Livestock, Philosophy, Urban Homesteading and Self-Reliance

The Price of Procrastination

Do you ever procrastinate?  I know I do.  Usually this less than ideal habit ends in minor irritation.  Sometimes, however, my procrastination results in a huge and horrible job out of something that should have been really simple.  When this happens, there comes a day when I must face the music.

Today is that day…..

Half-Pint Homestead sits on a steep hill.  We also get a fair amount of rain here.  These two elements result in a very muddy paddock and half the hill resting against the privacy fence on the low side.  Not good.  So to prevent erosion and help keep the ground from getting so mucky, we laid old carpet down.  We quickly learned that the carpet had to be fastened to the uphill side of the fence or it slid down the hill and ended up in a heavy, sodden heap at the bottom.

Now for the procrastination part.  When we dug the post hole for the pony shelter, we unattached the carpet from the fence and laid it back.  Of course we were going to put it back up as soon as the post was set, right?  A month went by, then two, it rained and the carpet began to disappear under a layer of mud and manure… Then winter came.  By spring there was no sign of the carpet above a packed layer of manure and hay.  It would have been so easy to just pull that carpet back up at first.

Having donated my 3 year old, poorly planned, compost pile to the local community garden, I decided that I needed a better planned and nicely built compost bin.  I wanted it in a place that is easily accessible from both the paddock and the rabbit shed.  The very best place is next to the rabbit shed door…right where all the carpet lies sleeping.

I spent one full morning hauling off 8 wheelbarrow loads of soggy, reeking hay and manure.  Because everything was packed solid and there was no air to allow composting to start, it was a really stinky job.  I finally got down to the carpet and left it to start drying.  Of course, this being spring, every time it seemed to dry, we got a rainstorm.

Since the animals don’t stop making manure just because I don’t have a place to put it, I finally decided that today was the day to tackle that mound of hidden carpet.  Armed with a grinder to cut it, gloves, my trusty wheelbarrow, and a pitchfork, I went to work…..only to discover that I am just not strong enough to pull the heavy carpet around.  I asked Tony to come help me and we made some progress.  He would pull the carpet up and I’d scoop the manure and straw into the wheelbarrow with my hands.  I quickly learned that my pitchfork was useless for this task  because of all the unraveled yarn from the carpet.  We got most of it up, I think there is one layer left, but it is now sprawled next to the milk stand, a smelly malevolent blob, mocking my bad habit.

It would have been so easy to just pull the carpet back up after the post was set……

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