Sunday, February 19, 2012
We have a concrete patio, and between the patio and the front fence there is an area a little bigger than three feet by eight feet. The BW's second younger sister suggested marble chips, and we did have them scattered over that area for a few years, but the BW didn't like them because she wanted a smooth flat surface. She nagged me about it and wanted a patio extension this weekend - forget the painting for a while, so Thursday I bought a bunch of concrete pavers and brought home enough to do the job. I had to pick them up, put them on a car, pay, pick them up and put them in the trunk, drive home, pick them up and put them in a wheelbarrow, pick them up and stack them out of the way, but close to the patio. I also bought four 8 foot long treated two by fours for a frame.
Friday I bought four bags of river rock to make a bed for the sand under the pavers. They were pretty heavy, and I grabbed one with the tips of my fingers (started to make a fist to grab it) and poked a hole in it, so I sat it upright for the trip home. Then I had to pick them up and put them in the wheelbarrow, move them to the patio, and after that clean the loose stones out of my clean beautiful new trunk. I checked that the rear seats fold down because I expect my car to act like a truck sometimes.
Then I spread them over the patio extension area. There wasn't enough stone, so I let it go for a day.
Yesterday I bought two more bags of stone, spread an inch of sand over the whole mess after I had tried to compact the stone, and spread an inch of sand over the stones. Then I laid the pavers on the sand.
Today I cut the frame members and a bunch of supports two feet long to hold the two by fours in place. I realized that I had a bunch of two by two stakes left over from the grape vine fiasco, and I also cut five stakes for the three foot wide section of the frame and used a sledge hammer to drive them in. I had a shovel point on the stakes, so I drove them in about 8 to 10 inches, then worked them out and turned them around so the shovel point pointed away from the pavers. That worked so well (jammed the frame hard against the pavers), that I split the two by four stakes lengthwise and made shovel pointed stakes. I still had to take down the front privacy fence because there wasn't room enough to drive the stakes, but five stakes along the outside of the frame locked it in very nicely.
My side effects were not being able to use my left hand to type with for two days running, and then today having terrible cramps in my left hand. My left wrist hurt too much to move my left hand, but it got better in the morning twice. Today I ran out of steam after the first two stakes, and would drive a stake, then rest, then drive another stake. I worked up a good sweat and was breathing hard after every stake - so I guess I haven't been diligent enough to have good functional fitness. Or else old age is creeping up on me.