Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Stitch & Ditch...

Nick is away at a conference for a few days and I never sleep well when he is away, even when I am totally EXHAUSTED! Why has the dragon been so silent lately? Here’s what happened.

First of all, Mum and John did find a house less than a block from ours and have now gone home to pack like fiends. Yay!! By the end of August, they should be surrounded by boxes in their new house trying to decide where everything goes.

Secondly, I have been stitching my little claws off until very late most nights but there was a project that demanded our attention due to all the massive thunderstorms that we’ve had on an almost daily basis. One week ago, the storms were so bad that I actually unplugged all my computers. We woke up to a huge crash around 2 am and the whole sky was light up with almost continuous flashes of heat lightning and actual fork lightning. Nick’s school got hit that night and the ventilation system on the roof was totally fried!! The poor custodians have to wait to wax all the floors and do any painting or they will be absolutely stoned! As the lightning crashed around us, I remembered a statistic that said you were 10 times more likely to be hit by lightning that to win a lottery in your lifetime... and I had just purchased my tickets that night. I lay in bed thinking “I don’t care about winning the lotto- just don’t let our house get zapped!”

Because of all the torrential rains we’ve had, Nick and I decided that fixing the drainage problems in our back yard had just become top priority. While he finished the last few days of school, I dug up the old drain tile that we put in over a dozen years ago leading to our front yard and then extended it all the way down to the road.

Next, Nick and I found where the old drain tile curved around in the backyard so that we could add a T joint and the new drain tile to run around the whole perimeter of our back yard. The main idea is to catch most of the water trying to run into our yard from all the other properties (we are the low spot on Highmeadow) before it reaches that window under the deck that leads directly to my office!!

Nick was a trench-digging fiend on Tuesday before he headed off to his conference yesterday afternoon and managed to complete the trench all around the backyard. We bought the drain tile on the weekend and had it coiled up in our yard all ready to go.

This morning, I dropped Bethany off at day camp, picked up Erin’s knee socks that she will need to dress in period costume all next week at her camp and bought a nice floppy garden hat to keep me safe from the high UV index. Don’t I look stylish??

Erin insisted on capturing the moment before I got down to the tasks at hand.

First, I got the T joint spliced into the original drain tile with the help of our next door neighbour.

Then, the nice dump truck man deposited 4 tonnes of gravel on our driveway so that I could start placing the drain tile. What a big pile of rocks to move all by myself!!

The next task was to place a few inches of gravel, one wheelbarrow load at a time, along the bottom of the trench and check to make sure that everything was slanted the right way.

Luckily the breeze made it feel cooler than it was, but it was still hot, dusty work. I did 3.5 hours this morning and then another 1.5 hours tonight to get the trench base filled, the drain tile measured and laid and some of those trenches filled in for the next band of rain which may hit overnight.

By the end of the evening, I had the whole left side of my garden trench filled in with gravel over the drain tile.

I even got the back curve done where we will be extending that bed slightly once our loads of topsoil arrive. (Right now, my shoulders don’t even want to think about that!!!)

Of course, I still have plenty of work cut out for me tomorrow as I space and fill along the back of the property ...

and down the right hand side...

In the end, it will be worth it. This is what SWEAT EQUITY is all about. I am also going to have cut biceps and shoulders worthy of She-Hulk by the end of this gardening adventure!

I kept a little tally with rocks for every wheelbarrow full of gravel that I moved today. Those tiny rocks don’t seem to do the sweat justice.

But, as I headed in to shower yet again and get the girls to bed, it did seem that the pile of gravel was a bit smaller than it had been this morning. PLEASE tell me that it looks smaller!?!!

Time to take a few ibuprofen and tuck myself into bed! I don’t think I could hold a needle tonight if I even tried!