Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Work Update

We are getting a lot of work done.

Yesterday, Bruce took a few hours of leave and came home at about 3 PM. He and N. undertook to finish unloading the wood chip mulch for the dog run.

N. seemed really enthusiastic yesterday. Maybe because at that point, they were able to open the tailgate without spilling half the mulch on the ground. That meant they could rake the stuff out.

N. likes using tools to do work. It's a guy thing.

They got the unloading done in about half-an-hour.

N. did most of the raking.

Bruce did the wheelbarrow job.

They dumped the mulch in piles in the dog run.

Bruce had prepped the dog run before we picked up the mulch. You see, last summer and fall, the dogs had dug some pretty good holes near the gate and at places along the fence looking for an escape route.
Hounds are amazing escape artists. And both dogs have hound in them.
But the contractor had sunk the CMU three units below ground level, and so the dogs went nowhere. But the holes were there. Bruce weeded the run and leveled the ground inside.

Then, when they had unloaded all of the mulch into the dog run, Bruce and N. got in there and raked it level.

N. had calculated the approximate volume of the mulch in the truck bed. Then he calculated the area inside the dog run. He predicted that the mulch would cover the that area to a depth of about 4 inches if raked evenly.

He was very close. Although it took a while to rake it evenly.

I had begin working on the 300 million year stonescape steps at about 1:30.

As the guys were unloading mulch, I was still hard at it, getting the sixth step in place.

IMHO, it is much harder than the mulch job.
I have to carry heavy rocks, measure steps, get rocks to fit and make the border. Every so often, I have to take the wheelbarrow into the woods on our property in order to collect more rocks. And wheel it back--uphill.

This is close work that takes time. Plus I am learning from my mistakes as I go.

A summer afternoon shower blew up about when the guys finished unloading. I had finished the sixth step.

It was a chance to sit on the porch and take a break.

N. decided that "just in case," he would fetch the wheelbarrow under the porch. No need to have a puddle in it!

Bruce and I sat in our rockers, sipped water--thirst provides the best taste to it--and enjoyed the respite.

As it turned out, it rained for about 10 minutes--we got about 1/100th of an inch all told. Just enough to wet the ground.

Then we were back at it. The guys raked the mulch in the dog run. I worked on my seventh step.

In the picture, you can see that the sixth and seventh steps make a small curve.

According to the landscape books, this adds interest to the steps. In my eyes, it allows me to construct about two fewer steps than if they went up in a straight path.

However, the ground is steeper, so digging out the steps is more work. Gotta move the dirt somewhere else!
But I think it is turning out pretty well.
On Sunday, it rained hard on my steps and there was no shifting. I must be doing something right.
Today, I am hoping to actually finish the steps.

Then maybe my blogs will be more varied and interesting.


Frankie said...

you've all been hard at work! I am really loving watching the progress of the steps...wishing I had some big rocks so I could do that in my back yard!

steph said...

It looks great! I love the title...you should make a sign for it and post it at the bottom for posterity!

We're doing the exact opposite with our dog run...meaning we're not building one for the dog, we're turning the one that came with the house into a spot for vegetables.

Have you heard of the catalog "High Country Gardens"? I was drooling...hard not to get eyes to big for my gardening tools when looking at it...

steph said...

By title I mean "300 Million Year Stonework Project". By bottom I mean at the bottom of the hill. Just in case that was as clear as New Mexican clay...