Thursday, September 20, 2012

Challenge Accepted!

At the top of my mother's To-Do list for our "vacation" activities was perhaps the largest project we have ever undertaken.  You see, friends, my parents own several acres, and their fenced in backyard encompasses a good chunk of rolling hills and steep gulleys.

Our objective: create an allergen free environment for my mother's white Doberman, Vanessa, aka Frag-ilee, because she's allergic to damn near everything and thus FRAGILE.  (I call her Vanilla Bean, cuz yanno, that's how I roll).
Even though I had the flash turned off, Vanessa/Vanilla Bean still shied away from the camera.  She knows the flash hurts her eyes, our poor, fragile dog

The first day working in the yard went smoothly.  Mom manned the rake while me and my shovel loaded her piles up into the wheelbarrow to take away.  By day's end, we had a good chunk accomplished.

As we stood atop the back deck overlooking the yard, we contemplated the work yet to be done.  Mom pointed out the fire pit, lamenting the fact that her horde of dogs always seemed to destroy the circle she had made of the rocks surrounding the pit.  She needed bigger rocks to place around the pit, ones the pooches couldn't scatter so easily.

Do you see where this is going, folks?

The next day was my parents' anniversary, so we took a day of rest to go out and celebrate.  First, we went to the movies.  Then, we picked up my parents' anniversary gift to each other, a new RV (that story will be tomorrow's entertainment, and believe me, you don't want to miss it), and rounded it all off with dinner out.

While coming back from dinner, my mother excitedly pointed out a pile of HUGE rocks just sitting in a vacant field, ripe for the taking.  Those would be great for our new and improved fire pit.  Dad, of course, laughed at us.  Those weren't rocks, but BOULDERS.  No way could Mom and move them ourselves.

And, anyone who knows me, knows exactly what my reply to that was: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!!

The next day saw Mom and me back out in the yard.  Again, she manned the rake, but our piles were growing faster than we could burn them, so I had to find something else to do in the yard.  With only one rake on hand, I began scouting out some larger rocks to create our new fire pit.  I found several nice basketball sized "foundation pieces" and was quite impressed with myself.

Until I stumbled upon a gulley at the side the yard that held not one, but FIVE gigantic rocks that made my "foundation pieces" look like pebbles.  PAY DIRT!  We'd have the best fire pit EVER!
This is the bitch that gave us the most problems.  I named her Big Bertha

So, me and my trusty shovel began to dig...and dig...and dig...AND THEN...the first rock came loose!  Excitement surged forth.  I could do this!  One rock down, three or four more to go!  It didn't take long, folks.  Once I got it into my head that I could do it, nothing stopped me.

UNTIL...it came time to lift the bastards up out of the gulley and drag them across the yard to where the fire pit would be.  I needed help.  So, I went inside to recruit my little brother.  Who was NOT happy with my plan, but reluctantly agreed to help.

I had a plan, people.  REALLY, I DID.  But, you know what they say about best laid plans?  Well, yeah.  So, we went onto plan B, which included Mom's help.  Plan B met with the same fate as Plan A, so little bro and I went inside to get Dad's advice.  Of course, he had to point out the OBVIOUS.

Hello, he'd said.  What are you dragging boulders across the yard for when we have a 4-wheel drive vehicle that can do all the work for you?


*facepalm*  Wow, that was almost too easy.

Less than and hour later, we had FOUR boulders moved from the gulley and placed at intervals around the current fire pit.  That way, the next morning, after the fire was out and the rocks currently surrounding the pit had cooled, I could tear down the old and create the new!  So exciting!

The next morning, after all that boulder moving, Karla was moving a bit slow into the junction, but once, I got up and at em, the fire pit took no time at all.  Cuz, really, moving each boulder 3-4 feet was nothing after I'd already dug them up and toted them halfway across the yard, right?  RIGHT!

Here's the finished product:

CHALLENGE COMPLETED!!!


Now, isn't that the nicest fire pit you've ever seen?  If this writing thing doesn't work out, at least I know I have brilliant career as a stone mason ;)

Side note:  This fire pit did come with a price tag. Note the various injuries I amassed while creating my work of art.  Which of course led my seatmate on the plane to wonder if I'd been assaulted by an angry mob.  *shrugs*  It happens.  I guess
This is the one my seat-mate spied.  It was dark purple when he saw it.  Now, it's just about healed

Little bruises starting to come out.  I now have FIVE on this arm

Notice the long doggy nose in the upper left corner? That's Nikki wanting to  kiss my boo-boo


Come back tomorrow, folks, for the story of how my parents' new RV made it home.  Apparently, we can't do anything together without causing a commotion!