Kitchen Progress

Our Kitchen has been the room we’ve worked on the most, I think.  It has gone through many phases so far, and so this post is quite photo-intensive.

Just like the rest of our house, the kitchen was in serious need of updating.  It was so dark, even with 4 windows!  It is nice and big with lots of storage, which I love!  It has an L shape.  Keep that in mind when viewing these photos.

Here’s what we started with:

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The little half-wall you see at the far right in the above picture is for the fridge, and separates the dining room, which looked like this:

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I don’t know about you, but this does not scream “I’m a happy kitchen” to me at all.  This poor place was so stuck in the 60’s, it was pathetic.

Before we moved in, I decided to paint the cabinets.  I took all the doors off and purchased a sprayer to do the bare bones of it with.  First, I had to mask everything off, and then I went to town.

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It took about 6 coats!  I painted the doors in another room, and I’m still not happy with how they turned out.  I need to repaint them, but that’s another story for another day.

So, we went for…….4ish months without doors on our cabinets.  It was so classy.

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We also purchased all new appliances.  I am extremely happy with our choices.  We chose the Whirlpool brand.  They were really cost effective, are super pretty, and work great.  We didn’t replace the oven, since it had been put in in 2008.  We didn’t quite have enough money for a dishwasher at the time, but my parents had just gotten a new one, and let us have their old one that was still in really good condition.  It was so nice of them!

With all the storage in this place, it still didn’t have a pantry.  It drove me nuts.  I hate putting food in the cupboards, especially because most of the shelves aren’t tall enough to fit things like cereal boxes or tall bottles of Olive Oil.  My dad had a genius idea to build me one that surrounds the fridge, which was lonely all by itself on that wall across from the stove.

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He built the pieces, and then installed it right in place. It has 4 shelves per side, and they are like drawers- they slide out all the way, which makes it so easy to find things.  I love it so much!

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Oh, and by the way, we installed tile around that time too. We were so glad to get rid of that ugly linoleum!

Eventually, doors got put on cabinets, and things got a lot cleaner around here.

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There were places we still hadn’t put beadboard up (like the back of the fridge wall above), and we didn’t have any baseboard, and the counter top color looks bad with the wall color, but this is the way it stayed for a year.

Until one wise soul pointed to our fridge wall and asked,  “……ummmm, why is this even here?”  and then it dawned on us……

Why was that fridge wall there?  We had a completely free wall over to the side.

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(The one with the photo on it)

So, we decided to move it.

My dad came over one day, and we knocked it out in about 3 hours.

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By the end of the night, we had it cleaned up, and everything was put back into the pantry.  All that was left, was patching the tile.

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It opened up the space better than we had imagined it could!  We were so excited!  Now, our kitchen is HUGE!  That, and you aren’t cramped when you sit at our dining table!  Hallelujah!

 

Here is our kitchen as it stands today:

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And here is our dining table

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We fell in love with it at the store, right after we bought the house, but decided against it because it was so expensive.  When we had the fridge wall up, and the dining room was so tiny, we searched high and low for a dining table that would accommodate our space.  It needed to be long and skinny. Every table we found was either 44 or 46 inches wide, and that just wasn’t going to work.  After visiting no fewer than 982 stores, we decided that the above table was the only table in existence that would fit our space.  We went back on President’s day and it was on sale! Yay!  It was still a splurge, but I am so happy with it!  Even if we have more room now, I wouldn’t trade this table!  It is so pretty!  It also came with 2 leaves, and gets even bigger.  We recently purchased 2 more chairs to go with it as well, so that we can seat 8.

You may have noticed that there aren’t any curtains or blinds on our windows….

yeah…….we live in a fishbowl.  it sucks. At night, anyone driving by can see right in our house.  I have been so indecisive about what to do with it……meanwhile hating feeling like I’m being watched.  This past weekend, however, we found some shades that we like.  I will reveal that addition as soon as they are all up!

It pretty much goes without saying that the kitchen isn’t done.  We’re hoping to do more with it in the next year. For now, though, it’s great.  It works, it’s clean and we have places to put our stuff!  The rest can come later.

