Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is polished concrete slippery?

Yes. That's one fast ride!
I thought I was going to have to wax the cement.... nope. It's plenty fast! I promise I'll work on my tan (and my blubbery waist-line!)

And maybe a little scary...
That thing's steeper than a 45-degree angle and the turn at the bottom isn't really banked enough so yeah.. the first few times it's a little scary.

We have yet to officially name the slide, but "Rummer's Revenge" and "Lava Luge" are the favorites.

Also in the running is "Gresham Glockenspiel" I know a glockenspiel is a xylophone-like thingie but it's fun to yell "To the Glockenspiel!" Have a better name idea? Please let us know!

The Wisteria must DIE...

The huge wisteria on the back fence belongs to our neighbor. BUT it grows on our side of the fence... right above the pool. We waited for it to bloom before we made any trimming decisions. It has been neglected for years. Some of the branches are 2-3 inches thick! The blooms were pretty, but few. And when the breeze picked up... all the petals and leaves fell into the pool. What a mess.

Final decision: it's gotta go. Well, at least trim it back to the fence.

You can just see the end of the slide peeking out from under the wisteria. I think it would have been fun to go ripping down the slide through all those branches, but probably not a smart liability risk. The pool was almost filled up. See the dry concrete... when wet it's a murky, black bottom pool. Adds to the mystery, huh? -Steve

The part along the main fence was easy to reach with a ladder. But the area above the waterfall and slide was a little tricky. Steve got creative and a little daring!

Notice the branches growing through the teeny spaces between the fence boards. That thing hadn't been trimmed in a looooong time. -Steve

The big clump falls into the top pond of the waterfall. Hey, we have a slide!

No I'm not on my way down. I'm just trying to reach the errant branches to snip 'em off. Max is in the water waiting to catch twigs as they slide down the slide. -Steve

And... and waterfall.
The first few trickles. Once it gets going, there's quite a rumble. Well, maybe not a rumble, but it's louder than I thought it would be. -Steve

First, clean up... then we can play!

The dried up wisteria petals were like paper mache stuck to the upper pool... fun. -Steve

Nice Hang-time Max!

The pool's only about 5-feet deep, so no Wide World of Sports cliff diving re-enactments. I touched the bottom with my bottom on this cannonball. This is also a nice view of the roofline of the poolhouse. -Steve

DD and cousin Jarom with a tandem leap!

Art for art's sake. Nice shot!

The Burning Bush

Our backyard neighbor just sold their house... yes, it's a Rummer too (1 of 4 in our neighborhood.) They put it on the market Friday and it went pending Sunday (with multiple offers.) We did get a chance to go to the open house. Amazing. And the yard was so tidy... trees trimmed, fresh bark spread. All very nice. Then we come home to our yard. What a mess.

Motivated, we launch into pruning the overgrown front yard. The focal point is a very old Japanese Maple, but it just looks like a big red bush. Steve crawled under the tree to assess its health and his trimming strategy. From under the tree he starts talking to me (in an almighty tone)... I swear it was just like the burning bush scene in the movie, The Ten Commandments!

There was about a cord of old, dead branches under there. And don't tell Haley, but I have NO idea what to cut and where. I was totally faking it, but I guess it turned out just fine. -Steve

Steve cuts out the dead branches and then trims up the limbs to create an umbrella. We can finally see the trunk. Very cool twists and turns. It is at least 30 years old. It still needs some thinning and shaping, but overall it looks much better and will work for now. We have so much yard... and ivy everywhere. The debris piles are growing!

I wish I would have taken a shot with my face showing here. I think it looks like the world's biggest toupe. that would have been funny. -Steve

Much nicer, yes? -Steve