The Next Big Thing

The weather yesterday was absolutely gorgeous. It was so spring-like and inspired many outdoor activities. (Most of them involved shoveling poop.) I so wanted to light a fire in the pit and just sit and watch it burn, soaking up the sun and enjoying the warm breeze, but I may as well join the fire department and call myself Smokey. I couldn't get a fire going to save my life. I blame it on the semi-damp wood, but in reality I'm not a boy scout. (Mental note to self: never attempt arson.) I did get some junk mail torched in the process and that made me feel good.

We even had dinner on the patio. And get this - I grilled pizza! For you long-time semi-professional pizza grillers, please don't laugh at me. I used my Pampered Chef baking stones and put them right on the grill. I was fortunate in that they did not crack. I may or may not try this again. But they burned the crust. I thought they weren't supposed to burn! I think I should write the company about this and demand that they send me coupons for Pizza Hut in retribution.

You've no idea how fun an outdoor pizza oven sounds to me. I saw one in a book. Those darn books, always putting ideas in my head. Now my extra-huge patio isn't good enough. No, now I need a built-in outdoor kitchen. I'm wondering how I'm going to pull this one off. We have the stone (check!), we have a top of the line grill (check!) and I'm willing to do the labor (check!). Here's the catch. I have a husband. We usually argue sorely over things like this. He says there are rules you've gotta follow, like pouring a footer and leveling things. You know, trivial things like that. And usually when we follow his rules we run into a lot of money, which seriously puts a damper on things.


Like the fish pond. That was our big project last summer. We have a backhoe to dig the hole, we have a pool liner to lay in the bottom, and we have a well to fill the pond with. This translated into money spent on pond plants and fish and the big expense of a pump. But we could do that. Until we talked to professionals about it. Those darn professionals, they're the ones that write the books that put all the ideas in my head. And they have rules. Like, you shouldn't use a pool liner to line the pond. All their rules equaled to too much money and lots of "you'll appreciate doing it right the first time" and they convinced my husband it was better to wait until we could afford to do it than just put it in and re-do it later. (Which does sound like a better way, but doesn't do much for instant gratification.) So we are pondless still.

So here's what I'll be doing this winter. I'll be conniving ways to get my outdoor built-in kitchen. I'll be dreaming of this great thing that I need and will set my heart on it, only to have my husband decide that we've gotta follow the rules and I will not only be pondless but built-in kitchen-less next year this time. But you've gotta have dreams.



**Because wonderful people ask, Josh is doing VERY well. He was outside running yesterday. He only has a handful of new pox and may even be able to go back to school tomorrow. I probably could have sent him today but I want to be completely sure he's not contagious. So far, no new outbreaks. But there's a 2 week incubation period and obviously the others weren't exposed to whoever he got it off of. We may have 3 new outbreaks next week, and we may not. Here's hoping it's not!**

23 comments:

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Me too, me too, me too. One of my motivations behind finding a new house is to get an outdoor kitchen. I would live on grilled pizza if it were just a little bit easier to get to my grill.

The experts were right about the pool liner, by the way. I know somebody who did it and they had problems pretty quickly. That said, ebay rocks for pond liners. We're talking less than half the price of the pond store.

Glad to hear Josh is doing well and that he didn't miss out on that weather yesterday. Everybody should have been required to spend an hour outdoors just because.

kimmy said...

I LOVE your outdoor patio. It looks so nice! The weather here is supposed to be in the 50's today! Not typical for January in Maine! I'm not complaining though - it should melt a lot of snow (at the very least what is left on my roof)!

Glad to hear Josh is feeling better!

Kimmy

Flea said...

Kimmy's right - your outdoor patio is beautiful. And I love the professionals on diy.com and hgtv.com. I do all my projects like that. Like you, I love a good project!

Irene said...

I have heard about grilled pizza, I really need to try that!

We are also enjoying the very unseasonable warm weather in Western PA. Isn't today supposed to hit almost 70!? WOW!

Melissa said...

Your patio is beautiful and HUGE. I to would love a kitchen outside but alas I don't have quite as big of a patio and a kitchen would take up to much room.

