Today is an absolutely beautiful day. It’s fairly hot out with the sun looming overhead. Sunscreen is a must if you plan to be out there. But it’s that warm breeze that is making it pleasant to be outside.
The next few days appear to be much of the same. I’m looking forward to my day off tomorrow. I’ll be spending it by myself, just trying to relax throughout the afternoon.
These temperatures and warm wind remind me of summer living in Edmonton as a child. Much like my current home, my children house backed onto farmer’s fields. The wind would travel through the openness making the wheat wave like water.
I’m seeing much of the same as the grass and bushes behind us sway back and forth creating ripples across the land. The gentle rustle of the trees is calming and pleasant. Even the birds are chirping gleefully as a stronger breeze kicks in periodically.
I like this peace and quiet with the warm wind blowing. I am in my happy place.
The former owners of the house we bought are still in contact with us. In fact, we continue to rent out a room two days a week for the husband while he is at work on the mainland. Once in a while I get to see what the house looked like back when it was first built.
The backyard was once filled with lawn. There were cedar trees planted along the rocks that have long since been removed. I’d still have been happy had we bought this home and the yard looked like that. Bright and open. A huge difference from our last property.
Instead, the former owners put in a pool and extended a wood deck to the furthest point in the yard. Since we bought the house, we have made some changes and additions of our own. This has helped to create our “Dream Home”.
In the short time of living in this house, we have changed the landscape in other areas. I’m loving what we have done and look forward to creating more modifications over the years.
This weekend we took a few breaks from this heat. Either it was in the basement or in the pool. Now that the deck has been stained and dried rather quickly- we set up our outdoor space.
Tonight we will be having dinner outside- our first for the season. The umbrella will serve as some shade this evening. We have some other good sun blocking areas. I’m still happy with our gazebo that we bought last year.
The cabana is a perfect spot to enjoy a warm breeze in between dips in the pool. I could easily have an afternoon siesta while some Bossa Nova cover tunes play in the background. Even our Pupper likes to hang out with me while I relax.
I’m glad all that the majority of our hard work is behind us to get the yard ready. Taking these breaks are totally deserved. I’m also looking forward to entertaining friends this season. I love opening up our home for everyone to enjoy. This summer weather can stay for many months more!
It was a hot day today- but tomorrow will be hotter. I spent the entire day in our backyard. I prepared our deck for staining and did the first coat with the help of our middle child. After a few hours, we took a break to play some UNO with my oldest kid. We sat in the sun and listened to music while I lost repeatedly at the game.
Once we finished dinner, I headed to the bedroom to put new sheets on our bed and took a shower to refresh. I’m looking forward to clean sheets so a shower was a necessity. Afterwards I headed to the basement to keep cool. My middle and I relaxed watching some tv. It was a great way to end the day.
I forgot how cool and comfortable a basement can be. We do have a heat pump that creates air conditioning for our home. But there is something about the natural refreshing sensation of a cool basement after a hot day.
Later this weekend I do plan to cool off in the pool. But tomorrow I need to finish getting the deck stained.
I noticed the other day that we had hummingbirds flying around our back deck. that meant it was time to refill our hummingbird feeders!
We had two from the last couple of years that we put out all the time. Recently we picked up a blue glass feeder and a small handheld one. I like the colored glass ones as they add a spark of enjoyment. I hung the red and blue ones up where we can see them from our back windows. The large clear glass one will be hung up just outside our basement so we can see the birds from our deck.
I’m hoping the small handheld one will draw the attention of the birds. I’d love the feel like a Disney princess being one with the animals! I think it would be loads of fun.
Do you have a small hummingbird feeder? Does it work? Or do you have the large ones as well?
We took the cover off our pool last weekend. Not a pretty sight to say the least. Some cleaning needed to be done.
After getting the water tested and spending about $500, we (ok me) tackled getting the pool ready for summer. There were numerous steps to be done at certain times. Every few hours a new chemical was added to the pool. Yesterday was the day that I vacuumed and scrubbed the excess debris one last time.
Now the pool is blue! The last thing to do is get the cloudiness out and make the water clear once more. Lots of work and money to get our backyard oasis ready for enjoyment. All of our weekends will be spent here this summer. No need to vacation away at someplace exotic- we have it here.
