Friday, January 14, 2011

Waiting for Spring...

This happens to me every year.  I put up my Christmas decor starting November 1 (when you put a Christmas tree in every room, you have to start early), we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, and then I find myself just waiting for Spring.

This year is no different, really.  I love winter -- I do!  It's my favorite season!  You know that feeling when you step out into a cold day and you think your lungs will crystalize from the cold?  I LOVE that!

But I also love Spring.  Spring green is my favorite green.  It's almost a lime green, almost a fluorescent... but not.  It's just Spring green!

There is only one drawback to Spring... W.A.S.P.S.  Yep, that's right.  I'm terrified of 'em.  Never been stung.  Never even had one land on me.  Know why?  I'm always runnin' like a chicken.  Everyone says, "Stand still.  They won't bother you."  But they DO bother me!  Why do they have to live on my planet?

To further hinder my love of Spring -- and to increase my fear and hatred of WASPS, Mr. Lovey, the country boy that he is, always insists we buy property with woods directly behind us.  Yes, it's true.

Our first apartment had a huge field behind it.
Our first house had 1 acre of property and woods behind it.
Our second house has about 1/10 of an acre, but had a wild life preserve and a creek behind it!
Our current house, has woods and a pond behind it.

And so our exterminator friend, Mr. Gary, says, "Mrs. Billie, you can't get away from the wasps when you live near the woods."  But Why NOT?  <whine>

The Deck
But I digress.  What I do love about spring -- other than the green -- is spending time on our deck.  It is such a lovely experience... The kids play in the back yard, the birds sing in the trees, the squirrels come and steal the birdseed from the deck... It's wonderful!

And to make it more pleasant, our deck is a 2 story deck.  See, our house has a walk-out basement.  So the deck is actually off the main floor.  We have a door from the living room and a door from the kitchen that lead out to the deck.  Good for parties -- 2 entries / exits... It's nice.

I have one (ugly) photo of our deck.  It was taken before we bought the house - 4 years ago.  It had been a rental and hadn't been cared for at all.  So you're going to be shocked and appalled... but I want you to see what I'm working with, so you can get an image in your mind when I show you my inspiration.

Okay -- here it is... The UGLY deck.

The wood was faded and cracked - it's really not in great condition.  The area under the deck is a HUGE slope with a bumble bee nest in the ground... (yeah!) And the wood was left over from projects inside that had been left out to rot -- and became nesting haven for... yep WASPS!

I only took a pic from the ground because you couldn't walk up the stairs to the top because with every step the wasps would just swarm the deck stairs.... Eeewww!

Our first summer, we noticed a post on FreeCycle of a man wanting any and all free wood.  He would haul!  We contacted him and he came and got it all that night!  He was building a hunting shelter and didn't care what kind of wood.... it was a match made in heaven.

We got rid of the bumble bees, and made some repairs and have been using it every since.

Since this photo was taken 4 years ago we have "leveled" up the ground under the main deck and added a hanging porch swing, the kids swings, took some banisters off the side of the landing and added the kids' slide -- so it's a deck and playground in one... we're thrifty that way.

Last summer we had the deck cleaned, stained and sealed.  It took them 2 days, they did 2 coats of everything -- and the wood just soaked it up.  We'll probably have to do it again this summer...

Every April / May Mr. Gary the exterminator comes with his heavy duty - don't go near the stuff till it dries -- bug spray and saturates our deck... Every year... Every inch... And the wasps just fly past... they won't even land out there.  It lasts all summer!  He's a hero to me!

We have a small bistro set on our deck, 2 Adirondack chairs, a couple of plant stands and a make shift coffee table.  But that's another post.

Our bistro table has a glass top, the legs are a natural color iron.  The chairs have tan cushions that need replaced.  The Adirondack chairs have been painted 3 times and I think this year will be the year for 2 new ones.  The plant stands are black iron, and the coffee table... well, it's the bottom portion of one of those plastic put-it-together-yourself storage units.  But it matches the furniture and the rain doesn't stand on top... It actually works well -- and no one even noticed last year.

But this year I want to work in some red... Last year we bought a large umbrella -- It's RED!

So here are my inspiration pics... Maybe I'll take a few hints and tips and incorporate them into our spring deck this year...

Tip #1.  I think I'll paint all the metal on my furniture BLACK this year...

Tip 2:  I think I'll add extra cushions to the existing seating.

Tip 3:  I think I'll add some indoor room decor to my outdoor room... Like maybe a wire shelf, or baker's rack to use as a potting bench.  I'll have to check the yard sales for that one.

Tip 4:  Lots and lots of plants... not tiny plants.  Big ones!  And a table runner (maybe an oil cloth) for the coffee table.

Tip 5:  Last but not least, candle lighting... Maybe a smaller wattage bulb for the lamps... The ambient lighting in this picture is amazing.

Right now, our deck is still covered in snow....

But a girl can dream, can't she...?

Only By His Grace!


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