feel quite prepared to remove the tarp and start figuring it all out. That will be for the next nice weekend. It feels good to be making progress on the coop again. We still have a lot to do but all the structural framing and stuff is all done. In some ways that feels like the hardest part. Now we just have to fill it all in.

The seed starting continues apace. The onions and leeks are doing great. The tomatoes have a few tiny sprouts. The peppers still have not decided to give me any satisfaction. I think they might not be warm enough or getting enough light so I now have a lamp shining on them when the sun is not which is about half the time. Hopefully that will be enough to encourage them to get going. If not, I guess I will be buying plants in May. There is still time yet, so fingers crossed!

Today I filled paper pots and planted parsley, basil, pineapple tomatillo and cumin. I have never grown tomatillos before, I have never even tried one. Have you? I’ve seen them at the store and I have heard they make great salsa and I always like to try something new every year and these are it. The catalog description says these actually taste like pineapple. Now, I don’t expect they will, not exactly. In a blind taste test no one will be fooled. However, I expect they will be pineapple-y, a little sweet-tart and kind of fruity. Since they are an experiment we’ll see how it goes!

The weather forecast for the coming week is up and and down temperatures but always above freezing even at night. That is just crazy for this time of year. March has traditionally been one of our snowiest months and the precipitation predicted for mid week is rain, not snow. Looks like it is time to get out and start cutting back last year’s perennials and prairie grasses. Too early to remove winter mulch yet. This week might be warm but next week could be a blizzard. Not likely considering weather trends, but one just never knows.

This is reading in bed

This is reading in bed

One last thing. That photo over there is what reading in bed at night is like for me. Dickens is on my lap and that’s Waldo curled up next to me. Bookman took the photo this week because he thought it was so funny. But this is not unusual, this happens every single night. If it doesn’t then there is something out of the ordinary going on. So now when I talk about reading in bed, you can fill in some of the details of what that looks like.

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