Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Back from LA/So it begins...

I'm finally back from La-la land; more about the situation there later. Someday I will manage the drive from LA to Roseburg in a leisurely manner. Maybe I'll take some detour along the way--see some of the Tehachapi mountains or the coast range, see the sundial bridge in Redding, visit Castle Crags or Shasta or the Klamath or Rogue River or get some culture in Ashland. But for now, the pattern is A to B, ASAP.

The urgency this time had to do with our new house, which I hadn't seen in a long time. I had to be brought up to date on all the things the Real Doctor had done in my absence, so I could tell the various contractors what to do. Of course, the Real Doctor also had to show me what I had to do.

So (having told various electricians and roofers what to do, as if I knew what was going on) I've labored the last two days on fencing. The existing fence was in terrible shape--rotten posts, tangled and fallen wires, overgrown, etc. It needed to be removed and replaced. The Real Doctor, aided by a couple of local youths, got a start on the project. I spent yesterday with one of the same locals getting the bulk of it done. This involved unclipping the heavy galvanized wire from the fence posts--or pulling it out of the ground where it had fallen and been trampled--or untangling it from a blackberry bramble--and coiling it up. Of course, any kinks or snarls meant that it wouldn't pull onto the coil, so we had to hike along the fence line to find and solve the problem and begin again.

(I'd like to make a brief aside here to sing the praises of fencing pliers. They are a great tool, and I hope whoever invented them was richly rewarded. If nothing else, their inventor has earned a lot of gratitude.)

The property's about a third of a mile long, and the fences have four or five courses of wire, and the wire has a lot of kinks, so it makes for a lot of walking and a lot of wire. This pile, shown here with the reel, is just from one short section of fence.
To take down a fence, you first have to find it. Unfortunately, we have a blackberry problem that's visible from space. So, a big chunk of yesterday and today was spent on just one section of fence that was swallowed by a bramble. Here's local youth George with some of his handiwork, just before we started to remove the wires. The fence disappears into that tunnel, which we had to carve into the mound of blackberries.
Two days of this and we're knackered and scratched like we've been wrasslin' cats. Tomorrow, we bring in the power tools and remove the fence posts.

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