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Old 04-12-2020, 06:02 PM   #581
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i spent...am still here...most of the day at a local clinic and now at an ER for a non C19 but urgent medical condition. still waiting for test results. never got to bite off the head of my chocolate bunny this morning.
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:16 PM   #582
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Bike ride on a relatively sunny and mild day. Explored some neighborhoods I had not been to before. Some cool new roads. Found the connecting points for a river trail to do another day. 21 miles total.
Eating our Easter meal now consisting of home made Viennese meatballs.
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:24 PM   #583
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i spent...am still here...most of the day at a local clinic and now at an ER for a non C19 but urgent medical condition. still waiting for test results. never got to bite off the head of my chocolate bunny this morning.
Not a good Easter ..hope things improve soon..
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:04 PM   #584
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:50 PM   #585
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I sort of broke quarantine yesterday. The Ranch president had picked up a walk behind brush hog for the Ranch and brought it up in a palatized crate in the back of his pickup. I met him at the Ranch House with forks on my tractor. I picked it up and set it in the lower level Firehouse garage and left. The forks clamp on to the front bucket so they are out there at least 15 feet. It was outside too. I think I am safe.
Today it has been snowing and cold. I have been keeping the fire roaring. Put in a couple hardwired security wires, watched Easter Service from afar, chatted with DD. Tomorrow morning is supposed to be around zero with more snow. I'll probably spend a lot of time around the wood stove again.
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:02 PM   #586
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Dug a 18-20" wide by 16-18" deep hole on each side of our front porch steps for a couple of shrubs. Encountered (in order): 4-5" of top soil (?) added by the house builder, followed by a narrow (less than 1" deep) of something that looks like black clay, then several inches of what may be some sort of sand mixture (with some rocks) that's used as part of the concrete foundation build, and then I think I am reaching the clay/limestone/rock mix of the native soil of central Texas. Been staring at 1" of standing water at the bottom of these holes, wondering if I can plant in these locations. I guess I should be glad for the two hours or so of exercise.
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:28 PM   #587
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Not a good Easter ..hope things improve soon..
thanks. all neuorlogical tests are negative and/or showing nominal results. very happy Easter but now have to go see opthomologist this week.
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:16 PM   #588
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I hand washed my gloves and hung them up to dry. I wear them once, then they go into quarantine until wash day, which is the day I feel like washing them.
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:34 PM   #589
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Dug a 18-20" wide by 16-18" deep hole on each side of our front porch steps for a couple of shrubs. Encountered (in order): 4-5" of top soil (?) added by the house builder, followed by a narrow (less than 1" deep) of something that looks like black clay, then several inches of what may be some sort of sand mixture (with some rocks) that's used as part of the concrete foundation build, and then I think I am reaching the clay/limestone/rock mix of the native soil of central Texas. Been staring at 1" of standing water at the bottom of these holes, wondering if I can plant in these locations. I guess I should be glad for the two hours or so of exercise.
You're pretty lucky. They put top soil in. When we bought our new place last Dec. we wanted to replace some of the totally inappropriate plantings in the front. We started to dig new holes, and under the inch or so of mulch was nothing but chunks of brick and concrete rolled down flat into red clay. At least in Dec. there was no possible way to dig in that ground. We ended up pulling out the existing plants and putting our new ones in the same holes. Hopefully they are still alive. If we ever get out of FL we've got some hard digging to do.
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:59 PM   #590
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Made another cash donation to St. Mary's Food Bank.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:18 PM   #591
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You're pretty lucky. They put top soil in. When we bought our new place last Dec. we wanted to replace some of the totally inappropriate plantings in the front. We started to dig new holes, and under the inch or so of mulch was nothing but chunks of brick and concrete rolled down flat into red clay. At least in Dec. there was no possible way to dig in that ground. We ended up pulling out the existing plants and putting our new ones in the same holes. Hopefully they are still alive. If we ever get out of FL we've got some hard digging to do.
Yeah, that's pretty bad. I've heard of some nightmares with new house landscaping, but yours may be the worst I have heard about. Our house build was completed last May, and they built the house on concrete slab over ground that is clay and limestone. A lot of limestone here in central Texas.

Our lot slopes downward from back to front, so the front lawns and shrub areas are on a slight slope toward the street (helps with drainage). The top soil added there was tilled in, breaking the surface of the original native soil. The areas on each side of the steps to the front porch was not tilled, and the ground is pretty much level there. That's the area I am dealing with now.

As you say, it could be worse, but with standing water in a hole 16-18" deep in those spots, I guess it needs to be addressed. I say "guess" because this is my first go-around with clay/limestone soil. I'm used to loamy/orchard soil the 32 years prior in two houses in Silicon Valley.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:20 PM   #592
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I hand washed my gloves and hung them up to dry. I wear them once, then they go into quarantine until wash day, which is the day I feel like washing them.
just curious...did you use washable 1-time gloves before C19 and do you plan to continue to use them once this is over?
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:34 PM   #593
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just curious...did you use washable 1-time gloves before C19 and do you plan to continue to use them once this is over?
No, I bought them a year or two ago at dollar stores to try to sell them online. I sell a couple of my own unique products online and I heard about people buying and selling dollar store items so I tried it. I made it work with one item. Not so much the gloves.

