A few weeks ago Jon bought me a tool box. I realized I needed one after trying to fix the gate last month. I kept having to go back into the house to get the tools I needed. And for the first time in the nine years we’ve been at this farm, I wondered why I didn’t have a tool box.
When Jon and I first got together I had given up on fixing things around the house. For 22 years I worked with my ex-husband restoring every house we lived in and some that we didn’t. By the time we divorced I’d had enough of old houses and the work they constantly needed.
But gradually, over the years, I’ve gotten back to taking care of some of the simple things that need fixing around the house and farm.
It took me five years to get a drill and another three years to upgrade it to a more powerful one. I still don’t have a lot of tools and I can’t see every wearing a tool belt again, but I was happy to have my toolbox, with everything I might need in it when I was reworking the fence in the back pasture this afternoon.
Yesterday, I closed the gate to the pasture after Kim got her head stuck in the fence and our neighbor kindly cut her out of it. But the sheep want to graze, even if the grass is still low. And there’s plenty of it for them to nibble on in the back pasture.
So this afternoon, I got a 25′ roll of 3′ high chicken wire (I love working with chicken wire) and wired it onto the three-strand wire fence where Kim got her head stuck. She was trying to reach a budding bush when she got stuck. The chicken wire will prevent that from happening again.
I never really know how I’m going to repair a fence until I start working on it. The last time I worked on these fences, I tied a mesh fence to the three-strand wire one that we put in when we bought the farm. Some of that is still working, mostly because bushes have grown up in front of it.
Today I rolled out the chicken wire, cut a strand of fencing wire, and basically started sewing the chicken wire to the three-strand fence with it. It seemed to hold and was enjoyable and satisfying to do.
I did think of Ed Gully and how he came to the farm once to help us fix one of the fences the sheep were getting through. He strung some wire and then moved an old metal water heater, that was laying on the edge of the pasture, behind the fence to block it in case the wire wasn’t enough. It’s still here and it seems to work.
Thinking of that gave me the confidence to know that, whatever I did was fine, as long as it kept the sheep in.
Zinnia kept me company the whole time I was working. She sat patiently next to me and every once in a while, ran down the to the marsh to take a dip. Fate who usually hangs around me and the sheep was waiting at the gate back in the barnyard.
While I was fixing the fence, Jon was putting manure and soil in his new raised bed planter. I guess Fate felt she had a better chance of Jon taking her to the sheep since I wasn’t paying any attention to her.
So Jon and I switched dogs for the afternoon. And we both got a lot of good work done.