Sunday, June 1, 2008

A New Start from the Rubble

Rubble from the back steps in the process of being cleared.This weekend has seen some improvements on the back step contruction. For one thing my hubby has finished tearing down the old concrete steps as evident by all this rubble. He was hauling it off a little at a time, so what is shown here is only a portion of the rubble.

Those steps were pretty much solid concrete with some compacted rubble and rock in the interior. We found one tin/aluminum can and part of a small tree limb had been tossed into the mix as it was being poured. What a job my sweetie had on his hands. Several days work busting it up, hauling it off and clearing up the mess.

We had some rain showers here and there so there were a few breaks during the process. He definitely got a workout!

A start to the new wooden back steps. With newly poured cement slab the pillar posts are set in place.The task of mixing and pouring a fresh slab of concrete around the pillars took place last evening. That had an opportunity to set up and harden throughout the night; this afternoon work consisted of setting in some 4x4 posts as deck supports.

Now that he has a good start, Pat doesn't think it should take much longer to get the steps completed. We should be making use of them sometime this week.

Ginger waiting patiently for me to open the front door.In the meantime, the dogs have had to be let out through the front door. This was a quick outing for them this afternoon. We got a bit more thunder and some sprinkles today.

Here we were trying to take a quick outdoor exercise break around the front yard before the rain started pouring. The dog photos at right are not very good. They were not in a photogenic sort of mood. They seemed to only want to get right back into the house.

Sparky giving me that look to say, what's the hold-up? Let's go inside.By this time it had just barely started sprinkling, but they were having none of it. They did not cooperate very well for me to get any decent pictures. Nearly every single shot I took they turned their backs to the camera and had those ears laid back. They were whining and making all kinds of verbal complaints while displaying their impatience with me dilly-dallying around instead of letting them back inside.

Sugar attempting to jump up the front stairs. She's not as agile as she once was, but hey, neither am I.We are getting some wind as well this weekend. Everywhere you look outside in the yard you will see these little seeds blown down from the trees. To me they look like someone came along with big boxes of rolled oats and let loose sprinking them all about. They'll eventually blow away, but every year we end up with lots of these seeds plugging up the gutters and filling holes and cracks. Most of them don't end up making it to the seedling stage, but for those that do it's another chore to work at pulling them up from the garden and the flower beds.

I've been putting off tending to my planted area in the front yard and even some of the back garden. We spent a bit of time this past week laying down a soaker hose to water in and among the plantings in the back patio garden. I put in two rose bushes earlier this year along the chain link fence. I'm hoping the fresh scent of roses will make using the patio a much more pleasant experience in the heat of summer. The honeysuckle vine I put in two years ago managed to survive last year's dry season and seems to have established itself inspite of it all. That will also be a pleasant sensory delight. I love the scent of honeysuckle on a warm summer breeze.

The ants have a job to do opening up these peonies.These big black ants finally found something to do besides roaming around in my basement sewing studio. I think they were bored with nothing to do this year so they made their way into the house. That is something I don't recall happening in past years. We got some bug killer, but didn't put it out. I was a bit concerned having it inside the house with the dogs around.

Peonies in the front corner of the house host a group of ants.The problem is the weather has been so cold this spring not much was growing or blooming till just lately. Spring was certainly slow to come to North Dakota this year.

Now that the peonies are up and have buds, the ants have not made their presence known inside anymore. It was starting to creep me out since they don't usually come into the house. I'd be sitting at my computer doing some work for school or checking things on-line and out of the corner of my eye think I see something moving. I'm freaked out thinking it could be a spider and here it is a big ole' black ant. Of course they all got squished, ant or spider makes no difference. They're in my territory and I don't want them around. So, boom, they get squished and swooped into the trash can. As long as they're outside working away on opening the peonies they're happy and I'm happy. Just as it should be.

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