We have passed the summer solstice so the inevitable shortening of the days will begin as we move towards our winter solstice. The heat of the day, although not too bad for Florida in the summer, gives me an excuse to abandon the landscaping that seems to have become my life’s work recently.
What landscaping you ask?
Well let’s talk about that for a few moments. Those of you familiar with the travails of Casa de Townsend will be knowledgeable on the issues we have had with water that should remain outside the house actually coming in for a visit. As my wife has pointed out we are now getting thank you notes from SERVPRO as a preferred customer. Well since I’ve retired from a full time job I’ve made steps to alter that situation.
|Siding Replacement with Miratec below|
The first thing I did was cut the bottom off the siding around the house since almost all of it had some degree of water damage. Then a friend and I put up a product that is water and rot resistant and used a whole lot of polyurethane chalk to seal the bottom so water should not seep in.
Then I removed what had been a poorly designed and executed “French Drain” that was supposed to keep water from reaching the house in the first place. It worked as well as the French Army did in World War II, and seemed only to encourage the rise of the water to levels above the sill of the house. This drain has now become a channel/trench/moat that actually does seem to work to redirect the flow of water to our side yard and then to the street. Yah us!
|Trench with edging as retaining wall|
|Trench in a heavy rain|
The accompanying photos show the channel in its initial roughhewn stage and the minor landscaping I’ve done to make it a bit more cosmetically pleasing. Helping me with this work is my yellow duck. In the event of heavy rain, he rises above the top of the trench, or moat if you prefer, to let me know the channel is full and hopefully emptying out on the west side. During the dryer times he sits quietly as I move rock, or grass, or tree clippings from point A to B. He is kind of like the Maytag guy…
Then, when I’m not busy with trench warfare, or picking up the crap that continuously falls off the Southern Magnolia in the front, I’ve begun to trim away at the Red Top bushes that are supposed to be 6 to 8 feet tall, but through neglect and a desire to block out some eyesores have grown to the 50-foot range. They now block out not only some long
forgotten eyesore but do a pretty
good job on the sun as well.
Along the way I’ve gotten to use almost all the power tools I’ve acquired over the years, and have even worn a couple out. Of course, the physical activity has been a good thing as well. I find my slacks seem to be just a tiny bit too big on me and I’ve had to buy a smaller belt to hold them up.
Lest you think this has all been work, we have had time to see the Red Sox's spring training games, and visit with both sets of our grandchildren, and I play golf a couple times a week. Overall, retirement seems to be growing on me.
|Driftwood, waiting to become a project.|
Well that’s it from the home front. Remember to support your local charities, and recycle your oxygen. The last thing is important because I read last night we are running out and without oxygen we can’t fill up scuba tanks.