.family. · home improvement · kellan robert · liam gregor

outdoor living

We didn’t let the outrageous heat stop us this weekend. Thanks to our new Intex Ultra swimming pool the boys and I spent the whole weekend playing and finishing projects in the backyard. Please note that I will be using the royal “we” throughout this post as my contribution to the work effort was nothing more than pointing and barking directions.

The boys are absolute fish! They love the pool and have no fear. Seriously, the pool is the only way we can stay outside for extended time.

Liam Gregor
i’m a fish

First, B built the boys a teepee (tipi) using a 12’x15′ cotton drop cloth and some 10′ lengths of conduit hanging around since last year’s garden. We followed ZiggityZoom’s instructions and tucked it in a shady spot in the yard. So far, the boys have shown little interest. Go figure. I think it’s very, very cool.

canvas teepee
next step: paint

Next, with the aid of our neighbor Cullen, B made our reclaimed pallet rolling table. The idea came from Joy Ever After. We ignored all measurements (much to B’s horror) and made do with the materials on hand. The casters are from Lowe’s, but everything else is reclaimed. We used two locking casters and two regular, so the total cost of the project was about $25. Can’t beat that with a stick!

reclaimed pallet table
rolling pallets

We’ve been collecting pallets and crates destined for trash pickup for a month or so now and had the perfect pallet for the table top. We couldn’t find a match for the bottom, so B and Cullen broke up another pallet and crate and recreated a pallet for the bottom. They didn’t bother with L-brackets, just toe-screwed the legs to the top and bottom.

pallet table
perfect size (and price!)

It probably took the guys about two hours start to finish and more than half that time was spent busting up the pallet and crate for the base and looking for long wood screws in the shambles of our garage. I positively love it. It’s the perfect size and the ability to roll it around the yard is sweet. We didn’t do anything to the wood, though I may have B sand off a few of the really rough edges to be sure nobody gets a splinter.

Kellan Robert
cutest helper ever

After all that hard work, a shady spot to rest was in order. So, B hung a hammock using an old 9’x12’cotton drop cloth folded in half and some rope from the (still messy) garage.

shady haven

B followed Tim Anderson’s video on instructables.com. It went up in minutes and can be taken down just as quickly. It’s the perfect size for me, but too small for B. So nice. So, so nice.

Next on the outdoor project list is a picnic bench for the boys. As you can see in the image above, they currently picnic on old plastic milk crates. Surely we can do better than that.

And now for a gratuitous photo.

Liam Gregor
doin’ my best James Dean

The remainder of our weekend was spent testing tiki drink recipes such as:

mai tias
Trader Vic beat Don the Beachcomber


easy and delicious!


Aurora Bora Borealis
i initially liked this, but by the end wasn’t digging it…

Don’t be jealous.


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