This past weekend there was some amazing weather. Like most folks, we took advantage of it. It was a great start to preparing the yard for the upcoming summer season. Our patio furniture is already clean and ready for use!
As daunting as the work is, I’d say we are about halfway through all of our chores and tasks. The pressure washer was out and I took on a good portion of the back deck and around the pool. I sunburned the back of my neck in the process not thinking about using sunscreen. Aloe was my best friend last night.
We also took the winter cover off the pool and let it dry in the sun before packing it away. The pool had a lot of algae growth as well as a ton of debris along the bottom. Out came the pool vacuum and I removed the majority of it over the course of about an hour. This did create the water to become a bit more murky and cloudy, but the liner is far better than it was.
It will now be time to balance the chemicals in the pool. In a couple of weeks, the colour of the pool should become clear once more. Hopefully of the weather gets better, we will be in the pool before June hits.
For the rest of today our oldest has been given the task of completing the pressure washing in the backyard. There’s the balance on the wood deck, the lower patio and the breezeway leading down to the backyard. Hopefully it will all be completed by the end of the day, if not, I know they will return next Sunday to finish it and do the driveway out front.
Once this is all done, my wife and I are planning to stain the wood deck in a grey colour. I also have some repairs to make on the fence, followed by a paint/stain to match it up.
I like to push hard early in the season so as to enjoy the yard with minimal effort in maintenance. Patio season felt like it was upon us this weekend. I cannot wait for more days and evenings like that.
Today I did some basic cleaning maintenance around the house. I woke up early and after my morning coffee I got started.
First was opening up the back panel of our dryer. I was amazed at how much lint hadn’t spit out the pipe but instead collected inside the machine. This was a fire hazard waiting to happen. After over ten years of use, it had a lot of build up inside.
Next I went outside into our backyard and took full advantage of the warm weather. Pressure washing the vinyl siding, windows and two of our decks took me about four hours. I also cleaned the awning that leads out from our dining room to the back deck. I honestly didn’t think it was that bad until I started. Then I saw a huge improvement right away.
Tomorrow I am doing the cement around our pool. I’ll probably also clean the windows since I bought some of that Windex you attach to your hose. It’s supposed to dry streak free. I hope so. Because the sun is now starting to come through our back windows and those bad boys are dusty.
Will you be taking advantage of the weather over the next while and do some outdoor spring cleaning?
The other day I went under our deck in order to see if there are any maintenance items I would need to address this spring. Besides some weeds, and blackberry bushes attempting to grow, everything looks good- maybe a bit of green to wash off the wood was all.
The one thing I did notice was a bunch of bird nests lined up like row homes along the support beam. All of them are west facing towards the fields behind our yard. I feel like we are a bird sanctuary slum lord.
Hopefully in the spring some new birds come to roost in these pre-owned nests. I don’t really want to remove them since birds will attempt to make a nest somewhere else that I don’t want. I’d love to put out birdseed for them, but I also don’t want rodents hanging about.
For now it’s just some shelter for our future tenants. I’m too cheap to add paint or update the appliances, so I can keep the rent “cheap”.
Today, my wife and I cleaned up the backyard and prepared for winter. That meant bringing in outdoor cushions, wiping down the tables and chairs and then covering them for the end of season to protect it all. My wife also went through and trimmed the last of her large tomato plants (the ones that weren’t in the Greenhouse).
The one thing that really says “summer is over” is the fact that I put the winter cover on the pool. I gave it one final vacuum, cleaned out the filters, shut off the gas and set up the bypass water pipe. That way I can keep circulating that water over winter, but it doesn’t have to go through the heater.
Our yard looks barren now. All set for the rain, wind and potential snow that will come in the following weeks. I’m happy that we have more of our house back as well. We were able to utilize more storage space indoors this year. Over the next few weeks, my wife is wanting to set up her sewing area again. It’s perfect that we get to be indoors more often.
I may be done hanging outside, but I can still enjoy the views from the comfort of our living room and bedroom. It’s almost time to turn on the gas fireplaces to add warmth to our environment.
My wife and I decided that we wanted to expand our flower bed in the backyard. So earlier today I went to the local hardware store and picked up some matching retaining wall blocks.
