Thursday, Jun. 28, 2007
Dear Diary:

We're in the middle of an unspeakable heat wave right now with temperatures and humidity that could put you in danger of your eyeballs boiling and exploding right out of your head.

Oh be quiet. It could happen.

And, of course, the screens aren't in the new porches yet so we can't sleep outside in the relative coolness of nature and instead have to swelter in our tiny little home.

Why aren't the screens in?

Because the spousal unit hasn't had time to build them because Someone Who Will Remain Nameless to Protect the Innocent decided that she absolutely, positively had to have an interlocking brick walkway. Had to.

Really I, oooooops, I mean Someone Who Will Remain Nameless to Protect the Innocent should have realized that any home improvement project the spousal unit and I take on will mushroom into something only slightly less complex than hosting the Olympics.


The problem is water.

The way our roofs work, all the water from our main house roof pours on to the porch roof which in turn pours on to the walkway region. We've had a series of "maybe it's time to be looking into ark plans" rains over the last few weeks which have forced all sorts of rethinking.

The original walkway pit had to be deepened, repeatedly scanned with a laser level and reshaped to channel all the water away from the house.. Drainage pipes had to be installed and linked to collect said water. We're about to put gutters and downspouts on the porch which will further re-route water.

What had started out as:
1) dig a trench
2) put six inches of crushed rock into said trench
3) smush crushed rock with compactor
4) cover with landscape fabric
5) top with one inch of sand
6) compact dampened sand
7) lay interlocking paving brick
8) sprinkle sand on top and brush into cracks between the bricks to lock them together
9) install special plastic side supports for bricks along walkway edge with foot long spikes
10) backfill with soil

Has turned into something only slightly less daunting than constructing the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The end, however, is in sight. The spousal unit has rented the compactor for this weekend. His brother is lending us a small tractor with a front end loader. The project that we thought would take two weeks max might actually be completed seven weeks from when I first put a shovel into the ground.

The operative word here, of course, would be "might" because who's to say that something won't go terribly, terribly wrong this weekend and completely derail things yet again?

My thoughts, exactly.

In the meantime, I finished staining the logs. The stone wall in front of the old woodshed is finished and I'm wrapping up the final 20 feet of the pond wall rebuild. Sadly, I've pillaged all the great rocks from my rock stash for earlier projects this spring so now I'm down to the "oh man what do I do with this piece o' crap" rocks.

It is going slowly. There are moments of massive amounts of self-pity because omigawd I'm working in insane heat with rocks that are the pits and the job will never be done. Doomed. I am doomed.

Look at the sort of surroundings I'm forced to endure:

Too pretty for words.

Plus, when I get too hot I am forced to go swim in that pond. Yes, my life is that brutal. Feel free to hold a telethon on my behalf.

A friend drove up yesterday and she could not stop raving about the garden around the big rock behind my home. The roses are out in full force, the honeysuckle has practically smothered the boulder and a beautiful crimson weigelia has espaliered itself up the right side of the rock with no help from me. The perfume is fabulous.

She looks at it and she sees the garden.

Glass half full.

I look at it and I see the unfinished project in the back, the new woodshed that we haven't managed to get siding on in the three years it has been up. Man, but I'm sick to death of seeing that tyvek.

Which brings me to my biggest project for this summer. No, it's not about getting that siding up.

My big project for this summer is to see what we've accomplished instead of focusing on what remains to be done. In the last few years we've done this huge push on the house. The problem with huge pushes is that anything you improve makes anything that's not improved look, well, shabby.

Plus, every project spawns another project. The walkway isn't even in yet and I'm already fretting about how I'm going to plant the left side of it, the side I can't do until the paving stones are in. This is insanely stupid, because it immediately takes away from the pleasure of a project completed.

So that's my major project for this summer. To enjoy what has been accomplished and to stop obsessing so much about what isn't done.

This is totally against my nature.

Wish me luck.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 262.32 miles Ten percent there rubber duck. Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Half way there

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2007: 500 miles

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