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Building a Fort and Extreme Yard Cleanup

| 8/9/2011 10:20:23 PM

A photo of Nebraska DaveHas everyone been having a great summer? My goodness here it is another month since I have brought you an update from the Urban Ranch. The Missouri River water is still at flood level and hasn't really receded much at all. Interstate 29 is still shut down both north and south from my city. The only open route to Iowa from my city is on I-80. We have been praying that the water recedes before it freezes or that will bring on a whole new set of parameters.

Was July hot for you? It was extremely hot here in Nebraska. Not only did the temperatures soar above 100 but the humidity was in the 90s every day which pushed the heat index to 115 or above many of those July days. It was right during the time I needed to be outside working on Bradley's fort. If you remember the last post, I was beginning to work on a fort/tree house for my grandson, Bradley, while he visited his Dad for the month of July.

 Dave working on fort walls 1 

The hot and sweaty days did not deter the determination of getting the fort finished before Bradley's return.  My motto became work a little, rest a lot, and drink water. So the routine became work 20 to 30 minutes, rest 45 minutes, and drink water. Weekends were off and usually filled with other stuff. You know, hauling, moving, BBQs, and normal summer weekend stuff. You know what they say about all work and no play. After about a week the walls were complete. The whole structure was assembled and tacked together with a couple screws on each corner during assembly.  You can see the yard is getting a little shaggy but the focus is on completing the fort.

 Fort walls were completed 

All I need now is a little help from my friend Vince to hoist the walls up on the double layer floor that has been painted with two coats of oil primer and two coats of brick red porch paint.  Careful planning and brute strength makes the task easy.

Cindy Murphy
8/24/2011 1:00:06 PM

Hi, Dave. I've been meaning to get back to your questions, but haven't really had a chance; just don't want you to think I've been ignoring them! Yep, it was a pain in the you-know-what working in the heat, and though we slow down physically, working 30 minutes and resting 45 minutes is a not a practice that would be embraced wholeheartedly by the bosses, I'm thinking. I honestly couldn't figure out why we had so many customers during the extreme heat - delirium, I'm thinking. Who would want to be out in that stuff if they didn't have to?! But many of our mid-summer sales come from tourists, so it's not like they can wait for cooler temperatures. Shrubs, lots perennials, lots and lots of hydrangeas, and a ton of daylilies flew out of there during the heat-wave...anything blooming. Fall is mainly trees and shrubs, but you're right - mums will be in soon, and bulbs too. Bulbs! I can't believe it's nearly bulb season! Hope you have more time than to just "think" about a fall garden, and actually get a chance to get one in. I planted spinach and kale last week (I think I might have waited too long on the kale), and since we harvested the rest of the potatoes this past weekend, I'll be getting in mustard greens by this coming weekend. Hopefully, lettuce in a cold frame a bit later. Enjoy your day.

Nebraska Dave
8/12/2011 7:43:06 PM

Cindy, Yeah, the fort was a big hit. I'm hoping it will last long enough for me to see Bradley's kids playing fort in it. I tried my best to make it out of long lasting materials and seal up the ones that weren't to with stand the elements. I bet it was tough to work when it was so hot outside. When your getting paid, the boss would kind of frown, on my rules of hot weather work engagement. Work 30 minutes, rest 45 minutes in the cool, and drink water probably just wouldn't cut it, huh. Do people actually come out and buy nursery plants in the extreme hot weather? I suspect the sales are mostly bushes and trees now. Although fall planting will be starting soon. The Mums will show up soon. I've been thinking about trying to grow a fall garden. I'm not sure just what to put in it yet. Hey, thanks by the way for turning me on to Begonias for shade plants a couple seasons ago. They are gorgeous on my living trellis that stands on the poor man's patio. I'm sure the shot of Miracle Gro every three weeks and the automatic watering every morning probably helped too. Nothing to this stuff when you have a little help from master gardener friends. Between the Begonias and the Impatiens, the trellis put on quite a display this summer. It turned out so good this year, I'm going to find it difficult to try something different next year. Have a great cool Michigan day.

Cindy Murphy
8/12/2011 3:11:23 PM

Hey, I wanna play, Dave! Lucky Bradley! Oh, wow - I loved forts when I was a kid, and it looks like the one you built would've been one we would have spent hours in. I'm sure you'll not have a shortage of neighborhood kids in your backyard any time soon! Thank goodness for the cooler temperatures, eh? (Regarding your response to Mountain Woman's post). Oh sheesh - it was near 100 degrees here for weeks it seemed, with humidity near 100 percent, and severe thunderstorms almost every night. I'm not ashamed to admit it pretty near wiped me out - the most miserable type of summer weather to have a job working outside; I came home from the nursery each day, showered, ate, and basically crashed for the night. Saying I was a melted heap of mush is not an exaggeration. My gardens suffered as a result. Thank goodness Hubs kept up with the yard work, or it would be a real mess out there! And the weather out there now - perfect! Sunny, breezy, and much, much cooler! Enjoy your weekend!

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