Friday night found me out for a night on the town with a dear friend. Okay, night on the town might be a stretch, we went to Joann’s and a thrift store. And hey, I found softball shorts for $1.50! The important thing is that I got to spend the evening in the company of one of my besties who always makes my life better. I am so blessed with terrific friends.
Saturday dawned bright and early- a truly beautiful day after a rather rainy week. I put on my “fun” shoes so the dogs got excited (for some reason they think when I wear my tennis shoes something great is going to happen– it mostly just means I’m home for the day, with or without fun). This fence thing. Sigh. So many moving parts. Since I was solo for the day, I planned to see how far I could get on some of the smaller components to get ready for another bigger fence day where I beg for help to finish it up. So Saturday’s tasks included:
a) fencing the 8 foot gap at the far corner of the yard between an existing chain link fence and a chain link post with a rusty wire fence hanging off it. I’d done some clearing back there last week and secured the existing fence to the post, but now I needed to actually close the gap. I managed to unroll the huge roll of field fencing and clip off the right amount (let’s pretend I didn’t also let it spring back on me and make my face bleed). I bought chain link post hardware to hold the field fence and it worked great. I had to do some more clearing (because what would I do if I wasn’t making the brush pile constantly bigger?) and got the fencing stretched and in place. Of course there is a huge groundhog hole in the sandy soil RIGHT AT THE FENCE so I know if Suzie sees it, she will consider digging under. So I threw some of the brush I just cut down in front of the fence and called it a day. Someday I will take some dirt (or gravel?) back there and fill the hole. For now though? The corner gap is closed. Booyah.
b) measuring the long line of fencing to see where I need to add an additional brace assembly. I measured for the new brace and posts. And got no further because I was distracted by other fencing.
c) work on the gap by the pigeon people. That fence NEEDS to go in, folks. Suzie keeps going over there more and more- and now that the neighbor always talks to her and is all friendly- she thinks it is okay to be there!! Now that I know just how many pigeons are at stake (another story for another day I promise) I feel rather desperate to get the line fenced before there is some sort of major pigeon massacre. That stretch is awkward because it is going between existing chain link posts but is a long run of fence (~170 feet) so it will need good anchors and real field fence stretched. So I did some more clearing at the end chain link post (so. much. brush.) and started digging post holes over there but then the neighbor came out to sit on his deck shirtless and watch me and that felt weird, so I moved to another part of the yard. He sits on his deck shirtless a lot– usually watching his pigeons– and while that’s all well and good, I’d rather not having someone staring at me while I dig post holes.
d) fencing along the back where there was an existing rail fence with wire mesh on parts of it — but the whole thing is much too short to actually contain my pups. The first time I took the dogs on a (leashed) walk through the nether regions of the yard, the first thing Maggie did when we went by that fence was jump to put her front paws on the top rail and look back at me as if to say “This is a joke, right? You know I’m going over this.” So the task was to build it higher and I’d debated several options. Most seemed much more labor intensive and material intensive than I was hoping for. Stretching the field fence along here didn’t make a lot of sense since there was an existing fence with existing secured posts along there. So I talked to the neighbor back there (the pool people, who keep inviting me to use their pool any time) and asked if he minded if I attached my taller fence to his existing fence. No problem.
When I went back there to measure the area before going to get supplies, I noticed a live trap with a live groundhog in it on my side of the fence. Weird. I know those neighbors have a serious ground hog issue and I know I have a less serious one but an issue nonetheless. However, I believe my issue will be quickly resolved when the fence is up and my two killers are on the prowl. Suzie is already obsessed with all the groundhog holes and spends hours guarding them and trying to go down them. Okay by me.
Right, so the mystery trapped groundhog on my side of the fence: so I’m measuring the fence I need when the neighbor comes out. I mention that it looks like he caught someone. He laughed and said he hopes it is okay but they are having a bunch of kids over for a party and they would collect the groundhog when the kids left. No problem at all. I ended up buying welded wire fencing (stiffer than the field fencing which needs to be stretched). 100 feet of that fencing was $60 and I screwed a few tall fence boards into the existing posts and then stapled the welded field fence to the existing posts, boards, and my new taller fence boards to keep the top level and secure.
I was so thankful my sister offered to come help because doing this solo wasn’t going to work. We had to rake about 10 years of leaves away from the fence line, screw in the fence boards, and do a lot of pulling and stapling to get the new fencing in place. It isn’t perfect but it will keep my dogs in and was an inexpensive option for this odd situation. Oh yeah, and I put my face right into a big poison ivy vine (on accident) and got it all over my body. I’ve never had poison ivy, but I try to be careful. Naturally now I’m totally paranoid that this is the event that I’d get my first case of it. I washed and showered and washed again. And so far, as of Monday, nothing new to report. Shiver.
By the time we finished that, it was past dinner time. So the sis and I made a simple dinner, cracked open some beer, and watched a movie. (While I pondered all the places I was likely to get poison ivy). I like that girl and in case you haven’t guessed this, projects are my love language. I do projects for and with people I love, and I feel so incredibly loved when someone comes over and projects with me. And when we end up hot and sweaty on the couch, watching Denzel Washington save the world, it’s like a bonus.
Sunday was another gorgeous summer day. Boy do I love summer! I went to Mass and met some friends afterward for brunch and an Ikea run. I know I say this a lot, but I am blessed with incredible friends. These particular friends live a couple hours away but were in town for a conference and made room to see me for Mass and brunch. It was great to see them, great to hang out, great to adventure Ikea together.
And of course, I had exactly two minutes at home to change my clothes and grab my softball stuff and run out the door to get to the softball fields. While we’re talking about things I love: I love summer softball. I am terrible at it: terrible hitter, throw like a girl, don’t run fast. But there is something really awesome about being out in the sun, with your friends, playing ball. Hard to beat really. The first two games I collected money and then held babies and hung out with other friends watching babies. The second two games I played. Not surprisingly, we lost those games (although the second one was much better than the first) and it was still a fabulous way to spend the afternoon. I also got a couple decent hits which was surprising for my first time swinging a bat since last summer. I left sore and sweaty and happy. Bring it on, Summer. I am loving this.