May 15, 2020

I recorded the hymns for Sunday at church this morning.  Afterwards, Mike and I met Mike at Ione Ace Hardware to pick up the cement mixer.  The manager filled the mixer with three yards of concrete, coupled it to the truck, started it up and wished me the best.

Bouncing down Buena Vista Road with three yards of concrete churning behind me was a new experience.  So was hauling that sucker up the hill in what Mike calls granny gear.


I built the forms and Mike had the technical knowledge. I was assigned the tamping down with a steel rake to prevent air pockets.  We half filed the forms with concrete, laid in a grid of galvanized steel fencing and added the next half on top.  The grid is meant to distribute the weight of the tank and reinforce the concrete so that it does not crumble.  Concrete seeks level before it dries. Mike finished the edges nicely with a border scraper.

Next we will talk to Amerigas about moving the tank onto the new pads.  Two and a half feet further in from the back fence and the downward slope should avoid the need to shore up the tank every winter.  The project may need a plumber to move the outflow pipe.

We had extra concrete so we rigged a temporary form and poured a new stoop at the bottom of the barn stairs.  The flagstones that I had laid there as a temporary step were reluctant to leave so we embedded them into the concrete.  I brought the mixer back to Ace Hardware in precisely three hours.

On the way home from church I made a quick run to Lowe’s and found a new sweet pea on the inventory cart, not pot bound.  The transplanted sweet pea did not survive the move.  When I cut away branches before digging it out, most of the wood was dead.   Best to start over with a new plant and encouragement from Plant Starter.  I know the irrigation feeders will give plentiful water.

I gave the special variety ceanothus supplemental water to help it get established in the container.  The red oleander in that section of the front border garden wants to flop towards the sun, and I trimmed it back from the sidewalk.

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