Monday, May 24, 2010


During my daughter Vanessa's recent visit we did some fun things like playing in the Blanco River, watching Ironman 2 in Wimberley's outdoor walk-in theater, and visiting a lavender farm & gift shop a few miles away.

In the "almost as much fun" category, we relocated the water tank gunk separator, a device which takes in the initial water runoff from the roof so that the nasty parts like dust and leaves don't make it into the main tank. This involved draining the 150 gallons of water in it, cutting out the existing plumbing (first photo) and wrestling the tank to its new location (second photo). The point of all this effort was to get the tank under the new arbor with the main tank (third photo), so that once we build the arbor screen wall all the ugly mechanical works will be hidden from sight.

Vanessa and I ended up a bit more hot and muddy than I had planned, but how many other father-daughter teams can say they successfully relocated a water separator together? Oh, and we did it on a weekend celebrating her birthday a few weeks
early. She was a great sport seems to have actually liked the experience, but it was an ever better experience for me to have her there helping. Happy birthday Vanessa, I'll bet you can't wait to see how we celebrate next year, huh?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dog Days

Vanessa's dog Megatron is pretty cool, especially for a puppy. Friendly but not wildly so, never runs far away, and likes to snuggle. Doesn't even terrorize our kitten all that much. On her first visit to Wimberley she made herself at home inside and out, and after getting to know Ann and me for a day was happy to roam outside with us without her mommy. That's six out of six if you are counting, significantly better than your average toddler would score. (No offense intended toward any grandkids.) In this first photo she was playing fetch by the Blanco River with Vanessa. And actually brought the stick back to her.

Here she is frolicking in the Blanco, biting the water like dogs tend to do.

Meg and Vanessa enjoying the hammock on the back porch.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Arbor Days

Our rainwater collection tank in the back yard is finally getting some much needed help now that Spring weather is upon us. We poured the foundations (first pic) about a year ago with intentions to build an arbor immediately, but I got diverted by the many projects inside the house.

The second shot was one of my prouder construction moments; I had hired three helpers so we could attach the posts and main beam on the ground and life the whole assembly in place. It worked! (third photo).

Not pictured is the fiasco which occurred on the other side of the tank. Since the terrain made it tough to erect it the same way, we installed the two posts first and then tried to lift the 4x12x20' cedar beam onto the posts. You see no photos of that part because I was laying dazed on the ground after the guys lifting the other side of the beam slipped and I had about 300 pounds of cedar bonk me in the head. Our second photographer (Ann) was also distracted, trying to figure out if she should dial 911 or just call straight to the funeral home. Luckily my wounds were just superficial so neither call was needed.

This near-death experience produced a marked decrease in my enthusiasm for this project, so I only got as far as you see in the final photo last weekend. Instead of working any further we took off for one of our favorite Wimberley activities- a night at the outdoor walk-in movie theater, sitting in lawn chairs with many of our country neighbors. Much more relaxing, safer, and equally entertaining.