Everything’s cooperating except the weather

It’s the morning of the birthday pool party at the Owlhaven and it is a balmy 58 degrees. Forecasted high: 66. Eek. Maybe we’ll play soccer and blow bubbles instead. But on the bright side, the deck is done and it is a thing of beauty. Like all construction projects, it cost a bit more than I’d hoped– everything altogether, including the pool, was about $1800. But I am feeling pretty confident that the per hour-of-use cost will be pretty low… Thursday, with the temp in the high 60’s the kids were out there an hour and a half. (I know, they’re nuts!)

And finally! I have deck pictures. First to explain a little. Last year we had a smaller pool right in our back yard, and it was kind of a hassle because it basically made the back yard off-limits for the little kids unless there was a big person outside. So we decided to set the pool basically in our front yard, down a hill across the driveway from our house. John built an access ramp straight from the driveway, which combined with the hill and the deck is pretty cool because it gives the pool a little more of an in-ground feel from certain angles. Here’s the view of the pool from the ramp. The ramp has a locking, self-closing security gate– essential with little kids around. You can also see the long bench on the right side of the picture. It is big enough to seat 12!

From the ramp

This next picture looks back toward the house from the furthest corner of the deck. You can see the way the ramp comes down from the driveway. This afternoon we’re pulling our BBQ grill and our picnic tables over onto the driveway by the garage so we can do hot dogs and picnic food. That will be fun even if it is cold for swimming.

From the deck

Here’s the whole pool area from the driveway.
From the driveway

Here’s a little closer view, with the hard-as-nails poppies obligingly adding a colorful flourish. Poppies are awesome. They spread all on their own, and they love drought and neglect

From the poppies

This is the view from my chair! Ahhh! COME ON SUNSHINE!
From my chair


  1. Wow. Beautiful, Mary. Your family is truly going to enjoy that pool this summer…it was money well spent.

    And the poppies! Oh, how I love them. My mother used to grow blue Chinese poppies in Alaska and they got HUGE in the summer…very hearty, but didn’t like the hot climate in Texas, so I could never grow them. 🙁

    Your place is just beautiful. 🙂

  2. It’s awesome, Mary! Gorgeous! And I love the way John tied it into the driveway. The way the deck fits around the pool I’ll bet the adults and teens can get in and out with using the ladder.

    Yup, money well spent. With gas prices the way they are you’ll be able to stay home and get good value for your time and money when it comes to entertaining the kids since school’s out for the summer. Plus you’ll get to enjoy it as well!

    It’s 90º here right now. Wish I could share with you. 🙂

    Tell John, “Good job!”

    Happy Birthday to the birthday kid. 🙂



  3. It all looks wonderful – and must have taken so much hard work.

    Wish I was sitting there now 🙂

  4. Just lovely. Looks great for family fun times and making memories.

  5. OMGoodness, that turned out just beautiful! I am sure your family will enjoy many, many hours of cool family fun through the years. Good job!

  6. Wow! It looks amazing!

    I think the way you built it was perfect, and will be such a blast for you for a long time to come.

    Have fun today, regardless of the weather.

    Wish. I . was. there.

  7. Amazing, and beautiful!

    I hope you guys enjoy it, and that the weather cooperates soon!

    We set up our new waterslide yesterday for our son’s party and everyone had a blast.

    The day before we had to postpone his original party by one day because of a high wind advisory.

    Weather should cooperate for parties.

  8. Wow! That is sensational, Mary. John has done a superb job and it looks perfect!

    I hope it gets warmer soon!

  9. I AM SO JEALOUS!!!! 🙂

  10. Ummm…can I come live at your house????

    What a wonderful deck and pool! And the surroundings are so beautiful! You are blessed!

  11. Wow… looks absolutely wonderful!!! 🙂 I’m sure you’ll make many wonderful memories at that pool!!

  12. Oh my goodness- both the deck and the view from the deck is amazing!!


  13. It looks great! John and you all did a fantastic job!

  14. POPPIES. By the pool. I want to come live there, please.

  15. Mary, it’s beautiful!

  16. wow-it is beautiful and you all built that deck and put the pool together SO FAST!! That woul dhave taken our family 1/2 the summer!! It is supposed to be 98 degrees here tomorrow-I will gladly send some of it your way please!!!

  17. It looks GREAT!

  18. ohKAY – i know i have said a thousand times how talented you (all) are. but C-MON – you guys are amazing!! congrats. it turned out beautifully!! gorgeous!!

  19. WOW!!! The pool looks smashing! We are facing down temps in the high 90″s here in the NC mountains. I sure could use a pool like that. Hope your pool party worked out.

  20. That is beautiful! Thanks for the tip on the poppies. I feel you on the weather, our beach party was cancelled because of rain and cold, but a few days later the hot and humidity made the slip’n’slide party a success. Weather is the worst factor in a birthday party.

  21. Beautiful! I am sure that your family will enjoy the pool all summer long.

    Have fun!

  22. What a beautiful set-up! Y’all did GREAT! I hope it warms up really nicely for you soon…although here in the devil’s armpit we’re hoping for the opposite, esp. Friday at DD’s outdoor wedding, LOL.

    And I LOVE your poppies!

  23. Wow! It looks wonderful! There’s nothing like sitting by the pool and watching your kids happily splash away! And the deck looks like an especially relaxing place for a cool drink and a good book. :o)

  24. I am green with envy. It all turned out amazing! Have fun with it this summer.

  25. Just showed my husband. He is very impressed. But he wants to know if it’s redwood or douglas fir. Do you have to stain it?

  26. jeannie says:

    mary, it is absolutely beautiful. what an oasis you have made for your family. it’s a wonderful, rural landscape to gaze upon from the comfort of that lovely, spacious deck and the water looks verrrry inviting. ENJOY your summer there! Your husband is a talented guy 🙂

  27. Mary that looks great….I like the gate that closes it off so there is not all-time access……Or should I say someone has to break the rules to be in the pool in “off hours”….

    Looks great….

  28. Wonderful! what an investment for a summer of good family fun!

  29. Kathrin from Germany says:

    I love it! It looks wonderful! I am sure the fun will be all worth the money! We only have a little kidy pool – which the dogs took over. I’ll better go change it.

    Kathrin (Germany)

  30. Wow!! That is jsut gorgeous! Very nice work there!

    Can I come over and swim??

  31. That is amazing! The deck is beautiful!! What a great job you all did 🙂 I’m sure it will be well worth it!

  32. Love it! What an amazing deck!