Building a Fence, Part One

When we got Dally Sunshine, it did not take her long to find the part of our yard that was not fenced in.  Between our front and backyards, there are about 12 feet of space that, instead of being fenced in, had a giant bush in front of it.  The bush was nice enough, I guess (I found out later that the previous owners hated it and always planned to eventually take it down), but needed regular pruning.  Along with that, it was really easy for Dally to push her way right out of the backyard to freedom.

Being a dog, she isn’t smart enough to realize that the freedom she so craves is the same thing that somehow got her lost from her previous owners.  They might have deserved it; that said, we’re awesome, and we treat her right, feed her regularly, and change her diapers.  Freedom from us gets you knocked up and on the streets.  Seriously.

Dog diapers are ridiculous.

Dog diapers are ridiculous.

Anyway, we haven’t been able to let her off leash since we got her.  Now that she’s in heat, I probably would be nervous with her outside, even in a fenced yard, unsupervised.  That said, we still had a lack-of-fence problem.  We got an estimate to have a fence installed.  It wasn’t cheap, but seemed reasonable.

Kullervo, being Kullervo, had it in his head that he could probably install a fence.  Now, I’m not saying he can’t.  He’s handy, he’s strong, and he’s capable.  But he’s also an attorney who has to bill 2000 hours a year, so he only really has time on weekends, and everyone knows that the first time that you do something, it takes at least four thousand times as long as you hoped it would.

We moved onto a street with very handy people.  Some of our neighbors regularly get together to demolish and fix parts of each other’s houses, and they constantly have projects going on.  Kullervo was talking to two of these neighbors about what they thought the project would entail.

And, being the dudes that they are, they all said, “Eh, we can do this.  Go get the power tools.”


Double sigh.

I knew they were talking about beginning the project.  I didn’t necessarily realize they were talking about starting rightnow.  So I made lunch for the kids, and realized I should probably take a ‘before’ picture so I didn’t forget to do it the following weekend, which is when I assumed they would take on this endeavor if I didn’t convince Kullervo otherwise.

20130902_140024 20130902_140015

I was too late.

The guys spent the afternoon yanking out the bush and trimming back the other flowers.

Power tools!

Power tools!


Ax handling!

Ax handling!


More ax stuff!

More ax stuff!


Loosening up the roots.

Loosening up the roots.


Busy, hardworking dudes.

Busy, hardworking dudes.

At one point, the kids looked out the window, not having any idea what was going on and were shocked.

Oliver's reaction

Oliver’s reaction


Hazel's reaction

Hazel’s reaction

I sat outside in a chair with the dog, watching Hazel and her friend play in the sprinkler and Kullervo and our next door neighbor hack away at our yard.  I drank chocolate milk and began reading The Outsiders.

Hazel posing with the sprinkler

Hazel posing with the sprinkler

After the bush was fully unplanted and strewn all over our yards, the guys went to go buy more fence.  (If it seems that the order of operations here is a little off, remember that the demolition is always better if it isn’t over planned.  Or, at least, that’s what I’m telling myself.)

Roots cleared away... no fence in sight

Roots cleared away… no fence in sight

They couldn’t find any.  At multiple stores, they could not find fencing that did not need to be ordered before being picked up.  They came back, feeling defeated and maybe (hopefully?) a bit rueful.

Looking online, we picked out a kind of fence that it turned out that could be picked out today, so the guys went back out to go get it.

They arrived home in time for dinner, so they laid the fence along the front of our yard so it looks much more secure and enclosed than is actually the case.  And that’s where we stand right now…

I am very hopeful that there will be a part two to this blog post.


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