Operation: 'Drainage ditch' has officially begun!!!!!! As most of you know, I have never been happy with the drainage ditch in the front yard.... Erosion is a huge problem and I have been trying to combat that since I moved in. I tried planting daylilies to spruce it up and I have had many ideas what I wanted to do with it so it didn't look so Sanford & Son-ish....

Early on I messed with the idea of building a retaining wall. But of what????? Then it hit me while I was dozing off to sleep one night... Railroad ties!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!! Little background for ya. When I was a kid I loved trains and everything about them, Heck!!!! I still do!!!! Anyways, A family friend, Steve Kockler, loved trains a ton too!!!! I'm still not sure how he worked it out but he convinced my mom to let me skip a day of school so he and I could go up to the big city, Buffalo, and watch trains and check out all the RR yards up there.... This was back in 1987 and I remember it like it was yesterday!!!!! We were at an old RR yard that was being dismantled and I saw piles upon piles of RR ties. They had to go somewhere didn't they?? Steve told me that they
  • A. Threw them into a shedder and they turn into mulch.
  • B. They sell them to landscaping centers and are sold for landscaping.
  • C. They just leave them there until the EPA or the city complains enough.
SOOOOOO I went to the local Home Depot, no the women who has teeth of a 19th century chimney sweeper no longer works there, and checked out the RR ties they had. Not only were they too expensive, $10.50 a piece, but they looked like they were shipped to Iraq and used by the troops to shield them against an artillery attack and then sent back to the states to be sold. They were in really bad shape. Forget it!!! I'm not going to buy that crap... I had to go to plan B. I "Googled" 'railroad ties' and BOOM!!!! I had about 100 hits. I guess it's a pretty big business to get them from the RR company who wants to get rid of them and sell them to people at a landscaping center. It's just being a middle man. I was too cheap to do that, SHOCKER!!! I figured there must be a RR company in the area!!! WOO HOO!!!! The Lancaster & Chester RR Co. at your service!!!! I emailed the head of track maintenance Reece! He told me to give him a call and he would be able to help me out. Poor Reece!!! He is a southern bred guy who has a very distinctive southern draw and then you have me, a fast talking yankee. We had a few communication breakdowns and he had to say "Can you repeat that?" at least 20 times because I was talking so fast!!!! He told me where he had bunch just sitting around that I could have. I asked him how much I owed him and this is classic, he said "Hell! You don't owe me anything I just want to get rid of 'em."

With the help from my neighbor, Greg, we went out and hauled back about 10 with our trucks.... Yeah I know there are some macho guys out there saying, "WHAT?? They had two trucks and only got 10???". Sorry but I have my limitations!! They weigh a ton and I was exhausted.... I figured that I can come back and get more when I need. This is pretty funny!!! Want to see how much work I managed to get done for the rest of the day???? OK!!! The picture above this paragraph was taken right before I started working..... AND here is what I accomplished!!!

In my defense it was really muddy and the RR ties were just not leveling out at all.... I had enough and I was all muddy and wet AND cold!!! I took a shower and a nap. I decided that I would tackle it tomorrow... PEOPLE!!! This is not going to be a weekend project!!!! I'll be happy if I get it done by the freakin' summer!!!! But BY GOD! It will get done!!!!!

AND!!!! I purchased my 'hot water on demand' unit on Friday!!! This is the one I got... It comes in this week and I have to line up a HVAC certified person to come out and install it!!! So hopefully I'll have it all set up by the next update I write.... I'll be sure to tell you all about it!

Alrighty... I worked on it a little more on Sunday and.....

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to a Super Bowl party and then going to sleep for at least two days to recoup from all this manual labor...

Want to hear a funny story??? Ask me about the time I ran out of gas and the police came out and everything!!!


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