Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
You have my sympathies! I had planned to start my garden last spring, but had to have emergency surgery, so my plans were delayed for a year. I did, however, get to start a compost pile.
For what it's worth, I started composting using a piece of 1/2" hardware cloth that was 3' high and 9' long. I used some pieces of wire to tie the two ends together.
Your compost will do best if it's lifted off the ground some, so that it can get air (a pallet is good for that), but mine goes directly on the ground and until recently, I had no problems with it. I stopped turning it regularly at the same time that we got all that rain last month, and now it has ants in it.
I'm hoping that getting back to regular turning will get rid of the ants without my having to use any orange oil or anything else that costs money.
To turn it, I just lift the wire "bin" away from the pile and put it back down right next to the pile and start shoveling the compost back into it. Except for the ants, it's worked pretty well so far.
In fact, I have 2 bins now; one holds the finished compost that I sifted through another piece of 1/2" hardware cloth, and the other is my active ant-ridden pile.
Here's a link to more information:
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/exte ... pter3.html
Hope I've helped!