Oh the Patio

First, I love my patio.  I love sitting out there in the evenings surveying my land (ha!) and watching Henry cavort in the grass.

But it was sadly neglected while my whole house purge was going on.  Now that that’s over and all my extra stuff has either been sold or carted to the thrift store I finally had time to focus on getting this outdoor space back in order.


The lights wouldn’t stay up

patio5there was sawdust

patio6chairs and dog toys everywhere.

I started with the lights and found that the problem seemed to be in the way they were hung.  Before I had them running vertically from the house to the planters and the wind just kept taking them down.

patio2This time I ran twine from the house to three hooks on the planters and then ran the lights across them.  We’ve had some awesome storms the last couple of days and they’ve stayed up so far!

lightsAnd at night?  Well, perfect!

patio7After the lights were up all I had to do was spray off all the sawdust and put all the furniture back.

patio8Now I can sit in any of the chairs without getting covered in sawdust!



Shade Cloth, 2015 Edition

I know I’ve been gone for a week…or more…car problems (again,) getting ready for a yard sale, OITNB Season 3, and a big purge/re-organization of my whole house has kept me very busy.  But I’m back!  

I feel like I spent most of last summer talking about my shade cloth.  I think all the problems from last year had me putting off putting it up this year.  Of course, it went up super easy and I kicked myself for not doing it two weeks ago!

sc1Yes, that’s the box from my lawn mower.  Yes I’m embarrassed.  Also, yes, those are weeds all over the patio.  90° is really hot you guys!

sc2No, I never cut down the dowel on the left.  I also never painted the dowels or post white but I DID shorten the cloth this year!  That swag action going on to the right is due to the leaning post.

It’s not perfect but

fionaFiona (my parents’ dog) seems to approve!

Next year I need someone to tell me to do this in May.  I can’t believe how much it instantly cooled down my front room (let’s just say it’s so much cooler that I don’t care about the sag, leaning post or not white dowels!)

And I think that this

c1 will probably distract anyone passing by!


Patio Clean Up

My back patio was kind of a mess

patio1I knew it just needed a little clean up but for some reason, I didn’t find time to clean it up until today.

patio2I swept everything up

patio3 and then put down the rug that use to be in my living room.  I also hosed it down because it was pretty dusty from sitting in the basement.

patio4Then I moved the table and chairs back into place

patio5 and used some bins for Henry’s outside toys.  He’s spoiled.

patio7 So spoiled, in fact, that he also got a dog bed out here.  He seems to like it.

I also thought that since I was out here I might as well fix some problems I had going on with the lights overhead.

lights1Problem #1:I had a combination of bright white and warm white lights up there and I had two boxes of warm white lights sitting on the bookshelf in my laundry room.  Yeah, it was about time I got around to that.

lights4Problem #2: I had to plug one string into that outlet so I had lights running down the side of my house.  Sure, not awful, but I didn’t like it.

lights2Problem #3: I didn’t have enough lights to run back to the beginning with the last string.  So I’ve had it dangling there for months.

Solution #1: Well, mostly solved.  I still didn’t have enough warm whites so there’s one strand of bright white at the end.  Sigh.


Solution #2: White extension cord and zip ties.

lights8Solution #3: Again, only kind of solved.  As you can see I attached the end up with a zip tie.  You would think that I would have plenty of lights to get back to the beginning (since I put in the extension cord) but I didn’t because

lights3I wanted to run the lights down both sides of the arch rather than just one (as I had it before.)

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my cleaned up patio and I can’t wait until it gets warmer so I can spent more time out there in the evenings!


If It’s Not One Thing, It’s the Shade Cloth

That’s right, more problems.  We’ve been getting torrential rainstorms with crazy wind and hail and surprisingly, my shade cloth solution has held up.

But it’s still not fairing well:



(I braved one of those downpours to take this picture!)

My solution has held up so well that it’s now taking the post down.  Sigh.  Time to dig a deeper hole!


