Friday, January 1, 2016

My husbands day "off"...

I am afraid that I am guilty of under-appreciating my husband sometimes.  He is so good, so patient, so kind.  Here is an example of his wonderfulness.  A few weeks ago I bought a bunny at a livestock auction on a whim.  It only cost $17.50, so it was hardly a bank breaker.  It is living happily enough in a large dog crate, but I wanted it to have better. 

I am on a Facebook page that features livestock and supplies for the area where I live.  A few days ago I saw a very nice looking rabbit hutch.  The seller was asking $300.  A lot of money, for a pet I bought on a whim.  But I could see that the hutch could serve many purposes, and I arranged to buy it.

Today, New Years Day, Chris and I both had the day off. I got up early, as always. I exercised the dogs, milked the goats, fed and watered all the animals.  When Chris woke up we both showered and got dressed. By 9:00 we were on the road, hauling our little trailer behind our truck.  An hour and a half later we arrived at our destination, and there, at the top of a very icy hill,  was the wonderful hutch, as promised.

The left door has an area with a wire floor, designed for food and water. Bunny excrement would fall into a tray beneath.  It is excellent fertilizer for plants and gardens, and could be saved with the tray.  There is a wall with a little arched door to the compartment on the right.  Filled with hay, it makes a very cozy spot for a sleeping bunny to cuddle in.  There is a ramp from the left side that goes down to a lovely large space beneath, for a bunny to nibble on grass and hop about.  The whole thing is 4' x 8'.  Big, and HEAVY.

What the advertiser did not convey was the fact that he is a professional building contractor, and the hutch is built magnificently. Supremely sturdy, attractive, and solid.

It was no easy task to get it on our little trailer.  Luckily, the man who sold it was very handy. Between he and Chris, they managed to use a come-along, a tractor, and some stout planks, along with some brawn, grunts and muscle, and safely slide the thing up.  Then they cinched it down tightly with ropes and tie downs.  The load was top-heavy and awkward, but by gum, the hutch was there and safe. It traveled well.

The seller threw in a bonus.  A dog house he had made for his long dead Wire Haired Pointer.  Just as well made and solid as the hutch. And CUTE!(He has Boxers now, that live inside.)

My ducks currently live in a calf hutch next to my pretty, custom made chicken coop.  The calf hutch is quite practical and serviceable, but ... um, not very attractive.  This dog house?  It is very nice looking, and will look sweet next to my coop. It will make a perfect duck house!  I'll wait until spring to move the ducks there, but the gift of it is lovely.

There will need to be some white stain applied to both of these, but that can wait.

We didn't return from our outing until around 3:00 PM.  We drove the truck and trailer into the pasture, and positioned the hutch next to the pony shed.  But then we were flummoxed.  We didn't know how to get it off the trailer without damaging it.  So I did what I must and called our oh-so-capable best pals.  They are farmers, and smart, and strong and clever to boot.  True friends, the response to our call was, "We'll be there in 20 minutes." They dropped whatever they were doing without question to come help us. We are blessed.

 I passed the time by scooping and hauling pony poop.  Our good friends arrived in no time and took the situation into consideration.  Before I knew it the male half of our friend couple had lifted the hutch up over his head, in one swift movement, as if the heavy thing were made of spun sugar.  I saw him and gasped.  Meanwhile, my husband deftly moved the trailer from under the hutch, and the two of them (with a little help from we women) then muscled the hutch into place.  Bing, bang, boom.

Then they helped us move the heavy dog house to near where I want it to be. We will have to take down some fence to get it to its final destination, but it is close!

Dusk was falling by this time.  Chris headed upstairs for a well deserved nap.  His entire day off spent chasing some little dream of mine. Again.I realize he has done this over and over... spending his precious time to please me.

 In March it will be our 32 wedding anniversary... and just now, finally, I am beginning to realize just how much he gives to me.  I like to think I have always appreciated him, but not enough.  Not nearly enough.

The rabbit hutch is wonderful. My husband is wonderful. Our FRIENDS are wonderful.  My realization of just how lucky I am?  Late... but terrific.  

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