It’s Coming Together

Posted On June 16, 2007

Filed under Garden, Home, Shopping

Comments Dropped 6 responses

Now that the dilapidated patio has been torn down, I’ve been shopping for dumpster/trash-hauling services. I’ve also been keeping an eye out for plants and furniture for the soon-to-be-revamped space. Honey has not been clued into my plans, so most of my discussions have been with the boys.

Early on, I picked out the main piece of furniture for the patio:

I’m not sure if my husband will like it — he’s been kind of “meh” when I’ve pointed out similar pieces in the past — but it meets all of my criteria for the space, namely that it seat two people and be kind of a lounging chair. I’ve put off buying it, however, because the price was a bit steep.

Until today.

I noticed that my least-favorite retailer had marked down its patio furniture. In some cases, the markdowns were really good. I stopped by one store last night but could not find the lounger. After dropping off Gar at Temple this morning, I swung by a different store. Score! Original price: $179. Clearance price: $87.

Josh and I managed to drag it into the storage room, where it’s hidden in the corner away from prying husband eyes. If the weather holds out this week, we’ll get the rest of the work done on the patio and then start making it purty. Just in time for the hottest part of the summer.

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Like a Bird

Posted On June 12, 2007

Filed under Garden, Travel

Comments Dropped 6 responses

I woke up this morning, fired up the MacBook and checked my email, finding the weekly fare sale bulletin from AirTran. Now, most of the time I ignore these emails; there are five of us and pretty much everywhere we want to go, we’ll drive. Lately, though, I’ve been almost obsessive in watching for deals because Honey and I are planning an anniversary trip.

This will be our first vacation sans kids since the baby was born (she’ll be three in October), and will mark our 10th wedding anniversary. I think we’ve spent as much time talking about it as getting to the milestone! Planning a trip is tough when two people want different things out of a vacation:

Me — Fun! Shopping! Shows! Stuff to do!

Honey — Peace and quiet.

Once we determined that I was planning the trip, I gave my husband a list of possible destinations (so he could have the appearance of some say in the process): Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, NYC, Washington, D.C. He immediately struck New York and D.C. off the list (we’ve been there before). He’s been to Vegas and didn’t think it was really where he wanted to go for this trip. I picked up a Fodor’s guide to Chicago, to get a feel for what was there, and knew it was the place to go. (Right now the plan is to take our eldest to Boston for Spring Break next year to visit colleges.)

And now we have our airline tickets!

I still need to book a hotel, and there are some itinerary things I need to work out. But we are well on our way to winging it to Chicago. Which leads to my other “flighty” topic of the day …

We came home from running Friday morning to a rather unusual discovery in the front yard:

A robin’s nest! How do I know? Because I found eggshells in the grass near the nest. It was interesting to see it up close, identifying little bits of mud and trash that likely came from our yard (including bits of a dryer sheet). I don’t know how it ended up on the ground or where the birds are (and I’m really trying not to think foul play was involved). I’d like to think the baby bird grew big enough to fly away and build a nest of his/her own. It makes me think of the nest emptying we’ll begin in just a couple of years. Bittersweet.

Home Improvement Part Deux

Posted On June 5, 2007

Filed under Garden, Home

Comments Dropped 4 responses

I rather smartly forgot to take “before” pics of this summer’s major outdoor projects, so you’ll just have to suffer through my descriptions. If I can get the energy to go find my camera, I will take pics of the works in progress this evening — but don’t count on it.

I ache. I stink. I’m absolutely filthy. But I feel pretty good about what we accomplished today.

After the kids and I got back from running errands this afternoon, we put the baby down for a nap and then got to work. I opted to divide and conquer, since we have two really big outside projects that need our attention.

Project #1

The “reclaim the storage room project” involves combing through boxes and bags, whilst simultaneously  depleting the piles of carp that have overtaken our (not-s0) little space. I had made a pile for the yard sale that never happened, a pile for the consignmen sale that won’t happen until August and a pile of already-purchased Christmas gifts. This, of course, was in the storage room. We also had shelf after shelf of boxes full of things we moved from our apartment when we bought our house nearly four years ago.

I plowed through the mess today, setting aside things to keep, to toss and to donate. While there’s still much more to do — the previous owners left a pile of bricks in there, for example — I made a lot of progress. For one, we can actually walk in there now. I filled all three of our big trash cans (the truck comes tomorrow, hence my decision to undertake this job today), in addition to a giant pile of boxes filled with junk. I also hauled a van full of stuff to Goodwill (conveniently located less than two miles from my house). Ah, feels good!

Completing the job hinges on another project: the garage organization project. There’s some planning and purchasing to do for that one, but it’s coming.

Project #2

I put the boys to work on  the really messy, physical job: tearing down the patio enclosure. I know that may seem strange, since I think most folks actually want a screened-in patio. Trust me; you wouldn’t want this one.

