Improvements to our humble abode

I never knew it while we were renting, but my husband is a home improvement freak! He is happiest every weekend if it is spent at Home Depot and then at home absorbed in one home improvement project or another. His latest project has been our yard. Curb appeal was always at the top of his list when we were looking for a home to buy. He said he could not bear coming home to an ugly house every day. It would depress him. Fair enough!

We bought our house, which I think is just beautiful. It had been vacant for nine months, though, so the yard had a very neglected look to it. The first thing my husband decided to tackle was the enormous trees in our front yard obscuring the view of our house and posing a danger to our girls’ rooms to boot. We removed 15 (that’s right, 15!!!!) trees from our front yard. Here is the before and after picture:

Can you see our American flag? That was the flag given to my great grandparents when they became naturalized citizens of the United States! Knowing what my family left behind in Cuba, we are proud Americans!

Anyway, as you can see, that alone made a huge difference. Next, Scott wanted to weed, grade, hedge trim, and put grass seed down. I give you before:




And after a full and very noisy day of work:





It is still a work in progress, but it should look a little more finished once the grass grows in. I am hoping this look isn’t going to offend my guests for Ruth’s birthday party this Saturday! What do you think?


About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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6 Responses to Improvements to our humble abode

  1. morgan says:

    Everyone who feels offended by the look of that work-in-progress front yard should turn instantly and never come back 😉
    You should see our front yard!!!
    Right before moving in we hired a construction company to drain and insulate the basement walls and they left our front yard in a mess.
    Once all the snow had melted I tried to dig it an even it out. About an hour into it I gave up, cause it looked like the construction workers buried all the extra styrofoam from insulating the basement walls there. So every time I put my shovel down, I broke that stuff into tinier pieces. Hubby’s grandma tried to convince us to hire a gardener to design and create us a nice front yard, because of “what should the neighbors think of that one?!?” but gave up when we suggested that that would be a nice welcome-home gift from her 😉 honestly, we still have more important stuff to invest a couple of thousand euros than the looks of a 50 square meter patch of overgrown grass and wildflowers and lilac and forsythia bushes (and don’t forget the about 10 pile meters of firewood). Like e.g. our bathrooms, cause although fully functional they still have the charm of the seventies tiled in colors that make you want to throw up 😉
    (and besides, a gardener designed her front yard. On her request, only easy-to-maintain bushes are growing there. In my opinion, hers doesn’t look that much better ;-))

    What is the stuff he put on the grass? Is that hay?


    • sylcell says:

      Lol, yeah you have to spend money on YOUR priorities, not someone else’s. The work that goes into a house is endless. We still have no furniture in the living room, only one dresser of drawers for the three girls, and not one nightstand in the whole house! Oh, and our dining set is tiny and a disgrace! (Can you tell what I want the next project to be?)

      Yeah, I think it is straw. To protect the grass seed and keep it hydrated, I think?


      • morgan says:

        Don’t fret about nightstands… due to the fact that hubby is 6.5′ tall and would stick out of any normal sized mattress we got an oversized (7′ long) one but bedframes this length are way too expensive (you can easily pay 5000€ – that’s about 6500$ – for one that already creaked when we sat on it in the store), we sleep on a mattress on the floor. At least our little visitors at night don’t fall too deep 😉

        If you want a new dining set: I really can recommend a glass top dining table… Ours is a remainder of our childless years and we feared it wouldn’t survive long. But surprise: it’s still intact, easy to clean AND it’s almost indestructible. Not like that beautiful wooden dining set my siblings and I left our countless marks on with ballpens (deep scratches), knifes, scissors and yeah I think it might even have a couple of marks where someone tried to hack a fork with enough force that it would get stuck…


      • sylcell says:

        Yeah we got a little Queen bed and cheap mattress. BIG mistake! You cannot sleep on an uncomfortable mattress. So I got an expensive foam topper for it. Husband is pretty small compared to your husband (haha), so we fit, but unfortunately (or fortunately?) no room for littles. Glass top is such a good idea! My grandmother has one, and she went through five daughters and thirteen grandchildren and now three great grandchildren, so you two must be onto something;)


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