While the Boys Are Away, Part Four

by Joan on October 13, 2010

I’m down to the home stretch and resigned myself to not being able to totally finish the project before the men return.  There’s simply no way it will all get done.  I’m going to leave the walkway to the back gate undone and take my time after the men return. (Maybe they will help!)

Day Seven was fun and productive.  Nancy surprised me by showing up and not only keeping me company, but she spent the day staining all the wood for the fence.  Greatly appreciated, both the staining and the company.  We got a good laugh mid-afternoon when there was a HUGE gust of wind that blew over all the wood she had neatly lined up to dry.

She's smiling, she's helping...SHE'S AWESOME

I kept on laying pavers.  Over and over. I got a lot done. In hindsight, I realize I got so much done because it was the easy part.  No edging, no corners.  But at the end of the day, it was nice to look at what I had accomplished…but, have I mentioned how sore I am?

Looks like the photo from yesterday, only lots more pavers...sometimes progress is not too exciting.

The best part about Day Seven was Excellent Daughter Libby’s arrival.  I picked her up at the airport and we headed straight for our favorite Mexican food at Efrain’s.  Continuing our “things we love best theme,” we got home, piled into bed with the dogs, and watched reruns of The West Wing. Keela always snugs right up to me, Boulé almost always sleeps at the foot of the bed.  But at 4am I sat up to drink some water and Boo leapt onto my pillow, laid down and acted like she was already asleep. So I tried to make a place for myself and for the next three hours all four of us occupied the top half of the bed – only Libby’s legs extended to the end.  So much for a restful night’s sleep.

On Day Eight Dave came back with his big truck. We loaded all the concrete and asphalt so he could take it to recycling.  That’s the second time he and I have picked up all those heavy chunks. He dropped off a cool little circular saw so I could cut the flagstone pieces for the edging and the pavers when they needed to be trimmed.  Libby trimmed the wood for the fence, and we put it together…we love the numbers – they show up beautifully against the chocolate color of the stain.

Nice smile, isn't it?

Steady girl! And don't forget to check for level!

The caulk holding the numbers on the wood must dry before the unveiling.

My neighbor, Joy, came over and shoveled sand into the bed/square where the rock sculpture will go.  She worked hard to make the sand level and smooth, like a Zen garden.  Her dog Lucky liked the look of it so much he did a little doggy dance in the sand to show his admiration.  Oh well…

Nice fence, nice "happy doggy dance" footprints!

Day Nine is the last day before the buys get back.  I need to get the rock sculpture into the sand, continue the new pavers to meet with the old walkway and finish LOTS of edging, which means LOTS of using that little saw.  Libby will be using the broom to get sand into the cracks. And getting her hair cut. And taking care of me.  I feel a bit bad about flying her home just to make her work so hard, but then, she is my daughter.  I think she likes it too.

This feels so weird.  I’ve spent ten hours a day for the past eight days doing a major project on my house without even consulting my husband.  Will he like it?  Or will there be a strained smile on his face?  Am I the only one who actually thinks it looks good?  I’m sure it would be hard for someone who knows how much time I’ve spent to tell me it kinda sucks.

I’ll know soon!

More things I’ve learned:

  • I ALWAYS bite off more than I can chew.
  • I hate noisy tools – it drives me nuts when Don uses the weed whacker, and this little saw is even louder and whinier.
  • Not that I just learned this, but Libby sure has a beautiful smile.
  • My mom is WONDERFUL.  We got sack lunches today with sandwiches, bananas, chips, and most wonderfully, Shiner Bock beer.
  • For me it’s easier to believe something is level when I move back from it, lay on the ground and eyeball it.  I don’t trust that little bubble in the level tool (although it’s always right…)
  • Sand is very, very hard on one’s knees.

Read the whole While the Boys Are Away Series!

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