Under One Sod We Shall Prosper

2010 October 9

It’s official. The backyard is finally looking like, well, a backyard. Strike that. The backyard is finally looking like OUR backyard.

After several years of humming and hawing, the backyard has a brand new layer of grass, courtesy of Advantage Landscaping.

No more weeds. No more dirt. No more crevices. No more uneven ground. No more crappy grass.

Sean and his crew arrived yesterday morning at 8 am sharp. By noon they had torn out the old lawn and levelled out ground for the sod. By 4:00 pm the lawn was done.

The backyard looks huge now, especially with the sandbox, old patio and adjacent flower bed gone. The boys have a straight run of 110 feet now. Just need to water it twice a day for the next 10 days or so. It looks good. I’ll post some pictures when I get a chance.

Today, Tina and I stood on our new patio, drinking coffee and admiring our much improved backyard. What’s left to do in the backyard?

  • Dig up the soil around the AC for a flowerbed.
  • Dig up the plants and put in new edging in the kitchen flowerbed.
  • Put in rubber edging along the new sod and backfill with cedar mulch.
  • New patio stones for the BBQ.
  • Buy a canopy for the patio.
  • Buy a basketball net for the play pad.
  • Buy a chair swing.
  • Dig up the soil beside the BBQ for a future flowerbed/garden.
  • New railings for back porch and new gate between the house and garage.
  • Backfill the gap between the play pad and the fence with stone.
  • Trim the bottom of the wood gate where the play pad is.
  • Install an outdoor light for the play pad.

I hope to get the first two and last three done before winter settles in. Slight chance I may get new railing and gate in this fall. The rest will wait till Spring 2011.

Tina and I are really stoked by the backyard. It finally feels like our backyard.

12 Years Old

2010 October 2

Corbin is officially one year away from becoming a teenager. Aye carumba.

The festivities began with a surprise party on Friday night – the party was literally put together in front of Corbin’s eyes.

While Tina was decorating the room and the cake, a friend from school and another friend from the neighbourhood came over. Also visiting was Corbin’s respite worker and the two boys of close friends of ours. Lots of people and no clue as to what was going on.

Finally, he clued in. Tina lit the birthday cake and we sang happy birthday followed by presents. Then it was onto Family Fun Centre for two rounds of Laser Tag. Corbin was in seventh heaven. He loved his surprise party.

The next day Corbin did the traditional dance to Captain Zoom birthday song. He had birthday cake for breakfast (as did Jeremy) and opened presents from Jeremy and us. He loved it all. Another respite worker came over and she had presents for him.

All in all it was great birthday weekend.

Happy 12th Birthday Corbin.

When Did It Become October?

2010 October 1

Well, September sure did fly by quick. At least it wasn’t boiling hot like August.

The boys are fully into school and extracurricular activities. Corbin is in Grade 7 and fully involved with Scouts. For the time being he is attending Maryvale, a children’s mental health treatment centre. He goes to school which includes shop (wood shop) and swimming. So far it seems to be working out, but afternoons are still a struggle. Once Corbin’s situation is stabilized to the point that he doesn’t need constant attention, he may return to his old neighbour school.

Jeremy is in Grade 2 this year. He is in a Grade 1/Grade 2 split. He reading skills are improving (thank you Mrs. Murphy). Other activities include Beavers and Gymnastics.

Both boys may return to Karate when Sensei Mike returns.

The backyard is finally coming along. The concrete job was complete mid-September. New back porch, new patio and sidewalk and a new play pad for the boys. It looks good. Tina can’t wait till next year and enjoy her new patio.

During the prep work, the contractor cut the Bell phone line. Not too much of a problem now that we have our BlackBerry’s. Bell came in and put in a temporary line. I hope to have the replacement line relocated and have Bell come in and put in a proper Network Interface Device (NID). I’ll have to reroute the wiring in my house, but it’s not too much of problem since everything will be accessible from the laundry room. Should be relatively painless (famous last words?)

I’ve chosen a landscape company to tear-out the old lawn and put in a new lawn. This job means ripping out a flowerbed that no longer fits in the scheme things. It’s been ten years so it is time for a change, for renewal.

With the patio closer to the kitchen flowerbed and with some of the bed damaged due to prep work for the concrete, I’ll be ripping out the plants in that flowerbed, put in new edging and top soil. Over the winter I hope to come up with a new planting scheme that will work with the patio. I’ll also have to figure out what to plant around the AC unit.

Tina and the boys did some apple picking while I was in Brantford helping my mom with some outdoor fall chores. It’s been a good month.