Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Backyard Makeover

What's this? Two consecutive days of blogging? Well done, self.

Today started with an early morning jaunt to Fred Meyer (and by early morning I naturally mean 9am). As I stood in line at the in-store Starbucks wearing a zip-up Adidas fleece, workout pants, and running shoes and pushing my BOB stroller, I contemplated what beverage to order. It wasn't until the words "tall soy chai" left my mouth that I realized I had completely fallen into the soccer mom stereotype.

Here's the thing, back when I worked at Starbucks we used to be able to (fairly accurately) guess what a customer was going to order before they even ordered it. I shan't include examples at the risk of sounding racist or classist (trust me though, different races and classes do weirdly gravitate towards the same kind of drinks), but I can tell you that just about every suburban-driving soccer mom ordered one of two things: a skinny latte, or a soy chai. Hey-ooo! Look at me! No longer even close to being in the college kid stereotype (Iced Passion Tea Lemonade or Grande Caramel Macchiato), I am totally one of those oh-so-predictable, middle-class-white-ladies I used to make fun of!

I don't know why I am still taken by surprise when I find evidence of my being in the "married with kids" stage of life, but I really am. When do you stop feeling like a bumbling 19-year-old and start feeling like a responsible adult? Is it soon? Because seriously, I'm pushing 30 here and I can't be getting my feelings hurt every time the kid at Safeway fails to ask for my ID when there's booze in my cart.

On a totally different note, I thought I'd share a few pictures of our recent backyard transformation. Don't get too excited, it mostly just included mowing the 2 foot high grass and throwing away the rotting patio furniture that had been left out all winter, but nonetheless, we are quite pleased with what we were able to achieve with a lot of hard work and a very small budget.

Note the overgrown everything and the dilapidated state of the lawn furniture. Annnnnd.....

Ta-da! I used a tablecloth to recover the chair swing and turned a bunch of old tubs we had lying around into end tables. Joe dragged four whiskey barrels from various places in the yard and aligned them next to the back door (you can see a couple of them on the bottom left of the picture) so that I could have an accessible herb garden. We mowed and weed-whacked and pruned but the thing that took the most time was getting the lights in the tree. I wanted to create a fun outdoor space for upcoming summer evenings and it was my bright idea to string a lot of lights in the cherry tree in the middle of our yard. I thought of it, Joe executed it. And for that I will be eternally grateful. He basically risked life and limb to clamber atop a precarious step ladder while I stood on the ground shouting orders (he stored up many treasures in heaven for that). The end result? Well....

In our attempt to create ambient light via a bazillion strings of Christmas lights, we WAY underestimated how bright it would be. Granted, the end result is pretty cool but we were expecting more of a gentle glow and not so much a bright-as-the-sun effect. Case in point, my father came by that evening and said "We drove by earlier and it looked like a circus in your back yard!"

Either way, we are pretty pleased with how it all turned out. Hopefully there will be many delightful summer evenings spent basking in the overwhelming glow of too many Christmas lights.

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