Saturday, September 21, 2013

Floods, Food and Patios: An Update....

Holy Soaking Socks!  I appreciated the rain that we've had over the last few days, but I'm pretty sure I'll need to get out on the mower and finish mowing whether I like it or not.  Seriously, with a little flooding, the yard perks right up and the weeds grow in front of your eyes. 

On Friday, I got to experience my first flooded area in Lytle.  I stopped by the Lytle Oil Exchange to pick up half a yard of crushed granite to finish Eva's patio project (I'll tell you about it in a minute).  First off, they looked at me like I was a nut for wanting to get materials in the midst of a monsoon.  I said I would wait patiently by the huge pile of rock until they felt like it was dry enough to come out and load my truck.  About 20 minutes later, seeing that I wasn't leaving, the guy jumped on his Bobcat, loaded me a scoop of the crushed granite and sent me on my way.

I took my usual shortcut through town and noticed a "detour" sign, but also noticed that all the cars in front of me were going around the detour sign.  Like the lemming I am, I followed suit.  Then of course, when I got further down the street and saw the river crossing the road - oh, and by the way, I should mention there is no river in Lytle - and a sheriff parked on the other side with his flashers on, I decided to make a u-turn in the street and go back the other direction.  I'll be a law breaker all day long, speeding well above the posted limit and sometimes using the left lane even when I'm not passing, but I refuse to be the dumbass who has to be rescued from a low water crossing, no doubt being ridiculed by everyone seeing my face on the 10 o'clock news. 

I ended up driving on Highway 132 all the way to Natalia, and frankly, it felt good not to drown or have to be rescued.

If it seems like a while since I've posted, let me simply report that I have been one busy little beaver.  It is that time of year for all the government folks to spend all the taxpayers money, get contracts finalized and generally, work late every night.  Eva will be glad when this month is over, and so will I.

I was prompted to remember that I had a blog this morning.  We drove down to Devine and attended a fund raiser for the Wings and Reins horse rescue.  They had a little rummage sale sort of thing and we bought a few nick-knacks.  Jo, the nice lady who leads the effort remembered Eva from the time we baby sat horses for a few days.  She laughed about the video I posted on the blog and and relived the good times.  If you didn't see, check it out here and here
 Last weekend during the big Texas A&M Alabama game, we met with friends at a place on the river walk called Charlie Wants a Burger.  They are located across the street from Pat O'Brien's if that helps.  Actually, we sat out on the river walk dining area but kept track of the game through the window. 
I got an order of onion rings just so we could all try them out and they were fantastic. This wasn't the whole order, just the one that ended up on my plate.
Several of us had Charlie's Juicy Lucy which is a great burger with lots of cheese, grilled onions, jalapenos and pickles.  What a fantastic looking burger with lots of gooey, melty cheese.  Unfortunately, we all noticed immediately that the jalapenos were missing.  In what was a fluke to our otherwise great service, it took forever to have a small plate of jalapenos delivered so we could doctor the things up and eat.  I think we all would have rather just eaten them without the jalapenos if we thought it was going to take so long.  Oh well, I'm not going to let that spoil the good time.  Our food was great and it was a nice enjoyable place.  Try it and let me know what you think. 
Speaking of food, on Friday evening, Eva had a hankering for some nachos and a margarita.  We slipped over to La Pasadita in Natalia and had a plate full.  I like the place for breakfast, I like them for lunch, and now I am happy to certify them for dinner! 

So you'll have to understand that my knees really, really hurt when I tell you that I mostly watched Eva re-do our front patio.  You'll recall how excited we were when we Eva and her sister Liz put down the flagstone in March of last year.
 So fast forward to a few weeks ago when we realized that the underlying plastic was not allowing enough drainage and we were getting a moldy situation.  I came home from work one night and Eva had pulled up all the flagstone and was busy moving the sand and decayed crushed granite around so she could remove the layers of plastic.   I promise it was her doing the work, but she has threatened me with physical violence if I post the pictures of her bending over performing manual labor.

I did actually get out and help shovel for a while until my knees really hurt, then I suggested we hire someone to finish the job.
So the next evening, having not hired anyone but me, Eva had me pick up some sand from our materials place in Lytle.  We removed all of the plastic that was causing the crappy drainage, then started leveling things off with the idea of a slight slope for water to run-off and not form any pools.
Next, we put down some of that really good weed barrier so we'd be able to get the drainage we need without the constant pop-up weeds.  We'll see how that works within a few months, I'm sure.
From there, it was a matter of using sand to level each of the pieces of flagstone.  I can say that, while I moved the heavier pieces and manned the wheelbarrow, Eva really did most of the work.
The patio looks a lot better than it did and I feel pretty comfortable that we'll get good drainage, both on top and beneath the rock.   And if we get just a little bit more rain, I think all the residual sand and granite will rinse away. 

So I think we are up to date here. I have to finish this up so I can let two little girls watch funny cat videos on YouTube.  If you are grandparent, you know that the best thing ever invented was funny videos of little cats and little dogs, because no matter what kids want to do (like have me blow up the swimming pool or set up the bouncing castle, you can completely divert their attention with videos of cats and dogs doing silly things.  That, my friends, is your grandfather'ing and grand-uncle'ing advice for the day.

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