Weekend Work

We had a productive weekend! Friday evening Jeremy brought home a friend's dingo, and by Sunday evening we were finishing up our front walkway.

When we bought our house, which was 2 years ago this month, there was a fence around a brick patio area in the back. The fence and patio had to be moved so that the plumbers could put in the plumbing for our bathroom. So we decided to use those bricks in the front of the house as a walkway.

The boys had brought them around to the front, but that was last summer. The bricks made great blocks for the boys to play with, so there were chimneys, fire pits, pathways all over the yard. So if you need something for your boys to play with outside that won't get ruined in the weather, buy some bricks!

It's only a problem when you need to mow the grass. But then the boys come in handy again. I'm only slightly kidding. The bricks were fun, it was kind of like real, hard work for the boys. They were the perfect outdoor toys for our boys.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, well the bricks had been played with for the past few months, but Jeremy had finally brought the dingo. The front path to the porch was a muddy mess every time it rained, and we've had a lot of rain and so much mud this year. Jeremy gets grumpy when it's tracked into the house (I'm not sure how we were supposed to not track it in?), so we needed a walkway out of the mud. The first thing we did was to string off and measure where we wanted this walkway.

Jeremy dug out the ground a bit so that the bricks would lay level. The boys, particularly Esmond, loved this part and were very willing to cart the dirt around. Esmond used his Tonka dump truck. Gideon used the wheelbarrel. (Gideon is almost as tall as me and has started taking care of me. He makes sure to carry anything heavy that I'm trying to carry. He holds doors for me. He's such a sweetie. He's big enough to use the real tools.)

I keep getting sidetracked! So while Jeremy and the boys were moving dirt around, I had a few minutes since Elinor was taking one of her rare long naps. I never know when those are going to happen. I had a nightstand for Esmond that needed to be painted. I've had it and the paint for a few weeks now, so I quickly set that up. I lightly sanded it, painted the first coat, which dried quickly in the wind. So I waited a few minutes and painted the second coat, and then did the same for the third coat. I figured it would be weeks again before I would have another opportunity and it's for the boys' room where I know it will get messed up even if I did take my time on it. So! I checked that one off my list.

On Saturday, Jeremy ran to Lowes and bought a 900-pound bag of sand for $50. I tried to move it when he got home just to see if I could.

I could not.

He spread some of that sand over the walkway so that we could work the bricks into the sand and make them a little bit more level. Jeremy and I had picked out our brick pattern using Pinterest. So all that was left was laying the brick out.

We had to be careful about following the strings because it's easy to go curvy. We love the look of the old bricks. We think these bricks were originally part of a chimney in the kitchen. Part of the chimney is still up in our attic, that's how we know there was a fireplace in the kitchen. Most of the mortar had already been scraped off since these were used for the back patio.

We got about halfway done on Saturday evening. And Sunday afternoon we used up the rest of our bricks. Jeremy had to run back to Lowes to get about 300 more bricks. (Which was $100 I didn't want to spend. We have some to return to Lowes, so we'll get some of that back though.) The new bricks have a flat side and a beveled side, so we laid them flat side up so that they would look more like the old bricks.

We worked and swept sand into the bricks like grout. We finished after dark on Sunday night and now we have a lovely walkway up to our broken porch. One step at a time! I think that this walkway is the only thing in the house that we actually have finished.


  1. It looks great! And it will be nice not to track so much of the outside into the house. Doesn't it feel good to get projects like that ticked off the list?


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