Thursday, February 1, 2018

Step On It!

If it's February, it must be Thingadailies time!

Last year I wrote a chapter per day in a cozy novella which was fun and left me with a novella at the end of the month. This year I've decided to make a pathway across my yard to the (detached) garage. Do I have any skill in or knowledge of pavement stones? Of course not! Where would the fun be in that?

So I spent at least five minutes googling how to do this, which makes me sort of an expert now. I got a form for Christmas (which I'm sure you'll be seeing in a few blog days), but I wanted to do a couple of tests first.

On my way to the garage I passed my birthday present -- with flash:

Without flash:

I have a solar-powered gnome! How cool is that?

But back to the project. Here are some things you will need:

  • concrete mix - It comes in freaking 60 pound bags because (bet you didn't know this) most people who work with concrete have more upper body strength than I do. But since the one male person in my alternate office has moved to Washington, I'm now apparently the only one who can change the 5 gallon water bottle in the cooler so I've been working out. Also I'm a crazy cat lady and cat litter comes in 40 pound bags. I've got this.
  • bucket - For mixing. Because I'm too lazy to dig through fifteen years of stuff in the garage to find the actual concrete mixing tub that I think is back there. Maybe this weekend.
  • waterproof gloves - The google tells me that concrete mix is caustic. These gloves are also handy for moving things out of the way because there are about 5,000 black widow spiders in my garage.
  • 5 lbs of Red Vines - Okay, it was actually empty. I'm just using it as a cheap form. We won't discuss what happened to the contents.
  • Water - How much? Some. The bag tells you how much to add in order to mix the entire bag. I didn't want to mix the entire bag at once. So I scaled it down and then just ended up dumping some in. Remember, I'm sort of an expert.
Before I started I smeared some vegetable oil around the bottom part of the Red Vines container. One of the things I read said that would make the finished product come out more easily. We'll see in a few days.

The concrete mix really does act more liquidy when it is compressed, so maybe I added too much water. I don't know. It seemed about right until I pressed it down. I think I was close to the right amount, which again was "some".

Then I added some "Exotic Glass" which is code for "recycled glass that is expensive because they ground off the sharp edges".

I was going for a spiral pattern, but then I messed it up. Turns out I'm still not a perfectionist. So I just added a bunch more and called it good.

The final product:
It's maybe a little... underwhelming. But it will probably look better once it dries (haha, just checking to see if the structural engineers are paying attention!) sets. Or maybe not.

In any case, I've finished day one of Thingadailies. How about you?

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