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Monday, April 6, 2009

Operation: Clean Paws (Part Three)

Back in January we started what has come to turn into a long project of installing gravel paths in our side utility yard for the express purpose of avoiding muddy dog paws from coming into the house next winter. Knowing I was pregnant made me realize that I will have different priorities in the future and hunching down three times a day to wipe off 8 paws from anxious border collies is not going to rank high on my list.

Back in March, my brother and two of his graduate school buddies came to California to visit during their spring break. On their last weekend here in Davis they helped me and Dave in the yard, which was super nice since my belly has been growing and making it harder and harder to bend over to pick stuff up. Edward and Nadeem helped to dig out some remaining soil, move about a million paving stones out of the truck, rake the soil, and pound in some stakes along the wood edging for the paths.

After placing the wood edging for the paths, we decided to stake them on both sides to keep them stable. Years ago my dad needed to drive a lot of wooden stakes into the rocky Livermore soil and found that a hammer just wouldn't work--every time the stake hit a rock (which is often in Livermore) it would angle to the side and not drive in straight. So he made a metal holder for the stakes that fits onto his air chisel. Now the stakes go into the soil like butter.
Then we screwed the joints together:We were finally in the home stretch of finishing these paths! Now we just needed a few tons of rock, several hours, and lots of motivation. Whew...

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