Completed Projects! New deck stairs and a garden!

I am so flipping proud of my husband and me and I just can get over it! We'd been talking about doing a couple of projects in the back yard for a while now. In the past this kind of talking usually stayed just that - talk.  But this past weekend we DID IT!!

Christopher was off Friday and Sunday after finally getting back on Thursday from being gone for 5 days in Kentucky on business. All he really wanted to do was a lot of NOTHING, but we had bills to go pay and we went out to lunch together. Then I decided it was time to get the raised bed and veggie plants for the back yard. So, we picked up a $40 raised bed kit and 7 bags of filler top soil and humus and a bunch of plants. Tomatoes, peppers, spinach, cucumbers, eggplant, onions, as well as thyme.  Also got some flowers for the planters by the front steps and the back porch.  Since he wanted to relax, we decided to go see Rango together while the girls had friends over to play JustDance2.

Then Saturday, Faelyn had to go work at the Farmer's Market, so Rhiannon got to work putting the raised bed together.  Then we selected a good sunny spot for it and prepped the ground and filled it with the dirt. Then we planted all those veggie plants.

Then filled in a big hole in the yard that Rhiannon had dug out of boredom after we moved in 2 years ago.  Also covered up the muddy areas with pine shavings. Having the dogs on chains out back has pretty much killed the grass in some areas, so that really helped a lot. We also bagged up and got rid of all the junk in the back yard on the garden-side of the deck.
Please don't look at the grass LOL.  The back yard has been such a mess he didn't mow it when he mowed out front last week. So it's not been mowed at all this year yet. Will do it tomorrow. 

I also planted the flowers in the containers out front.
Not the best photo of my front porch.  Zoe took this one hehe. 

Finally when that was all done, the girls and I took the truck to the dump and finally dumped it, well all but the wood.  They won't take wood stuff... I have no idea why.  They tell us to go burn it. Sigh.  So I have to see if a friend of ours will put it on his burn pile.
Rhiannon wanted to go do some shopping and spend the money I paid her for helping in the yard.  When we were done with that it was getting cold and windy so we stopped for the day.

Then Sunday, Christopher and I took off to Lowe's and got the stuff to add a second set of stairs to the back porch .  He was shocked that I thought we could do it ourselves. I was kind of surprised he thought it was going to be too difficult. I researched it and knew just what we needed and also found a great employee at Lowes who helped us get the best products and cut the steps for us.

It always bugged me that there were not steps down to the side of the back yard. When we moved in, it was totally unused except for a truck topper someone had left there. We had to bug the landlord to come get rid of it. I'd put bird feeders there the first spring we lived here and then a clothes line that first summer when the dryer died. But that was pretty much the extent of how much that area was used, which is sad since it's nice and shady. Well after we didn't use our dining set at all after the gazebo broke last year and it was in the full summer sun... we decided it needed to go into that back shady area - which meant we needed to be able to get to it easier than walking all the way around the back porch - so new stairs!

He likes when I blog about stuff and take before and after pics,... just not when he's in them apparently LOL! You don't get the full force of the glare here, but I did haha.
He's thinking, "Put the camera down woman and come help me!" 

These are his Weekend Relaxing clothes. ;)

I didn't get any more "during" photos because I was helping him and some parts got a bit tense and stressful as we were figuring out what we were doing haha.  But when it was all done....

we had these!
In case you noticed the cracked paving stone.  Zoe was jumping on them and they hadn't has the dirt under them leveled out yet.  It's ok, they only cost 99cents each. I can deal hehe.
I LOVE THESE STEPS!  I'm So amazed that we did it! haha!

Porch Cat Approves of These Porch Steps
 Christopher was adamant that we get these tikis.  They're so funny. They are solar powered and flicker like candles when it's dark.

When we only had the one set of steps, we used a spare folding table as the gate to block the dogs from getting off the porch.  That allowed us to prop open the door and let the dogs lay on the back porch without worrying they'd run off. So when we put in the second steps, we had to do something else. Christopher discovered that the space between the support posts he installed for the rail was the exact size needed for the table to slide back and forth, so we put it there, and got a baby/doggie gate for the front steps and installed it. It swings both ways for ease of going up or down the steps.

So, here it is with gates closed:

And then open:

Porchie likes to be wherever I am... then flop down. 

Something else we did was add patio lights in the trees around the dining area. well, Christopher did most of it. I had to get to work.

I also took one of the old iron trellis things from our old broken gazebo and put it up so the dogs would stop getting wrapped around the support wire for the telephone pole next to the porch. I really like how it turned out too.
My dogs are not the smartest dogs in the world. 

 It'll help visitors not run into the wire as well. I know it took us a while to get used to it being there.  It actually goes right across the top of the first set of steps so you have to duck if you're tall. We're used to it and forget about it being there.

We also put some chairs and a table out by the road-end of the house.

Don't look at the trash behind the chairs lol.  Stuff blows in from everywhere and gets stuck in the bushes. It's very annoying, and I can't talk my kids into cleaning it up for me ;) 
 Near that seating area is the kids' area.

Today I put up a new bird feeder like the one I had a couple years ago that the cardinals just loved. I hope they'll find it.

 Also, got more flowers and planted them in some old containers by the broken down old fence. Love the way it looks.

Overall, I am THRILLED with my yard now!
Got to mow! 

I can't wait to get some hostas and other shade plants for this area. I want it to blend into the wild setting around it, but also be pretty and colorful. 

Decided to put the other ironwork thing at the corner. I like them.

Porchcat Approves of This Yard

And so does Pepper!

...It's just right for napping.