The Waco Project

First, let me explain that our dear daughter (or any of our great kids) NEVER says to us –
“So, when are you coming so you can work on “stuff” at my place.”
The conversation is much more likely to go like this….
Us -Hey, is it ok if we come for a visit?
Them -Really? We’d love for you to come! How long can you stay?
Us – I think we’ll be able to be there for X number of days. Is that OK?
Them – OF COURSE! We can’t wait!
Us – Um, will you have anything for Dad to do while we’re there? You know how he likes to keep busy.
Them – Chances are we’ll find something to keep him out of trouble! But you really can just come and enjoy some downtime, you know.
Us – I know – but PLEASE, have a list ready,’K?

And so it was as we headed to Waco for our week between projects. Lara had some project ideas, but then again, so did Gary! Together, they put together an amazing project.

But, before I go into all the great work in the back yard that Gary did last week, I want to step up to the plate and say that I did not sit around ALL week and eat bon-bons. OK, so I did a little more sitting than Gary (no bonbons for either of us though), but with a some help and inspiration from Lara, the front yard had quite a transformation too.
Here is the house from the front when she first moved in –
lara front new
October 2008
A bit over-grown, but it seemed that there were “good bones” waiting to be discovered!
After a summer of mind-boggling heat and drought it looked like this –
Larashousebefore
Larasbefore
They had had some rain recently, so some things were greening-up (mostly the weeds), but still it was looking pretty pathetic.
We had Gary (we really can’t do much without him, huh?)dig up the big dead stuff, and then we worked on clearing out the rest.
Larasafter
I THINK it’s an improvement. Or at least it’s a start at something more manageable. A neighbor (who has a beautiful garden) walked by and asked if we had a plan. Hmmm. I think our plan was to get it down to basics and THEN develop a plan. She came back later with a couple of books on Texas Gardening – I guess she knew we needed all the help we could get!
Larasafter-1
Potential. It’s all about potential, right?

I started with the front yard pictures because Lara’s house is quite deceiving from the street. From the front it’s a darling Craftsman Style house (circa 1919). But from the back…..
Firepitproject-1
It’s a big ol’ two story house with a great deck and back yard!
The project on Gary’s list was to replace the deck railing, which he did the first two days we were there. I don’t think that was even on Lara’s radar. But it brightened up the whole deck.
Firepitproject-2
And with the whole deck looking so great, it got Lara thinking about how to really make that big ol’ deck REALLY fun! After a day of talking about and doing some research, whatever list there had been was replaced with adding benches and a fire pit to the existing deck. Let’s face it, if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it BIG! 🙂
Gary got to work on the planning and implementing, and Lara ordered the actual fire pit on-line.
Prototype for the benches – checking out the sitting angles!
Firepitproject-3
Replacing the deck boards for that section-
Firepitproject-4
Getting there…
Firepitproject-6.

Firepitproject-7

And finally – the completed project (well, you DO have to imagine the stone fire pit in the center!)
Firepitproject-8
The stone for the pit will be arriving by the end of this week, and then we’ll toddle down there the next weekend to (hopefully) get the masonry part of the job done.
Of course there’s currently a burn ban in Waco (and most of TX for that matter), so I don’t know when the first actual fire in the fire pit will happen, but the fire pit company sent this along as a bonus for the order!
Firepitproject-9
So she’s ready!

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