Building the deck

George’s deck project is coming along just fine. Yesterday he took a trailer to Lowes and picked up 50 bags of concrete/rock mix. That’s 50 bags at 80 lbs per bag. We used 5 of those mixed in the traditional fashion and used as a footer and then used the other 45 in a dry fashion. The deck area had been filled and leveled with yards of fill dirt on top of which the concrete was spread, dry 2 1/2” thick. We finished up about 7:30 PM just when the rain started. The first two pictures show the deck in that state. I was fairly sore from lifting those bags but two Aleve’s and a Bigeloil rubdown seemed to do the job and I got a good night’s sleep. We took a day off to let the concrete deck harden.
The current job is to make and put down concrete pavers on top of the layer of concrete – we estimate that will require 60 or so bags of concrete – at 80 lbs per bag. The pics show the pavers being laid down. George has a mold into which mixed cement is poured giving the affect of individual pavers. One bag of cement, mixed, is roughly 1 1/2 full molds. The last picture represents 20 bags of cement – about 1/3 of the job and 4 hours of work. I’m the cement mixer, George is the paver man. This is all new work to me so I’m learning on the job. I already learned enough not to try anything like this at my place.

Semi crop failure. I planted a couple rows of a bush bean, Nash variety. For whatever reason, one of the rows had a germination rate just under 50% but the other row was more like 10%. The seed was two seasons old so perhaps that had something to do with it but I think when I planted Nash last season, it wasn’t all that good either. The fact that most of the failure was in one row gives me pause that maybe a critter ate the seeds or that there’s something chemically wrong in that immediate location. I had another pack of “new” seed, a mix of green and yellow Italian, Romano style so I replanted those two rows as needed and added two new rows. This planting is also a bit of a crap shoot because I didn’t really buy these seeds. A seed company I order from sent me this pack labeled as “experimental” for free. That happens all the time and generally I don’t plant them simply because with my limited space, I really hate to use it for something I haven’t specifically selected. But in this case, it’s the last of the bean seed and if I don’t get something going, no green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. Oh, that’s right, I have pole beans planted so that takes some of the pressure off the experimentals.

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