TSP is live and foundation footings are poured

When we arrived at the site this morning (the whole family made the trip today), there were 3 PES trucks on the property working on our electricity installation. They replaced a very old pole with a brand new one, then added the transformer and other wirey stuff to it, and then installed another pole close to our home site. They connected the power line to it, then connected that to the TSP. Here's a picture of the glory that is power:

We didn't test it, but we are pretty sure there are 4 live outlets up there, ready for action. I plan to bring the Skilsaw™ tomorrow as well as a few other power tools.

We were asked by one of the power guys if we wanted the old pole for fenceposts, so I said "Sure, thanks". I think that was the right answer. We'll see.

Over the past few days, I have been preparing the foundation footer holes for the concrete. Unfortunately, I had the holes dug last Wednesday and the rain on Thursday washed in a lot of loose dirt from the interior sides of the holes. So, I had to clean out each hole manually. It was extra cold over these past days, so I had layers of mud to deal with; frozen layer, crumbly clay layer, and gloppy muck clay layer.

The gloppy muck layer was the worst part because it was difficult to clear from the shovel. So it went; scoop, lift, shake shovel, smack shovel on rocks, swipe bottom of shovel across mud pile to clear it. There are only 30 holes, so it was only that much fun. I asked Freddie Byrd - the Bobcat/auger man - to return with the equipment to re-run the perimeter holes that he could reach without danger of falling into one of the holes. I think he did 13 and I did the rest. Even after he re-ran the holes, I still had to jump in and clear out the bottoms of the loose stuff.

With that done, I requested estimates from 2 companies for the concrete that would fill each hole 12 inches deep. One guy came by and said that he wouldn't be able to do the job until next Tuesday. I didn't want to wait that long, so I called the number of Mid-South Concrete which I got from one of their employees - Michael Tucker - who lives just down the road a few miles. He left a company business card in our mailbox one day, and then stopped to talk the next day when he saw me working on the fence near the road. The owner of the company came by to see the job, and he said they could deliver concrete the next day if I was ready. The best part is that his estimate for 5 yards of concrete delivered was less than the cost of buying ninety 80-pound bags from The Home Depot. Plus, I would have had to make several trips from the store with the trailer, and then mix all that concrete by hand in a wheelbarrow. I spent the second half of Wednesday preparing the steel reinforcements that were placed in the bottom of each hole. Again, by buying the sixty 24-inch long steel rebar lengths from Mid-South Concrete instead of The Home Depot, I saved about $50 (and I supported the local economy, too).

JoAnna and I were working this morning to try to have the greenhouse floor ready with concrete forms so we might add 2 yards to our order and save on the delivery charge. But, we were not fast enough, and I did not want to leave the footers for another day. Any rain could cause significant delay, mainly because the ground could get too soft for the big, heavy truck to get where it needs to go - not to mention the chance for more cave-ins in the holes. So I made the call and there was a truck coming up the driveway in 30 minutes or less. The driver was the one and only Michael Tucker, and he did a great job. I stood at each hole with my homemade measuring stick jammed to the bottom and he maneuvered the truck and chute. After about an hour we had all 30 holes filled at least 12 inches deep. He backed his truck all the way down the driveway and was on his way.

JoAnna and I continued working to prepare for the greenhouse floor until 5:30pm, at which time we took a break and sat for a while and listened to and watched the birds. There was a lot of traffic at this time of day (3 cars in 30 minutes), but I think we'll adjust.

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