DIY diva

Summer Days

September 21, 2016 | 25 Comments | Uncategorized
DIY diva

Summer might be drawing to a close, but we’re still having wonderful weather in Michigan, and you’d have a tough time luring me back into the house for indoor projects just yet.

I’m focusing more on chores and maintenance (and enjoying my time outdoors) rather than big projects right now, but I expect to have one more big outdoor project push to get things done before winter.


The clematis I started in spring bloomed recently, and I already love it. Can’t wait to see it once it starts growing over the top of the pergola in the next year or two.


For most of the summer I’ve been surrounded on all sides by 6-foot tall wall of corn, which has made the farm seem more like an isolated little slice of paradise than usual.

Earlier this year I made a few upgrades to my patio as well. For the first two years in this house I just had some old patio furniture tossed out there…


Then last year I finally bought an outdoor sectional and built a concrete-topped patio table…


And this year I added some color and created more of a “space” by getting a bunch of planters and filling them with grasses…


(I also changed up the color scheme a bit.) It feels a lot more finished now…


And it’s a much more inviting space.


(The cat agrees.)

I also had an old hand-me-down gas grill that caught on fire one night (literally melted the hose to the propane tank in two, so that’ll make your life flash before your eyes for a minute) and I decided to replace it with a charcoal grill. One of unexpected benefits of my new charcoal grill was that with the simple addition of a Kettlepizza kit, the whole thing turns into a wood-fired pizza oven.




“Pizza oven” has been on my list for a few years, but I always thought it was going to take several weekends with some bricks and a trowel. I had to wrestle with letting myself do it the “easy way” a bit, and then I realized that this is quicker, just as fun/delicious…


And it leaves more time for hanging out with people and actually enjoying the farm.


Wood-fired pizza parties are a real thing around here these days.

As are bonfires. Not just at night, but sometimes in the morning when s’mores for breakfast seems like a good idea…


And, when I posted that last pic on Instagram it sparked the excellent suggestion to use toasted marshmallows as shot glasses for Bailey’s…



I also picked up a new hobby this summer that doesn’t (usually) involve shots of Bailey’s…


Anybody else slackline? Its basically, well, a line… with some slack in it… that you walk on. And, sometimes, fall off of.


I’m so graceful.

It’s actually a great workout and a hell of a lot of fun. I try to hop on the line for a few minutes every day as the sun sets. It’s a great way to both literally and figuratively find some balance in my life…


And now with the slackline, the archery/axe target I made back in spring, and this new addition back out in the field…


…the farm is basically an adult playground.

It’s a little hard to turn off the guilt I’ve cultivated over years of house renovations that tells me during any free minute I have I should be working on the house. Even though the endgame has always been to create a place that I enjoyed living in, and not just to live in an endless cycle of projects…. it’s still a hard habit to break.


But after a decade of increasingly larger projects I’m finally stepping back a bit to enjoy the fruits of my labor. (Sometimes literally.) And it’s pretty sweet.


DIY diva


  • cricket

    Awesome, awesome, awesome <3

  • opera

    Very nice! Does your donkey work? Like plough fields or anything?

  • Deborah

    totally beautiful; I’ve always wanted to build a swing chez moi. Enjoy your gorgeous house.

  • Janine

    Hi Kit, So pleased you are taking time to breathe and just enjoy these moments in your life. Working on projects sometimes is a habit hard to break.
    The last days of summer are such a gift.
    Regards Janine

  • Patty

    As I started reading your post today my first thought was “she is so calm!” Glad to see you are stepping back and enjoying all of your hard work. Your dreams have become your reality!

  • Lou

    A couple more attractions and you could start charging admission.

  • Karen Anne

    By coincidence, I was reading about pizzas yesterday on Claus Meyer’s page on facebook in a post from about a day ago. The onion and pear one sounds really interesting. Trader Joe’s used to have a pizza with pears years ago but they discontinued it.

    • Kit

      One of my new favorites (pictured) is garlic butter with gouda, thyme, and drizzled with honey! So many good combos.

  • Patricia Miller

    I’ve never heard of those KettlePizzas before! I’m definitely going to have to check into that.

  • Lou

    Awesome :) Can you make a tutorial for the swingset? I need to build one just like for my son in the backyard.

  • Reenie

    Gas/propane grills scare the heck outa me. Love my charcoal grill. Yours is kewel with the pizza oven. It’d be very hard for me to come inside with a place likes yours. Love it!

  • Margaret

    What a beautiful spot you have created. Your patio looks delightful.
    I am always suspicious of those who are, “all work”, and I am so glad you have been able to slow down, a bit.

  • Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    S’mores for breakfast is something I find hard to image, on the other hand the pizza oven sounds like such a truly wonderful idea…Love the changes to the patio.

  • Nine Dark Moons

    love all the pictures in this post. beautiful area you live in, for sure!

  • Kit's Mom

    Laughing at the question about the donkeys working….picturing them plowing fields. Actually, they are just pets. Fun, gentle animals. :)

  • Taylor

    I love how you included so many pictures. It really shapes up the article, and makes it all seem so fun!

  • Patti

    Livin’ the dream, baby!

  • Donna

    We’re on our way!

  • Steph

    Perfect! This weather has been awesome we’ve been having…breathing as much of it in as I can.

  • Vanessa

    In case you’re ever interested in building a cob oven for bread/pizza… this was an excellent tutorial to spring board from.

    Keep enjoying all your hard work,it’s makes the down time so much more worthwhile.

  • Sam

    I love wood fired pizza…My favorite.. those photos looks stunning.. Thanx for sharing.cheers

  • Alberta

    That swing reminds me very much of my childhood. Lovely home.

  • Linda Schombert

    Miss your posts…19 days and counting…soon?? Pretty please?

  • Jack Conway

    Love the views and swing…great add. Donkey plow ~ LOL nah, build a kit designed little mini wagon ,complete with pulling harness, reins etc. wagon rides around the farm for little ppl. It would take much training for sure but so novel. Great views… Great time of year…Enjoy your hard work Kit….


  • Pergola

    Awesome blog post Kit! Did you build that wood pergola yourselves? Looks great! I love the open country setting as well! We build pergolas in SoCal so I had to comment! -Ryan

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