I’d like to introduce you to a place you’ve probably never seen before on the blog:
My back yard.
Actually, that’s what it looked like back in April when I started thinking about writing this post (I know!). Four months and a drought later, our yard actually looks more like this:
But let’s just suspend that truth for a moment, shall we?
It’s a decent-sized yard, though not nearly as large as this briefly-owned-then-returned wide angle lens would lead you to believe. The main feature is the deck, which we last stained five years ago. And there’s a patio below it that becomes covered in dirt from under the deck every time it rains. Which lately, is never.
Here’s how it all looked a few years after purchasing the house, in 2007 (the swimming pool was for our dog, whom we quickly discovered does NOT like water):
We really took our time and did things right that summer, power-washing and cleaning the deck, and painstakingly staining every last detail into the fall.
Cut to 2012, and we’ve basically just let the whole thing go again, especially since we haven’t been eating outside due to the heat and the two broken glass panels on our patio table (I’ve been quoted $300+ to replace them, so I’m on the lookout for a deal on a new table or set).
When I have the time, and it’s under 100 degrees, I’ve been going out and re-staining the deck for about an hour at a time. No power-washing, no major cleaning, just some lazy stain-slopping. At this rate I’ll get done by December.
Because honestly, the deck isn’t even our top priority in the back yard — the fence is.
About a year ago, our dog kept escaping from the yard and we couldn’t figure out why. We’d be chilling in the basement, and all of a sudden a neighbor girl would come to the door with our dog.
It turns out some of the fence boards were so rotten that Cash could push the bottom of the pickets with his head and the screws would go right through them.
When we first caught him in the act, it was from the kitchen window — he would actually look and make sure we were back in the house before making his “secret” escape! Of course, once out, he had no way back in.
Now, I’m not sure why our cedar fence got as bad as it did. It’s my impression that cedar is supposed to be naturally resistant to insects and fungus, and doesn’t even need to be stained. But after 15 years in business, it’s time to be replaced.
And we’re staining it this time.