Thursday, May 13, 2010

Busy week!

I'd hoped to be able to write more on the blog this week, but it's been crazy around here.  Early this week, my youngest, Emily, fell and separated her shoulder.  Nothing too bad, but she'll be in a sling for a week or so more.  This also resulted in a 4 hour stint in the emergency room.  Yuck.

Other than that, there's been a bit of house cleaning, researching games and buying supplies for an after school club that I run called Gator Clubs.  I get 20 boys and girls for an hour after school each Thursday for a month.  Of course, now I've also been hit up to run the entire club system for the next school year.  Oh, joy.  I had said "we'll see", but apparently that translates to "YES!  Sign me UP!" in PTA speak.  Thus, an email was sent out to the entire staff and other Gator Club coordinators saying I was in.  Let me repeat: oh, joy.

I also spent several days watching a Lord of the Rings marathon with my kids.  Quite fun listening to my youngest correct Frodo with "Frito", and both kids arguing over who "gets" Legolas.  Silly kids.  They can have him, but Aragorn is MINE!

House stuff has been pretty minimal this week, other than just some cleaning.  Shon will be home this weekend for a few weeks, so I've been getting things ready for that.  :-)  Can't wait! 

Did decide to modify my list of things to do while he's away.  If it isn't something to help the house in some way, it'll be an activity with the kids (even so much as watching movies), or helping someone out.  I hate to sound all corny, but we're pretty fortunate in that we're all healthy, happy, have a great support system, pretty nice house and belongings, etc.  Even though we fall into the trap of wanting more-more-more all the time, like most people, we've got what we need to get by, and can make do with what we've got whenever possible.  That's my philosophy, though isn't necessarily 100% shared by my husband.  LOL  Don't worry, I'm working on that!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

You've Made Your Bed, Now Lie in it...

The flower beds are DONE!  Well, with all I can do anyway.  The edgers still need cut/chiseled to fit properly, but otherwise, done!

Here's the final cost breakdown and pics:  Flowers - $97.  Weed barrier and staples - $22.  Mulch - $65.  Edgers - $65.  Existing shrubs, backbreaking labor, and random time over 9 days and nights - $0.  Grand total of $250.

(Excuse the fact that we have to weedeat the yard!)

Today's goal is simple - find the Round-Up and kill the weeds growing through the sidewalk joints.  Overall goal is to beef up curb appeal by (hopefully) replacing the rails with those snazzy white PVC rails (or at least replacing the rotted cap on the right-side post and repainting), a garden sign with the house numbers, and a coat of paint around the front door surround and garage doors.

Not too bad considering how we started out with 7 shrubs (down to 5), and nothing but weeds all the way up to the house, huh?  Even got bird feed in the feeder!  :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pimpin' the beds...

We bought our house back in October 2008, and have since done quite a bit of work on it.  The house had sat empty for nearly three years, and the shrubs in the front flower beds were taller than Shaq.  Until recently, all I'd really ever done was trim them back, plant a few flowers around the beds, and ignore them until they needed weeded.  Then I'd just mow down weeds and flowers alike.  Who had time to weed?

Finally, though, last week started my one-woman one-handed adventure into the art of gardening.  First off, we had 7 bushes that needed removed and/or moved.  I left 2 in one bed as they were, moved 3, and sat the others aside for anyone who wants them.  I also pruned and shaped them to look (ideally) like giant balls.  Get your head out of the gutter.  I dug out all the weeds.  Actually, the lawn had previously won the war and completely reclaimed my flower beds, so it was basically like starting flower beds from scratch.  I put down the black weed barrier, which, incidentally happened over the two windiest days in recent history.  Then I planted flowers (midnight gardening), mulched, and today I hauled home 48 edging stones, only to find that their height shielded the flowers from view from the street.  So, I dug out the edges of one bed so the edging stones look appropriate in height.  So far, so good.  Tomorrow I'll do the other side.  Wish me luck. 

