Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lessons Learned, the Hard Way

I learned three very important lessons yesterday.
1) I am not a buff 20 year old man
2) when you go to Lowes and ask for help and two helpful associates are there discussing what you need, and they are talking about concrete and whether you need the 60 or the 80, they are not talking about grades of concrete.
3) Even though I am fairly intelligent, my stubbornness often surpasses my intelligence.

I have been having a problem with gravel migrating in my driveway. I just went out and bought 5 bags of gravel to fill the holes a couple of weeks ago and already my driveway feels like I am driving down an old dirt road. So I go to my helpful Lowes that is close to my house and ask for help. The first guy gave me a suggestion but since he was fairly new he suggested we ask someone else just to make sure. He walked with me to find the gentleman that he thought would best be able to answer my question. The three of us stood there for a bit with them asking and me answering questions. They determined that mixing some concrete in with the gravel would help it hold better. They discussed back and forth if I needed the "60" or the "80" package. The younger guy went with me and picked up a bag of "60" and added it to my cart on top of the two bags of gravel and the eight pieces of plywood that were already in my cart. Young, buff 20 year old picked up that bag of concrete like I pick up the three pound bags of cat food I sometimes buy. I go to pay for my items and the cashier scanned it in the cart. I get to the car and bend over to pick up my bag of concrete and oh, the pain. Those suckers are heavy!! 

I knew as soon as I did it that I hurt myself and that I should have asked for help.

I swear that I thought they were discussing the "60" and "80" like those numbers meant some grade of concrete, not the weight of the bags of concrete. And that young guy? When he picked it up off the ground, it looked like it took no effort at all. Live and learn.

Here is where the stubbornness comes in. Even when I realized it was too heavy for me, I still loaded everything into my car and came home and finished my projects. And today I am paying for it, and I mean really paying for it.

Kip started building a compost bin for me and built the frame. I do compost everything that I can and had dug down deeper than the frame, but I still needed some type of sides on it. When I first started composting back when I still lived at home with my parents, my Dad built my compost bin using discarded pallets. This one has the same dimensions, it is a 48x 48 cube, but with no sides, I was having trouble turning the compost. When I was at Lowes, I found some lumber that was the length I needed, so I got enough of them to build my sides. I am pretty happy with the results. 

After the day was done, I had repaired the holes in my driveway, built up the sides to my compost bin, trimmed the hedges along our fence line and turned my compost. 

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