Friday, June 18, 2010

I've Gone and Done it Now

Friday, day seven of the now infamous cold, and I could not take it anymore. The laying around. I quit the Theraflu on day six, came out of the antihistamine induced fog, and got royally pissed off by the mud hole on the side of the house.

I love my standard poodles dearly. I even tell people I could be like the cat ladies, but instead of cats I would have tons of poodles. There is a huge problem. They have created so much destruction to the lawn it is hardly recognizable. Previously, I have only had little dogs. I was ignorant to the devastation big dogs could cause. Between the nightly high speed romping, and Lula Mae's acidic urine, we are lucky there is anything green on the ground at all. I daydream of a time when I can have acres of grass for them to romp on, but for now I must get real. I am happy to report they have quit cavorting with my flowers in their mouths, so now I can concentrate on plugging the muddy dirt holes. My plan? Stepping stones. I gathered some a while ago from my very favorite store, Homo Depot. I carted 15 packages home, and they have sat on the corner of the patio for months now. I loved them then, and I love them now.

We have a neighbor who is into landscaping. Two months ago we started the backyard negotiations. After many aborted attempts to mesh schedules along with ideas, screaming fits between the significant other and myself, horrifying costs of materials as well as labor, I have taken the bull by the proverbial horns. Mistress Phyllie, my wife, gave me carte blanche to "Create your art. That is what you are doing, isn't it"? She said with a tiny bit of fear, and a bit of trepidation in her voice. Her only requirement is that I not drag her into my insanity.

No problem, I have another helper in mind.

The mud has gotten to Phyllie as well. I don't understand why, but I know it is almost as bad as my own loathing. I think I have worn her down. Now she is as supple as the willow. Perhaps it was the constant harping I do while mopping up muddy paw prints, or the maniacal slinging of the vacuum while I mutter a string of naughty words that tend to end in "Damn Poodles."

Remember my OCD? Poor Phyllie.

I have been frustrated for months now because, you see, I have a vision. That is the one thing about me, I have this map maker in my brain. Between the map maker and my overactive imagination, I can get myself into, and sometimes out of, a whole shit load of trouble. Problem is my body isn't a young pup any longer. I don't know why my spirit continues to transmit these fabulous visions when I lack the physical ability to get 'er dun. I think they call it aging. I know I am not doing it very gracefully. Ignoring reality, I think all I have to do is figure out another way to get things done.

Eureka! I can be like the ant and the rubber tree plant. That's it. Get light pieces, and trek them in a little at a time. I can move that rubber tree plant. "I've got hi-i-igh hopes, I've got hi-i-igh hopes," I sing the little ditty to myself, what I can remember of it that is. Immediately I am hopeful.

I remembered putting in a paver patio in a new home I bought several years ago. "It wasn't that hard," I said aloud to myself. Of course that was a bit o' time ago, and lots of helpers, but I know how to do it, MYSELF. Ah, yes. That's the ticket. My brain was on fire with possibilities.

I calculated with lightening speed all of the pieces to the puzzle that had to go together to make the 564 square feet of offending mud disappear under the meshed-together multicolored slate stones. I laid out the 15 pieces of meshed-together stepping stones, jigsaw puzzle style, until I ran out of them. Then I did some visual calculations on how many more pieces I might need. Roughly 25 more ought to do it. Yes.

Now, sand. I have no idea how to calculate the amount needed to get the meshed- together pavers kinda level. I make no pretense in being a professional. I am aiming for rustic here. Not perfection. I like rustic. Especially in a backyard nature type setting. I thought the guys at Homo Depot will be able to assist in helping me determine how many 50 pound bags would be needed for that piece of the job. Here is the part which becomes very tricky. I can't possibly lift a 50 pound bag of sand, but I know someone who can. All I had to do is find out if he was available, and more importantly, willing.

Christian is my daughter's boyfriend. He is a big strong guy with a very sweet heart. He had never been involved with any of my hair brained schemes before today. I thought it was high time he get his opportunity to have some fun with the ole lady. I picked up the phone, and gave him a quick buzz. I was so thankful he was willing. He had some previous engagements he had to take care of, but he said he would call me when he was through.

I promptly put the dogs in their kennels, and I bolted for the store. I jumped into the trusty SUV, and realized I needed to first hurriedly remove the grandkids car seats. I needed the max space to cart home my booty. Details.

After stashing the booster seats in the garage behind CRZYGMA, my white Crossfire, the proverbial mid-life crisis car, I made a mental note to myself. When I get back, I need to reinstall the car seats because I tend to forget them. Nothing like having Grannie pick up the kids only to find she has left the seats at home in the garage. Simultaneously I also got a clear visual premonition of me getting in the Crossfire, firing her up, and promptly backing over the car seats because I forgot they were there. Gawd, I hope that vision doesn't come true. I shook myself awake from that nightmare, and headed off.

