Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Susan took these cupcakes to work today to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I found the cute little chocolates at a local cake decorator shop.

Before leaving for work this morning, Susan put a brisket in the crockpot for dinner. Yum!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Drain field, continued....

This is a continuation of the post I started yesterday. The pipe is now hooked up to the downspout and connected to the pipe under the sidewalk.

In the photo below you can see them digging the trench for the drain field and the pipe is visible extending out from under the sidewalk.

Today they are filling in the drain field and putting new barriers around the septic tank lids.

And yes, we still have dump trucks bringing in loads of rock and gravel.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Under the Sidewalk

In my last post I mentioned that our contractor needed to connect a pipe to the downspout on the front of the house. Today they started the process of getting a hole dug under the sidewalk that they can place a pipe through to connect to the downspout. Mike is in the Bobcat just starting to dig out the trench for the pipe.

Another guy is digging by hand on the house side. With any luck the holes will match up.

Ben laid a pipe down in the trench that Mike just made with the Bobcat.

Then, Mike started nudging the pipe forward with the Bobcat. I though this was a very clever way to get under the sidewalk. Well, it did not take long before the end of the pipe broke into several small pieces. The guys just cut off the broken end and kept right on going. I think they have done this a time or two.
I'm not sure what is happening now because I came into the house, but I can still hear them working. The dogs are not impressed with the banging taking place while the guys try to get a hold dug under the sidewalk.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring 2011 Construction

Now that spring has arrived, we have two major projects going on around the house. Our contractor is working on changing the slope of the ground in front of the house. The picture below shows the area of the most difficult work. You can see the downspout on the side of the house. We had purchased a rain barrel to use over the winter to catch the water from the roof. Unfortunately, there was way too much water for the barrel to collect. The ground flooded and the sidewalk down at the end next to the heat pump was under water for several weeks. Now, our contractor has to dig under the sidewalk and connect a pipe to the downspout so the water can travel under the sidewalk and get awayfrom the house.

Once the pipe is under the sidewalk, it will extend out to the middle of the front area and drain into these plastic pipes that slowly diffuse the water into the soil.

Just this last week several dump truck loads of soil and rock have been hauled in. The first truck that tried to make a delivery got stuck in the mud, just like the moving van did last year. There are also several pieces of heavy equipment sitting by the shop.

On the other side of the front sidewalk, the slope of the ground will be changed so that water runs away from the sidewalk and any water running off our neighbors property will run down to the length of the fence and collect where it does not cause any damage. This is what the rock will look like around the sidewalk and front of the house.

Any plants or flowers we want out front will be in raised beds so we will not need to get down on the ground, or disturb the rock. This should also help keep the weeds under control. The large dirt area in the next picture is above the septic drain field. We will have the same thing done here just in case we want raised beds in this area in the future. The rock will really help keep the dust down this summer.

Before we had gutters installed last fall, we had gravel placed around the base of the shed. You can see the difference in that gravel and the rock being placed around the house. Right now, the ground is so wet that stepping on the smaller grey gravel feels like you are stepping on a wet sponge, while the larger rock is solid under your feet.
The other major project involves the wetlands. This is the year for planting the trees and shrubs required as part of the wetlands agreement. In order to do that all the dead vegetation and noxious plants need to be removed. This involves a large portion of our 2.5 acres and right now we are getting estimates from people just for cleaning out the property. I will take pictures and post them when the clean up starts. More to follow........