Monday, September 3, 2007

Laborious Day

Are all Labor Days this labor some after you become an adult? Or is it only after you become a homeowner?

They give me an extra day off work and that somehow warrants an eleven by nine foot patch of dirt in my yard, a gaping $400 hole in my savings account and at least three more days of work.

It all started when we noticed all the dandelions that had made their way back into the yard. If you only knew the sunburns I’ve endured - the endless hours I’ve spent hunched over or kneeling in my yard digging those bitches out! Not that our hard work hasn’t paid off - I would say our lawn is 50% greener and more plush than it was in its miserable state last year. Even after the drought. (Thank you, Week and a Half of Rain.) But still, they reared their yellow little heads on a day that I had no plans.

“We’ll just pull all the little heads off, so they can’t seed. Then we’ll get them again next year.” I said to The Man on our way to get some coffee Saturday morning.

We soon settled on only doing the front yard. We both scoffed at the amount of crab crass in and around the marigold bed. And then noticed all the wild life that had moved in on the field we had now surrounding our foundation.

After coffee, we passed by Sears, who - even though I swore I would never shop there again (It’s a different location, at least) - had a CLEARANCE banner up.

“Let’s stop in and see if they’re clearancing out weed whackers [Why is it grammatically inappropriate to make “clearance” a verb? Like, “to clearance,” right?] - we’re definitely going to need one next year so it would be best to get it now while they’re cheap.” I suggested.

Thrilled beyond thrilled that I suggested we go to Big Blue, he hurried in and wasted no time selecting his new semi-power tool.

But once he cut the talls grass away from the house I noticed the grass that was growing there was sticker grass!! I’m pretty sure that’s not its scientific name, but it’s grass that grows burrs - burrs that I HATE pulling out of feet. Especially my own.

So I pulled. And pulled. And The Man edged. (The driveway. Then the sidewalk.) He got lost in his chore and I in mine. Some time later, I needed a break. I looked at my work - I had a HUGE pile of crabgrass and sticker grass and a large lot of yard that was mainly dirt and a layer of old dead grass. The Man marveled in my Super Weed Pulling Skillz and noticed what I had - it was the perfect size for a patio. I’d even made it a perfect rectangle - because if I don’t set limits, I often get in over my head.

Speaking of setting limits, do you know what happens when I don't??

Two Days. Two days of digging. And sifting. And hauling to the compost.

Two days of talking about how easy this patio was going to be. Pshaw! What, like, twenty patio blocks…some sand…maybe some rock? We could probably add some rock. Yeah, totally! This is going to be AWESOME!

Went back to the home supply store this morning.

This is going to be hard!

Seriously - the design thing put FIFTY PATIO BLOCKS on my list. FIFTY.

We also needed: a metal rake, a tamper, LOTS of sand, LOTS of paver base and did I mention all the digging?

We tried to decompress a couple times during some welcomed breaks. My nephew turned FIVE. Just in time for KINDERGARTEN! He had a rockin’ Pirate Party with a ton of people. Even though we were extremely late, we were fed yummy food and drank lots of gin raspberry tea. They even branded us with their rebel symbols and didn’t make us walk the plank. (Although they did sick their emo on me.)

We also had a BBQ at my mom’s Monday night. All I can really say is after the conversation that went on, I’m glad I opted for the chicken.

We put a little more effort into this so-called patio tonight, but tomorrow is the first day of school and we couldn’t make the kids work all night again. We had papers to fill out and clothes to set out.

I sincerely hope that in a few days, I will have a picture of a cute little patio to share with you. I hope - because I don’t think I’ll be taking pictures of any of the alternative scenarios.


Jodi said...

OHLAWD. I cannot tell you how many of our weekends started off just like you described and then turned into HUGE projects that were exhausting and expensive. But, in the end it's always worth it and looks so nice. Can't wait to see pics!!!

MommasWorld said...

I thought about putting in a patio at our last house but after hearing the directions at the Home Depot I gave it up. It is not as simple as just lining up a few dozen brick squares.

Now I have a covered porch out front, on the side a sunroom, and in the back yard a screened in porch and a covered deck. I have wicker furniture in the sunroom but never got around to buying furniture for the rest. Short of winning the lottery I do not think I will be purchasing outside furniture in time to enjoy it this year.

I wish you easy labor for your patio.

Butrfly4404 said...


Menards' directions:
1. Remove sod
2. Screed sand
3. Position blocks
4. Cover with sealing sand

They made that stuff look WAY too easy!

Next time, I'll double check with Home Depot on the "step-by-step" directions!!

Worker Mommy said...

Oh this made my head ache just reading it. I just want my home and yard to look pretty - I don't want to acutally have to put any work in to it. ;)

Can't wait to see the pictures of your handiwork though!

Brillig said...

Yeah! Pics, pics!!!

Congrats on all the work--I'm sure it will be worth it in the end! (And my hubby would have been giddy as a schoolboy if I'd told him to go buy a weedwhacker, just like TM!)

Goldy said...

Good luck. This patio sounds cool.

Canadian flake said...

good luck on the patio. Let us know how you make out..lmao.

Kelly said...

Oh my. You're just making me feel tired reading this! So, ummmmm, when you guys are done, come on over to my house will ya? I'll provide beer... What? No? Alright.

Carla said...

I shall have a nice, green lawn and a patio when this house is childless. For now, I enjoy the dandelion bouquets and the brownish, creeping charlie grass. You have fortitude butrfly!! It will be fab when it's done!

Whiskeymarie said...

I have delusions of putting in a patio eventually, but that amount of work is not at all appealing to me.
I'm lazy.
I'm o.k. with that.

Lou said...

Well, you are braver than we are. We've discussed the patio thing about a million times- but, in the end, it's just never worth it.

Cherann said...

Labor day is VERY labor intensive. I cleaned the entire house because our cleaning people are L-A-M-E!!

exskindiver said...

i agree with kelly.
i got tired just thinking of doing that.
i am jealous of cherann, she has cleaning people to complain about.

and i am impressed with you.