Thursday, November 15, 2007

Laying the Foundation

Phase 2 of the flagstone patio project has begun. We finished phase 1 in mid-August, and took a couple of months off to recover and allow the summer heat to come to an end. Phase 1 involved building a side patio that essentially covered up a weed pit next to our house. Phase two will extend the back patio into the grassy area of our back yard.

Phase 2 required quite a bit of prep work, first of which was to remove the 10 million tons of river rock filling the space between the patio and grass. The rock looked cool, but just wasn't functional as we grew tired of twisting our ankles practically every time we walked across it, which was often.

We made two large piles of rock on either side of the yard. One afternoon I looked out a back window and saw what I thought was litter that had blown into one of the piles. I walked out to pick it up and discovered it wasn't litter at all. It was a declaration:

I later asked Kailey whether those were her rocks or if she "rocked", to which she replied, "Yes." That's my girl!

Now the hard work has begun. For the past week, my father-in-law and I have been clearing dirt, staking things out, and mixing and pouring concrete. My father-in-law is the brains behind this operation, otherwise I would never undertake such an ambitious project. Of course no project could unfold without running into at least one problem. We discovered that an irrigation line cut through a portion of the new patio area. Most of my time on Tuesday was spent exhuming the lines, splicing them and running them through PVC piping and reburying them so that we could get at them if (when) they leak in the future.

Once we finish laying the cement foundation, we'll begin the long process of hauling the sheets of flagstone that you can see lined up against the wall and creatively placing them on the patio. I'm excited because I know it's going to look great. Hopefully we'll be done by Christmas.

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