Sunday, October 30, 2011

69. Make behind the garage usable space

About a month after I began working on my goals I thought this goal was one that I was going to have to find a way to wildcard.  Behind the garage has always been usable space.  We have used it as a wasteland for all of our yard scraps.  It was also an eyesore and a waste of quite a big area of land.

Here is a before picture:

My Dad decided that instead of watching for prices to come down on fire pits, that he was just going to get me one for my birthday.   After some thinking we decided that there was no other place to put it than behind the garage.  I decided to start clearing out some of that dirt to begin leveling the area.

Here is the progress I made in just a few hours of work.  It hadn't rained in weeks so everything was dry and light. (sorry about the picture quality, the camera couldn't decide between sun and shade)

 We had spent a lot of time looking for bricks in the past but could never find a great price on craigslist.  The same day we decided to do this project Melissa found a listing for 400 bricks for $20.  The guy selling the bricks couldn't count and actually had about 1100 bricks there.  He just wanted to get rid of them so he was happy for me to take them.  Four trips later here is what we had to work with!

How is this for a low cost steam roller!  I went back and forth about a hundred times and it worked great!

This is what exhaustion looks like.  After I had cleared a pretty big space we decided to widen the area.  That may have been the most tiring job of the whole project.

 A lot happened between the last picture and this one.  I am sad to admit that I don't have any pictures of Ryan or my Dad working on this project.  Without them I am pretty sure the bricks would still be stacked behind the garage and not in place.  We laid most of the bricks in one night.  Ryan and I laid bricks and my dad walked back and forth delivering bricks where needed.  We called it a night at about 11 pm. 

This picture doesn't do justice to the amount of "dust" that came up when I was cutting the bricks. I am pretty sure that in 30 years I will still be finding brick dust on some of my tools.  It really was a mess!  I used a concrete blade and put the bricks into the vice.  It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Messy, but not too difficult. 

 Sweeping sand into the spaces between the bricks.

The girls were able to have their birthday party outside with dinner on the new patio.

 We had the area done in time for the movie night, but it wasn't totally done at that point.  I mulched the back area (where the fire is), put in a path to go around the back side of the garage, and permanently put in the railroad ties around the bricks.

 We had a group of guys over to watch the Bears/Lions game.  The game didn't turn out so great, but the group that was together was a bunch of fun.  I can't wait until next spring/summer to have more people over to watch movies and games.

I am soooooo glad we did this project. After it was done I think we ate dinner outside for an entire week.  We cooked a number of those meals over the fire too. It was quite a bit of work, but all together it cost just over $100!  Behind the garage went from a wasteland to a really nice area.  I am 100% sure that this job would not have been done without having it on my list.

17 goals down!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

68. Watch 5 movies that I watched growing up

The other night I watched Last Action Hero on Netflix. I stumbled upon it while browsing the selection and knew it was the perfect movie to fit into the category of movies I remember from being a kid.  I only watched this movie 2 or 3 times growing up but it is definitely one that I remember from when I was younger.  I remember staying overnight with Matt at a friend's house and watching Arnold Schwarzenegger on Jay Leno or some late night talk show the night before the movie was released.  We talked about going to see the movie and were pumped to see the noon showing (or something near there).  We made sure that our friend's mom dropped us off early because it was the day of the release and was going to be the first showing of the movie and we wanted to make sure we could get a ticket for the premier.  After arriving early we found that it was us and about four other people who wanted to see the movie.  It turns out not too many others saw it either. 
After watching it again I don't think it was too bad.  It has a decent story line. 
Next up, I put in an inter-library loan request out for Surf Ninjas.  There are so many things in that movie I can not wait to make fun of again.