Deja Vu

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We are on the final stretch of building rock walls, and it is beginning to feel like deja vu…been here, done this, many, many, many times now. But, despite the fatigue with wanting to build rock walls there is still drive there to get them done because we LOVE the walls we have already finished and the amazing garden space we were able to grow so much delicious food in last year. The new section will have another 2 beds, along with an access path.

In a post I wrote 2 weeks ago, “And So It Begins Again…“, I had noted that we were starting on the newest wall. We had finally gotten into the yard, and Kurt had managed to back-fill the wall that we had finished in the fall. We were gearing up for getting some posts cemented in and to get working on filling those sections.

Well, it turns out mother nature was not ready for us to really get moving on it. In came rainy and snowy days that made it impossible to do cement work. Snow is not normal in our area in early April, and although it didn’t stick to the ground, the temperatures that came with it and the constant moisture certainly put a damper on things (see what I did there?). Anyways, The weather finally let up for a few days last week, so we made plans to get started on the posts.

Our life has been a little helter skelter lately. Kurt has been working some random shifts, including night shifts at his job, and I took on a second teaching position on top of my regular day job, which means that it is not just the weather we have been contending with. We actually had to plan out getting some of this yard work done. Luckily, now that the weather is cooperating, it seems that everything else is going to also cooperate. Kurt will be onto a regular shift moving foward and classes officially finished on April 12, so other than a bit of marking, my spare time is a little more open.

So, on our 2 scheduled days last week, we managed to get the post holes dug and the posts cemented in. Seems like something that we could do in a single evening, but being the braniacs that we are, we didn’t think to fully look at our stock of landscaping supplies from the fall before getting started. We got the holes dug and realized that all of our fence post pieces were all too short for the new wall, so we had to run and grab more posts. Luckily, we learned from our mistake and also thought to check our wire supply before we went to the store, and thought that it was also low. Turns out that we just didn’t look in the right place, but that is ok, we will still be able to use it on one of the next walls. Geesh. Surprising how rusty you get after a season.

Once we had all the post holes dug, we placed all the posts into place and ran a string to get an idea of how we would like the top of the wall to run. This section not only has the main slope down into the yard, but it also slopes up towards the top of our yard, getting shorter as it reaches the middle of the yard. In order for it to look even, we wanted to make sure we were starting the tapering in the correct spot. The string on the posts give us an idea of where to cut the posts since we can’t just do a standard measure with a measuring tape. Once we have the string how we would like the top of the wall, I went along and marked each post with the string level as well as a number so that we could ensure that we were bringing the posts back to the correct holes, otherwise all that measuring could have been for nothing. After cutting the posts, we placed them back in the holes to double check that we didn’t need to make any adjustments before cementing. We were in luck, it was all good to go to get them cemented in.

The cementing went well, until we realized that one of the posts we had bought, had a huge crack down the centre. We discussed leaving it and cementing in that post another day, but the mixer and everything was setup, so we quickly ran to the building supply store to grab another post. By the time we were finished, we were mixing the last bucket of cement in the deep dusk of the evening in the light from our garage. We were able to see enough to get the last post cemented in. We gave them a few days to cure so that they were nice and solid. These posts are also a bit deeper than our past walls, and at more of an angle. This is a steeper section, and although the soil is solid and holds its form well, we don’t want to take any chances of one of these walls tipping on us. The tallest section is approx. 3′ tall, and we put them at least 2′ into the ground. Nice and solid.

We thought we would get some of the wiring done over the weekend, but unfortunately I had a 17 hour work day on Friday, most of which was spent on my feet, so I had an event hangover. Not as fun as an alcohol hangover, but close. See, one of my classes is called Event Logistics, and the purpose of the class is for the students to experience planning and executing an event. I worked my regular job from 8 am – 4 pm, which was packed full of events and site tours. Then from 4 pm – 11:30 pm, I worked with my students in hosting their event. That happened to take place last Friday, and it was so well done. Saturday, however, I felt like I had been hit by a truck and spent the day just chilling. I think Kurt was worried I would overdo it and push myself on Sunday so he convinced me to go for a drive up to a lake that we are going to go camping at this weekend. We spent the morning enjoying. the sun beside a lake, watching as the ice melted off it. Kurt did some fishing from the shore and I just hung out with the dogs, taking little walks and finding beautiful little wildflowers popping out of the snow. By the time we got home, the weather was moving in so we agreed to do the wiring after work.

So, earlier this week, we got the crushed gravel into place, stamped down and solid. Then we ran the landscaping fabric and got that all into place. This is when I could tell Kurt was not into doing the wall. It was definitely a day where we were both trying to fake the energy so that we could get some work done. I convinced him to help me get the wire on the back portion of the wall into place and then we would do the rest another day this week. He agreed, though a little begrudgingly. I don’t blame him, I didn’t want to do it either, but I also really want to get these walls finished, so it was worth pushing.

This morning, we are both off for an extended Easter Weekend, so we got to work and got the rest of the wire into place. The new wall is truly taking shape. It is about 40′ long, so it’s going to take a bit to fill, but our plan is to do a section a night until it is done. That will start on Monday, because we are headed camping tomorrow. Crazy idea, but we really are itching to get out there this year. It snow-hailed yesterday in our yard, but going up into the mountains to camp in a tent still seems like a good idea. I guess we will see if we actually make it 2 nights, or if it will end up just being a quick 1-nighter!

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