You think I’d learn by now:  There are NO small projects in our house. Say it again…there are NO small projects in our house.

“Hey, Mark, we should get the boys a swingset for Christmas…” As the words left my lips, I tried to reach out and grab them back out of the air. Too late. Mark turned his head slowly towards me. Oh, no…he had that “look” in his eyes. That “I-bet-I’d-have-to- buy-at-LEAST-17-new-tools-for-a-project-like-that!” look. Oh, God…what have I done? I thought I was safe. It’s been almost a year since we’ve moved from our 120 year old, Victorian fixer-upper/money-pit in LA to our 8 year old, everything works/it ain’t broke, so stop touching it home in Celebration.  An entire year without sanding drywall and finding that dust in places we won’t begin to discuss here. An entire year without tiling, grouting , plumbing and peeing at my neighbors…again.  This year of peace had lulled me into a false sense of security. I mean, it was JUST a little swingset, right?  Wrong.  It’s never JUST a little anything when it comes to projects because little  projects grow up to be big projects…within seconds of mentioning them! We got a surround sound theater/wide screen TV because I asked Mark to hang a picture. It’s kinda like six degrees of separation: “If we’re going to hang a picture on the wall we need to find a stud. To find a stud we have  to drill some holes in the wall. If we do that, we might as well run some wires in that wall for surround sound. If we do all that, we might as well get that wide screen TV we’ve been talking about.” (WE?) Picture=holes=wires=speakers=new TV. 

So, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Where can he go from a swingset?” Oh ye of little faith! Watch this: “A swingset, huh? Great idea! But if we’re going to put in a swingset, we really should put a french drain back there because the rain really collects back there. If we put in the drain, we might as well grade the yard to direct the rain into the drain. And while we have the yard all dug up, we might as well put in a new sprinkler system. I’ve been thinking, if we’re going to put in the new sprinkler, we better put in that patio we were discussing. And since the patio will go up to the garage, we better build that 6 ft. planter box so the patio can go right up to it and we can run the sprinkler heads up in it too. You wouldn’t want to have to hand water the plants, would you? So now that we’re putting in a patio, we better install the gutters so the rain water will be directed towards the new drain. We need to paint the house before the gutters can be installed because it’s really hard to paint around gutters.” And he said all that in one breath. Recap: Swingset=drain=sprinklers=patio=planter box=gutters=new paint job. 

My little used swingset that I found on Craig’s list for $650. is costing us $19,000.

This was my backyard before the "swingset"
This was my backyard before the “swingset”
This is the destruction of the yard part of the "swingset" install.

Apparently, this is what you have to do to your yard to install a "swingset"!

This is the patio/planter box part of the "swingset" installation
This is the patio/planter box part of the “swingset”.

 I will admit that the patio is pretty awesome. We’ve been playing in the yard more in the past 2 months of construction than we have in the past year combined and the swingset isn’t even up yet! It’s my fault, really. I guess when I say, “We should get the boys a swingset for Christmas.” I should specify WHICH Christmas!