I woke up extremely early this morning for some completely unknown reason and couldn't get back to sleep. So around 5:45 or so I went ahead and crawled out of bed to get started on the day. I really wanted to get the rest of the mulch spread (we underestimated and were short) and the shrubs planted on our new ivy-free bed so that I could have the project pretty much finished up.
Jer and Connor stayed in bed a bit later, but once they got started things really moved quickly! Jer and I started switching off with Connor; whenever I needed a break I'd come inside and he'd go back out to work on his project. Connor started out the morning a little rough, looking pale and wan, but after a few good cuddling sessions and some stretching and gentle movement he perked up, and by midday he was back to his normal spry self and demanding play time. Every once in a while he'd end up outside with us while Jer and I discussed some aspect of the yard work, and he seemed very interested in the proceedings, though I don't think he quite knew what to make of the transformation.
Jer borrowed a power washer from one of our neighbors. Connor was not particularly excited by the noise the power washer made, so we had to go inside for that. So while we hung out in the living room, Jer washed the moss off our chimney and cleaned all our gutters as well as the deck, which we'll be putting a second coat of stain on sometime in the next week or so. Then he cleaned and organized our side yard for good measure.
In addition to mulching and planting the fifteen or so remaining shrubs, I spent a good half hour in an abortive attempt to stain the trellises and arbor. Rather than do it with a brush, which would take forever to get into all the little crannies and crevices of the lattice, I thought I'd try a technique I'd seen a few places using a pump sprayer to spread the paint. Unfortunately our hardware store didn't carry filter bags for the inside of the sprayer, but I figured it would be fine since I was only going to be using about a half gallon or so. Ha! The sprayer clogged up the first time I tried to use it, and instead of a nice even fan of paint I got a sad little dribble. I'll try it again another day with a filter bag once I get the chance to stop by a paint store.
Anyway, I wish I could post before-and-after photos for you here, but posting pictures of the outside of my house in the public domain is probably not a very good idea. So you'll just have to trust me when I say that the outside of my house is looking about eight billion times better, and hopefully in a few years when everything fills out it will be even more improved! I'm going to bed still covered in those tiny little prickly splinters working with cedar mulch always seems to produce that keep cropping up for days even with repeated showers, but all the prickly itching that will happen in the next few days will be totally worth it!
Now if we can just keep the yard looking like that.
4 days ago