working for the week (summer) end

July has just started and we’re already craving some rain and lower temps. It’s been a scorching hot summer so far and more to come until the last day (Sept 23rd, I think). The past two weeks, Charlie and I have been typically putting in 6 day weeks with the landscape business.

The weekend before last, Charlie went down to see the boys and I stayed home with the dogs. Friday night I had taken some beers down the street to these neighbor friends that I’ve known for years – since I first moved to the street in ‘97. One of them had been diagnosed by her GP that her breast cancer had come back and metastasized into the bone in her clavicle and was awaiting more bad news from the cat scan and the consult with the oncologist. I had texted her “I have cold beer” and she replied “come down”. I ended up staying there talking to her and her partner for a couple of hours then I ran to get a pizza and ran into Opie who had to tell me about breaking up with her boyfriend so I didn’t get home until late. Saturday, I went to do that landscape job for that lady I felt bad for. I went over there and she had taped an envelope to the door with a note to also clean up all the garbage that was in the poison ivy.

It was kind of a disgusting job, to be honest. I got it done and hauled out some of her trash but not all – my measly little $50 quote didn’t include hauling out 10 plastic buffet lids to the recycling bin. (I hauled out half of that, though, and I don’t even want to know why she had all those there – is there some way to cook meth with a buffet lid? I don’t know….) Below is some before and after shots:



Then, I went home and took a shower and scrubbed every square inch of my body and melted into the couch to watch soccer. After a while I got a text from Nana wanting to know if we were still on for dinner and going to Shutter and Rooster’s show. I really considered just staying home but I knew this was probably going to be the only opportunity I saw them for the next month or so. I replied that I’d meet them down there for the show.

The show was in this really bad upcoming neighborhood down by the new football stadium. I wound through downtown and almost passed it before turning down a side street beside a bar that had a fenced in area in the back with junk that looked like one guy’s treasures. I looked around and didn’t see any familiar cars and thought, I can’t believe I’m the first one here. (Well, yes I can because I have to be early for everything but that was just it – I wasn’t early – everyone else was just really late.) I almost left until I walked in and ran into Link and Nana. It was a small one-room bar that you could barely move in and they were shoved up along the wall sitting on stools against a ledge that was about a foot wide trying to eat deli sandwiches. (this place had “bar and deli” in the name but this was no place you’d ever think of ordering some boarshead roastbeef…..)

They’re playing here?

Yes, Nana nodded, I had called earlier asking if we needed to make a table reservation and they laughed at me.

Where are they playing?

Apparently, downstairs. She pointed to what looked like a broom closet that led to stairs.

So, they have to lug all their equipment to the basement?


Long story short, when Shutter and Rooster pulled up 30 minutes later Link and I helped them haul their stuff through the bar ‘scuse me, sorry, coming through……scuse me, yes coming through again……..move it muther-f*cker….. and down some of the ricketiest stairs I’ve ever saw.

They finally got set up downstairs where it was all exposed brick walls and sort of cool like a dungeon until they warmed up and then it was like this:



My ears were ringing then. I hadn’t had enough whiskey, wait, I was on my second drink and couldn’t feel any remote kind of a buzz and realized that they must have watered down their jack. Note to self the next time I went to see them there I was bringing a flask and showing up late, very late. As of yet, their bass player who doesn’t believe in anything electronic that tells you how to get somewhere was weaving his way around downtown driving the wrong way on one-way streets still trying to find the bar. Shutter finally had to initiate a search party and go out and find him and bring him in. The hunt for Ned Loaf-tober was underway. I was thinking we could almost skip the (string) bass – no one would hear him anyway…….guess I’ll go get another watered down jack…..I was bored.


Finally, they found him brought him in and said PLAY MOTHERF*CKER and everyone sat around some more and visited while he warmed up. I was thinking, What’s to warm up? Start banging your hand on those strings to do what you do, come on! (We probably wouldn’t have had a bass player after that if it were me.) I didn’t get home until almost 11:30, called Charlie and went to bed. That was my weekend.

This past weekend we had to do a few small jobs (at least they started out to be that way) on Saturday and I hoped to be parked in front of the TV in plenty of time to watch soccer. One of the jobs was redoing this patio underneath one of our client’s deck. Initially, when we discussed this job with one of the owners (the wife) she wanted just a few stones reset and leveled so it wouldn’t move when you stepped on it. I was skeptical from the beginning, to be honest. (Let’s just say I’m mostly skeptical about everything until proven wrong.)

When Charlie and I showed up on Saturday to do the job the husband was out there. He had just had knee surgery and was hobbling around giving directions while we did the job. His idea of the job was practically tearing up the entire patio, resetting all the stones and sanding in around them. Let it be a lesson in never discussing a job with only one spouse present and, of course, the wife wasn’t there to vouch for anything we discussed earlier. Charlie told him that we had only discussed this small area with wife and that if we had more sand left over that we’d spread it into the cracks of all the other stones. We basically reset a lot more than what we originally costed the job out at. I still was regretting that I didn’t charge twice as much especially since we were watched by the husband the whole entire time we did the job, too. (That in itself should have been $100 extra.)

We completed it, he was happy, wife who just conveniently came home as we were sweeping in the last crack was happy and I was like, F*ckin’ get me out of here “Let’s go.” I was ready to go eat a sandwich and watch soccer. I told Charlie that we weren’t doing anymore Saturday jobs the rest of the summer because it was too friggin’ hot and we have sh*t planned. We’re doing strictly maintenance work during the week and landscape plans until October. Here’s some pics of the job below.


The next day we went out to our neighbor friend’s cabin on the lake. They were celebrating because the one that was waiting for the diagnose from the oncologist and the results of the cat scan was told by the oncologist that she didn’t know why the stupid, insipid GP had diagnosed that as she had broken her clavicle and there wasn’t any sign of cancer in the bone. Our friend pretty much felt like she had a new lease on life when she’d been believing for two weeks that her days were numbered. So, much celebration was had that day on the lake. We took the dogs and swam and stayed for lunch and dinner and then we took our worn out, sunburnt selves home.

IMG_5001 (Sadie was in an air-conditioned coma on the way back.)

Yesterday, we managed to watch the small 4th parade that morning over bloody Mary’s and holed up the rest of the afternoon watching Mr. Robot while I finished a landscape plan. None of us, including the dogs could stand to be outside more than 5 minutes until the sun went down. It was a pretty low key day. Later, we went outside in our boxers and watched the fireworks from the street and then went in and went to bed.






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