At the end of last week, the contractor finally came out to finish the dog run.
They built it last year and were supposed to come in July to put stucco on the CMU (concrete masonary units), change out the gate (cyclone fencing is verboten by our HOA), and level the concrete floor in the living area.
Due to the early record monsoon and then the rainy and windy fall and then the very snowy winter--plus illness in the contractor's family--they finally got out here Thursday. What is it Robbie Burns said about "the best laid plans"...?
Yesterday, once the stucco was dry, we went down to the East Mountain Transfer Station to get free wood chips. That will be more comfortable for the dogs and keep the weed problem down. Also, if we get a good monsoon it will mean less mud. We pulled up to the little window and Bruce told the guy that we wanted wood chips.
TS Guy: "They are free if you load them yourselves and five dollars if I load them with a front end loader."
Bruce: "Five dollars? Hmmm. Elie, N., are you ready to do loading?"
Me: Stunned silence.
TS Guy: "Look, I'll put a whole truckload in your bed in less than 5 minutes."
Bruce: "Ah...how much did you say?" Looks at me.
TS Guy: "Sir, five dollars for the front end loading..." I nodded at him. "That'll be five dollars, sir."
Bruce: "I think five dollars is a reasonable price to avoid divorce." And he paid up.
Of course, we had to unload ourselves back home. We got about a quarter of the way done when a thunderstorm that had been brewing for a while reached the threatening stage. So we still have the rest to unload today. It's dusty work--but you know how much this would have cost at a garden supply store? Or to have the contractor do it?
And it looks really good inside the dog run and against the stucco.
The dog run phase I will finally be finished once we spread the wood chips 4 inches thick across the whole area.
Phase II involves putting a green metal roof over the "living area" where the dog house stands.
I also got some more steps done on "the 300 million year stonescape" project.
It is going slowly but surely.
And Bruce got the chairs out on the porch in time for us to sit outside Saturday evening. I think they look really nice on the porch.