We live in a pretty nice neighborhood – we moved in about a year ago and had been kind of stalking the area for three years looking for a house that we could afford that had the features that we wanted (big lot, basement, stage with stripper pole). We’ve been really happy with our choice, especially the privacy that we have on our lot even though we live in an established neighborhood.
Part of our long-term plan is to eventually get the yard completely landscaped with retaining walls and a crapload of new plantings. I thought this would have been done by now, but my stellar subcontractor who gave me a whiz-bang number on the entire project suddenly decided just before starting that it was going to cost an additional $8,000 just for the front yard. After picking my heart up off of the floor and changing my underwear, we’ve really not done much else except have a few people come price the retaining walls out. It’s not a project we can take on ourselves because of the slope of the yard and frankly, we don’t have the time or the ability to know what the hell we’re doing.
An advantage to not having Yard Beautiful is that there are plenty of places for Monkey Man to play. His current thing is a “jobsite” he’s constructed in a huge dirt patch that is in a small patch of trees in our side yard, conveniently located across from our garage and kitchen window. He takes his little motor grader, backhoe, bulldozer, front-loader, and dump trucks out there and has a big time just making a complete mess. Typically when he’s done, the best thing to do is immediately strip him down and hose him off in the bathtub.
The other happy creature in the house is the dog. Rufus loves, LOVES to dig holes around trees and around the mole tracks in the yard. It’s a riot watching him because he takes his nose and roots around in the dirt until he gets a huge snootful of dirt and ends up having a sneezing attack. So between Boy and Dog, we have two of the dirtiest critters you can imagine.
On Saturday we ended up running errands almost all day, came home and then everyone took a nap. The first thing that Monkey Man wanted to do when he woke up was to go outside and play, so Joey took him on outside and I ran out to the grocery store and to pick up a pizza for dinner. When I got back home I spied Monkey Man in the dirt pile and the dog wandering up from the little creek back behind the house…and I don’t know honestly who was dirtier. And of course, no one wanted to go inside to eat dinner. So what did I do? Got the little plastic play table off of the deck, put out folding chairs, and we sat in the garage and ate our pizza.
As we sat there eating our dinner, there was a cool breeze blowing and it was quiet except for the birds. It was really kind of nice. Nice enough that I started thinking of utilizing that tactic on weekends for either lunch or dinner if the boys want to still play outside after dinner. Monkey Man finished and went on back out to the dirt pile, Rufus followed closely behind, and Joey and I sat in our chairs sipping our drinks and enjoying the peace and quiet. And then I looked at the dog – madly digging under one of the oak trees just as fast as his scrubbly little legs could dig – and the boy, creating clouds of dirt with all of his toys, and I looked down at my chipped nail polish, $4 flip-flops, freebie t-shirt and denim shorts, and over at Joey with his beer in hand, stained t-shirt, and baseball hat on, and it came to me…
We are our neighbors’ worst nightmare. All we need to do is get a double-wide parked in our backyard with some flamingos and abandoned cars strategically placed around it and the scene will be complete. Oh, and maybe a few junky refrigerators and washing machines just to accent the front yard. You'll find me in the garage with my tube top on drinking a 40. Yep, good times.