Saturday, March 31, 2007

March Madness in Kentucky

Latest news from Lexington is that UK is going to offer Billy Donovan of Florida up to $3.5 Million a year for a seven year contract. Even Coach K of Duke makes only $3 Mil. Totally nuts, but what do you expect from the whacked out Wildcats? The rumor mill has run amok, but Starched Shirt is fueling it with his silence. Let's get through the tournament and see what happens. Go Buckeyes!

It's great if you're a duck

The end of week one of the project. I thought I got off to a good start given my limited time during the work week. The rain of Friday left quite a mess and I'm not sure it's a good idea to lay the base and stone in this condition. My biggest fear is that the walls will collapse if any weight is placed on them. Any one have a thought on this?

Late afternoon it started raining again and has only stopped briefly over the past two hours. I guess tomorrow will be a day of moving materials from the front of the house to the back. It's got to be done sometime. But what a mess the rain is making. I hope it doesn't ruin my work. Check out the pictures. This project may become a pond instead of a garden path.

Materials delivery day

8:00 a.m. and a huge truck arrives with two pallets of materials that are fork-lifted up my driveway. This is going to be a huge pain in the rear. There is no access to my back yard so I'll have to hand cart them. How many hundreds of trips will that be? I'm afraid to keep a count.

It rained all day yesterday so it's really mucky out back. You know how it is when you step in the mud and it practically pulls your shoe off? Yuck. Plus I have to haul off the dirt that was excavated. Of course now it's muddy, heavy dirt. I did count the number of trips: 25 and that was just to clear it out enough so I'd have a staging area for the materials. The rest can wait until it dries out a bit.

But as I'm doing this, I start thinking about the materials. Specifically the quantity of the base material. 18 bags. I look at them, do quick numbers in my head then on the calculator ...... it's not right! I need 142 bags, not 18! The supplier made a huge mistake. So I drive out there, quite upset as you can imagine, and explain it to them. I place the order for the other 124 bags and great! they can deliver them today. And ma'am that will be another $152 for the delivery. Hello!!!! Your mistake. They finally waived the delivery charge. Nevertheless, the cost goes up 25% and it was already twice what I expected. Oh well. This is a picture with ALL of the materials. Driveway space is becoming dear. Plus, my spot in the garage is blocked.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

So far so good .....

Tuesday I continued to dig out the path and got all but a small portion done. Still no pain after digging it all up. I can't figure that out. Am I doing it right, am I in better shape than I thought (yeah, right), or just lucky?

Wednesday was a night off so that I could attend my first photography class. In six weeks, my pictures should look markedly better. We'll see!

Thursday I finished digging and then tilled over the path to loosen the soil. From there I raked it and evened it out. It's finally starting to take shape.

Now how to deal with all the excess dirt. Maybe I'll have a "yard sale":) This is one of those *learn by your mistakes* lessons. When excavating, place the soil in a wheelbarrow and cart it off as you go. If you don't you will only have to dig it up again.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Work the Plan

After a day at the office, it's time to do what I really want to do ..... start building my garden path. Honestly, I dread this. Refer back to my earlier post where I really do not feel that I am up to the task. But I am such a determined person, I'll do whatever anyone says I can not do ... even if it is me. It will get done!

I started digging up the path tonight. This is probably the hardest part of this phase, so I really was dreading it. But much to my surprise, it really went very smoothly. Of the 91 feet, I think I dug out 35 to 40 feet of the main path. Let's see how much pain I'm in tomorrow!

Credit Denied -- Hallelujah!!!

The credit gods are with me today! Stone is to be delivered this morning at 8:00 a.m. I am not ready for it and wish I could have delayed delivery. So at 7:00 who calls but my supplier. My credit card isn't going through. Dang, what's that all about? So I ask if I can delay shipment until I can figure this out? Oh sure is the response. WOOT! Turns out the problem is on their end and I get what I want! How often does that happen? Things are looking up. Stone will be shipped next Saturday. Surely I can do the prep work (despite having a regular job) by then.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday ..... a Day of Frets

The project is started and I am starting to have anxiety attacks. There's no way in the world I can do this! I'm too old. I don't have the energy. It's too much work. It will look horrible if I do it. It's not too late to turn back, is it? On top of it all, the NCAA Mens Midwest Regional is today in St. Louis and we have tickets -- Florida v. Oregon State.

I love college basketball and I want to go to the game, but I am so overwhelmed by this project. Time to chill out! Another thought, the stone is being delivered tomorrow morning and I am no where close to being able to lay it. I don't want to have it taking up garage space while I'm dilly dallying around trying to do the preliminary work. I call the stone place to delay the order, but of course it's Sunday and they are closed.

Time to let it go! We go to the game and it was a good one. Florida won, but Oregon was in it the whole way. Here's a picture of Joachim Noah being his usual self .... doing the Gator Chomp after an Oregon player is called for a foul.

And here is a picture of Billy "Starched Shirt" Donovan .......... the next coach of the University of Kentucky. Yeah, we'll see. He has it good in Gainesville. Why the heck would he even consider that position and the thought of dealing with the idiot fans from Lexington and eastern Kentucky? Let's see what happens after the tournament. Will Ohio State stick it to Florida this time??? Hope so.

Basketball is good for me! I forgot all about the project for a few minutes at least!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

From concept to reality ..... the beginning

The stone has been ordered and is scheduled to be delivered Monday morning. Time to actually start the work. I had already laid out the path with a garden hose. I figured a good way to start was to use the tiller to define it before I actually started digging it out. That wasn't too bad, although my mechanical skills are lacking. I had to call Ed out twice to get the tiller started. Happy to say I have now mastered that skill after receiving lessons from a genius!

The total length of the path is 91 feet with a width of 4 feet along the main path and 3 feet on the side paths. This equates to 340 square feet and will require 5500 lbs. of stone. Between the digging and stone movement, I think I'm in for a workout. Yikes!

This is what I started with ..........

These pictures were taken last October when everything was still green. You can see where I began killing off the grass.

I am definitely overwhelmed by the tasks that will have to be done to get it to the yard I wish it to be. I almost called this blog "Dreamscapes" because I am afraid that my plans are grandiose and reside only in my mind without the ability to escape to a plan that will eventually be executed. Perhaps "Nightmarescapes" is more like it!!

Nevertheless, I have started to execute the plan. Step 1: build a garden path so I can wander through and enjoy the wonderful plants that I WILL be planting. Today, I went to a landscape supplier and purchased the stones and a sand for the base. First rude awakening, it cost twice what I thought it would. This is not a good beginning, but I will persevere.