Grit Blogs > Rosedale Garden

Help for those who can’t jump as high as you used to

These days you can’t buy a nice full size pickup loaded with all the gadgets unless it has wheels 20 inches or larger.   In order to get into the cab of the truck, especially if you have a short 5’2” Mom like I do, you have to add running boards. That solves one problem.  It made it easier for me to get into the truck also, but we won’t tell Mom. I told her that I had them installed just for her. 

    Patches checking out my pallet of potting soil 

The second problem comes the first time you try to crawl into the bed of the truck.  As one who had back surgery and a knee replacement, crawling up into the back of the truck to unload a load of bagged gardening products was exhausting and painful after the first up and down, especially if the ole “Arthur” is acting up. 

 ladder folded up on tailgate 

Three years ago I drove my sales rep crazy looking for something to help me, and he referred me to an accessory shop that the dealer uses.  They had stopped carrying one that mounted in the tailgate as they had so much trouble with breakage, and showed me a ladder that mounted to the inside of the tailgate and folds out and down to the ground.   I recently noticed one of GRIT’s advertisers selling one that mounts into the hitch receiver and runs parallel to the bumper.  

Life is much easier now that I don’t have to do broad jumps.  The ladder did create another small problem, well two. If you drive down the road with your tailgate down, nice people are yelling at you at stop lights that you are about to loose something out of the back of your truck.  The second problem is when you get a load of bagged goods, the loaders are trying to move the ladder out of the way. 

   ladder in down position 

Blackie checking out things.

On the hooligan front, I have a problem with Patches breaking jail again.   She’s the one who constantly tests the fence to see if it is working. She has it figured out just how close she can get once she gets the vibration warning before getting shocked. I tied her up while changing batteries in her collar.  I check it after replacing the battery and it still didn’t work. My attention turned to the connections as they are the first area of problems with an underground fence.  One connection at the bottom of the property was in standing water.  I cut a section out and redid the connection with an exterior wire nut, and it still didn't work.  When I first installed the fence, the wire was a small multi-stranded wire that corroded easily and was easily broken by critters such as the groundhog living in the nearby dry creek.  I replaced a problem section hit by lightening and chewed by the groundhog with a newer solid strand wire, and it looks like it may be time to replace the rest.  Going through the zoysia in the front yard will be a chore as the old wire will need to come up before the new goes in.   If the new fence is near an old section, it cancels out the radio signal to the collars.  Pulling up the rest down the property line between Mom’s house and mine should be easy with all the rain we had.  Down in the lower forty, I’ll just dig a trench with my middle buster a few feet in. 

We’ve been getting a lot of rain.   Even 0.24 inches just sits on top of the saturated ground. Last summer 0.24 inches of rain would have quickly soaked in, and the ground would still be cracked.   I might need to stock the garden with catfish this year. 


mary carton
2/27/2012 1:17:19 AM

I need to be careful of the knee, My doctor wants to do a replacement now. He said I had more arthritis than he expected from the MRI. I told him I'd see him in 10 yrs.

cindy murphy
2/22/2012 1:50:38 PM

Mary, I abhor those high pickups, for the very reasons mentioned ....and I don't even own one, (I have a little Chevy S-10 with an extended bed; it's got a huge engine for a truck that small and is perfect for the amount of hauling stuff that I do). My experience with the bigger trucks comes from customers at the nursery. Using the front end loader, raising the bucket that high on the uneven ground where our bulk mulch and soils are, and maneuvering it over the high sides is just too scary for me....especially if it's a short-bed; I always get someone else to load the high-sided short-beds. Being only 5'2" it is impossible to stand on the ground and reach over the side when loading plants for customers. Stepping up on the bumper to climb into the bed for a short person requires the limberness of a high school cheerleader - and even when I WAS that age, I could never do the splits. It'd be really cool if the pick-ups all had ladders like the one you have - it'd make that part of my job a whole lot easier!!! Take care of that knee - I don't want to hear you've been practicing back-flips off your tailgate!

mary carton
2/22/2012 3:10:47 AM

I failed to mention why I have to tie Patches up when changing the batteries; she knows that the collar is to keep her in, so she won’t let me put it back on her. I have to call Mom and have her come over and catch her. Dave I had a Dodge Dakota for 14 yrs and when the lease was up on my Jeep Grand Cherokee, I wanted one vehicle that could comfortably carry more than 2 folks, so I got the 4 door Ram. I don't know what they did with the suspension, but it's one of the best riding vehicles I've ridden in. You have to be real careful where you park it also with the length, no tight places. I’m waiting on the hybrids to come out. We had a bull that would go up to an electric fence and get his nose real close to it. If he didn’t get the static from the fence, out he would come. He was constantly out in the summer as polk salet or some other tall weed would fall over it and ground it out. He was a real irritant and we were so glad when Dad sold him.

nebraska dave
2/21/2012 7:09:58 PM

Mary, one of the reasons I like my Ford Ranger so much is the fact that I can lift the concrete blocks over the side of the truck and stack them behind the cab without climbing up inside the truck box. The F150 pickup are so high the side of the truck box is shoulder high which prevents me from doing that. I suppose the 20 inch wheels allow for more ground clearance but it sure makes for more difficult loading and unloading for an old geezer like me. I haven't quite reached the ladder stage of life yet but then I plan on keeping my Ranger (Ricky) as long as I possibly can. For the life of me I don't really know why Ford Motor Company quit making the Ford Ranger. Those hooligans sure make you keep a tight repair on that fence, don't they. Running the fence line trying to figure out why the electric fence wasn't working was not one of favorite farm activities either. Well, actually anything to do with fences wasn't real high on the fun list. Fences are just designed to fail. That's what I think anyway. That's why in Terra Nova Garden's design there will be three defense lines. The first will be a prickly thorny rose bush call Rugosa, then will come the nasty smelling animal repulsive flowers, and then the six foot high chicken wire fence. Hopefully that will keep the rodents out except for the squirrels and the aerial attacks from the birds and turkeys. Fighting nature is an up hill battle all the way isn't it? Hopefully, your fence replacement will take care of the issues with the hooligans for a while. Have a great exciting farm day.