Saturday, July 9, 2016

Getting hammered in the cistern paddock, part 1

So we envision that the cistern paddock is a going to be the hang-out spot.

It's in the back of the house so there's privacy. There's some good shade from the many trees. And the cistern house itself could turn into a super-cool bar or bathroom one day.  As a reminder, here's how it started.

We recently decided to use the pecan mulch from the tree limbs that had to come down last spring to fill in the area and keep the weeds down.  We also decided to build a flowerbed in the front to add color and (hopefully) put plants that will repel mosquitoes. But before we could do that, we had to pull out some concrete.  This step (?) was in front of the cistern house door.

You can see where it once rested.  Once we got the shovels under it we were able to move it easily.  A few taps with the sledgehammer and it was in pieces.

Since that was so easy I decided to try the concrete peeking out from what was once the clothes line pole. That didn't go so well...

Unbeknownst to me at the time, the concrete base was about two feet across and a foot thick!

Seriously--who needs this much concrete for a CLOTHES LINE???  What were they hanging--chain mail?

So rather than destroy my back (Larry understandably didn't go near the sledgehammer) we decided to rent a jackhammer.  Yeah...

It honestly wasn't as bad as I feared, and it did the job far better than the sledgehammer.

Not only was there concrete, there was a ring of rebar and the whole thing was piled on top of more chunks of leftover granite from the monument company.  So we had to jackhammer through granite towards the bottom.

But unfortunately, we STILL couldn't get the pole out.  It's buried further down and the portion under the concrete is drill pipe.

The other one wasn't any easier.

And at the end of the day the pole was still standing.  It didn't even budge when I made the mistake of hanging from it like monkeybars (at which point I felt every muscle in my back revolt). Since we can't dig these out, our plan is to just cut them off as low as we can and cover over them.  If anyone has any suggestions on how we might make that happen, please share!

For creation of the flowerbed I had to dig a trench for the flowerbed border.  Why on earth we didn't think of this plan during the MONTHS of rainy weather when the ground is soft, I have no idea. Nope. Now that the ground is hard and dry, THAT'S when we start digging a 5" trench to insert the flowerbed border.

So clearly this project is nowhere near finished.  But on the bright side, while we were cleaning up we found a couple nests that had fallen out of the trees in the bad weather.  We put them back in the trees and along the fence posts, and it took no time for new residents to install themselves.  A cardinal took advantage of this nest.  You can clearly see that she added fresh straw to line the old nest before laying her eggs.  And while we were working, she was closely monitoring our activities.

Hopefully the jackhammer didn't disturb the little cardinals too much!  

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.


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