Monday, May 14, 2012

Please Don't Judge Me... (A.K.A. The Deck)

Well. it's been ten days since D-day and this morning the dumpster left us, packed about as full as we possibly could pack it. We actually finished the yard clean-up on Sunday, after an AMAZINGLY productive weekend. We had a couple of other projects that we wanted to get into the dumpster too, and we managed to get all of it in there. I promised you pictures, both before and after, and I'm delivering.

OK, I'm delivering with fear and trepidation because as you will see, it was bad, bad, bad, and by posting these pics, I'm admitting that we lived with this. What you're seeing is stuff that was ruined when our basement was partially flooded, the old kitchen, some other construction projects, and stuff from the former owner. 

So without further adieu, I give you.... *deep breath* The Deck.


Here is the "before"

Ugh. So awful.

You can see the deck is leaning to one side.

More junk, this was from the bramble patch beside the house.

And more junk. Most of this pile was stuff from flood damage.

More backyard junk from the former people.

Oh, The Horror!!!


Here is our salvation! This baby holds three tons of crap! Hallelujah!

Isaac and I added a few things Friday evening, it was cold and rainy so we didn't do to much. We did find this though.

That's a rifle that was under the deck. It belonged to the former owners. I know nothing about guns, so I called the police (on the non-911 line) to have them come out and take it. I told the officer that if he came out here, it would be a pellet gun and if he didn't it would be an AK-47. It was a pellet gun. We've found that police officers seem to enjoy non-emergency, non threatening interactions with the public. Both of the officers (the first forgot to mention that the he'd been here so an hour later another officer arrived) were, uh, impressed (?) by the amount of work we had to do. The first guy liked my "To Blave" license plate. Cool.

At the end of the first day, this is what we managed to get into the dumpster. Pathetic.


The morning of day two things looked like this:

There are some bare patches where we got some things cleared out.

 No, that is not entrails, that is a braided rug that the former owners threw in the swamp.

 I took some pics from the bathroom window so you can see what I had to look at everyday...

Things are looking a little clearer now...

By our mid morning break we had this much filled:

After lunch, it looked like this:

Here it is the afternoon:

And here are the same views from the bathroom window that afternoon.

Much better!

By the end of the evening we had managed to get the deck partially apart:

Here's the dumpster when we called it a night.

Wow huh?


Let's start with some pics of the deck.

Originally we were going to recycle the deck into raised beds for our garden, but after we started taking things down we realized that it was rotten... and also pressure treated so that was out the window.

Over the rest of the day, Hun removed the deck with a sawz-all. He's a big, strong guy :-)

Lucie being a great helper... in her PJ's.

We're almost done now...

And something pretty to end the day. It was over by the foundation and it was spared.


The junk is gone... That's the burn pit, it seems to be a regular feature of Central Maine backyards. We're going to be putting fill in that and covering it with grass, because, you know, we don't need a burn pit. We did find a nice bedstead in the burn pit. Yep, classy.

OK, that post is still back there.

 The burn pit again, we put some of the rotten wood without nails in it to start to fill it.

Hun and I shoved those stairs down from the corner of the house to under the back door. Actually, Hun most of the shoving, I just pushed and made grunting sounds so I appeared to be doing something.

There it is! Now it just looks like we have a really destructive dog who likes to dig. On the left, we need to rebuild the bulkhead. We'll be adding a brand new deck, shutters, some fresh paint, and a french door. That's a little ways down the road though. Right now we're going to turn it into lawn and enjoy the lack of junk!


We were doing a couple of other projects last week so we could fully take advantage of the dumpster. I'm going to show you the other projects this week.

Phew. That was nerve-wracking but it's out there now... Be kind!!!

See you tomorrow,


  1. Hoo-rah!! Nice job!! Now just be sure to wear shoes out there. You don't want to find a rusty nail the same way you found that tack. ;)

  2. That is awesome! I love real-true-to-life before and afters. It looks so clean and tidy now! That sounds like really satisfying work you've done! Yay! You've inspired me. I might even take some before-and-afters of the rooms in our house, especially the one we're doing next!

  3. I LOVE progress like that! Way. To. Go!! : D

  4. Way to go. What a great job you all did. Well done, it must feel so much better now to have it done. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Wow! I'm SO TOTALLY IMPRESSED! I'm also really glad you took us through the whole process: the deep, dark and dirty process. Because look at how much you got done! And how amazing it looks now! Bravo to all of you, and Lucie in her PJs too!

  6. I'm totally in awe of the progress you made in three days. I will admit, I shuddered at the sight of all that junk. BUT, looking at the final photo, I am letting out a great big sigh of relief (and satisfaction) for you. :-) Well done!

  7. Thank you everyone!!! It's this HUGE weight off my shoulders, as you can probably imagine. We were just staying out of the backyard so we wouldn't have to deal with it. I keep going out there just to look at it. It's still not pretty, but it's tidy. I'll take it!

    Don't feel bad Michelle, we shuddered a lot too :-)

  8. Impressive! I admit I shivered when seeing the first pictures - amazing you managed to clean that all up in three days. Way to go, Heather!

  9. Hello Heather, I'm so happy for you! Remember when you didn't want to have people over? Well now, you can, and feel relaxed and joyful about visiting.

    That junk must have been such a weight on your shoulders, knowing you had to tackle it, but not yet, not yet. And now it's finished! Hooray! You did it. Enjoy the peace that comes from your accomplishment.

  10. Thanks guys! Noreen, it was SO BAD. I really think that there's a correlation between physical junk in your environment and mental stress and junk. Removing the physical junk does an amazing job of removing the mental stuff. For me anyway.

  11. Great job! So much work, be very proud of yourselves! I hope that "removing the physical junk does an amazing job of removing the mental stuff" will give you lots of energy to tackle your other projects. Remember this victory - you can do the rest too!

    I threw out my old sofa yesterday and put the new second hand sofa in place. That was a little bit of a relief. I still have a lot of junk to get rid of and organizing to do. Slowly.

    Love Maria


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