This morning as I sat enjoying my first cup of coffee I peered out the great room doorwall admiring the pumpkin flowers that had bloomed. Movement caught my eye and looking up into the corn I noticed a tiny flock of sparrows chasing each other through the corn, stopping just long enough to tear at the tops of the corn.
Uh-huh! Another unwelcome critter in my garden. This fix however was going to be much less invasive to the garden and far more fun than eliminating the cucumber beetles, Japanesse beetles, and slugs. Yep, this type of intruder called for a scarecrow.
Setting to work, I gathered a 7 foot 1 x 2 and two scrap pieces of 1 x 2 2-feet long each. Next I scavanged an old pair of jeans from my drawer and an old work shirt. Placing the clothing on the 7 foot board I measured out where I wanted the clothing to fall and screwed the 2 foot sections to it. To reinforce the joints I wrapped twine around the cross and tied it off.
Next was the fun part, I began to dress my scarecrow. I cut lengths of twine to suspend the pants by the belt loops from the arm bars and then stapled the twine in place so it wouldn’t move. Then I slipped the shirt over the arms and buttoned it up. By this time it was really starting to look good. I carried my scarecrow to the garden and pounded it in the ground.
It looked good, but of course I was just getting started.
Figuring out what to use for the head was a bit of a challenge. Not having any burlap or really any plain material, I recycled an old kitchen apron and stuffed it with plastic bags to make it round. I then slipped the head over the top of the 7 foot board and tied it securely in place just above the collar.
Every scarecrow needs a hat, and this I found in my closet. I punched two holes in the brim and ran another length of twine through these and secured the hat to the head, tying it under the chin. The head was filled pretty solid with bags, so the hat was a tight fit, but the twine will make sure that the hat doesn’t fly away should the wind pick up.
In order to make sure that this scarecrow did a good job scaring birds and other critters away, I then found two foil pie tins to attach to the arms. I punched a hole in the side of the pie tin, threaded a piece of twine through the hole, attached two washers that would hit the foil tin and make noise, and then pulled the twine back up through the hole. The length of twine was then attached at the very end of the wooden arm frame and the sleeves of the shirt were pulled over the twine.
Now the scarecrow really looked like something. But what about a face? Obviously I could use a black marker and draw a face on it, but I could do that anytime. I wanted something really scary, something that would teach these birds a lesson.
Then, it came to me. I ran to the computer and began flipping through years of family photos. Finally I found the perfect one. I cropped it, enlarged it, and printed off. Perfect. I cut off the edges and with some straight pins attached it to the head of my scarecrow.
Stepping back I laughed out loud. This was too funny. But would Hubby agree? I had to chance it.
All morning I kept sneaking peeks at my scarecrow, making sure the face hadn’t torn or blown away. When Hubby came home for lunch I met him at the door. I told him, “I did something today and I want you to take it in the spirit it was intended. I made a scarecrow.”
He tilted his head and said, “What? Did you put my picture on it?”
Laughing I told him, “No, better.”
We walked to the window and looked out at my scarecrow. Hubby burst out laughing, wrapped his arms around me, and gave me a kiss.
It was his mother!
Once he stopped laughing he said, “We’ve got to take a picture and send it to her.”
Now my mother-in-law only lives 5-minutes away, but I see her less than once a month. Hubby sees her more often, but lately only under protest. Mother-in-laws can be great, but not always. This scarecrow is our way of enjoying her company without actually having to spend time with her. I tell you, I have never seen so much of my mother-in-law in my life and she has never made me smile or laugh so much.
When Hubby was getting ready to leave for the gym a little bit ago he came and gave me a kiss goodbye and I reminded him, “Say goodbye to your mother.” He obediently went to the window and said, “Bye Mom.” How much fun can you have with a scarecrow?
Having fun with the garden — and for this I am, Simply Grateful.