Chris and Ruth finished staining the deck tonight - It looks really good, a great shade of red to blend with the red brick of hte house and the warm yellow wood - happy deck. I'm astonished they got from nothing here so fast. There is still some touch up to do and installation of lattices around the bottom of the deck (so nothing can crawl under there and die), and they plan to use left over lumber to build a "cuddle nest" in one back corner of the deck.
Mary, you asked about the deck and the heat and bugs. We probably will be out there more morning and evening than mid day during the summer. It was pleasant at dusk tonight. Liam loves to be outside and we take him out quite a bit, and that is more comfortable on the deck than otherwise. We do have an umbrella table and some shade from the house and Danny's maple. We do intend, and in time, to add fans, a sun sail, and probably a mister system - but can't afford everything at once. We also intend a fire pit for winter. We haven't seen bees on the deck yet, but we probably will. We have seen mosquito's, but Ruth has some kind of lantern with citronella in it that helps a lot, and Bob bought a machine that is now in the back yard that does seem to keep them away. We may move it to the deck or get a second. Right now, already, our red deck improves the quality of out lives even though it is HOT here for the end of May.
Bob was home for the long weekend - very nice and will be home for the summer Friday. We've been talking about how to make it as good as we can to be a family of five full time in our home - exciting and I'm sure it will be challenging too. One good thing to report, is that the dogs are already calmer around each other, can sleep in the same room, though Lobo still runs if Duffy approaches (and yes, Duffy is much smaller than Lobo and utterly not fierce!).