After last week’s triumphant success on the new retaining wall across our front yard, this week has been a disappointment. We were extra busy at work, which led to staying late, which cut into my time, and more importantly, energy to get things done.
Liz’s check engine light came on, so we made an appointment for Saturday morning. We took the car in to get checked out and ended up having to have more work done than we anticipated. After dropping the car off, we headed to the store to buy a railing for our new front steps. We had already picked out what we were going to go with, so we just had to pick it up along with a couple of supplies.
I was able to borrow a hammer drill from work to drill holes in the new concrete for the tapcon’s to hold the posts in place. We started drilling the holes and soon realized how much stronger this new concrete is than the old stuff, which is good news. It just took a little longer to drill the holes than we thought it would. We started by drilling 1 hole so we could be sure the post was lined up correctly. The first screw wouldn’t go in all the way. I know I drilled the hole deep enough. The instructions said to drill a quarter inch deeper than the screw is long. I went at least a half inch deeper. It turns out the screws were just slightly too big to fit through the bracket.
We needed to make another trip to the store to get new screws and new bits. We had to clean up everything and put it inside the house and car. 30 minutes later, we were back at it. This time, I drilled a new, smaller hole and the first screw snapped off about 3/4ths of the way into the hole. This is not going well. We were able to get one post set. Then I remembered the car was still at the repair shop. I looked at the clock on my phone and saw it was only 10 minutes until closing time. Liz called the shop and they said the car would be ready by the time we got there. It’s only half a mile away, but we had to clean everything up again. We got the car and ended up spending $1000 on repairs — $200 for what it went in for and $800 for other issues.
At this point, I’d had enough and called it a day. The weather is supposed to be nice for the next few days, so I hope I can get the railing installed before the end of the week.
We did have one bright spot on Saturday. We stopped at Potter’s Pasties who were parked at Mears Park near the farmers market. We had met the owners, Alec and Fiona, this summer but hadn’t had a chance to try their pasties. This time we were able to chat for a while and we tried a couple of their baked goods. If you ever get the chance to visit Potter’s Pasties, be sure to order “The Pig.” It is pulled pork and apples inside a flaky crust and it’s fantastic. I also had a Thai Veg pasty, which had good heat to it. You can follow them on Twitter @potterspasties. We also had the chance to meet their new arrival, Maitland Rose.