Dirt, gravel and a Bobcat – the making of a new front exterior

This weekend was supposed to be easy, this weekend was supposed to be a walk in the park…..alas, Dave and I don’t roll that way.  1 1/2″ gravel was delivered on Friday for the front garden, with the idea to load up the front garden and be done.  Here is a before pic:

DSCN1749Dave and I got to work on the front garden fairly early on Saturday as there was a potential storm rolling through our area in the late afternoon.   The Bobcat made quick work of the heavy gravel.  Dave was able to sneak in through the plants and sprinklers – making it super easy for me to rake out the rock.

IMG_0042Above – you can see Janey relegated to the porch.

We were able to complete the front garden before noon.  That was a positive and a negative all at the same time.  I asked Dave if we would be able to expand the parking space that we had already planned on.  He agreed and we made so much more work for ourselves!!!  The initial gravel expansion would have been a 1 1/2 day deal.  That one small ask tripled, quadrupled our work load.

IMG_0049We were going to leave the grass in from end of the cement pad to the house….but we went all in and took it out all the way from the road to the house.  In doing that we needed to take out 3 sprinklers, which lead to adding back in a spigot (that’s the white PVC pipe coming up left of center), which led to an incident with the sprinkler system and digging out the control center in the middle of the side yard.  Arg.  Saturday ended in rain so we wrapped up early in the day.  Sunday was also a bit on the rainy side, so we had just enough time to put in the french drain for our gutters and called it for the day.

We will be working on the driveway and my front door this whole week….can’t wait to update you.  Have a great Monday Peeps!

 

Garden gone crazy

I was out of town for 3 days….barely….and my garden went and exploded on me….in a good way.  I had a few potted vegetable plants that were looking kind of sad and a raised garden full of seeds that hadn’t made an appearance yet.  The Memorial Weekend treated my plants very well……….

Kale:

DSCN1883Cilantro:

DSCN1879Sweet Mint (hello – for awesome Mojitos):

DSCN1881Peas:

DSCN1882And here is a preview of the final garden area that is getting added:

DSCN1884Sweet, right?!  Those are some left over gutters that we had and Dave set up a drip line.  So pumped.

 

Thursday Early Wrap up

This week has been intense after a hail storm hit us on Sunday.   We had a few hours prep time as we had a storm chaser friend warn us about the strength of the storm blowing in.

DSCN1759We put away all of the ‘fragile’ furniture and outdoor cushions, moved all the plants inside or under the eaves and then covered my tomatoes and peppers that were already planted.  ANNNNDDDDDD…………SUCCESS!!  Everything made it.  We had golf ball sized hail so there are other things that need attention.  I addressed the chipped paint on my NEWLY painted front porch, and it is looking mighty fine.

DSCN1749The front porch update will be completed once the new front door is installed and my ground cover for the garden is delivered.  Whew.

After I completed the outside paint touch-ups I moved the painting party inside.  I cleaned up the edges in the kitchen……

Before:

DSCN1767After:

DSCN1769Lastly in the paint extravaganza….my stairs.   They needed a pick me up.

Before:

DSCN1768After:

DSCN1771Well Peeps……..in anticipation for Memorial Weekend I am leaving for vacation Friday morning……see you on the flip side.

 

 

Surprise Morels

Out of the blue a friend of ours stopped by the house to surprise us with a few morels.

DSCN1756These are a first for me….ya know…cause of the cost….so talk about SURPRISED….and unprepared.  I decided to go the safe route and fry them.

I used milk/eggs in one bowl and Bisquick/Tony Chachere’s in the other.

DSCN1760I used 1/2 inch of canola oil in my smallest cast iron skillet.

DSCN1761and then….and then…..and then….there is eating.

DSCN1762Yum!!!!

Move from the back to the front….Front entry redo

In the spirit of outdoor improvement, I have moved from the back to the front.  The backyard improvements have gone so well, that I decided to tackle the yucky front entry.  Here is a long distance shot.  There has not been very many nice spring days yet, so very few of my plants have begun blooming.  It looks rather desolate with my front garden torn all apart (I’ll get to that soon).

DSCN1631I try not to get to close in – don’t want to scare myself.  I purchased a new front door and in order to make sure that it is the focal point of the front I am redo-ing the porch.

DSCN1735First order of business is to take down that railing.  Check out my mad carpenter skills!  I want a clear sight line to the front door – the new sexy front door – the new awesomely sleek looking front door, the front door that will be put on next weekend (I hope).  The door that the house currently has, was an addition from the previous owners.  I wanted to find something that would be more true to the house itself (but sneaking in some mid-century modern) …….more to come on that.

DSCN1737Scrape some loose paint, substitute the vertical slats for horizontal….good times.

DSCN1738Here is an unflattering shot of the base coat stain, old front door, and the front garden all torn apart.

DSCN1739Here is a better shot of the work in progress front entry…….I have the slats up to ensure that the short ones don’t fall off.  There is still a larger drop off (larger than I am comfortable with) on the front left side – I will be using those half barrels as planters on the high side.

Next up – finishing the front door and the front garden!

More wood work for the patio….and a little bit of snow

I have a long list of items I want to complete this week…..see my white board below? DSCN1681I decided on staining the Adirondack chairs today.  I got one chair completed – I am using the same stain….the Behr -Weather Proofing in Redwood.

DSCN1682You can see in the above picture the beautiful completed chair.  It is so lovely.  I was all set up to complete the second chair when my neighbor came to the back fence to chat with Jules and I.  She told us that a storm was rolling in and that hail and snow were expected over the next 2 days.  Jules went in to hyperdrive and moved all my plants into the dining room.  She was a girl on a mission.

DSCN1684And they are now awaiting less threatening weather.  Can you believe it?  Snow forecasted….in May.  I will be waiting to finish my other chair as well.

Dave decided to put the scrap wood to use as well.  He made a slated holder for our recycle bins.  Those bins are ridiculously ugly.  Now that the holder is done…..I feel like it should have been taller….but it’s done and I am happy that we used up more scrap wood. The very end has a space big enough for another black garage can and I will be purchasing another one to hold the wood scraps we will be keeping as fire starter.

DSCN1691Parting shot of our newly mounted garden tool holder…..with Jezebelle watching over us from the doorway…..can you see her beautiful eyes?

DSCN1693

Details, Details, Details….putting together a functional back patio

The heavy lifting for the back yard is over and done with…As previously recorded here, here and here.  I have moved on to pulling the details together to make the area functional.

First up – seating for the fire pit.  I found some wonderful low chairs from Lowe’s and purchased two.  I absolutely love the way they look.

DSCN1651I also purchased 2 Adirondack chairs from Amazon.  They needed to be put together – and I did the first one by myself….took a little while with Jane (First Officer of Destruction) around.  *Cough*…….could have taken me…..*cough*….2 hours…*cough*.  Dave and I teamed up on Saturday and put the other one together in 30 minutes.

DSCN1662 Next up – pulling my patio set from the wwwaaaayyyyyyy back of the shed.  I purchased this set at the end of the season last year and I am so excited to use it all summer.

DSCN1665Two smaller projects – moving the compost we have been ‘making’ to the raised garden (you can see in the above and below picture) and adding in solar lights to the fence.  Dave drilled holes into the 4×4 posts and placed solar lights down the length of the fence.

DSCN1664As a final note – we were able to use the fire pit.  It was a tad bit chilly, but we powered through and it finally feels like spring….even if it did snow the next day 🙂

DSCN1659