But what about the back yard?

Our First Barbecue

Our First Barbecue

Nothing says home like having a backyard barbecue.  Well, maybe actually being moved in to the home says home more, but after that it’s a backyard barbecue, which is how we celebrated Easter at The Money Pit.

After all the hard work we did in the front yard last weekend, we sat back on our laurels and surveyed our domain…

Scotch in cool 1960's cocktail glass with violet frozen in giant ice ball

Scotch in cool 1960’s cocktail glass with violet frozen in giant ice ball

and found it wanting.

Our old Adirondacks on the front deck.

Our old Adirondacks on the front deck.

Even though we were able to drag our Adirondacks down to the new house, we could see the front deck was in desperate need of repair and we knew the backyard was, let’s say, in need of some tender loving care.  (To say nothing of the roof rat infested side yard jungle.)

I dropped by the local favorite nursery, The Front Yard in Placerville, on Friday morning and picked up 10 plants for the front planter that we had worked so hard on last weekend.  I decided to buy only 10 because I wanted to stay within a budget of about $100.00.

New plants for front yard planter

New plants for front yard planter

I got a couple of Azaleas because we already had an established Azalea in the planter.  I also got 3 Golden Coral Bells, 3 Astilbes (which may have been a mistake due to water needs) and a couple of Specimen plants.  I let them acclimate overnight.

Meanwhile our brand new range is still not working.  The warranty repairman came out to have a look see and this is the result.

20140415-P1070431-web

The best part was that we owed nothing.  A couple of days later, they called said the parts were in and set up an appointment for Thursday between 1-4.  At 5:15 he showed up only to discover that he had the wrong parts.  Another appointment was made and he finally showed up around 4:30 with the correct parts.  However, after spending about 1.5-2 hours trying to get it to work, he had to give up and we still have no range.  In the repairman’s defense, it was not due to his work that the range still does not work.  Since it was after 5:00 on Friday, he was unable to call tech support, so he will have to come back again this week.

The repairman lifting the ailing oven back into place

The repairman lifting the ailing oven back into place

This was a huge disappointment to us because we wanted to cook Easter dinner at the new place and have the entire family up.

My mad face in front of the new, but non-working, range

My mad face in front of the new, but non-working, range

We decided that we would have Easter Dinner here anyway and we laughed in the face of adversity.  The hubster said he would cook the things that needed to be cooked at our house in Pollock and then bring them down to The Money Pit and warm them up in the microwave or on the barbecue.  He also decided that he would cook the lamb on the barbecue.  Great idea!  We announced our plan to the family as a “Bring Your Own Chair” Easter Event.  Everyone thought it was a good idea.

On Saturday, we hit the ground running.  First stop:  Home Depot, which was a mad house.  People were taking plants, soil, mulch and other yard related stuff out as fast as Home Depot could drag it in.

Obie T. Dogg is happy with our purchases.

Obie T. Dogg is happy with our purchases.

Hubster thought we needed a little more mulch for the front yard and I thought the backyard needed help since our Easter Event would take place in the backyard.  I thought if I planted a bunch of pots with colorful flowers and herbs, no one would notice how bad the rest of the yard looked.  (I had mentioned to the hubster that I wished we could just cover the back slope with mulch and then we wouldn’t have to worry about it for a while.  He was not down with that idea.)

I finished planting the front yard planter…

Obie watching me plant the plants

Obie watching me plant the plants

Obie taking credit for the finished planter

Obie taking credit for the finished planter

…made a cute little pot of flowers for the entry…

Flowers in a pot in the front entry.

Flowers in a pot in the front entry.

…snapped a few pictures of the finished work and some of the flowers that are blooming in the front yard…

Rhodies

Rhodies

Dogwood still looking good

Dogwood still looking good

…then headed to the backyard loaded with my new posie purchases and some pots that we had laying around.

Here’s what the yard looked like:

South-west side of backyard

South-west side of backyard

North side of backyard

North side of backyard

After claiming victory with at least a decent looking front yard and accepting the neighbors’ accolades about how much better the front yard looked, it was a little discouraging to see the backyard.

Undaunted, I planted a whole bunch of pots and set them around the patio.

Flowers always cheer up the place

Flowers always cheer up the place

Meanwhile, my husband planted 4 hydrangeas and a lily.

hubby digging holes in the very rocky, hard soil

hubby digging holes in the very rocky, hard soil

Obie guards the plants

Obie guards the plants

As I was busy with my pot planting, hubster mentioned that we had a little mulch left over from the front yard and I told him that I thought it would look nice around the roses.  He thought that was a good idea, too, and set about mulching the roses.  It looked great and so I decided to plant some petunias at near the roses and the little stairway.

My husband began looking around from the mulched roses to the sad state of the slope.  He then announced that I was right about mulching the slope, decided we needed 10 bags to do the job and headed down to Home Depot at 5:00 p.m. to get the mulch.  We were going to do this thing.

And so we did…

After mulch:  100 times better.

After mulch: 100 times better.

Pots of cheery flowers and herbs, mulch and cleaned up stairway to roses.

Pots of cheery flowers and herbs, mulch and cleaned up stairway to roses.

We were pretty exhausted and I decided that I would clean up the patio on Sunday.  We were going to head down to Placerville for their monthly “Third Saturday Art Walk” and so we brought clean clothes, towels, shampoo, etc. to finally use our new bathroom.  However, after we used the new shower (wonderful rain shower head) and got all dolled up, we were just too tired to walk around Placerville.  Maybe next month.

The next morning I headed down to The Money Pit bright and early with the things I needed to make for the appetizers for Easter dinner.  Hubster stayed at home to make the things that needed an oven/stove and marinate the lamb.

I cleaned up the patio and picked up the house a little but I realized I had just overdone it the day before because I was dragging.  And so was my poor husband.

But, we managed to clean up the place before people started arriving.

Obie was exhausted and fell asleep on his rug remnant that helps him to navigate the wood floors.

Obie was exhausted and fell asleep on his rug remnant that helps him to navigate the wood floors.

The Hubster cleans up nicely

The Hubster cleans up nicely

The family and friends enjoying the patio

The family and friends enjoying the patio

We proudly showed off the house and everyone said the appropriate things like, “Oh!”, “Awwww!”, “Beautiful job”, “This looks great!”, etc.

And, a great time was had by all!

Enjoying the patio

Enjoying the patio

Youngest son

Youngest son

Daughter (pepper eyes) with good friend making salad

Daughter (pepper eyes) with good friend making salad

Father and oldest son

Father and oldest son

Looking out the Family Room window

Looking out the Family Room window at my family and friends

A great bonus was finding about 10  rose bushes that my mom planted many years ago that we were able to salvage.  During the spring and summer my mom always had cut roses all over the house.  It was such a pleasure to put some of her roses in a “crackle glass” vase that belonged to her and display them in the family room overlooking the back yard.

Obie tries to recover

Obie tries to recover

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