I don’t tend to think of myself or Jasper as complete newbies out here on the farm – we’ve been growing things for going 15 years now! But in the real farm sense of the word, yeah, we are complete beginners.
Take our first woodshed, for example.
It’s such a pretty shed. Made out of recycled wood from an older shed that was on the property and reclaimed old growth from the original farmhouse. She’s a beauty to be sure.
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But in terms of actually doing a good job as a woodshed, our first attempt fell a little short. We’d never made a woodshed before and thought we were doing the right thing building the doors and walls tight enough to keep the weather out. Wrong! Here in our damp coastal climate cured wood needs a fair amount of airflow to stay dry and non-moldy. What we were really doing was holding the moisture in.
So, it was back to the drawing board for a new woodshed.
We didn’t work with any real plans, just an idea that we needed it to be bigger to hold more wood, and open to allow a lot more airflow. We also relocated it to the west side of the house. This way the brunt of the weather will hit the back of the shed, and we can go through the garage to get the wood, which will presumably cut down on tracking so much dirt into the living room (a woman can hope, anyway).
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It’s almost done. So close! We just need to roof it, and we thought it would look nice to put cedar shingles on the back. Frill it up a little bit, even though it is just a woodshed.
Before Jasper could finish it though, he had to go in to upgrade something else that was getting old and worn out – his knee!
Waaay back when we were but mere babes in college, he hurt his knee messing around with a friend. He then injured it even worse with a bad fall through an open tank hatch during his time in the National Guard. It saved him from having to go to Iraq, but it also meant a complicated surgery to replace his ACL and repair a torn meniscus.
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Since then, his knee has continued to bother him, but only very occasionally. In the last couple years (and especially in the last few months) though, it started becoming more painful and swollen all the time. His physical therapy wasn’t helping at all.
It turned out to be a joint mouse.
What’s that, you ask? It’s basically a bit of bone that was floating around in the fluid between his knee joints. It might have been a little bone sliver or dust mote or something left over from that first surgery 13 years ago. The doctor said that it could have grew in the fluid in the intervening years (I guess stuff can do that in there?).
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He had arthroscopic surgery last week, and he’s back at work now. He says his knee feels so much better, and I can see that it does in the way he’s walking again. It’s like he’s forgotten that he has knees at all.
Which is good. He gets a few more days of light duty around here, and then we need to finish up and start stacking the firewood in the new shed.
Winter and that cold coastal weather is just around the corner, after all.