Greg has been working hard in the garden lately. He has planted heaps of spinach and herbs and filled up a bunch of the pots that were lying around with all manner of yummy things. The garden was really rather unloved when we moved in and already its looking so much greener, healthier and neater.
I love watching the kids hang out with their Dad outside. It does often lead to frustrations, I think Greg sometimes tries to do too much without accounting for all the eager 'helping' hands but its beautiful nonetheless.
His big project at the moment is constructing an automatic chicken house door opener. There are a few on the web that talk you through how they have done it but it's all too technical for me. Solenoids? Voltage ratios? Micro switches? Torque? The idea is that the door will be connected to a timer and a little motor that when set will automatically slide open the door in the morning and (I believe) automatically close the door after dark in the evening. Initially it will be powered by a small battery however eventually he plans on hooking it up to a small solar panel! Once done the opener will save us from having to trudge out in our gumboots and pjs every morning to let them out and again each evening to lock them in. It will also allow us to go away on short holidays. Someone still needs to visit the chookies once a day to collect the eggs, clean out the poop and top up their water but none of that is really a big deal.
I really am so impressed that he is even attempting to build this thing. He's so clever this bloke of mine. And busy! Each weekend he's out there building stuff, fixing stuff, and being all-round handy (right now he's even doing the dishes). It's really quite daggy, I know, but I'm even impressed by the confident way he handles a drill. I'm gushing? Ok I admit it, I have a thing for the tradesman look. I really do love it when he puts on those blue King Gees and heads out to do stuff. And unlike when he really was a tradie, he doesn't come home worn out and angry with bleeding knuckles and knees and an on-call phone. Now when he gets out the drill it's for fun and he comes home each day in a nice clean suit, at pretty much the same time, he's home all weekend and it's so easy to get time off. Let nothing bad be said of the public service!
Last night the boys set up the tent in the yard and had a sleep-out. Henry has been keen on camping in the yard for ages and last night Greg agreed to set it up for them. They had so much fun getting it all organised; blowing up the mattress and ferrying out blankets and pillows and story books. We worried that Milly would want to sleep out there too but she was cool. After I put Milly down I came out to the sunroom and could hear the boys reading stories out in the dark. It was so cute.
It didn't last long though. Apparently Greg (who wasn't really that keen originally on actually sleeping out there) was just getting all cosy and sleepy when Henry decided that actually he wanted his own bed. So in they came.