Here are a couple of pics of my in-progress beds.  Some of the stones on the ends aren't chiseled down to fit properly yet.  That's a job for a two-hander, and he'll be home from the current work-up soon.  :-)

(This is to the left of our front door.  More mulching to follow!)

(Flower bed to the right of the front door)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil...

(New bird feeder, courtesy of the Yankee Candle flagship store in Williamsburg)

Yesterday consisted of an outing with a friend up to Williamsburg, Virginia, about an hour drive up north.  If you've never been to Williamsburg, I must recommend it.  It's absolutely beautiful there - everything is so good and green and alive and happy.  Think of the Hulk, but skipping and picking flowers.  That kind of good. 

So we went to the Yankee Candle flagship store and the outlet mall, and enjoyed an awesome lunch at Cracker Barrel (really, is there EVER anything better than hot roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy?).  Our day trip lasted longer than we expected, so I didn't have time to get back and pick up any mulch for my flower beds.  So I'll be doing that today - providing the Sears guys gets here soon to replace a part on the fridge. 

I felt so bad that I didn't have a chance to do my one-a-day on the house that I did something eccentric.  Or crazy.  Your call.  I was locking up for the night when I stepped out on the porch and realized the weather was incredible.  Beautiful night, comfy, no mosquitoes.  I thought, surely I could just hang up my new bird feeder and feel like I'd accomplished something.  Well, I did hang it up.  But the night was so awesome that it rejuvenated me, and I sat down to plant one of my flowers.  Before I knew it, I'd planted all 17 plants, and it was 3:30.  Since my beds are still lacking mulch, above is at least a shot of my sweet new bird feeder until my beds are in photogenic shape.  By the way, the birdseed is at the store with the mulch.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

So I have this (unrealistic) goal...

With Shon gone and the girls and I trying to fill out our days, I vowed to myself that each and every day I would accomplish something "for the greater good" of our household.  So far I've done well.  Doesn't have to be a big thing, just something that needed done.  Let's see, thus far I've screwed in the teeny-tiny screw that keeps our toilet paper holder from crashing down thunderously onto the tile floor, thus giving certain someones a need for a re-wipe.  Not naming names.  It was no small feat, considering how I've got a partial cast on my smart hand, which immobilizes my thumb.  Yes, that's right.  I'm lacking the opposable thumb trait at the moment.  Keep the jokes to a minimum.  ;-)  I've also managed to work on the flower beds each day for a week, and even re-worked the file tabs in the office cabinet.  Haven't gotten to the actual filing yet, but that's another day.

So my goal is to finish out today with some bags of mulch for the flower beds, then I can plant the pretty coral colored begonias and white coras, thus finishing out the hottest (it hit 97 earlier this week!) project on the list.  Next project?  Cutting the quarter round to finish out the guest bathroom.  I can rock a miter saw.  Shoot - no thumb would make hammering the quarter round on difficult.  Hm.  At least it'll get cut, right?  A half-check off my list.  Unfortunately, I might have to hire out the filing.

So now I'm off - taking a friend up to Williamsburg today for some outlet mall shopping and Yankee Candle flagship store looking (it snows inside there - very fun - and it's Christmas year-round!).

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Heartbreaker...

(Ashlee before 8th grade formal)

Loads better than the awesome Taio Cruz and Ludacris, this is my favorite heartbreaker.  Let me introduce you to Ashlee, 15 year old, 9th grader.  Near future terror of the highways.

Ashlee is the trooper of the family, as she has now been to...  let me count...  7 different schools, plus 2 "bump up" schools (example: moving from junior high to high school).  Thanks to the internet and an unlimited text message plan, Super Trooper has managed to keep in touch with tons of her friends from many locations we've lived.  She's a great friend with a big heart.  Ashlee is also one of my best friends, and I can't wait to see the woman she'll grow to be. 

And, as with our oddball, here are a few pictures of Ashlee for your viewing pleasure.  :)

(Ashlee dressed up as Abby from NCIS for a school event)

(Catching snowflakes)

(Acting goofy for a picture to send to her daddy on his first deployment)