Tag Archives: Backyard

A new post, wherein seeds are sown

31 Mar

So spring might be here, but with the weather of the last few days, who really knows… We’ve had hail, thunder, lightning and of course, rain. My daffodils started making their appearance about a week ago just after I finished weeding the front flower bed (I think they were embarrased to bloom in such a mess…). Jimmy and I added some more creeping plants to the front bed last weekend (pictures to come).

Coming Soon...Vegetables!

Coming Soon...Vegetables!

My energy as of late has been sprouting my own seeds for our vegetable garden! I feel like such a little kid, just fascinated by watching them emerge from the earth and get a little taller every day (they are only about a week and a half old and some are already over 2 inches tall!). I’ve planted two kinds of peppers and two kinds of tomatoes, 2 kinds of summer squash, 2 kinds of winter squash, cucumbers and basil. I’ve been doing some reading and research and have already purchased the planters that they will be put in once they are big enough to be transplanted outside.

Sprouts a-sproutin'

Sprouts a-sproutin'

Anyhow, I’m working graveyard shifts this week, so I’m tired and starting to feel like I’m coming down with a cold (probably due to the lack of decent sleep I’ve had in the past 3 nights…) I promise more pictures next week when I am coherent during daylight hours.

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Our (not so productive) Labor Day Weekend

12 Sep
A very full rain barrel

A very full rain barrel

So I was all excited to get a bunch of stuff done around the house over the Labor Day weekend as both Jimmy and I would have a long 3-day weekend (of course my weekends are un-ending at this point…) Then, as it often happens in the Puget Sound, the rain came and spoiled my plans. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain, but I love it more when I don’t have outdoor projects to be working on. So, due to the rain there were several projects that took three days to complete (during the brief sun breaks we had) and several projects that we couldn’t do at all 😦

Pouring water collected in buckets on the deck to the rain barrel

Pouring collected H2O into the barrel

On one end of the patio the bricks are getting washed away because the idiots who sold us this house never re-attached the down spout on the gutters after painting the house. We decided that we wanted to take advantage of the situation and get a rain barrel for that down spout as there is no good place for the drain to run to. We bought a rain barrel from a guy in town – his website is: www.naturalrainwater.com for those of you in the area who might be interested in getting one. The only down side to getting a rain barrel in the Puget Sound is that when you have torrential downpour off and on for 3 days your rain barrel fills up quickly. I had to don my rubber boots and the rain suit I had bought for camping in order to go out and attach a hose to the top outlet so that if it got full that it would drain out from both the spigot at the bottom and the outlet at the top.
Removing damaged sections

Removing damaged sections

Even so, Jimmy and I had to cover the top at one point to allow the water to drain out – it took about 45 minutes for the 60 gallon barrel to empty! Of course before we got the rain barrel into
Making sand castles is WAY more fun!

Making sand castles is WAY more fun!

place and hooked up we had to try and fix the patio bricks in the direct vicinity of the barrel as once the barrel is full it can weigh up to 500 lbs. Fixing the bricks was a pain and it didn’t seem to be a permanent fix, I’m sure I will have to mend the spot again soon…

We also managed to get the washer and dryer that came with the house out and our washer and dryer put in their place.

Out with the old

Out with the old

We were also lucky enough to sell them within 24 hours of posting our craigslist ad, and a very nice older couple came and bought them and hauled them off. Thankfully that was one less thing in our garage – at least that was until the next day when we went to Home Depot…

In with the used

In with the used

Jimmy’s parents got us a gift card to Home Depot and they were having a good sale on stuff for fence building, so we took advantage of the sale and got what we needed to build the back fence and a side gate on the property. Unfortunately we think that the cedar might be making Tesla sick, as he has pretty much been throwing up for 4 days
A truck full of lumber

A truck full of lumber

straight. We took him to the vet and he got an anti-nausea shot, which then made him foam and drool which was freaky. We finally decided that we should let him sleep in the house last night (instead of the garage with the cedar) to see if he would feel better the next day. It seems to have worked, so we’ll have to see how he does tomorrow after we make him sleep in the garage again. We’re really hoping it’s not the cedar as we are not sure where we could store it other than in the garage…

One tired lumberjack

One tired lumberjack

Zen Tesla before he started feeling poorly

Zen Tesla before he started feeling poorly

Kat 1 – Ivy 0

2 Sep

So I finally finished getting rid of the ivy that had been coating the back fence.  The yard waste bins were collected by the trash collectors today, but after only about an hour I filled one of them already.

