Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where's HGTV When You Need Them?

New Patio

Sorry I kind of disappeared this past week - but Dr. SmartyPants and I have been busy bickering building a new patio for our backyard. It started out to be a small weekend project, and then it grew into home improvement reality show territory. He built that fabulous retaining wall and filled it with fill dirt and gravel and sand and blood and sweat and tears. I laid all but about two and a half rows of the pavers.

I'm tired.

I still have dirt under my fingernails.

My lower back has been saved only by copious quantities of anti-inflammatories and frequent jacuzzi tub soaks. And beer.

Beer is good for the lower back. You'll just have to trust me on that.

Derek and Joshua were cheap champion laborers throughout the entire process. They hauled pavers and gravel and sand. The dug dirt and swept sand and ran errands and all they ask in return is a grilled bratwurst and maybe some s'mores when everything is finished.

INTERLUDE: Conversations with Derek:

Derek: (setting down a paver close to where I was working) Whew! Man! These are heavy!

Me: Yes. I know. Do you see all those pavers there? (I point to the 10 or so completed rows of pavers.) I've lifted every one of those things 17 times trying to get it to lay right.

Derek: Really? (pause) How do you know it's been 17 times for each one?

Me: (eyebrows raised...wait for it, wait for it...)

Derek: OH...hyperbole! Good one, Mama.
In any case - the heavy lifting is done. The pavers are in place and mostly level. I did have to relax my standards after a half dozen rows, when I realized that at the pace I was working, I wouldn't be finished until next February.

(wait for it...wait for it...Hyperbole!)

And I figured that when my exacting engineer of a Dr. SmartyPants told me I might just be a little anal retentive about my checking to make sure that each and every paver was precisely sloping in the appropriate way to facilitate drainage away from the foundation, that maybe I could use the longer, four-foot level and go for a more generalized approach.


Of course, now that I have the chance to look at it, I find that each and every paver that isn't precisely in the right place makes my eye twitch a little. But guess what?

I have a cure for that, as well...

Yep. You guessed it...