28 May 2017

The Fence

I have a completely fenced in backyard! The back lot line had a fence running along it, a mix of six-foot vinyl and four-foot chain link that is ours and four-foot wood that is our neighbor's. A nice, thick hedge also runs along one side of the property, perfect for keeping out traffic, but not trustworthy enough to keep a dog in. There was a small gap over by the hedges, though, that kids could easily slip through. In order to use the back yard at all, we had to erect a snow drift fence. It didn't stop anyone from escaping, but it slowed them down enough for me to catch them. Roxy was always tied up on a cable.

If I needed to change Theodore's diaper or check on dinner, I had to drag all three kids with me and make everyone take off their shoes (inevitably someone had stepped in dog poop). It was exhausting, so we didn't go outside much. We also put the snow drift fence up along the shortest possible path, which cut out a ton of yard. We had two different fence companies come out to give us quotes, but a professional company was wwwaaayyy out of budget. We're talking $3-6k. To fence in half of a backyard. So we looked into doing it ourselves and found we could manage for about half of the low end of our quotes. There were some minor delays, like Matt's demanding job sucking up his weekends and a fence on back order, but last week we prepped the yard and got everything laid out...

I propped that fence up so I could fantasize until fence day.

Then called in a bunch of friends and family to help and erected a real fence!

The kids can run around and I don't have to worry, the dog has tons of space to roam, I can change diapers or check dinner without dragging everyone back inside. I can toss the laundry in the washer. Heck, I can now look down at my phone and check a text message while the kids are outside! Plus we increased our backyard space by about 150%! We more than doubled our backyard. It. Is. Amazing.

Me inside. Eleanor outside. By the street. And I don't have to freak out.
All the gaps have been filled and there is a chicken wire fence running along the bush. It saves money and is visually prettier, especially once the hedge's branches grow and take over the fence. There are a few little cosmetic things to touch up, things we can work on all summer long. We'll paint the fence white once the wood is no longer green, we're thinking August.

The kids aren't exactly sure what to do with the great outdoors yet. Eleanor likes it until she sees a bug. Abigail gets bored and wants to come inside and watch television. Theodore likes it as long as either Matt or I are outside too. Breathing fresh air is going to take some getting used to, I guess.

A fenced-in backyard means that I will be able to take care of the extensive flower beds much more easily. I can weed while they play! I was so excited I sat down with some gardening catalogs - outside, working while the kids played without a watchful eye glued to their every move - and created a master gardening plan. New flowers and trees where I want them. Now we can slowly expand as budget allows and time permits.

I also mapped out a Garden of Eden, as Matt calls it. We have a giant space in our side yard (about 20' by 20', although that second twenty could be as large as 40' if I took over some backyard space) that has rich dirt and gets plenty of sun. I would love to plant some fruit trees and a vegetable garden over there. I mapped out a little plan and drew it up in color.

I would also like to plant an almond tree, chestnut tree, and oak tree in the front yard, giving us lots of nuts to eat! (Can people eat acorns? Hmmmm.) We will build it up super slowly, giving me time to learn how to can and dry and preserve my harvest and for the kids to get old enough to help. Maybe give us time to save up for a chest freezer.

I'm so excited about our future here, with the extensive garden, the built-in bookshelves in the living room, I feel so blessed that I get to raise my family here. It's a regular prayer of mine that we can continue to live here until we are too old to mow the lawn any longer.

1 comment:

Iseoni Austin said...

Give the kids something to build. Go to Home Depot/Lowes and get 3-4 pieces of 10 feet PVC that are 1/4 inch. Cut into 2-3 foot sections. Get their value bag of X connectors and a a value bag of T connectors...maybe a few end caps and elbows if you want to be generous. Then get a a yard or two each of kite ripstop fabric in a few colors...red, green, purple, yellow, etc. You can also get cheap shoelaces and attach them in a few places so they can tie on.

Basically, you've made a outdoor-worthy fort kit for under $100. (Under $60 if you watch fabric sales) It's not climbing safe because the PVC isn't actually connected but it's more than safe enough to play in and around because it's light.