Monday, May 10, 2010

Transformations

This is what we started with - it looked a bit sad and neglected.

Half driveway, half crushed rock and grass that had grown in.

And there were too many trees - you couldn't even see the house.
We've pulled out 26 so far, with our eye on about 20 more that need to go.

We hired Lester to come tear everything up, and pour a LOT of concrete.

Lester is good at tearing things up. He's also good at figuring out drainage so the next whopper Texas rain storm we get, the rain should run across the driveway and onto the yard, rather than into the garage...

We didn't want the driveway to look like a Walmart parking lot, so we included two big beds, with curbing to make water go the right way.

Very exciting to see the forms going in, and be able to see what it was going to look like when Lester was done.

There's the 'tree bed' in its beginning stages - high hopes it'll turn out pretty!

Old concrete - meet new concrete! Join hands and be friends, please!

Thank you, previous owners, for leaving us crape myrtles, irises, daffodils...

Plain, but we've got plans to make it charming.

There - much better. A nice little spot to sit in the evening and wave at neighbors driving by. Or read a book. Or drink morning coffee and watch the sun come up.

Mixing up concrete for a lamp post base.

A bit of wiring. It's D.A.R.K. out here so a lamp post close to the house will be wonderful!


Last touches to line everything up just right.

Pretty, pretty. Just needs some ground cover and it's good to go.


Next - biggest bed in the front yard.
Before: WAY overgrown, falling down, and a perfect hiding spot for snakes.

After weeding: much better, but the retaining wall fell apart.
Another project we weren't planning on. But thank you,
previous owners, for that bed of cannas!

Back to the home supply store for 3,500 lbs of blocks.

"Hello Dan. Would you like to come be our slave, and learn how to build a retaining wall?"

He looked like he was having so much fun...

I decided I needed to learn to drive it too!



After: much better, and manageable. And not scary.

Hard working men - thank you Dan for being our slave for the day. xoxo


Soooo much better! Makes me happy to come out and see it in the morning!

A bird feeder next to that crape myrtle, then a bit of mulch and we'll call it good - one BIG project knocked out.
And we beat the Texas heat too!

I'm heading indoors for a bit of stripping wallpaper and painting kitchen walls (and pie safes). I'm thinking Don is going to hide out in his shop and try to avoid me for awhile.
And I can't say that I blame him. He's lost enough weight, working so hard, that he's going to need a pair of suspenders soon. He's told me, so far, retirement is harder work than work was!

11 comments:

leslie said...

Mom! It looks wonderful!! I love the homey touches and all of the flowerbeds look great! Very charming! The retaining wall looks so pretty too...y'all have been working hard! My favorite picture is the one of you driving the JD though...looks you are unknowingly going to run over Dan's hand! Made me laugh out loud (especially since you are just learning to drive it).
Wish I was there! Love you both!
Les

Deidre said...

Oh, I love reading about you making your new place a 'home'. Everything looks great!

Susan said...

Thanks for taking us along on the projects. Looks great. Yes, retirement is much more work than "working". We can attest to that....and it doesn't let up either :o)

Becky said...

My goodness what a change. And it is just beautiful! I am so impressed that you got so much done so quickly. A retaining wall in a day! Amazing.

I'm glad you have that all done before the heat too. You will be able to get some flowers planted and little things done and enjoy that yard all summer. Won't it be fun to drive up in the driveway and see it all at once? So pretty.

That Lester! He's worth his weight in concrete for sure :)

Kelly said...

Looks beautiful- love the retaining wall!

Becky said...

It looks great! Much better with less trees. It is such a pretty house worth seeing!

Theresa said...

WOW! What a transformation! You've all worked hard. I'd say it's time for another fishing break.

Karen said...

Wow!! You guys are doing some awesome work!! It all looks fantastic! And that retaining wall looks beautiful!!

Dawn said...

Wow, what a lot of work!! Is this the lake house? I didn't remember it looking like that. Maybe because we couldn't see it for the trees??

Muffy's Mom said...

Wow Bev, this looks gorgeous! It looks like you all have had a lot of work to do but you are making it home! Love the lightpost & bench (with the Texas star!)!! My only fear would be the snakes as no snake is the only good snake!
Retired life agrees with both of you!! Did you find a boat yet to take out on the great lake?
And how is that craft room coming along?
When the heat gets to be too much, you'll have to come to Colorado & we'll meet up over tacoritoes again!
ENJOY!!!
Susan D

Val said...

Very nice! I love the new lamp post....you can never go wrong with one of those.

If you have a minute, feel free to stop by my blog...I'm hosting a giveaway for a hand embroidered bread cloth! It would make a great house warming gift....