The Great Outdoor Messmakers

Lately our life is made up of dirt. Pants, shirts, shoes, gardening gloves, socks, you name it – it’s covered in dirt.


This month we seem to embody the motto “work hard, play hard” because if we aren’t ankle deep in the yard, we’re at the beach or a theme party, but never in-between.

Like most people, we’re angling to get as much outdoor work done before we have to worry about leaf clean-up and – don’t say it – snow. Most of our free time has been outside finishing up the deck, weeding, mulching, transplanting, and a few other big projects (namely, moving dirt).

The earlier part of this summer was taken over by wrapping up two big projects – the bathroom, and fixing our garage roof. This winter’s heavy, heavy snow was too much for the old roof to bare, and we ended up having to replace the entire structure. (This was clearly not a DIY job – yowza! But the guys did a great job and our new-but-looks-the-same-roof is great. Actually, it’s about 6″ higher, and although most people wouldn’t know the difference, we can definitely tell and it makes the garage feel bigger.


So clearly, things have been quite a mess.  We outgrew our dumpster. By a lot. So the yard took a good beating. It’s all gone now though and we have a nice, huge dumpster size brown rectangle on the lawn where the non-grass is. : )


Speaking of grass, we most definitely don’t have any in the back and side yards. It’s a big, old dirt pit. Which is better than the overgrown weeds we had before all the machines started coming into the yard. With the help of our incredibly generous neighbor (who owns that machine), we’ve put in a small retaining wall behind our rhody. The rocks came from our yard – we’ve come across a lot of big ones in all our excavating. I love the new wall! And it will help protect the stability of the rhody, stop erosion, and looks a lot prettier than the weeds that would have just overtaken that hillside.


Throughout all this mess we were desperately trying to protect our 90% finished patio. It came through all right, but took quite the thorough cleaning to finish. (Sadly, I was at work that day and couldn’t help go through each crevice with a toothpick. Yes, really.)



But the patio is finally finished – wahoo!!! The gator sand is in and has dried. We hired a local schoolteacher who does patios on the side, and he did an amazing job. I’ll write another post with more about the patio another time.

You can also see Moose has been making progress on the back deck stairs. (While I was working on the highly important steamer trunk project. #priorities)

We have the sweetest neighbors – that wicker set you see in the corner of the photo was given to us by a neighbor for free! We only had to buy new cushions.


And now that the back patio is done, we’ve moved on to getting the front walkways to the front door and to the deck ready for their own makeover. Both will be getting the same stone laid for walkways as we did with the patio. We’ve dug up the dirt and laid down the rest of the stone dust. Our patio-maestro will be back sometime later this summer to lay the pavers. The perk of hiring someone who does patios on the side is that you save money – and the downside is that the projects usually take longer. They always said patience is a virtue, right?

I took this last photo because the situation made me laugh. I’ve been trying to make the most of the patio furniture, and enjoy reading out back. I had to snap a photo of my picturesque backyard view – the enormous dumpster, piles of demo lumber, and a massive pile of stone dust for the patio. I guess I’ll just have to close my eyes and envision the green grass and vegetable garden I’m planning in my mind.

Lastly – happy Friday!!!