Thursday, June 7, 2018

Four Things That Made Me Smile Today

1.   Paul packed himself up and took the bus to the airport to start his 10-day trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with about thirty Boulder High Students and three teachers.  I was happy to see him being so mature, thinking through what he needed to take and how to be ready for his big adventure.   The kids were all issued backpacks from the tour company and I suggested that he personalize his in some way.  So he got out his spray paints and went to town.  The result is pretty cool, don't you think?  It certainly made me smile!

2.   I looked out the window this morning and saw a white work truck pull up by our house.  I thought it was a fellow from Ecoscape who was scheduled to do some final detail work on the new patio, but instead saw that it was a roofing company truck.  A man got out of his truck, plucked his phone out of his pocket, climbed up into our perennial bed and took a photograph of a lovely rose that is blooming.  I thought it was surprising, but had to admire his good eyesight to spot this amazing rose as he drove by and his good taste in admiring it.  l take no credit for this lovely flower since it was here when we bought the house.  All I did was find it in the overgrown bed, weed around it, and make sure it got water.  It's doing all the rest on its own. I do love it.  

3.  After doing some morning chores Ben and I set out for a new hike, a spur off the Walker Ranch Loop trail.  It was just two miles but had a lot of "up" and it was hot along the trail today so it was a "just right" challenge for me.  It was an out and back, with the mid point at some falls along the South Boulder Creek.  You just have to be happy on a great hike that leads to a beautiful and exciting set of falls! 

Here's Ben sitting along the water....

...and a selfie of me a little further up the falls. (No, I hadn't been drinking!; my nose just wants to be red lately for some reason.) 

It's wild flower time here and I had to stop and take some photos of the pretty little things.  Loved these; they reminded me of the Gilbert & Sullivan song, "Three Little Maids From School."  

4.  My biggest smile was for the completion of the patio project we started last August.  It officially ended today!  To say I'm happy is an understatement.  It took from August to March for the planning and design; our site was narrow and sloping and Ben wanted flagstone and not wood or Trex.  To say that was a challenge is an understatement.  Things were looking grim until a bright landscape designer thought outside of the box and came up with a really different idea.  Instead of sticking to the "high deck, low patio" design of the past he suggested simply re-excavating the entire site so there are three contiguous levels.  Bingo!  

 It took from March to May for the basic excavation and reconstruction to be done; to say that was dirty and messy is an understatement.  And then it's taken a month to get all the finishing up details done; to say I was eager for it all to be completed and life back to normal is also an understatement!  

But it's definitely true that it all turned pretty dang gone well. 

Here's the "before" showing the high deck and the low patio.  The blue rug covers an old hot tub pad.  (Apparently at some point a women's ski team used to enjoy leisure time in that hot tub, much to the delight of a young lad who lived nearby and liked to spy on them.)  

Here's the "after" view.  

The whole lower patio was an uneven mess of mismatched surfaces, including the concrete hot tub pad and red flagstone.  Some of the stone had disappeared and grass had taken its place, and the rest had heaved up in many places. 

Here's the very end where the patio met the back yard.  You can see that it needed attention!

Here's the "after" images showing off the lovely new flagstone lower patio...

 ...and the new steps up into the back door which provides a secondary way into the kitchen.

Ecoscape did some nice plantings along the patio edges. (The wall and bamboo fence is our neighbor's; aren't we lucky that he did such an interesting and good job on these features?)

We bought this garden sculpture recently and I think it looks good next to the old fence and wall.

The upper deck holds the grill, a buffet table and two small round tables that can be moved about as we like for dinners and such.  The old vertical fence was replaced with this more modern looking cedar one.  We specified that it have the gaps between the boards since we like to feel connected to all the street life going on outside.  And the height took careful consideration since we needed privacy but didn't want to block our view of the First Flatiron.

In this photo you can see the gate and the wonderful way the stone mason wrapped the old columns.  Ben is going to paint the wooden tops of these columns to match the siding and trim.

Today marks four years that we've been in this house.  In that time we've remodeled the kitchen and three baths, as well as the staircase.  We've also redone the house siding and trim and made extensive repairs to the balconies and replaced the wooden railings on the balconies with iron.  Later this summer the wooden railings by the front door will be redone to match the new balcony railings.  

We're loving all these changes, and so are our neighbors.  When we're working in the yard people often stop to offer compliments.  Just today two people told me how nice it was to see the house being so well tended, and that, of course, made me smile!   

Joining my friend LeeAnna's "I Like" Thursday, at Not Afraid of Color.

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