"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Out Back

So, you know that Amy and I are always ones to suddenly start a home improvement project.  Just on a whim.  Out of the blue.

Sometimes it's thought out and planned.  Other times it's spur of the moment.  Sometimes it's a grandiose project that spans several days.  Other times it's a short adventure, lasting only a few hours.

You might recall some of our past projects.  Painting the living room and entry.  Painting the kids' bathroom (and then painting it again when we listed the house), tiling the living room and entry, building a deck, or the most recent project - chalkboard paint.  Well, this past weekend was a glorious 3-day weekend and we did our fair share of relaxing.  However, we can't go that long or have any extended break without getting involved in something.  Come on, you know us better than that.  So, lo and behold, Monday morning it began.

It has its roots in our frustration at the amount of shedding that Rex does.  Oh dear is it a lot.  A lot.  A lot.  A lot.  See, I had to write it 3 times in bold, italics, and underline to get the point across so you are aware of just how much it is.  I just can't believe that one dog can shed that much!  Anywho, I digress.  He sheds, you get the picture.

So, Stella is nearly crawling (we're like a week or so away!) and it is killing us to think about the shedding and her impending mobility.  We can't get rid of the dog.  I don't fee like wrestling him down to shave him bald, plus he might get cold.  Brushing doesn't seem to help.  Our options are limited and running out.  We decided to get them out of the house more.  Maybe that will help.  Less time inside, more time to run around.  More exposure to varying temperatures to help.  We're at the end of our rope here dear readers.  

So, we ventured out on Monday to the lovely Home Depot in search of a doggy igloo, you know the one I'm talking about.  Well, in case you didn't know, they don't sell those at Home Depot.  At least not the one near our house.  We didn't want to tackle building a doghouse or dog run so we were once again limited and desperate.  Then, in a moment of beautiful inspiration, Amy had an idea.  We'll move down one of their kennels (the big one they can both fit into) into the back yard and take the door off.  Bingo!  Problem solved, plus it was FREE!  

Meanwhile, we have 100 concrete pavers that we put down in our backyard when we first moved in.  Just to the right of the patio.  It was a quick and easy attempt to extend the patio.  However, it was also done hastily and, dare I say, lazily.  We didn't have quite the knowhow or funds to do it properly.  We didn't level it correctly or lay down any kind of barrier.  So, over the few years you can imagine what we have now.  Wobbly, uneven pavers with weeds and grass growing on, in, and around them.  NOT the picture we had in mind when we created it.  So, it's been bothering us for at least a year but we haven't decided what to do to remedy it.  Until this past weekend that is!  Up came the pavers.  Some were re-purposed to lay out a platform for the dogs' kennel/house.  The others sacrificially gave their lives so they could each be broken in half and used to build a (drumroll please) raised bed!

Woo hoo!  We've always wanted one and now we are well on the way to having it.  It's laid out and build (with barrier thank you very much).  We are now waiting to purchase the soil and seeds after we do a bit more thinking and research about what we'd like to grow.  Again, this project is all the more better because it was FREE!

I know what you're thinking though.  What about the big empty space where the pavers were that is devoid of grass and holds the potential to turn into a huge mud pit when the next rain comes?  Good question and no, we are not installing a mud wrestling pit (bummer).  Nope, we bought grass seed to plant.  The grass in our backyard is nearly all dead, I'd say a good 75% gone, after the massive drought/heatwave we had 2 summers ago.  This is our first step to re-grassing (yeah, I'm sure that's a word and a home improvement term) the backyard.  We'll start with this small area and then move on to the rest of the yard later.

See, now aren't you proud of us?  Not only are we hard at work on another project, but it only cost $15 for the grass seed.  I'm pretty sure Dave Ramsey would approve.  We figured that since we have finally, fully decided to stay here (we love this house and the area so much) forever, it was time we focused a bit on the backyard.  So, we will continue to revamp over Spring Break and into the summer.  Stay tuned to see what lies ahead!

So, that's it.  I'm pretty stoked about it all.  It was fun to get out there and work.  Reclaim our backyard from the jungle I had let it become and see our vision come to life!  Hopefully the work will continue to stay on this path of easy, fun, and inexpensive!  Below is a picture of how the raised bed looks now!

Upcycled, revamped, and FREE!

All is well, one more project begun, in Drosche Land.

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