Sunday, November 25, 2012

The pond is filling up and I'm not ready!

Well, we have had a bit of rain lately and I went out to see how the pond was doing and was suprised to see several inches of water in the bottom.
Especially since it doesn't have a bottom yet, just dirt.
The nice thing is, is that I can see that I got my footings really level.
I am so anxious to get working on it again, but not in this kind of weather.
You can also see it has a lot of leaves in it, well, those Laurel bushes will be gone after the pond is complete and there will be a fence in its place.

I went out on Black Friday to the pond store in Redmond and picked up my two skimmer units at half off, basically BOGO.  Little by little I am getting my parts together, right now on my wish list is an AquaForte Ultra Sieve III, Most places I have found it have it for $1799.00 but this place has it for $1399.00, still a lot of money, but it will be an essential piece of my pond filteration and the most expensive piece.  I am collecting my pennies again for that one.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Course three is 3/4 finished

I just have about 13 more cinder blocks left to set on the curved portion of the wall, the spaces between the blocks to fill in and course 3 will be complete!  Almost half way done!
The area where the blocks are set in, in the picture below are now as tall as they will be, I will pour a pad of concrete behind them to the same height and then continue the back wall with the 4th course to line up with the farther back wall, this will give me a shelf for plants.
You can see my TPR's (tangetial pond returns) in the pictures, I have a total of 7 of them, they help circulate the water and push debris toward the bottom drains.
and speaking of bottom drains, I got them ordered and they are on their way, so I will be digging once again.  Our grass could not be more dead, we still have had no rain and our weather has been just amazing, the best fall weather I can ever remember.
Posted by Picasa

Moved the fish indoors for the winter

I found a 300 gallon rubbermaid tub on craigslist for a great price, ($195.00), it had only been used twice for baptisms, (kind of odd I thought) but anyway I moved my goldfish and Koi into it today.
I took some pictures of them before I let them out. They are best buddies, the goldfish is my one surviving fish from the old pond, he has been through a lot, he most likely was born in there.
I don't know what kind of Koi this is, but he is a butterfly Koi, other than that I don't know, I picked him up at the fish store earlier in the spring to keep the goldfish company.
Craig was worried that the cats would fall in the tub and drown so he made a bridge for them to jump onto, so far they have showed no interest in it, I also have netting over it to keep the fish from jumping out.
Here you can kind of see the fish after I let them out, this is huge compared to what they were in before.  Once I get the big pond done they will get to be the first inhabitants and then I will use this for a quarantine/sick tank.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pond walls are going up........slowly!

I'm about half way through mortaring my second course of cinder blocks, I would never make it as a Mason, I'm too slow and it is so hard, I ache all over.  Craig cut my rebar and as soon as I finish the second course I will set them in place permanently. 
The back wall to the left will only be one more course higher and then I will pour another cement slab right behind it and continue the back side straight across to line up with the right side in the back, this will be my plant shelf, in the center will be the waterfall.  There will also be a pond window to the right of the sharp curve in the front where it straightens out.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Small progress on the pond

I got my cinder blocks placed where I wanted them and marked where I want to put the vertical rebar, Craig drilled the holes in the footings for me today, luckily we had a hammer drill and the right size bit.   Next I will morter the first course of blocks and then I will place the rebar in the holes and set them with epoxy.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Look at me, I am iFlying!

I went to iFly with my brother and his two sons for his youngest sons birthday and we had a blast!  I think everyone needs to try this at least one time.  We each got 2 turns at 1 min 15 seconds each, it is expensive, but worth the experience.  In the picture I am floating all by myself, the trainer is there to help if you get off balance, he gives you hand signals to help you get in the right position.  At one point I went up above the windows and was spinning around, it was so fun.  We have a video of it and I will try and get it up on here soon. 
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Perfect day for cement work on the pond

Yesterday I went and bought rebar and got it put in the forms, as you can see by my hands, I probably should have worn gloves.
It is hard to see it, but it is in there, the rebar is sitting on little rebar holder thingy's that keep it off the ground.  I bought 14 10' pieces and only ended up with a couple of feet left over, I thought I did pretty good.  Craig cut the shorter pieces for me.
We went to Lowe's this morning and picked up 60 80lb bags of cement, we had to pick it up 10 bags at a time because that is all my Jeep could handle, so 6 trips later this is what we had, 4,800 lbs of cement.
Craig mixed while I shoveled it into the forms.  I am really glad we did all of that digging because it physically prepared me for this part, Craig was a trooper, he doesn't share the same enthusiasm for this as I do, but he helps and supports my crazy projects anyway.
You can kind of see how the rebar is suspended in the cement here.
Whoo hoo, finished and in 6 hours from leaving for our first trip to Lowe's till done and cleaned up, we rock!  We ended up only needing 50 bags of cement, but we will need more anyways for the rest of the project.  I am sooooo excited, can't wait to start building the walls.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Footing forms done!

Got my footing forms finished yesterday, what a PITA, they don't look real pretty, but they are level and that is what is most important.
Everytime I thought I was level I would go back and recheck and it was off a little so I would have to start again.
The curves are the hardest because if your stakes aren't perfecty level then the whole thing is off.
I just need to get rebar and place it, then comes the cement, I may have to save a few more pennies before I can do the next step, I am guessing like 75 bags of cement, but I could be wrong, I need to actually measure it.
An 80 lb bag of cement should go about a foot in the form.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bonfire at Jeni's for Memorial Day weekend

This is Paco, Jeni's goat, he has two friends that live with him.

Diego and (I can't remember the other ones name) but they say she is not very smart.  I keep my distance from them because they are known to spit.

This is the pre-bonfire drinking and eating festivities on Jeni's deck.

Here is Ryan in front of the bonfire pile, this is just the kindling to get this thing going, there are equally large piles of branches and limbs on either side of this pile that we added throughout the night, some of it from our yard, it feels so good to get rid of it.

Barry always comes up with a unique way of starting the fire, this year it was doused with kerosene, I think or white gas, whatever it was it was extremely flammable.  Anyway, then he lit some roman candles and aimed them at the pile and after a few missed the pile finally we had a hit and it went up in flames so fast.

This is less than a minute after it started.

It was pretty out of control at first, but quite awesome.  We had a great time!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 27, 2012

More yard projects

Here is the pile of yard waste we have accumulated so far.  We basically pulled out all of the ivy and did some major pruning of part of the Laurel and took out our really big lilac tree.

I am trying to dig out the massive root system of the lilac tree, it is so slow going, especially since I am also dealing with all of the ivy roots.  This will eventually be the home of the renovated pond. 

I am going to tear out the old pond and completely rebuild it, much bigger and much deeper. I am tired of feeding the local wildlife with my fish, I think I am back down to 1 goldfish who is extremely skittish, and for good reasons.

The ivy had pretty much covered half of the pond before we started our project, I forgot what it looked like.

Got the rest of the side fence built in the last two weekends, it looks so much bigger without all of that ivy.

Here is the first load of yard waste heading over to Jeni's, hopefully it will only take one more trip to get the rest.  She is have a big bonfire tonight.
Posted by Picasa