Rocks and hard places

Lavender and stone wall

Life is like a box of chocolates rocks. Moving those rocks is sometimes difficult, often exhausting, and on occasion you end up with bloody knuckles or smashed fingers. Commit to the job and put forth the required effort, and the result is satisfying and — for lack of a better word, pretty!

Sun dial and man with pick ax

We — and I mostly mean he — put forth a great deal of effort to move rocks this weekend. We gathered wayward barn stones that have been laying hither and yon, and started on another wall. It all started with that sun dial … I snatched it up at a local resale shop for $22, pillar and all. I thought it a mighty fine deal. Then came a few hours of pasture mowing in which rocks were unearthed. Somehow it was the perfect storm of outdoor ideas. A new landscape plan was born.

Want to test your communication skills as a couple? Join your spouse in picking and choosing just the right rocks to make a sturdy and somewhat level stone wall. Sometimes it’s as difficult to fit together your opinions as it is the stones in the pile, but we made it work.

Stone wall, pasture and lavender

It’s not perfect but neither is anything else around here. We shoot for rustic and charming around these parts. Speaking of …

Antique shutters with chippy black paint

I picked up these beauties in Carrollton. Aren’t they rustic and charming?

One day while my family roasted hot dogs in the backyard fire pit, I sat pondering the boring state of the back side of my house. There’s a windowless area — just a large cedar-sided two-story section of home sweet home. I made a mental note: it needs something!

So as I was driving through town on Friday, I spotted a couple of these shutters lined up outside an antique shop. Promising to return in a jiffy, I left the kids in the car (yes, I cracked the windows!) and made a beeline for these babies.

Long story short, I’m thinking they will hang nicely on the boring back of my house, providing a more intriguing view while I ponder life’s mysteries from the fire pit. Incidentally, this entire story is beyond my husband’s comprehension. As long as he agrees to hang them on the house, his misunderstanding isn’t really a problem. He’s used to me by now. I credit my fabulous training skills … but back to the stone story.

The hubby agreed that this flowerbed needed a stone border.

Barn stones and split rail fence.

And now, as soon as the Roundup finishes off that errant patch of grass, we’ll get some new gravel for the “parking area” of our driveway. The level-headed man of the house mentioned that we need gravel for the lane much more than we need it by the house. True. But I can’t see the lane from the fire pit.

See my point? I’m not sure he did.

Patio tables and spray paint.

Did you know it’s acceptable to get hammered in the middle of the day?
While Farmguy moved rocks and skidded around on the uniloader, I scraped rusty red paint from this little patio set and then added a new coat of hammered black Rust-Oleum. I also constructed a make-shift patio umbrella stand out of rocks and a flower pot. If it doesn’t fall over in the next strong wind I’ll share a photo!

I’d say it was a pretty productive weekend, all in all. Next weekend we’ll tackle this pile of rocks …

I’m hoping to create stone steps on the hillside behind the house that leads to my fire pit. It’s a terror to mow and if you walk down it in the early morning in flip-flops while the grass is wet, it’s quite likely you’ll slip and slide down the embankment on your arse (especially if you’re being pulled by a lab on a leash that decided to chase the cat).

See! Life really is like a box of rocks. We have to figure out what to do with all of the stones and boulders in our way. And if we can figure out how to turn them into something useful and attractive, we’ve succeeded … even if we’re a little bruised, banged up and sore when we’re finished.

So … what are you doing with your box of rocks?

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.

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