Friday, November 18, 2011


For the first time in decades, long before my parents purchased their house their garage has doors!

They are still in the process of being painted and we ran out of the specially milled ruff sawn lumber for trim.  An old building needs similar old looking lumber.  So that will have to wait, as will windows in the main garage.  Someday, in not too far of the distant future, it will be my photo studio with lots of nice north light.  The rest of the garage needs a TON of work, but it is all progress.

The neighbors all slow down at they drive by to look, I don't think any of them thought it would ever look this good.  Decades of 4 sheets of plywood, 5 months of tarps and still untrimmed...Doors!  Late in the day cell phone photo, I will have to do better shortly!

Looks different than 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Mans Treasure...............

One mans treasure is another mans trash.

In this odyssey of cleaning up my parents place, I have thought of this often, usually while hold some random rusted item. This week it has been the garages we have tackled. It was brought on by missing tools and hardware that we knew we had but just where did it go? First we cleaned out the storeroom and found many treasures, like wire cutters.

Most people think of their garage as a place to park a car, set up a pingpong table or do the laundry. Our garages have always been kind of a creepy mystery. I would poke my head in as a kid and look around, not sure what was going to jump out at me, knowing if I stepped all the way in past the leaning plywood sheet doors I would be covered in spiderwebs. And if my dad caught me, there was probably going to be trouble.

He was worried about the garages falling or me taking his treasures.

A few years before he passed, Dad decided I could clean up the far side of the garage, this was after I cleaned up the driveway and made it so a car could park there! He said there was nothing in there he really wanted other than a few things that he told me to leave those alone. I took load after load to metals recycling and the trash can. It was not perfect, but it was better. Over the past few years, that garage has filled back up with stuff. So this week we cleaned seriously. I used the old bent sheets of plywood to make a better wall between the two sides, they are up kind of temporarily so we can take down to fix the walls if we need too. We took down the wood storage rack he had built and tossed almost all the wood. No idea why he was keeping most it, but it was no longer worth keeping!

We also tackled the "good stuff" side of the garage. Mom was not sure she had been to the back of it. Dad even had a wall put up to keep the "good stuff" safe. I was looking forward to finding "the good stuff" I was thinking the TV show Pickers. Boy was I going to find some good stuff!

The good side of the garage is now empty.

What was the "good stuff"? I have no idea, I sure did not find it! Maybe it was the 6 5 gallon cans of Henrys road coating that are still sort of liquid, unlike the 1/2 full 55 gallon drum in the drive way. It might have been the 10 gallons of home brew weed oil or the sprayer. It could have been the 8 5 gallons containers of various paints, a couple seem to be water based the rest oil. I am sure it was not the 500 pounds of cement asbestos wall siding I will get to suit/mask up and hazmat package. Or the 100's of other cans of paints and petro chems that have to go to hazmat or recycling. Or the 200lbs of garden chem soil amendments in the rotten bags also for hazmat.

I did find some interesting old tools, most will hit ebay in the coming year. And best of all, the wooden swing seat I had in the tree as a kid.

But the real treasure? It has to be the empty garage that is going to become a photo studio.

I can see it now, freshly painted exposed beams and walls with a variety of vintage finds waiting to be used as props with the flowers and veggies from the garden.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Does it Ever End?

Last week I put the final sections of picket fencing up across the right side of the upper yard. Now to paint all those new pickets! And since the paint is different than the one we used when we did the front yard, those need a fresh coat too. I got the first coat of paint on all the new pickets and about 1/2 way through the old ones on that side too.

Mom has been commenting that her friends are afraid to drive up her street because their is no place to turn around. As a kid, if anyone even thought about parking in the turn-around point, old Mr George would be out yelling before they got their parking brake set. But, seems it has become a great place to double park now. I found a place to turn my car around tonight, but it was close and I can see how her friends don't like to drive up.

The neighbor is going to be adding a driveway directly across the street from her.

So, I think this means taking down a section of our fencing, breaking up some concrete sidewalk my dad put in, taking out a planter, removing some rocks, shoveling some dirt, cutting down a tree, digging up her bromiliads and turning our 1.5 car driveway in to a 3 car one.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Today is an Important Day

Today marks a special day in the gardens history.

The truck has the last full load ready to drop at the dump. It has been a long, hard 6 years. Countless loads have been cut up, drug out and shoved in the back of the Nissan pick up and dropped off at the transfer station. I think we have taken out a dozen in just the past couple of weeks. The yucca is gone, the lower gate opens, closes, locks and allows for a truck to back in to the property. The 100 year old two horse stable still stands, leaning pretty good, but finally has no junk leaning on it or hiding inside. The permissions have been cut to a level they can be picked with your feet still on the ground. The kiwi is out of the telephone and cable lines, so it the gage plum. The old chicken house is gone and a fancy new one occupied with very happy hens. Root stock plums have been trimmed and only one zapote remains-and it just a collection of bobbed branches. Cactus and countless other trees are gone and the hedge of quava is trimmed and restored.

We have a few new trees and plans for more to replace those that died out or out grew their locations. The garden will have a new fence and be ready for a second year of veggies.

We still have a lot of neatening up to do, some digging and raking to level it up and countless stumps to pull out. But in due time it will be done

The neighbor stopped by today and said it is going to look like a park soon. Not sure if he knew, but it was always my dads wish that the land would be a park someday.