Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Buildin' the Yard a Brick at a Time

Using Craigslist as my main supplier has left me in some odd situations.  Whether it was heaving piles of muddy sod at 11 PM in an abandoned neighborhood, or taking river rocks from the front yard of a repo home (yes, I was invited - I think), it's definitely a touch shadier than pushing around a shopping cart with a squeaky wheel through Home Depot. My brick acquisition was right on par. 

The post came up: "413 Decorative Bricks" (who the heck counts all 413??). I quickly replied, and then moved on with my day.  After about an hour I got a reply saying they'd already been claimed. No biggie, considering I actually had no idea what I was gonna do with a bunch of bricks (413, to be exact). Coincidentally, I found myself heading home after a different craigslist item flaked when I got a call from the brick guy. He said they were mine if I was willing to come now. I tapped my inner Vin Diesel, whipped my truck around (while impressively missing two mailboxes) and gunned it for midtown. I didn't realize how odd this pick-up was until the address led me deeper and deeper into the city. Having a hard time imagining what anyone was doing with free bricks in downtown Sacramento, I warily made my way to the house and found a parking spot, wondering what building I would be chiseling bricks from. The owner turned out to be really cool - had a condo, and used the bricks in his 'backyard', a 5-by-8 foot space behind the condo (and right next to the communal walkway). His wife was going for a new backyard theme… Ok. So I used my trusty buckets and started to haul the bricks. Each load had me dumping a pile of bricks into the back of my truck, then waiting for the evening traffic to pass so I could go back to the condo. And even though they were the half-size, not-fully-grown bricks (apparently that's the 'decorative' part), it was a solid hour-plus to haul them all.

Once I got them home I stared at them for a few days trying to decide what to do next. My wife (being a woman of action) took over and laid out a 'patio', and then suggested I dig each one individually in, and then secure it with sand. Not too bad until you factor in a 2 year-old going all Godzilla over the bricks (anyone remember Sim City?) and pulling them up faster than I could lay them. Bet Vin Diesel never had a race that intense. Thank goodness for nap time.

My new pile of bricks
A piece of the patio (more pics to come upon completion)

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