Wednesday, June 10, 2015 2 comments

Oh “Snap.”

With Daughter Dearest’s wedding a ways out yet (T minus 350 days and counting, give or take), details are a little squishy. One thing that was settled early: I’m going to do the photo stuff. This will be the second wedding I’ve officially shot; the first was Mom’s second marriage. (Memorable moment there: with no organist, I started whistling Wedding March and the other four or five people in attendance took it up. They’re still together, so it worked out OK.)

So a week or so ago, DD said, “Hey, who are you going to have take the pictures when you’re walking me up the aisle?”

I thought a moment. “Hey, I know! Selfie stick!” I made one a few years ago, long before the name existed, to hoist a small video camera over crowds or other obstructions. Just needs a ball-joint mount, and I have one laying around here somewhere.

“No.”

The challenge of holding a DSLR out on the end of a selfie stick is intriguing, though. Maybe I should ask Other Brother if he remembers that detail (her dad also shot their wedding). I think the wife will probably do the honors, though.


So yesterday, I’m heading to lunch. Daughter Dearest texted me: I love you but if I decide to do this you're not taking them :D and included a link. I was sitting at a stoplight, so I followed the link.

Um… (click to see the full page)
This is something neither of us were aware of before—it’s a photo shoot that the groom gets the morning of the wedding. I guess it’s to warm him up for the night… not that I’ve known many grooms who need warming up.

Anyway.

Being a good father (you can tell, I raised her right!), I responded:

RIGHT.

Monday, June 08, 2015 7 comments

Planter… planted

I started this project last fall, but only now have I finished it.

As you may recall, there was a steep slope between the driveway and the back yard. A couple summers ago, I dug out the eroded pathway and replaced it with concrete-block steps (hosing my left shoulder in the process). I haven’t quite gotten around to filling in the holes just yet, but now I’m a step (pun intended) closer.

Between the steps and the garage was a steep bank about four feet high. It was clay and gravelly rock, supporting nothing but weeds and debris. I long fantasized about digging it out and putting in a planter, and decided to dedicate it to strawberries because Mason does love to pick himself a snack. So last fall, I dug out the bank, throwing the dirt into large (20 gallon?) buckets that once held mineral lick for the in-laws’ cattle and covering them. I poured a concrete footing and built up the sidewalls with concrete blocks. And that’s pretty much where it remained through winter and early spring, because cold weather and mortar mix don’t play well together.

The top really isn’t that uneven… the driveway slopes.

But the weather finally warmed up, and it stopped raining for a little while, and I tackled what I thought was the final step: building the front wall with all the rocks I’d picked up and saved for the job. Trowel, bucket, mortar mix, water, rocks… I spent a pleasant afternoon finding stones that fit the next mark, slathering them with mortar, trying to remember why I thought it fit that way, repeat. I used some shale I’d dug up to make the top a little flatter. I used some old bricks to cover the tops of the concrete blocks. Ta-daaaa!

Now we have a hole!

Done! Or so I thought. The Boy pulled up just as I finished. “Looks nice,” he said, which was good because he’s been doing similar work lately. “But you need to put some bricks behind the rock wall with some rebar so the dirt doesn’t push the wall out.” Fortunately, I had some extra concrete blocks handy, and two 8-foot lengths of rebar laying around. I stacked the bricks, drove the rebar through the holes to hold them in place, and left it all there so the mortar could finish setting up.

The rebar that sticks up gets pounded down…

After a week of warm weather (and rain on the back end), I figured it was time to fill it in. I dragged the buckets over and started shoveling until they were light enough to lift, then dumped the rest in. To my surprise, I had just enough dirt to fill the thing about 6 inches below the top—I thought I’d have plenty of dirt left over. I left it this way for another week to allow the incoming rains to settle the dirt.

Just before dumping the garden soil in. Plants ho!

Another surprise: the dirt didn’t settle all that much. Three huge bags of garden soil topped it off nicely. It’s ready for the strawberry plants!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...