It only took me a couple of hours to dig out the expansion that we wanted. The challenge was having the original wall meet up with my new one and still line up with the patio. All while trying to keep the curves to match up with the other walls.
With summer over, it is time to work on the yard in preparation for spring. In our expanded flowerbed, I’ll be adding some fresh soil and seeds and can’t wait to see the results next spring. Our front garden is going to be the next challenge. The goal is to get rid of the grass and just make a nice garden. It’ll definitely take more than just a couple of hours like today.
Last night I moved our muskoka chairs from our upper deck to the downstairs covered patio. I also gave them a fresh coat of white paint in order to better protect them from the elements. Their new home allows for better views of the fields and skyline. On our upper deck, the handrail was at eye level and prevented us from fully utilizing these chairs.
This morning my wife and I sat out on our lower patio and enjoyed a cup of coffee together. We talked about plans for the back garden and the changes we want to make prior to winter. After our coffee, we began some gardening in the backyard- with an occasional break on the chairs admiring the view.
As we stared off in the distance, the birds were chirping from the large cedar tree in the green space behind our property. The trolley gave its toot-toot off in the distance. All-in-all it was a serene and quiet morning- the perfect way to relax on a warm autumn day.
Honestly, this weather can stay for a bit longer. I have no complaints.
Leaving our acre last year, I thought we would be seeing less wildlife as we hit the Suburbs. I was wrong. But at least we haven’t encountered any rats or raccoons.
The furry creatures are really tiny and almost seem lost. We had a baby hare hanging out under our deck. It wasn’t scared of me at all as I approached it to get a picture. In fact, it seemed as intrigued by me as I was of it.
The other little fellow that appeared the next day was a field mouse. It decided to cool off in our pool. I caught it swimming and then jumping onto our solar pool rings. Getting him out of the pool wasn’t too tough. I used our net and then released it back into the field behind our property. Maybe in the heatwave, it will return for a quick dip.
Of course our dog is often watching for wildlife as well. Generally she keeps the little creatures away, including cats. If she sees a coyote in the back field, she lets them know to stay away with incessant barking. Sometimes she does it from inside our home; other times she is in the backyard doing a proud stance on one of our rocks as she howls.
The wildlife is different in the ‘Burbs. Aside from the couple cute furry critters, it’s usually birds out and about. Most of the time I see hawks, owls, hummingbirds and a large assortment of other birds.
I have a feeling I will become a bird watcher pretty quick and start to get books and binoculars to view them.
It sure hasn’t been feeling like summer has wanted to start this year. All the rain and grey skies have made it feel as though we were in a second January. A “June-uary” as I have heard it called.
But today is the first day of summer! The Summer solstice is upon us. The longest amount of daylight to be had for the year. With it brings the hopeful warm weather.
The second half of this week it will finally feel as though we are hitting the temperatures we are meant to enjoy. I look forward to hanging out with friends in the backyard and cooling off in the pool with an ice cold beverage. Afternoon siestas are also a favorite of mine. Especially done outdoors with the warmth of the day blowing in as I fall asleep in the shade.
Are you looking forward to summer finally arriving? Remember to Wear Sunscreen.
What a difference a year can make. For us, we have lived in our current home for one year now.
It was difficult to leave our other home. We had created some many memories while living there. We also did numerous changes on a regular basis to the house and yard. Yet somehow, it never felt as if it would end. Moving was the only way we could start with a clean slate and figure out what we really want in a home.
I never thought owning a pool would be high up on the list of what we wanted in a home. Yet now I can’t think to live somewhere without a pool. Trading the trees for open views has greatly helped with feeling better and happy thoughts. We are taking in more sunshine than ever before. My wife even commented on my glow the other day. I feel rejuvenated on a regular basis.
As summer approaches tomorrow, I continue to look forward to spending time outside. Relaxing by the pool. Watching sunsets. Sharing quality time with friends. Food and drink beside the pool…
I loved our previous home for the memories we created, but I love the one we are in because of the memories to come. In one year a lot has happened already. If we do another 15-20 years here, who knows what else this home will have in store.
After a week and a half of frustration- our pool is back to normal. Loads of chemicals, scrubbing and vacuuming made our pool usable once more.
The algae is finally gone! At one point our pool was vibrantly green and it felt as though it would never change. Today I did a quick scrub and a vacuum to get the remaining algae off the sides and corners. A little bit of careful elbow grease and patience went a long way. I really don’t want to deal with algae again.
