Amid all other influences

Amid all other influences
"reaching for the light"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Spring fixup or trenching for rocks?

Usually by this time of the year, it's time to kick back, enjoy the warm weather on the golf course, and maybe grill some Tri-tip or stuff like that. This year was no exception but for one thing. I opened a piece of mail from the city, usually containing my monthly water and sewer billing. I noticed that as of the beginning of the month, I am being charged for pressurized irrigation, "no matter if I use it or not." Our community has gone through great lengths to dig up the streets and lay pipe for this irrigation water. Now, they've got most of the city and our neighborhood has access to that water.
Well, the push is for residents to use the pressurized irrigation water instead of culinary water for outdoor use, such as your lawns and gardens. Our old antiquated system included the manual mode of turning on the sprinkler (of which only three heads put out any water). The back up system consisted of dragging the water hose from spot to spot to water the lawn.
So, why hold back on progress? The city installed a connection box on our property. I just have to hook up the yet to be installed water sprinkler system. This is a project for guys, to design the sytem, acquire all the parts, go back for more parts, dig up the yard, lay pipe or poly hose, go back for more parts, etc., etc. Generally, this is not a male bonding type activity, the only fun part of the experience is seeing your system work, or playing in the water and mud.
After doing some of the main planning and scheduling, the time came to trench the yard. I rented a trencher, unloaded it in the driveway, and tried to remember all the instructions the company gave me. I started to trench the front yard. I had hopes of completing the work in 4 hours or less.

I spent nearly the entire 4 hours in the front yard alone. Our yard was meant to withstand the test of time. I can say now that as the scriptures tell of the man who built his house on the sand and compared to the man who built his house on the rock, there is blessings and lessons to learn about that concept. Our house was built upon the "rocks and lots of tree roots." I started to trench and kicked up or back, numerous rock and had to cut through lots of roots.

The trencher is a big machine and it is very hard to maneuver. With Mark's help, we finally got all the yard trenched. It was such a mess, that even Ipo stumbled into a trench or two.
I though that once the trenching was done, the hard part was over. Not the case, I had to somehow get a line under our sidewalk in two places. I found that you can't use one of those whimpy tools that uses a water hose to blast through under the side walk. Lots of rocks were used as a foundation for the brick sidewalk. A more appropriate machine would be to use an air hammer with a two foot bit powered by a commerical compressor. At over $200 a day plus the rental of the compressor, the price was too high and restrictive. So, to plan C or D, I got a breaker bar with a pointed tip to hammer through the 4 foot and 3 foot sections. It took Mark and I most of an evening to get through the rocks. Then the bar was stuck, so we had to borrow a chain to use to tie to the bar and the back of the pickup truck to pull out. We did this several times before we were done.

Still to this moment, we have only gotten to half of the front yard. Of course it would have been inappropriate to be pounding away with a sledge hammer on Sunday, so we rested with a great Father's Day celebration. Great family visit from the Bennetts of Laie and the Summerill's of 900 N in PG and Bubba, their dog. Roast beef dinner, grand kids galore, and both lemon marainge pie and strawberry pie to top of the day. Wow, great day at our home. I also received calls and well wishes from our two daughter who live out of state and their family. A great news is that our daughter Erin, who has 3 boys, will be having a girl later this year. Wow, what a blessing.

So, here are a few pictures of the mess and work yet to be completed, also some of the grand kids. Oh, since my last posting, we've finally put in central air conditioning. Now the downstairs is an ice box. This week, we are removing the swamp cooler and package air conditioning unit from the roof and repairing the roof to prevent more roof leaks in our ceiling. Later we are finally moving ahead with putting a roof on the block house for storage items, and if the cost is down, converting our present wood and wire fences along the side of our home with a chain link fence. Of course, we have to finish on the water sprinkler system first. Maybe, if the price of fuel drops, we will venture out this summer on a trip with our family, to "Why Not, Minot?"

special note ** I try to keep up with the family blogs of our family. I want to commend them for their diligence and also for the good news of what's happening in their families. They are never forgotten and I do enjoy their news and content. We miss them all and am thankful that they have wonderful spouses and children. This is the price you pay for eternal happiness.