Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to APRIL!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful TULIPS from Biltmore!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Our New Deck including a 'Bird Kitchen'

Wood for the new deck
Many of you know by now that we are doing some home renovation around here... First,  we now have a new deck.   We love our wrap-around deck ---but we knew that it was old (over 25 yrs. old) and some of the boards were beginning to warp....

We also made a huge mistake about 5-6 years ago when we did what we thought we needed to do at the time ---and that was to have it stained....   Little did we know at the time but the different colored stain is nothing more than PAINT....  We were happy to choose a gray stain ---which turned out to be too BLUE  (which was not pretty with our green house)...   I hated the stain from the beginning --but we had it,  so we lived with it... And then (because it was a paint rather than a real strain) ---it started peeling off ..  I hated it ---and spent many hours each spring trying to clean it with our power washer...

Bottom Line:  IF you ever get a new deck put in,   do what we've NOW learned to do :  put the wood down and then wait for 9-12 months before getting it stained...  That way,  the wood has a chance to 'season'.  Have it stained with a 'real' stain ---and then it will last for years and years and years....   We are very happy with this decision.

Hope you enjoy the pictures!!!!  The first 3 pictures were taken on June 15 and the last four were taken on June 28....  Be sure to click on the pictures to see enlargements.

Here you can see where they were taking the old deck apart... Luckily,  they were able to use quite a bit of our old deck since it was still in good shape... They will sand all of the posts to look like new--when they stain the deck next spring...

This is what our backyard looked like for a couple of weeks...  You can see our deck furniture there ---and also George --trying to hide from the camera!!!! ha..... (NOTE though that our grass was still green on June 15.... That grass and all grass in this area is now BROWN due to the heat and drought.)

Our deck man and his team did a GREAT job ---and finished everything within a couple of weeks total --while working off and on.  I provided the team with some cold drinks each day since it was HOT...

Here is our completed deck.   This picture was taken on June 28 ---and we are ready to enjoy our deck (if only it were cooler)...  We are enjoying it early in the mornings and in the evenings around sunset.   Want to come and 'sit a spell' with us?????

I am thrilled to show you my new "Bird Kitchen".....  As you probably know,  we have been using a clothes line for some of the bird feeders.    SO----our wonderful deck man built an ARBOR for my feeders.   (It would also be good for hanging baskets if someone would prefer to do that.)        I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!!!

My bird kitchen contains seven feeders total.  First, there are 4 little hanging feeders above the sliding glass doors.   Three of them have black-oil sunflower seeds and the fourth one contains Nyger (for the finches)...  On the Arbor so far is a little house (with the red roof)... That house contains black-oil sunflower seeds and  suet on both ends.   Also, the big plate is one of the most popular feeders ---since it contains a fruit and nut combination...  Most birds --even woodpeckers like that plate.  The nuthatches and bluejays enjoy the nuts, and they wait for me to refill that plate most every day!  Then there is a hanging suet feeder ---enjoyed also by many of the birds.   Don't you think this is a pretty nice kitchen for my birdies??????   Don't you like the arbor?

By the way,  we have a big container which can be seen in the picture below this one,  that we use to put away all of our bird feeders each night... Since we have night critters (like raccoons, possums,  skunks, etc.) who will eat it all ---we have to put it all up each evening.

Here's another picture of the deck looking the other direction ---while standing at the bird area...  You can now see our swing in the distance... Since we lost the cover over the swing two winters ago when too much snow/ice ripped it, we now have an umbrella over the swing also.  George and I read our devotions on the swing most every morning.

Finally,   while standing out in the backyard ,  I took a picture so that you can see the entire wrap-around deck.  As you can tell,  we have 3 sliding glass doors which open out onto the deck.    Now I'm sure you can understand why we love our deck so much!!!!

On another note,  like so many people,  we are experiencing a terrible heat wave here in Tennessee...  AND --to make things worse,   we are also experiencing a major drought... Can you see how BROWN our grass is in this photo, and in the one above?  (Compare it to the 2nd photo from the top of the page.)  We are desperate for rain!!!!   George and I are both keeping the flowers watered --but the grass will just have to suffer...  Kinda Sad!

One reason we moved to Fairfield Glade here on the Cumberland Plateau was because the summers aren't supposed to be nearly as hot here as in the valley areas.   We are 2000 feet above sea level ---and since buying our home here in 2002,  this past Friday was the hottest day we could remember... LATER that evening---we found out that we set a new all-time record with a high of 102 degrees that Friday, and again on Saturday.    I am not and have never been a summer-lover ---so,  as you can imagine,  this is NO FUN!!!!!

Back to our renovations,  we are not finished... The next thing on the agenda is to paint our house....  I'll share pictures of it after it is completed.  The same wonderful crew will be doing this also.  We decided to stick with this mossy green color ---so it probably won't look alot different than it does now.  But---it hasn't been painted since before we bought the house in 2002--so it's time!!!!

Sorry this is so long ---but  I just had to share!!!!  Have a great day,  and stay COOL wherever you are.