Friday, April 16, 2010

Only Good Boys

Backyard access had been a concern for us before since previously the only entrance to the backyard was through our master bedroom and a sliding door that didn't really work very well at all. With the new sliding door, however, our backyard was much more accessible and we didn't need to be concerned about traffic in our bedroom. That, in addition to the new stucco and front door giving our home much better curb appeal, Dave and I decided that our home was more-or-less ready for to entertain guests! And our first event? Jack's third birthday party!

So I sent out invitations and started making preparations. At the last minute, though, Dave decided that two more renovations needed to be done.

First, since the sandblasting had completely torn up our rock-garden in the front of the house, Dave wanted to make that more presentable by planting some ground-cover. Now, anyone who knows me has probably heard me say on a number of occasions that I have a black thumb. While I love flowers and plants and vegetation, I am forced to admire it from afar as I am sure that the moment the green thing in question knows that I am beholding it, it will die. I don't know that Dave has ever really tested himself to find out what color his thumb is, but since the color of mine is very well known it is only logical to assume that Dave fares better than I do in this area. I mean, at least he knew to that he should take soil drainage and sun exposure into consideration when deciding which plants to chose- he couldn't possibly be worse than me!

So, Dave did his research and headed to Home Depot to see what kind of plants would work best. And lucky for us, he went armed with a cell phone that had me on the other end of it, laptop in hand ready to Google (we realize that this is where having an iPhone would come in handy, but we're old-school). As it turned out, there really was only one plant that would work with the soil and sun conditions that we had (at least, we hope it works- I'll let you know in a few months whether it's still alive or not!). Pink Chablis. Unfortunately we bought out both Home Depots and only had enough for half of what we needed, so we ended up with some form of Ivy to make up the other half.

And then Dave and his assistant got to work!

I don't know how helpful his assistant was, especially since he thought the flat end of the rake worked better than the end with the tines on it...

But they sure had fun working together!

The other renovation that Dave wanted done before Jack's party was to add a step under that new sliding-glass door. We were used to going in and out without the step, but we didn't want our guests to be caught off-guard and land on their noses on their way out!

Dave also decided that while he was at it, he might as well just add a deck over the broken concrete slab that was our patio. It was ugly, and kind of dangerous since it had steel support pipes protruding out of it, ready to leap out and trip unsuspecting backyard visitors (there used to be an awning made of wood over the patio, but upon our home inspection we realized that it was too damaged from termites and had to come down... the pipes were the anchors for the support beams and they never got removed because we hadn't been able to decide if we would be needing them in the future or not).

So Dave did some more research and once again headed to Home Depot for supplies, and he and his little assistant once again got set for work!

Unfortunately, Dave was on his own with the drill and the circular saw... some power tools are just a little too dangerous for almost-3 year olds. He was bummed that he wasn't allowed to set foot within the Circle Of Safety...

He wasn't about to let us stop him from helping with the automatic screwdriver, though! In fact, he tried to insist that he would screw the beams in all by himself, as he told Dave "Only good boys can do this, not daddies!"

And we love having a deck! It's such an improvement over the old broken concrete slab and is the perfect place to sit and eat Fun Dip while we watch the blimp overhead!

It's not quite finished... it still needs to have the edges wrapped with lattice board... but the boys don't care!

Now all we need is the step that prompted this renovation...

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