Spring 2006 driveway gate etc

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Before
Materials

The old driveway gate and the corner post to which it was attached has been falling apart for quite a while. I already replaced the other gate with a welded steel one (which you can see a little on the left); a neighbor threw out a section of iron fencing a few years ago, and last year I just cut it in half and stacked up the pieces. Now I suppose I have to try to make the wider gate to match. I like the hinges though; they swing both ways. I welded them up from pieces of angle iron, and they attach to the block pillar via embedded anchor bolts, which I welded to the rebar that is inside. So I put the anchor bolts into this new pillar on the opposite side as well. It's a little tricky to weld down in the cavity inside a block after you have laid it, but the result is very sturdy. It took two weekends to build the pillar. There are about 4 bags of concrete just in the footing for it, then one row of block which is below soil level, and 9 rows high above the soil level, and the whole thing is filled with rebar and concrete, so I hope it will be sturdy enough to support such a wide gate. If it doesn't feel right, I can have the new gate ride on a wheel, like the old one did. I'm also thinking I might be able to support a carport awning on this post some day if I get around to that project. For now, at least the fence and old gate isn't swinging in the wind, so I can put off building the new gate for a while longer.

Hinge for last year's gate
After

I also got the overgrown grass and dead rose branches cleaned out. I last did that several years ago, but it sure is a pain to maintain. Nothing is a worse combination than tall grass and chain-link fence. Besides there is some kind of ground cover plant which grows faster than the grass at first, and then later succumbs and gets overwhelmed by grass; and the stems just get tangled up in the weedeater. But I bought a rototiller since the last time I tried this chore, so that made it somewhat easier; and I removed some of the dirt so that when I wash the driveway, the water has a place to go. The house next door is for sale now, and I haven't managed to convince the current owner to put in a block fence, even offering to pay for half of it, and even though they were doing a whole-house renovation before putting it on the market. Hopefully I can make a deal with the new neighbors when we get some, or if not, at least put in a concrete curb at the bottom of the fence, to try to keep the grass contained. Maybe the chain-link fence is better for the roses because they get sun for more of the day.

Tasha

I had a business trip a couple weeks ago, and when I got back, Tasha naturally had to try out the suitcase; she always likes to sit on or in anything that is new to her.

Garage

A few weeks ago I repainted part of the garage; I wanted to get it done before the cats-claw (climbing vine) started to grow back. It grows very fast this time of year. There was an old stump which I finally managed to remove, and an old fence post. I fastened the pool backwash pipe to the wall, and painted it too so that the sun won't destroy it too fast, and put down a couple square feet of paving stones where the water hits the ground. When the grass gets thick around them, maybe they will stay put.

The roses bloom a lot, but only for a while. I spread manure on this part of the lawn this year; that's why it's so green. It gets watered when I backwash the pool filter.

Backyard flowers by the pool
Katie on the diving board
Katie on the flower bed
Irina watering flowers
This was started from cuttings last spring, it sure grows well!
Little green persimmon
The persimmon tree
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