Monday, February 25, 2008

Update: OASIS

Well, the week was long and John sure did work hard. Most of the time he worked alone, and I don't think you realize how much work you really have in store to you attempt it alone! I am a very limited helper but before work I'd try to be out there with him, doing whatever I could. The first thing to get finished was the retaining wall. After the help dug and leveled the winding trench, he started laying the first layer down. It was a tedious job since you had to pound the brick with a rubber mallet to level it PERFECTLY (John is a perfectionist- big time!). After the first layer was in the rest went up quicker. Between the dirt mound and the wall is a mesh lining to hold some gravel up against the wall for drainage. We didn't have the cap for the wall so that is still a "to do."
The next part of "Phase I" was to prepare and lay the patio pavers. The prep seemed pointless to me (although I know that it matters). He dug out (about 6 inches deep) the entire area where the patio will be, then wheelbarrow load by load he filled it back in with other dirt... I suppose it's a special dirt. He had to make forms to pour some concrete into to hold the weight of the BBQ pit, a planter (for my herb garden- yay!) and a curved bench. We spread the previously deposited dirt out and tried to make it even before he tamped it down.

Then he laid some metal piped in the perfectly leveled and tamped dirt, threw some sand in between the pipes and spread that level with a long 2x4. Finally he was able to put in the first paver. Unfortunately he wasn't able to finish the patio since he reserved all day on Thursday for that and we had an OB appointment and his family got into town that morning . So the project is somewhat on a temporary hold until John gets back from his 2 week trip to Vegas.

The Backyard- Before (just started to bring the dirt back)

The backyard- So far!

The only casualty is our poor dog Cana. I think he's allergic to the new "special" dirt in the back because he broke out into hives the day the backyard project commenced. We took him to the vet, and $150 later, got him some medicine (along with the usual- heart worm check and meds, etc.) So I think it's clearing up but there's still a little funk around his eye.


Chey's Mom said...

Poor Cana with his bumps!!! It's just like having kids!!! Except you can't take him to the base hospital for free!!

The yard is really taking shape! It's a LOT of work for one person! I'm sure he appreciated his helpers. It will be interesting to look back at these pictures in a few months, when there's grass and flowers and shrubs, and remember all the work it took to get to the completed landscape! Keep up the good work!!

Chey's Dad said...

I'm truly impressed!!!
Nice work, John.
I'm reminded when Judi and I were first married. We did a patio project at our first house in Las Vegas, but I wasn't nearly so careful.