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Living Room Progress

I figured I better get a move on with showing our progress with our house.  That is, after all, one of the main reasons I started this blog!  It’s been too long since I posted progress that didn’t involve dust and insulation.

We’ve only been focusing on making the upper floor pretty for now.  The living room is the first thing you see when you walk in our door, and so it’s been a priority.  No way is it even close to feeling full and complete enough to make me happy for a while.

For a refresher, we started with this:

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A room with dingy beige walls, Aqua carpet, no window coverings, and barely a mantel at all.  The cupboard next to the fire place had a gas line running through it, and was too bulky for my taste.  The room felt too closed in with the long dark hallway next to it.

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So the first thing we did was get rid of that gross carpet and tear out the wall to open things up a bit.

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It made a huge difference!  Then, it was time to pick paint and carpet.

I got way too many samples trying to decide what I wanted.  I finally found the perfect shade: Martha Stewart’s “Buckwheat Flour” (second from the left)

too-many-colorsI painted the top 2/3 with it.  Bottom 1/3 is Behr’s “Swan Wing”

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Then, we built a new, pretty mantel.

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And we installed carpet.  This is where I last left off.

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Since then, we built in a bookcase to fill the hole left of the fireplace.

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And the fireplace got a makeover.

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With all that said, here is our living room today:

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It’s a really wonky shaped room.  it’s hard to figure out where the furniture goes right now. It’s long and gets skinnier at one end.  There is a lot of empty space that I’m trying to figure out what to do with.

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I really love how much natural light we get through our enormous picture window!

 

Don’t mind the little furball who found his way into my photos that day!

We’re using the nook to the right of the fireplace as a makeshift office at the moment.  That will change as soon as we paint the room that is going to be the office.

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and another built in will go in it’s place.  (Yes, I know I haven’t finished painting.  LAZY)

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The other side has been fun to play with.  I need to get better at styling, though.  For now, here it is

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The Barbies at the bottom left corner are so special to me!  My mom had a seamstress friend replicate my wedding dress for a Barbie, and gave it to me when we got back from our honeymoon!  It was even made with left over fabric from my wedding dress!  I love it so much! My mom is pretty awesome.  The Barbie even has the same color eye shadow I wore on my wedding day, and green eyes like I have.  🙂

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Even though our second anniversary is in 10 days, I haven’t put these away yet.  It just seems wrong to throw them in a box somewhere.  I’m contemplating a different place or better way to display them.

As for right now, our living room is definitely livable, but just isn’t right yet.  Which I realize will take time, but I’m so sick of it being so boring in here!  I need some color! It is way too monochrome. I’m brainstorming some ideas right now, but am still clueless as to how to make this room POP!

The things we have decided so far (besides that other bookcase), are that This piece needs to be painted black.   That, and repair the walls where all the old thermostats were.

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It might stay there, it might not.  I’ll probably decide once it’s painted.

This will be a gallery wall

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I want to do picture ledges here so we have the freedom to move things around.  I don’t want to have to commit to putting holes in the wall just yet.

Here is my inspiration

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And yes, I plan on doing all black and white photos.

For this space, I’m thinking…..

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Large scale wall art, or a big mirror with a buffet under.  I need some storage for table linens and picture frames.

I really love these pieces:

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I know that I want it black, and up on legs so that it doesn’t look too heavy.  The latter photo is so out of our price range, it’s ridiculous.  I’m sure I’ll either end up finding one at a consignment store or building one.

The walls still need the picture frame molding to go up too.

Like this:

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I’m also sick of the furniture. HA!  I’m finding that it is so hard to figure out what you want from the get go and go with it- at least for the more permanent pieces of the room.  The paint color, the carpet color, the couches.  Pinterest has got me all confused with how many options are out there!  Maybe for now, I’ll just focus on getting little accessories for the shelves, or things to hang on the wall that can be easily changed out.  I’ve become so indecisive about this whole process!

