Brick by Brick

As many of you already know, at Casa de la Belle (as in ring my) this is the year of the brick. I’m putting in a massive brick walkway, a retaining wall, and extending another retaining wall. I thought y’all might like a little insight to my home improvement process.

Step 1: See a picture that I like and think “That doesn’t look too hard. I can totally do that.”

traditional-landscape1301invernessafter0021Step 2: Go shopping and buy lots of supplies without really knowing what I need.

Step 3: Realize that my back yard in lumpy and I’m going to have to level it.

Step 4: Start digging with my shovel.

Step 5: Curse how heavy dirt is and how hot the sun is and wonder why I didn’t rent a skidder.

thStep 7: Google how much it costs to rent a skidder. Realize that it’s too expensive and I already own a shovel.

Step 8: Return to digging.

Step 9: Talk to the chickens about how they are placing themselves in mortal danger by “helping” me while I’m digging.

Step 10: Curse the chickens for being such determined bug hunters and resolve myself to digging carefully so as to not behead one of them.

20140804_152951Step 11: Drink five gallons of water to stave off obvious signs of heat stroke.

Step 12: Realize all the bricks in the world do me no good without sand.

Step 13: Order the sand I should have ordered at step 2.

Step 14: Wait two weeks for sand to be delivered.

Step 15: Sand arrives.

Step 16: Find my wheelbarrow and shovel sand into it.

Step 17: Curse how heavy sand is and how hot the sun is. Wonder why I didn’t ask them to deliver the sand to the back yard.

Step 18: Sing Hot Child in the City by Nick Glider as I work. Wonder how long it’s been since I heard that song.

Step 19: Search YouTube on my phone. Realize it might not be as cool as it was when I was a kid.

Step 20: Lay the first run of manor stones (I built the retaining walls first).

Step 21: Curse how ridiculously fucking heavy manor stones are.

Step 22: Wonder when my head started sweating so much. Wonder if it’s a symptom of early onset menopause.

Step 23: Google symptoms of early onset menopause.

thStep 24: Lay the second layer of manor stones.

Step 25: Tell Lily what a kickass hard worker she is and thank her for her help.

20140630_101034Step 23: Congratulate myself on being awesome and take a break.

Step 24: Play a game on my phone.

Step 25: Grab Tara and make her look at my hard work. Refuse to leave her alone until she tells me I’m the best thing ever.

Step 26: Look at the work the next day and realize the wall is crooked. Or not level. Or both.

retaining-wall-lgStep 27: Wonder if I tell my friends and family that Lily (my seven year old daughter) did it, they won’t ask me why the work looks like it was done by a drunk blind person.

Step 28: Realize they won’t believe me because Lily would have done a better job.

Step 29: Find my shovel.

Step 30: Reset all the stones from the day before.

Step 31: Curse how heavy manor stones are and how hot the sun is.

Step 32: Eventually finish a second time.

Step 33: Repeat steps 23 through 32 as needed.

As you can see, projects at my house are well thought out and executed. Eventually, things get done. Tara, bless her, has leaned to forgive the occasional rise and fall where they don’t belong in a brick path.

20140813_141312Okay, I confess. I’m not quite done. But getting close. Stay tuned.


2 thoughts on “Brick by Brick

  1. You, my friend, are awesome! I think the walkway looks wonderful and you are hilarious! It looks great! Having seen in not finished yet, I think it looks GREAT. All you have to is go on to step #34 -hose said walkway done with water to make it look like the magazine 🙂


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