Yes. Counting. I got up early (well early for me) yesterday and got busy mixing concrete to finish filling the mold for a couple benches and a small patio coffee table.
I had planned on giving it up after all the work we did last week since hubby took the 1/2 inch hammer drill with him on his traveling for work. It just seemed too silly to buy another one to finish using up the last of our bags of concrete. Besides, if the concrete bags didn't make it through the winter it is only a loss of about $25 to $30, and we did make very good use of the majority of it. Right? Right. But once in a while I figure out that my brain is just stuck somewhere ridiculous. Brain...... fail.
Another drill on sale would cost... yes... that is right... $25. So for an equal loss of money, I get to mix up the rest of the concrete bags for something useful... and get an extra tool to have on hand. Much better than having $25 of brick-hard bags of concrete that I don't know what to do with. So Saturday while replacing the drill that hubby would take with him (and that I killed mixing cement), I purchased an extra drill to take back home with me.
But that isn't the counting I am talking about. The counting happened after I finished filling the other two parts of this mold and was trying to decide to fill another mold for benches, or not. So I pulled the tarps covering the left over bags of concrete and actually counted
them. Big mistake. Last year we had purchased all that the station wagon could safely carry several times during a concrete sale so that we would have more than enough to take care of the curved ramp-walkway and maybe some fill-in around the grill paddy we were planning. Evidently we never fully counted the bags because after using around 30 for the walkway, and several for the bench-table mold... we still had about 17 bags left!
And how could I justify using 17 bags up on odd benches and table tops that I don't even really know where I will put them? Just can't. So I did what any sane person would do... well not exactly sane.
I cleared off the old concrete paddy
that we broke up and moved out of the way of the walkway and used a metal fence-post to lever it into the right place. Then leveled it with some rocks in the back and sides.
Then mixed another 10+ bags of concrete and carried them about 1/3 bucket-full at a time from the side of the house and filled in around, under, and between the big pieces for an extended grill paddy. Not surprisingly though, mixing 10+ bags on my own was about 50 times harder than mixing 30+ bags with hubby here to help with the heavy lifting.
While doing this I also embedded two large eye-bolts into the concrete with the heads in little plastic sauce cups. This makes them flat to the paddy and not a tripping hazard if there isn't a grill there, but will allow for me to tighten down the grill with a cable when it is there. Once the concrete is fully set and cured I will heat the plastic cups with my heat gun and pull them out with some pliers.
While it isn't quite the grand dreams of the "Grill Paddy
" as I have been envisioning it, it is a good step in the right direction.
So now all I need to do is level and tamp some more sand into the gap and re-lay the patio bricks. And since the patio bricks have settled badly near the foundation in several places and weeds are trying to grow up between them.... I really should pull up and re-lay all of them. Yep, about 600 square feet of them......
All because I made the mistake of counting how many bags of concrete I had left.