[An Oldie. Sorry, I found this in my blog drafts. I forgot to publish it!]
I've learned something over the last weeks, if I leave Marc alone he does some damn fine work.
He's currently working on a drainage/grading/site wall project outside on his own, but I'd like to highlight his previous solo project too.
I have so much to be thankful for, so in typical Bunny fashion, let's make a list!
I have simply the most kickass friends ever. Seriously. Friends who entrust me with their children. (I know right?) Friends who motivate me to run at 6:45am. Friends who will watch the worst tv ever with me. Friends who are the funniest people. Friends who are amazing dressers and have the best hair. Friends who organize thing like this amazing gift. Of all the things in life I never knew how much I needed, these ladies top the list.
Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful to be doing what I love. To find TWO things I love to do? Amazing. Mornings, I host amazing toddler dance parties. Afternoons, I create products that genuinely make a difference in people's lives. Sure there are poopy diapers and the dreaded AutoCad, but nothing beats not dreading getting up in the morning.
My family is the bomb. With all of us scattered from North Dakota to Massachusetts, it makes me appreciate them even more. We just have a ball together. If it was up to me, I'd have four kids too, just to show Franca the happiness my big family gives me. I married into the most wonderful family too. They are some of the most generous and caring people I've ever met.
You know in the movie Knocked Up, how Judd Apatow's wife laments how men get better looking and distinguished as they get older, and women just get saggy, wrinkled and OLD? Ugh. So true. But not every man gets funnier and HOTTER! How many grown men do you know who will get inside a powder blue toy tunnel and walk around the house yelling "The Worm! The Worm!" to appease a group of 4 little girls? I know one. ;)
She is not even two and is already telling jokes. She gives the best Eskimo kisses. She runs around the house with my underwear on her head. She loves my cooking. She "skins it". She looks ridiculously cute in footie PJs. She likes Yoda. She lets me do her hair. She yells "Mommy tooted" in the middle of Target when I SWEAR I didn't.
My life has simply blossomed since she's been in it, and for that and all the above I'm so very thankful.
When my parents recently renovated their kitchen, my dad discovered an 11 year old bag of chips. My mom's response? "Those are probably still good." Then there was the oatmeal of which we will not speak. My mom is 12 cats away from an episode of Hoarders. (Love you Mom!)
The petrified apple doesn't fall far from the tree because my sisters and I had a little Hoarders contest of our own this week:
The next lovely DIY Renovator to be in my guest chair is the amazing Meryl from The Picardy Project. I think I can safely say that her before photos are more frightening, and her after photos more amazing than this ole crack house. Seriously, a room formerly called the animal room? I don't even want to imagine that smell.
The Picardy Project also took on a patio job this summer, with like real pavers and everything. Of course, it looks terrific! Plus, check out those guns in the last photo, totally worth all the labor, IMO. Speaking of checking out, follow Meryl on her next crazy adventure here: The Picardy Project. Thanks!
When Miss Nikki asked me to do a guest post on her fantabulous blog I jumped at the chance. I mean Nikki and Marc bang out some amazing projects while their adorable little Franc 'n Beans toddles around and helps out, so who wouldn't be excited? But then I became the procrastinator of the century, mostly because I wondered what I could write about that would be deserving of all their hard work because one time Nikki went on a 6 mile run in the morning, then mixed like 78 bags of concrete and worked on her patio all day. I know, my jaw dropped too.
Both of us have spent a large part of the summer working on our patios, though ours has gone on just a liiiiiitle bit longer than anticipated. I thought writing a patio post about just how much hard work has gone into it would fit right in with the amazing work ethic of Marc, Nikki and Franca.
So without further ado: Why I Can Now Lift More Weights at the Gym
Working on a patio is hard work. Especially when it covers about 940 square feet (the patio and driveway combined). There is a lot of lifting involved. So let's go over exactly how much we lifted. That's right, we're totaling up how much weight we've lifted, moved and broken our backs over to get this patio (almost) done.
The materials: concrete, dirt, pack, base sand, pavers and polymeric sand.
First up: Concrete
We're being conservative and guessing that we ripped up about 3" deep of concrete over the entire span of patio. There were plenty of places that were thicker (one place was nearly a foot thick), and some places that were thinner, so we figured rounding down on the side of caution was best
Totals: 1 cubic yard of concrete weighs 3000 lbs. Over 940 sq. ft. we ripped up 3" deep of concrete for a grand total of 11.6 cubic yards and...34,800 lbs. But once we ripped it all up we had to lift and heave it all again to get it in the dump truck. So we got to go through all that fun twice
2. Oh my lord we never stopped digging out dirt
We were very lucky that Chris' sister, her boyfriend and both sets of my divorced parents came to help us dig because holy crap there was SO. MUCH. DIGGING. Over about 790 sq. ft. of patio area we dug out approximately 6" and in the 150ish sq. ft. of our driveway we dug out 7-8" and dry, tough dirt is not easy to dig out
Totals: 1 cubic yard of dirt weighs about 2800 lbs. Over the 790 sq. ft. of patio we dug out 6" and the 150 sq. ft. driveway was 7-8" for a grand total of 17.84 cubic yards and...49,954 lbs.
