Friday, May 20, 2016

The Backyard Saga | Conquering the Scrap Mountain

Way back when this Fixer Upper blog began, you may remember me showing you some scary, rainforest-esque photos of our backyard. Our house sits on a corner lot, and the amount of yard space is impressive. From the left of the house, wrapping around to the right, is a large front lawn, a gazebo, a (stagnant) pool, brick pathways, a garage, a smaller backyard off from the master bedroom, a sidewalk through more lawn and around the house, and a small front yard containing fairly over-grown small rose bushes. There was once a sad excuse for an addition that was demolished long ago, the remains of which formed the large base of our Scrap Mountain. The rest of the mountain consisted of debris from gutting the kitchen, and various other project remains. Scrap Mountain was hidden from public view by a set of rickety, haphazardly nailed 2x4 stairs. These stairs used to lead to a deck attached to the addition, but this deck was also torn down and hauled off long ago. On one hand, our backyard is huge, amazing, and will some day lend itself well to large backyard parties. On the other hand, I have avoided looking at it at all costs to prevent stress headaches.

Though Scrap Mountain was disguised well from the eyes of passers-by, we had a majestic view of it from our bedroom window. It was somewhat convenient to help protect the neighbors from accidentally seeing any of us undressing, but otherwise, it menacingly loomed over us, hiding secret mouse habitats and assuring us our backyard would forever be for evading, not enjoying.

The man who had cleared our front pile (the one picky joggers snapped pictures of on their phones before complaining to the city that it was an "eye sore," rather than saying, "Hey, Comptons, thanks for buying this house and making it look livable instead of like a jungle habitat; we understand that this house is a huge project, take your time with your debris piles, we will totally give you grace," but, you know, I'm not bitter) had cleared it for an affordable price, but took a long, long time to finally achieve. We had called to ask him to look at Scrap Mountain and give us a quote, but he hadn't shown up any of the times he said he was going to show up. We didn't have the time or the resources to begin the slow eroding of Scrap Mountain, so there it stood.

Last week, Blake's brother, Caleb, wanted to find a way to earn a little extra money once finals were over at OBU. When Blake offered to pay him a lump sum for removing the mass from our yard, he and Blake's other two brothers, Micah and Nate, agreed to work for us.

In just three (or maybe four?) trailer loads, plus a dumpster full of what wouldn't stay on the trailer, Blake and I arrived at our house to find that Scrap Mountain was no more.

This morning, Blake spent time shoveling away the decomposed leaves that had once taken refuge under Scrap Mountain to reveal brick paths and a gas line that will lend itself perfectly to an outside kitchenette. 


Blake had a little furry cheerleader to watch him work this morning. :)

For the summer, our family and the rest of Blake's family have agreed to partake in a "screen fast;" while we are all allowing for time online and on social media for work (or, in my case, blogging), we are forgoing mindless social media scrolling, television and Netflix and Youtube binging, and otherwise fruitless screen time that would eat up our opportunities to spend time with each other during these summer months. Hopefully this will also aid in our house renovation goals (and especially getting this kitchen done)! When you hear from me on Instagram and Facebook, it will only be in regards to the blog. Have a good summer, everyone! See you soon (I hope).

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