Thursday, June 24, 2010

Before and After - outside

Well, what a day this was yesterday. In the morning I've planted some Hydrangea, and Canna Rosemond Cole plants out front. It was beyond humid, or I was just sweating a lot. Midday brought us the Earthquake, which found me sitting at the kitchen table. At first I thought Happy was in the dog bed underneath it, scratching himself. Sometimes when they do this, whatever they lean against, shakes with them. The kitchen table was vibrating, then I heard the doors rattle, and after my son could feel and hear that too, I said in bewilderment - Earthquake? Turns out it was true. It didn't last long, and I've experienced such a one before, but it's still scary!
Late afternoon, as you already know, we got skunked. Happy took the worst hit, and he still stinks today, which doesn't seem to bother him at all. The dogs took a long time last night, to finally settle down.
Oh, and if that was not enough, our phone stopped working too.

I did get to take photos yesterday morning, of our improved back yard, and out front. It was morning light. I'm glad I took them yesterday, because it's raining buckets right now. So here it goes:

outside renovations

Some photos are not from the same angle, but show the same spot. I like our new front door. The windows are simple, and functional, and we didn't want to waste more money on them with expensive extras. We had to remove some dead trees, and overgrown shrubs, but we planted more than we cut away. Still, it will take a while (years) to get them big enough for privacy. I'm especially pleased that we could find some Elderberry shrubs, can't wait for them to produce some blooms, which will become a delicious dessert, syrup for juice, and if we'll leave some to grow berries, we'll have some jelly too! But this too will take a while.

Another feature I totall love is the gate I wanted them to put on top of the stairs. It's meant for keeping the dogs on the deck, when I don't have time to supervise them in the backyard. Unfortunately this only works, when it's actually closed. After I took the pictures, I realized I forgot to take one of the gate, so I said, "come on guys, lets go outside", and off they went, down the stairs into the backyard. I had forgotten to close it after we went down there in the morning (we went back inside through the garage, since I had to dry them off in the laundry room). So I had to get the leashes, and pray, that they would let me catch them. Since they didn't get to go out back for almost 3 weeks during the renovations, they are ecstatic every time they get a chance now. I did catch them rather fast, since they splashed around in the wading pool.

outside renos 2

The old stairs used to go down in one straight line, but that always brought the whole thing into a swing. I like the little landing I let them built in, and it worked out right with the basement window as well.
My favorite spot however is out the door through the garage. The stairs go up right to the side of the house. The old ones were so narrow, I was afraid of tripping every time we used them. And on top there's no more grass to mow, but wonderful interlocking stones, the same ones we used around the pool. I think we'll put up a bench/table thingy some day, for now I'm just enjoying the beautiful, even space.

The deck itself is double the width as it was before. At first I thought, we built a freaking pier out there, but we've gotten used to it really fast. It's nice we don't have to use an umbrella when we are down in the garden, since the deck provides enough shade. We'll get some patio furniture for up top eventually, with an umbrella. For now we've only got a brand new BBQ on top, and my little stand, where I dry the laundry.
Once we get rid of the skunks, we REALLY can enjoy it!


We still have to get a new shed, right beside the pool pump, and there are the odd paint jobs too, but all in all, I like it a lot.

It's cleared up now, I think the rain is over. I've got to put the garbage out. See you tomorrow with Handspun Friday!



wanderrast said...

Oh, wirklich schön hast du es, in deinem runderneuerten Haus.
Ich hoffe der Regen hat aufgehört und du kannst deinen feinen Garten genießen. Auch wenn es einige Zeit dauert, es wächst dann schneller als man glaubt.
liebe Grüße Elfi

Laurie said...

Lovely!!! I can see why the skunks wanted to live there. ;-)

Did you try the peroxide/baking soda mixture for deskunking? It's easy to find on google.

Some folks here in Ohio felt the quake, but I didn't. I do remember one I did feel though...and I thought my mother's dog was leaning against the chair I was napping in and scratching himself. :-)

momsue84 said...

