Tuesday, July 03, 2007

One Hurtin' Unit

Sunday was our 6th wedding anniversary. We spent the day between my parent's house and my in-law's house, amidst exciting activities like weeding the flower beds, doing car bodywork, doing laundry, practicing Ramona, trimming trees, arguing with my brother and general mayhem.
I love you Chris, these last 6 years have flown by. Right? Right!?!

Here's something you may not have known about me. I love Do-It-yourself. I love back breaking, sweating, and sometimes tear inducing physical work. Usually "house" kind of stuff. I don't live in a house, and since I am lacking in that area, my parents' house is usually the victim of my home repair, renovation fantasies.
What you must know about my parents is that they have no idea when it comes to updating, design or modification. Those are their words, not mine. They freely admit that they ask for help when it comes to anything regarding changes to the house and property.
And if there is nothing around the house to do, I will usually find a piece of furniture to spend hours pouring over, sanding, re-assembling and refinishing. It's a sickness I guess, due in part to my being a Gemini.
Anyways...I have a ridiculously long list of projects that I would like to accomplish at my parents' this summer. In no particular order, the list is as follows:

1. Widen driveway into two lanes. This will require a minimum of one day of very intense, back breaking work.
2. Rip off top and railing of existing sundeck and replace with new boards and railing.
3. Destroy brothers tree fort and haul it's entirety and all the crap that goes along with it to the dump.
4. Demolish existing crumbly sidewalk and replace with new patio stones, to create a "garden path" kind of feel.
5. Pour new cement pad in backyard, move shed onto it, and remove existing, rotting base.
6. Clean up my dad's random piles of garbage around the backyard (garbage consists of old siding, old broken flower pots, broken lawn chairs etc. that he has been supposed to get rid of for years). Once this is all gone, I plan on mowing what used to be the "garden" but is now 3 foot high quack grass, and creating a larger lawn.
7. Borrow someone's 4x4 truck and rip out this hideous tree that runs along my parents property.
8. If there is time I would like to finish re-doing the dresser I started last summer, but ran out of time for.

The list is lengthy - and each project is fairly major and will take up a good chunk of an entire weekend. My dad is already trying to convince me that the deck should wait until next year.
That's fine, I can deal with that.
So this weekend after some basic yardwork and upkeep, which involved me balancing on the sundeck railing about 15 feet above the sidewalk, with a pair of horrendous safety goggles and electric hedgetrimmers roaring in my hands, attempting to trim the spruce trees into nice, smooth columns, I convinced my dad that we should rip up the sidewalk on Monday.
My daddy-o, ripping up the first slab to show us how it's done.
It was a holiday so I would be around to do my share - what better time would there be to do it. At first he tried to brush me off, but after a little pouting and saying "but I really wanna use a sledgehammer to smash some stuff", he finally gave in and decided that my brother and I could do it on Monday. Yay!
My brother Matthew, trying to build up that skinny frame.
Sometimes I'm too helpful for my own good.
What started out as my dad saying "you guys will have it all done in a couple hours" turned into 6.5 hours of sledgehammering 72 x 2 feet of concrete four inches thick. Then smashing the extra piece that was 7 inches thick. Then hauling all the pieces into a trailer, then hauling it all back off the trailer at its destination. Then my dad getting the truck and trailer stuck in the ditch and us having to lift the trailer filled with 600 pounds of concrete. It ended up taking 4 trips with the truck just to get it all cleaned up.
The finished demolition - the patio stones will be in later this week.
Needless to say, I am aching today. I've been whining and pouting because every time I move I hurt, and I'm popping Ibuprofen like a chubby kid pops Jelly Babies.
Then tonight, my oh so caring husband said to me "It's usually worse the second day."
Gee, thanks. You are so wonderful. Thanks for pointing out that I will probably be even more miserable tomorrow. Sigh. Sometimes boys are such...boys.

I decided to stay overnight at my parents' house last night, and make the three hour trek back to the city this morning. This involves me being on the road by 5 so I can peel into the parking lot at work by 8. In actuality, I leave at 5:25 and still make it by 8 - you do the math.
This morning though, it was insanely foggy. There was so much fog that there was an eerie feeling to the whole first 2 hours of the drive. The fog hung very thick in the air and made it look like I was driving through a movie set. Plus, there were like 4 cars on the road for the entire drive.
(insert eerie music playing while I stopped to take a couple pictures)
But one of the weirdest things about the drive was the wildlife. Usually it's like a safari when I drive back to the city - animals are not a rare occurrence. But today, in the middle of a huge patch of fog there was this group of four turkey-like birds on the side of the road. I've never seen anything like them. They were quite large and stared at me as I approached them. I was actually a little freaked because they almost looked like little aliens.
So, in true over-the-top Ali fashion, I slowed down to look, realized how freaky looking they really were, hit the gas and peeled out while I screamed at the top of my lungs.
Apparently I thought the alien turkeys were going to develop thumbs, open my door, get into my moving vehicle and attack me.


Blogger John said...

Smashing concrete - my wife loves stuff like that. A few years ago she did work on someone's garden, smashing concrete, removing tree stumps that sort of thing, loved it. Then, when it got down to the flower beds and stuff she got bored and gave up!

I am sure I can see a Zombie in that foggy photo.

Those birds - I am sure I have seen something like that before. I don't think they are aliens somehow :-)

3:26 AM  
Blogger Reggie said...

Happy 6th Ali and Chris.

I absolutely love the pain you feel from sore muscles and bruises. Gigi thinks this is freaky. I sit around and moan at the pain but secretely love it. Yes it hurts but it feels good too.

I too have "Daddy piles" around the yard and need to haul the stuff to the dump.

5:52 AM  
Blogger John said...

Hey, I got so carried away with the rest of the post that I forgot to congratulate you on the anniversary! Happy 6th!

6:18 AM  
Blogger mike said...

wow, it's been six years already?

*counts fingers*

damn... doesn't seem like that long ago, happy 6th Alison and Chris!

8:30 AM  
Blogger Logziella said...

Happy Anniversary!!!!

5:39 PM  
Blogger 2xA+r0n said...

You know, your folks prolly wouldn't mind if you moved back in to help around the house. ;^)

7:38 AM  

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