Disclaimer: I've had 2 PBRs and not enough sleep, so please join me as I get all mushy.
5 Years ago today I snagged a good one.
Wait. Pause the mushy. What is that I hear coming from downstairs? Ah, yes. "Lime in the Coconuts" song... Marc watched a Harry Nilsson documentary last night. (Nilsson sang that song.) Not my favorite. Oh, but wait, what is up next? Harry Nilsson's "Jump into the Fire"? Now that's what I'm talking about.
Forget the mush. Let me tell you the straight story: Our story is way more fire than coconuts. Here are the lyrics or "Jump into the Fire":
Ok I know that title is corny, but I could not resist it. As far as the anniversary present part, I had a minor renovation breakdown on Saturday. I went to Home Depot, got harassed by a random guy lurking at the loading area who not only did NOT help me load 14 bags 80lb bags of concrete, but who also asked me how much I weigh and when I didn't answer, proceeded to guess 20lbs OVER my actual weight.
I got home, I was hot and tired. I took one look at Marc, who had just dug out all the dirt for the stoop and was in the process of putting in the gravel layer and I said dead seriously: "Cover it back up."
I had just had it with working on the weekends. I didn't care if we had to step onto broken concrete hunks to get to the new patio. I didn't want to lift a finger. Cover it back up.
Luckily, Marc doesn't listen to me because he kept on working while I proposed a deal. The stoop could be my anniversary present. Pretty good deal, I think. (In all honesty, I did try to help him Sunday afternoon, but some little munchkin boycotted her afternoon nap.)
Franca had a grand ole time helping Marc finish the planting in the little holes. We just used some mondo grass from the garden.
She has been LOVING playing outside. She cries when we have to go in. Sadly, her favorite activity is stomping on our new, delicate grass. Digging is a close second. (As you can see by the bucket and shovel in the above photo.)
Marc is outside as I speak working on the patio. We are hosting a little get-together for neighbors Thursday and there are some corrections we want to make. Some painful, painful corrections.
Oh, is that Franca I hear waking up?? Huh, too bad I can't go help him. Happy Anniversary (again) to me.
We have a bunch of little things left to do on the patio and have decided to do them in the order of the most dangerous to least dangerous.
At first the most dangerous was the lack of fence gates, but I have fashioned (in pure "Bunny" style) four of what I will call "gates". So the fence openings have been take care of and right now, the most dangerous thing is this:
We are going to form the holes with 2-liter bottles filled with sand. Anyone local have any 2 liter bottles? I haven't bought soda in ages, but it looks like we might be having a soda-guzzling induced belching contest tonight.
|Chasing bugs on the concrete seat wall.|
|Loading and unloading the gravel.|
Making gravel soup with Marc's grill tools & testing out the gravel running paths.
Bottle of wine, British sitcom, run with jogging stroller, bubbles on the patio, pool, margaritas, pool, eat BBQ, night out with a girlfriend (!), breakfast with a friend, petting zoo, picnic, long walk.
I've been taking advantage of the fact that I only have Franca to care for this week by making multiple morning runs to Home Depot, taking her on business meetings in cabinet shops (the guys got a real kick out of that), and doing odds and ends around the house.
Remember my plea for a modern, cheaper ceiling fan? Well, Marc was still set on the Modern Fan Co. Ball one ($288). I don't know, for me it was just too plain. Too "Architect". So I was covertly hunting for something else. I saw an ad while at my parent's for a modern fan at Menards (a store we don't have down here), I remembered to look it up when I got home and the price was just right! $139 including shipping!
I knew that Marc wasn't sold on the fan, so I decided to hurry and put it up so he couldn't dismiss it without seeing it actually up. To be completely honest, I had my doubts too because ceiling fans, while a necessity in this house, can be really ugly. Plus it is made by Westinghouse. Not a company known for modern designs.
Franca went down for nap #2 yesterday and I sprung into action (well, after finishing a rendering for work). It was so dang hot and muggy that mid-job I just took my shirt off. 20 minutes of me standing on a step ladder in a black bra and black stretchy mini-skirt, I had this:
What do you think? A keeper? Please vote:
Good news is, except for some loose ends, the patio is finished.
Bad new is, I'm having trouble walking, let alone carrying Franca up and down the stairs.
In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have run 5 miles Sunday morning and then come home to shovel gravel and carry heavy stones. Lesson learned.
Here is a sneak peak:
I don't want to post full patios until it is all the way done and the grass is growing a little. But I am glad to no longer feel like I am living at a labor camp. This whole week I only have Franca to watch, so I'm going to try to get a lot of paying work done, but also do all the house stuff that we have neglected in the past 3 months. You know, like vacuuming. The spiders have staged a full-on assault again. Boo.
On a day like today, when I've seriously had to stop myself from throwing my computer out the window about 4 million times, (I'm not joking. AutoCad makes me INSANE!) I really needed something to go right. So I was beyond elated when Marc called me downstairs (before he goes boozing with his friends) to show me that my trench drain is working!
This is the drain that will keep water away from our foundation and therefore help our house not fall down. Yea! House not fall down!
A lot of sweat went into this trench and drain, so I'm VERY pumped that is actually worked. Oh, and before you get all jealous, no, we didn't get any rain, I just watered the heck out of those new plants. Gotta protect my $58 investment!!
(Also, the FINAL pea gravel will be delivered tomorrow and the fence will be finished tomorrow morning! (Marc still has to do the gates.))
Even though the pea gravel and flagstone isn't in, and Marc still has to pour the remaining piece of our "monument to concrete" (see below), I jumped the gun a little and did almost all the landscaping.
|This last concrete retaining wall will have a step in it and will be the pad for the future outdoor kitchen.|
Franca and I hit up Home Depot and Lowes to snag some clearance perennials. We got all this:
29 plants for $58. Not too bad huh? We still need to get some larger bushes and a tree, but it feels so good to have something looking finished!
Also please note the fence posts (!!!!!) in the background of these photos. If they come back tomorrow they will finish!! yippeee!!!