IT’S been a week since I last sat down to try and put pen to paper about the house — but my reluctance stems not only from my lack of consistent photographic documentation of our progress, but laziness in general.

I keep forgetting to pick up the camera, and I’ve made it a point to plonk the heffer somewhere so it’s always in plain sight and serves as a reminder for me to shoot something! But Brendan likes to hide stuff in the pantry when he decides it doesn’t belong out on the kitchen counter or dining table. So yes, I blame him for the lack of photos of when all my friends come around because he goes into this cleaning frenzy while I cook and alas, no photos are taken. 🙁

Anyway, besides that, I’ve also been roped in to help Brendan out around the house so the camera doesn’t get much time in my hands either. Most of the work now is on him — lots of manual labour in the garden and hard slog with power tools, neither of which I’m very adept at. I do my best, but my strengths lie in designing each space and I dare say I’m better at it than Mr “Let’s just put grass everywhere” Jennings. Haha…

Anyway, we’ve been busy creating a paved area and a digging pit for the dogs outside the laundry door where their doggie door is installed. We have already put up not one, but three temporary gates in doorways around the house to confine the dogs (mostly the new pup Shadow). This means the dogs have already been limited indoors to the laundry when we’re not home, but we want to get them used to only roaming their designated area when we’re out of the house.

Brendan working on the final paving edge:

But beyond paving, we had to deal with where a future “garden bed” will go as well. It was never going to be a real garden bed (obviously because the dogs would do it no favours) so we did the next best thing and laid gravel in the bed.

Building the cypress edging for the garden bed:

Me doing my bit:

And the finished product that Brendan completed the next day when I was at work:

In future, we will position potted plants along the length so they can be removed if the dogs are tempted to destroy them, and the gravel should discourage from digging. At the moment, they have a sandy pit they can dig in although they haven’t used it much.

As you can see, we’ve only just begun work on the outside and we’ve got a long way to go!