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There’s a Hole in My Yard . . .
2008-08-11, 3:53 p.m.

Day 1450
Sung to the tune of “There’s a Hole in My Bucket”

I should consider changing the lyrics to “there’s a hole in my head . . .”. Silly, silly boy that I am thought I could get this pond hole thingy dug in a day. Turns out that getting it done in a day and surviving said day are mutually exclusive.

Saturday I did the digging and Cindy & I split the hauling. I’d have to be careful or I’d overfill the wheelbarrow and she’d have a tough time moving it. She did good though and hung in there most of the day. We set enough aside to fill the old pond and got a good start on the berm for the stream/falls.

Spent a lot of time lining each of the terrace levels with patio blocks. The thought is that it would help shore up the edges in our very sandy soil.

Sunday Eric was home, so I got to abuse him while Cindy stuck with more domestic activities. (and too much drinking for my liking, but I’m not going there)

Two days in and we have one teeny area dug down to 30”. Almost all of it is dug down 18ish inches. We left a little platform where we were parking the wheelbarrow so the throws wouldn’t be so brutal, but even that has been eaten away a bit. Here’s a shot from Eric’s camera phone:

Man, the perspective is a little off in that shot. On the right side, that third ring of patio block is 18+ inches deep. The full width across the top ring is over 17 feet. Also? The levelness fro one side to the other? Better than 1”. My string level read less than 1/8” run per foot. No one is more surprised at that than I.

And yes, I was wearing work boots with shorts. I know it’s very “Village People” (hey, I DO go to the Y frequently), but when you have a need to protect your feet (from tampers, shovels, wheelbarrows, rocks, bricks, big kids . . .) and also want to keep from overheating – you end up with shorts and work boots.

I also officially got permission to replace said boots. I originally bought them just after we got married, so that puts them at nearly 27 years old. The leather is worn, soft & supple. The finish? Long gone. Waterproof? In a desert maybe. They’re also so stretched out I have to wear a pair of regular cotton socks AND a pair of thick wool ones just to keep them from being too loose. The lugs on the soles are also worn pretty much flat. But, they’ve treated me pretty well. Gone through a lot of decks, re-models, hunting seasons, driveway shovelings – they got used for everything. So tonight, on my way home, I will get their replacement. Finally.

Also of note in that picture – my neighbor’s deck. Right up there in the top right corner. Hope she doesn’t mind us skinny dipping. Cuz with the size of this pond, it’s entirely within the realm of possibilities. Ya know? 10, 11 at night, it’s hot & muggy, air real still. Should we sit in our non-air conditioned house, or should we take advantage of 3000+ gallons of relatively cool, clean water? Right. Swimmin it is.

That pile of dirt behind the wheelbarrow is where we intend the stream to be. The skimmer will be sort of in front of the wheelbarrow and it will pump water up to a filter that will be imbedded into the end of the pile o’dirt. From there, the stream will run to the right and empty back into the pond off a small water fall. Where the falls will be looks like it’ right in front of me, but in actuality, it’ a good 10 feet to my left.

Hmmm, I was just looking at pictures of the pond places streams. That pile o’dirt I have need to get much, much wider. I need a flat top at least 5 feet across, and preferably 2 or 3 feet above the pond itself. At least I have enough dirt. Just gotta get it there.

Speaking of which, time to post this, then I have to think about heading home and working on the pond a bit more. Need to get that done so I can get to the real fun – that screened in, roofed deck.

(I have better pics. Just need to set them up in Flickr or Picasa or photobucket or ONE of those places. For D-land folks – are there any tricks to keeping photos off site and getting them to show up in entries? I’m running very low on storage and need to consider options.)

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old habits - new tricks