01Sep14 – Happy Labor Day! How did it get to be September so fast?!
Steve spent the weekend attaching the Ti-Proboard to the main deck floor joists. TI-Proboard is a composite sub floor panel that is unaffected by expansion, contraction or exterior weather conditions. It enables you to tile a raised deck. We ran out of panels (a miscalculation somewhere) and will special order more from Home Depot tonight. Wow – the demi-lune part of the deck looks huge! Steve power screwed about 900 special screws to secure the panels to the floor joists! I think he is glad we ran out of panels today…..
I spent the weekend designing and constructing my “perch” amongst the trees on our side yard. The space was calling to me to be used as a look-out from the mountain side. It started as a simple path to a small patch, just a little leveling, and then the stone masons said they would make me a stone slab bench so I could sit and just gaze out at the valley and mountains.
Then I decided it would be a nice detail to round-out the base of the perch area, since the Maple Forest Cottage has many arches in it’s design. This extension, of course, would be just that much further down the steep slope. Well, Steve smiled at me and said, “Now you’re going to have to build a retaining wall.” And, yes, unfortunately, he was absolutely right. So now I’ve dug down the mountain far enough that I’ll indeed need about a 3′ stone retaining wall (I was getting excited about the idea of space for a chimenea!) My little project just got a lot more complicated! So, from the stone pile in our driveway about 100′ away I start picking out stones for my wall. Now, I have to be able to carry these stones, one at a time, two if I’m lucky, the whole distance by myself, across the driveway, down the dirt path to the basement area, where I walk over, that is on-top-of, the makeshift dirt birm that holds out rain water out (there was a puddle from the previous night’s rain right in the middle of my path), up the steep side yard and over to the perch area where I decide where each rock is going to fit in the grand scheme of this project. Both Steve and I worked until dark (Fri – Sun) – he because of the immensity of his project, me because I had to take periodic rests each day, because of the immensity of my project.
Today Steve continued on the deck (he’s watching me & smiling through all my travails) and I’m ready to do some back filling. There’s not enough dirt left from where I dug it out in the perch area, so Steve puts air in the leaky wheelbarrow tire and I take about 14 shovel fulls per trip via wheelbarrow down the same trail as before. Now this is clay dirt and weighs a ton so from the driveway down the dirt path to the basement area, I have to hold tight so I won’t have a runaway wheelbarrow, and from the end of the basement area I have to make a running start up the mountain so I have enough momentum to take me, the wheelbarrow, the dirt & the bucket up to the perch. Then I partially fill a 5 gal bucket and walk it over to the perch to dump it out. After the third bucket, I can maneuver the wheelbarrow with the rest of the dirt into the perch area and release the rest of the dirt. This took me a couple of hours. And I’m only maybe 20″ high into my 36″ retaining wall – which means I get to do this a second time! Ugh. I sure am glad I like to dig in the dirt…..