The exciting adventures of the Hillson family.

The exciting adventures of the Hillson family.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Love, Lighting & Honey-Do Lists

With a three-day weekend at our disposal, it was definitely time to kick the home-improvement action into high gear.  It's not often that all of us are home at the same time, so we decided to make the most of it.

To get the most bang for our buck, we decided to divide and conquer.  While Elven and Jorma attacked the big projects like the bathroom, garden, and backyard jungle, Kasey and I decided to focus our efforts on a back porch that required some much-needed TLC.  A few days ago, we had purchased some awesome outdoor lighting from World Market.  We were excited to give it some use, but the back porch required more attention than just stringing up some Christmas lights and calling it good.  The picture to the right shows the mish-mosh of remodeling debris, plants, cookware, etc. etc. that cluttered our porch as of Sunday morning.  With some elbow grease and a lot of determination, Kasey and I were able to create what is now a comfortable place both for our family to eat dinner and hang out, but also a place where we can entertain friends and guests.  Somehow, a household of eight just doesn't seem as crowded when you're eating outside.

We started with some basic organization.  The deck needed to be sorted.  While we couldn't get rid of all the random pieces of our house that need to be stored while we're remodeling, we did manage to combine all of it into one area:  "the remodeling corner."  There you will find a wide array of tools, a door, a toilet, as well as a random set of antlers that we're not really sure what to do with.  We also had a large collection of plant and planters that we weren't really sure what to do with.  While our awesome men were busy constructing a trellis for our tomatoes to grow up (out of reclaimed wood, I might add), we came to the group-effort idea that we could also use our extra pots and planters to create a potted herb garden, rather than taking up much-needed space in the big garden.  A few 99 cent annual buds later, along with our once abandoned pots and the herb starts we'd planted last week, we were able to create a beautiful--and practical--area.  We also started some flowers from seed in planters I'd purchased last year but had been lost in the following downpours--my flowers drowned.

Most of our fixes were easy:  organizing, repurposing, a little spit-shine, etc.  The only money spent on this little project was the less than $40 we spent on a string of round-glass-bulb lights, which we strung along the outside edge of our porch roof, and a paper-lantern light for over our table.  Everything else was polished from its filthy, forgotten state or just a tidied up, replaced piece of outdoor furniture or planter.  What is important here is that we have created a place for our family to come around a table.  Our inside dining table isn't really big enough for the eight of us, and now we have a place where we can join each other for meals.  It's such an important time for all of us, and having the space finished gives us a great sense of accomplishment and pride in our home.


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