Last weekend Man assembled a chicken coop. It took all Saturday long.
I had seen this coop at Big R and loved it because it looked like a little house. It was so cute! When he got it home he grumbled that they would charge so much and not put it together for you. Then he laid out all of the pieces in the back yard and set to work.
“Want me to help?” I offered.
“No. I’ve got it,” and then, “I might need your help in a little bit.”
Everytime I passed the back door I heard cussing and witnessed head scratching. My Man is good at a lot of things but he is not Handy. At all, God love him! The time finally came where he could use my help. 😉 All he needed me to do was hold some pieces in place while he screwed them in. I examined the piece while Man picked out the right sized screw.
“Are there not any starter holes?” I asked.
“The other parts had ’em but not this piece.” He worked the screw into the very soft and thin wood. “Damn it. This screw isn’t long enough!” After Man removed the screw I lifted the piece and turned it about.
“Um…Babe? Here are the starter holes,” I carefully revealed.
He looked first pissed and then relieved. This made more sense. He went back to work having a much easier go of securing the piece. I stayed on as “help,” tip toeing around his ego as we tried to decipher the terrible directions together. I was disapointed in the strength of the structure. It was very thin wood. If Bug tripped and fell into it the whole thing would go down let alone if a mountain lion pounced. Several times I suggested we scrap it and take it back to the store but Man was too far in it now and had to beat the coop. In his defense the directions were REALLY bad He kept grumbling about Red Neck instructions or something. I kept thinking that if we had waited until Monday, Caren and I would have had the whole thing together in 2 hours. The end result is adorable if not sound!
Next is to fence the coop in. Man and I discussed several options in the yard. It was kind of hard because we needed a flat place to set the coop and we live in the side of a hill. This left us two choices. After we picked that one Man gave me the lay out he had in mind. Nothing grand. A fence and a gate.
“My Uncle said you have to bury the fence some so racoons can’t just lift it up. Railroad ties are supposed to be good. Also foxes can dig pretty deep so we want to protect from that as well,” I said.
“Yeah…that’s gonna be the hard part.”
“Also, some netting over the top would be good idea. I saw a hawk with a snake in his mouth just a few weeks ago. It flew right in front of my face! I’ve seen him get squirrels too so…”
“A hawk isn’t going to take them.”
Man is hoping to get the yard done before we leave on a trip to Disney World. Yesterday he came home and announced he was heading to the hardware store.
“I’m going to build the chicken cage!”
“Oh! You sound like you know what you’re doing. Did you do some research today?”
“Nope. I can do it.”
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
“It’s just putting up a fence. I’ll just buy some stuff and see what works! Now where is my tape measure?”
“If you want we can look on-line at some other chicken runs to see what has worked for others. Maybe Bob could help you.”
“Nah! It’s not gonna be hard. Where have you put my tape measure?”
“I don’t know Baby. Why would you think I know where that is? I’ve never used it!”
“Well, someone has. It’s not in my tool box.”
This reminds me….Flashback to Vegas:
Caren’s Man called her because he lost his keys.
“Why would he call me? I’m in another state! How can I possibly know where his keys are?”
“It’s a well known fact, ” Kathy began, “that a woman’s uterus is actually a homing device.”
I searched the junk drawer and my art closet. Man came in from outside and announced he was heading to the store.
“Oh. Did you find your tape measure?”
“No. I just walked it off.”
Oh my. This means that he made his measurements based on his steps. He swears his stride is a yard.
“Um. OK. I know you have some sort of system…”
“Oh I have a system.”
While he was gone I helped the boys with their homework, started dinner and did some laundry. While starting another load in my favorite room of the house (UG!) Man walked in from the garage.
“This…” he shouted while holding a measuring tape over his head, “…is mine!”
“Did you find it?”
“No. I just bought it. Don’t use it.”
“I won’t. So long as you stop using my lipstick for marking things and my pots and pans for your tree saplings.”
He set the measuring tape on the laundry room counter, grabbed me in his arms and pulled me tight against him.
“For the record,” he kissed me, “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
I kissed him back. A good one. Then I whispered, “I know this, Lover,” and I gave his ear lobe a little nibble. Man set to work with a spring in his step returning only briefly to grab the tape measure from the laundry room counter.
“Mine!” He shouted holding it in the air.
I finished folding clothes and ran over to Caren’s to drop off a book. When I returned Man was putting things away in the garage. There were rolls of chain link, galvanized posts, chicken wire and cement.
“I’ve already got one post in!” he announced.
“Awesome! That didn’t take long!” I felt encouraged. Maybe he could do this after all!
As we climbed into bed that night I told him how impressed I was that he already got one post up.
“Oh I got the post up Baby! I should be able to crank this whole thing out on Saturday.”
“Excellent. It’s cemented in and everything?”
“Yep! The only thing I couldn’t find at the hardware store was a gate…”
“Um. We have to have a gate. That’s kind of essential.”
“I know. I’ll figure it out.”
Doubt crept in again.
“Baby, how do you attach the chain link to the posts?” I asked.
“Well, I’m thinking that I’ll just weave it through the chain link.” I started to giggle and he pulled me to him again. “You don’t love me,” he pouted.
“I love you. I love you lots. I also know you and I know your limitations. Isn’t chainlink usually held onto the posts with couplings or something?”
Now he was laughing. “My way is going to be even stronger.”
“Lover, if your way was stronger wouldn’t we see more fences built like that?” We were both cracking up at this point. “I’m just wondering what’s going to keep the fencing from just sliding down the post? You sure you don’t want me to call Bob or something? He’s very handy and has a teenage son for labor.”
“No. I can do this myself,” he said with determination.
“My Love, there are lots of things you do well: You are a great lover, an excellent business man, a fabulous father and a wonderful husband but…” I rubbed his back and kissed his shoulder, “you are not a Handy Man. And that’s OK.”
“Baby,” Man said turning to kiss my forehead and then my nose, “I’m going to build you the Ft. Knox of chicken runs.”
Famous last words.