The Concrete

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The Concrete

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It all started Friday at noon. I lured my nephew and his big truck down to our house, then to Home Depot where we picked up a LOT of concrete mix.

Like, this much concrete mix.

The truck wasn’t quite that big, so we had to take it in two loads.

I say we, but honestly the hubby, his brother and dad, and my nephew did all of the heavy lifting. I’m a supervisor. If no one says, “be careful,” who knows what would happen?

While at the Home Depot, I went to reserve a concrete mixer. Because mixing that many bags of concrete by hand would be…silly.

Even my super-helpless, blonde, girl, exterior couldn’t get them to hold a mixer for me for the next day. Apparently it’s policy or something. Whatever. I didn’t like them anyway.

My nephew suggested Diamond Rental, which is literally across the highway. As we waited for the forklift to get to the front of the store to load the first pallet of concrete bags, I got on my phone and reserved a mixer from Diamond Rental for the next day. That was me earning my supervisor position. 🙂

On a side note, they should have had me talk to customer service, because it took almost an hour for a fork lift to get to the front of the store to help us. The hubby looked too competent. His helpless look is ineffective.

After loading up the truck and one SUV with stuff, we drove back and the boys made the pile in the garage.

The next morning dawned bright and early. My brother-in-law and I went to get the concrete mixer. I didn’t have to use my helpless face or anything. They were quick, professional, and polite. Gold star for Diamond Rental.

We did have to take down one side of our fence so we could get the thing in the back yard. It’s okay, I hate the chain link anyway. I did help push it. Sort of. I mean, until the hubby hogged the good holding spots and I left him on his own.

In normal construction fashion, we started an hour late. By the time we got the rebar bent and in place (again, “we” indicates pretty much everyone but me) we’d had the mixer for almost two hours.

I should note that the hubby’s family are all very solid guys. Big. Broad. Basically walls of brick. My nephew is a light weight, and watching him try to help bend rebar against someone 100lbs bigger was super entertaining. I’m sad I didn’t get any pictures. Or better yet, a video.

Notice I didn’t put any fake skeletons in the foundation…

When we fired up the mixer, the first thing I thought was, “How long is this thing going to be on? Our neighbors are going to hate us.” It sounded like, well, a dying machine.

Then after we put a bag of concrete mix and the water in, the drum stopped turning and it sounded worse.

That’s when Diamond Rental lost their gold star, and we found that the gears were stripped. These are deep gears. I’m wondering how the last person who used it did.

I left the boys to meander back and forth while I called to get a replacement. They didn’t have a truck to deliver, so the brother-in-law and I had to drop off the dead one and get another one. Diamond Rental got half of their star back, because they were super fast and once again quite helpful.

By the time we got back, Jon’s dad had spearheaded at least four wheelbarrow loads of concrete mixed with water and poured.

They were happy to see a working machine.

Pouring went pretty smoothly. Nothing interesting happened until they decided we were going to run out.

Supervisor to the rescue!

I took a picture of the bag we needed, jumped in another brother-in-law’s truck, and headed back to Home Depot.

I should note, I drive cars, not trucks. Not big, diesel, rumbling, trucks.

It was nice to be tall, and I feel okay about my barely-in-the-lines parking job.

The cashier at Home Depot was very nice. I held up my picture and said, “I need ten of these as fast as you can get them in my truck.” I smiled—not that you could tell under the mask. She smiled, charged me, called someone up, and the guy was waiting when I pulled in.

One look at me and all of his hopes and dreams of this being a “helping the customer” job shattered into a “I’m lifting these 80lb bags myself, aren’t I?” job.

Sorry, buddy, I can barely reach the bed of the truck.

So he loaded them for me, and as I was pulling away got a call from the hubby.

My first thought was that they were going to want more bags, and I was pretty sure the loader guy wasn’t going to help me this time. Lucky for me, they were just wondering what my ETA was.

After throwing a few rocks in to make up for the three more bags we could have used, we managed to finish!


Next: The Shed.

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