Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Strong Like Bull

Today after work I have to return to The Rock Pile.  The Rock Pile is emblematic of the entire rehab experience so far: it's a much bigger project than originally expected, and trying to save money is costing me in the end.

Now anybody who knows me knows I'm a legendary cheapskate.  I can't help it -- I'm part Scottish and part Norwegian -- try finding a cheaper combination than that.  And I *love* a bargain.  So when our architect said another client was about to Craigslist her $9/sq ft bluestone patio pavers for $4/sq ft, I jumped at it.  Hey, that's a lot of money! It's also a lot of bluestone: 400 square feet, to be exact, which is enough to complete a 20'x20' patio. 

At this point it must be noted that, in addition to being cheap, I'm stubborn.  Not in-your-face stubborn, but more passive-aggressive, nod-my-head-and-then-do-what-I-want stubborn.  This is an ugly combination.  So when I decided I wanted that bluestone, it was ON.

I picked a date and rented a U-Haul.  But when the pickup date arrived, the rock-hauling crew failed to materialize.  "Reschedule it," Victor kept telling me -- like he'd never met me before.  Sure, sure, I'll reschedule ... oh look, here I am at the house with a U-Haul!

I'd decided to move it myself.

Never mind that I'm an out-of-shape middle-aged lady with a bad heart.  By God, I was gonna get that stone if it killed me.  In retrospect, that might have been a poor choice of words.

Guess what?  Bluestone is FREAKIN HEAVY.  150-175 pounds per cubic foot, only slightly less than granite.  Know how many cubic feet I was picking up?  66.6.  66.6 cubic feet times 150 pounds equals TEN THOUSAND POUNDS.  (I did not do that calculation until afterward, cuz I'm more stubborn than bright.)

So I show up and the owner looks at me like I'm smoking crack.  "YOU are gonna move it?"  he says incredulously.  "I brought a hand truck," I reply lamely, pointing to my little red toy which clearly is not up to the task.   But as mentioned, I'm stubborn -- really stubborn -- so I started hauling it one piece at a time to the truck.

After a few minutes, the owner (who, I failed to mention, was a ripped bodybuilder type) took pity on me and helped me move it.  I couldn't move the 150 lb pieces, but I was throwing around the 25 and 50 lb pieces pretty good.  After about 20 minutes of this, he says to me, "You're a very determined woman, aren't you?"  

My husband has a different word for it - but I like his better.

After about 45 minutes of loading, we discovered the U-Haul was only rated for 6800 pounds of cargo - so I had to leave the rest and sloooowly drive the truck home.  Now I have to go by The Rock Pile every day this week and pick up half a dozen pieces of the remaining bluestone each trip. 

And the worst part?  We're not installing it til the spring, so after moving it onto the truck and off the truck, we get to move all 10,000 pounds a THIRD TIME to its winter resting place.

But hey, at least I saved a couple thousand bucks. 

1 comment:

  1. And got some wicked biceps in the process. Safe to say I can now call you stoner?