I’m really proud of all we’ve done so far, though.  We’ve really come a long way!

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We’ve done quite a bit in our kitchen as well, that post will be up next week.

Sources:

Gallery Wall http://lorilangille.blogspot.com/2013/07/buffet_18.html

First Buffet http://www.theyellowcapecod.com/2011/10/more-on-floor.html

Expensive Buffet  http://www.designpass.co/store/dining-room/dining-room-cabinets/brera-sideboard-galimberti-nino.html

 

 

 

A Little Getaway!

After our fiasco with the HVAC, we really just wanted to run away from our house for a bit.  We still had a couple days off work, so we decided to join my brothers in law camping in southern UT.  I had never been to this part before, and I was so amazed!

There was red clay, ponderosa pines, and the biggest aspen trees I’ve ever seen!  Not to mention all the free range cattle everywhere!  (Don’t worry, it didn’t smell)

We went off-roading, hiking, and cow chasing.  It was a glorious 2 days.

Here was our campsite:

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And nearby, cliffs like this:

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Amazing, right?

We also ran into a whole ton of little ground squirrels.  They were not  afraid of us at all!  I coined them “The Little Buddies”

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And then there were the cows.  One morning, we woke up to their mooing.  Apparently babies don’t like it when they can’t see their mamas- even when mama is right behind them.  They are LOUD!  We saw a bull that was as big as our car!  They were friendly, though, and quite accommodating as we chased them away- although they were pretty noisy about it.

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That morning, I was photographing the group, and mentioned how I wished some would look at me.  Nick told me to turn around, and I found this:

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I can only assume from their size that they were the adolescent cows.  They were boys, and they all looked pissed off. Haha!

And then we found this cutie:

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I love cows.  They are just so cute.  and dumb.

and this dude with seriously lacking eating etiquette:

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We went on a hike that  I complained loudly about half way there.  Nick wanted to climb to a peak we saw in the distance, and I was just SURE it would be awful.  Turns out, I was wrong, and our view was so awesome!  I’m glad we did it!

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On our way back, we found a deer jawbone.  I don’t know why I was so amazed by it, I’m sure there are COUNTLESS animal bones out in the wilderness.  Maybe something about it being my first time seeing something like that.  Well that and morbid curiosity.

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So, it was a nice little getaway!  I want to go again next summer, but this time, stay a lot longer!  There is something so wonderful about being MILES from anyone.  Ahhhhhh……

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Lately…

Last time I wrote, I was all excited about how I was “on a roll” with blogging, and how I wanted to start posting more often.  That sounded so great until……life happened.

To make a long and painful story short, whe have been busy tearing apart our house. Yet again.  I think this is the worst stint we’ve had.

Our house did not have a traditional furnace.  We were blessed with electrical heat.  This means, the ceilings are ridiculously thick, because they accomodate sheetrock, a layer of heating wires and plaster, and then another sheet of sheetrock.  A heat sandwich, if you will.

We are sick of it!  heating 4 rooms during the winter costs $400 per month!  That, and we don’t have air conditioning.  Nope. Not even a little.  We slept downstairs during the summer months.  It just wasn’t good any way you looked at it.

Enter……what we’ve been doing lately.

We hired some dudes to come in and run duct work throughout our entire house, and install a regular gas furnace, along with a water heater and an air conditioner.

To say it’s been a fiasco, doesn’t even begin to explain it.

In order to get ready for the shenanigans, WE had to tear out EVERY SINGLE LITTLE BIT of the ceilings downstairs.  It was hard.  there was pain, there were tears.  Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating about the tears, but it really was awful.

We only had……3 days to complete this task.  WHAT A NIGHTMARE.  Did I mention we have 1800 square feet of ceiling in our basement?

First, we started on the tiny hallway and bathroom downstairs…..

20130717_163658 - Copy20130717_111036 - Copy It was a lot worse than we thought it would be.  our tiny bathroom and hallway took the better part of 8 hours to finish.  Plus, when we got into the ceiling, we found the wires….burned.  That’s not scary at all….