Before I could get to Homo Depot, I decided I needed some nourishment. I pondered the possibilities. Should I have the Mesquite Chicken on parmesan/rosemary bread from Quiznos? That sandwich is one of my all time favorites, but I had it for lunch yesterday. Humph. I mentally ran the other get-it-and go possibilities in the same shopping area in my head. I couldn't decide until I turned the corner and saw a Carl's Jr. sign. Santa Fe Chicken sandwich immediately popped into my mind. Even my taste buds ignored their sorry state and they gave a woo-hoo too!

I was on it. I hated to waste much time on the eating thang, so I decided to do a drive by, then munch on the go. Not too bright on my part. I notoriously cannot do anything but drive. I blame the attention deficit on my advancing age. I cannot fathom how my daughter can listen to music, as well as text and talk at the same time while driving. It's a mystery to me.

I recently learned I had to pay close attention to the driving at hand because a couple of months ago I was taking the grandchildren to Wally World when I tried to take a free right without paying much attention to the car ahead of me. Thankfully, I had already come to a full stop once. Otherwise the damage would have been much worse than the little nudge I gave the car ahead of me.

Invariably, my grandson will remind me of my "accident" whenever we are out driving. I worry he is scarred for life. That bit of information flashed in my consciousness instantaneously like a bolt of lightening. I shuttered.

I decided to put my Santa Fe Chicken burger down on my lap, but I did nab a burning hot french fry. After the first bite, the remainder of the furiously hot nubbin was chucked next to the chicken sandwich. Yeow, my tender taste buds were complaining. I grabbed a gulp from my diet Pepsi.

I was back to paying attention to getting myself safely to my destination. I chuckled aloud when I looked about to the other speeding motorists who were oblivious to me having taken my task seriously enough not to put their lives in jeopardy.

Finally, I arrive in the parking lot of Homo Depot. I picked a spot next to the gardening entrance. I hurriedly gulped down the chicken burger and a few fries while I listened to my country music. A guy in a gray Lexus SUV pulled in next to me. He smirked at me when he got out of his car. I imagined he would NEVER listen to country music. Smooth jazz maybe, but decidedly not country.

Unfazed, I bounded out of the car. I immediately began surveying the parking lot for the perfect cart. I was in luck, there were numerous flat orange carts just outside the garden gates. Problem is, they are unwieldy. After I fight with the cart, I manage to get it semi-heading in a bee line for the entrance. The cart looked like a dog on a trot. You know, the hind end seemed like it was moving faster, trying to catch up with the front end in parallel fashion. I knew where the held-together-by-mesh stepping stones were the last time I bought some, so I steered the flatbed in that direction. Thankfully, there were not many customers. There were no casualties.

I started loading the flexible yet held-together-by-mesh stones onto my cart as I sang, "She has hi-i-igh hopes, she's got hi-i-igh hopes.
She's got pie, apple pi-i-ie in the sky-y-y hopes," as I merrily loaded the stones.

Christian called.
"Do you still need some help? I'm done."

"Yepee. Yes," I tell him where I can be found. He arrives just after I had to get a clerk to help me load up some stones because they were out of my reach.

"I will finish this here. Can you go into the store and get some bags of stepping stone sand? I was in earlier, and I am afraid the guy will recognize me because I ordered some stuff and then decided I did not want to go with what I picked out. I had to cancel a $650 order. You can ask anyone of the guys there which bag of sand is the type to use with pavers." I am confident he could pull it off. Silently, I blame my gaffe on the fact I think I was still under the influence of Theraflu a tiny bit.

Fifteen minutes later, Christian is victorious. We meet up in the parking lot to load up the bounty. I am astonished to see Christian load TWO fifty pound bags of sand simultaneously into his Durango. Next, I turn to see the clerk, a fine strapping young man, take a pile of seven stepping stones, not the held-together-with-mesh kind. These are the real deal pavers. The blond youth effortlessly loads the huge pile at one time. My mouth gapes open.

I ask him if he wants to come home with me to help unload. He is kind and only rolls his eyes and says, "Sorry ma'am." I wondered how many times a day he gets asked that same question.

Finally, we make our way home. Again I marveled at Christian taking two 50 pound bags out of the car simultaneously, and dutifully marching them to their appointed destination. I fluttered around bringing in the various six-packs of ground cover I intended to place between the meshed-together stepping stones. After the very patient Christian finished bringing in the heavy stones, I did notice a bit of sweat on his brow.

Maybe it was a little difficult for him after all. I didn't get a chance to offer him anything to drink because he was summoned home. Off he went.

The 50 pound bags of sand were placed perfectly. I tore into them with my hoe.

The real work had just begun...

See part two tomorrow, that is if I can type!!!!! I finished the 564 square feet all by myself.

After my shower, I took two Advil and a Benedryl. In my haste to get started on the long overdue project, I forgot to put on sunblock. My lips are burning, and my typing fingers are giving out.

Stay tuned.

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