Saturday, June 16, 2012


Tomorrow is Father's day.  I never had a dad so it has never been a big day for me.  But I do have a husband and so this post is about him.  We have our problems, that's for sure but Walt has many, many good characteristics and for the most part I think I scored in the husband department....and no he doesn't have a gun to my head.  He is fun to hang out with, he laughs a lot, and he sees the positive in most things which compliments my Eyeore syndrome.   He also does a lot for me.  When something needs to be done around here, he just does it.  Walt works hard and he plays hard.  We are getting the yard ready to have Sam and Hilary's open house after they marry in July.  We decided to do it in our yard, against the "not so happy wishes" of some of our children.  Sam and Hilary are both easy going and said, "Sure, why not."  Sometimes our back yard looks good and sometimes it doesn't.  For the most part though, in our neighborhood, I think we have one of the prettiest yards in the hood.  I wish I would have taken "before" pictures.  It was looking pretty bad and just needed some tender loving care and upkeep and renovation.  So Walt went to work.  He works harder than anyone I know.  He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and he is STRONG.  He had to do some gross things and get in gross, scary under the deck and over in that corner of the yard where things get tossed when we don't know what to do with them anymore.  To top it all off, it has been over 100 degrees kind of hot.  And he still just does it.  And he has been recovering from his leg infection and until yesterday, could not get in the pool.  I really don't think that he is still supposed to get in the pool, but like I said, it has been HOT.  He started in one part of the yard and has been working his way around the back yard. He took out huge planters, poured cement, put some braces under our deck (which has caused more of the deck to shift and now he has to go back under and brace up other areas), planted some new plants, tore out some old plants and trees, planted a very small garden, put some retaining walls in for new planters, tore down the railing around the pool and replaced it, and built a new sandbox for Scotty and the grandkids.  All of this with a bad leg and working when there was work.  There is still a lot to be done...a lot.  But I know that it will get done because I am married to a worker.  The yard will be fine when it is time for the open house....not the best in the world but just right for us.  I love to sit in our yard and just enjoy the feeling that is there.  We have some beautiful plants and a covered patio and a porch swing, and a hot tub, and a pool.  What lucky people we are.  But none of that would have been accomplished without Walt's hard work.  I want him to know how much I appreciate all of the work and I KNOW that some people are secretly jealous of how hard he works in our yard....well maybe they are secretly jealous of it :)  But I am proud of him and I think he takes pride in his yard.  I get lots of compliments on it.  So thank you Walt, for all you do for our family, but especially for all of the work you have done on our yard to make it nice for Sammy and Hilary.  Erica wanted to see what it was looking like so here are a few of the pictures.  They aren't great pictures and the yard looks a little messy, but I just wanted to show some of the improvements.  And remember, we have a lot more to do.  

None of the kids liked the lattice work around our pool but Walt and I did, so we compromised and have done half and half.  We left the bottom with the lattice work and did wrought iron around two sides of the top.  We left the lattice work on the road side of the pool to have a little more privacy.  It looks cream colored in this picture, but it is white.

