Levee to the left, levee to the right

The control of water. It’s the story of many households, but especially poignant when you add the context that you’re trying to control water in the city of New Orleans.
But that is actually a little dramatic. We’re just trying to improve the runoff around the house. The strip of city property between the sidewalk and street in front of our house has been sinking for a long time. As it dips, it washes away everything we try and plant there, as well as plenty of dirt. Not good.
So, Paul is building up a concrete curb, complete with drainage system, that will be almost level to the sidewalk (if we did it level, folks wouldn’t be able to open car doors) so it’s going to be a more graduated system. To withstand the inevitable poor parking job that puts a tire up on the curb, Paul is putting in many hundreds of pounds of concrete — at driveway required depth. Just like we did with the front steps and walk, he’s using the old bricks we dug up from the sides of the house, power washing them, and will mortar them in on top of the concrete. He is also using rebar to help hold the curb in place.
The kids have been helping. Will, in particular, has been chomping at the bit to help with this. And Kate… well, Kate does not like being left out of any event. When I try to take her inside so that I can make dinner (so as not to be eaten alive by mosquitoes), she is Very Unhappy.
The evenings are finally getting cooler (temps in the low 80s/high 70s) so the neighborhood is starting to emerge again. More lingering talks on front porches and visits with pets.

To keep Will occupied, Paul gave him two tasks: to keep the bucket full of water for mixing, and to hammer as many stakes as he wanted into the ground. Will LOVED both.

This is my favorite picture. I took this right after he told me he needed to “look at what he was doing” and “concentrate.”