Brown-nosing Beauties

When I first started my job (almost 2 1/2 years ago), there was a very unsightly picnic table in the back of the building, underneath a tree. It was in very poor shape and the local kids had their way spray painting unmentionable things all over it (like Charlottesville unmentionable things). The damage was then covered up by purple spray paint. I am telling you, this thing was a gem… haha. My boss asked if anyone had a way to remove it. He was tired of seeing it from the conference room window. Being a new, perky, effervescent employee, I jumped the gun and said my husband had a truck and would be more than happy to remove it. My boss was ecstatic, Keith was not so much (he hates when I volunteer him for stuff– I tend to do it more than I realize).

“You volunteered me, again!” He said. But, he loves me and would do most anything to help me make a good impression. We hauled that heavy sucker away in the middle of the night. I took something without any intention of putting it somewhere else. Again, what was I thinking? Keith, being the saavy carpenter that he is, but doesn’t claim to be, thought he could replace the terribly warped boards with new ones and bring life back to this outdoor lunch spot. He purchased some lumber and the project never was completed.

Fast-forward to several years later. That same uninviting picnic table sat in my yard as an eyesore in all of the elements. Only now, it had two more boards resting on top, slowly eroding in the sun, just waiting and wishing to be used. Like the Island of Misfit toys, this picnic table wanted to be loved. I could sense it (misfits always recognize other misfits). It was time to put this table to good use… and then it broke.

Keith flipped it over to move it and to see what parts he needed to finish the job and it completely collapsed. I was slightly devastated. I pictured eating al fresco on that thing; soaking in all that Ferngully had to offer (that’s what a friend dubbed our property because it is always overgrown and green).

Keith then got his inventive self to work, again! The duck haven he started to build needed a little something extra, how about some raised garden beds?!?! We have a severe mole problem in the upper part of our yard and any growing efforts would be met by the demise of little rodents. With the pool area having a concrete base, we thought it would be the perfect place!


Keith planed them and removed the paint. We then coated them with a little bit of beeswax and olive oil to create a stain and a seal (And, it’s food grade!). We filled each bed with 4 bags of topsoil, 4 bags of manure, a little bit of our own compost, and some peat moss. We then added the top frame (from scrap wood) and chicken wire (gotta love Tractor Supply) after the ducks ate our first garden batch. They turned out beautifully! Yay for practically free things (just purchased chicken wire)!!!


These pretty, little beauties may prevent borrowing animals (and deer) from stealing our food (and now the ducks), but it won’t prevent flying birds and other adorable critters that can fit through the fence. For now, I am enjoying this area. Boots are definitely required as ducks are messy, but that just gives me an excuse to continue to live in my Sloggers!




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