Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grandpa and Me

When Grandpa comes and reads to me
I feel the sun and smell the sea.
I hear of men who caught the whales,
And then some wild safari tales.

He reads how cowboys rode the trails
And men worked hard to build the rails
That carried trains out to the west
Then baseball stories I like best.

Grandpa can't do skateboards, though.
He's not good with Nintendo.
These things I overlook, you see,
'Cause I love him, and he loves me.
My grandpa is in town again for the summer, or at least part of it.  This is his second summer coming back from Arizona.  Last year he helped out at my house by helping my dad hang my new screen door.  This summer he's been Ah-May-Zing.  He's been to stay with me the last two weekends and I'm fairly certain he's coming again this weekend.
Now, don't get me wrong. Having my 80 year old grandpa stay with me on the weekends really ruins my game. Or, at least it would ruin my game, if I had any. But I don't. So let the house projects begin!
First up - hanging a new(ish) oven hood.  I've been without since I bought the house. My uncle Art (famously of Art's Expert Appliance) hooked me up with one that was just sitting in my garage waiting for a helping hand.  And in walks Gramps.  How fortuitous.  We made easy work of it.  I cleaned it off and held it up while he drilled some holes and screwed it in, then, voila!
Next, hanging the railing to my stairs.  I took the railing down when I first moved in so I could paint the walls.  But....then I just left it down.  Lost the pieces needed to hang it back up. And it was too hard to do alone and I have to strategically use help from willing participants, and rehanging that railing was way down on the list.  But, I think Gramps liked the idea of having a railing rather than falling down the stairs. So, we rigged it back up after a trip to my dads garage and a trip to the local hardware store. Badda Bing, Badda Boom!
What was many things have happened in the last couple weekends.  I started work on laying my patio - with the very generous help from my dad, grandpa, sister and three nephews.  We managed to move the 5+ yards of Class 5 to the mud pit, level it, compact it, screed sand, and lay bricks.  Mostly. But more on that later.
Oh yes, another Gramps project. My outside light nearest my driveway has never worked. I didn't even know if the electricity still ran out there.  My intrepid Gramps figured it (zap!) and new the part we needed to get at the store.  Less than a dollar later after yet another trip to my local hardware store and a little elbow grease, I now have a working light!
I'm sure there's more, but I just can't seem to remember it tonight.
Hopefully by Monday I can write a post and share pictures of a completed patio!

BTW - we did play Nintendo.  And he wasn't very good at it.  But we had some good laughs :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Today was excavation day!  After a late late start - my bobcat guy had his trailer stolen overnight so we got started more than two hours late - we were off.  For a mere $320, I had my entire area excavated, with lilac roots and footings dug up.  I supervised and took photos. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.

Time to get started!

The first dig!

Grandpa overseeing the progress

Look, he found a footing! I think it was from the old clothes pole.

Just about done!

Tux and Katsa, making sure everything is done correctly

Added some paint to "visualize"

Looking from the sidewalk

What the patio will eventually look like....

Up next - material delivery tomorrow and building on Wednesday and Thursday!  With any luck, by Thursday afternoon I'll be enjoying a glass of wine on my finished patio!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Feeling Decked

I almost missed my softball game this afternoon.  I did miss the first half of the first inning - that we got 16 runned in.  My excuse was that I was super tired from my busy day.

Hey, look what I did! (and by I, I mean, mostly my dad)

Where'd the deck go!?!?!?!

Oh wait. There it is....

And there too!

Can you believe that the small stack of wood and boards leaning up on the garage were this, just hours agao?

Not bad for a days work.  Next weekend - excavation!