Sunday, July 6, 2014

Turn Here Rose

Okay, it's been a long week, and an even longer weekend. I managed to get a lot done, and this weekend the kids came up for Independence Day, which gave me a chance to try to educate the grandkids about WHY we celebrate on July 4th.

But this is about the farm.

I have a few pictures, but again, I never seem to think of it until I'm home, showered, and resting. I'm usually more concerned with getting things done, and then all I want is to turn into a rutabaga and veg out! So, with all that preamble BS out of the way,
This is an old photo. THIS is what I walked into when I bought the land. Figured I'd post a 'before' picture, to prove that I've actually done something out there besides play with fire and stare at the stars.
On  Tuesday this week, I went out to the farm once Rose got home from work, and I loaded the car up. I really don't check the weather, because it really doesn't matter what it's doing as long as it ain't snow, which is highly unlikely in 90 degree heat. So after I got settled in for the night, I had my fire going, chicken cooking, and noticed how dark it was getting fairly early. Then I noticed why:
Put all my gear under the tarp shelter, loaded wood by my bed site, and settled in. The chicken was absolutely delicious, and it didn't start to rain until after I was done eating. Mother Nature can occasionally be generous... It was an absolute gully buster when it finally broke. However, this was actually a boon for me, as I was able to collect almost 2 buckets of water by angling my tarp, and was set for the pigs on Wednesday. I stayed dry and comfortable, and got a great nights sleep when I was finally done watching the rain. Threw a piece of metal over the top of my 'hearth', and had a nice fire on a cool rainy night. Still had coals going in the morning!
Thankfully the rain stopped before morning, and not so fortunately, the sun came up with a vengeance. It topped triple digits before noon with the heat index, and it was nothing less than brutal!
When I first started leveling the plot, I used the formed concrete footer and the internal pylon footers as a guide to make things nice and even. Can someone PLEASE tell me the purpose of making internal pylon fitters at varying heights?!  When I got done, I stood back and took a good look. It didn't seem level. So I got a straight 12' 2X4 and laid it over some of the footers.
Now, refer back to the 'before' picture, and notice the difference. 90 degree plus heat, on my knees, foxhole shovel and a tarp, and after many many hours of effort, I got THIS:
Not looking level to me. So I pulled out my level, that metal bar in front of the board, and checked just to be sure I wasn't seeing things... That footer on the right is four inches below the center footer, and the outer poured footer.

 Hard to see in front of the ubiquitous picture of Scooter, but there is a 2x4x8 brick under the right end of the board on the shorter footer! Pissed off, but what ya gonna do? I'm going to have to block up that side of the building more, but as I plan to raise the whole damn thing high enough to work under it installing plumbing, wiring, that sort of thing, its not the end of the world. But it sucked to try to get everything nice and level, and then realize that at ground level, I missed the obvious!
I had planned to remove that layer of brick on top of the foundation, but surprisingly, this row seems fairly sturdy still, (probably from having the back side of them packed by dirt), I decided at the end to leave them, put another row on top, and use it as a berm. That red clay rise will need a lot of work to keep it in place, and I just don't have the initiative to worry about it right now.
So, that was pretty much it for this week. Didn't do anything over this weekend, because of the visit with the kids.
Oh, shit! Yes I did do something else. I have a 12X12 pig pen east of the pool. Tarped over one corner, threw in a blue water barrel, (yes, I had other plans for this, but the pigs need shade), and set up a water station that spills over onto the clay soil, and will sit for awhile before soaking in. Gives them a nice area to coat themselves with mud to keep the sun and bugs off their skin!
And one last thing I happened to notice on Thursday: I have a hobgoblin tree! I'm not that up to date on my mythical beastie things, but I can only assume that this hobgoblin lived in the tree, and when the fire came through, was forced out into the sun, and subsequently frozen for eternity. Or something like that....

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