Plus I de-listed all items that I used to ship at the post office because I don't want to go further than the mailbox, and the maximum thickness for the mailbox was recently reduced from 3/4" to 1/2", so I have dozens of pairs of gloves all to myself.
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Old 04-13-2020, 06:53 AM   #594
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Dug a 18-20" wide by 16-18" deep hole on each side of our front porch steps for a couple of shrubs. Encountered (in order): 4-5" of top soil (?) added by the house builder, followed by a narrow (less than 1" deep) of something that looks like black clay, then several inches of what may be some sort of sand mixture (with some rocks) that's used as part of the concrete foundation build, and then I think I am reaching the clay/limestone/rock mix of the native soil of central Texas. Been staring at 1" of standing water at the bottom of these holes, wondering if I can plant in these locations. I guess I should be glad for the two hours or so of exercise.
I guess we should add this to REWahoo's list of Texas hazards - dirt that is not even dirt.
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:32 AM   #595
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Dug a 18-20" wide by 16-18" deep hole on each side of our front porch steps for a couple of shrubs. Encountered (in order): 4-5" of top soil (?) added by the house builder, followed by a narrow (less than 1" deep) of something that looks like black clay, then several inches of what may be some sort of sand mixture (with some rocks) that's used as part of the concrete foundation build, and then I think I am reaching the clay/limestone/rock mix of the native soil of central Texas. Been staring at 1" of standing water at the bottom of these holes, wondering if I can plant in these locations. I guess I should be glad for the two hours or so of exercise.
When I lived in College Station, Texas, I dug the holes for my rosebushes in that awful, hard Texas clay probably an extra 18"-24" deeper than they needed to be. Toughest job of digging a hole ever!!! But I was young. Anyway, once the holes were dug I put actual normal soil in the bottom of the holes before planting the roses. I figured that way they would not be "getting their feet wet" down in the water at the very bottom of the hole. I don't know if that actually helped my roses, but they did really well so maybe that helped.

Basically once you have dug a hole in the clay, you have created an impenetrable bucket. So you go from there. Some people create raised beds instead, so that's another option.
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:51 AM   #596
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...I am reaching the clay/limestone/rock mix of the native soil of central Texas.
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I guess we should add this to REWahoo's list of Texas hazards - dirt that is not even dirt.
Yep, central TX has more than its fair share of caliche, which is "a sedimentary rock, a hardened natural cement of calcium carbonate that binds other materials—such as gravel, sand, clay, and silt."

If you are lucky there will be a layer of topsoil above the caliche, but the layer will be thin unless you are located in a valley. The hilly areas are popular for home building and many of those locations have almost no caliche or topsoil as they are solid limestone. Digging a hole for planting involves the use of a jackhammer. Seriously.
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Old 04-13-2020, 09:11 AM   #597
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When I lived in Texas, I dug the holes for my rosebushes in that awful, hard Texas clay probably an extra 18"-24" deeper than they needed to be. Toughest job of digging a hole ever!!! But I was young. Anyway, once the holes were dug I put actual normal soil in the bottom of the holes before planting the roses. I figured that way they would not be "getting their feet wet" down in the water at the very bottom of the hole. I don't know if that actually helped my roses, but they did really well so maybe that helped.

Basically once you have dug a hole in the clay, you have created an impenetrable bucket. So you go from there. Some people create raised beds instead, so that's another option.
Not sure how much deeper I can go than 18" in the two spots, which are tucked between the porch steps and the foundation on each side. Sadly, this morning there is even more standing water in one hole that likely seeped from the surrounding soil. I believe the last few inches I dug out is the native soil (clay and limestone) the house and landscaping was built on top of. It's probably all I am going to encounter if I go any deeper.

Because of the location, I won't be able to create a raised area/bed. I had planned to go with 50/50 native soil and amendment for the backfill, which probably works fine if all you have is clay soil and the amendment. But what I have dug up so far is all over the map. Builder-added top soil, a layer of builder-added sand used in the foundation build, clay, and limestone is what I dug up. Might be best to not use much of it.

I'll have to decide whether 16" deep of amended soil will be sufficient for two Floribunda roses. These aren't large shrubs as far as roses go, so that may be to my advantage. I guess worse case is I plant them and they don't do well this year (or next) and I try something else. Not sure what else grows in a soggy mess of a soil.
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Old 04-13-2020, 10:20 AM   #598
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We were narrowly missed by a tornado last evening. Just as we started to watch Idol the local news broke in about a tornado watch. then it was a warning so we headed for closet. It jumped over us and dropped back down about 5 miles East of uss. There were 5 dead there this am and a lot of damage.
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Old 04-13-2020, 10:50 AM   #599
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Took one of our cats for chemotherapy this morning. They had curbside service and took her straight from the back seat into the building. We sat outside in the car to wait, consulted with the oncologist over the phone, and they brought her back out when she was done. It was the first time I have driven in a week and the first time other than the grocery store since her last chemo treatment a month ago.
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Old 04-13-2020, 12:06 PM   #600
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Bad news today. Dog had swollen glands and a cytology test shows she has lymphoma, so probably less than 3 months to live. She is 14, so we are not going to do anything aggressive, just keep her comfortable. I was sure she'd go to 16 like my last dog, but realistically that is how long they live.
So sorry to hear that, especially during these trying times.
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