Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Cattle Gates, Tools, and More Mysteries of Suburban Life

A man working, with tools, and getting all dirty and sweaty, is soooo hot. Literally. Especially since this weekend was an unseasonably warm October Thanksgiving weekend.

We got some stuff done around the ol Subdivision Homestead. First order of business- move some gravel. One of the nice things about living in town is that you might get a neighbour's kid show up with a rake and you can put him to work. I love when kids get to work. It's good for them.

Notice my son Bucky over there on the left of the picture. Go Bucky go! Here you can also see the piers which will hold up the deck. The boards will overhang by about a foot. Also notice the poor little Pug up there on the steps. He's looking more forlorn than usual because we had to keep him tied up. The fence was down, so that we could get the gravel truck in.

The back of our house is incredibly ugly right now. We plan to remedy that situation. The plan is to add another layer of crushed limestone on top, which normal people would then build a patio on top of but we are too cheap. It'll do. The deck has to get done before the snow flies, or we have no way out of our back door. There was nothing but a three foot drop for a few hours yesterday while Jethro was preparing the ledger board, with all the measurements. The Girl opened the back door to see what was going on, and the dog, assuming that it was squirrel chasin time, leaped out the door like he usually does, only to find that the top step was...pretty much just not there. I don't think his vision is great to start with, but let's just say he was a little more cautious a few hours later when the steps were nailed back on again! Poor little guy!

Yesterday, Jethro got himself up, stood by the window with his hands on his hips and announced, "I'm gonna drive the pickup truck into the backyard today and set my tools on the tailgate."

Oh boy! A GMC workbench!!!

I think growing up surrounded by self-sufficient farmers has made me equate physical work with male worthiness. If I'd had a Daddy who wore a suit to an office, I might be totally turned off by the sight of a dude covered in sawdust stuck to his own sweat. Don't get me wrong, when Jethro puts on a suit once a year, I admire him greatly. But I love it when he's out of the studio, with his hands building something instead of clicking a mouse, tuning note after note as it slides across the screen and blips out of the speakers.

I love what he does for a living, and am fascinated by the fact that he can make music. But...in my world, if a guy's tractor breaks down in the middle of the field, he goes back for his toolbox and fixes that thing.

I love a guy who can fix things. I love a guy who isn't afraid of dirt. I can't fix a darn thing. Useless. Not strong. Not tough. Somewhat helpful though. I held up a board so he could drill through it and stick a concrete anchor into the side of the house. I held the level. The rest of the time I just looked at him lovingly and handed him a glass of water.

Here he is, with his traveling tool box.

What? Is that a rude hand gesture?

"Is that for your blog?"

"Yeah, of course it is...Hey! What's that for!" Isn't he difficult sometimes???

Here's our newest home improvement!

I wasn't kidding. He's sick of taking down the fence every time we want to get machinery in there. I said screw it let's get a farm gate! so we did. We went to the nearest farm supply store and got this lovely galvanized cattle gate. We had to recycle the chain link fence to Pug-proof it.

He was not happy with the fence down. I mean, what an indignity, being tied up in your own yard. He is meant to run free, free, except that he'll disappear if he's not contained. All your livestock needs to be contained.

Because you see, that's what a livestock gate does. It keeps the livestock in. Our Pugstock is smaller than most breeds of cattle.

He'll never work his way outta here!

It did occur to us that this is not normal in our neighbourhood.

And that we are not all that normal either.

We kind of hoped that we wouldn't get any hateful glares for uglifying the street like this.

We think it looks awesome.

But, like I said, we are kind of weird.

Also, very relieved and thankful once again to have landed among some very cool neighbours...who seem to have accepted us for who we are!

I had a revelation a few days ago, when I told a couple of my friends that we planned to put a cattle gate on our backyard so that it's easier to get machinery in and out.

"...so... how many more times do you think you'll have to do that?"

I think my reply was something about deck building and landscaping and whatever else, but it crossed my mind that this wise woman might know something I don't. I'm not sure what though. It's possible we are going at this project all wrong. But this is the only way we know how to do things. We're so used to having wide open spaces to work with that we can't conceive of any other way to work.

In the meantime, Jethro LOVES the new gate. He might park his car in there just for the heck of it. He's started talking about how easy it would be to park a boat in the yard. Or a motorhome. At which point I looked over and said, "Horse trailer!"

Or heck...why not two horses, just for a little weekend visit?

I am amazed that we haven't been run outta town yet.


Heidi the Hick said...

Hey, know what's really neat?

If you enlarge that first picture, you can see how dirty my windows are. Why would I encourage you to see that? I don't know. I am a mystery to myself.

Also, if you enlarge the picture of the pug in the leaves, there's a plastic skeleton arm on the ground behind him. Again, not sure why I feel compelled to draw attention to that.

dilling said...

