Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Dancing Chickens...

What a pretty day....

 Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I've got a funny feeling; things won't be going my way...

  When we moved into our new place the one thing I fell in love with, outside of having enough space for visiting children and grand children, was our back porch.  Thrown together with 2x4s and a tin roof, I was taken back to that old country porch feel.  Enjoying coffee in our white rocking chairs, great conversations with my sweety, and a spring breeze blowing through my hair.  The porch needed work, at the time I had two functioning wrists and, wasn't afraid to get my hands dirty.  I was more than up for the challenge.  The vision of what it could be was already dancing in my head. 

  One of the first things that needed to be fixed on the porch was, all the screens needed to either be pulled tighter or, replaced.  I really wanted to remove the old strips holding the screens down, it gave the porch the rugged feel.  The feel I loved on older porches. Then pulling or replacing the screens would come next, and the last step would be putting the old wood strips back in place.  This was going to be the easiest and best project yet.  I could not wait to begin.

 My mother and I picked a day, and started early in the morning; before the heat would slow us down, and before the outside dogs would invade the porch space.  This was the other reason for fixing the porch screens; I could not wait to enjoy the space without having the space taken over by fur.   Our outside dogs think they are lap dogs.  Just once we wanted to enjoy the outdoor area fur free and without a dog fighting for lap space.

Thorn ~ Fur dog 1
 Thorn can have a single person covered in his fur coat in a matter of seconds.  Not only will his fur cling onto you, but the porch floor instantly has a fur rug.  I could brush his coat for hours, and still not remove all the loose hair. He has a one track mind, and pushes your hand and arm until you are petting his head and back.  It is an endless nudge too.  I think he needs to be shaved, but my sweety gives me that look when I bring it up.  You know, the one that will let a person know they are out of their mind.  Yeah, that look.

Tesla ~ Wanta be Lap Dog

Tesla is a bull.  Really.  Doesn't matter what you do to keep him out of an area; he uses that block head of his and, bulldozes his way right though what ever you put up.   This dog doesn't take NO too kindly.  At all.  When on the porch, he tries with all his might, to jump right onto your lap.  He makes it onto my sweeties lap all the time.  I stand up when he tries it with me, and then hope he doesn't knock me over. 

On this day, my mother and I were going to make our porch, a human space only.  I was so excited, and could not wait for my sweety to get home from work and see the finished product.  

My mother and our porch fencing..
It was a job to remove the wood strips, pull the screen and tack it in place.  I don't think it would have been so hard, if I had the use of my right hand.  See, I was still in a cast during this project and my mother can only lift one of her arms fully.  Together, we make a whole person.  On this day though, we needed two whole people.  What we should have done, had we been thinking straight, was leave the fencing as one whole piece.  Covering the space from one end to the other.  Instead what we did, was cut the wire to fit each area along side that section of the porch.  Giving us three wire pieces, instead of one long piece.  Oh Vay!!!

Our lack of thinking, lengthened the project into the hot afternoon hours.  Plus we were tired and sore when it was finished.  But, oh it was so worth the pain.


 It is in this area that, Torn would climb through the center section, where the screen was broken; and unleash his wild fur strays.  Fixing the screen alone, wouldn't have stopped his one track mind, we knew the half wire fence would be the only way to keep him out.  So far it has worked.  We out smarted Thorn.  So far that is.

Once we saw that the screen and wire worked no matter how much Thorn paced in front of the area, he didn't even try to make his way onto the porch, bringing the screen and wire in side was going to work as well.  That is just what we did.

My back porch is very long, just shy the length of the house.  The previous tenants shortened the screen porch area to less than half of the whole porch, and used the longer area to house their animal farm.  There were squirrels and snakes on the longer end of the porch.  That area of the porch was a huge mess that I was cleaning out and tearing down home made cages.  Oh my word, that was hard work in itself.  They must have used 10 boxes of nails, screws, and staples to put those wood cages together!!

On the porch...
 In order to complete the endless fur dog and lap dog off our porch project, we would have to add wire to the area that joined the human side of the porch from the, animal farm side of the porch.  The previous tenants made an entrance way to the farm side, from inside the human side, and another entrance onto the animal farm side, from the back yard. When they moved off the property; they took the doors from both areas with them.  Don't ask why, because to me it was a mindless move, and they were without any signs of owning a mind what so ever.  You can see from the above picture where I  have placed a pallet between the opening of the human side, and the animal farm side.  Doing this would allow the dogs to still enjoy the shade on the animal farm side of the porch, without gaining access to the human side of the porch.

Facing the Animal Farm ...
 Both sides of the entrance is now covered with screens and wires, and the pallet acts as a temporary door way.  I have a cinder block holding the pallet firmly in place.  From this picture, you can see my mother and I have removed the animal farm cages and have the space almost cleared out.  Once my right wrist heals more, I am going to move this makeshift entrance way down further, add a screen door to better access the smaller area, which is going to house our tools and whatnots.  Then a door will be placed on the entrance way that enters from the back yard.  You can see the entrance way in the picture, behind the pallet and to the right. 

 Not only did my mother and I fix all the broken screens and add the wire to keep the dogs off the porch, we enjoyed the fruit of our labor, when it was all complete, pet free.  Oh what a wonderful feeling!!!  Even the screen door was fixed, and we added an inner border to keep the dogs from going through the screen door.  We knew it would only be a matter of time before Tesla would use that block head of his and, make his way onto the human side of the porch.  There were high hopes, when we slid in the inner boarder.

Bottom half of Screen Door

That thought lasted about 9 days.  Just yesterday when the AC man came out to the house,  that will be another blog, I put Tesla and Baby on the human porch in hopes to keep them from escaping out of the yard while the gate remained open for our AC repairs.  While standing in the front yard with the AC repair guy, I noticed Baby walking toward us from the side of the house.  The only animal who could have gotten through the boarder and screen, would have been Tesla and his Block head.  He had pushed his way right through the screen door and hid under the house for hours.  

Closer view of Block Heads damage
 Do you remember the movie The Shining?  The part when the door is axed and the actor says "Here's Johnny".... well that was me for an hour.  OK, maybe not an hour, it was more like... the whole day. My sweety suggested adding the electric fencing to the porch area, to not only keep the dogs from digging in the dirt and gaining access to under the porch, but also an extra barrier to keep them off of the porch.  I replied "Great, just GREAT!!! now we will be Dancing Chickens!!!"  To say the least, I was not happy about the damage Tesla has done and, how it opened a passage for the Fur dog to access the porch, and Baby as well.


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