Joe Abbott's Weblog

Letters home to mom

My final labors–now that was a lotta work

Posted by joeabbott on March 26, 2011

P1020341My plan for today was to merely complete the steps up the left hand side of the yard and to get fat eating snacks and playing on my Xbox. Well, ok, so the plan was really just to do the steps part but the second bit sounds pretty good, too.

Anyhow, I found it was mighty chilly this AM so I waited until after 10AM to start my day. As I now look out on our sun dappled yard and squint at the brightness, I was working in a bit of weather that can only be referred to as a “contrast” to this sunny milieu. Yup, rained the entire time I was out there. Good thing we have a lot of clay in the yard or I would have sunk up to my keister!

I started by clearing away the top landing to make room for a bit of retaining wall to hold back the hill. It came out pretty good but I needed to go a bit higher (4 tiers!) than I thought. This ate into my lumber stockpile and I was finally left with only three 4x4x8’ timbers.

Unfortunately, I ran out of 3/8” rebar and needed to go back to Home Depot for more.

Then, while drilling holes for the rebar, I managed to pull the head off my drill motor! I saw a retaining clip floating around in the body but wasn’t able to affect a repair. I’m not sure if this is a “replace” or “repair” moment. I used the daylights out of that thing and like it, but it’s mighty well used at this point. Well see.

Anyhow, I was able to use the drill (as long as I didn’t try to pull the auger out and always used the reverse.) Maybe that’s what I should have been doing all along!

But, with the wall in place I flattened the steps and then dug trenches for the border pieces. That was a mess. Loose dirt, lots of clay, rain-soaked everything, rocks to slip on … it was quite a bit of work.

And yet, that fell into place, too.

I then emptied the four bags of gravel (could have used 5) and was disappointed to find they were washed river rock, and not crushed as I was hoping. But, it looks fine and once good and lodged into the clay, is holding everything well enough.

And that was it.

In the continuing rain, I cleaned up the scrap lumber, moved the salvageable parts to the garage to dry, cleaned the yard tools the best I could and hung them in the potting shed, and moved my soiled and stricken tools to the garage for attention tomorrow. With all that done, I disassembled and moved the tent to the garage as well.

While I’d hoped tomorrow would be a day of complete sloth, I’m deferring the garage cleaning until then. Puttering about the garage is never a major chore and I was tired of being wet and cold. So, I sold “work tomorrow” for a “warm shower” today.

And I’ve seldom been happier with a trade.

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One Response to “My final labors–now that was a lotta work”

  1. Momma said

    am so glad all that work is behind you! Am also still enjoying the Cat Calendar entries… and am not sure I remember ever reading about you “sliding headfirst toward an open crevasse”…. enuf to make a mother’s eyes pop wide open, and her mouth as well!

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