COMPLETED IT YESTERDAY! But not planted... I can't step on the soil until it dries out, and it rained again today (and will tommorow too). At least all the construction work is done and the soil has been added.
First, I finished constructing the frame. That went easily.
Then I took off with the trailer to get topsoil. There is a local nursery that has all sorts of useful stuff in bulk (soil, mulch, compost, sand, gravel, etc). But I had to stop by the recycling center to empty the trailer of a load of brush and fallen branches. The recycling center turns yard debris into free mulch for county residents. If you go on Saturday, they even load your trailer or pickup for free!
So I returned home from the nursery with 2 front-loader bucket loads of excellent topsoil (for $20 per bucket - way cheaper than bags of poor quality topsoil from Walmart).
It proceeded to start raining again (of course), but I had backed the trailer up the driveway with the back end under the roof overhang. Because the front of the main floor of the house is cantilevered out 2 feet beyond the garage/basement and the roof extends another couple feet, I had some protected area to work from.
So I shovelled.
And I shovelled...
And I shovelled. It's not bad if you get your mind into robot-mode and just keep "doing it". I soaked 2 towels wiping off the sweat. Well, it was 100% humidity due to the rain and nothing was evaporating. I did stop to rest 15 minutes several times, and I made sure to have plenty of beer in the process (having a basement refrigerator is very convenient).
Finally, the trailer was empty. It took about 3 hours and 4 beers.
After that, I spread out the soil...
Then levelled it. Hurray! I have a very nice 24" rake with a flat blade opposite the teeth. It is GREAT for levelling soil.
I brought the trailer out streetside, uncoupled it from the car, and put the car in the garage (first taking advantage of its absence to sweep out the garage).
That was about 5:30 PM. I went inside, collapsed into a chair for an hour's worth of TV, dragged myself up to fix dinner, had a bottle of zinfandel with dinner and another couple of hours of TV and went to bed at 9 PM. That is REALLY early for me, but then I had stayed up all night the day before. So I had done all that work on no sleep for 33 hours. I paid for that by sleeping for 14 hours! Retirement is wonderful - no schedules to follow. :)