1. Put in patios.
a. Grade & compact gravel
DONE, thanks to Ken & the Wacker. Yes, it's truly called the Wacker. Thanks rental shop!
b. Put down sand (planned for Sunday)
c. Put down bricks (planned for Sunday/Monday)
Instead of this plan, we realized we should do one whole patio at a time, to make sure the sand didn't get rained on or otherwise wrecked. So we started with the little patio - sand, then the old bricks and newer rocks/boulders. Some of the bricks from each place that contributed bricks are in the patio - we mixed them up pretty well.
Here it is post-Wacker:
And here it is when we started figuring out how to lay the bricks:
Of course, it had to rain and thunder and lightning in the middle of everything, so we had to get out all the tarps. Ken made a great boy-scout style shelter so we could keep going even as the occasional showers continued. No, we didn't work in the thunderstorm - I'm too afraid of lightning!
It made a huge, huge difference to put in the sand on top - it evoked a "holy sh**" response, even. We love it and you can see this little patio from the living room and dining room.
Tomorrow we'll attack patio #2, the big one. We'll see how far we get. Especially since my arms are just about falling off from today. Hurts to type. Ugh.
So we had a big ol' pile of dirt (about 12 yards) that was an eyesore to the neighbors and us, and we didn't need it. We tried Freecycle, Craig's List, local e-bulletin board at work. Several folks wanted the free fill. One guy took a truckload last weekend. Several people backed out after saying they wanted it. Here's my favorite example (direct quote):
I must decline the offer of dirt. Due to poor health I will be unable to pick up.
Thank you very much for your offer."
Can you get any lower than having your free dirt offer rejected? I don't know.
We did get one guy who went to great lengths, renting a Ditch Witch and he also oput leaf springs in his truck so he could get all the dirt. He didn't show up the afternoon we expected him, so we were beginning to feel stood up again. Then he showed up bright and early this morning, started hauling fill, and kept going until literally 10 minutes ago. We put in the patio, I went to work for a couple hours, we had dinner, a Margarita, and he's still taking loads of fill to his house. He's whittled this starting pile:
Down to almost nothing. He will be back in the morning to clean the rest up and take it. Unbelievable - and he kind of made our weekend. How sweet to be sipping the ol' Rita while someone else is hauling away your "offer of dirt".