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We’re guesstimating that about 35% of the wires in here looked just like this.

Then, we moved on to the storage side of our basement.  It was much much easier, as it isn’t heated.  Only a single layer of sheetrock, without mud or paint.  we got it done in about an hour and a half.

The aftermath:

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I had to stand on that chair with the pink seat the whole time.  I’m not tall enough otherwise..man, the neck ache that came afterward was awful!

And then came the big room:

Before:

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During:

This is what the heat looks like.  Luckily, nothing in our big room was burned.

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Pulling down the heat wires:

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And then this happened:

20130721_202351it was madness.  Those wires were stapled every inch and snaked the entire ceiling.  I’m glad I wasn’t the one putting them up!  Ripping them down was much easier!

This left us with heavily insulated ceilings.  The insulation was held in by plastic, and we decided to leave it in, and have the HVAC guys only cut out what they needed to.

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So, on the day they came, they probably cut out 1/4 or less of the insulation, but we still ended up with this:

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and this:

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And don’t forget this one:

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Here’s a size reference for you.  This was, in fact, the SMALLEST pile!

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This is also the only one that has been cleaned up so far.  It took me a dustpan, 1 hour and 10 giant contractor garbage bags to get this baby outta here!   I have never needed a shower as bad as I did after I did that!

Speaking of showers……. our basement bathroom is the only bathroom in the house with a shower in it  (for now).  Since we have bare insulation in there right now, we haven’t been able to shower in it for fear of getting it moldy with the condensation.

So……. for the last 3 weeks, we have been showering at my in-law’s house.  I’m grateful that they are only next door, but it’s still been a giant pain!

They managed to get all of our heating and air done, and it’s working!  It’s a nice 70 degrees and I am so happy about it!  There were some crappy things that happened, some good things that happened, and things I’ll just have to live with.  When your house wasn’t built to have duct work put in, sometimes you have to compromise, even when you want to cry.  The worst things that happened were this:

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This is where they had to go under the ceiling, because apparently when they built our house, they thought it would be a good idea to have the floor joists change directions part way through.  This was the only place we could do a run, but it totally took out my built in next to the fire place. TEAR.  But, if we hadn’t done it, two of our bedrooms would not have heat or ac.  So, Dani had to deal.  oh, and while they did this, they cut a major power line for the basement.  Took out half the basement lights and plugs.  We were furious.  They fixed it though, so all is well again.

And then this happened:

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That would be a vent right in front of my stupid kitchen sink. Where I have already tripped and stubbed my toes numerous times.  Too bad for us, our foundation ends 3.5 feet before the main floor does.  FAIL.

Oh, and then there is this:

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This is my banister.  I guess they thought it would be a good idea to bring a furnace in and over the railing and down our stairs than just straight in the basement.  But who am I? What do I know?  I’ll tell you what I know, and it’s that I’m going to have to sand and re paint my banister, and I’m not happy about it.

 

But now we have this:

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and I’m happy to report we are sleeping in our own bed, in our own bedroom, and it’s 70 degrees.  And that, my friends, makes it worth it.  After two summers of having to sleep downstairs, and two summers of not being able to do much of anything upstairs, because it was so bloody hot.

 

Hopefully things can get back to normal  now.  Like……..the shower.

 

 

The Garden This Year

What?!  Two posts in one week?

I’m hoping to start blogging again for real.  No promises.  This is only #2.

Like I said in my last post, we were lucky enough to inherit a bunch of awesome mature plants.  I’ve been photographing them like crazy all spring, and so I’d like to share some with you!

Warning, this post is Photo Intensive!

The thing that blooms first is our Magnolia Tree.

It is seriously, so beautiful.  One of the benefits of owning an old house, for sure!

