Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Weekend Expeditions

The last couple of weeks have been filled with lovely weather, time with friends, and continued work on house projects. We raked the lawn (next year we are renting a thatcher) and it is starting to look really good!  The dogs were helpful as always. 

Also did some more rock moving (honest, someday we will be done moving rocks...) and leveling on the side of the house. Can't wait to do more on this after Memorial Day. 

And most exciting, look how amazing the apple tree is doing!!  We couldn't be more thrilled with its growth. 

This last weekend we took a delightful jaunt into the woods with dear friends. Saw some neat areas, gps tagged hunting spots for my dad and had a wonderful time. Here's some pics from our day. Can't wait to go camping there with friends and family in a couple weeks!!

Beautiful country with amazing friends!  More to come after our camping trip. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Landscaping Projects Begin Again

It has been delightful to get a jump on landscaping projects again.  We've been working out front and out back and are very excited by the progress so far.  Let's start out front.

If you recall, our front yard is all dirt (well, and rocks, lots of rocks).  Someday we will have a brick/paver/quickrete patio out front.  But first the ground has to get leveled, which is quite a project and the edges have to be done too.  So, the leveling form has been put in and some leveling has started.

Starting to level out front, the big flat step in front of the level will be the entrance path to the patio

As per usual, the dogs love "helping" with outside projects.  

Aria, double checking the level

My dad helped us make a great spot in the front by the entrance for the fountain my hubby made me two Christmases ago.  I am delighted with this placement and thrilled to be able to use the fountain now!  

Rock wall around the fountain area
Filler in, ready for the fountain

Filling it up

Isn't it beautiful!  The starts of a peaceful front retreat!

The dogs approve

The other thing we've added out front is an apple tree.  I knew we wanted a tree out front to provide shade for the future patio, and my German brother was thoughtful enough to send me an apple tree (ThanksToby!!!!!  We love it!)  So, the apple tree got a nice rock ring around it.  Then the real work began of digging the hole.  There was lots of rock removal and sifting to get dirt back in instead of the rock which is so prevalent around here.  The tree is doing delightfully well and even has new blooms on it in the couple of weeks since we planted it.  

Rock ring for the tree

Aria supervising the rock sifting
The tree is in!!!

Complete and protected

Growing and budding!

We've started on one other project out front.  Remember the front hill that we rocked last year and left the "riverbed?"  We have started planting the blue grass in the river!  The first round of plants brought us to the Y in our riverbed.  This project will continue throughout the summer as we are getting a few plants each time we run to Home Depot.  Here's the progress so far:

Can't wait for them to grow and fill in!

That's it so far out front.  More plants and leveling to come!  In the back we've started new projects as well and have many more on the agenda. The to-do list is ever growing!  First up is the back side of the house.  We have decided to put in a paver path from the deck to the dog run.  Hopefully this will accomplish several things; protecting the grass from the inevitable trail from the dogs running back and forth, and raising the level of the ground by the house so water drains into the yard instead of into the foundation.  The plan is for the pavers two wide and the rest we will back fill with river rock and place planters.  We also decided to move the deck stairs so they will run right down the path.  We've made it about half way with this project so far.  

The side of the house, before


Brandy likes helping too

Bricks are in all the way, now to add the pavers

Steps are off

The new steps will land here
Progress on the side so far

In addition to completing this project out back, we have others on the agenda including some leveling under the sailboat and starting a paver patio there.  We also plan to expand the deck and move the other set of deck stairs as well.  Promise to keep more updated on the projects, our progress, and the summer life here at the lake!

Welcome Spring!

Spring has come!  The last month we have had wonderful spring weather, the sun is shining and the tulips are blooming!

With the thawing of spring, we've taken back to outside projects and ventures.  We've been taking daily walks from our house to my folks which is a nice jaunt and great chance to see the neighborhood. Aria, of course, loves our morning walks.  Cassie doesn't get to go everyday because her old dog bones can't handle 5k a day.  She makes it about once a week which is enough to keep her moving and she has recovered well from her sore eye last month.  We've even seen some deer on our way feasting in neighbor's yards.

The lake is in lovely spring form and we have enjoyed some boating, fishing, and picnicking in the park.  
First day back on the lake

The dogs are thrilled with more frequent trips to the lake and boat rides as well.  
Aria still has to be on a leash in the boat, because she constantly wants to jump out

Brandy loves boat rides

Swimming at the lake

Spring really doesn't get any better than days like this!

Relaxing in the boat

Easter was lovely this year.  We hosted my folks and several of our close friends for a wonderful Easter dinner filled with tons of delicious food, sparkling laughter, delightful conversation, and the weather was absolutely perfect!  

Easter table

Easter Cake

Up Next: Landscaping projects begin again!  (Thus the reason for the blog hiatus).