Scenes From a Weekend

The only way we've ever gotten things done around the house - and I'm talking major home projects here - is being fueled by some kind of pressing deadline, usually in the form of a holiday party or birthday event, so when we discovered that Sunset Magazine would be flying in much sooner than the dates casually tossed around in initial emails to photograph the playhouse outback, we thew ourselves into the task of refreshing the landscape and fine tuning the playhouse in the three days were we allotted over Labor Day weekend. Even though my heart was begging like a listless child for a beach side bbq.

The clean up feat consisted mostly of scouring multiple nurseries for the cheapest deals on the planet (or so it seemed once we packed that big van from end to end with greenery that totaled a measly 165$ - three times less compared what I would estimate Home Depot would total for the same plants) with only Hayes in tow, which proved more like a lazy man's Saturday field trip because of the random perks offered at backroad wholesale nurseries where the growers actually live on site and have kids and chickens and rabbits and pigs and roosters running wild around the premise, serving as half petting zoo have playdate for the 2 yr old lucky enough to tag along on such an exotic after coffee outing while his brother are doing everything in their power to stretch the extent of their Friday night sleep over at their uncles house as far into the weekend as possible. Never mind that the chickens are cooped in the same small cage as the bunnies and the birds, or the vintage wicker furniture you bargain for is cheaper than the latte you bought on the drive up, or the pack of little dogs you have to dodge around every turn along the maze of lush greens as you gather up the goods, it's the best way to stock up on big landscape without breaking the bank. And entertain a kid who's still big on the simple things in life like flowers and birds.

Hayes loved it. And we were reminded briefly of the days when it was just one we had to cart around to accompany us on such adventures, wherein in the short span of a Saturday morning we figured we could just about conquer the world. With four, and the same scenario, we're lucky if we make it through the coffee drive through with our ripe morning sanity in tact.

The next few days we spent digging, pulling, weeding, cleaning, building, sleeping. We didn't even manage the late night dinner date we kept in mind as a reward to ourselves while working through the weekend. In fact I think I recall the two of us being in bed by 9:30 one of the nights and me falling asleep half way through the season finale of House of Cards. But the end all results were all worth it. A refreshed backyard, lively new landscape, the addition of wispy Chinese grass (which I've always loved) and a beautiful new L shaped sofa Mike built in a matter of three hours after I showed him a photo of one I really liked.

The sunset team arrives this afternoon. And while I'm still running around trying to tie up loose ends, stressing about the few things we didn't have time finish, I'm putting solid faith in good lighting and stellar landscape photographers working ideal angels.

I'll post some basic instructions for the outdoor sofa once my week settles down.