05 September 2010

Catching up

You may be wondering why you haven't heard from us in so long. Some of the reasons include, William was sick for 7 weeks this summer, although not continuously, Savannah has been busy with various summer camps, Kevin has been busy with a new position he accepted at work which has kept him traveling, and I've been busy trying to juggle everything from a sick baby, full-time work, a daughter who needs to be driven all over the place, a husband who has been away, house guest after house guest, and a million other garden and farm things that needed my attention (and on a small enough amount of sleep that I'm sure it qualifies as sleep deprivation, which makes me a little loopy and cranky).

Some of the things we've completed this summer include refinishing and staining the deck, a chore my mother mainly took on herself with some help from Kevin. We love the new deck stain (Tugboat by Behr), which complements the house siding color and the natural colors of the outdoors. We hope this will give us three more years on a deck that will eventually need replacing.

Here's the deck before, with paint peeling off, a view from afar.

Note the blue door that is also about to go...

Also, there was Savannah's play fort, a gift to her for her birthday from Mommy (who built it from scratch) and Daddy (who paid for the cedar lumber).

The playfort stage 1 is a success.
It doubles as a pirate lair.

Doesn't she look smashing as a pirate!?

Her other birthday gift was the adoption of a pair of two-year old female guinea pigs, a privilege she earned by being responsible for so long. She calls them Butterscotch and Katie (aka Fraidy Katie), who tends to be a bit more nervous about life than her sister. First I built them an indoor cage.

30" by 45" indoor cage made from cube grids and coroplast.
After Savannah read all about guinea pig care, she told me they needed an outdoor hutch or play area so I first built an A-frame structure for the girls that we moved around during the day to give them plenty of fresh grass to eat.
A-frame for the guinea girls made from scrap wood, hardware cloth and chicken wire.
Then I discovered that guinea pigs can be housed outdoors for much of the year in our climate so I built them their own proper hutch, which contains a metal cage that can be moved from the hutch to the ground so they can nibble on fresh grasses.

Savannah feeds the girls fresh hay.
Blue skies on the farm.
Kevin didn't like the first model of the hutch, which I just built from imagination, no plan in writing first, so I added a back wall to give them further protection from the wind and rain (what rain???) and provide more shade during the day. Since the guinea pigs can't nibble on the wooden frame of the hutch, which I constructed all from scrap wood, I decided to stain it the same color as our deck so it will weather better. Now the guinea girls stay outside all day and night unless the temp drops below 60F. Their droppings fall down the bottom and can be added directly to the compost pile behind them and Savannah brings them crab apples and treats and holds them.

Fancy outdoor living for the guinea girls.
Complete with the Kevin-approved rear wall for added protection.

1 comment:

Betsy Lynn said...

Arrg! Savannah makes a great pirate!
Love guinea pigs, my boys had them too, years ago. Great cage.