Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Lollie Weeks

Lollie Weeks is the writer-photographer behind The Fortuitous Housewife. A transplanted Southern Californian, she chronicles life in the quaint Boston suburb she now calls home, her culinary adventures, her commitment to raising two curious eaters, and her struggles to overcome her Attention Deficit Disorder's challenges and maximize its gifts. She and her ADD crave order and organization, necessities when you live in a very small 1900s home. She's constantly battling the clutter and dirt that comes with living with two active boys (7 and 9) and their perpetual parade of friends, a not-so-bright and prodigiously shedding border collie, and her oh-so-patient husband.

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  • Photo: Lollie Weeks
  • The broken down jungle gym we inherited when we moved into our house and the play boat my oldest son got for his first birthday (eight years ago) had not seen any real play action in almost two years. My boys have grown up and their outdoor fun has moved on to riding bikes or scooters, playing sports, and water gun battles.

    So I decided it was time for the backyard to get a little more grown-up, too!
  • Photo: Lollie Weeks
  • I knew just want I wanted to do with the backyard—transform it into an outdoor living space for the whole family to enjoy.
  • Photo: Lollie Weeks

    One warm morning, I decided it was time to start the renovations. After a few hours of teamwork and tools, the play area was a blank dirt canvas!

    The dirt patch was begging for some new, lush grass. So we headed to our local garden center to pick up some seed.

    I waited not-so-patiently for the grass to grow long enough for mowing, and as soon as the first mowing was done, I was out setting up tables and chairs.

    For a while I was thrilled with my new shady haven! Many a morning I could be found sitting in a chair sipping my coffee before the get-ready-for-the-day rush commences or in the afternoon catching my breath before the frenzy of homework and dinner preparation.

  • Photo: Lollie Weeks
  • One evening, while standing at my kitchen sink washing the supper dishes, I gazed out the window and thought, "There's something not quite right yet."

    It was lovely out there, but it was WAY too green. My lovely new haven was crying out for some color!
  • Photo: Lollie Weeks
  • But my world is still full of dirt-lovin' boys rampaging about, so everything needs to durable and affordable.

    Some pretty flowers and vibrant pillows were just what the doctor ordered. I was lucky enough to find a striped market umbrella that perfectly matched my striped pillows! 
  • Photo: Lollie Weeks
  • All that was missing was the much anticipated hammock—my main selling point when I first broached the subject of jungle gym eradication with the boys. 

    Now, the whole family loves our revamped backyard. The boys play games, read books, watch movies (on the laptop), and snuggle with Mama on breezy summer afternoons. It's perfect!

    But, as is all too often the case, I already have a list of additions developing in my head for next year. Number one on my list is a new dining set. (You can see some more of my picks in the sidebar.)

    I guess it's time to start saving my pennies! But for now, I'm savoring family time and quiet time in our shady backyard oasis.
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