With the weather showing us some sun this evening- it was a great opportunity to jump in the pool and relax. I could do that aspect anytime!
I love glasswork. Finding special pieces that we can display is always fun. But now that we have the sun setting in our backyard everyday- those glass pieces just light up.
We have a couple of items that hang outdoors. My favorite being an orange glass ball that is made to mimic a hot air balloon. Fun fact: my wife and I flew in a hot air balloon nearly 15 years ago and went straight past the house we are in now. The ball is technically candle holder, but the natural sunlight looks fantastic passing through.
We also have a few glass pieces that are on a couple of upper window ledges in our living room. They add a nice colour to the room as the sun sets. We do have a few more pieces in our kitchen above the cabinets. But those are mostly glasses and a couple bottles- they don’t get much sunlight.
A part of me would love to have a stained glass window, but I know that is we did- we’d be missing out on the beautiful sunsets. And we can’t have that. The views are the biggest reason we bought this home. So in the end, a few small knickknacks placed strategically are just as pretty.
This weekend has been the one we have been waiting for. The sun is shining, the grass is green, and the pool is ready.
Over the past couple of days, we have enjoyed the swimming pool. Today is going to be no exception. We are planning on hanging out with our downstairs tenants and sipping on some beverages. Taking advantage of the weather whenever we can is the goal.
Being neighborly is important as well. We enjoy having company over and plan on visitors coming by throughout the summer. Getting along with those around us is paramount. We are past the stage of loud parties, but I still enjoy my music playing.
Reach out and we will have you over this summer on a Friday or Saturday. Just remember to bring the sunscreen and a snack to share!
The sun peaked out this afternoon long enough for us to enjoy it. It was sent hot, but in the sun it was warm! A couple of weeks ago we had taken the cover Off OurPool in hopes to jumpstart the summer. No such luck.
Yesterday, the weather report was not looking promising for the near future. But I was hopeful. So today, when my wife finished work, we jumped into the pool. We both agreed that we were going in- rain or shine.
Lee-Anne went in first. The sun was out and the atmosphere was pleasantly warm. I had turned on the heater for the pool yesterday- and it was a comfortable 24°C already.
We had kind of forgotten to let the kids know that we were going into the pool. So when our middle came home from school- they ended up hanging out in the yard while my wife and I swam. I felt like Darwin was the adult in the situation- making sure that two doofuses didn’t drink too much and get hurt.
I’m definitely looking forward to enjoyment of the pool throughout the summer. I’m already feeling the energy burn from splashing around. Swimming has always been a good workout that leads to a great sleep. Hopefully we can have friends over soon to enjoy the fun and relaxation poolside. It would be nice if the entire weather forecast could change for the better!
The sun appears briefly and I want the warm weather to be here. Sure, there was a Wind Storm the other day, but come on- spring is here… yet I want summer weather!
Our patio is slowly getting set up for visitors and entertaining. We removed the dining sets and loungers from winter storage. Now we are in the process of deciding the best layout, while keeping it looking spacious.
The Gazebo went up three weeks ago and has proven to be sturdy as well as keeping the furniture dry. That is a great feeling. I have been out on the patio set now at least two to three times a week. Even on an overcast day like today. I am imagining what it will be like in a month once we open the pool!
Gardening has also commenced. The front is looking spectacular (patting myself on the back). That curb appeal is really something now. Periodic mowing, watering and weeding is all that’s needed now.
Soon I’ll share about the vegetable and herb gardening. That’s more my wife’s project. But I am totally going to benefit from the fruits of her labor!
Are you as impatient about summer arriving as I am?
As the weather gets nicer, I find myself becoming more and more of a bird watcher. From our backyard we get to watch loads of birds flutter about. My two favorites are the birds of prey and hummingbirds.
I recently moved the hummingbird feeder outside of our bedroom into a position that I can see much better. From our bed, we can lounge and watch as these fast flapping fowls feed on sugar water. It’s a calming fun to just stare at them.
When I’m out on the deck, I enjoy watching the hawks as they circle for food in the field behind us. The other day we were treated to an owl doing the same thing. It was only a few feet away from our back deck and I was able to capture a short video clip. View it on My Instagram if you choose. It was really neat to see. This was the first time we witnessed an owl doing it’s hunting and I was in awe of its silence as it did so.
