Friday, January 30, 2015

Treasure Hunting

Years ago (ten to be exact) when we were building these Georgia homes as a family project, my brother-in-law, Scott, came down from Alaska to be our general contractor.  To our dismay, we made up the construction crew.  It was an interesting project to say the least!  Near the end of the project, our son, Tony, and his family came down to help with the final touches.  Our grandchildren, Sara, then 9, and Jesse, 7, were amazing helpers - staining siding, fetching and carrying, etc.  Scott, ever the educator, gave them a job one day counting bags of nickels he had from some vending venture.  His deal with them was they could keep half of whatever was there.  The kids diligently counted coins for one whole day, and made a neat accounting for Scott.  However, instead of giving him his share, they made a treasure map and buried the coins for him to find. 

We never knew if Scott had dug them up or not.  Tina, the kids' mom, and Sara and Jesse gave us the map to see if we could follow it before they gave it to Scott.  It was very clever - wish we still had it - even though most of the clues have been buried in the sands of time.  For sure the final two clues (essential) "the box of no good news" (an old TV console that someone had discarded on our out of the way property) and "X marks the spot" (two sticks that sat at the base of a tree on top of where the bag of coins was buried) were long gone.  But Ron and I had a general idea of where the right tree was.

When we cleared out the Florida house, we unearthed our old metal detector and brought it up here to Georgia.  This morning, we spent an hour or so finding two V cell batteries that actually had some juice in them and figuring out how to get the metal detector working and we set off to the far reaches of the property to look for treasure.
Lots of trees - all looking kind of similar.
Not sure if the coins are still here and we aren't exactly experts with the metal detector, but we checked around all he likely big trees.
When the detector pinged the first time, we found an old barbed wire fence.  Then we got a different noise right in front of a big old oak tree.  I was pretty sure it was a false alarm as Ron dug about a foot down without finding anything.  "They were children," I reminded Ron, "they wouldn't have buried it too deep!"
But the detector kept sounding, and Ron kept digging, and suddenly he hit paydirt!
Doubled bagged inside the big plastic garbage bag we found several zip lock bags full of nickels.
Wet and corroded, but still obviously, nickels! 
We probably should have waited for Sara and Jesse to come and help us find them, but Sara is married and Jesse is off to college.  We are almost at a point where we can hide our own Easter eggs, so it seemed smart to look for the treasure now. 


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blocking Weeds

Every year when we return to Georgia, we find our lawns neatly mowed thanks to our good friends and neighbors who take care of them for us.  However, all around the edge of the house and garage where the mowers can't reasonably reach, we find whole trees have grown.  Also, I like to be able to get into every building without getting my feet dirty if I'm barefoot.  So we mapped out a big project and set to work.
The worst area is along the side of the little garage and in front of our workshop area on the east side of the house.  So the first step was getting it level but where it would still drain properly away from the buildings.
Next step:  Lay out black plastic to inhibit weed growth.
Then after a trip to Wally World to pick up paver stones, and bags of pebbles and bark, we set the stones out to see how they fit. 
It all looks a lot better, and should be easier to mow and keep the weeds at bay.
40 bags of mulch, 36 stepping stones, 3 bags of pebbles, one roll of black plastic, and one roll of shade cloth, and about 40 hours of labor later, we are ready for the summer growing season in Georgia!