If any of you have been following this from the beginning, you have seen that despite the best of intentions, things tend to take a little bit longer than I anticipate. I always forget that a few things can get in the way of completing these types of projects: things like a full-time job that sometimes requires work in the evenings and weekends; a 1 year old, who definitely requires work in the evenings and weekends (:>) and generally the fact that I am not doing this as a full-time job (although I did many years ago). So I thought that 5 weeks would be enough, in terms of actual time working on this project, it has been nowhere near as long.

Fair enough, but many of you ask why not hire someone to do this stuff? Funny, I ask myself the same question many times as I am outside in the blazing sun, moving tons of gravel or cutting 2x4s. I think I will answer that when I have finished this one off and I have some time to rest!

So you may not notice much of a difference between this shot

I have to cut how many pieces??

and the last post, but those with sharp eyes (and nothing better to do) will see that I have laid all the full pieces on the top level. Just in time for Tom’s first birthday party this weekend, which we will be having outside.

What you can’t see from this angle is that I have also laid the stairs which required me to ask my neighbor Tom who is a retired bricklayer (no relation to Tom the birthday boy), the correct consistency for mortar after I had mixed a batch. He was good enough to help me mortar together the base pieces for the stair after I had spent a good 2 hours chipping old mortar off them and using the abrasive blade on my skill saw to cut them to the right size. (Just a quick note: while the saw trick works to score the pieces, since they are so big (8″x8″) you still have to figure out a way to get them to split where you want.)

So in this shot

In this picture the bottom path shape is roughed in. I changed my mind a bit on the shape after cutting the original to the right.

you can see that I have roughed in the lower path and hopefully I will have less cutting here because as you can see above I sure have enough in the upper section. That’s what you get for trying to get around using straight lines for everything.