Monday, February 06, 2006

The patio is clear and ready for design!

How slow am I with pictures. For the past two weekends I’ve been working at deconstructing our front patio. The first weekend was using a jackhammer to break up the big slab into little pieces. The second weekend was spent picking up those little pieces and putting them in a wheelbarrow, then rolling that to a big metal dumpster out in the street and putting them into the dumpster. This last weekend was spent just trying to get my back from hurting so much.

For those of you that don’t remember, this is what the patio looked like after the first weekend.

For the second weekend I was able to talk my son-in-law into coming over to help. This is the patio in progress on Saturday.

And after all of the wheeling, this is what the dumpster looked like.

And so we now have a nice empty canvas, ready for the planning, preparation and execution of a new plan.

I didn’t really sit around all this past weekend. We planted a new tree – bought a bare root weeping Santa Rosa plum. Planting involved digging a nice hole for it – not an easy job in Nevada one-step-away-from-solid-rock soil. And also running a line and installing a watering system. When we pulled up the grass and put in desert landscaping I removed all of the overhead watering sprinklers and put in some new valves that ran water to a new set of pipes. One circuit is for the shrubs and another for the trees – trees taking longer deep watering and shrubs usually taking shorter more often watering. So I am in the process of digging a trench to the nearest tree water line and attaching a new extension and length of drip hose around the tree. Again, digging a trench involves the extensive use of a big pick, being careful that other water lines are not in close proximity to the desired trench otherwise some more careful digging and pipe repair comes into play. Speaking hypothetically of course, not really from experience.

And for Clare (who happens to be enjoying a TEN WEEK vacation off to the wilds of Africa):

1. Having helpful relatives that don’t mind using their back to help with physical labor.
2. Bright warm sunny weekends so that you can do things outside, even in February (it was 72f and full sun all weekend).
3. Anticipating sitting out in the new patio area and enjoying it when all the work is done.

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