1 In Home Reno & Decor

Digging. {A backyard overhaul}

Once upon a time, we bought an “okay” house on a “great” street. 
I guess watching Jillian Harrison’s “Love it or list it” and Scott McGilvary’s “Income Potential” finally paid off. 
We heard the advice a million times over and then we finally listened and acted on the real-estate-golden-nugget-tip and bought a house that fit our needs, was in a great spot, but needed a complete overhaul.
Three and a half years later, I have now realized that those shows, that I love, the ones that I PVR and can’t turn on unless I am in comfy pants with snacks piled on my lap and my eyes GLUED to the television, as lovely as they are, as gorgeous as things end up after a half hour or an hour, I have learned that they are not made in REAL time or even semi-real time.

It hasn’t been a hundred hours, no, we have been plugging away at our house for three plus years!
Then, this summer, the clouds parted, the angels chorus sang in perfect harmony, and we realized it was T-I-M-E to take our attention from the inside of our house and instead focus our attention on the the outside of our house.
Our back yard was beckoning.
In the last three years, I have tried to add some distracting furnishings, to plug in and install some twinkling pretty lights and to forget about the “new-ish” deck that wobbled and crept like it was fifty years old.
You see, we live in a suburb of Guelph, Ontario, and this whole area is not OLD at all, it is actually only about 15 years old. 
I remember when these houses were being built and when, at that same time, wearing baggy overalls and slicked back hair was not only fashionably forward, but super chic — for girls!!!

Our home is a multi level home and one of the few on our street that is raised. That means our main floor is about 8 feet from our backyard’s grass weeds.
I can barely believe it every time I tip toe onto this unstable deck, but the previous owners actually PAID someone to build the current deck we inherited. I feel badly that they probably didnt bargain that four years later the thing would be a wobbly mess.
The deck was falling apart but the deck did not look bad — at first glance. 
At first glance, one would think that the deck is huge and is right off our main living area. It can hold a huge group of people on it, but to be honest, who knows how long it can actually HOLD up!!
Lets just say, I freak out when my blessed children go anywhere underneath the deck. 
Yep, if you live in the area, Im sure you have heard me bellowing that the deck may crash on them at any minute, and Im not being dramatic, I mean every threatening, hysterical, neighborhood-echoing-word.
Not only is the large deck a complete hazard, as it wiggles just like Elvis’s hips, but it also covers a completely fabulous window that enables light into my salon. 
When we moved in, I loved the fact that our lower level had larger than normal windows, but now I crave even more sunlight in that space.
The steps going down to our yard are steep and are covered in green mold. 
I love all things green, but mold will never make the list.
Once I had planted the seed of the idea for a new deck in my husbands mind, and had thoroughly watered it with prompting, suggestions, ideas, and nagging, he got right down to business ( ALL ON HIS OWN!) and started planning out how our NEW deck would turn out.
We always involve our three kids in our renos, and truly, they really enjoy being a part of the excitement!
They even leeringly volunteered to help “measure” the depths of the holes!
And this is the girl that is fearful of bugs. 😉
Obviously, I remained a safe distance away from being thrown into a deep hole and instead renamed myself “The Fly Swatter Girl” and protected all beverages and snacks like my cape depended on it.
 I mean, I was still kind of sore from digging holes for all these rocks and then dragging them into place, a few days before.
Eventually there will be an entire stone pathway down the side of our house, the deck will end up   taking up most of our small backyard and we will end up with a lovely patch of grass for the kids to wrestle on and for me to hunt down big fat grass blades to press between my thumbs to practice sqeaking out some whistling, just like MY Mama taught me.
This celebratory picture was taken right before we went away for three days. 
We came back, to hear that it rained every day that we were away. It turned out, that we came home to our sono tubes and our holes overflowing with water. 
On the bright side, I didn’t post about our yard then, cause guys, that was SAD. 
Also, on the double bright side, Im kind of soooooo excited to say that the deck is coming along beautifully, albeit, slow and steady.
Amidst the digging and the raining and the diggin and the raining, I taught my kids this little poem  and it is so fitting, I just had to share….
I hope it is not raining where you are and that the sun is shining down on whatever hole you are digging; be it, on the beach, in your yard or in your wallet with that back to school shopping!

(Yeah, I saw those giant pencils hangin from the ceiling at Target, too.)
BY: Kenn Nesbitt

I’m digging for diamonds.
I’m digging for gold.
I’m digging for silver
that’s shiny and cold.

I’m digging all day and
I’m digging all night.
I’m digging for rubies
all sparkling and bright.

I plan to get famous.
I plan to get rich
by digging up gemstones
in ditch after ditch.

And yet, from these ditches
I’ve dug in the ground,
there weren’t any diamonds
or coins to be found.

I haven’t got silver
or rubies, you see…
I just have my mom and dad
yelling at me.

For though I found nothing
from digging till dawn,
my parents found holes
where we once had a lawn.

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  • Chris Kauffman
    August 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    A wobbly deck that sounds terrifying!!! I can't wait to see the new deck sounds exciting!