Well, I got one more trench finished and the pipe emplaced. Tried to cross a previous cutting that I had filled in to correct a previous disaster, and got a worse one: a collapsing trench. Plus, had problems with the backfill blade. This chore was supposed to take one day and cost a little over $200. By the time I'm done with it, it'll take three trips (at least one, overnight) and cost almost $700 (plus a smashed thumb).
This is why I really need a tool-smart friend to help me with this. The learning curve with big honkin' power tools is so steep. At least, a buddy would tell me when I'm about to do something stupid, or show me how to do something in ten minutes instead of the ninety a noob like me'll spend on it. Looking ahead, I can't get out to the holler until after Christmas now. Too many holiday demands, plus I'm having shoulder surgery on Dec. 13.
In other news, though, Wilderstead was lovely, with a little collar of snow in the shady places. I was cozy last night and got some good rest in the cabin. The relaxation of Thanksgiving dinner with Deanne's family and my trip to the holler were both badly needed to keep the the Ogre Stress away. Finally, the new hitch I put on our Mazda truck was great -- though I don't want to pull anything bigger than a Ditch Witch with it, for sure!