So Far So Good

LizzieLou | home & garden | Saturday, January 14th, 2012

This year is off to a good start. One of my major home-owner problems has been solved. Lest you think I have been very productive or something, let me make clear right away that I only watched some handy gentlemen be very productive as they tore down what was left of our retaining wall in the alley and replaced it with a new retaining wall that is so much more substantial and fierce than the previous one that it isn’t even a retaining wall anymore, it is now a “bulkhead.” My dictionary defines this as “a dividing wall or barrier between compartments in a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle.” This works for me.

The wall wasn’t much of a wall before it was turned into a bulkhead either. It was untreated wood, painted blue (sometime after 1925), rotting, soggy, falling down. One day, longer ago than I’d like to admit, I put three buckets-nee-kitty-litter-containers filled with sod and dirt that I swept up on the sidewalk out for garbage pick up. They were not collected. So, I slid them back against the part of the wall that was the worst and there they have remained, collecting more dirt, more weeds, mosquito larvae, and the resentment of the neighbors.


I had spent quite a bit of time back there in the alley staring at that stupid wall, thinking about all the ways I could do it myself and then sadly rejecting them for lack of skill, strength or smarts. I would lie in bed at night complaining to Lolly about the crappy wall and moaning about its awfulness and my ineptitude. To her credit, Lolly did brainstorm lots and lots of ideas for fixing it or shoring it up. However, I would always find some engineering or financial flaw to her idea, and then start whining again. Every time I went past it in the car or on foot I’d moan and crap on about it some more.

After the bulkhead was done, it looked so good we couldn’t stand the idea of putting the old moldy, soggy fence panels back up across the backyard. (And neither could our neighbor who looks directly out upon it who said, as she was nodding her head for us, “That looks so great! You’re going to do the fence now too, right?”) Hence, a new fence. It is six feet high on the yard side, which means there is now a nine foot edifice between the alley (with it’s weirdos and hos and poop kitties) and us. It’s quite imposing as you can just barely see the top of the house poking up well behind it.


Upon completion, I was ready to go out and do some landscaping and planting; alas, it snowed. But I have big plans now. Big Plans!


  1. This looks great! :) I can’t wait to come out for a summertime barbecue. I mean, I’ll have to, but I’ll be excited for a while.

    I hope to see you guys super soon!!! As usual, it’s been too long.

    Comment by Linsey — January 20, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  2. I know the feeling. My new obsession is a way to take down about 1/4 of our kitchen cabinets in an effort to somewhat open up the kitchen to the living room (unfortunately stuck with the wall as a whole since it’s load-bearing and we do still need the cabinet space). I ran it by Tery but she didn’t pay me much mind. I should try that “moaning and crapping on about it” thing more.

    Comment by Eelaine — January 31, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

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