The Ugliest Backyard Makeover

As if the repairs on the Dudley House that I wrote about here weren’t enough, I just had to start thinking and dreaming about the backyard.  My dream for the backyard is to be a place of relaxation and beauty.  A place for the dogs to run and people to gather.

backyard dream

If I could do half the things I think I can do, then I would be amazing.  Alas, I can’t, but that doesn’t stop me from starting projects.  I call this project The Ugliest Backyard Makeover.  You can find it on Instagram at #ugliestbackyardmakeover.

The Dudley House is in an area of town where houses have very small yards.  I see people mow all of their grass in less than ten minutes with a push mower.  As the 1928 original farmhouse before dividing, it has a big yard, bigger than any others that I have seen in the neighborhood.

As I was visualizing a pool, expansive deck and lush landscaping, the pictures below are what my camera was capturing.




backyard 3

backyard 2


The Dudley House

The Dudley HouseBack in January, I posted about finding a house in Lexington, the perfect house.  I ended the post by saying that I would be sharing with you all the makeovers in the coming months.  I had in mind sharing cute decorating, ways of making the house warm and inviting, etc.  Bet that’s what you were thinking too.  It’s been a long and tiring journey to get to that place, but five months later, I’m almost there.

When I looked at the Dudley House (By the way, I named it.  I just think that houses need names, don’t you?), I saw the perfect house.  It’s small, but very open with lots of natural light.  It needed some things done, but nothing seemed overwhelming.  What was I thinking?  Here it was the beginning of tax season, and this was basically my need/problem to do list:

  • No back door, only plastic
  • Walls removed from back porch/mudroom
  • Broken basement windows
  • No way to open/close door to side porch
  • Dishwasher pulled out and disassembled
  • HVAC duct work removed
  • Baseboard removed in random spots throughout
  • Trim removed from windows
  • Screen ripped off screened in porch
  • Door to basement missing
  • Neither toilet functioning
  • Large area of side porch roof missing
  • Electrical system ungrounded
  • Several windows ready to fall out
  • Broken light fixtures
  • Hardwood floors downstairs needing refinishing

I thought it would be no problem.  Had I realized what a job that I was facing, the sensible thing to do would have been to hire a general contractor and had them do it all.  Instead, it was an exhausting several months with numerous individual contractors.  No, it isn’t all done yet, but it’s getting closer.  I’ll be sharing some of the interior soon.  In the meantime, here are a few pics that I took before the work began.

back porch

Fire place

front door

half bath

inside front door



side porch



Out of the Fog – a BIG Step

Last August as I was struggling to figure out what my life would look like in the coming days, “something” came to me.  It was a simple thought.  You need to live in Lexington.  Simple as that.  But not so simple for me.  Rooted describes how I live in a place.  Henry County has been my home for 37 years.  That’s a lot of roots!

I can’t describe the weight of that simple thought.  It had enough pull that I gave it my attention.  There are lots of good reasons for Lexington.  But I’ve lived in the country for the last 37 years!  I have a son and granddaughter there, but then I have a son and two grandsons in Henry County.  There are places to eat, things to see and do.  My business is based in Henry County and Louisville.  At my age I can attend the University of Kentucky at absolutely no charge.  I can sit in my backyard and hear nothing but the birds and critters.  As foreign as it sounded to me, I needed to step out of my solitude.  Wherever that thought came from, I needed it.

A plan formed.  I would find a small house in Lexington, and for the time being, I would live both places.  I would work in Henry County and play in Lexington.  People have second homes, although they are usually by the ocean, or a lake, or in the mountains.  My vacation home would be in the city.The Dudley HouseMy house in the city – The Dudley House.  It was hard to find, and has been a journey making it livable.  I rang in the New Year in the Dudley House.  Well, if you can call being asleep long before midnight ringing in.  Soon I’ll be telling you all about it and sharing photos of the makeover things I’ve done.  Can I see the future clearly?   Of course not, but there’s a twinkle in my eyes.