Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

Ev can't view e-mail attachments at work, so she asked me to post pictures of a little problem I was trying to describe by e-mail. So, this is how Kwachie spent her Saturday. We finished framing up the Duck Dome this morning (no, it's not a big wooden tipi) and then went and bought the plywood sheathing for the panels. My job was to stain and seal them before it starts raining again tomorrow. (I should mention that I've never used stain before in my life ... I'll explain the importance of that confession momentarily.)

The first problem I encountered was that we had the nice lumberyard man cut the 4x8' sheets diagonally for us, and it didn't occur to any of us that we should have had him cut five of the sheets in one direction and five in the other. Since every other panel has to be turned backward, and since they were all cut the same, there are 10 panels with the "good" sanded side facing out and 10 panels with the "bad" knotty, rough side facing out.

This isn't a huge deal, except that a) stain doesn't cover the lovely "Weyerhouser" stamp on the "wrong" side of every other panel, and b) the rough side soaks up stain like crazy and looks blotchy.

No biggie. What did strike me as a biggie was that I picked out a stain that was, quite specifically, brown. As I was applying the stain (and yes, I stirred the crap out of it) it looked sort of light to me. When I went in the house and looked out the kitchen window at it, it looked really orange. Specifically, it put me in mind of a gigantic version of one of those chocolate oranges that break into slices ... the kind we always put in the kids' Christmas stockings. I asked Katie if she thought it looked like that and she said, "No, I don't think so. It looks more like cheese."

After I got below the halfway point in the can, and I was able to stir it with the brush instead of the stupid pain stick, I realized there was a lot of brown pigment still in the bottom of the can. So I put a second coat on one of the panels (the darker one in the photo) and I was much happier with that answer. Ev, in an effort to make me feel better about the oranginess, said, "Don't worry about it. Next year, when we have to re-do it, we'll get a darker stain."

Next year ... when we have to WHAT !?

And here is an updated picture of the ducks, especially for Pat. : )
This is actually a picture from last week, so it doesn't show the bright blue wing stripe the rouens have all developed this week.

I wish I could get a really good picture of the color on the cayugas. They look jet-black in photos, but their faces and wings are actually bright iridescent green in the sunlight.

They're free-range ducks now, and they only have to go into their pen at night. They've got a very specific routine every day. First thing in the morning they charge out of the pen and take off at a run for the back yard. While I'm filling their waterer they pick bugs and worms out of the resulting mud around the water faucet. During the day they alternately roam around the yard (always together, of course) eating weeds and bugs or following us around at a safe distance while we do stuff. They've become completely oblivious to the mower ... except to chase it. They take a little swim, they take a little nap under a tree, they hang out under the back deck for awhile and then they start the whole process again. At 8:30 sharp they let me know it's time for bed. While I refill the waterer and get their evening duck chow and cracked corn they head for their pen and wait for me to bring them their dinner. They eat like they haven't been eating constantly all day and then fall into a deep sleep until morning, when they wake up and stand by the gate waiting to be let out again. It's a tough life.


Cedar said...

Ev can you build me a Yurt? Please.

Ev said...

Wellll...the only potential obstacle I can think of is that I'm not exactly sure what a yurt is. Some kind of Mongolian igloo, isn't it?

Maybe someday I'll bring my power tools and my beer and come to Seattle, and we can build your yurt together. Count your fingers before and after the project.

Iwanttocomeback asmycat said...

ev, don't let her use power tools, please. You hush, Cedar.You know you shouldn't.
Those are wonderful pictures of the ducks. I am amazed at how much they have grown.
They sound like my cat when it is time to if he hadn't eaten in a week. He is really rather chubby. The vet says he needs to lose 4 or 5 pounds. That's a lot for a cat. (Now I am feeling guilty that I give in to my cat's cries for just one more snack)

Ev said...

Don't feel bad. Every night when I come home from work Mrs. Underfoot screams and screams like she's dying. If I walk in the direction of the food bin she runs ahead of me, screaming the whole way, until I fill her bowl. Then she runs back to the place it goes and screams until I put it down.

Lori always says that she just fed her an hour ago, but Mrs. Foot says she's lying.

Kwach said...

Mrs. Foot is also Mrs. Fat.

She's a sausage in a snug casing. She's a roly-poly cat. She was bordering on being a belly-dragger for awhile there.

Mrs. Foot has an eating disorder, and Mrs. Ev is an enabler.


Iwanttocomeback asmycat said...


XUP said...

Wood stain darkens up real fast -- even indoors, so don't worry about the orange hue. And, if you're building cedar a yurt, then I want one, too.

Jazz said...


I can't help but think of Ernie on Sesame Street when he was in his bath singing: "Rubber duckie, you're the one..."

When will you be able to start having duck eggs for breakfast?