Last time we showed you the gardening shed in front of the house, making way for the final grading work out back. For my fourth tractor rental this year, we got the bigger 550 model bobcat, and paid a pro $400 to drive it for a day.
It was amazing to watch Ari whip this thing around, making my splotchy hack work all smooth. He turned our excess dirt into a great level workshop area, and created drive-able paths on to our otherwise inaccessible hillside.
I did however make a huge mistake, neglecting to tell him where the electricity and gas enter the lot, and where he COULD NOT further scrape the earth wall next to the new gates. I had hand dug this area per Pacific Gas & Electric orders when the utilities locator guy came and flagged it for us. So while Ari was bobcatting (new verb?) the RV parking area and I had my back turned, I heard the hiss of escaping gas. The sharp bucket blade severed the gas line and the 200amp electric cables. Within an hour we had 7 PG&E trucks in front of the house. Of course we blew the breaker at the transformer and knocked out power for numerous neighbors. The work-at-home crowd came it out to glare at me (rightly so). The fixes were relatively easy and very fast. All of that will now get entombed under new retaining walls.
Today was time to put the garden shed on its new pad. But the long wheelbase truck and very short utility trailer are a bit of a maneuvering nightmare, so this was good reason to finish getting that new receiver hitch up front. Loving wife knew this was an excellent birthday present, especially as we kept the winch from the lemon-law EcoDiesel surrendered truck.
Pull the winch & tray out of the receiver and replace with a tow bar, and hook up your garden shed!
The front hitch gives much quicker turning, and allowed us to pretty much jackknife the shed in to final position. Then came a flat sheet and furniture dolly so we could push it the final bits in to position.
Things got more treacherous as the wind picked up and the corner blocking grew tall enough to pull the trailer out by hand.
In the end we landed just fine, but this exercise took most of the day and frayed some marital nerves. We don’t want to move more buildings any time soon.
Yesterday I went to Tractor Supply to start on the hillside walls. Get ready to learn here about DIY gabion construction. These are big rocks in wire cages. We’re using this method in lieu of very expensive concrete or block walls. It starts here, with 16’ long welded wire hog fence panels. Yep, I got 25 of these huge things on the pickup and drove 15 miles without anyone having to call 911. The damn potholes on CA-116 bounced the load bad enough to crack the 2×4 over the cab, but luckily it all held together. So glad we pay all those road taxes in our $3.50/gallon fuel here :(
So you’ll keep getting yard updates for a while here. The Ravenswing watchers cleaned the bottom Saturday and sent me photos of the boat comfortably on the mooring. Looks beautiful there but MX is struggling mightily with COVID. I’m going to try to stop worrying about the boat and turn that energy to deciding what I’m personally to do to end racism in America. Credit to the protestors – it’s time for me to end my silent complicity… God I wish I could take everybody sailing right now. The sea would show us what equality looks like.
Good night, good people.