It seems the last several weeks have been nothing but work at the Bonner residence.
Holiday weekend? What holiday weekend?! It passed by in a blur of dirt, plants and heavy lifting.
Brad and I have been accused of being slightly obsessive/compulsive — we prefer to say “we don't let much grass grow” when projects are involved. And, so far, it's working for us — and we're increasingly aware that we really deserve each other.
As you may know, we're currently living in tight quarters. While our newly-remodeled house is perfect in many ways, the closets leave a lot to be desired — not to mention the single bathroom. Oh, and we also need some more bedrooms — but we're biding our time before embarking on the next remodeling project, which left us in a bit of a dilemma.
We realized we really needed to utilize our outdoor space to avoid feeling claustrophobic. The backyard is our favorite part of the property, but last year's construction left it in pretty sad shape. The towering pine tree that we cut down to accommodate the project left a huge expanse of dirt and debris — dirt that has been mud through many of the last months.
So, several weeks ago, we decided we'd be well-served to spruce things up for the immediacy. A little fix-up would render our yard useable for the summer months.
My muscles currently don't feel like “little fix-up” adequately describes the project, even though it all started innocently enough: Let's buy some sod so we can get rid of the dirt patch right outside the back door.
So Brad and I picked up three tons of sod a couple Fridays ago. By Saturday afternoon, we had that wonderful sense of instant gratification. Overnight lawn!
But could we just leave it at that? Of course not ...
One of us (I may deserve the blame) decided we should build a small patio as well. Several loads of pea gravel, sand and pavers later — not to mention worn out gloves and an atrocious sunburn — we had our patio, complete with a fire pit and benches repurposed from the original house's fireplace hearth and mantle.
Then back to our real jobs for the week. On the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday, a load of cedar landscape timbers landed in our driveway. Hello, gardens!
While Brad filled and patched holes in desperate need of grass seed, Bliss and I planted vegetable and herb gardens on Saturday and Sunday.
Not to miss an opportunity, we had a little dinner party on Sunday night, and then we headed to the greenhouse for more plants on the Memorial Day holiday.
Hmmmm: Is it really a mystery why I'm feeling so fatigued after the three-day weekend?
But, there was a tremendous sense of satisfaction as we sat on the patio Monday evening, gazing at our projects — and actually enjoying the backyard the way we envisioned.
Little Bliss has enjoyed the process, I think, while offering loads of the variety of help only a 3-year-old can offer. Digging sand out from between the pavers (we finally relented and bought her a sandbox), riding in the wheelbarrow, stealing shovels and “planting” flowers plucked from brand-new plants. Ugggh.
She even got a pair of purple Dora the Explorer gardening gloves (but she doesn't want them to get dirty.) And I really thought I was imparting some of my limited gardening knowledge to her — including that dandelions are not the most desirable garden plant.
Though I will admit I've been gentle about it since she loves the little yellow harbingers of summer so.
As we were driving along a county road yesterday morning, Bliss spotted a field full of dandelions.
Excitedly, she pointed them out.
“Mom, look at all the dandelions,” she almost shouted. “Some of them are the smelling kind and some are the blowing kind!”
I'm afraid all our efforts of the past few weeks may go to the weeds if Bliss has anything to say about it.