Saturday, November 10, 2007

No more mending fences

Oh I hurt. I hurt everywhere. My fingers hurt to type so I won't be typing long. This is "raise a fence" weekend. We got started yesterday and have pretty much worked every minute since 6:30 am yesterday. Yesterday we had all the panels from the old fence knocked down by 8 am, much to the delight of the elementary school-ers across the street from us. We got several "Whoa's" as they walked up to school and our disaster of a fence was gone. I had a few people ask me what was different.....as if all the panels and posts everywhere weren't a giant clue. One kid even asked her mom if we needed help. Why yes sweet child, stay a while...... One kid tried to take a limb we had cut with him to class. The best one of the day: one of the desperate housewives said to Brent "Wow, this looks like a big project for today." And he said "Well, this might take a couple of weeks." Her reply:"Well, you make sure you charge them by the hour." HAAAA! She is obviously not a do-it-yourself-er like we are. The fence isn't even something we considered getting quotes on. Disaster #1 came quickly with a corner post that snapped during removel, requiring some major digging. We're replacing the old rickety 6-footer with a Fort Knox 8 foot-er, so we're using the same post hole but larger posts. Disaster #2 came when Lowes didn't show up and we only found out because we called to see where they were. Long story short, Lowes of Smyrna sucks and couldn't care less about customer service. So don't shop there. Our wood came today at around 9:30 am. Not yesterday between 8-12. Or this morning at 8 am, the second time they promised after they weren't able to deliver the date or time we had set up on TUESDAY. I-D-I-O-T-S. I am seriously thinking of opening my own home improvement warehouse because the two giants (home D and Lowes) suck. I only shop there because we have to. Any investors want to help me out???? But ANYWAY, because of idiot Lowes we had to rapidly develop Plan B. Brent's brother came over during his lunch hour and brought a tool to help us make fast time of post removing. Then we borrowed our next door neighbor's ancient truck and made a run to Home Depot to buy posts and lumber to get us through the day. Brent and I driving down I-65 in a sputtering farm truck, floored at 50mph with 500 pounds of concrete and about 30 large boards/posts: Priceless. But we HAD to get posts set and concrete drying before the fence posse was set to arrive on Saturday. Our friends S & L periodically checked on us to see if we needed food or anything. Neighbors stopped by to tell us how great it was looking and share encouragement and thanks for making the 'hood nicer. The crossing guard told Brent to be sure to take me out to dinner since I had worked so hard all day. =) My next door neighbor said "I am a woman not afraid of a shovel" and brought over the most enormous post hole digger I have ever seen.

We worked until 8 pm when we ran out of concrete so we made another run to Home D and then got some Chinese take out. I seriously thought about attacking two overweight people for their food while we were waiting. Brent advised against it since they were a)enormous and b)there were 3 cops eating there. So we waited and then devoured some Chinese donuts on our way back home, where we stuffed ourselves with Chinese. We got back out from 9:30-11:30 to finish setting posts. We mixed concrete by flashlight, headlamp, and streetlight. I also used the flashlights to impersonate the spotlights at the Sommet Center during a big event. If you can't have fun with a project then what fun is a project? We had a neighbor stop by today and ask us if we ever stopped last night. We were there when he left for work and there when he got home, then we had been out working with our flashlights when he had gone out later.

We started back up before 7 this morning, there's just not enough daylight. My parents arrived around 8:30 and my dad started attacking the remaining posts and trouble spots. You wouldn't know he is 67. At all. He was doing things that would take us hours in 15 or 20 minutes. I'm pretty sure I know where I have inherited my inability to stop. Our wood finally showed up at 9:30 and we had the entertainment of watching it all be carefully maneuvered into the yard, between our posts. He did a really good job considering the tight space. Brent's parents arrived an hour or two later, and had stopped at the HD to buy a few more of the longer cross-beams. We worked all morning digging the remaining holes, setting posts and getting a game plan together for how to assemble the fence and make it look good. The house flippers behind us put together a fence that the entire neighborhood makes fun of and we don't want to be in that same boat. We had a short lunch break and then back to work. Brent's brother came up to help and we started getting the pickets up. The fence looks GOOD. We were able to only get a few panels up before dark but at least Brent and I know we know how to finish it and what to do.

The elem school across from us has been getting ready for their big annual spaghetti dinner all weekend. One of the parent organizers came over while we were working late this afternoon to invite us to join them and tell us how cheap it was. I'd already spied several people leave with to-go boxes so I had thought it was a viable dinner option. It was really nice for him to come over and invite us in our dirty, smelly state but that's sort of what I love about this neighborhood anyway. I don't even know how many people have remarked on how good it's looking, and you really get a lot of appreciation in this neighborhood for your hard work. It's hard to believe that back in 1998 this neighborhood was basically crack dealers and hoodlums. Every time we're working in the yard on a project we have neighbors stop by and thank us for fixing this place up. (On a side note we're working on a before and after album and OMG when I look back at the before pictures I have to ask WHAT WERE WE THINKING??? Hilarious.) Anyway, we ended up taking them up on the spaghetti dinner and for $32 I was able to buy dinner for our entire crew of 7 people! Drinks, salad, bread, spaghetti with meatballs and dessert! Our families weren't able to stay for the outdoor singing performance put on by the kids but we went over for a while, and had another person tell us what a great job we're doing with the fence. Can't screw it up now......

So, it's been a long day but it would be even longer if we hadn't had such good help. Sometimes when I think there are no longer any worthwhile people in this world, and that it's turned to a mush of bad drivers on cell phones I'm reminded there are a lot of really good people in this world. People who help you build a fence, people who encourage your fence building, and people who just want to help even though they don't know how to build a fence. So thanks to all the good people. You make me want to be a better person. =)

We have loads of fun pictures but I don't have the brain function to manage that tonight. My boys are waiting on the couch with a blanket for me. And Ninja Warrior, whatever that is. And tomorrow is another day of fence building, hopefully by the end of the day we'll have it secure enough where Pippin can roam free once more. We'll still have the other side of the yard to do, but that's just a gate and a small alleyway that we're saving for next weekend because we knew this would be PLENTY to tackle.

Oh, and we graduated swim class this week, with certificates and the works! Go us! =)

5 Comments:

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Darrell said...

Do you guys ever slow down?

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

WOW, Rachael! I certainly admire you and Brent for doing all the work you have been doing. Fence building is no easy task especially when it involves removing a previous fence. Of course, you already know that. Keep up the hard work and I can't wait to see the pics.

 
At 6:02 AM, Blogger Christy said...

I am so impressed with all the work you do!!

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

cool. so what usually is made to keep people out, actually brought you and the neighborhood closer together...

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Lana said...

That's impressive. I'd love to be a do-it-yourselfer but my man is NOT a do-it-yourselfer...been there, tried that, ended up with disaster...so I just hire it out now. Great job fixing the place up...can't wait to see the pictures!

And congrats on graduating swim class! You guys coming down for Mach Tenn in June? It's the most fun you can have at a sprint distance tri - I promise!!

 

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