Paint & Playground Paradise

The weekend turned out to be much hotter then expected. And I'm not one to complain about the heat - I love it! The trouble is, you can't always be sitting by a pool drinking cool refreshing beverages when it's hot out. Sometimes you have to do hard labor and sweat yourself to death.

It started for me on Saturday. Mike didn't bring home the fuzzy rollers Friday night, but I decided that it would be smart to start cutting in. I could cut in around the largest part of the porch, paint that one section on Sunday, and have the fan installed by Sunday night. That was my original thought. It turned into two hours of pure sweat. Because of course, the porch is covered with furniture and the floor has already been stained. So to do the first section, I had to move the furniture, put down the drop cloth, clean off the bugs with a broom (which is a whole other disgusting story), and drag out and put up the ladder.

Wow, when I type it out like that I really sound like I'm complaining about the most menial of tasks. (Reminds me of someone else I know.) I'm not complaining. I'm stating. There was a lot of prep involved.

I cut in the first section with a brush fairly quickly and decided to move on. I had to move the furniture back, move more furniture out of the way, move the drop cloth and the ladder, clean more bugs, and remove outlet covers. Then I could cut in the next section. And then I just kept going. Move, move, clean, remove, move, paint... again and again until the entire porch was cut. By the last section, I was so sweaty toast. I was forcing myself to keep going, to finish. (Nevermind that I had to clean up afterwards.)

Needless to say, I accomplished much more then I set out to do. But after that hot hot Saturday afternoon experience, I just couldn't bring myself to do it again on Sunday with the roller. Not even in that first area where the ceiling fan is going to go. The mere thought! (That and the fact we were at a house party until 3am Saturday night.)

But don't think that we ended up lazing about on Sunday. The day was as jam packed as it was sweltering. Mike loaded up the playground dude's tractor parts (yeah, it ended up being unworthy of fixing), tools, and a chainsaw. A  couple hours later he was back with the playground, drenched in sweat. He and his friend Marcus discovered that it was cemented into the ground... cemented as in 4' sonotubes into the ground kind-of cemented. And you thought it weird that he was bringing a chainsaw! They broke a truck jack trying to remove the thing and ended up having to cut it off its foundation.

While the boys were wrestling with the playground, Mikey and I were home with Timmy and Richard, who came over and wrapped the last side-stair post and installed the last railing on the side stair. After that, they were both wiped and called it a day. Timmy said he might have a stair-thingie at his shop that would fit for our front steps.... So he wanted to check that out before he started out front anyway.

It wasn't but a few minutes after they left that Mike and Marcus pulled in with the playground. We spent the remainder of the afternoon putting it together.

I had originally thought of facing the set towards the garage on the left side of the backyard. That plan had me worried because of all the poison ivy in that area, but with trees on the right hand side, I saw little other option. Mike suggested turning it the other way, facing the hillside, so it could go on the right hand side of the yard. I've got to hand it to him - it was the perfect spot.

But much like previous playground owners before us, we found it to be too unstable to just stand there in the yard. We'd have to cement it in. And luckily for us, we just happened to have four extra bags of concrete! The perfect amount for the four holes we dug around the tower portion.

After we poured the cement, we put on the slide and installed the two new swings we bought. (The third spot will be for an infant swing.) It looked good - really good. The slide is a little short... and weak from years of weather and use. We'll probably have to increase the angle and purchase a new slide. All in good time. I measured for the canopy and it looks like it will fit perfectly! Although we'll have to fashion a new ladder - the old one is not safe.

Now, in regards to the poison ivy on the other side of the lawn. Sunday night, Mike just mowed it all down. And the lawn looks AWESOME.

I know it's pretty hard to tell from this picture... but the area on the left by the septic vent? It looks awesome. Unfortunately, there's still poison ivy over there by that old Jeep thing. (The red thing by the tree in the picture.) And poison ivy is also climbing up the tree.

How do I know it's poison ivy? I looked it up on this website: http://www.poison-ivy.org/. The entire time, we just thought most of it was regular ivy, because it wasn't shiny and the leaves weren't reddish, as we had always been taught. Boy were we mistaken. The leaves don't have to be reddish or shiny. They can climb, creep, and even grow into a shrub! And the bad news is, there's no full proof way to get rid of it.

Mike is going to physically pull out the ivy by the Jeep. We have a whole bunch of it on our rock wall too, just to the right of this picture, out of frame. For areas where you don't want ANYTHING to grow, you can use a mixture of dish washing soap and vinegar. I'm going to try it on the rocks this weekend if time permits. I wouldn't mind that garbage of plants dying off. You can't even see the rocks!

And thus concludes our program. Thanks for reading.