My neighbours just put three farm gates on their city lot...they always have trucks or whatever coming with garden soil, a cord of wood, etc...if the onstreet parking is packed, they can park in the yard...our gate is as big as a farm gate and we're thankful it is...our alley is so narrow we probably couldn't get into our yard without the little extra on both sides.

Heidi the Hick said...

Well that's a relief! It's really very practical, especially if you're reeeeeally into gardening!

Biddie said...

LOL. Poor little pug! I can just see him crashing to the ground! And tied up? Oh, the horror!
So, did you get any turkey this weekend? Ruby has been looking out the window for you all week....

Biddie said...

Oh, yeah, my windows are dirty as heck, too. Lil Ruby nose and paws prints every where..

Heidi the Hick said...

Luckily he wasn't tied up at the time! We hate the gate up by then. I didn't see it but apparently he hit the ground running. Like, I can laugh about it because he didn't get hurt! Can you imagine? It's like a cartoon!

We did get some turkey, courtesy of our lovely neighbours. It turned out to be an okay weekend but I need to get outta town soon. Real bad. For many reasons.

This afternoon I'm gonna get my kids to clean my sliding windows!!!

her indoors said...

poor poor pug 'he flies through the air with the greatest of easy, that daring young pug with no steps for his ease' lol
yep i love man who is sweaty through good old hard work, ha going back now to enlarge the photos to see your dirty windows! glad its not only me that has them then

Anita said...

Woo-hoo! Homeowners with dirty windows can now come out of the closet... It's an epidemic! We all have them!

CindyDianne said...

I am seriously considering parking the truck and horse trailer in front of my house, putting JJ in the back yard and going to the homecoming game next thursday night. All this in an effort to get to Oklahoma as soon as possible!

I love the gate.

Poor Pug.

I am the same way about men that know how to work. A requirement!

CindyDianne said...

Oh, and I have dirty windows too!

Lynn Sinclair said...

You know, Heidi, now that you have the gate up, you'll never have to use it. That's a good thing because it means the work in the backyard is just about done. As for the dirty windows--with all the construction this summer, your windows didn't stand a chance.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

I loved your quote: "I held the level. The rest of the time I just looked at him lovingly and handed him a glass of water."


Angel said...

Yeah that is kind of a scary drop out your back door! The poor little pug fell off!? lmao

Notsocranky Yankee said...

Glad to hear the plastic skeleton is still in the backyard. Nice touch!

Love the gate! Cranky built our gates and weaved fencing through the trees and along the stone walls in our back yard to keep our hound in! If someone leaves the gate open, she runs into the front yard and looks at us with that, "Look at me! I'm out of the backyard!" look. She's so retarded.

Can't wait to see the finished deck. I think Jethro just gave us all the finger! Tell him I am gesturing right back...

Heidi the Hick said...

Indoors- yep, he flew through the air with the greatest of ease! Maybe I should keep the windows dirty so that he knows there's glass between him and the great outdoors...

Anita, yep, everybody knows my windows are dirty!

Cindy, I kinda think you should do it. Throw the suitcase in the truck so you're good and ready to go. Then tell me how JJ likes city life!

Lynn, I am really looking forward to the end of construction...it was a hard summer! For months I've been saying NO MORE CONSTRUCTION but I really do need to get this deck done. Can you believe that winter will be a relief this year???

Jas- I'm good to have around, that's for sure.

Angel- I kinda wish I saw it. I mean, since he's not hurt and all!

Yankee- Skeledude is almost ready to make his annual appearance in the front yard!!

We're lucky to have a fenced in yard, all chain link so the small canine can't get out. He doesn't get the concept of property lines.

I'll give Jethro the message for ya!

rain said...

"Pugstock" - smile.

I used to have dirty windows, til I discovered how darn cheap window washers are! Now Mr. Sparkle visits twice a year. Now, Mr. Sparkle..he's kinda dishy...I best not go there..

Heidi the Hick said...

Rain, I take it we're not looking at a Homer Simpson Mr Sparkarul kind of Mr Sparkle?

Just how inexpensive is this good lookin window washer guy??? sounds interesting!

Matt Mullenix said...

That pugstock's got to be fenced in, ma'am. You can't have them things runnin' loose. Never know what kinds a hell they'll raise if you give 'em their head.

Heidi the Hick said...

That's right Matt. Wild pugs are dangerous!!!!!

coffeypot said...

At least Jethro didn't have a "plumers crack" when he bent over. I like the gate,too. Makes me want to swing on it.

Balloon Pirate said...

Tell Jethro (and yer dad) good work on those piers.

And stop selling yourself short. Storytellers have a place in the world just as much as the builders. You build things too. Only you build inside the head, and what you create is far more fantastic than anything a carpenter can create.

Words have power, You know that. Stop using them to demean my friend Heidi.


LadyBronco said...

Windows ~

You're supposed to wash them???


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