I’ve had to slack off on posting to reprioritize my labor into some home improvement projects, my career, and other not-so fun obligations. I meant to take a couple weeks off, not a whole month!
I’ve been working feverishly (& probably foolishly) around the house with a few improvement projects, a thorough cleaning of the basement, re-organization of my preps, and catching up on cleaning and maintenance. The largest project, by far, is a sturdy fence for the back yard. My dogs have learned they can chew through the wire fence to terrorize small animals in the neighborhood. I have twelve of the sixteen post holes dug and posts mounted, and I have to give myself a pat on the back for accomplishing what I have completed so far.
New England is rock country, and you can’t dig a 10″ hole without pulling at least half the volume in head-sized rocks. I visited many stores looking for an American-made post-hole digger before reluctantly buying the Kobalt one from Lowes. I’ve returned two of them so far, and bent my digging bar so may times it looks like a swizzle-stick. They won’t take the digging bar back, claiming only by running it over with a truck could I get it into that shape. I have a full set of callouses again, after many burst blisters. I can only dig 1-2 holes a night after work before my back is spasming, and my hands are clenched into claws.
Once the last holes are done, then the rest will go up fast. I took advantage of the recent tax-free weekend to buy all the supplies, which included stainless steel screws, which will make attaching the pickets easy, and last a long time. I need to decide if I will paint the pickets on the fence, or before I attach them… I’m using an opaque stain, because paint will peel in 2-3 years. The stain was much more expensive, but should stay better-looking for longer.
The fence is 4×4 pt posts in 36″ deep holes with 4″ of gravel on the bottom for drainage. 2×4 pt boards are used as rails, attached to the front of the 4×4 posts, then 1×6 roughsawn pine will be used for pickets. the more I think of it, the more likely I will rough cut the pickets, stain them en mass, then cut them to final length with the cut end up so i can touch them up after they are attached.
Work has been busy, with me having to work the last three out of four weekends – two without any “comp time” – which sucks because I’m salaried. We now have nothing to do, so it looks like I can try to find the end of the Internet on company time. At least I’ll now have some time to write some quality posts – something this blog sorely needs. I also need to start to study for a couple of very difficult certifications. Part of this flurry of activity is to free up evenings to give me time to study. One of these exams has a failure rate of over 80%, and is no joke.
Looks like I will soon have the raise promised to me in February, which will allow me to buy two key preps. An alternative energy system, and some body armor.
Another reason I took this hiatus from the blog was because of the stress caused by the endless warning-signs and noise from the eminent collapse of the EU and our own economic collapse. I am afraid that this is going to happen soon, sooner than I can save up for some land in Maine and build a cabin on it. I’m afraid I won’t learn how to garden soon enough. I fear how many are going to show up at my doorstep, and how they will react when I tell them to piss off.
The stress was too much, so I’ve thrown myself into these projects. Plus, I’ve been guilty of slacking off instead of taking care of these a little at a time over the last five years. Now I’m paying the price.
I’ve rambled enough, time to figure out an alternative energy system that will work for me here in Mass, and can be used in Maine if/when I get my land.