We are done all major work. No more paneling to rip down; no more going right down to the studs. Only small-ish odd jobs are left, like the closet under the stairway and the mudding and painting upstairs. Of course, these little jobs often have a way of taking the most amounts of time, but we won't worry about that right now...
I decided rather suddenly in March that I wanted - very badly - to have an enjoyable yard this year. Kaiya is two now, and very busy and mobile. We need a backyard we can really play in. So I finally caved. I told Jeff that yes, this was the year I would finally agree to us spending the bucks to get rid of the tree. I'm referring to the massive Catalpa tree that was in our backyard. We're usually very pro-tree people, but this one was certainly an exception. For one, it had ants. Loads and loads of ants that would randomly drop onto you if you were sitting under the tree (ie. anywhere in the yard. The tree was that big, and our yard that small). For another, it was dirty. Giant pods that would dry up and fall, and giant leaves that would rot every autumn. We had to sweep constantly to keep up with the mess. And even the blossoms were gross. Beautiful when they bloomed for um, about two days, but a sticky, rotting mess once they were done.
So very suddenly in March, the tree was taken care of. Good-bye, Catalpa. We will not miss you.
I knew that I'd be happy to see the tree go, but I had no idea HOW happy. Here we are now, with a beautiful, tree-less yard. There's space to play, garden, sit, relax. (The ants have unfortunately relocated themselves all over the yard and in the house, but at least they're not dropping on our heads anymore!)
We're outside all the time now. Kaiya's got a pool, sandtable, and sprinkler, and we've got a new patio set and loads of gardens. It's great. I spent this evening sitting alone, sipping some wine, watching the bats fly and the trees sway until it got dark and the mosquitoes buzzed in my ears.
I admired the work we've done. The grasses Jeff planted, the bricks we both laid around the gardens as borders, the bit of yard I dug up, and the veggies and herbs I planted where there was once sod. And of course, the fence Jeff is putting the finishing touches on. And I sat in thankfulness for all the fun times we've already spent in that little yard, and I imagined all the fun times to come with family, neighbours, friends.
I'm so excited that I took pictures today while Kaiya was napping. So here it is: our work-in-progress, our yard.
Here's the front porch, a very favourite people-watching, neighbour-chatting, book-reading, wine-drinking, simply-relaxing place of mine. (And we finally got hanging baskets that will thrive in the shade.)
Here's the gate Jeff finally decided on and built last weekend. The tops of the fence/gate still need to be sawed off and finished.
A part of our new veggie garden. We've got tomatoes, cukes, spinach, peppers, zucchini, arugula, and mesculun mix.
I also planted a few herbs. My favourite herb by far is cilantro. Just a whiff can get me imagining yummy Mexican and Asian dishes.
A garden ornament that the camera refused to focus on. But I still like the shot anyhow, with the fuzzy roses in behind.
A random bluejay that perched on our fence while I was trying to focus on the garden ornament. I hear bluejays are trouble, but I think they're so beautiful.
More rosebushes. The picture doesn't do this one justice. It is absolutely massive and blooming like crazy. I love it.
The fantastic grasses we got from my parents and Erika. We have them lining the laneway side of the fence.
And one last picture, just because I like it. Hmmm... should probably wash the table...
And there you have it. We're officially ready to enjoy the summer. I'm hoping to have lots of dinner guests this season, and we're kicking it off with a small barbecue with a couple of neighbours this Friday. I'm excited. Summer is good!