Saturday, July 24, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation

I get 3 weeks paid vacations a year, which is not bad, considering I'm a server in a restaurant.  A lot of restaurants don't give you anything for time off!  It's not a lot of money, but I earned my 3 weeks, and I take my 3 weeks!

This vacation that I'm on right now is a staycation.  The furthest I went was the local Home Depot.  I had things to do around my house... LITERALLY around my house, and by God, I was getting it done.  Well, some of it anyway.

What a wanted to do was use stone pavers like this one, but the cost would have been around $500 and I didn't have that kind of money this year (maybe next year... we're planning on it).  **This is NOT my patio!  This was on the Home Depot website!  I wanted to get these pavers for the walkway. 

 Instead, we decided to recycle the stepping stones we already had and use mulch on the walkway.  It has to be better than the mess that's on there now!
Like a friend mentioned, I chose the hottest week of the year to tackle a big outside project.  I didn't do it on purpose!  It was a week that not a lot of other people had scheduled ( you can't have too many servers off on the same week) I didn't get nearly as much accomplished as I had hoped, but I did get a good portion of it done.

I haven't gotten to the area to the left of the walkway, so I'll post before and after of them when it gets done.  In the meantime.... 

Here are the Before Pictures of the walkway.

To say I had a lot of weeds growing is an understatement!  My gardens were out of control!  I kept hoping the garden fairy would show up and make it all disappear, but that didn't happen.  So it was up to me and my daughter, Dani to get the job done.  I did all of the weeding.  After sweating my ass off, pulling these weeds and not getting much done, I got smart and bought CHEMICALS to kill the weeds!

Dani and I set to work, lifting all the stepping stones, which were supposed to be held down with cement.  Over time (like 2 years) the cement started to disintegrate and grass grew in between all the stones, as you can see in the picture above.  It made it really easy to remove the stones, but those stone were sooo heavy!

These are pics of the walkway minus the stones and cement.  There was a layer of sand underneath.

Yesterday, Dani and I went to Home Depot and bought 12 bags of pine mulch and dumped them on the driveway to be used tomorrow.  I also purchases Round Up Extended Control weed killer.

I sprayed all that grass and weeds with Round Up Extended Control, and within hours, they were dead!  This morning, I took a hoe and raked up all the dead grass and weeds and smoothed out the sand that was under all the stepping stones and cement. 

We tried to get an early start today, but by 9 am it was already 86 degrees outside and the temps were climbing quickly.  So we set to work, but it was so hot, we had to stop twice to rehydrate and cool down. 

We dumped 8 of the 12 bags of mulch on the walkway and  raked it as level as we could.  We had to take a break after doing this part too.  By now, it was around 90 degrees, and of course, the walkway is in full sun,  but there patches of shade all over the yard!  Figures.

Photos of the walkway with just the mulch.  Looking better already!

Finally, after all that work, it was time to place the stepping stones back on the walkway.  We used the last 4 bags of mulch to fill in in between the stones.  And this is the end result!

I also need to add mulch to the front gardens, but I want to get the bushes trimmed and neater before I do it. 

I still have a lot of work on the sides and back of the house.  I did manage to weed quite a bit of the back deck and along the back side of the house.   Here are a few before pictures.  When I get it all finished I'll post them too.  I need to borrow my neighbor's power washer because someone borrowed mine and I never saw it again.  but then, he did plumbing work for me and never came around to get paid, so I guess we're even.

So stay tuned for what I do on my day off!  Hopefully by summer's end, my house will look decent again!


Pseudo said...

You and your daughter do great work. I love your yard and your deck.

Unknown said...

The walkway looks very nice!

Peggy said...


I had to come over and see what you were up to.
You two are good at this yard stuff.
It really looks great!

Joanna Jenkins said...

WOW! You two did A LOT of work! And it's looking great. Hope the weather gives you a break.
xo jj

PS Stop by, I'm having another giveaway.

Sueann said...

Ambitious project!! And in this heat!! Argh!!! But the end result is fantastic. Looking good!!
Now put your feet up and get a nice Mojito and chill!!!

linlah said...

Love waht you did, but whoa what a lot of work in hot weather.

Heather said...

It looks fabulous! Yall really worked your tussies off! Something like that would have taken me all week, thankfully you had your daughter there to help out.

Captain Dumbass said...

Looking good. Why is it always hottest when we decide to start a project? What's the deal with that?

Brian Miller said...

wow. you have been looks really great!

Amy said...

Kudos to you for doing that kind of work in such crazy heat.

Rose said...

what a vacation. the walkway are looks much better.

Lilly said...

Wow, that looks great! sometimes its more relaxing staying home for your vacation. And looks like you are getting lots done too!