Nineteen Holes and Two Weekends Later

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when Husband said “let’s get started. We have fifteen holes to dig to start the foundation of the deck”. I mean really, how hard could it be for three people to dig fifteen holes in two days? Then add some bags of stone and mix up the concrete and pour. We got this.

“Two feet by two feet by two feet holes,” he said.  I said, “Piece of Cake”.

And so it began…

Fifteen holes to dig in clay soil filled with gravel. And plastic!  Yes, I mean sheets of hard plastic were put under the ground instead of landscape fabric.

We don’t know how many years ago the plastic was placed there or how many times gravel was poured on it. What we do know is why we had a water problem in the front of the house and why the water seemed to sit for so long after it rained.

What else we knew, regardless of how long the plastic had been there, it had to come out along with the layers of stone and clay intermixed.

As the morning and the digging progressed, we had a few visitors stop by to see what we were up to and wish us a good morning. We also seemed to have gained a supervisor to oversee the job. Mama Purple Martin came out of her house and sat in the opening and watched over us. This became her resting spot for the next two weekends.



Mama Purple Martin looking out of her condo.



By the end of day one, the perfect lawn was trampled on and dug up, yet again, and soon started to look like we were digging a graveyard.


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The first fifteen holes dug.


Day two came and the stone went in and the concrete was mixed and poured. By the end of day two, there were three tired Warriors and a lesson on why digging all that stuff out of the ground was not a piece of cake. There went one full weekend. But the worst was over right? I said to Husband who answered… “We’ll see.”


The next weekend we were at it again, this time just Husband and I, when he shocked me with we have to dig four more holes.  Oh god, not more hole!

Yes, more hole. Four to support the footing for the second set of stairs to the deck.

This time it wasn’t so bad. Four holes, not so deep and smaller were dug in an hour. The concrete was mixed and poured and now we could get back to the fun stuff. Cutting the boards.


Four holes dug, filled, and supports in for the second set of steps.


I’m always amazed at how many measurements it takes to do cuts and set up a foundation structure. But there we were working away, close to finished when… The saw wasn’t working and the compressor went silent.

We must have popped a breaker. In we went… No, the breaker was fine. We checked the outlet. Everything was fine… It didn’t take long before our neighbor came over to let us know he had an alert on his phone. The power in the area was out and going to be for an hour and a half.

This sounded like a good time for a break to me… Well not along break as this is when I learned about back-up batteries and Husband having them charged in the truck for just these times. Smart guy huh…

The holes were dug, the concrete was in, and by the end of weekend number two, the boards were cut, screwed and nailed together, and in place for the foundation.  The foundation for a deck that will be thirty-three feet by eleven feet.

I have now named the Summer of 2020, The Year of the Deck. Expected time of completion having only weekends to work on it, July sometime this year. But hey, phase two of the four-deck plans is underway.


The base running to the right side of the house.




The base running the length of the house and our other supervisor Juliette.



The base running the left side of the house.


If you’re looking at the pictures and thinking the deck looks larger than the length of the house, you are right. That’s surprise number one.  This deck will end up wrapping around the side of the house to join the back deck.  I know two fur-babies who are going to love all that running space. As for the humans, it made no sense to me to have to go through the house every time you wanted to go to the back deck.  So, I designed it to wrap around the side of the house.

On Sunday night the fur-babies and I stayed up at the cottage overnight waiting for a delivery to come to the cottage on Monday morning.  The decking boards and posts have arrived. We got some attention when the forklift came down our dirt road carrying the lumber as the truck delivering it couldn’t fit down the road and the forklift had to bring it in.

This weekend coming, the first of the decking boards will be going in place. I can’t tell you how excited I am, not only about the boards but there are no more holes to dig.

Ok, we won’t talk about the garden that will have to be dug for the entire length of the deck. I’ll deal with that thought and process when we get to it…

















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