Sunday, November 29, 2009

Making Backyards Fun!

Well, today marks the beginning of Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year in the Catholic Church and what better way to start both than to prepare our minds and hearts on the coming of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh?

In other news {that ties into my original thought}, last week Neil finally pulled the trigger on constructing a new playscape for the kids. After much deliberation on buying vs. building and using a plan vs. free form construction, Christmas gifts for the kids or the playscape *as* their gift, we finally put things in motion. Initially, I had thought that I would wait until our project was complete to blog on it, but after today's readings I realized how valuable patience is, and because the reality is the finishing touches may not be added until a few weeks from now, I thought it would be best to journal on what *has* gotten done.

I can't overlook the courage it takes to commit to a non-conformist approach to construction - namely, Neil's pursuit in building the playscape on a wing and a prayer, a vision and a brain that has yet to fail, lol. He placed the order for the lumber last Tuesday and it was delivered early Wednesday morning. I left to visit with a friend and help her out and in the short time I was there and to the grocery store for last minute Thanksgiving items {total time, two hours and *some* change}, Neil had already taken down ::destroyed:: the old playscape and had part of the frame up and was temp nailing the posts for the fort.**

{day one}

Not bad, huh?

He finished out the base frame and the frame for the fort decking. Thursday morning we went to church, came home to start cooking our feast and Neil got an hour {tops} to work on his project and got all the decking down {that's code for the floor to the fort}. Friday, he started out on his own but after an hour or so, asked me to help. I think I helped him move faster because I was there to grab the right tools and hardware and offer my advice on angled cuts and whatnot, not that I was actually doing any of the work. A lot was accomplished on Friday, and Saturday was spent scratching our heads trying to figure out how best to work with uneven ground and the swing beams and which hardware to use and finish up the trim pieces for the balusters and part of the rock wall was finished before we ran out of material {the downside to the conformist visionary plan is that you might not have everything you need!}. We worked ourselves tirelessly and thank goodness God gave us some rain today because we would likely be out there working on it!

{day 2.5 - not counting the less than one hour time put in on turkey day!}

I can't recall the last time I had so much fun - not a single argument between us over creative differences and trust me, the work we would have done today would have been sheer fun!

So, yesterday we finished up part of the swing beam by putting holes in it and prepping it for the monkey bars that Neil will manually cut and paint himself. We will need to order a second swing beam, but the project, minus the little embellishments we are looking forward to putting on will come in the following weeks, such as a dinner bell, a pirate wheel, a telephone, a mailbox, grips for the rock wall, handles, a chalkboard and dry erase wall in the little house that will be built below the deck. We are only limited by our imagination at this point - well, and the wallet - it's starting to scream for mercy. ;)

{an intimate look at the swing beam and the holes}

**I do want to qualify that Neil *does* have 12 years in the construction industry...and while it's in sales, he is familiar with what it takes to construct decks and fences and used that knowledge to come up with a rough draft for the playscape. Should you need him for your fencing needs, contact him via Austex Fence and Deck. :)


Alice said...

Pretty impressive little bro'. We may be asking for a consult in the not too distant future as our playset is starting to show serious signs of wear and this may be a fun way to go. Good luck finishing up. I can't wait to see the final product!

-goofydaddy said...

that is SO cool! more pics!

Martina said...

We will put more pics up as we get more of it done. As of now, the rain has been an issue, but we are also waiting on lumber to be delivered too - hopefully tomorrow when the sun returns so we can have it nearly done. :)