Installing a paver walkway… the best way I can!

Welcome to  If you haven’t visited here before… my name is Lorraine, my nickname is Rainey, and you can call me Rainey.  If you don’t know me, I am an aspiring artist and I’m mother to two grown sons.

Since retiring in early February I have been posting semi-regularly on my YouTube Channel – Rainey Dewey’s Art Spot.  In my most recent video I attempted to do a portrait of my new puppy (11 months now), Tucker and I admit the portrait was a dismal failure.  Since I posted that last YouTube video, I’ve been a bit blocked artistically.  Now that isn’t to say that I’ve been curled up in a ball doing nothing but I find that I have been avoiding my art.  There are may ways that I avoid my art.  Some are good, healthy and productive and some are not.  So… in an effort to be perfectly honest here I’ve been doing both.

It all started with this palette of blocks…

One of the things that has taken me away from my art is that I’ve been working on trying to get a walkway into place behind my house.  It goes from the driveway to the backdoor and I really want it in place before winter when using the backdoor will be most important.  Especially since I added a sometimes dirty and unruly new member to my little family since last year.  Tucker came to be with me the day after I retired from my full-time job.  He is a true beauty … a Black Labrador Retriever who sometimes has muddy and wet paws and sometimes bounds into the house spreading the “love” … hence walkway to the backdoor project!

With fall in full swing here in Upstate New York I still have a little time to complete this project but these old bones make working in manageable increments absolutely necessary.  So most days I’m digging and lifting and putting the walkway blocks into place.  I’d say at this point I’m a little less than half way done and this project has been keeping me away from my art desk (excuse alert).

As the project time frame stretches on I’m feeling this pressure to finish because all I want to do is paint but I need to remind myself that with projects like this it takes time.  But still I have this tendency to push… just to get things done while not enjoying the process and the progress.  While this is a difficult project that tests my physical strength, when I look back each day at the project and my progress I feel like I have really accomplished something because I have.

Step one… remove the grass (and weeds)

I remember the day in late July when this palette of walkway stones was delivered.  When I looked at the palette of pavers that day the project ahead just felt… simply daunting and overwhelming but then one day I just started.  It all started with that first shovel plunged into the grass, then the next… I was digging and leveling and before I knew it progress had been made.

I guess I even surprised myself since some of these pavers are… large, enormous really and heavy… weighing at least a ton or so!  But I put my brains to work and at this point I have developed a method of moving those really heavy pavers that hasn’t broken me…. yet.

Digging and leveling

Let me assure you that I did get a quote from a professional to do this walkway but the cost was way out of my budget and so I set to doing it myself.  I know that I’m not doing a “professional” job per se but it will be good enough and will accomplish what I need.

Sometimes that is all we can do.

Sometimes we just need to give it our best effort while using the resources we have available to us.

Anyway… as I take a break from walkway installing and I get ready to go back to my art for the evening, I am feeling so grateful.  I am feeling grateful for so many things.

I am grateful I made more progress on my walkway.

I am grateful for my home, family, friends and my muddy-pawed dog, Tucker.

I am grateful I am able to do this kind of project still… and

I am just grateful to live in a lovely village in Upstate New York where the leaves are turning beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red.

But most of all I am filled with gratitude that God loves me and has blessed me.  While my life at 67 isn’t what I thought it would be… it is a good life and for that I am grateful.