Monday, October 26, 2020

Digging up the back half of the front yard, Part 6

 The pile of dirt from digging has filled much of the trench that is "done" and we have more coming, so we used the jack hammer to smooth out the bottom of more of the trench from the dirt pile towards the street.

Then we turned our attention to the stump, and used the jack hammer to excavate deeper both on the side closest to the house and sidewalk,

The side of the stump closest to the street had two very large white hard limestone under it, not the crumbly porous limestone that was on the other side (and in the trench that we saw earlier in this post).

We broke those rocks up, so that we will be able to move them out.

A couple of days of moving the rock that was loosened by the jack hammer and we have a pretty clean bottom up near the head of the trench.

Notice however that around the edges, the lower 6 to 12 inches appear to be rock.  So either we haven't gone far enough to reach the area that we excavated last year, or we have gone down further than we did last year.

An exploratory dig into the corner, and along the side 

shows that we apparently have gone down further than last year.  It looks to me that last year, with the front section of the yard to excavate, we followed the rough contour of the land -- sloping up slowly towards the street.  But with this year's digging, we have kept it pretty flat.  The net is that there is a step up of about 6 to 9 inches between the back half and front half of the yard.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Proper Name Plates for the Cats

When we put Chibi in the back yard (Zone 2), we had some difficulty determining where the various cats (Inari, Jita, and Pepper) were.  So it seemed that it would help if we had markers for each of them.

We found a place on Etsy that would manufacture brass name plates for us, UnbanDecor (you can reach them at and had them make up 5 name plates, for about $100 apiece:

Pepper, Inari, Neko Jita, Chibi, and Sasha.

(Neko Jita is Jita's full and proper name; Sasha is still alive, but at 17, it is expected she will need a name plate within a couple of years.)

 These are hand-cast brass name plates.  The hole on each end is perfect for a #8 screw.

We used the photos from the blog to locate the various cats and then marked on the house foundation wall where each name plate should go. 

Mounting the name plates was planned to be easy.  A hole would be drilled into the concrete foundation for the two screws for each name plate.  A plastic anchor would be inserted into the hole, and then a #8 round-head stainless steel screw would be put thru the hole and into the plastic anchor.  In addition, we would put "liquid nails", an industrial indoor-outdoor adhesive, on the back of the name plate.

The problem was drilling the hole.  The foundation is covered with a thin layer (maybe 1/4 inch) of mortar (parging).  I got a special drill bit specifically for drilling into concrete.  It went thru the parge easily, but would not, could not, make much of a dent into the foundation.  (I guess this is good -- we have a really strong, solid foundation.)

As a result, the liquid nails is the main thing holding the name plates in place.

From the left, the name plates are for Inari



and Chibi

We will go back another day and clean off our marks and possibly seal around each name plate with mortar, but we will give it some time for the liquid nails to dry properly.