Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Under the Weather

The Pond at Chez Sarge
Yours truly is out of sorts this week. Have a bit of a gastrointestinal thing going on, I won't bore you (nor gross you out) with the details. Needless to say, I'm cranky and tired and in a bit of pain.

The WSO would reword that to say "I'm cranky and tired and I am a huge pain."

Decided to share the photo above to reveal one of CINCHOUSE's many projects. She has a rabid passion for gardening.

When we first moved to little Rhody, the yard at Chez Sarge was missing only a few things: grass, plants and any means of supporting life. Of course I was pleased. Dead grass is grass that does not require mowing. But the Missus was not pleased, not by any means.

So she decided to do something about the miserable state of our newly acquired yard. She presented me with ideas, plans and hopes for what she wished to accomplish. I had visions of my weekends being consumed with gardening. So we had to come to an agreement on our respective roles.

I proposed that I would weed-whack, mow, shovel and lift heavy things as needed. She would seed, water, weed, trim and perform general upkeep. (At this point I was starting to regret having taken her to visit Versailles.) She agreed to these terms and we started out on our attempts to terraform our yard.

At first there was much digging and hauling of rocks, both large and small. For those of you familiar with the rocky soil of New England, you know what I mean. For those of you not familiar, let me explain.

Bazillions of years ago there was an Ice Age. The land was covered by vast sheets of ice. These vast sheets of ice expanded over the years, dragging down tons of rock from Canada. And depositing them in my backyard.

With very few exceptions, all of the rocks visible in the foreground of the picture were dug up out of our yard. I was surprised that they weren't all stamped "Made in Canada", given my knowledge of the aforementioned Ice Age.

In previewing this post I noticed that between that last paragraph and the next, there was no smooth transition. So in order to distract you from that unpleasant fact, I give you:

Airplane Pr0n!
- My Old Pal, Tail Number 463 -

Now when we moved in to our current abode we had a chain link fence around the back yard. The previous owners had a dog, a very large dog. But I digress, the wife was not so pleased with the chain link fence. I had to agree, it did make our back yard look like an internment camp, given the sparse vegetation and all. She was not amused when I suggested going to Home Depot to buy enough material to make a couple of guard towers. Nope, the chain link, at least in the front, had to go.

So we purchased fencing material, fence posts, cement, paint and a post hole digger. Now one of my offspring wanted to know why we just didn't rent a motorized post hole digger. Wouldn't that be easier?

Of course it would be easier. But it would also be "more expensive". The two most feared words in any language to one of Scottish descent. I don't even think they have those words in Gaelic.

Actually the old fashioned "man portable, muscle powered" post hole digger (Mark One, Mod Zero) worked out rather well. Until we hit our first really big rock. And of course it was located precisely where we wanted to put a fence post. So we pulled out the smaller dirt-moving appliances and began to try and determine the extent of this rock.

Feeling somewhat like an archaeologist, there I was on hands and knees, probing the earth to try and dislodge this rock. It turned out to be about a foot wide and two feet long after we'd excavated the top soil. Now there I was thinking, "With my luck, this sucker is going to be about a foot deep too." Nope, it was only six inches in the vertical dimension. It did take about 20 minutes to dislodge that bad boy. But up and out of the soil it came.

Leaving a hole suitable for a bridge support, or a missile silo. Certainly too big for a fence post. So we commenced to shoveling dirt back into the hole to make it smaller. That sort of worked but I swear we used way more cement on that post hole than we did the others. A lot more.

Doggone! Another crappy transition. Guess I'll distract you with, yes you got it,

More Airplane Pr0n!
VF-161 Chargers Bird
Disgraceful aren't I?

Now the pond started off much smaller than the current version. We had that for a couple of years before the Missus decided that we needed a bigger pond. Oh boy, time to haul out the shovels. It didn't go too badly, it was hard work but I amused myself pretending that we were entrenching. You know, preparing for the post-apocalyptic times. (Damn! Ammo, I need ammo! Can't defend the homestead with just rocks, though we do have a rather large supply. I'm just never ready for post-apocalyptic times!)

At any rate, the pond was dug and lined and beautified and stocked with goldfish and koi. Koi the size of small whales. Really those suckers grow like you wouldn't believe.

So now our yard has blossomed and bloomed. I have to tell you, it was a lot of work. Most of which the Missus did and still does. But it's a great place to kick back and have a Guinness now and then. But I only drink it for strength.


  1. We have green stuff in our yard; from a distance it looks like grass. Up close it's mostly moss due to the 40+ trees in our one acre yard. We do have a few gardens - low-maintenance kinds. We say we let things "go wild". It's code for we are just too damn lazy to make this look pretty.

    Works for us. You guys are crazy; and I say that with great affection of course.

    1. I'm very much into the "natural" look. The wife is not. She has more votes than me, she wins. I just knuckle my forehead, say "Yes Ma'am" and do what I'm told (most of the time anyway).

    2. Ah - that last says it all. Good man.


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