Time flies when...

pretty much always   Our attention has been focused primarily on landscaping the last few weeks.  Trying to find a dry window for our concrete guy (hopefully we still want to call him that after the forms come off) to build the frames for, and pour our concrete wall and planters.

One of our key driving forces in the landscape work is to regain some green space in our view from inside (which has until now consisted entirely of driveway).  We got rid of half of the existing driveway and are replacing the solid pad with two strips with room for ground cover in between.  This style of driveway is known as the "california" driveway, but is common in our neighborhood and most of portland's original driveways were built this way.

We also had forms built for two large planter boxes to the left and a wall in the middle that will divide up our new landscaping and allow a bit of a space to sit and enjoy conversations with passing neighbors.

pourconcretemiri puddleallEspecially now, in our "intentionally unemployed" state it's difficult for me to hire someone else to do something i feel like i should be able to do myself... but as i watch these contractors work day after day hauling concrete, building forms and then in a manic period of less than an hour pour a truckload of concrete into them- I don't regret for a second hiring out this portion of the job.

While they've been working out front jen and I have been slowly working to get our pergola constructed.  We tilted the posts up and temporarily fitted them to the wall, and then took measurements and began fitting the other pieces.  A job made much more difficult by the fact that the "pieces" weigh a LOT (our posts are well over 120lbs and the beams top out closer to 150lbs and are 20' long).  Not exactly a hold it up, mark and then cut scenario.

I phoned a friend again (we might be cashing in too many favors these days) to get the first beam up and bolted onto the wall, and then hosted a good old fashioned pergola raising for the weekend and got several guys out to help lift, hold and weld the front beam in place.  Definitely one of the more exciting days for our little space!!

The last few weeks were truly a blur.  We have had flights book to new orleans almost since the day we got home from last years french quarter fest, and have been using our departure date to push ourselves to finish despite the fact it kept becoming more and more clear that finishing everything on the list simply wasn't an option.

bailie and davedrillingbeam

After the concrete cured, i welded up stair risers and divided our old sloped driveway up into slow terraced steps leading to the door.  5 yards of stone and some sore backs later and we had steps.  They are still in need of tamping/leveling and the final goal is to add decorative concrete stepping stones to the main walkway, but it's a good start and the landscaping is finally taking shape into our planned outcome.

Zenbox has also been wrapping up the two projects we started while south of the border and are only waiting on our clients to wrap up financing and details before heading into the city for permits in the coming days.

March madness provided a good excuse to see friends for a few bbqs and parties, and a visit from Bailie and Dave from BC was a welcome reason to actually stop working for a few days and recuperate both mind and body.

On our last day we sealed our new concrete countertops hoping to protect them from the guests checking in during our departure, tidied up the place and hopped our flight to NOLA half giddy for the pending trip and half completely exhausted.