Building a Fort and Extreme Yard Cleanup

Has 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.

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.

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.

Isn’t it amazing what two guys and a ladder can do?  Yeah, OK, enough of the male ego stuff.  Let’s move on.  You can see the second layer of floor on the saw horses ready to be lifted high in the sky and screwed to the existing floor.  Notice the yard is getting really ratty now.  In just a few more days this project will be completed.

The look on Bradley’s face at first sight of seeing the fort was priceless.  It made all the work worth it.  Was it a hit?  You be the judge.

Some time later after the kids of the neighborhood went home for the day, parents started coming over to see this fort that had sprung up in July that their kids were talking about.  The newness has subsided, and now we are down to play as usual, but now the fort and newly added swingset are part of the normal daily playing plan.  We had our first heavy wind storm blow through a couple days ago without any structure damage at all.  Whew, so far so good on the fort project testing.  It’s been a great project but this old grandpa is glad it’s completed.

Uummm, yeah about the yard.  This is what a long hot dry July will do to a backyard.  Mutant Ninja weeds will spring up and take over the yard.  I considered getting out Big Bertha my chainsaw but I suppose that would have been a little over kill.  So I settled on tree pruners and good old fashion weed pulling.

After two days of blood, sweat, and tears a new look for the much neglected yard.  Seven yard bags of waste sits by the curb ready to taken to the city composting site.  Next I’ll need to attack the fence line again and the nasty alien weed from outer space it rearing it’s ugly head again.  Sheesh, how would I ever keep up if I had acres to manage.

Once again the sun sets on the Urban Ranch.  Order has almost been established once again.  The cool refreshment is made and the Poor man’s patio is calling my name.  I can hear the crickets and the June bugs singing their duet.  Ah, the joys of Urban Ranch living.  I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

Until next time.  Stay in the shade and keep those fluids flowing.  Don’t forget to leave me a comment and tell me about what’s been going on in your corner of the world.  It makes my day.

Published on Aug 9, 2011

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