Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Johnny's Projects

While I've been goating and horsing and gardening and birding... and writing about all that in my blog plus articles, Johnny has been working feverishly on his many projects. The big one was his shop organizing project. For those who have not seen Johnny's shop in the past, these photos may not look impressive. But for those of us who have tripped and clambered over his stuff for years, the change is a minor miracle.

 Yes, there are still tool boxes on the floor, but the floor is not covered with two feet of tools and, well, stuff.

For years the above doors were blocked by old appliances and multitudinous sheets of plywood, among other things. They haven't been opened in years.

Upstairs, his work bench is clear! One can see the top! And everything is organized.

Various sizes of wood sheeting are now arranged in this cabinet with nothing blocking the way to get to them. Johnny tells me this cabinet has been there for years, but buried under and blocked behind mounds of wood. What he did with it all is a mystery to me.

Of course, various farm repairs (and projects requested by me) slowed down his progress. Last weekend a tire on our electric EZ Go cart exploded, so Johnny took all four off and ordered new ones. They were about worn out. We have become very dependent on this wonderful quiet cart. I load my weedings into it. Johnny uses it to haul his tools from shop to barn to machine shed or wherever. While the wheels are off, Johnny has been greasing or doing whatever it is one does with such things.

Daily I have projects for Johnny, mostly minor goat barn remodels: feeders that don't work quite right so need redoing, gates that need tweaking, and more. Most recently he replaced the faucet that was driving me crazy in the milk room. Now I have a one spigot and one handle faucet that I can operate just fine. The previous one (we've been through two others) made no sense with the hot turning one way and the cold the other. I could never figure out which way was off.

Today Johnny provided the drill so I could make holes in gourds for more swallow nests. There were more swallows than I had gourds hanging and the competition for housing was intense. All Johnny's drills and bits were easy to locate in his newly organized shop.

 Here a violet-green swallow stands guard at the entrance to a chosen nest gourd. I had barely hung these before they were claimed.

 A tree swallow claimed this one. (The entrance is on the far side.)

The favored technique for claiming a gourd seemed to be to take immediate occupancy and not come out... as this violet-green demonstrates.

Toward evening today, while I wandered around taking photos of our flowering yard...

Grapes on back of wood shed
 ...And admired the many primroses in bloom, the starts of which all came from my mom many years ago...

...And reminisced over Mom's Dollar Tree... How my mother loved flowers and loved a good laugh. She paid one dollar for a spindly stick and then asked for a guarantee. She was joking but the poor clerk didn't know that. The stick quickly grew to become a blooming marvel in the spring and fiery red in the fall. This tree blooming in the corner of our arboretum is a start from Mom's Dollar Tree.

...And while I was doing all that picture taking and reminiscing...

Johnny was tilling the garden. This does not look like a good thing for a guy with a bad back to do, but it has been so dry, I guess he couldn't resist. The chickens had a wonderful time (since this is a chicken yard in the winter) eating the many chopped up earthworms.

Here's hoping Johnny did not wreck his back tilling. I have many more projects for him...

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