I think my friends (both on the net and off) as well as coworkers, acquaintances and finally even my friendly post man don't actually believe me. The question always arises in various forms: What did you do over the weekend? How did you spend this summer? What are you plans for the autumn?
The answer is pretty much always the same: building.
So this is what we were doing last Saturday (our Sundays being saved for family walks and hikes).
We built an outside shed for the new bar-b-que that we bought earlier this summer. It was a little bit of an investment and we intend to keep it for quite some time to come, so that means building it its own house where it can hibernate during the wet, wet winters we have.
My apologies for the unfinished picture. We did manage to put a sealed roof on it as well, but I forgot to take a picture of that. What can I say? Both my hubby and I were so tired after building this that we actually bought 'store-bought-pizza' (Oh My!! The Horror!!) and slept for almost a full hour on the couch afterwards....
It seems to be my curse in life that I am an effective painter. Which means that this will forever be my job. As my father used to say, 'No good deed should go unpunished.'
Need I say more?
In any case, I was able to prime all sides of our Grill Shed, all the while lifting roof materials up to my hubby, telling the kids they could not go in and watch TV, making jugs of juice to drink as well as pots of coffee for hubby (Norwegians should take their coffee intravenously if you ask me, but that's another blog post), and washing and hanging up clothes.
But it got finished, and our bar-b-que will live to see many happy summers.
Other projects that are waiting to be finished: above are foundations forms for a cement wall. We're waiting to next paycheck to order the cement. (Both hubby and I have made enough cement by hand and we're really tired of it. This time we're phoning the cement truck).
It is on this wall we will be planting a small hedge.... and will be having an eating area just behind this wall and in front of our house.
This wall should have been completed over a year ago. It was my brother-in-law (digging and foundation expert in our family) who had started helping us build the foundation forms. He spent one weekend with my husband and started building the forms, and then was diagnosed with cancer the week after that. And six weeks after that he was gone. In our grief, we just couldn't go back to working on it even after months had passed.
When my husband did finally get to finishing the forms last autumn, they weren't strong enough. The result was that the forms broke and the cement spilled sideways, which can be seen above. With the help of my father-in-law, we built a second form on top of the first unsuccessful wall and finished the job.
This raised flat space will also be covered with concrete, and then layered with stone tiles of some form or another. We are thinking of uneven, natural shapes, but this is not something we will be doing this year.
Finally, we have dreams for this area on the side of our property. Where the cars stand we would like a garage. And to the right of the swing set (which will probably disappear in a year or two at most) we dream of having a glass winter garden. These are pretty big dreams at the moment, and we are not quite sure how we will finance it (I need to sell at least 5 times as much soap as I am now.... and I don't think this is possible under the restraints of being a mother and working wife like I am at the moment), but the two of us get so much joy simply talking about the dreams.
It's been said in many different ways by many different people, but the line in Amanda Marshall's song rings in the back of my head as a constant these past couple of years: The joy's in the ride.