June, July, August 2010 - John's Brick Oven Folly

JUNE, 2010 -         Ok, We are starting on another adventure,(adventure- another word for home projects)We almost have the last adventure completed, deck rebuild, and we are off onto another adventure without pausing for a deep breath!

Well I am resigned to agree with the architect and planner (aka-Linda my loving and sweet wife that puts up with me)
as to the location of our new wood fired brick oven.


The following pics are her personal choice, which after much deliberation I finally agreed with her perfect pick! Here are some pics of the site

Now I need to get busy with laying out the area for the excavator! Ok, I now realize the importance of morning shade in the brick oven area!
As you can see the orange paint is the outline for the dig at hand. How hard could this be with heavy equipment and good friends to boot!
My Neighbor and friend Nick has a friend with a backhoe/front loader! Whoo Hooo! Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here comes the cavalry!!!!! Lets Rock and Roll ...... but as we found out it was way more rock than roll!    Oh I mean we found many many many Huge New Hampshire potatoes! (aka Granite Rocks)    Ok who has an oven big enough to bake this tater? I have a 20 pound tub of butter!    Ok, are we working or just watching the big orange machine flex its muscles?                                                                                           
Yep whenever there is machinery involved there are plenty of supervisors! btw talking about supervisors - where is my wife? :)
Looks Good Enough for One Days work! 

July, 2010 - Well after the big push with friends and machinery, the mundane tasks need to be performed. As you can tell with the absence of posting, it is a one man show again. With temperatures in the 90+ category for the month of July, digging the trenches to set the drain pipe in wasn't the vacation I thought it would be! Trenches dug for the drain pipes and electrical pipes. And the retaining wall footing, dug with a design definition in mind. (my lovely wife's mind. :) ) 
I did recruit a volunteer and we set out to install a drainage system. Here is my good friend and buddy Dean!
With his help we managed to install the drain pipe and cover them with fabric to keep the dirt out.
First pipe is always the easiest! You can tell because we are still smiling for the camera! LOL
Now we are getting down to business, Dean is skillfully covering the drainage pipe with fabric to keep the dirt from clogging the pipe for years to come.
Great Job Dean!!
Well I picked the hottest summer to build a brick oven, that in and of itself should be all that needs to be said about my judgment! Anyway we are at the end of July now and I think I drank the Atlantic ocean to stay hydrated.

So the latest progress has been the retaining wall that will horseshoe around the patio. (opposite the brick oven) The weather has been hot and muggy this year, oh and btw did I mention it has been HOT and MUGGY!
Somehow the heat does not speed things up at all. But I still need to continue before I am worrying about freezing temps!

A close up of the wall with some caps installed. The wall is tan with some gray throughout. The caps are a matching gray accent color, I love the architect/planner! 

 August-2010 "The Folly"

I missed a pic from early July, thought showing the mess and confusion would make others feel more at ease!

Ok, so the smile on my face is from the heat getting to me! I think the stairs also made me smile because now I don't have to walk around the entire area to get in and out! (yep I am basically lazy!)

 Well after many small digs, as in need to trench out the electrical conduits, needed to dig holes for the foundation piles. Now one would think the back hoe would have gotten all the rocks... nooooooooooooooo way! My wife thinks I am crazy for buying anything stone with all the rock we have found!

Ok, so now we wait for the cement truck with 2 yards of concrete! It is due this Wed. 8:30 to 9:30 am. So if I see it anytime before noon I will consider myself, blessed! After the slab is poured the planner/architect (my Wife!) wants the patio stone work done and made all pretty. I am leaning towards getting it all ready for sand & pavers, then building the oven stand and hearth. Lots of mixing, moving, pouring and handling of wet cement. I am afraid (read that as VERY Afraid) of ruining the pavers with slop from the cement mixer.

Ok, Cement Truck came and almost got close enough to pour the entire slab without shoveling. Well cement isn't like horseshoes, close isn't good enough! Myself and a good friend (who may never speak to me again!) Michael are finishing the edges after a hectic morning of shoveling, pulling cement with a hoe and leveling.