On Saturday, Liz and I met up with Julie and Bob at the University of Chicago, inside the Center for Care and Discovery building. Bob was scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure (something I really haven’t mentioned on here, before now). Without going into details, suffice it to say it was a serious procedure and we’ll leave it at that.
Liz would fill the mixer with 1.5 gallons of water. Then I’d dump in an 80 pound bag of cement. We’d mix that for a few seconds, and then I’d dump in another bag. That got mixed for about 4-5 minutes, and then poured into the ground. As Bob scooped the cement in to the hole, we repeated the process all over again.
It was great to see Bob working in Autocad, laying out a rough plan for where things should go. With the bulk of our work focused on cleaning and demo, it was exhilarating to think about future stuff – to think on the creating the new, instead of removing the old. I know that Liz in particular was very excited/happy afterwards.
The text I got from Bob let me know that Julie was sick, and couldn’t make the trip. The two of them were going to use the table delivery as a means to take a quick weekend vacation, and spend a little time in Kohler. But with Julie at home sick, Bob was facing the prospect of a long road trip solo – so I opted to be his copilot for the day. And as a bonus, I’d also get to see Alex and Linda, and the kids!
Saturday was a big push to focus on our front lawn. It’s been sitting in a fairly blank state, ever since Liz and Julie powered through the overgrowth and managed the tame the craziness that was here previously.
Liz and I went down to spend the day in Frankfort, with me hanging out with Bob and her hanging out with Julie. While the girls went off to go shopping for plants and things to put in our front yard, I spent my time helping Bob clean out the garage a bit – and running several errands.
Tonight, I worked with Bob on setting up the base for a hefty column in the basement. The goal is to raise up the first floor a bit, as it’s sagging significantly in a few spots. But to do that, we need a substantive base to rest the column on.
Many months ago, Bob started on a side project where he was building a sign post for an old golf sign. Don, a friend of his, has a house that sits on the border of a golf course – and Don had gotten his hands on one of the old/original signs for one of the holes. But what he needed was a post large enough (and appropriate enough), to support the sign for his yard.
First piece down! We have strips of wood that were glued to the floor joists, and another layer of glue bonding the plywood with the strips. We used a nailer (powered by a pretty large compressor) to hold everything down. My first attempt at the nailer had me accidentally shooting out two nails at once. But after that small hiccup, I got the hang of how it works. Man, those things are powerful.
With plywood and starter down along the East side of the porch, Bob started to set up the shingles. While I helped cut some of the shingle pieces, I spent a lot of my time as a gopher. Given our movements from the porch down to the ground, there was a decent amount of tool and material fetching, throughout the day.
The yard was always incredibly pretty to look at, but seeing it from this height made it even better. No wonder they want a little porch are up here.
We went through a process of throwing in some sand, wetting it down with water, and then tamping it down. Repeated this for a while (though I have to say, having a spigot and working water again in the basement feels like a treat and a luxury).
Down in the basement, I got to see what our plumber had been up to. He’s successfully replaced our lead pipe, and things are markedly less dangerous/unstable. We were originally going to have to freeze the pipe to work on it, but he was able to do it without the freezing (and ended up saving us a few hundred dollars, as a result).
We pulled out the aluminum brake, and worked on getting some large sheets measured out and folded up. In the course of the process, I ended up misaligning one of the (large) pieces, and we made a bend that nearly wrecked one of the pieces. Instead of a straight line, my mistake ended up causing a slightly diagonal bend.