We have also seen numerous other birds such as cranes and robins, ducks and geese. When we moved from a location that was dense with trees to this open view, I love the change in wildlife that we get to observe.
Do you find watching birds to be calming as well? Any favorites? Or perhaps some tips on how to get some good photos? Let me know in the comments.
As the weather gets nicer, people are out working on their yards. My wife and I have spent a lot of time, elbow grease, and money on creating beautiful curb appeal. There is still more to come, but for the most part I’d say it’s looking great.
As I said, we aren’t the only ones working on their yards. I have seen the neighbors out on a regular basis tending to their lawns and gardens. My wife and I chose to keep up with the similarities of our neighborhood yards, not just because it looks good, but it also showed us which plants thrive in this general location. I also took the time to discuss with neighbors about their yards and experiences as the seasons change.
As for our backyard, since it is mostly a lounging location for us, the garden aspect is limited. Most of the edge gardens is established and we just need to trim back on occasion. My wife has been working on vegetables to be grown in a few planters around the backyard. So currently inside our home, the seedlings are beginning to sprout. Within a few weeks, they will be replanted outside as we await tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to begin growing.
As wonderful as all of this sounds, there is a bit more chaos going on in our next door neighbors’s places. Both the house next to us and the one next to that are digging up their backyards. Next to us they are planning on adding a swim spa and the house next to that is wanting a pond. The crew that was hired is doing both at the same time and work began months ago. Now that the weather is nicer- they are working on it more frequently. I am looking forward to when the work is completed, not just because the noise will be over, but I want to admire the final results. I think the three of us will have outstanding backyards that we will enjoy for years to come.
Do you have big plans for your yard this year? Let me know in the comments and feel free to share previous work you are proud of!
As my last day comes to an end, I think I had a relatively great staycation. A quick look back at the last ten days showed how busy it was. As well as how productive it ended up being.
We did a bunch of gardening, went to a speed skating meet last weekend, had a night on the town for my birthday, and built a gazebo as a family. We built some Lego, and our oldest came to visit and we all had a delightful time. There really isn’t much more I could ask for.
All in all it was a great birthday week. I’m glad I spent it with my family.
Back in the middle of February I ordered a gazebo from Costco. It was on sale and was out of stock every day I was trying to buy it. Until the last day of the sale. I snagged one and had it delivered about ten days later.
We were replacing a pergola that was on our back deck. The pergola was still in great shape, and we had picked up a new fabric top last summer. However, we also realized that we needed a better cover for the upcoming summer season. Our new gazebo arrived in three very heavy boxes on a pallet. It sat in my side of the garage for a little over a week.
I had taken down the old pergola last week. When my wife and I returned home from my birthday night away- we took the time to move the parts downstairs to the back deck. The family helped, and we built the four posts and the frame that afternoon. The next day, my son and I worked hard in the rain to build each roof panel. We placed them into position and called it quits. The rain was not easing up.
Today we had good weather. So in the afternoon when my wife finished work, we headed outside once more and worked as a family to finish the build. After a bit of figuring out the layout and how it would work- we had the roof up and the gazebo was completed within a couple of hours.
As I finished some of the last screws, the family brought down the patio set and got it in place. I’m so happy that the family came together as we built the outdoor structure. I truly appreciate their help and if you could believe it, there was minimal cursing and no bloodshed!
We are almost ready for the summer season. Just some lights, a heat lamp, and some friends are all that is needed for some great evenings.
As summer comes to a close, enjoying a weekend in the sun is a luxury. After a few days of rain, it was nice that our Saturday was filled sunshine.
As the summer comes to a close, my wife and I started to plan our gardens. Sales at the garden centers are starting to come up. Today we planted some late summer/ autumn plants by the pool. They will add a splash of red and yellow the the back yard.
We also moved our tomato plants into a small green house in order to protect them from blight. They are so close to being edible that it would be a shame to lose them this far into the season.
Finally, we are gathering up junipers and cedars for our front garden. These will be planted over the next few weeks as we try and figure out a layout that won’t involve lawn.
Hopefully the sun peaks it’s head out on my days off. That’ll make it so much easier to plant.