Now that the ivy is gone it gives you a good idea about why they left the ivy there – because they were lazy, because it takes a lot of work and because the fence looks awful without it’s nice pretty coating of ivy.  Here are some before and after pictures to give you an idea of just how much work I’ve done…

Before

Before

After

After

Before

Before

After

After

Kat Victorious

Kat Victorious

Ivy, how I hate you…

28 Aug
Take THAT!

Take THAT!

It’s amazing how much work a yard takes when the people who used to own the house apparently didn’t do any yard work for 7 years…  As you have probably seen by the pictures ivy has taken over a big chunk of the back yard, which means that Kat and Jimmy have a lot of work to do ripping out all that ivy…
Bzzzzzzzzzzz

Bzzzzzzzzzzz

A couple of days ago Jimmy and I realized that we had a wasp nest living in the mound of ivy surrounding one of the T posts of the laundry line.  I was stung last weekend (only twice – by the same wasp) and then we discovered the wasp nest when we were taking these pictures…
Most? Try ALL of the Ivy!

Most? Try ALL of the Ivy!

So we bought a wasp killing spray and used it yesterday night, then today I went out and took down most of the ivy surrounding the T post.  I am getting really tired of tearing out ivy, though it does need to be done before my and Jimmy’s parents come to visit next month – as we are going to repair or replace the back fence.
Yummy!

Yummy!

I have spent all week cooking and working (playing) in the yard and I am exhausted!  I have been focused on filling our chest freezer with as many meals as possible so that when I do FINALLY get a job that we will have some meals in reserve.  I have been experimenting with new crock pot recipes, which all have turned out good so far.  Now that we have a mortgage we have to make our food budget go further, hopefully making all these meals will help.

Landscraping – Our Craptastic Backyard

18 Aug

Just spent an hour in the backyard shoveling dog crap, and I don’t own a dog. I’m only about half done.

You’ll notice from the first post on our blog that apart from the great-looking patio, the listing didn’t show the backyard at all. Turns out there was a reason for that. Sagging fence, dead lawn, out-of-control ivy, and piles upon piles of concrete chunks from the old patio to haul away. This is going to take some work!

Out Damn Spot!

6 Aug

Home ownership is hard…

I’m sure that isn’t news to most of you, but I really thought it would be more fun and less exhausting.

Clothesline!

Clothesline!

We moved in last weekend and thus far we have done a few upgrades, but mostly we have spent our time cleaning.  I really think that it should be a law that a professional cleaning service should be hired to clean houses before they change hands.  I know that it could be much worse and that both my parents and Jimmy’s parents have moved  into houses in much worse shape than this, but it makes me angry how dirty this place was when we moved in.  Anyone who knows me understands that I am a bit of a cluttery person and am not by any stretch of the imagination a clean freak, but maybe owning your own place makes you look at cleaning a little differently.  I have never been this obsessed about cleaning before.

Airing our Dirty Laundry

Airing our Dirty Laundry

I mentioned before the few upgrades that we have done to the place, so let me elaborate briefly.  There are two big picture windows in the front room that face West – thus, on hot days the livingroom/diningroom get baked.  So Jimmy and I decided that our first purchase for the house would be blinds and shades for both windows.

Okay, our clean laundry

Okay, our clean laundry

For some reason, although the previous owners lived here for many years, they only owned drapes for the windows, and they were not even the black out kind.  In a house with no air conditioning I don’t know how they could have survived the hot summers without something to at least partially block out the sun and heat.  We have also bought some new drapes for the livingroom, so it’s starting to come together.  The second thing that we’ve done is buy laundry line to string up between the metal laundry posts in the back yard.

Smells clean, anyway

Smells clean, anyway

I have to say that I find hanging the laundry out to dry to be relaxing.  It reminds me of my sister Audrey and I playing in the laundry that would dry on the lines in our backyard when we were kids.  It makes me feel good to be playing a small part to be more green and in the process save ourselves some money on the electric bill.  There is even something kind of zen feeling about hanging the laundry out to dry, which I know kind of sounds bourgeois, but it really does feel calming and centering.

Tesla's Garage Perch

Tesla's Garage Perch

Tesla seems to be doing better now that we’ve been in the house nearly a week.  He was very skittery and scared for the first couple of days, but he has since gotten more used to the place and seems to be settling in nicely.

"It's my sleeping bag now!"

"It's my sleeping bag now!"

He’s even managed to find a place to call his own in the garage (sorry mom and dad, you may never get your sleeping bag back now…).  I’m sure he’ll be better once we let him outside to play, but we want to make sure he knows that this is home first.  Oh yeah, and he seems to have made himself at home with my water glass too…

"Look at me, I'm people..."

"Look at me, I'm people..."