First, let me just show you this because it's a thing of beauty:
Now, with that out of the way, sit back and I'll tell you the tale of our Sunday. It was hot. The end.
OK, just kidding, but not about the part where I said it was hot. I showered three times just to get rid of the soaked clothing and inch-thick medley of sunscreen and Deet on my skin. Ken lost 5lbs and I lost 3lbs. Take that, Weight Watchers. We didn't even have to count any points. We just had to work our keesters off in mid-90s temps for roughly 10hrs.
Our shift began around 8am when we headed out to the backyard to let the kids and dogs run wild while we cleaned up. I'd show you some "before" pictures, but let's just say that I learned a very important blogger lesson yesterday: Put your memory card back in the camera before taking more pictures. Otherwise, you're not really taking pictures; you're just carrying a camera around and making clicky sounds.
My first task was to cut up and bundle the large pile of dead branches that had accumulated along the eastern side of our yard. Every time a storm blows through, the two pines, one oak, and one maple on that side of the yard lose branches like it's their job. You'd see a picture of the pile now, but I hadn't yet noticed that the card wasn't in the camera. But here's what resulted hours later:
Trust me; it's a lot better than it looked before. Plus, Ken added some fresh dirt from his initial task of the day--yanking out all the railroad ties that formed the planting beds between the backyard and the driveway. The excavator is going to need a clear path into the yard with his equipment, so we had to make away with any obstacles. Again, the "before" photo is missing, but here's a snippet of "during":
We often reuse things, so we'll hang on to the railroad ties and see what comes up later that we can use them for. Maybe caber tossing. Those things are heavy!
With the railroad ties out of the way, Ken moved on to his next masterful engineering feat of raising our airborne power and phone cables out of the way so the excavating equipment will have plenty of clearance. Again, "before" picture is missing, but feast your eyes on this marvel of engineering prowess:
Astounding, am I right? Here's a closeup:
Note how the power cable rests gently in the cradle at the top of the PVC pipe, while the phone cable nestles beside the pipe on a screw covered with rubber tubing. Couldn't have done it better myself.
Anyway, the day was moving along and became time to tackle the most undesirable but most important project left--taking down the deck. For this I have a "before" picture:
We cleared all the junk off of it and my biker/pirate husband got to work, first on the rails:
Then on the decking:
At that point we started taking turns inside with the kids. It was too stinking hot to keep them outside to suffer with us. So Ken would pry up a handful of boards, and I would switch with him and go outside to bash the nails flat against the underside of each board with a small sledgehammer. What fun! I didn't even hit my own feet or ankles one single time.
I didn't think any pictures of my bashing existed, but lucky for me (urgh) Ken snuck this picture when I wasn't paying attention:
Slowly, the deck started to disappear (except if you look in our side yard, where all the wood is piled). I forgot to take pictures of the later stages, so let's just skip to the end:
TA DA! What's deceiving about this picture is that it makes it look like we finished dismantling the deck while it was still light out. Ha! We finished with battered bodies around 10pm and then fell asleep, so this picture was taken today instead. But at least we got the job done. That weird piece of railing that's affixed to the side of the house in front of the slider is to keep dogs and children (and even sleepy adults) from opening the door and stepping out onto the missing deck. It will be even more important once the excavator has dug out the full basement below where the new kitchen will be. That drop will be a doozy.
And so ends another installment of our home addition project. Now we wait for the excavator to finish another job and haul his stuff over here to get started. We never thought we'd say it, but we're glad the weekend is over so we can go to work. And rest.