Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This part is from last Saturday...I fell asleep writing it

Today was a long day of working on our new patio. It started about 9 when Caroline took Calvin to the store, and Ryan helped me. When Caroline came back, Calvin went and took a nap, so Rya and I were able to just keep working.

Ryan and I had already dug up the dirt where the patio was going and covered it in gravel. Today we started by leveling off the gravel, then covering the gravel with dirt and smoothing it out.

After the dirt was in place, it was time to start laying bricks. After 1/2 an hour of trying different brick configurations, I figured out something that would work with the bricks we have and started laying the bricks down.

Ryan was super funny. Whatever part I was working on, he wanted to work on. I wanted him to do the dirt part, while I placed bricks, but he just wanted to "be a brick man". Except that the bricks are heavy for him. He would carry over one brick, then have to take a break, then carry another, and so on.

During the brief times that I could get him moving dirt for me, he would call me 'brick man' -- HEY BRICK MAN, DO YOU NEED ANY DIRT?". That was fun.

(Now I'm writing today, picking up where I left off when I fell asleep)

Eventually Ryan went to bed, and Caroline came out to help. It was our first experience using cement. Saturday was a pretty nice day, but by 10:00 pm it was getting cold. And dark. And we were tired. And we didn't really know how to do the cement. As you will see in the pictures, it definitely isn't a professional job. Still, for a first time try late on a cold night, we're happy with it.

In case it's not obvious, it's a semi-circle which circles the sliding kitchen door. Above: Calvin admires the new patio. We tried to make good sitting stairs, for watching the kids play in the back yard.

Here's a side shot. The ground bricks are all wet from getting sprayed and swept, so they're not really that shiny. We got all the bricks for free from Freecycle, Criagslist and the Twin Cities free listing website. The gravel we got from the yard (where there used to be flowers...or something). We cannibalized part of the ring of pavers around the pine tree in the front yard for the bottom step.

Some parts of the dirt under the patio settled more than others, so we're going to need to pull up the bricks in those parts and add more dirt. And we are going to use a wire brush to clean the extra cement off of the bricks. And get some more mortar to fill in the gaps we missed.

And get rid of the extra cement chunks we dug up out of that dirt. And plant grass. Or raspberries or blueberries.

1 comment:

AnnaMarie Ferrell said...

Very nicely done. Can't wait until we're not too sick to come see it in person!