But the outdoor kitchen was the really big project. My cousin, Jim, gave us some suggestions for how we could lay it out. Then, our friend Larry, an engineer with a major architectural firm, made some changes to the design and produced construction drawings for the project. Not only that, he helped John supervise the work and put in a lot of hands-on time himself. We couldn’t have done it without him.
When we return in the fall, we still need to install lighting in the outdoor kitchen and update the patio furniture, etc., so stay tuned later this year to see how it all comes together.
There was only one more major project we undertook this spring. It wasn't related to our Austin home, but to the family farm east of Hamilton, TX. John spent quite a bit of time researching "skid steers." That piece of equipment is a "bobcat" with a tree shear on the front. We, along with my brother and all our children, will use one at the farm to clear ash juniper, commonly known as cedar. These invasive evergreens cover large areas of Texas, slurping up water that could grow native grasses and spewing out quantities of pollen to which many are highly allergic. Removing some of them will alleviate those problems, as well as provide better habitat for the endangered black-capped vireo.
Just before we left, our skid steer was delivered to the farm. Here it is being unloaded.
When we return this fall, you'll get to see photos of what it can do.