Monday, April 25, 2016

Big Projects, Big Results

I know I haven't posted very often recently, but things have been a bit hectic here at Green Acres. While the physical labor part of the happenings around here is not in my job description, I have been on my best behavior and trying not to nag Gary while he's been so busy. It's hard for me to be a quiet little camper. If you read my blog very often, you KNOW I talk a lot, and if I talk this much with people around the world that I haven't even met, can you imagine how tired that Gary must get from hearing my endless jabber? Why he loves me so much, I will never understand, but I'm SO glad he does. When I came here in the summer of 2009, the Green Acres Garage had already been built. Seeing something created from literally the ground up is something I had never experienced. I wasn't sure if I'd ever know what that was like. We cut our camping season short this year, so that Gary could get some things done. One of the things he wanted to accomplish was to have a carport built. Because of all of the junk that Gary stores inside the garage, there is no longer any place to do any work that is under a roof. I feel a bit guilty because I take up part of the garage space myself. My sister Poppy is also in the garage. There's also a car and a van. You get the picture. There's only so much available work space. In early March, Gary got serious about the carport becoming reality. He planned where to put it and what size it should be. He talked with a company that sells carports and utility sheds, and got all the needed information to make an educated decision. He talked with our neighbor Mike, who happens to do concrete work. He even bounced a few ideas off me, and I was thrilled to have a say so in the master plan. The decision was made to put the carport directly behind the garage, and to make it the same width as the garage. There was a 30 foot square carport available to buy, and that would be perfect for the available space. A deposit was put down on the carport, and the building permit was ordered from the county. But first things first. There were some tall trees on the lot line that were dangerously close to the back of the garage. There were others that would become a problem when they grew larger. All of those were cut down. Gary cut them into small pieces and hauled many loads to the driveway. Neighbors picked every single piece up for use as firewood. After the trees were gone, the next step was to have some fill dirt brought in to level the area behind the garage. It tapered down to a trough that would fill up with water even after a moderate amount of rain, and it had always been a problem area. Seven loads of dirt was delivered. Six were dropped off behind the garage, and one in front of it to fill in some low areas there. Mike the concrete guy knows Leon the tractor guy, so Leon came by and spread the dirt. He got it pretty level where the carport was going to be located, making Mike's job easier when it was time to install the forms for the concrete slab. And that was the next thing on the agenda. Mike and his son Jamie installed the forms for the concrete, dug the required footers, and installed the rebar and wire mesh for reinforcement. The following week, Mike and Jamie, along with Mike's buddy Dale, were here to do the concrete work. Two trucks delivered the concrete. Mike had said that there may be a little left over concrete, so Gary built a 3 foot square form in front of each of the walk-in doors on the garage to take advantage of any excess. The concrete was poured and smoothed, and yes, there was just enough excess concrete left in the second truck to pour the pads that Gary had formed up. Perfect! Everything worked out great, and luckily, the high chances of rain that were predicted were wrong. The day the concrete got poured, the carport was officially ordered, and it arrived about two weeks later. A crew of four assembled the entire thing in about four hours flat. Amazing! The carport turned out even better than I imagined, and I finally got to experience the building process from the ground up. It was SO much fun! Gary is officially broke, so nothing else expensive will happen here until he gets some more money. There will be a driveway built for sure, but I've been sworn to secrecy beyond that. That said, I'm signing off and keeping my big mouth shut! I hope you'll enjoy the pictures of this AWESOME project. Later, y'all.