This year, I was just
procrastinating waiting for the right time. The downpours have started, and the kids are asking for hot cocoa, so I figured it was time. There are a few remnants of summer on the front porch.
(Can I even call it a porch, or is it just a landing? There is a chair and a built in bench, so I’m allowing myself to say I have a front porch.)
I still have the leftover petunias from my home’s summer look. I bought those in the “plant hospital” section at the garden center at the beginning of summer. They looked horrible, so I brought them home, gave them a huge haircut, and started fertilizing. Not bad for a $1 plant! They have lasted all summer, and then some.
The pumpkins will be part of Front Door Fall-ification Phase 2. I can’t jump the gun too soon on that one. Plus, my kids want to spookify the house when we decorate for Halloween. I really dislike spooky Halloween! Pretty fall decorations are great, and spooky is just not fun and inviting. My kids beg to differ and I’m not really looking forward to the battle.
They are the perfect outdoor pillows for fall!
I had quite a few clay pots to store, so the potting bench was the obvious spot for them. I replanted my strawberry pots with herbs and moved them over. I hung a few of my favorite antique garden tools too. Oh how I wish I had a cute antique watering can! That would look so much better than my green plastic watering can.
We have a pretty large deck, so there is quite a bit of seating there.
I moved a few chairs out onto the grass for a recent party because this tends to be the sunniest spot in the yard.
My Adirondack chairs got a fresh coat of paint and some pretty new outdoor pillows from Pottery Barn.
Just past the red chairs, you can see a cute little bistro set, just waiting for a couple of little girls to use as their lunch table.
My rocking chair is an outdoor chair when the weather is nice. It lives in the shed during the winter. We also set up a couple of buffet tables on the deck to hold all of the food.
(Is it just my dog or do all dogs photobomb pictures like this?)
We also added a card table and a few folding chairs in the yard. Who doesn’t like to eat lunch at a table? It’s especially tough when the main meal is fried chicken, and the guests include lots of kids.
Between all of our seating areas and the built in benches on the deck, I think we have plenty of spaces to sit. Now, if the sun would just come back out, our outdoor party would be perfect!
The side yard makes a perfect spot for ladder golf, and I don’t even need to move my table and chairs.
We started by pressure washing the whole thing and replacing a few boards.
My sister owns the truck in the family, so whenever I need dirt, sod, lumber, or furniture, I call her. So, after her run one day, she stopped by to pick me up and take me to our local lumber store. As we were standing in line, the man in front of us finished up his order and the salesperson said, “It’s just so refreshing when someone actually knows how to order lumber.” At that point we both burst out laughing! You can only image how unimpressed he was with us! Oh, and we had to go back twice because I ordered the wrong thing the first time. My sister’s such a good sport!
Back to the deck:
Once it was clean and pressure washed, we had to wait a few days for it to dry out.
We used a new product called Behr DeckOver. Hindsight, I wish I would have contacted Behr first and asked if they’d like to sponsor this little project. It has been the talk of the cul-de-sac and also the talk of my recent backyard party. It seems everyone is ready for a little deck update and they are all very interested in my opinions of this product. Oh, well. Hind sight is always 20/20. So, for this project we started with 4 cans of DeckOver, which I thought would be plenty. Turns out we needed 6 cans. It was $34 per can at Home Depot, with a $5 rebate per can.
We started with all of the hard parts like benches, skirting on the deck, and underneath the benches. Then we moved on to cracks and crevices. You can actually use the DeckOver to fill in cracks, which is pretty cool. It’s also pretty time consuming, so I didn’t do too many areas. Once we started with the rolling, it went pretty quickly. We ended up doing three coats because after the second coat, when I was touching up a few spots, the paint didn’t dry evenly and it really bugged my hubby. I think I could have lived with it, but I know it would have driven him nuts. Yes, I love him enough to re-roll the entire thing! It took several more hours, but I think it looks great.