1I only have an Instagram picture of this one, though.  The poor thing bloomed for 1.5 days this year, before we had a big windstorm that blew all the flowers to smithereens.  😦

We have a flowering almond

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And we had a few surviving tulips

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A Dogwood Tree

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Some random and totally cute Johnny Jump Ups

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Iris

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Lilacs

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and even pretty weeds

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One of my favorite things in our yard is our Japanese Maple.  It’s 51 years old, and super magnificent.  it’s by our front door, is large, and takes up most of the walk up to our house, but I don’t care.  I’m not moving it!

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And our roses started blooming just a couple of days ago.  So far, we only have the itty bitty pink, and the pink/yellow one.  I think it’s called a Peace Rose.

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We have plans for a crazy awesome garden full of lots more flowers.  I’m excited to get things cleaned out enough to plant!

Updates. Finally.

Wow! it’s been a year since I made my last post!  A whole year!  What was I thinking?

I guess I thought I had posted a bunch of stuff, but really, I just thought about posting stuff.  Boo.

Anyway, a lot has happened in a year, and I don’t expect you to sit through it all (or care), but I’ll highlight a few things:

I’ve decided to go back to school.  I must be a glutton for punishment.  Pre requisites for a Nursing degree start in the fall.   But that’s another post in itself.

We went to Jackson for our 1 year anniversary.  It might be my favorite place on earth.  I’ll post pics later.

Nick has been attending the Police Academy (again) and will graduate in 2 weeks! (YAY!)

I got a new car.  Long story, but I’m happy with her.

DcarIsn’t she pretty?  She’s so shiny! It’s a 2010 Nissan Murano.  Plenty of room for my crap, my dog, and my eventual children!  and AWD- that’s the best part. I plan on driving her till she dies.

Lots has happened with our house in a year!  About this time last year, we were pretty burned out on house stuff.  Well that, and out of money too. so we haven’t done a lot since last summer……which gives me even less of an excuse for not posting for so long!

We accomplished a lot though, and I”ll share pictures of the inside in a different post.  Maybe this weekend, I can get the entire house clean enough to photograph!

We did finally get a moment (or 2 days) to clean the garage out!  Up until October last year, it was just full of tools, tools, and sawdust.  Then, Nick cleaned it out enough for us to both park in it for the winter, which was really nice.  A couple months ago, though, we decided it had to happen.  We emptied it and reorganized everything.

It went from this:

Garge before 2 Garage before

^^^^This was when I remembered to take a “before” picture.  It was worse when we started.

To This:

garage after garage after 2

It’s so much nicer to be able to find stuff!

We also updated our front door.  I was so happy.  It used to have a crappy screen on it, and it was actually an interior door, which made it useless for insulation.  So we upgraded.

Before:

Old front door

AFTER:

New front door

Please don’t mind the fact that we hadn’t cut out the foam insulation yet, in this photo.  I was just so excited!   The paint is “Nightwatch” by Behr in some kind of miracle exterior paint. I wanted plum, but we settled on Navy.  Apparently plum doors are “sissy” according to Nick.

 We painted the inside black, and frosted the glass, which gives us privacy, but still lets a lot of light in.

Anyway, Lately we’ve been working on the yard.  You see, we thought buying a house with a GIANT yard would be the awesomest thing ever.  But, we weren’t  thinking about

1. Weeds.  2. the fact that the yard hadn’t been cared for in YEARS and

3. Did I mention the weeds?

We have 10 flower beds. 10!!!!!!  one of which is more than 100 feet long, and ALL of which are so overgrown it’s ridiculous.  We are “that house” right now.  All my neighbors have these pristine lawns and gardens…..and then there is our house.  Sigh.  luckily, there are only……4 beds that can be seen from the street.  We have  a lot of work ahead of us.

We were lucky enough, however, to inherit some awesome mature plants.

And, unfortunately enough, we also inherited a bunch of crap that we had to rip out for one reason or another.  sooooo many trips to the dump……

and even more unfortunately, we have deer.  Cute, sweet, innocent deer.  (We live on a mountain, you know) but…….. they ate my tulips.  ALL 14 DOZEN!  I planted 14+ dozen bulbs in my giant flower bed last fall.

 I was so excited to see them bloom this spring, but no.  The deer ate them all to the ground.

