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Old 05-18-2009, 04:51 PM   #41
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In freakin' May?!? Yikes.
There was a bit of frost in some of the rural areas this morning (Dayton OH area).
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:31 PM   #42
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Here's "before" and "after" from our old FuturaStone/painted lanai to new stamped concrete:
Nords--did you do the concrete work yourself? It looks great!
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:17 PM   #43
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Nords--did you do the concrete work yourself? It looks great!
Holy cannoli, thanks but no way. This is an order of magnitude outside my circle of competence.

The concrete contractors, an average of three guys a day for three weeks (as many as six some days) crawled over every square inch of it on kneepads at least once.

This project was eight years in the planning and only affordable/available because of the recession. Last fall we had a welder replace three rusted-out wrought-iron gates around our lanai & sidewalks. Last February we had a lanai jackhammered out and re-poured to get the slope done right. (After the old lanai was torn out, I fixed two undiscovered sprinkler leaks that had contributed to sidewalk cracking.) We also had concrete poured over the first dozen crumbling lava-rock steps down our back slope to achieve a better rise/run and to level the treads. That's a lot safer now, to say nothing of better on my aching knees.

Then in late March we had the FuturaStone scraped off two more lanai, two sidewalks, and a driveway. This required a device the size of a forklift with scraper blades, accompanied by hammer drills and lots of sweat/dirt/noise over three days. (Kids, stay in school.) Next we had one of the sidewalks properly sloped away from the house (by adding over an inch of concrete at the foundation) and we had the driveway cut into four smaller slabs to stop its cracking. I took the opportunity to trench 75 feet through the palm roots around the newly-leveled sidewalk to backfill it with gravel.

After everything had been scrubbed clean, etched, and all the cracks & joints filled, the contractors poured a quarter-inch of dyed concrete on top and stamped it with rubber molds. More stain on top for contrast, a couple coats of acrylic sealer, new stress-release joints cut on top of the old, and filled with caulk.

We kept the FuturaStone on our garage floor because it's in better shape (no direct sunlight) but it was still filthy. A neighbor, the island's best carpet cleaner, went over it with his truck-mounted machine from hell that uses boiling hot water, rotary brushes, and vacuum extraction. The sand/dirt clogged his filter seven times and produced over 200 gallons of chocolate milk. Hopefully we don't have to do that again for another 20 years.

The day after the concrete was finished we sprung a water leak at the tee from the street pipe to the house/sprinkler connections. So I had to chisel out a square foot of that brand-new concrete to bail out excavate the connections and fix them. Instead of pouring more concrete we just put a grate over the hole in case it starts leaking again.

Recessions are great for home-improvement projects. I'm happy to have all those nagging engineering problems resolved. Spouse is thrilled with the looks and cooler surfaces, so she's moving on to the next phase of replacing the (small) side yard with El Toro zoysia. I highly recommend stamped concrete for recovering from other ugly artificial surfaces, but check back with me in a year to see how it's wearing.

So thank you, it's gorgeous and way better than what we used to have, but I sure don't want to have to do that again in my lifetime...
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:25 AM   #44
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Spring continues...Red French lilacs in bloom
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:31 AM   #45
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Pansies laugh at the freeze warnings...
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:33 AM   #46
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Cinnamon ferns under the screened porch
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:34 AM   #47
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Fledgling Romaine lettuce and tomatoes and peppers raring to be planted
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:50 PM   #48
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Ronstar, I love the deer photo! Very tender and sweet.
Wasn't BBQ mentioned earlier in this thread?
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:51 PM   #49
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For the next four months, I'll have no idea why we live here.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:55 PM   #50
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For the next four months, I'll have no idea why we live here.
And we're a little fuzzy about several of the other eight...
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:02 PM   #51
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Wasn't BBQ mentioned earlier in this thread?
You would barbecue BAMBI!?! You, you....

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For the next four months, I'll have no idea why we live here.
I have no idea why you live there at any time! Just kidding. But I admit - - the rainless, hot Texas summers that I remember were pretty extreme and I think they are #1 on my list of reasons not to retire to Texas. Right up there with the property taxes.

I don't think it's the heat so much, as the fact that there simply is no break from it without afternoon rains in the summer. And in BCS, anyway, we didn't have those very often if at all. Everything turned brown and dead looking and that was at the beginning of the summer - - then it cooked all summer in the hot sun.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:17 PM   #52
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For the next four months, I'll have no idea why we live here.
For the same reason I wonder why I live here from late November until now.
Freeze and shovel 100" plus of snow up here or cook in heat and humidity and fend off fire ants and chiggers down there ?
We choose our own pain, yes?
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:22 PM   #53
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Here's 2 tiebreaker pictures (winter of 2008) to help us all decide...
The green plastic wrapped thing is my pink BBQ, total height of approx 7 feet, shown earlier in this thread.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:00 PM   #54
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For the same reason I wonder why I live here from late November until now.
Freeze and shovel 100" plus of snow up here or cook in heat and humidity and fend off fire ants and chiggers down there ?
We choose our own pain, yes?
Wanna swap houses from May to October?
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:22 PM   #55
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Wanna swap houses from May to October?
Don't ask me that twice!
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #56
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For the next four months, I'll have no idea why we live here.
Today after lunch we turned on our ceiling fans...
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:20 AM   #57
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If you build it, they will come...

The mini vineyard is planted!
After 3 weeks of frost warnings every few days, I finally got my fledgling grapevines in the ground. In 2 or 3 years, I'll be munching on seedless table grapes.
Structure - see what happens when you let 2 technogeeks loose in the garden ?
And yes, dh2b used a level on the boards and posts.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:54 AM   #58
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Just because others are...

I am starting to get much more interested in photography. I've had a P&S for many years, about to buy my first DSLR. Should be fun.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:38 PM   #59
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:47 PM   #60
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Since we're displaying color from our yards, here's a shot from my back yard about a month ago:



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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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