Some Outdoor Improvements

It has been awhile since I have blogged, probably because we have been so busy with our new addition to the family, our puppy Myka!  She is the cutest little Great Dane/ Lab rescue you have ever seen!  We had to drive all the way to Texas at the beginning of summer to get her, but she was well worth it (most of the time 😉 ).  She is now 5 and half months old and FULL of energy!

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Before we went to pick up Myka from the rescue we needed to get the yard ready for her.  We had already built the vegetable garden with a fence around it to keep her out and done the grass, stone path, bocce ball court, and some planters.  We did not want all her puppy energy ruining what we had just done, so we made her a nice little home in our large side yard.  Our back fence neighbors, Terry and Monty, we so generous to give us their custom built dog house that had been a home for their German Shepard for many years.  The house was so big that they couldn’t get it through their gate and out of the yard when their dog passed away.  But… when we tore down the back buildings that acted as a fence between our yard and theirs we had a huge open gap.  They asked us if were going to get a dog and we said, “Yes!” and the dog house came through the gap before the new fence was put up last summer.

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Well the dog house has been sitting empty all year until the end of June when we brought Myka home.  She loves her dog house so much!  She better since it is so nice!  It even has a chimney and a nicer roof than our own house! 🙂

We put the dog house in the side yard where there was already a cement pad perfect for putting the house on top of.  The side yard has a nice shady lemon tree and even a small lawn made of the extra sod from when we did the lawn in the backyard.  On one of the last days before we left to pick up Myka Todd build a small fence and gate so we could keep her in the side yard and out of the back yard.  He used the same method as when we built the garden fence and did an excellent job!  It works great!

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We also got a new gate on the driveway side of the yard.  Our old one was functional but made of chain link fence.  We didn’t want Myka to be able to see out to every thing passing by all day or be able to be taunted by any cats.  So we called around with our neighbor and she found a guy who came and redid a small section of fence in between us and made new gates for both of us.  To save some money Todd broke out all the concrete where the posts were going to go himself.  This saved us a few hundred dollars and Todd got quite the workout! The look fantastic!!!

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My sister and brother in-law had an extra stereo receiver and were so generous to give it to us.  Todd found some cheap outdoor speakers online and he and Tony spent the afternoon drilling, climbing in the sweltering attic and hanging speaker wire.  By the end of the afternoon we had the receiver in the cabinet over the laundry connected to two outdoor speakers, one on the deck area and one pointing out toward the lawn.  They sound great!  Now we can listen to Giants games as we eat dinner outside or listen to music from our phones or laptops when we have friends over or are working in the yard!  Todd’s mom had an old but well made round redwood table that had been used by Todd’s family for years.  She no longer needed it and was kind enough to pass it on to us.  It has been many colors over the years but Tammy had already started to sand the paint off the beautiful redwood top.  Todd finished sanding off the paint and sealed it with a clear waterproof sealer.  Then we painted the bottom with a high gloss dark grey paint we had left over from the tub and the bathroom projects! We have already enjoyed many dinners at our “new” table!  Thanks Tammy!

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Tammy also had some old stacking plastic chairs that she didn’t need anymore.  They were faded, stained, and scratched, but that’s nothing a few cans of spray paint can’t fix!  I went with a teal and yellow for the chairs and made sure I bought the spray paint that bonds to plastic.  A few coats later and they look great our by the fire pit.

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The yard is now Myka proof (we think) and ready for her and us to enjoy!

-Laurel

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