 As seen here in exhibit A:

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and B:

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And C:

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I’m pissed.  The blue you see here is soap.  Irish Spring Bar Soap that I grated with a cheese grater and spread in my beds.  It’s supposed to repel deer.

Too late.

I did have several survivors in other areas of the lawn, and the soap worked there. No soapy tulips got eaten.

Next year, I will beat them to the punch.

………………..

So, here is a taste of what the yard looked like recently:

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Man! if I had a nickel for every rock we’ve found in our beds and around the yard, I would be a wealthy woman!  (It’s the whole “we live on a mountain” thing again.)

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^^^^^This above is a wisteria we ripped out along with a holly bush root ball.  The wisteria has since been taken to the dump.  The holly is a problem.  Nick tore it out with a tractor.  Problem is,  it’s too heavy for the tractor to lift it into the truck.  I think we’re going to need 4 men to move this thing.  Not kidding.

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^^^^this must go.

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The trench through the yard happened when we needed to fix some sprinklers.

DSC_0098 DSC_0100 DSC_0102everything was so filled in with weeds and YEARS of dead crap.  all the irises were choked out.  We probably had 20 blooms last year, because of all the weeds around them. So sad.

Lolas tree

We planted this weeping cherry tree on the anniversary of our little Lola’s passing. She is buried underneath it.  So, every year, at the time that we had her, it will bloom.

 I weeded the bed with irises, and the bed with roses.  It took me 4 days. 4 DAYS!!!!

but it looks so much better!

Weed Pile

this is about 1/3 of the way through weeding the Iris bed……….

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Ta da! it looks so much better!  I honestly thought there were more plants in this bed…..guess not.  SO MANY WEEDS…………

20130522_084441 20130522_191013Since I have relieved my Iris from their chokehold, and given them compost, they have bloomed so much , it’s  amazing!  This is only about 1/2 of what we have right now! I’m so happy that we have all these established flowers!  I guess this is what happens when you take care of your yard……who knew?!

We also had our peony bush double in size, and another that had been choked out miraculously appeared!

While it sounds like I’m complaining, I really don’t mean to.  We are seriously blessed.  A lot of people don’t have houses or yards, or even just mature flowers.  We are really lucky, and we are so grateful!  This whole experience has just been a giant kick-in-the-face-reality-check!  Figuring out how to keep the house clean, pretty and organized, as well as the yard…..has been a challenge, to say the least.  I am grateful, though.  We will get there, it will just take some time to figure it all out.

In The Garden At Golden Hour

It’s been a long time since I posted, and I apologize! My life has been so busy, and turned upside down in the past couple of months. I have been thinking and thinking, and doing and doing, and learning many new things both about life and myself.  I will post a full report as soon as I come up with some photos to make it less boring.

In the meantime,

We have a yard.   It’s ginormous. No, really, it is.   Right now, it’s quite overgrown, needs to be organized, cleaned up, planted and cleaned some more.  However, there are some wonderful flowers that come out in the spring despite the disarray.  I took some time at golden hour (a nerdy photography term) to capture some of these beautiful blooms before they disappear with summer weather.  This post is quite photo intensive. You’ve been warned!  Enjoy!

 

We have quite a few Irises blooming right now- not all of them have come out yet, but to date, these are my favorite.  They have so much dimension!  They are a rusty chocolatey color with some yellow and purple.  Totally love them- there is a whole herd of them too, which makes me happy  🙂

 

 

We also  have tons of tulips.  They are all beautiful, although, i think i’m pretty partial to the multicolored ones.  I’m loving the zebra stripes too.  I think they knew it was my yard, and put on their best colors.  (I love zebra stripes a little too much)

We also have a giant lilac, it’s more like a tree than a bush.  It smelled wonderful! I loved the dark purple blooms!

 

We also have a beautiful blooming tree with these blossoms on it.  I have no idea what it is, so if anyone knows, please tell me.  I’m pretty sure they are too big to be dogwood.

We also have a Magnolia tree that bloomed earlier, that i did not photograph.  boo.

