We have contracted to have our barn built, finally. But, before that can happen, we need to put in a retaining wall to keep the shop from sliding into the barn in the event of an earthquake or other seismic stuff.

Excavator @ 2ishSaturday we had the excavator arrive. Quite unexpectedly, I might add. So I was left to finish signing the barn contract while Hubby went to check with the wall guy. He said he would start on Monday afternoon. Today at 1:30 he delivered the roller/compactor, and by about 2PM this is what my back yard and what used to be pasture looked like.

Now, my husband has a nice tractor and he had been able to do quite a bit of clearing and leveling. Or so we thought. Mr. X and his side kick The Grader, did some amazing stuff in about 4 hours. (Yes! They worked past 5 PM!) Huge scoops of dirt were being flung across the area where we had leveled and I swear he flicked the stump he found, a good 30+ yards to land in the far corner without hitting the fence. I was impressed. Especially since we didn’t have to move that one ourselves!

The Grader Eats Lawn “The Grader ” did a fine job of eating what was left of the lawn. It wasn’t in the best of shape since we had such a hot & dry summer, but did he have to take the green parts?

As you can see I am inside the fence. There is a reason for this, and it is 3 1/2 years old, and sometimes faster than her parents. Most kids would LOVE to watch the heavy machinery dig in the dirt. She did, and also nearly gave Jeff, the Wall guy, a heart attack. We were inside the fence so she couldn’t run out and get into anybody’s way, but she could still see everything. A play pen on a grander scale, if you will. She was so excited when he brought The Grader up top that she squealed. He jerked the thing to a stop ,and was looking around in a panic. I yelled that it was OK, and she was just excited, and that she was inside the fence for that reason. After about 10 minutes of watching the BIG tractors play in the dirt that she wasn’t allowed to, she was lured by the cool waters of the stock tank, and remarked only casually about the equipment.

Oooh! Water! Until later.

Little miss was not the only one keenly aware of the heavy equipment.

What is going on? The ladies of the lower field were a bit agitated. OK, more than a bit, at least at first. They ran from one corner to the other when the big diesel engines fired up and started tearing into the dirt. By the end of the day, however, they were lounging on their spools, chewing cud, and pretty much ignoring the whole thing.

The Grader peeling dirt That’s a lot of dirt he’s movin’!

Us vs. Mr. XAs you can see here they took the level of dirt down quite a bit from where we originally had it. The edge in the front is where my husband worked to get it. He didn’t want to cut it too far back until the blocks were ready to go in, to keep from eroding the dirt too much. That scoop is huge!

Shake, Rattle, & Roll This is the rolling compactor they used to tamp everything down. The drum is full of water and the whole thing vibrates while he is rolling forwards and back. It made the glasses in the house clink and the water in the stock tanks shimmy when they used it. It was just weird.

End of Day #1 This is pretty much what we have at the end of day one. Honey spent most of the afternoon trying to keep water on the dirt to keep the dust down and to help it compact better. There is a 2 foot trench along the bank where the blocks will go tomorrow, and we should see some gravel for the driveways arrive as well.

Just to let you see how big the scoop on the excavator is, this is what it looks like in the upper pasture, after Jeff scared the tweedle out of Em. She was back to playing in the stock tank, and he swung it over her head, and set it down behind her, she thought it was going to pick her up! (Mom was a bit worried too.) She was trying to decide where to go and what to do. She just tucked farther down towards the edge of the tank. Smart girl! It can’t get you, if it can’t reach you!How big is it? Once she realized that it wasn’t after her and that the engine was off, she went over to check it out a little closer. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!