During my annual visits home, I always come back brimming with ideas for house projects. My mom still lives in the house where I grew up, so it’s interesting to see what she’s done with her gardens. She and her significant other have also worked hard to attract a variety of birds to her yard.
My dad, on the other hand, is more a construction and carpentry type guy (perhaps important to note here: my parents don’t live together). He has a house in the mountains but also spends a lot of time at his girlfriend’s house, closer to a city. I normally visit the girlfriend’s house, and during this visit, he was showing me the new shed he built and the welder that she got him for Christmas (drool; I’ve wanted to learn metalworking for years).
So for June, I’d like to focus on two areas:
1. Bring all the birds to the yard.
My backyard is dedicated to the ducks and chickens. I don’t have bird feeders back there, though, as wild birds can bring disease to my flock. The crows have descended with a vengeance anyway. I’ve also seen increasing number of house sparrows. My younger chickens have even made a game of chasing and trying to catch the sparrows (it ain’t happenin’, girls). But as for wild birds, those two are it at the moment.
My mom’s yard, however, has probably a dozen different types of birds – cardinals, woodpeckers, robins, etc. The secret is, obviously, a large selection of feed. They have various seeds, peanuts, and suet cakes. While I don’t want to go that far, my goal is to lure the sparrows and crows out of my backyard and also increase the variety of bird visitors. My bird bath has seen some visitors, but I’m adding another traditional feeder (for a total of two) and a suet cake cage. As my garden gets established, there will also be more plant-based food and places for birds to hide.
2. Expand the shed.
When I bought this house, there was no exterior storage. My first lawn mower lived under a tarp. But when my granny passed away, I got a little bit of inheritance and used it to buy a 10×10 shed from the big box store. It’s been a good, solid shed. The ex and I even jacked the building up, put it on rollers, and scooched it back about 10 feet. But y’all, it’s too small.
I’ve tried downsizing the shed contents, but the reality is, the majority of things I like to do involve tools and materials that live outside. Ideally – and I may be dreaming here – the shed would have at least one electrical outlet and a nice workbench too. Nothing too dramatic, but right now, I cut my 2x4s on a wobbly folding table. Kiiind of unsafe.
The plan is to expand the shed (towards me, in the above photo) by four feet. My dad thinks that’ll be too small, but anymore than that and it’ll be hard to navigate around my established gardens. The end result should be a nice 10×14 shed.
Even though there are only two projects here, I’ll probably do other little things along the way. Also, as I’ve previously noted, I really struggle with predicting how long projects will take. After all, I work during the day and only have the nights and weekends for project time!