Sundog snippets: The shape of things to come

The gazebo is finally up.

It’s been a bit of an odyssey.

Last year, Phil thought he’d like to put a permanent gazebo up on our patio.  He set about drawing up plans and figuring things out.

This spring, rather than building the wooden gazebo with roof and shingles, Phil opted to purchase a metal gazebo.

It was supposed to be 10’ by 12’ and our patio was only about 10’ by 10’.  After we got the birches and the poplar removed in the spring, Phil determined that he would dig down and pour sono-tubes full of concrete to serve as footings for the new gazebo.

Then it rained.  Then it got super hot.  Then it rained again.  Then Phil bought Bucket.

It wasn’t until August that he got those footings poured, 10’ by 12’, on centre, levelled.  They should have been as perfect as Phil could have made them.

Then Phil opened the boxes (there were several) and located the instructions.  The first issue was the manner in which the directions suggested the gazebo be assembled: put the roof together, and have 6 people on ladders hold it up while 2 more people assemble the structure beneath it.

We both had a hoot about that.

Phil chose to put together the part of the frame that should have confirmed the proper placement of the footings.  The gazebo turned out not to be 10’ by 12’, even though every measurement in the instructions and on the boxes indicated that it was those exact dimensions.

It was 9’ 7” by 11’ 7”.

So Phil went out and got even bigger sono-tubes, excavated the ones he’d poured, stripped off the cardboard so that the new cement would adhere to what he’d already poured, and positioned the tubes so that the expanded diameters should have supported the posts.  Even then, the posts rested on the very edges of the footings.  He’d have to start over.

Phil was not a happy camper.

So more sono-tubes and more quick-crete later, and the gazebo is finally up.

Phil putting the roof on and Nu in the shade

Phil putting the roof on and Nu in the shade

It's up!

It’s up!

As I was helping Phil out yesterday (handing him roof struts and bolts), I found this lovely little heart-shaped stone.  I think that says it all.  He still loves me 🙂

The random, heart-shaped rock I found

The random, heart-shaped rock I found

I’ll show you what the finished, finished gazebo looks like next week with the curtains and the patio set.  I’ll have my outdoor office for fall.

Any reno-misadventures to share?

Sundog snippet

Sundog snippets: Two things I’ve figured out about myself

This is just a quickie to let you know I remain smoke free, and that so far, I’ve not suffered too much in the withdrawal department.  Spending the week out of town did help significantly.

Phil is not doing so well, but he smoked for 34 years.  And, his motivation is monetary.  Mine is too, but I’ve only been smoking, off and on, for about 20 years, with stretches of intermittent quittage mixed in.

In the process I’ve discovered something.  I’ve started dreaming again.  This may only be a withdrawal issue and therefore transitory, but I’ve been dreaming like crazy this week.  Wild, creative dreams that seem to last all night, so I’m not sleeping well, but I’ll take the dreams over sleep any day.

My dreams are where a lot of my story ideas come from.

The dreams of Saint John Bosco

The dreams of Saint John Bosco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought I’d just stopped dreaming as much because I was getting older.  This gives me hope that my brain is just as messed up as it ever was 😀

It’s also another motivation for me to stay off the devil weed (as one friend calls it).

The other thing I figured out earlier in the summer, but I didn’t want to write about it so soon on the heels of my “Life Sentence with Mortal Punctuation” series.  It just seemed too serious.

I’m fortunate.  Phil cooks for us.  I don’t like to cook and my efforts in that area have dwindled to nothing in the last few years.

I now have a good idea why: my ideation.  Even though I know how to address and subdue the beast, it doesn’t mean I want to think about cutting myself, or anyone else, every time I pick up a knife.  So I’m really very grateful that Phil cooks.

I’m also grateful for take-out, ‘cause every man has his limits.

Have you learned anything interesting about yourself lately?