Friday, June 15, 2007
Good fences mean uneaten cabbage
I worked on my new, semi-deficient garden fence almost all day yesterday. It's more than half complete, and I've done the whole thing myself. Bill and my brother would tell you it looks like I did the whole thing myself, especially if asked---and especially if out of throwing or hearing range of Marianne. Actually, they'd probably be polite, but I know they'd both be thinking that its workmanship sure could use a lift.
I insisted to Bill that I'd be doing it myself, and since the project began I issued my own personal disclaimer that the deer could care less if all the posts aren't in a precise straight line. They don't give a hoot if some posts have 35 nails up there where I tried to get the braces to fit into place, only to have one fall off its perch the other day when I went to nailing up the woven wire.
"I'll fix that sucker," I said out loud to myself as the falling brace post nearly gave me a concussion. Thankfully, I caught it in time to save my life and to head straight to the shop for some of those big kahuna nails, which would reach nearly to Bonners Ferry once I nailed 'em from the brace post and headed them into that standing post. Sure enough, it worked, and the west end of the fence now stands semi-securely in place, even after occasional gusts of wind have tested its mettle.
If people (like my meticulous husband and brother) dare to sneak over there and look close on the west end of my fence, they could put a lot of dings on their inspection sheets. The woven-wire hangs at odd angles, and some of sections wave cuz I couldn't stretch them tightly enough. I don't know how you use fence stretchers to tighten woven wire, and I don't really care if it waves. Neither do the deer.
Some of those original little blocks of wood that I used on the fence braces are in grave danger of falling apart cuz they're pretty soft wood and a pin prick would make them crack. Well, I used nails, and, in some cases, they fell completely in two, but I just kept nailing around them anyway.
It's easy to see that as I moved easterly, my construction methods improved. I got the hang of nailing the corners of the woven wire rather than using those mini staples and bruising the heck out of my thumb as I tried to stretch wire, hold tiny staples and pound the hammer all at the same time. Readers know I'm not a good multi-tasker, so that right thumb has taken a lot of punishment over the past week or so. Once I learned the nail trick, the woven-wire installation moved a lot faster and even looks a lot better. That's good cuz that's the side near the road where discerning drivers of rigs pass by.
My friend asked me if I was using cement in the post holes. My answer was no. My brother and my husband are probably wondering how long those treated posts are going to last in that spot which was covered by standing water through mid-April. I don't know, but I figure I can just do it all over again in a few years and be so much more knowledgeable about my approach.
I'm hoping to have the fence sans gate finished this weekend. Until the gate gets attached, the deer will have one skinny little opportunity sneak inside and eat my cabbage and corn. I'm counting on Bill helping me hang the gate cuz he knows how to drill those holes where its hardware needs to go, and I don't. I'm sure, however, he's going to look at the posts and ask why I didn't put any fence braces on either side of the gate----as would a lot of hyper-observant men who drive their rigs past our place.
Again, I don't think the deer give a damn. What they do give, however, are dirty looks at that cabbage on the other side of the fence, knowing that from now on, they'll have to prowl around the neighborhood and find someone else's garden to pilfer during their nightly visits. And, that won't bother me one bit.