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Saturday, June 24, 2017

In Tune With June - 2017 - Backyard Blues

We have lived in our house for 21 years now as of Flag Day (June 14).  The house was built in 1955 by the original owner and he used redwood to build it so we have been told that it is very well constructed.  We are the second owners.  About a year after we moved in we were able to participate in the Airport Noise Abatement program and got all new double paned windows, sturdy doors throughout the house and insulation in the attic for free.  Living smack dab between the airport and the train, those improvements helped a lot.

Over the course of the last 21 years we admittedly did very little ourselves to the house, inside or out.  We did paint both bathrooms and all three bedrooms (the kids rooms we did a couple of times) but that was years ago.  We had a leak in the kitchen so we patched the roof over that area but other than putting new sheet rock over the bad spot on the ceiling we haven't done anything there.

In January of 2015 we had to replace the back fence.  You can read about that here.  Last May we took the plunge and gave the outside a face lift.  You can read about that here and here.   Then in November we tackled another major hot spot, the front bathroom and went from this:

To this:

The next big inside project will probably be the kitchen but that is going to be HUGE so we have to build up our savings again (or win the lottery) before we can tackle that.  

Less expensive and maybe even more irritating to me is our back yard.  We have never really utilized our back yard to its fullest potential, especially now that the kids are grown and don't "play" out there anymore.  (Heck, they don't even LIVE here anymore - LOL).

When we did the siding and roof we were able to clear off the back porch and turn it into a nicer place to sit: 

This is what the backyard looked like then.  You can still see the top of the back fence.

This is the corner of the porch now.  You can see the blackberry vine starting to come over the edge.

It looks like a wheat field and the top of the fence is disappearing.

There is massive overgrowth of I don't know what all.  It was getting so bad that I could hardly go down the back steps to the garage without getting attacked.  (What was that horror film called?  Children of the Corn???)

Finally I decided to take measures in my own hands and spent a day at least clearing the area by the steps so that I could walk out there without fear.  As with most things I do, I threw myself into the project with determination.  Four big garbage bags and a very full green refuge bin later...

This is all I was able to clear before I stopped.  I was out there for about four or five hours.  The area is maybe six feet around.  

I was not very smart because it was a hot day so I was wearing shorts and a tank top and got scratched pretty good from the thorns on the blackberry vines.  Also, I could barely move for two days because I was not used to all that pushing and pulling and bending.  Ibuprofen was my best friend.   

However, it's been a few days now and Bill just took all the garbage bags to the dumps so I think I'll have another go at it.  This time I'll wear better protective clothing and take a couple of breaks.  Our goal is to get it all uprooted and down to dirt.  Then we're going to do something so nothing will grow back again (? cement? rocks?).  I am definitely not a gardener but I do have visions of some chairs and maybe a fire pit.  It is a huge backyard and has lots of potential.  

We would hire a company to come and do it (and actually have had it done twice already although not to the bare bones) but after spending so much money last year, we are looking for more inexpensive ways to go for some of this stuff.  Ibuprofen is much less expensive than a gardener :)

I'll keep you updated as to the progress.  How about you? Any big home improvement projects planned?  Got a fire pit?   



  1. Your bathroom remodel turned out fabulous! I have one suggestion on the back yard: Weed and Feed.
    Visit me @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead. 😉

    1. Thanks Barbara. I am weeding but do not intend to feed!


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