Harvey slept between me and Amanda last night. Nothing to that really, he just jumped up, situated himself betwixt us and made himself comfortable for the night, heedless of our comfort.

We woke up, did the usual Saturday morning thing then I went outside and started raking while Amanda went out and did some running around, mostly getting things for the party next week. Actually, I did see an e-mail from a client who needed something done, so I went ahead and took care of that. But after that, I spend most of the next six hours or so outside.

The weather was nice. I thought it was going to be a little cool, but I ended up taking my shirt off and getting a little sweaty. (Sexy, yeah?) Towards the end of the work it got a bit cooler and I put my shirt back on. It looked like it was going to rain for a bit, but it never did. The first thing I did was to rake a lot of stuff back to where it was last week in the bed at the back of the yard and in the area around the hammock. I couldn’t do anything with the leaves, so I put them back, but I put them back a little nicer than they were before. Everything else, the leaves in the front yard and some other stuff in the back towards the far end of the yard, all of that went under the overhanging trees over on the chain link fence side of the yard.

When I was almost done with the backyard I broke the rake. I broke one last year too. This one was a metal expandable rake. The tines (I suppose that’s what you’d call them) go through this perpendicular bar that determines how far spread out the tines are. The place where the bar attaches to the pole broke. I called Amanda to get a new one, and she happened to be at Hallmark so she ran by Lowe’s to pick one up. I tried raking with that and with the rake part of the one that broke last year, but it just wasn’t happening. I used a pitchfork thing that we have to get up what I could, but I still needed to have away to pull together all the loose yard debris around the areas where the piles used to be.

I ended up getting some duct tape and looping it through the tines and back around the pole a whole bunch, then I wrapped the duct tape around all that mess and up the pole a bit. It actually held up pretty well and I got a lot of the front yard done before Amanda appeared with the new rake. The new rake is nice and has a warranty. I guess I’m just tough on rakes. Anyway, now we have two functioning ones (Frankensteined though the metal one may be) so maybe in the future Amanda will help me rake the yard. I doubt it.

I do like being able to look back and see all the work that has been done once I’ve finished working in the yard. It would be nice if we could get some decent grass to grow (as opposed to weeds) but it does look much better than dead leaves scattered all over the place.

Amanda was busy today. She was planning on using the colors blue, white and black for the party (since we’re watching Duke play NC State at the RBC Center before the party) and she ended up finding some Duke napkins and Duke ice buckets, so she got those.

Today we watched Duke whoop up on St. John’s. St. John’s wasn’t expected to be any huge challenge, but I think at this juncture, when everyone was down from losing two straight to middle of the pack ACC teams, it’s what the team needed. Duke fell behind 7-0 to start but built up to a thirty point lead to finish. There were some great takeaways- Gerald Henderson played more like Gerald Henderson and Brian Zoubek got a double-double, which is awesome.  Anyway, Duke went on to win 86-56.

After the game we went by Brookstone at the mall to pick up some Podz, which are these real nice wireless speakers you can plug up to a music player or stereo.  They weren’t cheap, but we got them as a birthday gift to me, and also to use for next week’s party.  We picked up a bottle of wine for Kristen’s party and headed over there.  We had a nice time there.  Dave made some more pizza, but this week he made dessert pizza.  Mike and Kaitlyn were there when we got there, but Kyle and Lorin showed up a little later.  They were busy buying a Nissan Xterra, which is pretty exciting.

We hung out there for a while then went on home, as it had been a while since the dogs had been let out.

Zach Dotsey