Wow!! What a transformation! Beautiful! So sorry about the skunk incident. Been there! We used hair conditioner, per our vet's recommendation. Seemed to work. Hope today is a bit less hectic.

shannon said...

monika, everything looks so good! we have some renovations we'd like to do to our front yard. but i don't think this is the summer for it. must finish projects in the back first. :)

as for the gate, they do have hinges that are self closing...just an idea.

Toby said...

It's beautiful! I know what you mean about the plants growing in, but still - it looks wonderfully refreshed and I bet it feels great to have the overgrown shrubs gone.

CelticCastOn said...

ohhhh it all looks lovely!
I love your front door, reminds me so much of home, complete with knocker :)
You'll have so much fun on your new pier ;)

Herta Haunschmid /quer durchs leben said...

Grüß dich, Monika!
ich finde deinen Garte sehr schön hergerichtet,hat bestimmt eine Menge Arbeit und Zeit gekostet.
Liebe Grüße

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

What a massive amount of work - but my it's made a huge improvement to your property!!!! That shade from the deck is going to be something you appreciate DAILY. Also, how fabulous to have such a large deck - with a gate - wink - nice feature.... we are looking for gates ourselves these days - LOL

Bummer about the skunk incident. Some days are just like that :(

Sharon V said...

I just love what you've done with the place!! The renovations are lovely and it's just like having a new house, isn't it?

Earthquake? What quake? On the news they said it happened about 1:40p, but I didn't feel a thing. I'm glad it didn't impact your renovations, though! Whew!

SockPixie said...

It looks fabulous!

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...

You must be so proud.
Well done you.
A castle.
A home.
A haven.

Lovely jubely.

Susan said...

I'm behind in my blog reading and just read now about Happy and the skunks. My sympathy. I second the peroxide, liquid dish detergent, baking soda remedy.

I have never experienced an earthquake and don't particularly want to. I'm glad that all it did was jiggle your house a bit.

The house and yard look fabulous!! The new deck is great!

Marissa said...

Looks wonderful, and I can imagine you are so glad to have it all done and cleaned up!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I do not have enough gushing adjectives to tell you how wonderful that looks.

Sadie would LOVE to take a swim in that pool. :)

Bea said...

Du wohnst wunderschön.
Den Pool würde ich nicht haben wollen (bzw. nur dann, wenn ich mir jemand leisten kann, der ihn putzt) aber sonst würde ich sofort einziehen :-)

Lg, die Bea

Torhild Reidardatter said...

What a make-over- looks good. Enjoy

2paw said...

Wow, it all looks so fabulous, and such clean lines and so spacious!! The deck gate is such a good idea. Can you get a gate closer?? I know people who have closery things. I do not know how they work!!! The dogs must have been so happy to have an escape into the back yard!!!! And you must be so happy with your renovations, I love your new door too!!!!

wolltrunken said...

Wow, wie schön das alles geworden ist! Im nachhinein hat sich der Nervenaufwand dann aber doch gelohnt. Der Pool sieht so verführerisch aus, am liebsten würde ich sofort ein paar Runden drehen.

Liebe Grüße

von Birgit

Virginia G said...

It looks beautiful! Absolutely gorgeous. Go you!

Michelle said...

The reno looks really nice. So much work! Hope the boys are smelling better for you.

RC said...

OMG that is a lot of work! it looks great

illusions said...

Congratulations! The renovation in a record 3 weeks is totally admirable! The house looks real smart now, the front door indeed looks stunning. I loved the cute gate on the deck too!

Laura said...

Your home is beautiful - everything looks so fresh & neat! I envy you your pool!
We have had trouble with skunks with our dog & tomato juice does help - give them a bath in the stuff straight out of the can. It takes a couple baths, but it helps a lot. I have also sprayed our dog with Febreze - he doesn't like it, but it does help too! Have fun with your new digs!

Beverly said...

Everything looks wonderful. Almost like having a new house. Things will grown in before you know it.

I didn't know there was a quake until I saw it on the news. There have been so many of them this year that it is almost unreal. I'm so glad no one was hurt in this one.

Linda said...

Oh its just wonderful, well worth all the hassle.

Robin said...

Everything looks fabulous! You will no doubt LOVE that big deck!