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Monday, October 19th, 2009
11:40a - Hole To Come

but... of course, the normal pandemonium ensued, first. Two men, a white pickup in the circle drive, and the digger at the top of the lane, were here by 9 am. The digger is not really a back hoe, as it is a long, flat body on tank-like tracks with a two story reach to the crane and bucket that was in FRONT, not on back... bright YELLOW.

The pasture which has been empty all summer, suddenly sprouted two horses, both dying of curiosity and more than willing to ignore a large yellow object in the driveway to focus on two live people with hands (as, in their view, all hands are made for petting.)

Even though there are halters and lead ropes right by the door I walked out of, for some reason, I didn't even think of grabbing two to remove the girls from the play area. Instead I walked up to Crem, my favorite, and took a chunk of mane under her neck and tried to guide her into the wild blue yonder, away from the stallion, who was calling, the men, who were interesting, and the rest of the herd, who were in the front pasture, wishing they could join the two wanderers. No way was I going to try to get them through a gate with friendly help all around. I headed up the hill to the hay field. The back gate is open, now, so I figured the herd would wander up. I had a gate into the field open to offer them water, and the one into the bale pen is open on this side as well... Now, that is just sheer bad planning, as horses could come from the hay field into the front yard and exit down the road. So, I closed the gate into the yard, but have not done the hay pen on this side yet.

Crem took a few steps, with Leche following her closely, then stopped. I pushed her neck off to one side and we walked a few steps in that direction. I got them into the area behind the trailer, (out of sight of the men) and they both stalled, facing away from the stallion and the other mares, so with no incentive, like an open gate in front of them, they stalled out. I coaxed and finally thumped, but we made slow progress. The first gate I wanted to use was supporting a broken post, so I figured it would all collapse if I tried to undo the chain, which was pulled tight and probably inoperable one handed, assuming I could coax Crem close enough to make the attempt. We headed for the swinging double gates into the hayfield. They like those gates, as it always leads to food, no matter which side of it they are on. Crem went easily to the center of the span, and the gate quickly swung free once I'd released two chains. She headed in, then Leche stalled in the gateway, but when thumped on the side, decided she might dain to step onto the knee high grass...

I beat it back to the circle drive, shutting that end of the pasture. They can still get into the bale pen, but went toward the food, not into the tiny pasture.

The men were busy moving the heavy stuff from the construction area. The kitten Darryl and I heard in the grass when he came to size up the job was sitting on top of the lawn mower, so I took it inside and set it by the door. It was gone when I got back in. (Why I didn't crate a wild cat's kitten who was old enough to walk around on its own, I don't know... hindsight is just great.)

My brother had asked for before and after shots, so I took the digital camera out and tried to shoot. I could not see through the view finder much at all, everything was blurred, but I could read REC in large red letters and STANDBY in longer cool green, but still good sized, so set it on auto focus and exposure and we'll see how a fully adjustable top of the line item does without intelligent human input.

I think I was on standby, not record, when the porch got lifted up, as I was reversed at the end when I went to shut off. That's a shame, as it was awesome to see the porch go straight up into the air all in one piece like that.

Edit: the men were gone by three, and when I was telling my mother about the day, the kitten let me hear it. I hung up and took it outside, feeding the outdoor cats at the back door (only five made the switch) and nobody seemed to want the kitten. The tom was most attentive, licking it once. It was attached to me. I finally carried it around to the front of the house and put it back on the lawn mower. I hope a mother shows up for it -- cute little ball of fluff, a bit darker than the norm for a tiger, and looking to be long haired. I think it is a male. (I'm always wrong on this until lumps can be felt...)

current mood: ecstatic

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6:09p - I Have a Hole!

After three years, I finally have the hole that will turn into a storm shelter/library on top for the trailer... I know -- it is silly to get excited over a hole.

That means the cement basement floor with a drain in it and the cement sides can be poured...

I've been saying for the last two weeks that my eyes must be worse than I thought, as the digger that was to come on Monday afternoon, or maybe Tuesday morning was invisible. Now, it is NOT invisible. It is sitting in my pasture.

It is so huge that the side fence we removed was inadequate. Dave the operator had a different truck from normal today, so the chain to wrap around the posts was not there. A stout rope did not work -- it broke. A lead rope did not work, but at least did not break... The wire that was used to form the tightener on the brace WORKED. The corner post had it twisted and stapled at the bottom, close to the ground. It creaked and quivered, but finally lifted the post out of the hole, brace still attached. He swung it over the 4' fence, then his helper had trouble getting the thing unhooked from the tooth of the digger.

The smaller line posts were also brought out on the attached brace wire, even when it was on the top of the post. Dave drew them up slowly and finessed. When that whole piece was safely out and piled, the boss showed up with a chain...

They decided to take the three posts to the east to facilitate piling the dirt. The next post, actually behind the line of the hole, got broken in two, as the body of the digger swung so far over the tracks as it swiveled around.

The actual basement will be quite a bit smaller than the hole, as it had to have room for the forms, and to remove the forms.

The poorly constructed porch steps held together better than expected. I told them the posts were NOT dug into the ground, but since they had sunken in a bit, the men thought they'd have to pull each one. With the newly arrived chain, they wrapped one tier of boards (four wide) and lifted. The entire porch came up at once and was lifted over the fence and deposited in a heap in the pasture. One layer of four boards fell off at one point.

So, now, if you walk out the front door, watch that first step -- it's a dilly.

I'm wondering how many days/weeks the hole will get to fill up with water before the cement guy shows. There is nothing but good weather forecast for tomorrow, then it is supposed to rain...

current mood: excited

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