Sunday, September 17, 2017

Rome or Rhody?

I used to spend a lot of time in my backyard. When I was a smoker I would sit on the back steps of my deck, listening to the waterfall and watching the dragonflies in the summer. At night I would watch the stars, what I could see of them past the light pollution of Providence, Fall River, and Newport.

I don't smoke anymore so I don't spend as much time out on my deck, or in the backyard, as I used to. I do wander out from time to time to just take it all in. It's pleasant back there, peaceful and relaxing. It's a good place to just go and think.

Spring 2000
We moved into Chez Sarge in the fall of 1999. The backyard was then just an expanse of dead and dying grass which had been the playground of the previous owners' rather large dog, I think he was a Rottweiler. While he was friendly enough with humans, he and the lawn were not friends.

That photo above shows The Missus Herself beginning the landscaping process. (Our next door neighbor took the photo, she said it would make a great "before and after." When you're right, you're right. I can barely remember the old wasteland before the lady my wife began "terraforming" the place to make it habitable for humans.

That expanse of raw dirt just past the chain link fence is where we stripped out a big patch of dead crabgrass. You think the stuff is hard to get rid of when its alive? We had to rent a machine which cuts and rolls up the turf. We used that to build up that oval section she's working on in the picture. (The statue in the opening photo is just to the left of the mound. You can see it in the next photo.)

Spring 2016
As you might well imagine, a lot of work went into that garden, most of which The Missus Herself did. I'm good at digging and moving heavy things, she's the artiste. I'm just the manual labor, and I'm okay with that.

That dirt where the crabgrass was stripped out? Here's what it looks like now, well, in the spring.

Spring 2016
The pond, the hedge, the gardens, the flowers, all put in since the spring of 2000. Heck, even the shed had a "face lift," new color, new roof.

Fall 2015
A lot of water under the bridge since we moved in in late September of 1999. The Missus Herself completely changed the inside too. The woman has a talent for these things, I swear, her mind never stops working. If she sees something that needs improving, well Sarge, get out the wallet and grab the tools, whatever it is, it happens.

I am blessed.

Though there are days I kind of wish she would slow down a little. Neither of us is getting any younger.


  1. Nice digs you have my friend!

  2. Yup! You are truly blessed!
    I've worked hard, harder and hardest on my gardens, but I'm still fighting with not only crab grass, "cheat" grass, but the dreaded "Bindweed" Morning glories that have roots that go to China, I think.

    Y'all have done wonders with your plot of Eden, and I'm so impressed with The Missus Herself's creative skill.
    Yup, Sarg, you are truly blessed!

  3. We still do a lot of improvement and maintenance tasks around the house and that including the cars.

    Of course if the cars ran on steam turbines as our Maker intended instead of these newfangled gasoline engines I would enjoy the maintenance more.

    We just do the tasks more slowly and with greater care to prevent a spike in the amount of over the counter painkillers being sold.

    As Glenn said, nice digs!

  4. Somethings about smoking I do miss...think I'll have a nice cigar today.

    1. The long moments of contemplation were outweighed by the hour of coughing and hacking at bedtime.

      But yeah, I do miss it at times.

  5. Wow! Quite the transformation there. A lot of sweat and determination as well as planning. Looks really good. Kudos to the better half.

  6. Before and after photos are great to have, and with the advent of digital cameras there's almost no excuse. However the various contractors I've had - windows, plumbers, furnace, bathroom and kitchen remodeling - might beg to differ, with my taking photos of their work progress several times per day! But its been a great resource for both me and the neighbors (since I'm in a townhouse complex): "What's behind that wall again? Which way does that pipe go?"

    On your garden, all those nice, big, border stones custom imported from Old Vermont, perhaps? :)


    1. All those stones were "grown" right here in Little Rhody. Most places in New England are very fertile soil for rocks hauled down from points North and Canada by the last Ice Age.

      So who knows? Maybe they did come from Vermont.

  7. Between the two of you, you have created your own piece of heaven. Enjoy the fruits of your labors.

  8. Amazing what a little TLC and a lot of HFW can do, ain't it Sarge. Well done to the both of you.


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