10.03.2005

Till Deck Do Us Part

Monk and I were stumbling around like 90 year-olds last night. Apparently, the bastard amateur hour deck builders that lived in this house previously wanted to make good and sure that their masterpiece wouldn’t go anywhere, ever. Now, we regularly hate on the previous owners due to many of the construction/repair flaws we've had the pleasure of discovering throughout our first year in this house, but after the big deck structure unveiling I was ready to take a hit out on the pair of 'em. A 12 x 15 deck, nothing fancy, and SIXTEEN holes dug 3-4 feet down, SIXTEEN gigantic batches of cement were mixed and poured to hold SIXTEEN big brace beams in place for all eternity. We got to know our sledge hammer real well this weekend. What an unpleasant surprise for my body, which, by the way, seems to still be angry with me this morning. I would not have been surprised if it had staged a mutiny on me last night and pummeled my brain to bits in my sleep. Poor thing. It may still be plotting however, its rage snowballing with every mention of continuing, laying limestone, pouring concrete, finishing this damn patio project… I may talk a big game about working out regularly, but I’ve since learned that the “working” part of that phrase? Not quite accurate.

I’ve also learned how to till. How to use a tiller. However you’re supposed to express the skill it takes to be dragged along behind a two-ton lawn mower-like device as it chews up your ground, sporadically veering towards the house and its brick walls, and nearly grating all the skin off your knuckles. At one point I released the trigger, thinking that would stop the self-propelled business, but no, it took off over our lawn and I took off after it, desperately jabbing my finger at the little red “off” button, hoping to avoid tilling my feet into a bloody pulp. So yes, I nearly had that freak accident I joked about in my last entry (“ha ha ha, house projects are easy, despite the fact that we don’t really know what we’re doing, tra la la”). Tonight: Raking around the clay that masquerades as soil in Texas to a semblance of level ground, then distributing limestone as a foundation for the patio. Or sand. Crushed granite? Have I mentioned we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing?

Big finish: This is officially the first project Monk and Quinn have taken on and not nearly come to blows over. Not only did we avoid our usual twenty arguments, we were LOVELY to each other the. whole. time. Two long days of grueling manual labor, minimal strategy discussion prior (read: lack of planning), and we were like Bob and Mary Perfect from Pleasantville, USA. This weekend will go down in the history books as a monumental, commemorative occasion. I’m waiting for our parade, people.

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