What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hard Hat Area

Today was full of hard work. I finished when my hands were so coated with dirt that even after washing with lava soap for ten minutes they looks a little dirty. I had four nails bleeding (cut nails last night). My back hurts. And I'm not done.

Built the platform for the new rain-barrel. With $40 worth of stones, paver sand, and #4 (general usage stone), it's not high enough (raised 16 inches). Sure, if it were the only rain barrel it would be, but I need to get it higher than the other barrel. Fortunately it should only take $14 more in stone. This is the first time I did stone work than needed to be level, so that was fun.

Dug a hole for a new redbud that's been ordered. Actually I had to dig two holes, one where we wanted it, and one where there weren't as many three-inch plus roots in the way. Still will probably have to build a raised bed around it because I don't think it's deep enough. Below where I dug it is more root than soil. And I've already used an axe to get as deep as I did.

Helped put in another edge around a flower/herb bed. Dug twelve-foot trench, helped backfill. Now I just need to find some more landscaping stones.

And then I also moved another five wheel-barrels full of rocky dirt from the "rock garden" in front. This is where our wonderful developer left us "landscape rocks" which turned out mostly to be pea gravel and slag. I've never been able to mow over it (mounded and rocky on top), so it's very weedy. I've just gotten tired of it, so it's got to go. If I rented an excavator I could probably get it done in a few hours. Over eight years I've reduced it to half of when we moved in. Since the early spring (when I started on it in earnest) I've cut the rest by about a fourth to a third. This part, though, it much deeper than the other things I've done. I'm going down at least a foot below grade (mostly about 18" before I get more clay than stone), so it's much harder. With the breaker bar (a six foot shaft of iron with a chisel on one end) I'm able to keep going (before, if I let it go too far into the spring, the whole thing would concrete, only with the early spring rains and after the thaw was the ground loose enough to shovel) I'm using it like a pick-axe, breaking loose dirt and stone to then shovel out. It's heavy and dirty work. I now have enough removed that I started back filling. So there were two more wheel-barrels.

So there's a lot of work. I took some pictures, forgot to when I started, but I have some of the work. Hopefully get those posted tomorrow.


sheila, who is not lurking today, said...

I'm intrigued about the rain barrel project. Yes, please do post photos!

Considering the issues that Akron has about storm sewers overflowing the sanitary sewers and polluting the Cuyahoga river, I'm surprised that it's not mandatory to have them in this area. There have been a couple of "rain garden" lectures at the local library or garden club, but so far there is no big push for them, either. If there wasn't so much pavement and development in the area, though, stormwater runoff wouldn't be as much of an issue to begin with.

My Steve tells me that catchment systems have been mandatory in NZ, and they've recently started to require them in Australia as well. Once again, the US is slow to require practical solutions.

But once we have a homestead of our own, we will be installing rain barrels right away.

Steve Buchheit said...

This week. I'll get the photos posted this week. Plus my take on the various issues I've had.