Monday, September 17, 2007

All the Sweat & Cussing was for this...

Not all of you have had the chance to come over, crack open a cold one & plop down in a relaxed frame of mind... If you do come over and it's not 100 outside, you'd most likely be here - our new patio.

I say "new" because it's new to us. I has been out there, in various stages, since May. My thought was to get it done before it got too hot & humid. (You know what i'm referring to - the time during the summer when you just assume stay in the house as opposed to walk outside to sweat).

Here comes May, there went May; here comes June, there went June. Patio still not completed. I knew i had to do something to get it done. I needed Cop'er's help too, so what as the motivation going to be?

AHA! A party!

Now, when i had this brilliant idea, i didn't really know if it was going to work, or if it was going to backfire on me. No one likes to have egg on their face though & this was the motivation needed to get the Grayzeees back on track. I made sure the invite was for a "pool & patio party"... (& yes, that does mean the pool had to be cleaned too!) People would be coming to see the patio, therefore, it had to be completed.

You don't have to tell me the whole project looks easy - that's what i thought too! But when i got into it, my anal qualities came out. The blocks had to be in line, they couldn't be off by inches (as aaron tried to make them). If one end of the block was up too high, you had to pick it up & try again, leveling out the area.

Did i mention that these blocks were 20+ lbs EACH & there were 100 of them????

We got the first 50 down in pretty good time... it was the last 50 that really screwed things up for us. We only bought 50 of the stones to begin with. When we went back for the other 50, they didn't have enough! (& yes, we did check all the stores that carry them in the richmond area!)

***** let this be a lesson to you folks who will go after us in this challenge - buy all blocks at one time!

We ended up picking another kind of stone that i had to "make do with". It's ok... i guess. The checkerboard pattern was the result of our change in plans. Before you ask --- that does mean we had to basically take up everything we did previously & redo it. (stop laughing!)

Once the stones were down, there was a great weight lifted from me --- & i'm not just talking about the weight of the blocks either. There we stood - a patio at last!

By the way, the whole reason for this exercise in outdoor creation was because i wanted a pergola. Cop'er didn't want to buy one (they are pretty pricey) & he wasn't up for the task of making one (thank heavens for small favors!). The patio was our compromise. I think i got a good deal, personally.

Since it was so late in the season when we were ready to really start looking for the patio shelter, my choices were a little limited. There are some features on others i had seen that i would have liked to have on this one, but all-in-all, i like this choice. Whatever I bought had to have mosquito netting & this one does. It also has a really nice canvas top that seems a bit more decorative than some out there. and... It only took us 3 hours to get it up! It didn't come put together like OTHER people's did.

Now that it's been up for a bit and people have been over to enjoy it, i started to wonder what the big rush was. The whole time it was in the 90s - 100 outside, you wouldn't have found me out there! But what i do know is I'm glad it's up now, because the perfect weather is finally here! (i should have known this was really something meant to be enjoyed in the fall!)

So if you are in the neighborhood, stop on by. We have plenty to eat and drink & the patio is lighted for those evenings when the weather is perfect for staying out past dark!

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