May 31st, 2017

The Report Card Report

Today was Katie and Julie's last day of school for the year. I have not had a chance to look at their report cards yet (because of important reasons appearing on next rock), but Gretchen tells me that they are very good. I am appropriately proud. :)

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

So I'm taking the week off from work. I knew we had a rotted out post on the cedar fence and figured that with a little bit of help from Sam, this would be a piece of cake. We would need to replace one post, rebuild one section of fence, and probably replace some of the pickets that couldn't be salvaged.

We started working on the fence on Monday. The score thus far:

  • One trip to Home Depot for a new post, a dozen pickets, and nails. Oh, and two new hammers to replace the ones that I had already broken on this project.
  • The Memorial Day festivities, where we discovered that three posts were rotted out and three sections of fence would need to be rebuilt.
  • A trip to Home Depot on Memorial Day where we acquired two more posts and another dozen pickets, plus assorted odds and ends, including a drill bit to try to ream out the rotten post ends.
  • The sad discovery that the ends of the rotten posts were not rotten and were damned if they were coming out of at least two of the three existing concrete sleeves.
  • The Tuesday lunchtime trip to Home Depot, where a new chuck key was acquired for the drill, the previous chuck key being nowhere to be found. (I trust it is in the basement somewhere.)
  • The Tuesday afternoon trip to Home Depot after Sam arrived and I suggested using a demolition hammer on the existing concrete footings. Quikrete was also acquired on this trip.
  • The demolition of 2.5 of the footings and the digging out of the holes. (One of the footings appeared usable once the top section had been cleared, so we left the rest of it in place.)
  • Sam returned the demolition hammer to Home Depot within the four hour window while I took Katie to her softball game.
  • On Wednesday around noon, Bonnie rejoined our crew. Sam and I put the posts into the holes and dropped the Quikrete around them. We adjourned for lunch and concrete setting.
  • Returning from lunch, we tried to nail the loose section of fence to the new post and discovered that section of fence would need to be rebuilt too. We carried it up to the patio for Bonnie and Gretchen to disassemble. Sam and I set out to mount the crossbars. Concluding that nails were not going to do the job after nailing the first set into place, Sam went back to Home Depot for deck screws. I started nailing up pickets to the first set of crossbars on the fourth section of fence.
  • Sam returns. Nailing continues. I pick up Katie and Julie from school. Ruby the Dog is released from her kennel without being attached to her tether and promptly escapes through the giant hole in the fence. Hilarity ensues, but Ruby is recaptured by Sam, wielding her toy ball, before Gretchen can recapture her, wielding her minivan.
  • By about 7 PM, we are running out of nails. We have run out of original pickets. A quick count indicates that we will need about a dozen more than I already have. We are done for the day.

    So tomorrow will start with another trip to Home Depot. (Lucky number seven!) We will acquire more nails and pickets. With any luck, we will finish reassembling the fence so that Ruby the Dog can have the run of the back yard again.

    This has proven to be a rather larger project than I had in mind...