We’re ready for a party!
By the way, it comes in 54 colors. This one looked the best with our house color and furniture. It’s called Coffee.
I’ll let you know how DeckOver holds up to dogs, kids, and parties. For now, I’ll be resting and nursing my injuries on the new deck.
One more side story:
Apparently pressure washers get really hot, and I have two large burns on my leg to prove it. I also have multiple blisters from spending so much time with a roller and paint brush in my hand. Oh, and I fell in the window when I was trying to get off the roof after washing the skylights. I had to wash the skylight before I painted the deck because I didn’t want to get the new deck wet and dirty. There you have it. That’s why I’ll be on the deck chairs nursing my injuries.
I started pressure washing yesterday afternoon. Luckily my kids love to help.
Lucky for me, they are good little workers.
We pressure washed all of the benches, nooks, crannies, skirting on the deck, and the long walkway. All that was left, when my hubby got home, was to move the furniture, repair a board, and finish the main part of the deck. He’s such a good sport! He got right to work after dinner. I’d say that Cooper was a good helper too, but that spot he’s sitting in is actually the bald patch where we just planted new grass seed. Thanks Cooper.
The herb pot, just outside my kitchen window, didn’t exactly want to be moved. It fell apart as soon as we pulled it away from the house. I replanted the herbs and now I’ll have to find new pots for my kitchen garden/herbs.
Ooooh… there’s my little pressure washer in the corner of the picture below. It was a gift from my hubby. Yes, you read that right. I told him my Mother’s Day wishlist included a hanging basket, rolling compost bin, or pressure washer. I also told him he could choose the gift and I would be able to tell how much he loved me based on the gift. He chose the right gift. He loves me! Realistically, we REALLY needed this and my hubby always asks for Costco gift cards for his birthday. He has every intention of buying himself a pressure washer or some fun new tool, but when it comes down to it, he usually buys chicken or toilet paper with his gift cards. It was needed at our house and having a clean, pressure washed, house makes me really, really, really happy.
Now, back to that project. So, I got the whole family helping and then I took off to find my camera. (That’s the way I roll.)
He gets a little concerned when we do projects like this and I think he was just feeling sorry for himself out in the yard.
We finished up around 8:30 last night. The deck is clean and just needs to dry. Hopefully it will stop raining soon. We’ll give it 2 days to dry and then we’ll give it a fresh new look. We’re using a new Behr product called DeckOver, from Home Depot. It’s fairly new, so there weren’t a lot of reviews out there. We’re going to give it a try! I’ll let you know how it turns out.
On a lighter note, I needed a little pick-me-up after one of our days at the hospital. I asked my hubby to get my fall boxes down so I could do a little decorating. The front door was my first stop. I’m trying to add a bit more yellow to the front of my house. I love black-eyed-susans and mums, so those were the obvious pick. I wasn’t quite ready to change to my burlap pillows, but summery stripes just didn’t cut it anymore.
My hanging baskets are still all about summer, but I’ll be changing out a few plants to yellow or orange mums as the petunias start to die.
The leaves are even starting to blow onto the driveway. I love fall, but I’m always sad to see summer slipping away.
I wasn’t feeling very creative this year, so I just went with basic wreaths, garland, and mums. My old milk crate gets to stay, just because I love it.
But, I can sew!
I sketched up a simple lemonade stand that I knew I could make out of pvc pipe and fabric
I’m in love with chalkboard fabric! It sews like oilcloth and wipes off like a chalkboard.
I even made a simple bunting to go along the skirt. I made the stand the same width as our card table. The kids set their goodies up behind the stand, on the table.
I had grand plans to stage this with pink lemondae and really cute sugar cookies. Sadly, I never got that far. My kids did, however, spend several summer afternoons selling chocolate chip cookies and Smucker’s Lemonade from Costco.
Fall is in the air and it’s time to put the lemonade stand away for the year.
Happy end of Summer, friends.