It all started with the puppies.
When we offered to take them in, we didn't really think through the practicality of the situation. We didn't really have time. Had we thought about it...well, I'm not sure we would have done anything differently.
The thing is, puppies are destructive. Really, really destructive. Those of you have had a puppy know what I'm talking about. Those who haven't...do you remember the Tasmanian Devil from Saturday morning cartoons? About like that.
Eight puppies is so much worse than you can imagine.
I am a gardener. I would even say I am an avid gardener. I collect plants like I collect yarn--the only difference being that plants sometimes die, and so my plant "stash" does not multiply at quite the same rate as my yarn stash. Nonetheless, I have a lot of plants, both in my garden and in my house, and I treasure them.
The puppies didn't feel the same. They ate everything. Virtually every plant in reach of the lawn, where I let them out to exercise, has been chewed to a nub. And the lawn itself? Eleven dogs. Enough said.
So it sort of became evident halfway through this little adventure that some significant garden repair work would be in order after the puppies left. A couple of good months in the law practice freed up some unexpected funds. And the state of the economy means that there are good deals to be had for contract work.
Naturally, we started with the pool. ????? I'm not sure what that had to do with the puppies, actually, but it is something we've wanted to do since we moved in ten years ago, and the 30-year-old cracked tile and crumbling plaster had reached the critical stage. Fortunately, this is not a job I can do myself, so we didn't hesitate to hire it out.
Here's the "before":
As you can see, both tile and plaster have seen better days. And that 1970's brown and tan mosaic? Yum.
Like most things, a pool remodel gets worse before it gets better. Here's what it looked like "during":
Pretty scary, huh? Hard to imagine that could ever turn out well. But, of course, it did.
Here's the "after":
Woo hoo! We are thrilled. Couldn't be happier. Umm...or maybe we could...
This is our lawn, post-puppies. And this is what's happening to our lawn today:
Yes, folks, that's going to be one big-*** deck!
Note the number of boys gleefully pounding away. This is the advantage of having boys. The sound of hammers brought every boy in the neighborhood running, and the men promptly put them to work. (That good-looking redhead is my big brother, who generously agreed to help with the construction in exchange for dinner.)
And, naturally, every project needs a foreman...
Love that toolbelt!
Once they're all out of the way, I can do something about the demolished plants. I can hardly wait!