Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Project

I'm sorry that I haven't written much here lately. It's been...interesting...

Okay, so Thomas and I bought a house. If you've been following me for any length of time, you probably already knew that. You probably also know that the backyard was in shambles, and we've been trying to get it cleaned up, lest Adam the Woo think us abandoned and try to explore our flower beds (in which case we would happily invite him in for a Mountain Dew). Well, getting it cleaned up wasn't the only project. You see, we're attempting to build an outdoor movie theatre.

We're nothing if not ambitious. And mosquito-bitten. Very mosquito-bitten.

So, for the past several weekends (and any other time we could fit in), Thomas has been working on building a fence and screen, we both put together a grill area, and I've been constructing a rock work fountain and some decorating.

We are nowhere near finished. Not even close, but it is starting to take shape. Also, have I mentioned that we have absolutely no construction experience? The set we put together for The Night Shift was mostly foam, and the one wooden piece kept falling apart. The set for SuperFriends was nothing but sheeting, and we couldn't keep that up. This is foreign territory, but it was either DIY or have it all done professionally, and we sure as heck couldn't afford that. I was brought up by parents who taught me that I could do anything I wanted if I used my brain and put forth the effort--be it painting a t-shirt or laying concrete--and they taught me this in true-DIY fashion: by doing it themselves. My fifth birthday was amazing. I had a Rainbow Brite-themed backyard carnival, complete with games, races, and a beautiful cake. All the neighborhood kids were invited, too, so it was huge. My parents couldn't spend a lot of money because my dad was in and out of work, so they made everything. Mom figured out how to pipe Rainbow Brite onto a homemade cake, and sewed little bean bags for the toss game Daddy made out of plywood. I think I even had a little outfit that Mom threw together on the sewing machine. Twenty-eight years later, I still remember that party and how much fun we munchkins had at it.

It seems fitting that I'm carrying on that "well, we'll figure it out" spirit in that same backyard. Every day, I walk through the living room with my parents' wainscot experiment (a success!), into the sun room that my Dad built (it's still standing and up to code...even if I don't know which light switches go to what), out onto the courtyard that Daddy laid, concrete brick by concrete brick, and look at the terracing that he and Mom designed. There are still boards and posts and half-empty bags of mortar lying around, but now they're mine and Thomas'. The yard is still being figured out, just by a new generation.

This weekend, I "finished" the fountain. By "finished", I mean that I've taken the rock that we salvaged from an old, random flower bed, and pieced it together to surround some liners and a pump that Thomas put down, then mortared it all together. You wouldn't think that would be too tough, but it's like putting together a puzzle where you have no idea what the finished picture should look like, and you're not entirely sure that all the pieces in the box are actually from the same puzzle. Oh, and you have to glue it all down as you go. In 100-degree heat. On an angle. And the glue sucks, so the pieces move and knock each other out of place, so you have to start over from time to time. One rock still won't stay down, and the surrounding ground cover hasn't been laid, yet, but I'm calling the fountain, itself, done.

As for the rest of the yard, the gated fence is up, and all the posts for the surrounding fence and movie screen are up and mostly cemented into place. Of course, we now think that we (and by we, I mean Thomas and my brother. I was off cursing at rocks) may have mis-measured and might have to reconfigure those posts. I have no idea where the furniture is going to go (and the paint may or may not have caused me to have an allergic reaction), but the cushions sure are comfy. The misting system and grill are ready and rearing to go, and all I need to do now is order the movie screen material and the projection equipment.

The string lights are awfully pretty.

We've got a long way to go, and no idea what we're doing, but it'll be okay. We'll figure it out.

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