If I owe you an email (or for that matter, a blog post), please bear with me.
We’re having another mini-summer and I’ve been out taking advantage of it.
Today I scraped and repainted a few peeling fascia boards and set up a 60-foot overhead cable dog trolley (in hopes of eventually replacing Ava’s deplorable makeshift yard). Just as I was conditioning her to her newly enlarged (“But what’s that thing hanging over me, Mom?”) space, the lumberyard truck arrived with two yard guys and 168 long-awaited 8x16x1.5 concrete blocks.
The blocks are as ugly as … well, as plain gray concrete blocks But I’ve waited in vain the last two summers for any nice patio block to go on sale. Finally, I gave up and bought the cheapest thing available. It’s now my job to make it look good.
I started as soon as the delivery truck rumbled back down the driveway.
That’s 1/7th of an 8 x something* patio. I wanted to complete another course or two this evening, but I opted to soak my aching back in a hot bath instead. Good thing I didn’t keep working. I could barely even make it through the bath; I thought I might fall asleep, slip down in the tub and drown from tiredness.
Early night tonight, methinks.
Oh, and for you guys who worry about such things, yes there’s plastic under the gravel. But weeds would never grow there, anyhow. It’s not only the north side of the house; the soil is unfriendly-to-all-living-things clay that used to be three feet underground until we excavated several years ago. (And finished excavating last year via redneck engineering.)
And for you guys who worry about that, The Wandering Monk and I set up a superb system to take the water off the impermeable plastic+clay and carry it away in perforated drain tile.
We got everything covered. Now the big challenge is just me alone laying block in gravel, which is harder than setting it nice and evenly into sand.
The good news (although the labor of it doesn’t seem like such a good prospect tonight) is that some of the 3.34 tons of gravel I shoveled into that space last year are being displaced by the block. I’ll haul that aggregate rock back out of there and it will eventually be useful in some other place around the house.
But not tonight. I’m too darned tired.
* I originally wrote 8 x 11 patio, then I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and realized I had more block than that. I can either go 8 x 17 or use the excess for walkway or mini-patio elsewhere.