Thursday, January 16, 2014


The weather has warmed enough during the days to melt the ice flow out back and sufficiently thaw the ground for digging.  Mostly.

So today we went out and attacked the dead juniper stumps and other assorted stupid yard-leavings-from-Hell from previous owners.  One juniper stump--a small one, to be sure, but it counts, dammit--is out.

Also, current score is Junipers: 1, Yard Tools:  0

Oddly enough,it was the other end of the tool that was being used to pummel at the ground when the blade broke off and tried to kill my husband.  The good news is, True Temper has a lifetime guarantee on their tools, which may be bad news for them depending on how much digging we do.  At any rate, the thing took one for the team against our rocky soil.  'Soil', ahaha.  Like there's any actual dirt in our dirt.

Onward to just one of the messes left behind by the previous homeowners, may they rot in He--anyway, today's other project was trying to pry out the two old concrete and rotted 4x4 wood post footings.  I assume they were a hitching post.  Happily, rather than remove them when they were no longer useful, the previous homeowners instead planted %$#@! juniper bushes right next to them to just cover them over so they'd lurk for 20 years just for us so WE could scream with delight when we found them.

After diligently digging away at the things while quietly sobbing over the summer to no effect, we borrowed two tools from my mom--huge, fuck-off steel pikes.  One is about 6 feet long and weighs around 10-15 pounds, the other is 8 feet and must weigh 20-25 pounds.  These are the tools of freakin' champions and get the job done, although the small one is deemed 'cute' and pretty quickly set aside in favor of the big boss.

A toehold is all we need!

Although Dusty is doubtful as to the outcome.

Dig, Dusty, dig!

The dog is no help and wanders off.

RAWR.  Stubborness FTW!
The concrete pad is loosened and flipped out, unfortunately the wooden post obstinately remains and will require more digging.  Going by the other half-assed 'homeowner repairs' we've found around here, we're banking on this chunk of concrete being the only one in this hole, but on the other hand I would put it past Fate to have a second one lurking down there, the miserable asshole.

On to concrete wad #2! Prybar in action...


Again, though, the post stays behind and isn't appear to be in any hurry to vacate.  Here's how both lined up.
This should make digging that one dead juniper stump out easier--the roots had gone under and all around the concrete wad so getting the concrete out first was necessary.  Plus we have to get the wood posts out and bust up the old concrete with a sledge.  Once we get the pick replaced I can whale away at them.  But having the accursed things out is a huge step forward.

To heck with things like jewelry and $600 pairs of shoes--I dream of new tools like a sledgehammer, a heavy-duty pick, a splitting maul, a good ax and woodsplitting wedges.

The cool giant rocks will be rolled into one spot and become part of the small water feature I want to put in in the future.  Meanwhile, getting the back yard cleared and ready for my Arbor Day Foundation trees that are incoming in about 2-3 months, plus getting the yard ready and safe for the chickens, is progressing.

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