Sunday, April 20, 2008


There's still no fence...but I managed to dig around the old concrete where two of the 4x4 posts used to be!

After the oak tree was removed, I had excavated around the old posts in preparation for fence reconstruction. I'd exposed the concrete, used the "jet" setting on the hose and began a little hydraulic mining on two of the posts that needed replacing. It worked remarkably well. Maybe a little too well, because when our 85 mph breezes arrived there wasn't quite enough to hold up the fence. It might have gone down anyway, but I unintentionally helped it along.

Cleanup came next. Thanks heavens for son #2 because those fence sections were heavy. I would have been smooshed if I'd tried to carry them off myself. Once the old fence was removed I could easily see the concrete footings but I kinda wimped out till the weather was a little nicer. Unfortunately the balmiest days were weekdays, but this weekend found me dressed warmly with pick and shovel in hand. I warmed up quickly once I began!

It sounds a little funny, but I love swinging a pick. I like how much easier it is than using a shovel, but I love how precise I can be with it. It's surprising how ya can hit the exact spot you aim at!

The first concrete footing was a tad daunting--much bigger than I had expected. It turned out to be about twenty inches in diameter. Fortunately for me it was shaped like a mushroom and narrowed once I was down about six inches. It took all morning, but I got to the bottom of it before noon and could feel a slight wiggle when I grabbed one of the old posts and applied a little leverage. A wiggle was all I could achieve no matter how hard I pressed. You'd think that all the Christmas/Valentine/Easter chocolate decorating my tummy, thighs, buns, etc. and sending my scale into spasms would have come in handy but no luck. That concrete must weigh well over a hundred pounds.

So...I set my sights on footing number two, which turned out to be smaller and easier. It was kinda tight quarters digging around it even though I dug out two roses what were in the way first. The poor smashed wisteria trunk, which I hope will send out new shoots, was only three inches away from the concrete. The soil was nice and soft due to all the water from my mining operations and so two and a half hours later, I could move it a bit.

Good thing too, because poor Kharma is sick of getting in trouble every time she goes over to visit the Bichon Frisees in back of us. Our neighbor is great about it, but we don't want to press our luck. So chicken wire is strung in the gap to slow her down, but Kharma pretty much laughs at anything less than a five foot fence. I'm motivated to get those two footing removed and new posts and footings installed as quickly as humanly possible just to keep the pup in the yard.

Now I'm just waiting for a big strong man with a pry bar to come my way.


  1. I hope he comes your way too! And without a shirt.

    Thank you for visiting my blog!

  2. If you love swinging a pick, you should come over to our house. We have more than one rock that needs a pick swung at it. And, we have a pry bar!

  3. yeah.. We live in north west Reno and tend to feel every little jostle too. Though, we were at work during the biggest one so didnt feel it. This evenings 3.6 was strong enough to move the books on the shelf around and our pictures and windows too. Scary. I just hope they stay that small.

    Oh I can't imagine having a class full of little kids during these. Are you having to practice earthquake drills now? Poor kids must be terrified.

  4. There's something so inspiring about a woman with a heavy tool in her hand. You go, girl! If Hillary fails her bid, I'm nominating you for 2012.