Monday, June 29, 2009

What we did this weekend

I got G a pallet of pavers several months ago. (Nope, wouldn't want to have a yard that wasn't decorated with piles of SOMETHING....) So Saturday, I threw a bunch of them down to get an idea how wide we might want it. What kind of pattern, etc. Carried them six at a time from the pile at the front, AFTER ruthless smashing the black widows who had set up shop there.

The bad news is that I was so sore Sunday, I didn't dare start putting up new little storage shed--which I really wanted to do. Should have used the wheelbarrow, shouldn't I?! sigh.

Anyway--we decided that my original mock-up was too wide, so we took a course off the left (which is why it isn't "centered"... I haven't shoved everything left yet.) We'll need to take it all back up, dig up some old bed edging, add a foundation of sand, then move/add metal edging to hold everything in, nice and tight. We also decided we would try adding a 2x4 cross-wise every 4th course, to break it up a little. We haven't figured out how we're going to deal with the landing in front of the front door yet, or how we're going to coax our square pattern into rounding the corner. We also may end up being short ~1/4 pallet's worth... so it seems likely we'll use this pile and create a new one, that sits and waits for a projected extra patio. That should console the remaining spiders.
[Update: It was bugging me that I couldn't remember exactly when I bought the brick. After a lot of searching, I pinned it down:
June 10th 2008. "...a few months..." sigh. I realize our pace is glacial. But to be fair, we have been through an awful lot--good and bad--the last 6 months. Chinese curse - May you Live in Interesting Times.]

Gloria has been reading about composting. So she took the yellow wheelbarrow and went trundling down the street to her ex-brother-in-law's and asked to be let into their cow pasture to harvest manure. With this bunch of brown gold at hand, she entirely rebuilt her compost pile... carefully layering everything. That was Saturday. By Sunday afternoon, she was so curious to know how it was doing, that she took the candy thermometer out back and lowered it down into the central "vent." 130-degrees! (She said she was aiming for 150.) P.S. She promised me she would boil the thermometer before returning it to the drawer. Hey--my honey has a ditch, and a really great pooh pile! grin.

Oh... and I forgot to mention my amateur archeological escapades. (What gets into me?!) I decided to attack two Chinese elms we have been repeatedly hacking off with clippers--to go for the roots. This pair was over by the neighbor's grubby cinder block wall, between the back of the shed and the woodpile/ back corner of the raised bed. By the time I was finished, I had taken out half the tools in the shed to dig/ hack and pry. The root systems on both were impressive, as was/ is the apparent ability of the plant to send up new shoots from relatively small rootlets. Are they related to Peppermint somehow? I asked Gloria to photograph me with my trophies. Did I rout them once and for all? Maybe. Maybe not.

And while I was in a digging frenzy, I decided it was high time I put a few last pots of decorative grass in the ground up near the front. I hadn't gotten very far before my shovel crunched into something. As I brushed dirt away with a gloved hand, I thought, 'No. It couldn't be...' After a bit more digging, I started to laugh. To G. I said, "Did you lose something?" Yup: I had unearthed an old dented hub cap! Vintage 70s... Made back when they were actually metal instead of plastic. With her usual aplomb, she replied, "Let me know if you find the rest of the car."

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