Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

We Can Move Mountains

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

I hope you had a fun 4th of July weekend and still have all your fingers and toes!  It usually sounds like a ground war is going on outside our windows over the 4th, but this year was different.  Not alot of neighbors shooting off any fireworks - is that an indicator of how bad the economy is?  Maybe..

We were busy little bees over the weekend with some house projects.  I don't know if I've mentioned it here or not, but I am an avid Craigslist shopper and love me a good deal.  I spotted a granite island top that someone had listed for just $150 and the wheels in my head immediately started spinning. This would be a cheap island top for the "new" Victorian that I've got a contract on.  By the way, we're still waiting for approval from the bank for the short sale.  But, if that deal falls through,, we'll just take it out to our farm and use it when we build our house.  Heck!  It's so cheap, we could use it as picnic table!  LOL.

Did I mention that this thing measured out at 7 feet by 4.5 feet and weighs somewhere around 650 pounds?

So J. and I were happy to have a building project, as we gathered the materials to make an 7-foot-long A-frame to transport the granite.  For some who don't know, even though granite is extremely hard and durable as a countertop, it has to be transported standing up on end or it can potentially crack.  The really pretty granites that have veining in them like marble are more prone to this, but it's still a good idea to move it correctly by leaning it at 10 degrees and giving it full support.  We put the whole thing on 350 lb casters with brakes so that we could roll it around easily and get it in the trailer.  When all was said an done, the A-frame cost almost as much to build as the granite.  But all the materials are re-purposable when we're done with it.  Or I suppose we could go into the granite-hauling business.

It's called an A-frame because of it's shape.
The hard part?  Getting the slab up onto the A-frame.  With the casters on, we had to lift it over 8 inches.  And granite is sliicccccckkkkk.  There's literally nothing to hold onto. We had J.'s brother help us because I've got the upper body strength of an 8-year-old Boy Scout.  These guys are strong and they thought they could just get under the slab and lift it up while I stood on the other side of the A-frame as a counterweight. Nope!  Together, they could lift one end up, but there was no deadlifting the entire thing.

At this point, I said "We're 3 really smart people.  I know we can beat this rock!"

After some thinking, we tried to winch it up with a come-along.  The metal was biting into the 2x4 and threatening to snap it so that didn't work.  The granite wasn't budging.  Someone threw out the idea of running to Home Depot for a 4x4.  But we had the granite pulled out from the wall where it had been leaning and we would have had to stand there and hold it while someone ran to the store.

More thinking ensued.  And then it hit me.  Why don't we slowly lift each end with a series of pieces of 2x4's.  Pick up one end, put a 2x4 under it.  Pick up the other end and put a 2x4 under it.  Then repeat until the whole thing was up about 6 inches.  Then one end onto the A-frame and then the other.  Thank goodness....it worked.  Granite was safely on the A-frame, we easily got it into the trailer, and no one was missing any fingers or toes.

Just goes to show you....if you put your mind to it, you can literally move mountains!


  1. Wow what a story!! I am so glad no one was hurt and that you got your granite home safe and sound. What a deal! You were right, definitely heavier than anything I brought home!

  2. That's a fantastic find for the granite! Well done.

    We didn't have a lot of fireworks either, but likely because of the rain. I wonder, too, if folks are understanding how many freedoms we are losing under the guise of safety. And with the Constitution reinterpreted, we certainly aren't the nation now, that our founders worked so hard to establish.

  3. I found a kitchen island (well, a table) at an antiques store in the West Bottoms last weekend. I found a steal of a deal on 4 six-inch locking caster wheels which will bring it up to counter height. Later we will add a larger shelf bottom and pull out shelves to house all of my baking supplies. It's looking good in the kitchen!


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