Concrete Developments

The long awaited day finally arrived. Such excitement! First, the Cat skid steer came to the party.

While waiting for the everyone else to get here, the early arrivals scavenged cinder blocks and bricks from around the property to cut down on the amount of concrete that will be needed. And such an easy way to get rid of unwanted scraps!

Then the cement mixer showed up, and the party began. The work party, anyway. I just sat and watched.

It was amazing how, with so many guys working, there wasn’t a single problem. They each seemed to know what they were supposed to do, and they did it.

The skid steer definitely made things easier. Originally, the work was going to be done by two men with a wheelbarrow since there was no way the cement mixer could get all the way into the back yard.

As it was, they had to rip out part of the fence so they could get the Cat and the concrete into the yard, but luckily, these were the very guys who had installed the fence in the first place, so they put it back as good as new.

I worried that having so much concrete would take away from the expansive feeling of the yard, but it doesn’t. It becomes a bit of a focal point as well as creating an island garden.

One thing I liked about the way these people worked, was even though the skid steer tore up my yard, they pretty much drove it along the pathway where they will be building a walkway.

The only bad part about all of this is that I have to wait until the concrete dries to be able to use the back door again. But soon. Three days at most. Yay!

There will be handrails, in case you’re wondering, but those haven’t been made yet.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Embracing Laziness

I thought about not writing a blog today, more out of laziness than anything else, but considering that I’m on a 361-day blogging streak, I figured it would be silly to give in to my laziness a mere four days from a full year’s worth of posts.

The laziness comes from the smoky air, I believe, rather than an inherent character flaw, though to be honest, I do embrace my laziness — assuming hours spent reading is laziness. (Reading could be something other than laziness, of course, perhaps a desire to live as many lives as possible before my expiration date.) But the smoky air coming to us from the fires on the west coast are exacerbating my allergies, and a major component of my allergy reactions (besides sinus pain and chest congestion) is lethargy.

Still, I did do some things today. I received a package of plants in the mail, though I was surprised to see them. First, they were supposed to be here earlier in the week, then they were held up at the post office somewhere until next week. At no point was today mentioned. Luckily, the plants are in pots because although they are supposed to be planted immediately, my lazy side says they will be fine for another day. After all, they weren’t supposed to be delivered until Monday, so how are the plants to know they’re not still in transit?

It amazes me the things that take hold and do well and the things that don’t. For example, last fall, I bought some New England asters because I liked the color and thought they’d brighten up my stoop. When the flowers all died, I buried what was left. (I actually planted it, but it seemed more of a burial since I thought the whole thing was dead). And look at it now! So vibrant!

My contractor stopped by for a few minutes to pick up some tools he left here, and while we were talking with the garage door opened, the closer started to buzz. He looked around and asked what that sound was. I motioned him back into the garage and said, “Wait.” The buzzing got more insistent, and then suddenly, the door started to close. We both got a kick out that. Such a cool thing that closer is! I don’t have to worry if my laziness kicks in and I forget to close the door.

He’ll be back tomorrow to fold back a section of the fence so he can get a skid steer into the yard to help spread the concrete for my sidewalk on Monday. The cement mixer is too big to get into the yard, and so they were planning on using wheelbarrows to get the concrete where it needs to be. Yikes. If I had to do the work, forget it. Even without my current lazy streak, I wouldn’t be able to do anything that intense. But then, that’s why I have him. Meantime, I’ll get introduced to another tool — if a piece of equipment can be called a tool. That should be fun even though I won’t be the one driving.

Well, what do you know — I managed to put together a post of sorts after all. My streak remains unbroken. Yay!

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator