The Transformation Continues….

You can start to really see what the terracing is going to look like.  I made tremendous changes to the house and now to the back yard.  The whole time, in my head, I kept thinking…I hope my dad likes this.  I know he’s gone and has been for awhile but I really hope if he can see what I’m doing that he likes what I’ve done to the house he built.  I really think he would’ve loved the back yard.  He was always so busy building the house and working full time that the yard got put on the back burner.  He did take the time some time to work on the back yard and since he loved to share his knowledge with anyone who would listen…I got to learn a little bit about gardening.

back y1

It’s not much but you can start to see the terracing take shape.  Our lot is on quite a grade and you don’t really realize it until you start to look at it with a more critical eye.  I suppose it was hard to tell anything with a slightly sloping back yard overrun with weeds.


The front of the house starts to get it’s makeover also.


The gazebo doesn’t look so lost anymore. Finally it’s getting to be the focal point it should be.  Over 20 years old and it’s still as solid as ever.  Note to self…post a link to the company who made these!


One of my favorite decisions I made for the back yard.  The guys who were doing this thought I was more than a little crazy.  These 2 doors were salvaged doors that my dad had bought 30+ years ago from old homes they were tearing down.  They’ve been in the house along with 2 fireplaces full of salvaged brick and windows.  I love these doors and knew I wanted to keep them and do something with them.  I originally had plans to use one in the front as an entrance to the rose garden but that plan was still off in the future.  Part of the reason why they went here is because I had no place to store them.  They ended up being the perfect entrance to the back yard and I had a little piece of my dad as part of the back yard he always wanted the time to spend in.


Very, very blank….I wracked my brain with ideas to dress this up.  The results were great and still ongoing!


Not the best shot of one of the guys.  Juan the Juanderful is one of the guys that made this all possible.  He also had great ideas.  The gazebo became a pergola for awhile.


Looking so much better.  It is amazing how much a change in color can change your whole attitude about something.  I know that I’m very sensitive to color.  It completely affects my mood.  I went from absolutely hating being in this back yard to loving it with just a change in the paint color.


I just love this picture of my girls.

More pictures coming!


Back yard makeover in progress

As promised yesterday…more before pictures of the wasteland that was our backyard.



This was the uninspiring entrance to the back yard.


Sitting here trying to figure out how to tag this.  Ugly is the only word that comes to mind.


As you can see our front yard didn’t look half bad.  The paint job had definitely seen better days but it didn’t look as bad as the back of the house.  If it hadn’t been for the wedding I would’ve waited to paint the house but it was a great excuse to have it done.


The terracing begins!  I cannot tell you how exciting it was to watch this happen.  Every evening we would all come out and marvel how amazing it looked each night.  Imagine this….We thought this was amazing at the time!


Primer is just primer but it was a beautiful change compared to what was there before.  Just this little change made such a difference in the way the back yard felt…lighter and brighter and for me, happier.


More progress tomorrow!


A Wedding in 2 months?….Gulp

When we moved back into the house I grew up in to care for my elderly mother, not only was the house a wreck but so was the front and back yard. The front yard wasn’t terrible because the gardener tended to it a bit but he left the back yard completely untouched.  Given all of the work and renovation we had to do just to make the house livable I just put the back yard on the back burner.  As long as we had a clean house to live in I was satisfied.  We were nearing the end of the renovation and everything was going to start quieting down when I mentioned to my newly engaged daughter that when the time came she and her fiance could get married in the back yard if they wanted. Long story short….this beautiful face is the reason why in 2 months we transformed a mess of a back yard into a beautiful outdoor wedding venue….


My future son in law is in the Navy and at least 6 months out of the year is deployed on a nuclear sub.  Trying to plan a wedding when your fiance is in the military is next to impossible.  However, he had 2 weeks off in 2 months time.  The following pictures are the before pictures of the back yard.  I really had no idea what I wanted the back yard to look like other than beautiful for my baby girl’s big day.  My son in law’s uncle who had helped with the renovation came up with the terracing idea that we used and everyday I walk out in the back yard and water my fruit trees and look at the butternut squash growing I can’t believe how lucky I was to have him make all of this happen.



I think the El Camino shell adds that extra special touch!

Back yard before 3

I’m guessing that this back yard hadn’t seen any TLC in about 10 years.

Back yard before 8

The only thing new in this picture is the fence I had put in very soon after the renovation started.

Back yard before 5

My mother’s gazebo…My dad had this built for my mom over 20 years ago.  It was something she wanted so much and my dad would do just about anything to make my mom happy.  This used to be where our above ground pool was as you can see from the lovely concrete we used to have surrounding it.  classy all the way! lol!

Tomorrow I’ll show the next phase in the progression of the back yard as it’s slowly transformed.  Believe me, you would never know the before pictures and the after pictures are the same yard.

Till next time!

My Mission Statement

Just a quick post today….

organic vegetables donuts

You Should Start Your Own Blog!

I think the first blog or entry is the hardest.  You want to set the tone and tell everything all at once but you can’t.  It would probably be 20 pages long and no one least of all myself would want to read it.  My brain is so full of what I want to put down on this I feel like it’s going to explode.  Now, I’m totally overwhelmed and really don’t know what direction I want to go.  I’m going to start with why I decided to do this, what (as of now) I want to blog about and what my expectations are.

I decided to do this because my husband said, “You should start your own blog!”  Actually, there was more to it.  We were taking a walk to my 5 year old’s new school….she starts kindergarten in August and we’re trying to get her used to the 5 block walk that she and I will take every morning.  As we’re walking I keep looking at houses and yards and keep commenting on all of the things they could do to make it look so much nicer.  I keep making suggestions which is when my husband says, “You should start your own blog!”  hmmm…he may actually have something there.  I started thinking about what I could blog about.  My family and I had just moved into my childhood home after discovering the extent of my mother’s dementia so I could care for her.  To make this happen we had to make it livable so I devoted myself 24/7 renovating, cleaning, destinking, demolding, de everything the house so it could be lived in while trying to care for my mother.  Once I got that done my thoughts turned to the back yard.  I now had a huge back yard and good sized front yard that I could do anything with.  That’s the why of this blog.  After doing all the things I’ve done to our front and back yards I started looking at other yards with an eye of someone who started out with one of those untended, unloved spaces.  I’ve always loved the idea of gardening just never quite mastered the art of remembering to water after the fun of the first few weeks wore off.  Pinning organic gardening ideas on Pinterest had become an obsession with me and now I had this awesome yard to do it in.  So, here I am ready to jump in and become an urban organic gardening person complete with a whole yard full of fruit trees, vegetables bursting out of my Pinterest worthy planters, happy chickens laying eggs on my doorstep and I’m dreaming all of this while I’m licking all of the wonderful white stuff out of my 12th (whatever) double stuff oreo.  I love those things!  I love Beanie Weenies.  I love Spaghetti O’s and meatballs and my most beloved beverage of all…an ice cold Coca Cola.  I’m feeling a little hypocritical but I decide to ignore that and focus on my trying my hand at growing food for us!  Too bad Armstrong ,, doesn’t have Cheetos trees…mmmm yum!

I’m right in the middle of my first season of trying to grow fruits and vegetables.  It’s all an experiment right now.  I’m starting small.   I didn’t plant a billion fruit trees.  I’m holding off on the chicken coop.  I am not planting a billion seeds all at once and getting completely overwhelmed and giving up.  This is me experimenting, making mistakes, and hopefully some successes. What I have done, what I want to do, and what actually happens  is what this blog is about.  I’m guessing there is going to be alot more…


Feeding the world?...not quite yet.
Feeding the world?…not quite yet.