Spring Farmstead Projects – Pandemic Style

Like most folks, finding creative ways of staying busy during the pandemic has been interesting to put it mildly…

We are now more grateful than ever to be living on acreage with a garden and our birds to tend to, fresh air to breathe in, and now that our state parks have closed (due to tourists ignoring stay-at-home orders and flocking to the coast where our small towns cannot handle the influx and social distancing is blown off, ugh…), the old logging road behind our house serving as a place to have nature walks.

From the outdoors to the indoors, this is what we’ve been up to over the past week…

Getting creative with keeping our 4 evil chickens out of the raised beds became a priority when the chicken wire “walls” to extend the height of the beds were no match for these jerks (even with clipped wings)…the ironic part was that they’d find their way in, but are too dumb to figure out how to get out, so they destroyed my bed that had recently planted (and just starting to sprout) lettuce & spinach, so I’ve had to 100% cover up the beds with old green netting I had in the barn on some, bird netting on others, whatever scrap I can find. I know, I know, we could build them another area to free range, or keep them in the 10’x20′ run, but this so far has been the faster alternative. I’m contemplating one of those ‘chicken tunnels’ but since they free range with the ducks, we’ve got to get thoughtful about how that might work.


Chopping wood! Another thing we are grateful for is to have not only an “itty bitty forest” in the back corner of our property, but have them full of fairly fast-growing alder, many which were leaning precariously and by thinning would protect the others, so…firewood-o-rama! Husband’s already got the chainsaw, chaps, and a purty new axe, so we’ve been working on getting enough cut so it will be seasoned and ready to go by next winter. Pretty awesome. Now, just got to double this…

I’m also very grateful that we never ended up signing the mega contract to have our siding replaced this spring! Something had told me that it wasn’t quite the time, and sure enough, it would NOT have been cool having to come up with $20K+ right at the same time as all this hit…so big sigh of relief there. BUT, we had already been in the midst of remodeling our main floor (guest) bathroom.

Fortunately after gutting the room, we were able to vastly modify the work (i.e., save a ton of $$) just in time [original plan: a wet room, tearing down a wall to accommodate both a freestanding soaker tub and walk-in shower, custom vanity, tiled floor, etc.; new plan: replace the gnarly ‘ecru’ colored fiberglass shower/bath with a deeper acrylic tub, tile the tub alcove with all-white (much cheaper) 12×12’s, replace the poopy brown 1980s dilapidated vanity we’d sold on Craigslist (see top left photo) with a prefab  with built-in sink that my husband installed, and covered up the old linoleum with bamboo click flooring (you don’t even have to tear it out, it just installs right on top) from the big box store along with a new nautical-inspired vanity light. ]

So above is where we’re at so far. Our contractors finished the tile, flooring and plumbing in the nick of time as the shelter-in-place orders came in for our state. I was able to then cut & install the new floor trim (hint: just use 1×6 wood instead of “moulding” and save a TON), and Dan installed the new vanity/sink/faucet and reinstalled the toilet. As far as the mirror above the vanity? I was so excited as I’d used the existing 3’x4′ mirror to build a framed version (lots of Pinterest tutorials on this convinced me to save $$ and do this) and when we glued it to the wall with construction adhesive as directed? It ended up falling and smashing to bits.  ARGH! So the finishing touch of this project is on pause since a new mirror of that size is a pretty penny and this is not exactly the time for us to spend. But? I did build the little wall mount “TP shelf” by repurposing some of the busted frame 🙂


And of course, there’s yoga in the living room going on. Thanks to a couple of good DVDs and oodles of YouTube options, I’ve literally got no excuse not to delve into my practice and work on both flexibility and increasing that inner peace and mindfulness. The one-legged chair pose is what I’ve improved upon the most this week 🙂


And of course, made quick business of this awesome Women’s March 500 piece jigsaw puzzle from Anthropologie. I admit, I need puzzles with words or specific pictures on them – those ones just of an ocean or blue sky where there’s a zillion pieces that all look alike? No can do. This one was fun…and reminded me of when husband & I went to the march in Portland way back when…back when we were still in shock at how messed up our Electoral College could truly be. May the next election bring back some sanity.

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