The Right Perspective

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Greenish Thumb?

I believe I've mentioned here before that I'm not really a gardener.  In fact, I really never liked to play in the dirt or get sweaty and I HATE spiders.  We have lots of spiders in our enormous flower beds, by the way, one of which dared to crawl across my flip-flopped foot.  It almost made me quit....but I didn't and I must say, it almost looks like I might have a green-ish thumb.   

When you look at this first picture, keep in mind that before I started this summer, there were only the four green and white hostas along the sidewalk and the clump of daylilies at the edge of the picture.  Oh, and tons of weeds.  And spiders.  And bugs.

And now....let there be green and color and far fewer weeds.

This is the other side of the step.  Before there was one lone hosta.  Now, there are 6. 

This is looking down the sidewalk.  Doesn't look too impressive from this angle.  Lots of new stuff, but it's been so hot and dry that a lot of it is still in the newly-planted-still-struggling stage.

The end of flower bed.  My hydrangea bush suffered major frost damage because of the crazy hot-then-cold spell this spring.  I was hoping it would survive.  It did and it's huge and full of pink, purple and blue blossoms.

My lilies are blooming!  I think I planted two a few years ago and they have multiplied.  They don't last too long, but they're gorgeous while they're here.

Looking back down towards the step.  I like this section of the garden a lot now.  

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Finished Product!

Before I begin, Andrew correctly pointed out to me this evening that my timeline was a bit off.  Somewhere along the line, I smashed a couple of days together and so technically yesterday's post should have been day 4.  Oops!

After a couple of days of much needed rain (and rest), we finished the playset on Saturday morning.  Here it is in all it's glory!

The kids, finally able to enjoy the swings and slide.
Ethan likes to drive his clubhouse to Grammy and Pop-pop's house....and lots of other places.
Emily, posing.  She's 7.5.  She looks so much older here.
A nearly 3 year old who LOVES his swing.  He giggles like a loon and says "Little bit higher" and then "I do it myself"! 
The window now has shutters and a window sill. 

Emily is having a great time hanging on anything she can.
Climbing like a monkey...

Proud of herself after she made it all the way across the monkey bars and into the clubhouse.
Two happy kiddos!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Part Three

Day three happened on Wednesday evening, after Andrew got home from work.  We took a much-needed break on Tuesday night.  After the kids went to bed (around 7) we got to work and kept on until dark.  We almost got the slide installed, but it required a wooden stake to be driven into the ground approximately 19 inches.  Sounds simple enough, but with a complete lack of rain for a very long wasn't.  Then it just got too dark to work and we were too frustrated to keep trying.

Almost finished...but not quite.

 This is slightly out of order, but it shows the little window on the side of the fort facing the monkey bars.

 A slightly closer view.  And yes, that's a real "dormer" up on top.  I think it's adorable...but a pain in the neck to build.  Have I mentioned that not ONE.SINGLE.PIECE of this blasted thing was put together.  Nothing.  After we built the roof, which is basically all that was accomplished on day three, we hoisted it up on top of the fort.  Andrew got to stand on the ladder and I climbed up in the fort and helped position it.  I'm sure we were quite the sight.

And while this has absolutely nothing to do with the building of the playset, since I only got one picture, I decided to add it in with day three.  Emily finished up her 1st grade school year last Friday.  She did a great job, got fantastic grades and won the "Caring" award, as well a spot on the honor roll.  Here she is with her teacher, getting ready to receive her award.  She looks so big!

Well, that's it for tonight.  The next couple of days of that week it rained (which we so desperately needed) and the weather went from 97 degrees and blazing sun all the way down to daytime highs of 48-52 and rain for the last day of May/first day of June.  Crazy weather, but it gave us a bit of a break for the final phase of building the playset. 

Stay tuned for part four....where it is finally finished.  Well, almost...

Part Two

 At the start of day two (Sunday after church, to be exact), this is what our backyard used to look like (the view from the deck).  Please excuse the grass or lack thereof.  We removed our pool two summers ago and the grass has been stubborn.  There's actually more there than it looks like, it's just been extremely dry so it's all yellow and crunchy.

 Eventually the swing beam and fort sections were joined together.  You might notice the was a necessary purchase in the unrelenting sun and heat.   Thankfully I had an old gift card to a store that carried umbrellas and it covered all but the base.  It was a huge help, even if it did continually blow over. 

 And here is the result at the end of day two.  We added a section of monkey bars, hanging rings and a rock climbing wall (which was a major pain in the rear end to put together, despite how simplistic it looks.)

 Ethan wanted to test out his climbing skills.  I wasn't sure if he would be able to get up there, but....

...the little monkey made it on the first try...and every try thereafter!  He does not let his tiny size (maybe 36 inches tall and 26.5 lbs.) limit him AT ALL. 

Lots of progress made, but LOTS more left to do.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 02, 2012

All in a Week's Work- Part One

What does a long weekend, record setting high temperatures for May (or July!), 300 pieces of wood, 4,671 screws, nuts and bolts and 27 "simple" pages of instructions, all packaged in a 365 pound box equal?  BIG FUN!!

Yes, this is how Andrew and I chose to spend our Memorial Day weekend....putting together a large wooden playset for the kids.  Oh, and did I mention it was also our 12th anniversary? 

"So, what did Andrew get you for your anniversary?" 
"Oh, a wooden playset and sun poisoning."

"What did you get him?"
"A wooden playset, approximately 76 hours of construction work in record-setting temperatures, a slight sunburn on his neck and absolutely no rest on his long weekend."

And yes, we're still happily married, even though we were both too tired to find and sign the cards we'd bought for one another!

 Above:  All the pieces carefully sorted.  What you can't see are the millions of screws, nuts and bolts and other accessories in the garage.

 Daddy and his boy...doing "Man Stuff" with power tools.  Could they be any cuter?  (I mean, Manly!)

 A man and his tools.  He was a big helper...when he wasn't running and screaming like a girl every time he saw a bug!

 Pa and Ethan working  hard. 

This picture is slightly out of order, as we didn't get this far on day one.  However, this is the swing beam.

This is the progress after one very long day of work in 95 degree temperatures with virtually no shade.  That tree in background was the only shade we had the entire first day, and it's not that big.   It was hot...and I learned the hard way that I am officially allergic to the sun.   Nope, I'm not joking...I got sunburned on my forearms, neck and ears and then proceeded to break out in little tiny blisters all over the places that were burned.  It wasn't really even a bad sunburn, but apparently I got sun poisoning which is, according to the doctor, an allergic reaction to strong sunlight.  Goodie!

Even a full week later, I still look like I'm recovering from a case of the pox.  It's not pretty.  I might also mention that no one else got sunburned.  Andrew got a mild burn on the back of his neck, but no where else.  I was the only lucky one.

We were very lucky that Grandma and Pa and Aunt Katy were willing to come up and spend last Saturday out in the heat with us.  Pa helped us get a good start on the playset and Grandma and Aunt Katy helped keep the kids occupied when they got tired of "helping".  We all had a good day together and ended the day with an early Memorial Day cookout. 

Stay tuned for the next installment....