We had one some rose-colored glasses when we bought this house, our first. We overlooked some things we shouldn’t have, namely some “home-improvement projects” that were shoddily constructed. Like the screened-in patio, which has gone from run down to dilapidated in a very short amount of time. How the walls of something can mildew when there has barely been any rain in three years, I don’t know. It’s just been a big ol’ eyesore and I finally decided to do something about it.

But first, let me tell you how poorly this thing was put together: Last week I went out there with a hammer and pried off the interior paneling in five minutes. It just came off like I was slicing butter with a hot knife.

Today, I gave the boys some work gloves, rubber mallets and hammers and a few instructions (“Don’t hit your brother with any tools. Or any wood. Look before you swing, lest you hit your brother and incur the wrath of Mom. Make sure you don’t hit any major support beams, lest Mom come out here to find your lifeless bodies buried underneath the wreckage of the deck and my broken patio table.” “I told you Mom cared more about the patio table than us!” Darn tootin’!)

Apparently, I just need to find things for them to demolish on a daily basis because I don’t think they argued the entire time they were working. Seriously. And they really worked, too. All of the walls are down, the door is off the frame and most of the smaller support pieces have been ripped out. There’s still a long way to go, as I knew there would be. It’s definitely not a one-day job.

When it’s all ripped out, I’m going to scrub down the concrete pad and the back of the house to get everything all clean and shiny. Then I’ll paint the concrete and possibly the back door. Some new furniture, plants and a few other things, and a nice little outdoor lounging spot we’ll have! It’s a surprise for my sweetie (honey, if you are reading this …. SURPRISE!) and I can’t wait to get it all finished.

Where’s My Vitameatavegamin?

Posted On May 26, 2007

Filed under Confession, Garden, Ramblings

Comments Dropped 8 responses

School is out, so that means the boys have been home and driving me crazy. I know not why they engage in this behavior, only that they pick fights with each other solely to tick. Me. OFF.

Yesterday was their free day. I let them sleep until 11, then annoy the crap out of each other and me all day.

Today, they were all mine.

I woke up on time this morning, about 6:15. Grabbed my broom, mop and bucket, and promptly swept and mopped the kitchen floor. Washed dishes, cleaned the counter, kissed my cute husband goodbye. Moved on to the master bathroom, which was filthy in a “thank goodness the health department doesn’t come here” kind of way. Kicked myself for the 800th time for deciding white throw rugs were a good idea in the bathroom.  Squeak, squish, spray, spotless. Even did the floors.

Gave up cleaning to do a little fabric cutting until the awakening of Miss Bébé. Chased both boys out of bed, at what they decided was a rather unholy hour (9 a.m.). You can only imagine the cheers and jubilation expressed at my announcement that today would be “my” day. A yard work day. Groan, kvetch, whine, pout. W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R.

After a quick trip to the giant cheap retailer I love to hate, a side trip to Subway (hey, eat fresh!) and a quickie at the gas station, I got home in time for lunch with the kiddos. Put the little bitty thing down for a nap and dragged her brothers outside, the pair of them kicking and screaming — like it would do any good.

You know what? It’s really hard for teenagers to argue when they are operating a lawn mower and a weed whacker. Not that they didn’t try! I think we were outside three or four hours, just working away. Mowing the grass. Hacking through unbelievably tall weeds. Cleaning out the garage.

My task was mulching the area in front of the house. I’m reluctant to call it a flower bed, because there are maybe three flowers there. It’s actually pretty sad looking. We have a couple of small green bush looking things, a couple of flowers, one spindly rose stem (no, it’s not a bush), and this really weird looking purple thing — I don’t know what it is but even I haven’t been able to kill it and usually a good glare will whither just about anything. (As you can tell, I’m no Angelina.) The area takes seven full bags of mulch, if that gives you an idea of just how barren it looks.

While I was spreading the mulch, I noticed a tiny tree growing next to the window, right behind one of our bush things. I needed to spread more mulch over there anyway, so I stepped closer, kicking over some mulch while simultaneously  reaching down to grab the treeling. That’s when this thing darted out of the bush, right next to my foot, and made a mad dash for the lawn behind me. I screamed, the biggest, loudest, nellie-girl scream you’ve ever heard. Because I thought it was a rat. Ewwwww! Ewwww, ewwwww, ewwwwwwwwwww! Once I shut my mouth and opened my eyes, I saw what it really was:

Only the one in my yard was teeny tiny, like maybe the size of the palm of my hand. Just a wee baby bunny! Yes, I screamed bloody murder over a cute widdle bunny wabbit.  Thankfully none of its brethren jumped out of the bush.

My cutie pie hubby noticed all the work we did as soon as he pulled up, and wisely spent his first 20 minutes home walking around outside, admiring everything. I love that man! Of course, it’s not even 9:30 p.m. and I may sleep on this couch because I don’t know if I have the energy to walk down the hall to my bedroom. Still, it was a good start to my big summer chore list, of which there are still roughly 150 items to complete in the next two months.

For now, I’ll just revel in the ……zzzzzzz..zzzzzz..zzzzzz