Summer Project #2

Project # 2 was this:
My dream was to have boulders as steps leading down this steep hill to our backyard, but the cost was way over my budget. So I decided to look around our property to see what I could find. The stones are not huge, but heavy enough and big enough for steps. It turned out pretty well and blends in with our woodsy, natural landscape. It is also much better getting down that slope. My husband is not fond of cutting the grass around the steps. There is almost always a trade-off though, right?

For each step, I custom dug the hole, filled in small stones and placed the stone. Then I "shimmed" each step using more small stones to secure the step for a wobble-less tread. I don't know about anyone else, but my ankles and knees thank me every time I walk down the steps!

Summer Projects #1

I was a little more motivated at the beginning of the summer and finished a couple of projects. My first was to make a bin for our kindling. Previously, our kindling was stored in a couple of unused trash cans. The cans worked well, keeping the kindling nice and dry, but they had to be moved seasonally.

I had a good idea of what I wanted and found different plans to guide me on this project. I ended up using deck materials to make a simple box. I gave it short legs to get it off of the ground. That helps with air circulation and it gives us another flat surface for a table or a place to sit.
I did some pricing before I settled on the decking materials. I purchased eight 8' planks and one 6' 4x4. The 4x4 was cut into six 1' legs to support the box. The planks were cut into 4' lengths for the width and 2' lengths for the depth. Each wall has brackets to secure the planks together. The lid is hinged. I only had one 2' length of decking left over. Total cost of project was just over $100. This bin is sturdy and solidly built. It will last a long time outdoors and maybe even longer than most decks. It sits under our deck in a recessed area, so exposure is less than a deck. It is full and ready for the fires we will have this winter!


Has it really been since January for my last post? Facebook can be blamed for the most part, although I did end up working more than half of the days the second semester of school. And I've managed to keep myself busy this summer.

A small garden went in in spring, my older daughter worked at camp and has had quite a few babysitting jobs and my younger daughter has kept up practicing her flute and learning to play tennis. We were also lucky enough to take the time to head back to the Midwest to visit our families and friends and celebrate.

For the first event, my older brother put together an open house celebration for our parents' 40th wedding anniversary. Not only did all 6 of us make it back to KC, but all of the grandchildren and several relatives we had never met were there. Many other former neighbors and church friends showed up as well. It was a great way to celebrate 40 years of marriage.

The next big event was my class reunion. It has been 20 short years since I graduated high school. We had 3 functions over a Friday evening to Saturday night. Other than now having jobs and families to show the passage of time, it felt as if we had only parted ways 5 years ago, not 20. Everyone seemed at ease and had a great time together.

Later, I will post pictures of the garden and tell you about my summer projects. I had a couple this year that turned out pretty well.