Someday It Will Stop Being a Zillion Degrees and We’ll Do Things in Our Yard

This is the time of year when people are all over social media posting pictures of flowers blooming and kids swimming and going on and on about how they don’t want summer to end.


I am totally ready for summer to end.

There are things I like about summer: school vacation, road trips, long days, thunderstorms. But by August, vacation is over around here, days are getting shorter already, so really the only good thing left is thunderstorms.

And it’s still 70 gazillion degrees outside. That is so many degrees.

But fall, on the other hand, is completely glorious and perfect, and I cannot wait for it to finally happen.

My big plan is to try to finish up the den during the rest of the unbearably hot weather and turn our attention to the outside of our house once we can actually go out there again without immediately bursting into flames. We’re very much hoping that the budget will allow for a new deck by the end of the year. Like a new deck that someone else will build, even. A new deck seems like it might possibly be within the realm of things we could build ourselves but not, right now at least, within the realm of things we have the time to build ourselves. Particularly since it would first have to involve….learning how to build a deck.

But we can do other things ourselves! We’re not completely helpless. And then maybe all of our outside areas can be beautiful, just like our professionally constructed deck. Or at least less embarrassing. I’ve made a list, because that’s always fun. We won’t get to everything on the list, of course, because we never do. But it’s good to have dreams.

Get rid of the ivy under the porch: The area under our porch and sunroom is completely covered with ivy. I hear this is bad for houses. I hear copperheads like to hide in ivy. And I KNOW that it makes it hard to access that area. So we need to pull it all up. I don’t know for sure, but I’m anticipating this job being tedious and time consuming but not really difficult. I’m hoping we can knock it out in a weekend sometime soon. When it’s cooler.

After that, the possibilities are endless! I’d love to have a patio down there someday, maybe. Milo and Gus would like to build a model of Middle Earth under there. We could put potential future chickens under there to keep their pen from getting all muddy in the rain. Who knows?!

Build a Construction Zone for Abe: I’m not sure of the details yet, but we’re thinking something half sand/half rocks or gravel where he can play with trucks. Older kids can use it, too if they want. But not cats, so some kind of cover should be involved, even if it’s just a tarp.

Pressure wash and seal the swingset: We built the swingset two summers ago, and it’s holding up very well, but it doesn’t look quite as shiny and fresh and new as it did back then:

In the interest of basic maintenance, I’d like to pressure wash it and then put some kind of sealant on the wood. So that our grandchildren can play on it. Maybe. Anyway, so it will at least last until Abe’s done with it.

Clover! Remember my big clover lawn plans? Yeah, well, then it got too hot to plant anything, so they’re still on hold. But I still have a big bag of clover seed in my garage, and once it cools down I’m going to get back out there with it.


Boring stuff: The underside of our sunroom has this weird insulation that really shouldn’t be the outside of anything. We need to fix that (I think it mostly just needs plywood put over it). Also, electrician to deal with some questionable wiring on the porch. Exciting!

Porch and deck: Back to funner things! Once we actually have a deck that I’m scared to let small children out on, we can focus on making things pretty. The way things work is our sunroom goes out onto a screen porch, which goes out onto a small deck. We’ve already ripped a lot of the (old, ripped) screen down off the porch, with a view toward making it a covered deck instead. And I’m excited about having a nice outdoor living space to decorate and then to, you know….use. So I’ll be talking more about that later in the fall, I imagine, but the idea is a nice living and eating space from which we can overlook our gorgeous clover lawn with no ivy. It’s long overdue, because this picture from awhile back (right after we ripped up the disgusting carpet that used to be there) is still the best the porch has ever looked:




Someday It Will Stop Being a Zillion Degrees and We’ll Do Things in Our Yard — 12 Comments

  1. Cats and sand: unless the cover is put on Every Single Time, the cats will claim it.
    Copperheads like ivy? So glad I did not know that. Theoretically, we are just north of copperhead country, but you know snakes do not always read the book. We have rattlesnakes, but I have never seen one in the wild. Hoping not to.
    A model of Middle Earth sounds completely delightful, as long as I don’t have to do the work.
    Lists are so much more fun than actually doing them. I will go off and make on right now!

    • Yes, we’ve learned from experience about the cover on every time :). I’ve never actually seen any snakes in our ivy….but then I try not to look too carefully 🙂

  2. I’m pretty stoked to see the construction zone for Abe – we have rocks in Henry’s play area at the barn and it’s awesome. He spends almost all of the time outside loading and moving rocks. We also found this sit-on toy that you can use a big shovel to move the rocks around and it’s been a hit. (We got ours at Menards.)

  3. We put a brown indoor outdoor carpet from Home Depot in our screened in porch (not sure if you’ve seen it, you’ve only been over once) and we love it! Very homey and easy to maintain. We just vacuum and it doesn’t matter if it gets wet! We used to have the green AstroTurf looking stuff, which was great, but this is prettier! Looking forward to seeing all your new projects.

    • I was just eyeing some indoor outdoor rugs on sale at Overstock the other day….I need to start coming up with a plan so that I can start buying stuff 🙂

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