We also have a ton of weeds.  Yes. and sometimes, even they can be beautiful.

 

I was ecstatic to find a peony bush on the side of the house. At this time, they had not quite bloomed yet, but were so close!

 

We’re still waiting a a bazillion more iris, a rhododendron, dinner plate-sized Hibiscus, and who knows what else.  I LOVE SPRING!!!!!

 

Plus, we have 5 rosebushes.  Now, i’m really not partial to them. At All.  I was planning on giving them away to anyone who wanted them as soon as we knew what colors they were.

Well, two of them bloomed yesterday.  Nick picked one and brought it to me.  My mind is changed.  They are some of the biggest most beautiful roses I’ve ever seen!  I love them!  Here’s a few photos: I had fun with different editing styles here.

For My Lola

From the moment I opened the door to the car and saw you looking at me and wagging your tail,

I loved you.

From the moment I fastened a pink collar around your neck,

I loved you.

From the very first time I watched you step in your water bowl,

I loved you.

From the very first time I smelled your sweet puppy smell,

I loved you.

Your hardship was my hardship.

Your suffering was my suffering.

And even on your darkest day, you brought me so much joy.

You were mine.

My sweet muffin.

I wanted nothing more than to give you a wonderful life.

Full of adventures and treats and lying in the sun.

I wanted it so desperately for you.

The day you left us, we woke up to snow.

I woke up on the bathroom floor to your snow covered head lying on my chest.

and I thought, “This is the day that everything will turn around”

But I was wrong.

I spent so much time with God in the last three weeks.

Praying and pleading for your life.

I’ve never prayed so hard in my life.

But God had other plans.

I can’t say that I blame him for wanting you.

You were too sweet, too good for this earth,

and it was time to go.

I know I was supposed to learn something from this,

That’s how it works.

But I don’t know what it is.

You taught me so much about strength

and love

and hope.

I never felt more like a mommy than when I had you.

And I am so glad that even though our time was short,

that you knew what it was like to be

loved.

Unconditionally.

I am so glad I was able to give you that.

I am so glad you didn’t pass alone, in agony

like you would have otherwise.

I am so glad I was able to give you the love and the dignity you deserved.

I loved you so much, Lola Bear.

I tried so hard.

So desperately hard to save you

but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards.

And I miss you.

I miss the way you always had to put your foot in your water bowl.

every.single.time.

I miss the way you looked at me and wagged your tail when I sang Adele and Katy Perry to you in the car.

I miss the way you snuggled with me at bedtime- even if it was on the bathroom floor.

I miss the way you smelled.  Like a freshly bathed puppy.

I miss looking toward the bathroom and seeing a little black puff  ball waiting for me.

And I miss the way you trudged around outside like a baby elephant.

I miss everything about you.

and I always will.

You were my first baby girl.

You were a fighter.

You were a love.

and you were so wise for your short life.

I promise I will not let up

I promise I will keep fighting for you,

so that you will not have died in vain.

Your story can help many,

and I will make sure they hear it.

I am so proud to have been your mama

and I always will be.

And when I think of you,

I won’t remember the hard times

or the scary times,

but I will remember the way you liked to sit in the sun with the wind in your face

and the way you loved your water bowl

and your wise eyes.

I will remember how you loved to be snuggled

and how you were such a big brave girl.

You accepted your fate with grace

and I am so glad that you came into my life-

even  if it was just for a short while.

You taught me invaluable things

and my universe will never be the same.

And when it’s my turn to come to heaven,

I know you will be there waiting for me.

Big and beautiful and strong.

Until then, Baby girl.

All my heart.

Your mama.

The Day That Lasted 1,000 Hours

This is Wednesday.  We’re moving in on Saturday.  We get carpet tomorrow.  Are we ready?  Not a chance.

My dad and I closed our store for the day to work on the house.  This is what the house looked like that morning:

The kitchen cupboards were ugly plywood.

The newel post was in, but the rest of the stair railing wasn’t.

