You just know it's going to be one of those days when you tackle the first chore of the day and it goes kerflooey. The little door to the coop is a drop-down that forms a ramp for the chickens to run up and down. The big door (the people door) is a Dutch door. I opened the top, no problem. I opened the bottom half and the blankety-blank thing nearly fell off in my hands. The coop/storage shed could easily be 27 years old ( the house was built in 1990) and our weather extremes wreak havoc with wood. The hinge screws had pulled out of the rotten support and left the door hanging and me hanging on. This was not the way I wanted to start the day; the chickens could have cared less. I managed to tie the door back enough that it wouldn't fall off and flatten a hen and went down to deal with the goats, my mind racing furiously through various scenarios for repair.
The glorious sun had come out so the daily routine went smoothly, the girls eager to get their duty done so they could go outside to bask in the grass. The milking stand was buried in mud, another problem to deal with and I added that to the list. After days of downpour, I was finally able to do a good job of cleaning the still-damp stalls and put down more sawdust chips for Sheila and Cindy.
The third item on the list was getting the chimney cleaned. Impossible to keep a fire going the day before and unable to bank any coals, Stove and the chimney flue were stone cold, perfect timing to be swept. But what to do? I called Dave. I knew he was home from work suffering from a bad case of shingles, but hoped one of the FSMC guys might have the day off and be willing to come help. Fortunately for them, but not for me, they were all gainfully employed. Sigh. I put in a text to Helper Dude and, ta da!, he answered and would be here in early afternoon! (Insert "smiley face" here.)
HD roared up the drive on his quad, girlfriend clinging on behind, and I told him what needed to be done. "No problem." In order of importance, he tackled the door to the coop first so I could put the little kids to bed safely come nightfall. He relocated the hinge in solid wood and also fixed the clasp to that half-door. (Smiley face.)
Next was the chimney. HD is quite tall and only needed the eight-foot ladder to get on the roof. He provided the muscle to wire brush the creosote buildup down through the flue, while I did the dirty work of digging it out from inside Stove at the bottom. Silently, I was singing "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and covered with soot to the elbows. It's a dirty job, but somebody had to do it.
Cleaned up with soap and water, we headed to the barn where HD was able to pull all 12 inches of the stand legs out of the mud, fill in the squirrel tunnels and level the ground, tamp down the dirt, and replace the stand as it should be. Having an endless supply, we folded empty feed bags and tucked them under the legs to hopefully keep them from sinking again.
Unbelievably, everything was done in an hour. Ah, youth! We settled our business, he and girlfriend (who had said perhaps all of ten words the entire time) climbed back on the quad and roared off down the drive. (Smiley face with exclamation points here.)