Note:

This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, September 05, 2011

My Domain

I have finally conquered my kingdom. My house is now a home. I have built borders around my domain.

Well, I helped Tim build the borders. Which, in actually, is pretty significant, seeing that I am not the DIYer type. I mean, I am FAR from it. Which is strange since Tim is a builder.

But I've wanted a fence in my yard from the day we moved in. I love seeing my dogs run free and for nearly five years, we have been fence-free. I don't mind walking the dogs but with three, it's not very stress-free. I am constantly walking or watching them and if I'm not, then Tim is constantly doing it and if not him, my kids do it with constant complaint.

I've asked Tim many times: just put something up; anything! No. I have to have something decent. I am not putting chicken wire up (which is one of the things I suggested).

So he said he'd put one up but I'd have to help. And I actually was OK with that because I wanted that fence desperately.

So Tim started the first part before we got to work last Sunday, August 28th - just a piece of it to show me if I approved the design. I did. :) And coincidentally, our neighbors had cut down 100 foot fir trees that divided our property line. This worked out perfect since it allowed Tim to have some wiggle room as we put the fence together.

Of course, Tim did a majority of the work. But I did help out where I could: carried lumber, dug post holes, watered cement with a bucket of water, set the level between each picket -- each picket was placed individually -- and kept Tim company. It sounds simple but I was dog-tired. I don't know how Tim does this for a living because for a few hours, lugging wood from one place to another, staying on your feet all that time, measuring, eyeballing, etc. is a lot of work. At one point, Tim asked how I was doing and I said that I felt like I had just done six hours of boot camp, my body was so tired.

So the pictures here show day one work, which is the left side of the house (facing the house). Our property is slope-y, so you can see how we followed the slope line and the fence caters right to it. You know if you see those panels of fencing that the hardware stores? You can't put those up without it looking like shit on a slope-y yard. This is how great my husband is at construction: he knows the lay of the land.



We didn't start back on the fence until this past Saturday. Our plan for the Labor Day Weekend was to finish the fence. I was so excited, which is also a strange thing since I had already experienced hard labor and yet, I welcomed it because, in the end, I would be rewarded with my boundaries set.


But the work was more grueling since, not only did we have a fence to put up, but we had a lot of natural landscaping to remove in order to get our fence in place. Tim had our fence line mapped out, which was a few feet within our property line. And with that, he started chopping shit down and I hauled it into a pile. We kept good bamboo for keeping and the rest added to our pile of debris that we have been accumulating, especially after Irene passed through.

We also had posts to put in which came from a retaining wall that Tim had built by someone years ago, that he is now tearing down (with much of complaining about the shoddy work he paid someone to do) to build our own retaining wall (I'm sure that will be the next weekend project...). I had to pick up the pieces and get them to Tim, which required me to pick them off the ground, where they had sat for many months. That means there are "things" under there. I managed to brave through maggots, ants, crickets and what I thought was a prehistoric egg, which turned out to be a nut from a tree, or a ground full of slugs, one of which MiMi captured a nice picture of.

I HATE slugs. I hate critters of any kind. They make me scream. But for my fence, I whined not a bit and took it like a person should.

We got the back fence done, with all the debris removal, hauling and making new posts, more cement, more drilling of holes (an augur, this time) and more slope to follow. I was getting REALLY excited at the prospect that by Monday, my dogs would have free roam of my kingdom.



You can see the bamboo on the _other_ side of our fence. That's what we removed, where you can see is bare in front of the fence on our side. It covered the entire back side of our property. It's like a totally different person's yard now.

We managed to do this work *and* have a date night. Tim had a date with MiMi, where they headed off to the SPCA and had dinner at the Irregardless Cafe; CJ and I went to the mall (where I had a visit to the genius bar; CJ went shopping) and had dinner at La Rancherita, which BTW, has one of the best steak tacos ever.
Sunday was going to hit the ball out of the park. We had the final side, a short side to put a gate up and we would be FINI!

To the left is what the right side (facing the house) looked like before we put the final long side in.

On the right is what it looked like afterward. Yes sirree...we got this done in a day, and overall, about three days of work although the first day was about four hours of work.

This is the front of the right side, which is actually two doors -- like barn doors, so that the riding lawn mower and Tim's big ass truck, can drive to the back (That's a shovel leaning against the middle of the two gates).

I can't tell you how fricking happy I am. It's surreal, in a way, because I've wanted this for so long. My dogs can now run free...at least on paper, they will. Right now, they don't know what the fuck to do because they've been bound by a leash and a person watching over them for so long.  But for two days now, they've zonked out when they've come in from the great outdoors.

I learned a lot with this project:
1. I can be pretty brave about critters and the unknown critters when I want something bad enough *and* with Tim around.
2. Tim is *very* patient. He never screamed, sighed in exasperation, or said anything ill to me during the whole time I helped. He emoted appreciation for my help and encouraged me the entire time.
3. Work gloves make me brave. I put those on and I can touch anything. Those icky slugs are no longer fearsome once I have those gloves on.
4. I will no longer sit idly when Tim starts working on our home projects. I see the value I bring to him, even though it's laborer-type work and there's an amazing sense of accomplishment at having a hand in getting quality work done.

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