December 30, 2009

With winter has come a new set of priorities and challanges. December brought over 5" or rain to our newly graded and denuded slopes, leading us to marvel at the power of nature and providing us with a graphic demonstration of the drainage issues on our property. Actually, it wasn't too bad because there was no really destructive erosion- only some foot-deep gullies in expected places. The rain came in waves, so we were able to try a series of measures and observe how each of them worked. We'll be better prepared next year after the slopes are stabilized with plantings and a real drainage system is in place.

A view of the level above the shade structures, which is now almost filled with plants that don't mind the "great outdoors" and the possibility of a little frost.

Another view of the upper pad, with Petra intent on completing the line of shade structures on the pad below.

Petra installs wiggle strips on the new structures.

Brian and Carlos paint the framing over our new front porch.

The completed porch and breezeway with our quaint lighting in place. We have yet to cover the underside of the roof with lattice. Petra has plans for a little rock garden in that planter against the house.

Petra relaxes in the evening on our new 15'x18' patio. At last, a place to relax and entertain!

On Saturday night we had dinner with Carol and Joe Wojcik on the patio. We brought a stunning Aloe down from Whittier to frame the entrance.

An overview of the property showing the shade cloth in place on the new structures. Our next project is to finish the fences along our entire street frontage and securitize them as best we can.