Rebar goes down.
So, after doing some trading with my neighbor, I got 20 pieces of 1/2 inch rebar from him and dragged it home behind my truck. Yes, dragged.
Then we spent about two days (not the whole day, as it was necessary to take breaks) to bend two sets to the outline of the house, so they'll be tensile strength for the 'bond beam' that goes around the entire perimeter of the house. Here you can see it laying on top of the gravel trench.
sometimes it was hard to keep them parallel, but I'll now have to wire in some small cross pieces, and that will keep them in place.
(this is the East, highest, side of the house)
(this is the North side)
I also did some more digging today; I moved all the topsoil that was piled up between the 'driveway' and the patio area. I spread most of it on the hillside below the patio, but also made piles on the 'road to nowhere' for later use. here you can see the new 'walkway' so one doesn't have to scramble over the gravel pile.
After cutting the grass around the meadow, leaving it's seed head on, I spread out the straw/hay on the hillside below the patio, hoping to help hold the dirt on the hill, and promote native grass growing. I'll probably also buy a bunch of grass seed and spread it around before the rains.