The living room was a mess, with no paint, No chair rail and no baseboards- which all need to be done before carpet….tomorrow!

So, I got a paint sprayer.  BEST PURCHASE EVER.  The thing kicks some serious booty. It’s hard to clean, but i think it’s worth it.  This is what it looks like when dissassembled for cleaning:

intense.

So, I covered the kitchen in plastic so I could paint

and i moved the drawers and doors to the guest bedrooms, which were also covered in plastic so they could be painted as well.

That sprayer does a pretty amazing job!  12 drawers and 26 doors, thank you very much!

we made Progress………..

I also painted the ugly linoleum floor….i kinda ran out of plastic, and I kinda stopped caring. Even more incentive to get it replaced quicker!  I painted the window too…..and the old ugly dishwasher.  Power tools make me feel like a winner, what can i say?  When I get started, well, I get carried away  🙂

After much more back breaking work, complaining, a wonderful subway sandwich, and i’m sure a few curse-words- oh, and 18 hours later, this is what it looked like:

Railing in, and painted!  My daddy did a really good job on it, huh?

The kitchen is finally white!  and it’s so pretty!  well, besides the plastic that is…

Paint sprayers are the best, i’m tellin ya.

The kitchen walls are now BLUE!!!!!  Oh my, I’m so excited!

There will be beadboard on the bottom half of the walls- that’s why they are only partially painted.

And, we got the living room painted, installed the chair rails and the baseboards!

Plus, we revamped the fireplace and it looks amazing!  (Thanks, Jared)

Aaaaaannnndddd- we were ready for carpet!  What a long day!  Soooo excited the way it turned out!

The next day, the carpet came.  It’s so soft!  Love it!  (we still have paint touch up, and wainscotting to finish though)

next to finish also, is that built in you see to the left of the fireplace.  It’s half done.  It will be floor to ceiling built in bookcase  🙂

Moving Day!

On the eve of moving day, we were still not packed.  Only about 30% I’d say.

Insert PANIC here.

we worked and worked and worked, and I panicked some more.

At 10:00 PM, this is what our kitchen looked like  (don’t even get me started on the rest of the house)

it wasn’t pretty.

Things ALWAYS take way longer than i think they will.  I learned the hard way here!

By 3:00 AM, this is what it looked like:

much better.

That’s when we gave up and went to bed.  We got up again at 5:30 AM.  we packed, I went and put a final coat on the cabinet doors, and we picked up the moving truck.

Thank Heavens for our brothers, is all I can say!

(I didn’t take too many photos of the moving process, I was a bit busy, but here are a couple:

this is what the strappin’ lads did.

Meanwhile, I stayed at the new house getting ready – and doing more painting.

My Mama helped me line the kitchen shelves

And our dads got to work installing our Fridge, Cooktop and Dishwasher

i think it’s cute how they are so good at working together.  And I’m very grateful!

Nick and his brother, Eric putting together our closet organizer.   Aren’t the floors and walls SO PRETTY????  More on that later.

We put all our boxes downstairs, since there was still construction upstairs.  All the furniture congregated in the living room upstairs awaiting thier final homes.

It was a mess.  Still is, actually.

Yoshi was pretty excited about the new carpet, and he’s settled in great. He loves that the window is just his height.  Window watching is one of his favorite hobbies.

By the end of the day, we were so beat.  2.5 hours sleep, on top of five previous days that were 20+ hours each.  We set up our bed, ran to the inlaw’s to shower, and went nighty night!

PS, don’t you LOVE the walls?!  I sure do. In fact, I can’t get enough!  It will look SO good when the wainscotting is finished, and when its totally decorated  🙂  And, our bed is pretty  🙂

It was bittersweet leaving our old place.  Good, but sad at the same time. We had so many good times there- It’s the house we had when we got married  🙂

Bye Bye house

I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard to get a bathroom so spotless in my whole life.  You’re welcome, Randy.  🙂

PS, this place is now for sale,  It’s awesome, and I happen to know, the last people who lived in it were totally cool, and left it really clean!