Feeling Cooped up and going for a walk

We’re just starting week four of isolation here at the Gillespie household.

Sunday we woke up to find that one of our two flocks of chickens had lost two birds. The rooster and one of the hens. This is the flock we have out in the goat pen with the ducks. It’s next to the road, and we assumed that the goats wouldn’t tolerate anything that would bother the chickens. Apparently we were wrong.

Jessie talked about combining the two flocks, but the pen would be too small, so I volunteered to whip up a chicken coop. It took me most of the day, but we came up with something respectable. I had to go get some lumber to finish the sheeting on the outside, and I picked up some extra lumber so we can have some on hand. We built three doors on the back side so that we can have three next boxes, although that turned into two next boxes and an access door as the day wore on and we decided that we just wanted things to be finished. We also built the floor on a hinge so cleaning the coop will be as simple as sliding back a couple of barrel bolts and letting the floor drop down. I went out on Tuesday and nailed some roll roofing onto the top to help keep things watertight.

The real shenanigans begin when we went to put it into the goat pen. It was awkwardly heavy to move, so I decided to load it into the truck. That was easy enough, and then we backed it down the small hill from the roadside and into the goat pen and unloaded it. The truck promptly got stuck when we went to get it out of the pen. Its an old 1978 two wheel drive Ford F100 Custom. The tires aren’t great. It’s basically used for dump runs and getting big stuff from the local hardware store. I backed up and gently moved it forwards a few times and each time I’d get defeated by the short hill up to the road. It’s only a few feet…but it was enough. Eventually I got it up the hill to the point where I was ALMOST on the road, so I set the parking brake and shut the engine off. I opened the door to grab some lumber or something to give the tires a better grip and the truck slid backwards and wedged the open door on big fence post halting its backward motion. I couldn’t get the truck to move forward, and if it moved backwards I’d more than likely rip the door off the truck.

Uh oh.

Well, we called the neighbors since we couldn’t leave my truck in the middle of an open gate all night long. We were already having trouble keeping the goats and chickens in the pen with the truck stuck where it was. Our neighbor brought down his racing dune buggy which just happened to have a lightweight winch on the front and with a little bit of finessing we were able to get it all taken care of.

We rounded up the chickens and hustled them into the new coop, and that was pretty much the end of that excitement.

Tuesday after I got the roofing on the chicken coop, we all decided to go for a walk and take the goats out on leads. This was every bit as comical as you can imagine with the goats stopping every few feet to sample a treat from the side of the road. Pictures are worth a thousand words…so here are some:

Life in Isolation

We’ve been trying to follow the shelter in place order as best we can, and have mostly been doing what was required (stay at home except for necessary trips out for groceries, etc) since about March 11th. At the house we generally have Jessie and Zoe, and our roommate Stevie who has been living here since January 2018. Most days we see Porter, who is either at his house or here at our place. In some ways this is nice because there’s enough of us to play games and stuff.

Still, we spend a lot of time wrestling with the boredom of being confined to one area. Lately we’ve been playing a LOT more video games as they’re a great escape and allow you to immerse yourself in something for long periods of time.

We’re also working on cleaning and organizing the clutter around the house to make this whole isolation more palatable. We started with our kitchen, did Zoe’s room next, and then the main bathroom. The idea being that if our individual spaces are cleaned out, then when we get to the living room and dining room that the items that need to be put away will have somewhere to go. We also repainted and put tile floors in the bathroom. Stevie and Jessie are working on some other decorative stuff in there too.

I’ve been working on getting the Magic: The Gathering collection from Wandering Havoc Games organized so we can sell all the rest of these cards. The pandemic makes this really tough as people aren’t buying them much. At some point they will again and when they do I want to be ready! There’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 300,000 of them, and so far I’ve gone through about 75,000 since the beginning of February. So…another six months and I’ll be all caught up.

Boy…I hope we’re not still sheltered in place that long.