Monday, March 19, 2012

We are "those" neighbors & other life lessons

It has been unseasonably warm in Ohio (it's 78 today, for your reference) and over the weekend, we took advantage of the amazing temperatures and started a renovation project. We rented a sod cutter and pulled up grass to make room for a cement patio. This back corner of our house is simply an odd space that we have never been able to do anything with, so instead of pulling weeds and cursing this area every year, we're just going to cover it with a patio instead.

It's safe to say that everyone is enjoying this amazing weather.

Although our house could have been considered 'move-in ready' five years ago, it really hasn't stopped us from completely overhauling the space, inside and out, to make it our own. I am fortunate to be married to someone with construction skills, so we typically do it all ourselves--or if we can't, we are related to someone who can. Despite the fact that I typically look like someone who never gets dirty or sweats, there is nothing I love more than manual labor. In case you have never had the pleasure to pull up rows of sod from your yard, load them into a wheelbarrel and dump them across the yard, let me tell you: it's hard work. It was painful to lift my arms to put my make-up on this morning. But it's also incredibly gratifying to see a space take shape after dreaming about it for years.

The funny thing about being a DIY-er is that whenever we start a project our neighbor always comes over, hands on his hips, and says:

"What the hell are you two doing now?"

He took one look at the yard yesterday and decided aloud that we were probably putting an addition on the house. I decided in that moment we are 'those' neighbors--the ones everyone else thinks is crazy because they are constantly doing some half-cocked renovation to their house. Overachievers, I think they are called.

We are, however, going to build an awesome backyard space for BBQ's and summer gatherings. We also took the railings off the deck and will be building a step around the outside and also putting a sidewalk around the outside. It's amazing what a big difference it has made in our view already.

Can you spot the dirt bike course in our neighbor's yard? It's my favorite thing the bane of my existence a great spectator sport.

While we were using the sod cutter, a few bolts came loose and we were not able to completely finish the project just yet. So, it was my job to return said machine to our local rental place this morning for repair. In my husband's truck. Wearing a purple sheath dress and royal blue stilettos. I was completely cognisant of my own ridiculousness when I pulled up to the dirty shop full of men drinking coffee as I tried to find a way to gracefully exit a pickup truck wearing a dress.

It was not graceful, to say the least.

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