A Playhouse for Weston

We’ve closed on our house almost four months ago. This means that it took 140 days of living in our new abode to finally jazz up the playhouse in the backyard. I’ve been forthcoming with the knowledge that we bought this house knowing it was a fixer-upper and would require rolling up our sleeves politician-style and gettin’ dirty.

This is the playhouse/shed as it looked the day of our inspection last November. The door to access the shed is next to the tipped over and rusted out wheelbarrow. I was surprised there wasn’t a car on blocks, quite honestly. The backyard was rough. So as you can see, this building was quite sad looking and in desperate need of some lovin’ when we moved in.

The inside wasn’t much better. In fact, I will officially state that it was worse. The indoor/outdoor carpet was likely original to our 1983-built house and filled with bug carcasses and animal droppings. The wallpaper was a nauseating print of rainbows and unicorns and the entire inside smelled of rotting apples. Our little guy didn’t seem to mind (ewwww) but as soon as the weather turned, I got down and dirty with the bad boy. Bug carcasses and all.

Here is what the playhouse looks like today. For whatever reason, the previous owners left the building half-painted (?) and I still need to finish the job (one of many they left behind). We mulched around his sandbox and to the left of the building to help maintain the water flow when it rains. Plus it just looks nicer, at least in our humble opinions. And last but not least, I painted the door red – the same color as the exterior doors on the main house (hence the name Red Door Lodge).

It took me a full four days worth of nap time (~11 hours) to strip the demon wallpaper. Oddly enough, I enjoyed the job and took great pleasure in removing the rainbows and scoring the walls with sharp objects. I then painted the walls with paint we had on hand. I only had enough yellow paint for three walls so the fourth wall is now blue. How fancy! I removed the indoor/outdoor carpet and painted the concrete floor with (you guessed it) paint we had on hand. And I also painted all of the trim white. The only new thing we bought for the space were the floor mats ($20 for 8 squares at Sam’s Club).

The best thing about the interior makeover of the playhouse? I was able to do it on the cheap. All of the artwork, toys, and the shelf we already had on hand. Same with the paint and curtains. In fact, I only spent $23. In addition to the floor mats, I spent $3 on two curtain rods from Big Lots. Can’t beat that!

I used the curtains from Weston’s previous room in the rental house to make new curtains. Easy peasy. Now I did makeover the interior with a couple things in mind. First of all – I didn’t want to make it overly-boy so we don’t alienate renters or buyers when the time comes for us to leave Oklahoma. Second – I didn’t want to make it look too much like a playhouse so potential buyers or renters can use it as a nice garden shed if they don’t have children.

So there you have it – a quick update on the playhouse. Weston loves it – you can even see his car parked to the left of the house. He loves having his own little space in the backyard and it gives him a great place to play when we’re outside working. Lucy is quite keen on the space as well, except for when Weston shuts her inside. It really is the little spaces like this one that are helping us bloom while we’re planted in Oklahoma. I cant help but smile when I see the little red door that opens up to a space perfect for our little boy.

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Say Cheese! And Watch Out for Animal Droppings.

Our rainy Sunday got off on the right foot due a breakfast at home consisting of bacon, fried eggs, and blackberry pancakes. After church, Clay and I watched Horrible Bosses while the little guy napped. And then I worked on the playhouse (I will share the progress sometime this week), pulled some weeds, and picked up soggy dog toys scattered throughout the backyard. Clearly my life is fabulous enough to justify hosting a blog. Oh? It isn’t? Hmmm. Okay.

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Let’s talk about animals. Yesterday morning, we drove 90 miles north to the Oklahoma City Zoo. While it isn’t the same caliber as the San Diego Zoo (we went when I was 25 weeks pregnant with Weston), the Oklahoma City Zoo is a pleasant place to visit on a not-too-hot spring day. With the military discount our tickets were only $4 each and Weston was free so the zoo qualifies as an inexpensive family outing – always a plus!

We took Weston to the zoo last April and the experience was a million times better this time around because he was able to look through the fences to see the animals. We brought our jogging stroller but the little guy was perfectly content to walk the entire grounds while holding our hands.

Let me tell you – the people watching did not disappoint. And we learned that a disproportioned amount of women at the OKC zoo chose to go braless under oversized t-shirts that day, much to the horror of our poor once-naive eyes. So to help erase that image from your mind, here enjoy this picture of a chimpanzee family – a daddy, mommy, and little guy!Β According to Weston, I’m the one with the mange-looking fur. Sadly, he isn’t too far off in his assessment.

As you can see, Weston loves to sit and have his picture taken with me.

Clay had better luck.

The small cat exhibit was Weston’s favorite. He kept exclaiming, “Meow!” We were sure to record the occurrence and upload it to YouTube so we could share with the world our amazing son and bask in the comments informing us of his adorableness. Isn’t that what parents are supposed to do these days?

My favorite exhibit were the tigers and thankfully Clay agreed. Can you image how awful this marriage would be if we disagreed on zoo exhibits? The horrors.

And this is what we got when we attempted a self-portrait.

You’ve got to take what you can get.

And luckily, I’ve got a pretty cool family.

Say Cheese!

Spoons, Barbecue, and Witbier

The following video is too amazing not to share. Deb ‘Spoons’ Perry just may be my new favorite person. I fall into the group that believes the Black Keys create great music (and I say that as a non-hipster lover of independent music) but the addition of spoons, courtesy of Ms. Perry, elevates ‘Lonely Boy’ into the stratosphere. Go Deb go!

In full disclosure – after viewing this video for the third time, I spent 10 minutes trying to teach myself how to play the spoons. How did it go, you ask? Not well, not well.

And speaking of the Black Keys, did you see the Kansas City episode of No Reservations? Anthony Bourdain filmed a segment with the duo and their van about barbecue. If you haven’t already, check it out.

And speaking of barbecue, we enjoyed some earlier this week. My favorite type is smoked chopped brisket with a sweet sauce, and topped with coleslaw. While I appreciated the pulled pork with a vinegar sauce that comprises North Carolina barbecue during our time there, there is nothing that beats Texas style. At least in my opinion. And that is the beauty of barbecue – the one true American food – there are plenty of variations to accommodate the melting pot of tastes. What’s funny is that most days I could take or leave meat. In fact, when Clay is TDY or deployed I pretty much become a vegetarian. But I could never go cold (smoked) turkey – I love barbecue too much. Like way too much. Like bathe in a tub of delicious sauce too much. Mmmmm…barbecue.

We’ve been drinking Sam Adams Blackberry Witbier lately. It has been on sale the past couple of weeks at the Class 6 (on-post liquor store) so we’ve been taking advantage of the low(er) prices. The slight hint of sweet & bitter fruit is perfect on a hot spring evening. And we’re known for our love of witbier in this house. My dad brews his own beer – I must convince him to have a witbier ready for us next time we’re in Georgia, or at least bring some on our trip to Michigan. Hmmm…is it illegal to transport homemade beer across state lines?

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We’re going to attempt to go to the Oklahoma City Zoo tomorrow. Our plans were thwarted a couple of weeks ago due to an outbreak of tornados. Hopefully we have better luck this time around. With a forecasted high of 79 degrees, it is on track to be a perfect zoo day.

And lastly,Β a new published report by Forbes puts Lawton is the 8th most dangerous city in the country for women. Fabulous.