The Ballet of the Backhoe

We are hanging out the dining room windows watching the backhoe work it’s amazing magic.  It’s moving this bucket with surgical percision and  just scraping gently the soil from the sides of this trench.  Of course the trench will be (tomorrow???) 84 feet to the street. But right now it is fascinating to see the movements.  Of course the driver is the conductor and the backhoe the dancer, but damn!  Something that ungainly looking could be so delicate in action.  Maybe because it’s a Volvo backhoe?  I feel better about that machine monster because I’ve had three Volvos and I have faith in Volvo.

My husband came home to overlook the work…and they actually seem grateful that Harry Homemaker is Hanging around.  Probably because Fred has restored this 1880’s house and done all the electrical/plumbing/construction himself.  He knows where the  secrets are…he knows where the overflow, cleanout thingys are and they don’t.  It’s confusing when there are full basements and crawl spaces under a very old house.  And there are probably black widow spiders and bodies buried under the dirt.

I have had this entry disappear  twice because someone keeps cutting through important power lines in the basement.  But Fred is smiling and laughing and the boys on the big machinery are doing the same so there doesn’t seem to be much stress going on.  Except it’s going to rain in two days and we will have a 84 foot trench to deal with.  You don’t want rain in it….

So Fred just came in and told us that we have to NOT flush toilets, not take baths, (hey we can’t they shut off the water) don’t do the dishes…(duh…water again..) so it looks like we are eating out.  No water, no cooking.

We took up 10 fruiting blueberries from the garden, and 22 tomato plants. They look pathetic sitting in the sun. (If there are many spelling issues it’s because my spell checker doesn’t seem to be working)  We lost a big limb from one of the plum trees by the large fence outside, and all that dirt has to go somewhere, so they threw it on my grape vines.  We will have to excavate them by hand because as delicate as that backhoe bucket seems , it wouldn’t be good for  the plants.

Now the driveway is a total mess of Red Georgia Clay.  Fred wants to replace it with draining bricks, which are   ecologically sound, but will still have to be placed so they don’t squirm.  I guess we can throw grass seed between them and have the first lawn/driveway on the street.

I wonder if they can finish this project before the rains hit us?  And I also wonder how long you can stay in a house with non-flushing toilets?  And where do these lovely men pee?  They don’t seem to stop work at all.

They are an interesting bunch, and come from all over.  The camera man..(yes..down the clean out drain and there is where they found the root ball..) is a New York Jew, and he’s a funny man.  He’s married to a Southern Baptist and goes to a Baptist church. He’s got a great perspective about religion and regions and cultural differences, and I haven’t heard anyone talk so fast in a year!  I had to strain to understand him because his words were a blur.  The backhoe driver is from the Midwest, and he’s funny, too.  The young guy who is heading up the project…the actual plumber, is a Southern boy, and about as polite as they come.

They are all good blokes…and it looks like they know their work, and it looks like we are going to have to write them in the will because they will be around for a while.  The City won’t send out an inspector until all the lines and pipes, etc. are laid…and Fred is getting everything new.  The City is S-l-o-w and this could take a while.

Meanwhile, I am wondering if we should stop drinking any liquids…but Fred bought case of beer to pass around after hours, so perhaps the fruit trees will be watered tonight.

Lady Nyo

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4 Responses to “The Ballet of the Backhoe”

  1. shia1 Says:

    Oh I don’t mean to laugh in your misery. But some of this was too good. I wonder what you are going to do without bathrooms and toilets to flush. I guess people years ago did it. My grandmother once used a vase my father sent flowers in to my mother. I guess you will have to get creative. Find a bush in the back yard or have Fred make you an out house. lol. The amish have them out here. Perhaps rent one of those portable potties. Try the vase, I know my grandmother would say thank you to my dad, every time she peed in it. ( not to his face, he never knew until recently that she peed in the vase) lol

    Anyway, I feel sorry for you and your family. This is a major thing to go through, and yet you can still laugh. Good for you. I would be screaming and crying and begging the men to dig faster. I have to pee all the time it seems.

    I hope it gets inspected right away and you can move on from there. I know it will cost a fortune. Tell Fred to buy a lottery ticket. Who knows! He may get some good luck instead of bad.

    I think I see a growing spurt in your trees. lol



  2. ladynyo Says:

    Stop it! Stop it! I’m laughing so hard you come do my laundry….I’m wetting myself!

    Oh, Allah! That was ‘choice’ about the grandmother….every family has a store of those stories…and they are usually suppressed…


    Well, I would have to say that the master bathroom toilet looks rather strange. I poured some cranberry juice down it, and Fred got freaked.

    Yes. a growth spurt! And pray it doesn’t rain…We will have a trench swimming pool.

    Oh shia, you made my day…you are a funny girl

    Love ya!

    Jane (can’t afford that lottery ticket now…)


  3. Margie Says:

    Oh Janie, too funny! Sounds like you have a good crew however and I hope they go fast. How close are you to a gas station? Maybe you could pee there? I vote for eating out though. Hang in there!


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Cuz…

    Oh, not far at all..but I pee a lot…good thing I am suffering constipation this week.

    LOL!…. Eating out a lot, and that is part of the situation…yoghurt and fruit is better.

    Damn, Margie, it’s one thing after another in life.

    Thanks for laughing..and reading. course it’s going to rain and it’s going to fill the trench and they can’t fill it in until it’s inspected and the morons STILL want to got through the front garden…and I refuse.

    We would have to take two sections of fence down and all the plantings, and

    I refuse. We will drink bottled water and wash in rain water before I allow them to set the water lines right through my delphiniums.

    Thanks darling.


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