Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Our Wild West Firepit

My Morning Rainbow
I adore this time of year- late summer/early fall- when the big poofy clouds tumble through the blue sky, shading the earth from the sun's scorch, and bringing our Wild West desert some much needed moisture. 
The sky is falling
The birds sweetly sing, the landscape deepens it color pallet, and you can just feel heaven smiling down on you.  Makes you want to close your eyes and take in a deep breath of fresh air, doesn't it?

When the clouds come out, or the day after a rain, is the perfect time to pull weeds.  It's hard work, but the dampened ground is softer, and the clouds provide a periodic buffer from the hot sun.  This weekend, God gave us our opportunity.

What Was Weeds...

They thought I was kidding, like before.  And like the time before that.  But this time I was serious.  Those weeds were going to get it.
Ahem! Hear ye, hear ye, gladiator weeds!
This summer has germinated all your seeds!
Your armies outnumber mine by many,
My abode is surrounded with your thorns a-plenty!
But on this day I will battle fierce,
The clouds have called, and my shovel will pierce!
My courage is strong like these weapons that slay,
The sky declares God is on my side today!
The weeds took no heed of my threats, and the battle began.  I slashed with my flat-edged shovel, and Tame Dame #2 sliced with the loppers.  Sadly, in ten minutes time the two of us had cleared a path only wide enough for a sickly cat to pass through.  Phew!  And we were sweating!  My arms began to complain that they were the ones doing all the work.  Then, using what I presume to be some form of sign language, my back bent into the shape of a question mark as if to ask, "What the heck are we doing?"

We were feeling the beginnings of defeat.  That cat trail started to look "good enough" and just as I turned to around to throw in the shovel, Tame Dame #3 came skipping to our aid with the hedge clippers (I love that we have this tool even though we have never had a single hedge or bush to trim on our property).  Her enthusiasm was refreshing to see.  Then, Steve the Brave, my daring husband and fiercest weed warrior of them all, handed me our camera, took the shovel from my hands and leveled the area I was trying to clear in the time it took me to snap these 2 pictures of the lazy prairie dog watching us from atop the hill:

With the weeds cleared from a small section of our land, we were ready for a project that has been on the back burner for several months (years even).  It was time to turn that hefty, hideous dryer drum that has been rolling around our property for the last long while into a fire pit, and repurpose the free landscaping materials I picked up from the roadside 3 years ago.

So, we set to work.  And I'm so glad Tame Dames #2 and #3 remembered to document the progress with their cameras.

First, we dug a hole for the dryer drum, filled it with 3-4 inches of gravel, then inserted the dryer drum into the hole, filled in around the drum with dirt, and raked the rest of the dirt flat.

 Then, we laid down weed barrier and began to haul over rocks by the wheelbarrow-full.  I say "haul" because our wheelbarrow had a flat tire, but we insisted on doing this project anyway, so we literally had Steve pulling while I was pushing the wheelbarrow and we would haul it onto the weed barrier and dump and spread.  It took forever.  But we persisted.
That was the worst of it.  We sat in the shade to catch our breaths and take it all in.  I suggested we could stop for the day, but Steve the Brave wanted to finish what we started, and I wanted to do whatever he wanted to do, so we got back up and finished what we started.

We laid pavers around the edges, and built benches out of cinderblocks and lumber.  The girls put pavers around the base of the new fire pit, and by 4:00pm, all was done.  Look what we made!
 If you want to pretend that huge pile of weeds beyond the benches is actual purposeful vegetation, you may.  I know I do sometimes.
 I think my little Tame Dames have found a new reading spot, too!
 And here comes the storm clouds...
 Just in time to christen our new family gathering spot.
 Look at those clouds rolling in!

It even has the prairie dogs in awe!
I bet you're wondering what it's like to hear a prairie dog tell you that he likes your new firepit.  Well, Steve the Brave shot this exclusive video just for you.  Enjoy.