Oh, Westley... How very wrong you are! I think we definitely have some R.O.U.S.es on our hands.
And if you don't get that reference, then I'm going to have to banish you to the Fire Swamp for a few weeks before we can be friends again. No. Seriously. You aren't allowed to continue reading this blog post. Leave. Now.
So... Does anyone have any suggestions for getting rid of GIANT gophers?
Really, their wild dancing skills & smooth moves are causing some real problems around here...
And if we learned anything from Caddyshack, it's that excessive amounts of plastic explosives shaped like small animals just won't do the trick. These varmints will never quit! Ever.
So, I'm open to any removal suggestions that don't involve plastic explosives.
Wait just a minute! Those aren't gophers! It would seem that our R.O.U.S.es are of the dangerous human variety...
And in addition to digging 50 two feet deep holes in my back yard with a beastly auger, they also enjoy jamming to "The Little Mermaid" theme song in the cab of the Blazer. Very dangerous. That toddler is such a bad influence.
Of course, once the holes were dug, Joseph took great delight in returning the clumps of dirt to the holes. Very helpful. I'm telling you, he's a bad boy rebel through and through.
Stephen drew a containment circle around him to keep him from refilling any of the other holes. Fortunately, Joseph was just tired enough that it worked:
Sort of. It takes real commitment to continue filling a hole while attempting a cat nap with your aunt.
There we go. This is a much better spot for a cat nap:
Hey Joseph? You know what's even cooler than laying on a bunch of beams? Balancing on those beams!
Ok, enough silliness. Breaks over, back to work!
As you've probably surmised by now, we are in the beginning stages of fencing in our back yard. Stephen got all the town permits taken care of a few weeks ago. Then we had the utility companies come out and mark all the water & sewage lines a to make sure we wouldn't disrupt anything important when we started digging up our property line. Good thing too, because they run parallel just inside our property line! Thus far, Stephen (with the instrumental help from our wonderful friend Mark) has dug the holes with an auger we rented from Lowes and placed all of the fence posts in the holes.
We decided we needed an enclosed area for our kids to safely play outside during the day. There are a few reasons for this... First, people like to gun it when they drive down the road bordering our backyard. Maybe because it's a slight hill? Not sure, but we don't want to have to worry about our kids getting run over because they were chasing a ball or something. Also, strangers are constantly cutting through our backyard and leaving trash behind. Stephen has found beer bottles while mowing the lawn on a few different occasions. And finally, we'd like to be able to safely send our kids out into the backyard when they get older without having to worry about them wandering off or being approached by strangers.
Last weekend, we started the leveling and tamping process for the posts:
With some help from family and friends (and the mighty strong Joseph), we filled in every few holes with concrete to ensure that the fence remains upright and stable.
Hey look! A job the pregnant lady is allowed to do! Yay! I'm still useful! I can wet down concrete!
And I can still zip up my winter coat. Booyah!
I also did a very tiny amount of dirt relocating, but nothing strenuous, I promise!
There was too much water from recent rains for us to finish leveling & tamping the remaining posts without concrete. We'll probably finish that up this weekend.
Then we can get to the fun part... Screwing in the cross boards & pickets! Something else I can help with! Hallelujah!
I have lots of little plans brewing for the back yard this spring and summer. Foremost on the list is putting in a raised vegetable garden so that Joseph and I can enjoy the benefits of fresh vegetables without torturing Stephen by asking him to visit the produce section of the grocery store. We wouldn't want him getting too close to anything resembling lettuce. He might break out in hives or something ;).
Eventually, I'd like to have a raised bed running the outer length of the fence bordering the street. Something to make the fence look pretty and semi-welcoming, instead of standoffish. I'd also like to have flower baskets hanging from the fence posts.
We're also planning on (eventually) unsealing the laundry room door and building a small deck area in this little nook on the back side of our house.
It will be nice to be able to walk out this door and right into the back yard. I can put the kids' picnic table on the deck and we can enjoy lunches outside in the summer. I'm thinking of putting up a small laundry line for nice days to save on energy.
I also want to put in more of a garden in the back yard and have lots of pretty hanging flower baskets on the inside of the fence posts as well. We'd like to plant a tree in the corner area next to the parking lot since there is no shade anywhere in our back yard. Something that will provide just enough leaves to make piles for the kids to jump in without being totally obnoxious. Eventually (key word, right?), we'll build a garden/wood shed on the existing concrete pad on the back corner of our property and convert the standing garden shed/smokehouse into a kids' fort.
A lot of potential, a lot of ideas... but mostly, a safe place for our kids to play every day!
Of course, Stephen is excited because it means he can do more of this...
... without ever having to mow it down...
That's what he thinks, anyways...