I'm glad to hear that Josh is doing better. I'll bet you'll be happy when things get back to normal.

linds said...

I'm glad that Josh is feeling better. I'm also very jealous of your large patio, its so nice!

While you guys were enjoying your spring-like weather, we've been hibernating inside, its about 18 degrees out!

Karen said...

Linds, I feel for you guys. I saw the weather front that hit you - egads!!! This is unseasonable to be sure.

I also love our huge patio. The reason it's so immensely large is that we had the pavers given to us as "trash" and didn't know what else to do with them. The whole thing cost us a whopping $70 for the sand to lay underneath. And then our real estate taxes went up considerably because the powers that be noticed that we had a patio. ARRGGHHH!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Are you SURE you don't live in Allegheny County? That sounds so much like a Allegheny kind of tax hike.

Karen said...

BBM - It must be a PA thing. Let me tell you I was hot over that one. Our house was taxed at 50,000 (and appraised at 225,000), and they taxed our patio at 20,000. What the heck?! I wanted to call them on this but feared our house taxes would go up so I'm sitting on my anger and biting my tongue.

Madame Queen said...

Here's hoping NOT! To new outbreaks, I mean.

Man, I'm jealous of your patio. That is awesome. I'm alternately desperate for a new house or just plain sick of looking. Sigh.

kimmy said...

Thanks Karen! Glad to know I am not the ONLY one out there in blogger land!

Kimmy

Kellan said...

Grilled pizza sounds wonderful! So does an outdoor kitchen - I want one too.

Nice back yard you have - great space for an outdoor kitchen - would look great. Take care. Kellan

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Karen--20,000! THAT is ridiculous! The patio is gorgeous and all, but it's not $20,000 gorgeous. I'd put it at around $19,000 gorgeous ;-)

Deb in OPKS said...

I've been eyeballing those all-in-one grills, fridge, etc. but alas, too expensive. Any building/repairs done here are solo by me. My husband is NOT a handy man. I own all the tools and don't allow him near them. He always has an opinion though. I just roll my eyes at him and tell him to go away.

Cecily R said...

I'll just settle for your patio. It's GORGEOUS!

Bluepaintred said...

Pst! Tag, You're It!

As We Sail... said...

So glad Josh is getting better. So glad he didn't get that flesh eating thing. I've got to hand it to you to deal with all that.
That tax on your patio is insane. How much would it be for the outdoor kitchen, and pond?

suburbancorrespondent said...

Won't having a kitchen on your patio make it less relaxing out there? Maybe you shouldn't go ahead with this plan...

Maria said...

I love your patio. It's so big! Eating a grilled pizza on it, sounds great to me!
BTW, I tagged you for a book meme.
Have fun!

Michelle said...

If he's outside running around it sounds like he's doing much better - thank goodness!

I've heard you can grill pizza, but I've never tried it - I don't know about the PC stoneware though! LOL

jayna said...

Everyone else has said it, but really, that is a gorgeous patio space. Though, after spending quite a bit of time at my previous job laying patio stones, I did shudder a bit at the size of it :-)

With out last house, I was quick enough to get all major renovations and improvements - including major yard landscaping - done while the husband was deployed. Then when he came home I got to be like "Surprise, honey! Look what I did for you! Isn't it great!" It's all in how you spin it.

Karen said...

Oooh, all these tags! Thanks for thinking of me, guys. I'm now officially behind on these things. haha

Jayna - it took us a few weeks to get that in, but there's such a sense of accomplishment when you do it yourself. (And a sense of money saved.) I do put in stone and brick walks and paths when hubbs is at work, but there's little I can do in an 8 hour period.

The taxes are a huge concern with both the kitchen and pond. I think my first plan is to plant some tall grasses and shrubs around the place. If they can't see it I may be safe.

Colleen said...

WOW! Love your patio! I keep debating on whether to replace our deck with a patio or to just replace it with another deck. it seems fine for now, but the husband thinks that it's falling apart (along with our fence)...maybe because former owner (and current owners) never put anything on the wood to protect it? nah....