Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor (of love) Day Project

Hope you all had a great, long Labor Day weekend. .filled with lots of food and fun!! We had a great weekend for sure. .pretty laid back, but with lots of activity too. This was one of my favorite weekend activities!!
A friend commented to me over the weekend that "when you guys come up with a project. .you are quick!" I had to laugh out loud. .because by now. .I know just what two type A personalitied people can do when they take a notion to. .
You may remember a few weeks ago my vision of a new fence after I planted the Blue Atlas Cedar??
Well, that just happened to come true. .join me for the tour!
We postponed our tree cutting project from last weekend when it was 108. .until Saturday, when it was cool 84! We loaded up a bunch of cranky kids, the chain saws and the four wheeler and took off on a drive to one of grandpa's back-woods pastures.
After finding a small grove of cedars that we could get to, we unloaded and started the process. .
which included. .but was not limited to. .
. .locating and sawing down some small trunked cedar trees. The brush was quite thick where we were, and this little grove won't even miss the trees that we nabbed.
Mmm. .the smell of fresh cut cedar was heavenly!!
. .using the four wheeler to haul the cedars out of the grove and up to where the pickup and trailer were parked. Initially, the boys were irritated to have to spend a few hours of their lives helping out. .but they soon decided that it was kinda fun trying to figure out the best way to maneuver the machine and tree through a narrow open area (between a barbed wire fence and more trees) and then up the semi-steep hill. I figured it was a good math and problem solving lesson!
Here's the first tree. You'll notice that the only green on the tree were the very upper branches. .another good indicator of over-crowding in the grove. Jeremy also trimmed the branches off the trees until we had a pile of awesome looking logs cut into 10 foot lengths. .
. .like this one!
Cami thought the whole process was overrated. .but she was pretty good anyway.
So, here's the picture of the area to be transformed. .with the new cedar tree to the right. You also might notice what I am trying to slowly block out in the background. .a lot full of dead vehicles (although others might like to refer to it as "job security")!
And the view looking straight across at the garage from the sidewalk. We used large pieces of cardboard from the recycling center and covered them with the straw I use to mulch my veggies in with. I'm hoping that by keeping some moisture in this area that I can't grow grass in, will help to make the soil  more conducive to plant some other things next spring. The other bush you see to the right is a redbud bush. .which ultimately will reach about 10 feet tall and wide.
We dug one hole by hand with post hole diggers. .but I think Jeremy was afraid that with my lightening speed, we might be there all week. .so he ran to his dad's to get this handy little dude. .an auger-like hole digging machine that hooks to a car battery. .REALLY!! Though he warned me once; the hardheaded, non-listening creature that I am. .I pulled the trigger once (just to see what would happen. .maybe my kids are more like me than I thought) and the little diggin' machine nearly separated every tendon in my wrist off of it's coordinating bone in LESS than a blink of my eye. .Seriously. .do NOT try that at home!
So, then I obediently stuck to this. .
filling the hard-diggin' holes with water to improve the digging conditions for the future.
When the fence building process actually started. .I had lost all of my helpers. .and photo takers.
Jeremy went to his wood post pile and found the coolest, crookedest hedge posts he had to use in our new fence. He didn't want to use cedar posts, because they rot too fast. .and we are majorly opposed to extra work!! We really like low-no maintanence stuff!
I backfilled all the post holes and tamped them in. Tamping entails holding a large steel post that was taller than me in my hands and smacking it in the loose dirt in the hole as hard as I could. . to pack the dirt in so the post wouldn't move. Apparently there is a right and a wrong end to use. .and I wasn't informed of the difference until I was on the last hole and the boss showed up to see if I was going to finish this week or not. Then he fired up his saw and trimmed a few more branch particles off the fence.  And Voila. .
We have a fence. .crooked. .not level. .and VERY rustic. .
JUST the way I like it!! Actually, I planned it that way. .so we wouldn't have to waste precious daylight on chalk strings and leveling devices. .Dale. .stop laughing. .I know you are totally envisioning this whole "perfectionist vs just fix it already" thing!!

Monday morning found me out transplanting some pampas grass on the car lot side. .some Karley rose grass near the sidewalk and some volunteer caryopteris bushes (saplings rather) to the house side of the fence. Grant helped spread a little more straw. .and I regret to say that I didn't get any more photos taken. .I envision an area of hollyhocks, morning glories climbing the fence, and other easy to seed annuals like four o'clocks, sunflowers, cosmos, and zinnias.
And all was well!!

Quote of the day. .
on our way to the eye doctor Friday. .
Devin concentrating on working his brother's ipod touch "Mom. .do you have any service on your phone?"
Mom concentrating on her 15 year old's driving skills "Yes, D."
Devin, clearly irritated "Well, isn't there any ipod service??"
Mom "Uh, nope!"
Devin "That's just great!"

Wishing you all a great week!!


  1. Yep, one more project completed in no time flat. :-) I like it. Good call on making a screen to block all those vehicles. Are you hiding a water faucet in there too? Glad you didn't get hurt with the auger. Sounds like the time I ran a sod cutter. It rattled every bone in my body.
    Lots of self seeders will really make that fence a nice home. I like the closing photo with the sun setting.

  2. I just LOVE the rustic fence. I always try to explain to Don---I want it RUSTIC. But, the perfectionist in him cannot (will not????) make a rustic anything. Sigh. I must love him. Or him me!

    I'm so looking forward to seeing this project through. And my gosh, you guys move along. Cattle prod????

  3. You guys make us look lazy. ;) Love the fence!

  4. Great rustic fence. I'm loving it. I think Grandpa Ott's will love it on there.~~Dee

  5. I got a little nervous reading this, I thought you were going to get hurt!
    You guys are so lucky to live in the country! I really am so jealous! "Hea pa, lets go cut some timber to make a fence." Ha ha Just joking!
    Your kids are growing up with a wealth of memories and skills!
    I was raised a farm kid.
    Wish I was there!

  6. Rustic is awesome! Looks great and you made a memory with the family! Even the cranky ones. : )

  7. LOVE the fence! I'm sure that will be fun to add all the plants around it. :) Will look forward to more pictures!

  8. Oh yes, I am liking that fence!! I love rustic stuff too. You accomplished that very quickly!! awesome!!

  9. I was thinking the same thing as Becky!

  10. It looks great!
    And I, too, agree with Becky!

  11. You so got me! Great job on the fence, we'll be by to give it the "official ok". You are so artistic and talented. I love the look. DJ