What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Some of you may have already seen how I/we started our summer vacation by tearing down the old “patio” in the back forty down by the river. But what Facebookers didn’t see was the pristine image of when we first put it a little over 8 years ago. We put it up to have a nice semi private place to host outdoor parties, but after the first few it proved to be more of a chore than it seemed to be worth. Taking stuff down there was no big deal, with the promise of a fun-filled afternoon but afterwards, having to lug it all back to the house, quickly became a deterrent for too many more future parties down by the river.

The long and short of it, nature had started to reclaim the area and in spite of my/our (not so successful) attempts at keeping it at bay, it just got the better of us and we declared this past Saturday the day to dismantle it. In a little over 5 ½ hours we got the job done as far as we could go. The 5 plus yards of pea gravel is being handed over to the big boys, our landscapers, who are better equipt at removing it, and cleaning it to their satisfaction for safer future mowing. It was a little disappointing to come to the realization that was a bigger job than we could handle, in a timely fashion but I’m a big boy and am coming to grips with certain limitations.

Enjoy the sad progression of the patio. It kind of reminded us of that TV show on the History Channel called Life After People, where they chronicled a certain aspect of life from one day to thousands if not millions of years after humanity was gone from the earth.



In all that jungle overgrowth, Ariel uncovered a baby pine tree that he insisted on keeping.

What I couldn’t come to grips with a certain 8-legged creature I came across while moving some slate pavers. You can look it up for yourself if you want to see what it looks like. I saw it in person and then had to quickly search for it so I could find out what it’s called and I don’t really want to look at it much further than that. It’s called a woodlouse spider. You know how spiders and I don’t really gel very well and when this thing quickly appeared out of nowhere as I was reaching for a stack of pavers, I literally became nauseous. You know that feeling just before you upchuck, when your throat sort of closes or it feels like your tongue is sliding down your own throat? Once it was gone, thanks to Ariel swatting it with his gloved hand (which added to my nausea) I was fine, except for trying to get my tongue out of my throat. But moments later I was recording the actions of a coiled up snake as close as my legs would let me bend. Go figure.

Now, today, on my first official day of vacation, I’m waiting to hear from my exterminator people who I need to come and dust for the wasps who are making a home in the eave of my second floor bathroom dormer. I’ve had a few wasps in the past several weeks actually in the bathroom and it’s probably from the eave somehow.


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