 This is the view from the swing set side of the yard.  We have a few tomato plants planted and haven't finished the trim around the top of the deck, but we are getting there.
 This is also from the swing set yard and you can see the lattice sides.  We really felt like we couldn't put wrought iron around there.  It just leaves you too exposed to the road, especially because we live at the top of the hill.
 This looks junky but I just wanted you to see the sand box that he is building.  Scotty is almost ten and the best twenty-five dollars we have ever spent was making him a sandbox when we first got him.  He still plays in it every day.  But he barely fit in it so we figured we would just take it out.  When we told him we were taking it out, he started to cry and so we decided to build him another one over by the swing set.  If he does eventually stop playing in it, we figure the grandkids can enjoy it.  It is a little bigger than I thought we were going to do, but I think it will be fun for him.  We are going to put some sod in front of it and landscape the back area with another tree and plants.  We have two cherry trees already and Walt is thinking about planting another one in that area.  We had the best cherries ever this year and we figure you can never have enough cherries.
 We decided to plant a small garden this year even though we are having the open house.  We figure that if people think that it doesn't look very good for an open house, then they don't need to look at it.  It needs to be weeded but we are already enjoying the fruits of our labor.  We have gotten several squash and our first cucumber.
 These are the new steps.  The other steps were half the size and I never quite felt comfortable walking down them with my fat body.  I feel much more secure walking up and down these.  I know that the kids will not like the lattice work on them, but Walt likes it and it is his yard.
 And here is the score we made when we went yard selling this morning.  We have looked all over for railings to make the steps even more safe and literally could not find them in any store.  We found them online but they had to be shipped and they were over sixty dollars, plus the shipping.  We found them today at a yard sale where the house was being foreclosed on.  The lady's husband left her and she couldn't afford all the bills so the bank was taking over the house.  Walt saw the railings, (there are two of them), and asked if she would be willing to sell them.  She said she didn't care if the bank got the house with the railings or not and so he went over and unscrewed them from her deck, tied them to the top of his car, repainted them, and now we will have railings up.  They are not attached yet because he is going to have to figure out how to make them work since they are a different size than our stairs.  But I know him....he will make it work!!
 This is what I see out my back door.  That sego palm was in a pot on our deck but it was just getting big and taking up too much room.  So Walt transplanted it and we were a little worried that it wouldn't survive, but it seems to be doing just fine.  And I love looking at it.  We have to get some of the grandkids cement blocks re-made and do some for the newer grandkids, but then that will be done.
 These are our "four o'clocks".  We got these flowers from Noella Phillips and we love them.  They thrive in our yard and in fact they are trying to take over the entire side of the yard.  They are interesting   because they do not open up everyday until early evening....thus they are called "four o'clocks".  They are beautiful in the evening.  If anyone wants a start of them, let me know.  They are easy to grow.  If we can grow them, anyone can.
 This is the corner of the yard where we have put in a few new plants.  Some of the plants that we planted did not come up.  I wonder if it is because we have moved the dirt around so often over the last month and it disturbed them.  I am a little sad because we had bought several fern bulbs and just large greenery bulbs and we were hoping they would be up in time for the wedding.  Now I just hope they come up period....because Walt and I loved them.  They were very tropical looking and reminded us of our cruises.
 I am putting this picture in to show you where the large planters used to be.  We LOVE how open the patio is now and wonder why we ever thought boxing in the hot tub was a good idea.  Our patio is a little patchworky, but that's okay with us.
 This is where the other planter had been.
.  Anyway, we are getting there.  Hopefully it will look pretty enough that Sammy and Hilary are happy with it.  But we also figure when you throw a bunch of tables in there and a bunch of people, all of the little "not so great" things won't even be noticed.  I am happy with it so far and so happy that I have such a hard working husband, who can figure out how to do just about anything.  I don't know how he does it and have decided it just must be a man thing.  It isn't perfect, but it is just right for us.  Thanks Walt for everything you do.


shauna said...

That deck looks SO GOOD!! I love the change. I didn't even realize you guys had done that! It looks so good. I agree with leaving the lattice up on the other side. Plus it doesn't look s o bad once you've gotten rid of the green trim. It looks so good. And I'm also happy the steps are bigger. I'm not even fat but they scared me too. And I love the railings. They are perfect. This all looks really nice.

I know dad is a hard worker and it is a trait that he has passed on to us kids. I also like that you can ask dad to work on something and he will just do it. That's why I'm planning on him coming to do my yard next spring. I keep making plans in my head and say "I'll have my dad do that" because I know he will. I even have lattice work in my yard and though I know it's lattice work I actually kind of like it because it reminds me of home. I even bought elephant ears for my yard to remind me of home and of dad.

Happy Father's Day.

Than, Erica, Pacen, Camry & Claira said...

I think it looks fantastic! The new fence around the pool looks very nice and everything looks nice. You worry too much about what other people are going to think! I don't think anyone would think having a garden in their yard is an ugly thing. Our friends have their garden everywhere they can in their yard. It's right along the walkway when you walk to the front door and I think its cool. It looks great and the reception will be awesome.

McOmberFam said...

It looks sooo good Becky! I think the McOmber's might try to beg to differ when it comes to having the nicest yard. haha! Oh Steve & Tim! ;-) Great post!

The Struthers Clan said...

Wow1!! Great work Walt!!! That looks SO nice!!!! Can't wait to see it in person.

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