Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Now We Have To Buy The Wood

I spread the pine mulch around the blueberries, but the hay I need to spread to keep down the weeds will have to wait until this wind dies down. It has been blowing like crazy for three days. My hair is a rat's nest and my nose is bright red from sniffing and blowing it after the morning spent working in this wind! Don't I sound gorgeous?

We finished leveling the frame. Because of the slope one end was up in the air and one was level with the ground. We have a plethora of rocks around the farm and gathered some to firm up the frame and to place around the exposed edges to hold in the gravel and sand. This is so appropriate for my father's portion of the memorial. He LOVED to collect rocks. Small rocks and giant rocks. I remember one time when we were on a trip and he pulled over to the side of a road. He told two of us kids to go get the rock he had seen and to put it in the trunk. It was huge and heavy and we argued, but he always won those types of arguments. I think it was a rose quartz and I KNOW that taking it was illegal.

The small rocks he would place in gardens and the big ones were for lining our various driveways. Our house in Altadena had a long driveway and it was lined on both sides by Dad's "finds". We also had a weekend home in the desert that had a very long, lined driveway. I assume they are still there and the original owner, or the State of California, is welcome to go get them back. Especially as our family no longer owns either property. And I no longer live in the state. And I am sure the statute of limitations applies. I hope.

So, while the shelter and the garden is for Roz, the rocks are for Dad. I smashed my fingers good a few times, so I hope he appreciates it.

Then Lee "stole" some gravel from the road to the barn. He used the front loader on the tractor and we used the gravel to fill in any gaps under the frame and then raked an even layer over the whole area. Last we dumped out 7 of our 8 bags of sand and raked that smooth.

Lee built a quick screed to make sure everything was as level as two amateurs could get it. This is a board the lies upon the sand with a top piece to ride along the frame. As you slide it back and forth it levels and smooths the sand to then lay the brick.

I figured out the pattern and then we CAREFULLY placed the brick inside the frame. I was worried that we had measured wrong or something and that we would have to cut the bricks. The frame was wedged in with rocks and sand and pounded into place with short lengths of re-bar. It wasn't going anywhere.

But Lee is good at what he does and it was perfect. He left a bit of room in each direction so that sand could be swept into the joints. This will really tighten things up and keep everything in place. One or two bricks rocked a bit, but sweeping the last bag of sand into the joints over and over made them firm.

Maybe we should take tomorrow off to buy the wood for the shelter/arbor. Both of our hands are sore. My back and arms are sore. I am too old for this stuff.

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