Quiet Sunday morning. I’m sitting on my back deck in the cool morning air listening to the birds chirp and bursts of traffic, few and far between because it isn’t even 830am. I’ve recently potted some flowers, and they’re happily drinking in the sunshine. Spring is a time of rebirth, and I love every minute of it.
I’m in the process of some backyard renovations, which would be why my writing is few and far between. I came home one day and hated the existing stepping stones that had been placed by someone before me – faded brick red patio stones, off center from the porch steps to the driveway. Grass grows between them in the summer and was hard to mow. Scrapping snow off them in the winter sucked equally. So that day I grabbed a shovel and Matt grabbed a pry bar and we pulled them up. I had gotten off work early for a t-ball practice for Chase, but the practice had been cancelled so instead since the sun was shining and the air was warm I got my hands dirty. I dug up a large section in line with the steps, pulling up clumps of grass and attempting to level it out with a shovel and a hoe. Then we went to a local chain hardware store and found patio blocks that I liked. I just wanted a path two stones wide from the driveway to the porch, so with Matt’s help with the math, I purchased 15 of them, allowing for any I may break as they were 40lbs a piece and I’m clumsy and liable to drop and break them. I loaded all 15 into Scarlett, and while her back end began to sag and my back began to cry, we got them home.
I began to place and level them when we got home and soon discovered that because my driveway has a curve in it that I could not get them placed how I wanted.
It was starting to cool off and get dark, there was homework to be done, and my back was wrecked, so I gave it up for the evening. Through out the week I played with the placement but couldn’t get it right.
So finally with a whole Saturday in front of me, I went and bought 10 more and finally got them placed halfway decent.
But I still wasn’t 100% pleased. Luckily I have friends with good ideas, and after placing a photo on Facebook of my work, and playing off their suggestions I came up with a plan. Loose stone was the answer, and having seen an idea on Pinterest, I purchased the stone, a couple planters, and glow in the dark spray paint. My intention was to spray the stones and pots with the glow in the dark paint and have the walk illuminated at night.
The glow in the dark paint didn’t work as I intended – if you pick up a rock or bend close to a pot you can see a faint glow, but nothing like I had intended.
I have an immense amount of pride in the completion of this project. I’ve never done or seen done the laying of patio stones. I spent, all together, roughly 12hrs on this. Broken nails and clothes so dirty they required a seperate wash from other clothes. The patio stones were heavy and the ground was stubborn. And regardless, I did it. It’s not contractor perfect, but it’s damn good and every time I look at it I pat myself on the back.
So, that’s my current view. My hard work looks beautiful in the sunshine on this chilly morning.
Wednesday I cleared out the weeds and garbage from my front flower bed, and pulled out some more mulch. Some idiot before me, probably the same one that placed the ridiculous patio stones, decided to mulch the flower bed and it’s like the shit is reproducing and I will never get rid of it. Last year I pulled a large garbage bags worth out and thought I got it all, and was surprised to find more as I cleaned it up this year. I have found some obnoxious pink flamingos that I have placed in it, now it just needs some more flowers. It has some peonies coming up and a little lilac tree and some other stuff that a friend gave me.
Yesterday my lawn got it’s first mow, and I spray painted a rusted metal shelf I acquired and my light pole, which is old and weathers easily. It needs more than spray paint, but I’m all for quick, cheap fixes so rustoleum it is.
Today’s plan is the basketball hoop I bought for the boys, possibly a raised garden put together that I found on sale and maybe even some cute potted herbs.
There’s also indoor things that need done unfortunately, however. Homework and laundry and my bedroom needs some attention.
But the sunshine and chirping birds, the smell of freshly cut grass. . . It calls to me to be out here, despite the fact that my coffee and fingers are now chilled in the not quite 40 degree air. I find solace in being outdoors, and my projects give me this sense of accomplishment. . . And more. A feeling of triumph. For every time someone doubted me, for every time someone said “that’s a man’s job”. . . No, friend. No. Because if it needs done and I want it done, I will do it. It reiterates to me that my strength and determination is a force to be reckoned with. There’s nothing I can’t do.
Happy Sunday to you. And may you find the thing that speaks to and strengthens your soul.