"Our house... in the middle of our street..."

Or; "How I spent my summer vacation..."

(and 3 years pay-- so far! LOL!)

Updated: September 2005

    Oh, what a difference a few years can make! Life has been very full since the pre 9-11 days of the last update to this page. There have been some major changes. In 2004 I lost Cindy to a tragic circumstance. Ten months later in 2005, I found Lyn. There will be new photos added here, and the text will be re-edited a bit. The page might get long enough to have to split into smaller sub-pages. I might see about getting something similar to the Aphelion Photo Gallery instead of making this page a monster. The future is as of yet unwritten.

Original Page:

This series of photos purports to show what I've been up to since October of '98. As regular readers of Aphelion already know, that was when I sold my much-hated mobile home and bought a house in the country. I've often been so burdened with yardwork-- and in the early months, moving in --that I've neglected the Zine at times. Usually four times a year now, in fact, as I get four weeks vacation from the factory each year. Each vacation gives me more time to throw myself into a series of jobs that end up with the yard looking better. Then there are just those things that have to be done "right then" that seem to pile up too.

The first photos are straight from the appraiser's paperwork from when I bought the house. These photos helped convince the mortgage company that the house and 1.2 acres of land were worth $50 thousand. They convinced me that I needed to buy a lawn-tractor, weedeater, roto-tiller, wheelbarrow, and a new shovel.

  1. The view from the street... 1998

    This is what it looks like from the road. "A small thing, but mine own..." as I said to my lady last night. Still, I'm rather proud of it. The photo is crooked, the house does not actually lean to the right. 1200 sq.ft. of space, one bathroom, no garage, no deck, almost no flowers. Boy, does this place need work.

  2. The back of the house...

    showing the disreputable shed that needs to be (has been, now a days) torn down. I plan to salvage the roof of that shed however, because both it and the house were re-roofed only two months before I bought the place. The shed roof will someday be the roof over the back door, covering a screened-in porch and leading to a deck- both of which remain to be built.

  3. Moons Grove Church Rd.
    Facing southeast, with the house to your right. What can you say about a road? It just goes ever on and on, out from the door where it began... so to speak. Notice the kudzu in the first two photos, the the lack of kudzu in the last photo. Proof that I do occasionally work.

  4. The backyard
    With the yard mown and greened up, it doesn't look too bad. The pic on the left is a little dark, but I didn't want to bleach it out too much. This is the oldest pic I've put online and was taken about a year before I bought the house. This first pic, by the way, wound up as an illo in one of my stories. The center is the uncropped original photo, but I've brightened up the exposure to show off the kudzu as it was. The third pic is just more of the same. Obviously, I had (and still have) my work cut out for me. Much of the kudzu is gone, much more will go this fall when the summer ban on outdoor burning is lifted in the county where I live.

  5. The front of the house...
    The first pic is facing north, with the most fragrant cow pasture in the distance. The family next door breed cattle for a living. They have several pastures next door. Part of the reason my back yard looks so green is because of the rain run-off from the pastures. There's a lot of free fertalizer that washes down into my yard. The grass has to be mown there every week while the front yard can go for two weeks without mowing. The second pic shows the house from the street, but this time there are flowers and shrubs blooming.

  6. View from the porch
    Overlooking future flowerbeds, as well as parking spaces. Since the first pic was snapped, I've gotten five flowerbeds in this area. Iris, Lillys, Leriopia, Daffodils, Yellow Jonquils, ferns, Aloe, Scottish Heather, and others. Wait 'til I get those pics developed and you'll see what survives here. In the meantime, at least the third pic shows some of my Tiger Lillys blooming.

  7. Photomosaic of the backyard, after weeks of work.

    I stitched three photos together to show what can be accomplished by two rednecks armed with a swingblade, a case of beer, and too much free time. My friend and I cut a huge swath through the kudzu, burning it as fast as we could lop it down. The trick is to keep cutting it back with the lawnmower so that it doesn't ever take over again. Everything beyond the greenest grass was covered in kudzu over five feet tall. Much more was hanging in the trees until we pulled it down and burned it. We cleared a section 10 feet wide and 60 feet long... pretty much with just hand tools.

    Photomosaic of the backyard, after 13 months of work.

    There are seven photos stitched together here. Notice in this one how the shed has been added and the vines moved further back. There is now almost half again as much usable backyard as there was when I moved in.

    Photomosaic of the backyard, after 18 months of work.

    This is a three photo-wide view and shows how the kudzu has been kept back as well as even more ground cleared.

  8. The south end of the house.

    Notice that there aren't any windows in the end of the house. What's up with that? The builder skimped on windows on both ends of the house. This area was crying out for landscaping, which will be shown in a future update. This is a winter photo, that's why everything looks so dead and brown.

    More of the south end of the yard. This series shows details of the rock wall that I built with stones found in the yard. This wall will be moved later-- in a couple of years.

  9. Closer to the parking.

    More future flowerbeds.

  10. The Cactus Garden
    First looking west from the parking area, then looking east from the other end of the Cactus Garden.

  11. Photomosaic of the south yard.

    Winter photo again... I ought to stitch #8 to this one as they cover some of the same ground.

  12. More back yard...
    In the distance you can see my neighbor's yard. I own up to the large, vine-covered trees in the forground. As you can tell by the abundance of kudzu, these are early photos.

  13. Looking northward along the road.

    You can see the entire parking area past the concrete driveway.

  14. The future home of my own bar.
    What would be a dining room is in the embryonic stages of becoming a nice bar. Everyone needs to relax after a long day at work. Left is the earlier stage, on the right is what the bar looks like so far.

  15. The entertainment center...

    that I built myself a few years ago. You can see the videos, record albums, stereo, TV, and so forth.

  16. Dining room

    Mostly focusing on the fridge, LOL! Note the Mr. Spock Heineken poster on the fridge door. That was moved to the door of the dorm fridge that sleeps behind the bar.

  17. Master bedroom...

    featuring a waterbed and a couple of swords. Incidentally, my friend said he was worried about me-- because out of the dozen or so swords I own, one was refered to as "the bedroom sword..." I haven't the foggiest idea what's so odd about that. There's also a Tommygun and an army .45 close at hand in the bedroom. Needless to say, burglars need to look for someone else's home to break into.

  18. My Office!

    From here I decide the fate of countless groveling writers... and surf endless websites. The seat of the vast Aphelion multi-national, pan-dimentional, conglomerate of a publishing empire- this simple, uncluttered desk will shortly become a disorganized mess. Proof of that statement to follow in a future update. From this room escapes the witless meanderings of your demented Senior Editor. "They never understood me at the university."

  19. The Kitchen

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