Shade Cloth, Part IV

I’m starting to get sick of talking about this shade cloth.  I mean, I love the cloth but I’m sick of it coming down!  The few days that it stayed up I noticed a 15 degree difference between the temperature outside and inside my house so I definitely want to find a solution for keeping that sucker up!

We’ve been getting gusty winds and rain the last few weeks (thankfully!) that have been knocking my cloth down.  Here’s what I came home to Tuesday night:



From the driveway side it looked like my house had a veil



So, back to the hardware store I went where I picked up two more plumbing bracket things and another dowel.



Now that I know how to use a saw I’ll chop this dowel down a little when I take this down in the fall but for now I’m just happy that this stayed up through the wind we got last night.


Henry was not happy that he didn’t get to help with this project, hence his creeper stare through the curtains.

So, my goal is to not talk about this shade cloth anymore!  At least until next spring when I paint the post and dowels white and hem the cloth to fit the space better.  🙂



Two Day To Do List

Every time I think I’m going to have an easy week and lay back on the couch (loveseat) and binge watch “Love it or List it” and “Bar Rescue,” I instead find myself knee deep in stuff to be painted, moved, hung, cleaned, organized, etc.

Take last week for example:

  • hang the shade cloth for the patiopart one and part two
  • the trunk turned dog food stationso great!
  • start filling the gaps in the kitchenhalfway done.  All I need is another tube of white caulk and to finish painting the trim over the sink

This week I have THREE days off and I’m ready!  I’m going to:

  • finish the trim in the kitchen
  • add one more layer of trim in the bathroom.  Remember that gap-it’s getting covered up!
  • caulk around the tub in the bathroom (found 3 spiders in there in less than 24 hours!)
  • make a new wreath for the front door
  • put up my new kitchen hardware
  • start (and finish dang it!) my new kitchen island

Also, if you’ve noticed the counter at the bottom of this page, you know that my one year anniversary is quickly approaching.  I have 2.5 weeks to gather up all my notes and put together some awesome posts about how far my house and I have come and what I want to get done in Year 2.


The Patio is Covered!

Have you ever planned a project in your head only to find that it doesn’t work out the way you imagined it at all?  Yeah, me too.

Enter the shade cloth project (remember the patio??)  I searched Overstock, Amazon, and Google to find a white shade sail that would fit the dimensions of my new patio out front.  Nothing.  I found white but either way too big or way too small.  I found the right size but in a weird green.  No.  Then I found this:



$32.95 on Amazon with free shipping.  Sold.  It was a foot too long so I took it to my sewing room



Just kidding, I don’t have a sewing room.  That’s my living room.  I sewed in a 4″ pocket for the curtain rod.

My plan was to hang it across the bumped out entryway




and then kind of swag it over and bring it into a loose triangle shape at the corner of the house.  Easy peasy, right?



Wrong.  When I thought of draping and swagging I must have been thinking that this heavy, basically plastic fabric would move like silk.  It doesn’t.





So this morning I went to Wal-Mart and picked up another white curtain rod ($12.56) and started digging a hole.  I had a post hanging out in my back yard so I planted that in the corner of the patio



and hung one of the braces for the curtain rod on the house and the other to the post.  I feel like a freaking genius!  I should have dug a deeper hole but it was A) so hot out there and B) the dry, dry ground was really hard!  Next year I’ll I’ll dig it in deeper and I’ll paint it white.



Once it was up I realized I was too conservative in the pocket I sewed for the rod on the right.  It shades the window and those chairs so I’m not worrying about it yet.  When I take it down in the fall I’ll sew in a wider pocket so it’ll hang a little higher next summer.

I made a trip to Lowe’s yesterday and picked up those grey plastic pots.  The 16″ ones were $2.49 each and the 20″ one was $7.49.  There’s a thief on my street (he has taken ALL of my solar lights!) so I’m not keeping these out here until next spring when I can fill them with dirt and make them too heavy for him to pick up.  The chairs were free, remember, and I got that black plant stand at Big Lots.

The only thing that could make this better would be grass in my front yard instead of weeds and dirt.

This evening I plan to enjoy my new, cooler patio with some wine!