Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Where My Budget's Gone in 2011

Recently we had two couples who are our closest friends over for a celebratory dinner as we officially began to enjoy the Giant Black Hole where all of our money has gone in 2011.  You're seeing why I'm closet-cleaning and closet-shopping these days!   Welcome, JCA pals, to the new and greatly improved back deck of our house or, as we now call it around here, Spa de FAH! (FAH is my hubby's nickname among friends -- an acronym for "Fun As Hell" Kenny, which he most certainly is!)

The pool and wall (previously orange brick, which made no sense as our house has Tennessee fieldstone all over it) were here when we bought our house in 1985.  We've resurfaced the pool, but the deck's just been a slowly-worsening concrete eyesore and, even worse, has been creating a worsening drainage problem for our house's foundation.  (We're convinced the original owners wrote their own Certificate of Occupancy, because this on-grade-with-the-house deck and so many other things in our 1975 house, we discovered, ridiculously violated city and county building codes.  And we've had to fix every flippin' thing.)

So last fall we interviewed engineers, landscapers, concrete companies, etc., and found out for sure that the only way to fix our drainage problem was to take the whole area back to dirt and start over with new grading and a re-pour.  At that point FAH and I figured what the heck, it's time to add the water feature and decent grill we've always dreamed about.  And away we -- and our wallet -- went.  They will have to take us out of this house feet-first, y'all.  We are here for. the. duration.

As usual, the project went over budget, just enough to eat up the "new outdoor furniture" line item, so what  you see here is our 15-year-old stuff. Next year, if I'm lucky and keep shopping my closet, that old junk goes and something in a lovely outdoor wicker will appear.  When my clothing budget will re-appear is a whole other question.  No time soon, I can tell ya THAT.

During construction (taken from my dining room window in early March, just after the wall was re-surfaced in stone and the deck was demolished:

And after, in late May, featuring FAH's new toy:

Here's what I wore on the very hot evening we entertained our friends at Spa de FAH:


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