Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How I’m Spending My Summer Break

As regulars around here will know, I’ve been absent much of the last couple weeks in the hopes of getting much done over the summer, at work and home. For graciously excusing my leave, I figure I best show some evidence of a vacation well spent (okay, sure, I’m also proud o’ my work and want to brag :-)). With that I give you an exciting post about the progress of our sand box.

I wish I’d thought to take an earlier “before” photo but here’s the first:

We only have the posts in for the first wall at this point. This though involved a deceptive amount of dirt movement, from the post holes to the leveling, not to mention the post mix. Thankfully I had my herniated husband and my senior citizen dad helping. Now, I'm only half kidding here and should say my "senior citizen" dad taught me all I know in doing such work and he could probably out work most men half his age. I'm lucky to be able to recruit him in his retirement. Rob, though, he was only able to keep the posts stable as I shoveled the cement; I hope he can get that fixed soon :-). And it was all done with the kids gladly “helping.” All the parents know what that means: cute and appreciated, but cute and appreciated negative work :-).

First wall done. Now one might think that’s me there, taking a break for my exhaustion. But no. That’s a, uh, ninja; you can tell by the black face mask concealing his identity. The guy had the misfortune of surprising me while I worked. Strange though, I don’t understand why our neighborhood has such a ninja problem. We do spray for them every year.

Oh wow, how’d that get in here? That’s our puppy, a couple pounds larger. He's been tasked with keeping the cats out of the sand.

Anyway, with the 1st wall done we got to building the second, see:

I then leveled the whole thing again and tried to keep the boys out of it until the sand arrived, see:

Once it did

I smartly decided I needed a break and some help from someone not as herniated as Rob. I thought about emailing Edgy--he did kindly offer--but decided I couldn’t be that cruel to anyone I hadn’t known for at least a decade or to whom I wasn’t paying good money. Add then a couple days to the above pile of sand and there you have it, one multilevel sand box:

Certainly any person enthralled with my sandbox project from the start--and I’m sure there are many--can see some design changes were made along the way and that it's not yet finished. For one, I decided to put the slide from the upper level of the yard down into the sandbox, instead of from the sandbox down to the lower level of the yard. It’ll be more fun for them I think as it will come from the area of their play fort (my next home project), and, besides, it’ll keep toys and sand from sliding into the grass. I’m still shopping for the right slide though; maybe next weekend I’ll get that in.

Also, I didn’t put in the gi joe/transformers tunnels yet. I’m still thinking on how to do it in a way that’s durable (or if I can do it through the retaining wall instead). I’m also still toying with putting in a third level, as I'd planned. After watching the kids play in the second I feared it would crowd them and decided to see how it went. Two just doesn’t feel like enough, does it?

Anyway, not the most ground breaking post, but it was an important and fun addition to our home. Last evening we just sat quietly on the back patio and watched the boys play with their toys in their new sandbox. There were castles built, dump trucks at work, dinosaur roaming, and so on and on. It was the definition of what makes a parent happy.

Now I can’t wait to get the slide in and the fort done :-).


Silus Grok said...


But you really do need a Flickr account... so we can get all the photos and zoom in and all that.

: )

Mr. Fob said...

Wow. That is amazing.

You should have called Edgy. I would have been happy to help (speaking for Edgy as an official Fob and therefore an extension of me).

And I'm not complaining, but you kind of suck at this hiatus from blogging thing. But I'm happy to get updates.

playasinmar said...

Ultima! Online, again! He's adowable.

Edgy said...

Really. You could have called me. Or e-mailed me. I would have helped.

Now, this weekend is a bit booked for me, what with thinking I'm going to actually finally do some landscaping in my own yard, but if you need sand-moving help or post-digging help or other things that I really should learn how to do in case I have to do my own someday . . .

Sean said...

those lucky kids!

Good job to you, Rob and Retired Father.

Kengo Biddles said...

I'm jealous. Such a big, beautiful yard. And that dog? Mm. He's so cute I want to adopt him. Eh? *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

You've got to watch out for those ninjas. They turn into zombies, sometimes, and nothing's worse than a zombie ninja.

Scot said...

Silus: “But you really do need a Flickr account... so we can get all the photos and zoom in and all that.

I know it may be odd and pointless, but having resolvable photos of our family accessible to anyone on the web kind of feels unsettling, and I try to keep it to a minimum. Maybe I could put some up with a password…

Regardless, I don’t want anyone zooming in on my sandbox work and critiquing it. Those walls are scribed perfectly to those rocks ;-).

Mr. Fob: “you kind of suck at this hiatus from blogging thing.

Whatever. I am not an addict. I can stop any time. Really.

Besides, compared to last month, I have cut my posting by two thirds, and the two on the gay bomb should only count as one. And no, I am not protesting too much.

Edgy: “Really. You could have called me. Or e-mailed me. I would have helped.

That’s very nice of you, Edgy. Thank you. (I hope you knew Mr. Fob had the power to volunteer you for backbreaking labor by proxy, as I could ask him to help me on leveling the ground for and putting in the foundations for the play fort)

Sean: “those lucky kids!

I don’t think they’ll be satisfied though until I get the slide in :-). I know I wouldn’t be.

Kengo: “He's so cute I want to adopt him. Eh?

No way! Not even after the many messes I’ve cleaned up and the fact that he just ate my earphones with a side of orange crayon.

You back off too, playasinmar. He’s ours.

Paul said...

Nice work.

(Can I come over and play?)

Mr. Fob said...

Scot, I would be happy to (let Edgy) help you with the groundwork and foundation.

Anonymous said...

next question: how are you going to keep the neighborhood cats out of it. i can still remember the day when I realized that my sandbox was being used by the neighbor's cats. i don't think i ever went back
(but then, i must have been around 14 or 15 so it was time for me to move on anyway)

Scot said...

Thanks, and yes, you can play. The only rule is no throwing sand at others or out of the box. We had about 10 kids in there last night and found that’s a deceptively difficult rule to follow :-).

You are a very generous man.


That’s Ultima’s job.

Actually, we have precious few cats in our neighborhood. The rash of coyote killings through the last couple years took many of them, and our immediate neighbors are catless anyway. Here's to hope...

Waterfalls said...

Hi there, I just got your comment from back in April. Thanks, I'm actually going to be around now. I was wondering if I could link to your blog?



Scot said...

Good to hear from you Waterfalls, and a link is always appreciated.