Thursday, December 5, 2013

Driveway OCD

We all have our idiosyncrasies and things we worry over that are really important to us but not so much to someone else. One of Jason's things happens to be the driveway, and I have to say that driveway worries him to death. Add into the equation that the driveway is almost a mile long and Jason could (and sometimes does) drive himself crazy trying to keep it in perfect shape.  Although he denies it I am pretty convinced that he sometimes lays in bed at night, wide awake, worrying about the driveway. 

Personally I think it is Jason's goal in life to spend our life savings on the driveway. In the month of November alone he had two more loads of gravel dumped on the driveway. I don't know how many loads of gravel we put on the driveway in 2013 but I do know the number was definitely higher than two. And of course this wasn't enough. After the second load of gravel was spread on the driveway a couple of weeks ago Jason's comment was "it could really use another two loads."  Much to his chagrin I refused to go along with this plan and said no. His response to that was probably similar to that of a junkie being cut off from his heroin supply. 

Since I was a big meanie and said no to more gravel on the driveway Jason instead spent an afternoon working on random uneven spots in the driveway.  First he used the box blade on the tractor up and down the driveway to level things out and fill in any holes that had started. Then he moved on to the hard part. Jason would use the front end loader on the tractor to move a load of gravel from the extra gravel pile we always keep around. Then he would meticulously fill in small holes and level up uneven spots using a shovel. For the final touch he would then use the front end loader to further smooth and level the area he had been working on.   

He spent a few hours doing this then he gave me a tour of our newly improved driveway..  I tried to ooh and aah appropriately over the driveway but I think he could tell it was forced. It looked pretty much the same to me. (and I'm sure a little piece of his soul just died upon reading that.)

Unfortunately for Jason we have the wrong driveway for someone who gets all OCD about such things. It is long, it gets a lot of traffic, and much of that traffic tends to be really heavy trucks like feed delivery trucks and such. Combine all that with good topsoil that likes to eat gravel and you do wind up with a rather high maintenance driveway.  Jason is currently contemplating the merits of putting down geotextile fabric along the driveway and then putting gravel on top of that.  Whenever we have these discussions I now know exactly how he feels when we discuss my horse expenses. All I hear is ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching or blah, blah, blah, it just kind of depends on my mood at the moment.

Who knew that a driveway could be worthy of so much time, work, money and worry - five paragraphs worth?!  Apparently our driveway is worth all of this angst . . .


putting that university education to good use


Johnny and Bergie

Donneur and George

I liked this morning scene. Ritchie was half asleep, Apollo was grazing, and Hemi was napping

Thomas and Homer were both having a good roll

Trigger and Moe

Johnny and Murphy



Darby, B-Rad and Alex




EvenSong said...

Gotta say, however, that the five loads of 3/8- that we had to get for the two building projects this fall, wasn't near as bad as the three loads of concrete! Just sayin'.

Funder said...

I've always thought that one of the true signs of a country girl (or boy) is when you ooh and ahh over a nice gravel driveway, and you take it real easy cause you don't want to let your truck slip out and make holes in it. It looks like a lovely driveway, Jason! ;)

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

EvenSong if we had a single year where we limited gravel/concrete type expenses to the equivalent of five loads of gravel and 3 loads of concrete I would think we had been given a gift. I just added up how much we've spent on such things in the last two years (so not including the original deliveries when we built the farm out and built the barns) and it was rather shocking. Maybe the geotextile for the driveway AND the gates AND the run-ins really is the way to go . . .

Anonymous said...



Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Melissa - don't you know, if you let the gravel drive start slipping - everything will to hell in a hand basket in short order. It's the canary in the coal mine of farm maintenance.

(This comment may or may not be a result of compulsive sandy drive leveling... our version of geotextile fabric is oyster shells)

foffmom said...

I swear if I ever get to start from scratch I am putting in major gravel/fabric at all gates, waterers, driveways, AND the 12 feet of paddocks closest to the barn. Where the barn gravity is the strongest. And the mud from lounging hooves is the deepest!

Vivian, Apollo's Mom said...

Thank you for the pic of Apollo. I miss him terribly but with a husband who is not well and we haven't been able to travel, it means a lot to see his handsome face.

RuckusButt said...

As a mere barn frequent visitor, being a boarder, I appreciate well maintained gravel roads and driveways. Haha, your driveway is at least as long as the gravel road to my barn, probably much longer. It amazes me how quickly they can go to s**t after a good grading. I might have missed it, but is there a reason you don't consider paving? I imagine that would be expensive as heck...but maybe cheaper in the long run? I know nothing about this so just curious.

Anonymous said...

RB, paving has two things going against it.

1. Initial Expense - this is huge relative to gravel and in our case it's even larger because we'd have to put down the same type and thickness of asphalt as a street rather than a driveway thanks to the heavy trucks that roll across it.

2. Even street grade Asphalt doesn't react well over time to 40 ton trucks and heavy tractors doing tight turns repeatedly on it.