Monday, August 25, 2008

The Fence….

These words are engraved on a plaque which hangs on the wall above my desk at home:

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God,
with skill and ability, to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.
(Exodus 31:3-5)

And here is my latest project that has kept me occupied lately…….

My wife and I had discussed the need for putting up a fence for quite some time. Mostly, because our little dog was confined to the limits of the long line every time she went outside. We had a small post which screws into the ground, with a swivel hook, attached to the long leash that we would hook onto her collar each time we let her out.

So, I took some measurements, made a rough drawing, marked the location of each post, put together a materials list, calculated the cost and found it affordable to do. Especially since I would be doing all the work myself.

A friend loaned me his post-hole digger (so I didn’t have to buy one) and on one Sunday a couple of weeks ago, I started installing the posts for our fence.

I put in 18 4"x4" posts this way, each one is eight feet apart, and planted 2 feet into the ground.
I only hit one big root near an old stump. It was too big to chop through, so, knowing I needed a new chain for my chainsaw anyway, I stuck the end of my chainsaw into the hole and cut the root out.

Once the posts were installed, I put up the framing for the fence (the rails). I built the rails out of pressure treated #2 pine two by fours and attached them to the posts with 3 inch long exterior wood screws.

Once those were in place, I put up the pickets, which are made from 1” x 4” x 5’ long cedar.

Even though my fence is only 4 feet high, I put up the pickets a little long for a reason. (You’ll see why in a minute.)
My wife made fun of my hat, but it kept the sun off of the back of my neck so I didn’t really care.

After all of the pickets were in place, each spaced at 2 ¼” apart (I used my 4’ level as a guide), I made some more measurements, made some marks, made a template, and trimmed off the tops of the pickets with my circular saw.
Okay, so I’m holding my driver/drill instead of my saw. Each piece of this fence is secured with heavy duty exterior screws. There are no nails. All screws.
I got a little creative with the gate entrance.
I finished just before it got dark, except for the gates.
It had been in the 70’s, sunny, with a light breeze all day.
It was a beautiful day to be outside.

Here it is after I built the gates.

And on the other side of the house……

The dog loves it. She can now run as much as she wants all over the yard, and not in just one small circle.

It has even met with the approval of the neighbors (I asked them about it before I started).

And now for my next project?

I have yet another antique table in the garage waiting to be finished.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Getting the Back Yard Ready…..

Sorry I haven’t been around for a while, but I’ve a little busy.
The play is finished and it went really well.

Then, my wife and I enrolled in a Dynamic Marriage course at church which involved quite a bit of homework, but was still a great class to be a part of.
Work also keeps me pretty busy, but somehow I managed to squeeze in a few other things.

When I looked into my back yard, I noticed that a couple of our big pine trees had died.

They were becoming dry and brittle, so with the help of my handy little chainsaw….

Now, what do you do with all those little pieces of twigs and debris?
Haul them away? Throw them in the trash?

Well, there was way too much to deal with, and I also had another rather large pile in the other corner of the yard where I’d been stockpiling trimmings and branches, so here’s how I got rid of all of it!

It took some time, and the flames reached as high as 12 feet at times, but it’s all gone and cleaned up now.

Here it is, all cleared up.

I left the stumps a little tall on purpose. The one on the left I carved out to make a high-back chair.
Hey! My wife said we needed more places to sit out there!

Those little flags are from the utility companies so I would know where all the underground lines are in preparation for my next project….

Friday, August 01, 2008

Pet Peeves…..

As far as I am concerned, the funniest things are the things that actually happen in real life.

In fact, what happened yesterday was so funny….you just can’t make this stuff up.

And no one saw it coming.

I work in cubicle city. So there is absolutely NO privacy what-so-ever.
Conversations WILL be overheard.

I had a brief discussion first thing yesterday morning with a colleague on the subject of prejudices. (He has a way better tan than me, if you get the picture. Don’t worry. We’re good friends).
After I walked away (because I do actually work for a living and had much of it to do) another co-worker approached him to say that he too had an issue with prejudice people. He felt some people are prejudice against him because of his height (or lack, thereof).

If you know anything about me you would know that I am most definitely NOT a tall person. In fact, I do believe I have heard just about every short joke there is, and if someone comes up with a new one, it won’t be long before I hear that one too. I’m used to it. It doesn’t bother me. I am exactly the height that God designed me to be and I am okay with it. (I wasn’t for a long time, but I got over it and that is a different story all together).

Now, where was I?

Oh yeah. The co-worker who is self-conscious about his height.

He’s a really great Christian guy and the only guy I know around here that is shorter than me. He was telling this other fellow that his only Pet Peeve is when anyone makes fun of his height, or his shortness, or .....well, you get the idea.

Later in the day, their team manager (who is a freakishly LARGE man) overheard another conversation that went something like this:

(First guy): “So, what did you do last night?”

(Short Co-Worker): “I went to the midget races.”

To which the manager blurted out:

“Did you win?”

Total ….and…. complete…… silence.

Later on, the manager went and apologized for being so insensitive.
The short fellow forgave him.

Still…it sure is quiet around here today.


I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)