I've really slacked on these blogs, which is probably a byproduct of working every waking minute (not really, but it feels like it more often than not) on the porch. Care to guess what I've been working on the past couple days?
NOT THE PORCH.
I needed a break. And, porch lumber scraps had piled up enough that I needed to get a dumpster out here so that's what I did. I got a dumpster, and I started filling it up...with bricks and stone.
I don't have any legit "before" pics because the original plan was to only spend about half a day grabbing the easy-to-grab masonry debris that you see in the pic and throwing it away. One thing led to another and I figured since I started the job, I may as well finish it.
But that pic doesn't do the situation justice. This spot in the yard isn't viewable from the street OR my neighbors' houses, which has made it the dumping ground for all sorts of nonsense. Any time I've found buried garbage - stones, bricks, whatever - that was too big and bulky for the regular trash, I've piled it up here. Similarly, as I've slowly removed the brick pavers from sections of the yard, they've all gotten piled up here. And not neatly; "thrown" would be a better word. The section in front of the deck, that was the worst by far, just a mountain of busted bricks and broken glass and limestone of all shapes and size.
In short, the piles of brick and stone had created a situation where it was fairly difficult to even walk through the area, and the piles had grown in size to become fairly noticeable from some of my neighbors' houses. It was long past time to do something about the mess.
So I started organizing the stuff I wanted to keep and wheelbarrowing the stuff I didn't want to keep out to the dumpster. In the process of cleaning up the section in front of the deck I unearthed quite a few mostly unremarkable items.
I also found the largest piece of precast material to date. It was buried fairly deep, and for the life of me I don't know what it is or why it was buried. I've found comparable pieces of the same stuff throughout the yard, but never as big or complete as the chunk I dug up a couple days ago.
Somebody on social media said it was possibly a countertop, but I'm not sure I agree. I think it's part of a fireplace surround and mantel, based on the shapes, sizes, and detailed engraving of the pieces I'd found previously. Regardless, this thing was about a foot underground and now it's not.
Anyhow...there have been some accomplishments the past few days. While waiting for the dumpster - it showed up many hours late - on Thursday I removed a big bush, root wad and all, that had been in the middle of the yard and really didn't serve any purpose. Today I finished up the masonry/yard cleanup and got things halfway organized.
It's not a real big physical accomplishment, and I eventually need to find a real home for the bricks and stone, but y'all have no idea how many times I've walked past the mess back there and said to myself "you really gotta clean this shit up". Mentally, this was a MONSTER win. I even planted grass seed by the deck, trimmed up the mulberry tree in the very back of the yard, and burned a few sticks in the fire pit (mostly to keep the mosquitoes away).
And when all that was said and done, I got the scrap lumber under the porch hauled out to the dumpster. Tomorrow, it's back to makin' sawdust and progress on the porch.