This weekend we started taking steps to de-embarrassify the yard a little. Prior to the weekend, the entire area you see covered with the straw mat was packed with dense, scraggly, chest-high weeds. It was really just bad (and itchy), and I'm sure people wondered why there were lights on in an overgrown house where surely nobody lives. The thing was, the weeds were pretty useful to use while they were there. They helped to stop erosion, so we kind of had to let them hang around until the summer heat died down and we could plant more grass. So the silver lining was that the weeds prevented us from being heavily fined for having our front yard wash into the Chesapeake Bay feeder stream running along the edge of our property. Thanks, weeds!

Since September is a great time to plant grass, we took the opportunity of a fair-weathered weekend to get to work sprucing things up. Ez's dad bulldozed those weeds and graded the yard, Ez planted the grass and I planted about 50 iris bulbs -- a gift from my aunt -- at the end of the driveway to welcome us home come spring. (Irises are one of my very favorite flowers.) There was a nice breeze blowing all weekend as our neighbors collectively breathed sighs of relief. I snapped these photos with my iPhone before calling it a day.

The house itself clearly still needs enormous amounts of help to look presentable:

  • Put up the battens on the siding
  • Paint the siding Crabby Apple Red like the door (I would love to have this done by winter, but I'm not sure if that's realistic)
  • Tear down the old gray vinyl siding on the gable and put up board and batten 
  • Build a roof and railings for the porch
  • Clean and repoint the stone foundation
  • Real landscaping, gardens and plants
  • Etc. 

Remember, this is what it looked like when we started back in 2008. I guess the transformation so far doesn't look as impressive as I hoped it would... but we're getting there one little blade of grass at a time.


  1. EK:

    It looks wonderful to me. I particularly like the wood-toned trim around the windows
    and corners of your painted section. It connects the log part with the B&B part nicely.
    I've been reading your blog since January of '09 and the difference is outstanding to me!

  2. um, in no way does the before picture compared to the current state of your home look unimpressive! I think your house is looking awesome! it takes time to do things right. sure, you could have gone in and just resided the house and called it a day, but you're making the proper repairs and improvements that will last this house the next 50 years. i have to tell myself that when i get discouraged, too. :)

  3. Wow! It's looking great! Our yard currently has me scared the city will fine us for the ridiculous weeds we are sporting, but my husband broke the lawn mower, lol. I can't wait to see how amazing your cabin looks once it's red. Great job so far!


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