Monday, May 23, 2016

Home Improvement

I didn't have any plans for doing anything home improvementy this weekend. I knew I was going to to go to Artsplosure, and probably more than once - but wandering around and looking at art was about the only thing I had penciled in.

There was  grocery shopping and laundry and dishes and puttering around, walking the dog and the like but that was about it. I did need to find a corner cat box for the kitties, so when we move downstairs in a couple of weeks, they can be covered. I'm going to keep the other, larger box upstairs because its too big and takes up too much space for anywhere downstairs.

I went to the art fair Friday evening with the dog and we both had a good time. He got admired and I got a sneak peak at some of the art. I can't really go into the stalls with the dog with me, so I came back without him Saturday and did a really thorough inspection. If you just go by the prices of the pieces I wanted, I have exceptional taste.

Saturday was much more fun that Friday because on Saturday the Raleigh Rescue Mission Drum line was performing.

That is art.

Somewhere along the line, Raleigh has picked up all the worst quality's of Seattle and Miami. It rains all the time and its muggy and gross and full of hipsters. All of this impacts me with a mud hole in my backyard, the rain does its part but the run off from the new garden has rendered the area by my shed a wetlands.Its very muddy and doesn't dry and walking through there on my way to the rest of the yard is messy pain in my ass. I thought about it and decided that I could fix this and I needed to get it fixed soon. Saturday night, I went to Home Depot and picked up a couple of pavers.

I also went to Petsmart and Petco. I went to these places to look for cat boxes but mostly I went to the places because I did not bring the dog with me. Rocket waited almost four years to commit a classic weim crime - Getting Into The Kitchen Garbage! I was furious. I didn't actually catch him in the act, so all I could do was put him in his room and passive aggressively visit pet stores without him.

Putting in pavers is not as easy as it looks. It doesn't help that I have had steady diet of Home Improvement shows for years that have showed me the correct way to do the job. The correct way requires power tools, trained professionals and hundreds of dollars. On TV they would have excavated the area, leveled it, put down sand, pounded it flat, then a layer of pea gravel , pounded it, and then finally, lay the pavers themselves. It would be gorgeous. It would also be very expensive.

I have a completely unskilled me, a couple of shovels and $25 to invest.

Even as unschooled as I am, I knew enough to dig down so that they would lay flat, I also had to keep the door of the shed in mind and make sure that it could still clear the pavers. This was a learning curve. I dig the holes way deeper than necessary  but still not large enough. I ended up with a lot of extra dirt. The first two stones looked good, but when I started looking at the space, I knew I needed at least a couple more to really do the job. I felt that I had all ready done a "job" and I was tired.

Pouting, back to Home Depot.

I lay the next two, this was harder and the mud was muddier. It was harder to get the stones leveled and it required a lot more picking them ( heavy, heavy) back up and adding/subtracting/ shifting around the dirt. The whole area was gross and covered with mud. I could hardly see the stones.

But I was done. My Home Improvement shows have taught me that once you are finished with an outdoor project, it is now time to hose off the area. This made great sense because it was muddy and a good hose off would make it so much nicer!

Nonsense! It got so much muddier and covered with puddles and now I couldn't see the stones at all. I almost cried.

I found some towels that had been abandoned outside and tried to sop up the mess! This was after I tried in vain, to sweep the water away. This made me very mad at the Big Box home improvement store ads because they never show the home owner disheartened and filthy after they finish their projects that just miss the mark they set for themselves. I wasn't as mad at my HI shows because they feature professionals and plans and large budgets and its part of the conceit that they are really producing Best Possible Outcome Fairy Tales.

A couple of hours later the path looked like this

It made me feel a little better, I put grass seed down at the end of it so that maybe I can grow some new grass there and tidy the area up a bit. I didn't put any at the other end because its too hard to mow and I still want to get that corner cleaned out and I'm going to wait to make decisions about that part of the yard,

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