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Posted by Mary in PA on 7/30/2010

A few weeks back, it seemed as if progress was very slow working through contractor agreements, proof of insurance and quotes for materials. And then we started jockeying the schedules of the contractors with the excavator setting the start date and then me keeping the others informed for their planning purposes… and then all of a sudden, we were in the midst of a building project… and there was no time to rest, let alone to post anything. So for the next few posts I’ll be playing catch-up.


As the whirl of paperwork and phone tag played out with the contractors, a funny thing happened to the prairie grass on our property. It grew. And grew and grew. The building site the John and I had so carefully laid out in early April was now obscured by a twenty-plus inches of gorgeous green, waving in the breeze. It would obviously need to be hayed or mowed and we didn’t yet have a tractor at the property. However, our dairy farmer neighbor was very interested in the chance to get the hay and that worked out just great for us. He mowed and hayed it leaving us with a neat stubble of grass at the building site. Prior to his harvesting efforts, I pulled (once again!) all of our site-planning flags and stakes so they wouldn’t be accidentally baled. This meant John and I had to (one FINAL time!!) set up the site markers for the driveway and shop… in 95-degree heat. We started at 7:00 a.m. and finished by 1:00 p.m., so it wasn’t too bad.


The first part of the project was literally a three-ring circus – but in a good way. The excavator was going to
(1) re-grade a farm terrace,

(2) finish the driveway and circle turnaround and
(3) prepare the building pad for the shop

For the first few days there was so much site work being done that I think we must have stunned our neighbors in this rural community. But fortunately when things started to take shape and not look so torn up they could see we weren’t really building an international airport after all.


Lovely, productive grass... except when you're trying to do site layout and excavation.
Grass mowed and drying to be baled for hay.
Final time to lay out site markers for excavator... on newly-mowed stubble.
So after two wks. with no rain (a long time in these parts), we get rained out on the first day of work. Me and my geotextile, all rolled up and nowhere to go.
Overview of initial excavation.

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