3. We loaded in a lot of pack
Pack is material you spread out and tamp down beneath the pavers. It's called engineering fill or "3/4 to dust" because it's 3/4" rocks down to dust all mixed together and tamped down that provides a super tough, strong base that pavers will sit on top of. If done correctly it makes a strong enough layer that so that the pavers don't shift and move over time. And we loaded in TONS of it
How many tons? Well, 1 cubic yard of pack weighs 2600 lbs and we went through 17 1/2 yards of it for a total of 45,500 lbs.
4. Base sand
Base sand is the sand the pavers sit on
1 cubic yard of sand weighs about 2600 lbs. We went through 4 yards (only 1" deep over the 940 sq. ft. of patio and driveway) for a total of 10,400 lbs.
Our first order was 4,112 pavers. But after we decided to work on the driveway also (initially it was just going to be the patio) we needed to purchase a few hundred more
The pavers are about 5 lbs each and we laid about 4,400 pavers for a total of...22,000 lbs. BUT, we had to lift them from the pallets to our work area, then from the work area to actually laying them down in place, so we got to do that fun twice.
And the final step? Spreading out the polymeric sand!
We went through 13 60 lb bags of polymeric sand for a total of 780 lbs. Sheesh, small beans :)
Now, let's total alllll that fun up
Concrete: 34,800 lbs (x2)
Dirt: 49,954 lbs
Pack: 45,500 lbs
Base sand: 10,400 lbs
Pavers: 22,000 lbs (x2)
Polymeric sand: 780 pounds
GRAND TOTAL: 220,234 lbs.
And that explains why I can now lift a lot more weight at the gym.
It's pretty hard to get any other work done when you are busy filling 33 bags full of leaves.
Our city recently suspended its vacuum leaf collection service, which leaves us to do the bagging ourselves. The vacuum collection was not a perfect system (the trucks broke down often allowing all the leaves to clog the storm water gutters), but bagging sucks. Franca loved it though. She would help fill bags for little while before being distracted by the neighbor cat or a good stick.
I am convinced though that the only reason leaves change colors so brilliantly in the fall is so that you won't be too annoyed at dealing with them after they turn brown and coat your lawn in with a snake-hiding, bad-neighbor-dog-poo-concealing carpet.
Yah. My actual first raking motion of the year yielded a 16" long garter snake. As Franca would say: Sssss! Not Nice! No Touch! before she hunches over to get a better look, good stick in hand for poking.
Like mother, like daughter.
As awesome as photos of that may be, I elect to show you what the girls and I did:
|Play-doh Tea Party|
|Crazy Dance Marathon|
|Romp in the Leaves|
A group of friends and get together and watch the tv shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Don't judge.
Mostly we just get together and make fun of the dumb things people say and the crazy clothes they wear.
I'd host occasionally, but we are too cheap to pay for cable. I worried that our antenna, lovingly strung out the window and tied to a post with grosgrain ribbon (really klassy), would lead to a freezing and skipping picture. Embarrassing as telling a lame joke after jumping out of the limo sunroof on the first night.
In preparations of the upcoming January season of The Bachelor, Marc and I decided to install a tv antenna in our attic. Marc bought the Channel Master CM 4228hd off of amazon for about $60. (Suck it cable company!)
I got busy feeding the wire up our plumbing chase from the basement to the attic. Gave me a good excuse to by a wire fish tape of my very own. (Aren't you proud Dad?) It took some doing, but I got it up there. (Like my blue "constructions" slippers?)
The hardest part of the whole installation why trying to fit the antenna through the attic access hole. The simple things, of course.
Then I sat in the attic, texting people and taking self portraits while Marc wired it all up downstairs. We used our phones like walkie talkies to position the thing and then BASTA! Free tv!
We haven't had broadcast tv in about +6 months since the grosgrain finally gave way and the old antenna bit it. We got by watching Netflix. Skins UK is awesome and I developed an unnatural addiction to the ABC Family show Greek. *blushes*
Anybunny, these new 13 or so channels are pretty amazing to us. Sports look great and come in crystal clear, which is a good thing because we have a friend who will babysit for free if he can veg and watch football. But let's face it, I'm still watching every Law & Order rerun that I missed.
So here is to January and the new season of The Bachelor. Are we hoping or not hoping that BenF breaks out his sheer sweater?
(I cannot believe the internet would not find me an image of that!)