Monday, August 25, 2014

the most unfortunate looking tree

We really like trees.

We all grew up in Michigan, and trees (and water) are part of our heritage and landscape. We feel hopeful with new buds in the spring, we like the shade in summer and we like to play in the leaves in autumn.

We even like them in the winter - Not sure why though.

Anyway - We have two trees on our property. This is one of them.

You might think it looks just fine. But there is a problem:

It's in the wires. Ugh.

To solve that problem, several years ago, someone lopped off the top. Since then it had been growing again and looking so sad.

We were sad to take it down, as we knew there were happy critters living in it (think squirrels and birds), but it just had to go. It was destined to become a big problem real soon.

And like I said, just not good looking at all.

I secretly think Hero was totally excited to go to the rental place and pick out some beefy chain saw to play with for the day. Since Colin was home, he got in on the action, too. 

I was safely at work.

And it's down. Really. Just like that. 

The details are a little sketchy to me (remember I was at work blissfully unaware that my so was wielding a chainsaw around), but I understand that a few branches were taken off that might interfere with the wires, the tow rope was tied on, one of them cut and the other pulled.

And done.

Colin doesn't even realize what he is doing is work. He is just loving this.

Not sure where Hero is standing to take this photo. Some things are better unknown.

Moving right along - little bits and pieces of tree. 

The neighbor's little dog barked at them all. day. long. That's always fun.

Firewood for the fire pit - Yay!

And there it is. Done and done.

Hero left the stump at 4 feet high to build something awesome for the grandkiddos.

(Look at that cute little lineup of arborvitaes, which will probably provide some privacy in, oh, about 17 years.)

It's good! We love it!

We miss the idea of the tree, though. We are really trying to think how we can get another tree in our yard that won't get into the overhead wires or the underground sprinklers.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

the shed and the bushes

We are making some progress in the back yard. This is the first of a few posts about bringing our backyard out of it's pathetic, neglected state.

I love privacy. Who doesn't?

I love things open and wide, too. At the big house, our neighborhood did not allow fences, so it looked like our backyard went on forever. We actually had a really great treeline along the back that kind of defined our yard, and some arborvitaes along half of one side. It was somewhat private with openness. 

That made sense.

Anyway - At the small house, we have fences. And we have bushes. The bushes are great because of the privacy thing. They are not so great because they take work to be maintained. (Imagine Hero balancing on top of a tall ladder with a wicked looking hedge trimmer extended out as far as possible over the fluffy hedges. And me trying to stay clear of that beasty trimmer while holding the ladder steady. Fortunately, we had no injuries.)

So at this house, we like the privacy all around.

The hedges along the sides are decent - meaning there are no gaping holes (well, there is one, but we have hope it will fill in), give lots of privacy and are pretty healthy looking. We trimmed those babies up and left them alone.

Along the back - different story.

First there is this:

The ugliest shed in town. 

It has no foundation but has a wood floor (great for creepy critters to hang out under). 

It is pink. Yes, pink.

The previous owner really tried to spruce this up and fixed the roof with tar. It doesn't leak, but it seeped into the cracks on the inside and looks a little wonky.

And the doors. The squeaky, screechy doors that barely open. 

Here it is in all it's glory. 

Here are the bushes on the back fence line. Very sparse and sickly looking.

And we have a very unfortunate looking evergreen that needs to come down (another story for another day) that will leave a giant gap in the hedge.

Wow - just looking at these photos - what an icky backyard we started with.

Have hope if you are thinking you may have a yard that is this sad (You probably don't though.)

Hero just pulled all these out with his bare hands!

Ok - not really. He used a cool thing called a "come-along" that he hooked up to the very unfortunate looking evergreen. 

(There are not photos of the action, as I was no where to be found while Hero worked his fingers to the bone.)

But I did stop at 7-Eleven to get him a giant slurpee!

That pile of bushes got dragged to the curb and hauled off by the city. Hooray!

Here's how it looked without the bushes - all except one, lone shrub. It is different than the others and actually had pretty flowers on it. But it, too, soon went the way of all it's buddies.

And here is what we are filling that long empty line with. Two foot tall arborvitaes. I know. It's going to take a decade for them to offer up any privacy at all, but they were only $3 each! The four foot tall arbs were about $15 each. 

We have time. They will grow. 

Although it's a little strange to be so exposed along the back.

Hero was pretty darn sad to see that shed go. He loved having the extra space so he could move around in the garage a little easier. He was actually really resistant to losing that space.

It took some convincing, but he got on board after we looked at these:


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