Footers and the ditch
While Stanley and Jeff laid and levelled the outside of the forms for
the footers, I played around in the dirt. Or rather, clay. Seems
that all of that water ingress into the ditch comes near pockets of
clay. Makes sense enough -- the clay traps the water and the water
exits where it (now) can. So it's a little, ahem, soggy in the bottom
of the ditch. I'm glad I have 16" boots. 12" would NOT have
sufficed. Mud in the bottom of your boots is NO fun. I worked my way
down the whole length and cleaned up the cave-ins. Mostly I smoothed
it out, but I shovelled mud/clay/water out as needed. Pulled a few
good rocks also. Needed the tractor for two of them.
Stanley and Jeff had their own fun. The water in the foundation hole
isn't drying up (it rained last night and a little bit tonight) and
there's definitely more of it. "Muck boots all around" is the order
of the day. And the soil is so rocky that Stan claims to have run
into a rock on every stake he tried to pound in.
I started dropping the sand into the ditch. Got maybe 2/5 of the way
by the end of the day. Slow going -- the dirt off the road is VERY
soft. Tractor tires slip all the time unless you're careful. 30%
chance of rain tomorrow. Sure hope it doesn't. I can just imagine
the erosion: "The carefully laid sands of mice and men aft gang agly."
Heather came out in the afternoon to help dump sand. Driving the
tractor as a loader is harder than she expected, though. I had all
the same troubles that she did, but I neglected to tell her that, so
when I told her to "just do it", she said "sorry, I can't; you do it."
We had a fight about it later where we cleared the air about it. Not
clear, though, that she's interested in trying it again.
Stan is worried about getting the cement to the forms. He's looking
at the way the sand trucks dug into the dirt -- cement trucks are
heavier. He's been planning all along on being able to get the cement
trucks up to each wall of the foundation. Wheelbarrowing it is
nothing like fun.