March 22nd, 2020

wayside cross

Ora et labora

I betook myself to the hills this morning, with intentions to pray and work. Along the way, I stopped at a Dollar General in one of the towns I pass through to get some wire brads. As I walked toward the back of the store to find the hardware supplies, what to my wondering eyes should appear but several shelves of toilet paper. Various brands, various size packages. I scored an eight-pack. Cool. (I'm not telling which town, because they don't need the crazy and/or desperate to invade their town on a quest for TP.)

Once on site and changed to my work clothes, I knocked together two concrete forms for the last two emplacements I've been installing. To explain, I had a site plan and building design approved long ago by the County Building Inspector. It called for 16' spans between the pillars supporting the beams. Ah, but after seeing them in situ, with beams beginning to be strung between them, he said I needed to support those spans: no more than 8' between supports. Ack. And not just any old support: each missing support needed to be a 6"x6" post resting on a concrete pad 2'x2' and 1' thick.

So, today, I did the last two concrete pads to support these fershlugginer 6x6s (they're next on the to-do list). It takes about two hours to dig, mix, and fill each one, and after you've done two, you're too bushed to do anything else. Plus, I don't want to overload my truck. Each emplacement takes about nine 60 lb. bags of concrete mix (all in all, I've got over 6,000 lb. of concrete mix in this project), and I don't want to put more than 20 bags (tops) in the back of my truck; all that limits the amount of work you can get done in a day. I prefer Menard's mix to Lowe's, because Menard's in Bloomington has their high stress concrete mix in 60 lb. bags, while Lowe's in Lawrenceburg has theirs in 80 lb. bags. (It gets harder and harder to handle these things in my advancing decrepitude.)

I was just about ready to level up the form in the second hole when it started sprinkling. I covered the bags of concrete mix that were left in the truck and continued on apace. Finally got 'er done. I slipped out of the holler about 4:00 and was home by 6:18. But, the pics! It's been so long since I've shared any pics from Wilderstead. I'm afraid that concrete work isn't very photogenic. But I finally got a few to share.

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Yessir, yessir, many bags full
Mixing concrete by hand is easier than mixing mortar, but it still beats you up

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The hole thing
Yep, that's a hole in the ground, and I'm going to pour more concrete into it

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Beauty shot
This is one I did last time