So, I was Going to Repair a Chicken Pen Today….

I actually started to repair it yesterday with my daughter, but I didn’t know what SwampMan did with the drill, bits, screwdriver, and screws that I needed. He’d been rearranging his shop and I can’t find anything (which may be deliberate on his part).

I came in today around noonish from doing various livestock-related chores outside, and asked him to come show me where the stuff was that I needed.

“Why can’t you do that kinda stuff in the morning before it turns so ungodly hot outside?” he demanded in an accusatory tone, as though I were deliberately trying to make him get all sweaty. Well, because I was outside doing other chores like mowing grass. I didn’t mention that he hasn’t been actually UP in the morning since before his operation. That would probably be the wrong thing to do. I asked him if he wanted some lunch first. “Yes, I do!”

“So, what do you want?”

“McDonald’s chicken strips.” Ewwwww….er, I mean “okay”.

So, off to McDonald’s, back home inside to eat, and he fell asleep on the chair. Okay, then. Dang. Can’t even run the vacuum. DON’T WANT to iron. Computer time!

Around 5:00, I mentioned going outside and working on the pens. He said “wouldn’t you rather just wait until tomorrow morning?”

“NO.”

“Why not? It will be much cooler at 7 in the morning!”

“Just tell me where the stuff is so I can get started!”

“I don’t want to go outside and get all sweaty in my bandage.” (He IS supposed to avoid that completely.)

“JUST TELL ME WHERE THE STUFF I NEED IS! YOU JUST HAVE TO WALK TO THE BARN AND THEN BACK!”

“I’d rather wait until tomorrow morning.”

“WHY DO YOU NEED TO WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW MORNING?”

“Because I’m going to build them for you. You won’t build it sturdy enough.”

Oh, crap. Every single freakin’ time he builds something for me, I can’t use it because it is too freakin’ heavy for me to move! There are “portable” chicken pens he made for me sitting permanently out in the pasture rotting because they were too damn heavy for daughter and myself to move together. (That was 8 years ago before she got married and I STILL can’t move them. Damn pressure treated wood!) He decided that the portable pens I wanted were too rickety. He wanted to build something better. Oh, he built it better, all right!

So he started talking about 2 x 4 construction for the roof that I was going to replace the torn netting and shadecloth top of the pen with. My moveable pen that I can actually lift up and move by myself that started life as a dog kennel. And he’s going to build the roof in place in the barn. I will have to lift it up onto the top of the 8-foot tall pen. Nice to know that he considers my strength to be somewhere between that of an olympic power lifter and Babe the Big Blue Ox, but I think my best heavy lifting days might be behind me considering that I’m a grandmother. Even if I am one that can kick your ass.

“That would be TOO HEAVY! I’m going to build it in place.”

“No, it will be fine! First we’ll load the roof onto the bed of the truck, then you can just lean it against the pen and slide it into place!” (We? I’m pretty sure that means he will tell me what to, and I’m supposed to do it.)

Why didn’t I think of that? Probably because I was going to put the ladder inside the pen, throw some 1 x 4’s across, screw the middle two pieces of metal roofing in place, take the ladder outside the pen, screw the side pieces of metal in place, replace the torn shade cloth with poultry wire, and move the roosts to go under the metal roof. It would take 1/2 hour, tops. Instead, I’m going to spend half a day helping build something that I don’t need or want which will make my portable chicken pen decidedly nonportable. I have to pick this thing up and move it by myself.

Perhaps I should point out, AGAIN, that if this thing is too heavy for ME to move, he’s gonna be out there moving it after work every other day or so. Except he can’t, because he’s going to be unable to use one arm for the next 3 months. And I’ll have a movable chicken pen that isn’t.

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