Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Yesterday was another very special birthday--my mom's.
We took her to the little town we wish to move to, had lunch that the "Rome Away From Rome" cafe and visited the gardening store. This is their picture with Don Dirt, the "Master Gardener" at the store. :o)
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Today, we completed part of a do-it-yourself project. Our diy's never seem to be one single project. One project's hinged on another and so on. This time, it all started with a new refrigerator.
Back in July, we replaced the fridge that had been in our home easily since the mid 80's (maybe early 90's.) Of course, the only fridges they make these days that fit into a home like ours are the old reproductions of the Frigidaire's (which, if i was going to stay in this home, i would totally have got one) or the apartment sized fridges. That was just not going to cut it, so we got one of those big honkin' Samsung's with the double door action and pull out freezer. You know the kind that you have to break up into 3 pieces and rip down part of your deck just so the delivery gents can get it in your home?
Once it was delivered, our diy projects started. We had this cabinet that was located above our fridge--good for nothing because you couldn't really reach it on a day in, day out basis. And the new fridge wouldn't fit under it by just a little under an inch clearance, so Hubbie ripped it out. Our cabinets aren't the fanciest, but they are functional. The original owners, who built the place, made them of plywood, applied a veneer on top and put some swanky doors on them. So i encouraged Hubbie to save them, figuring we could use it somehow else in the house. Maybe convert it to a bench cabinet or something.
Well, it's time has come today--it's new home? The laundry room.
We have a closet of a laundry room. The best thing about it is the laundry chute from the bathroom upstairs. :o) Above my w/d, were two red plywood shelves, and exposed were all my unattractive plastic bottles of various laundry cleaners and sundries.
So we decided to hang the cabinet here and the bonus was that Hubbie engineered it so i got to keep one of the shelves for more storage/display purposes. Hooray! Love that calculating Hubbie o'mine!!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
see that brick planter? At first i loathed it, because it makes it impossible for us to have a nice landing. If you built a six foot tall wooden box from one side to the other and put a door on it, you'd have a small closet. :o\ I especially didn't like it the night (a few years ago) when we had to call 9-1-1 thinking Hubbie was having a heartattack or a ruptured appendix. The firefighters and medics couldn't even get Hubbie in a fabric stretcher past this thing, because the angles are too tight.
Then again, it provides nice planting space for things that you'd like to keep virtually slug free.
Like chives and pansies,
some oregano and lots of parsley, which is totally handy to have on hand when you are making risotto...you just have to walk down the stairs and out the front door at waist height you can be picky about the leaves you'll choose!
Initially, i headed out this way to assess the local meat shop out there. They're said to have great bangers (British sausages), so we wanted to test them out for the meal at Hubbie's b/d party. Of course, if i'm gonna drive 30 miles out of my way for bangers, especially on Earth Day, i need to make the trip worth my while. So i looked up some homes for sale out there that we had been looking at and i took a little tour of the city. Unfortunately, yesterday's weather wasn't the best, so i couldn't get a lot of nice pictures--not even one of Mt. Rainier because she was shrouded in cloud cover.
With bangers purchased and not needing to be anywhere for a good 3 hours, i explored. In between Auburn, Enumclaw, and Black Diamond. LOTS of farmland out there. And let me tell you, LOTS OF COWS and of course that means LOTS of Moo Doo. It's beautiful though! Rolling green hills of fir trees, cows, and sheep. Unfortunately bordered by the Muckleshoot Tribe, which would normally be a good thing, but they're allowed to sell fireworks twice a year. I couldn't even keep track of the number of fireworks huts erected in the yards of the people along the highway. It was crazy!
Here's one of the houses i did see that interested me:
Now, if only it would go on the market. :o) Being out there made me realise how much we lost to this last housing boom. There are so many new Gargantuan McMansions (you know the ones that would take up all the lots of a new neighbourhood full of the regular sized McMansions? And then they add a two story garage to boot!) Sadly, the land is being sold off, chunk by chunk. Here and there are dotted this sweet and charming old craftsmen or even the few and far between Victorian farmhouses, separated by the horrid modular homes of the 80's and 90's and the GMM's of this century.
And the cost of the GMM's has really pushed up the prices of the nostalgic old houses--which can't even compete in size. There is no way a family can afford $550K-7ooK for a house. And the ones that do, their children suffer for it because usually it takes 2 incomes to pay for those kinds of bills.
And lastly, the thing that is area had going against it was the distance from Hubbie's work. It's one thing to make a trip out there once a year or so, but entirely different to have to drive it everyday.
I did see some interesting things though: like rows and rows of these?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Wikipedia defines black comedy as "a sub-genre of comedy and satire in which topics and events that are usually regarded as taboo are treated in a satirical or humorous manner while retaining its seriousness."
Taboo, in my cutting garden, relates to the invasive Kentucky Bluegrass (and not the kind that has a good beat and you can dance to), dandelions, some vine type weeds that stick to you like double sided Duct tape, and various wetland type plants.
I've been battling these things since the first day i moved in 7.5 years ago, and the comical thing is that i am still battling them. Or maybe it's comical that i think i can still put a stop to them?
I did make some headway this week. We decided our new Pope John Paul II rose bush would be a great addition here, since this is where all the other roses are located. And the bush will be located in front of the main entrance to our home and the guest bedroom window, so it can be thoroughly appreciated more than the bare spot of dirt that was there before. Although, after planting my 'Kent' climbing rose in this bed, i am not sure more roses in this area are going to help matters any. The grass is just so invasive and now i've made a mess of trying to get rid of it without being prickled like a pincushion while you're trying to weed around them.
Another spot i devoted some time to this week was the end of the garden that has the wetland type plants. Also, someone years ago planted one of those yucca type plants here that were popular in the 50-60's. We whacked it down because it was growing so close to the foundation of the house, that we didn't want any problems. But now, it's tubers still live on. To the point of sprouting through the 15 layers of cardboard and river rock i placed over them. Would that be more comedy, or more satire? Oy!
Our "backyard", if you can call it that, is basically the variance required now by code between the gorge behind our house and the back of our home. So, with my hubbie being the head Environmental Engineer for the city in which we live, i don't have to tell you that not much can go on in this part of the yard. We don't even mow it but once a year. There are huge 50+ year old Doug Fir trees and a couple of native species we planted when i moved in, but other than that, i lovingly refer to it as the Wild.
This springy green "shrub" here is a native species called Indian Plum.
and it throws off these beautiful flowers
It will eventually kill the trees here too, as it will wind around the trees and choke them.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I had been anxious about what i would design for Hubbie's invites...he's interested in so many things--sailing, sports, hiking...you name it. Plus, he's turning 40. :o) Without getting too corny about it, i wanted to do something to honor his years here on Earth. No tombstone invitations here!Well, being on that football field inspired Hubbie's birthday invites:
During our conversations about the party, he had mentioned he might not want people to bring gifts. But since there are always going to be generous people who love to buy for special occasions, we came up with the idea to request if people wanted to buy something, they could buy items to benefit the local pregnancy aid
Here's how they turned out...
Now, onto the menu....traditional Irish has been requested.
We have a riding mower for our 17,000sf yard of grass. I have to wonder what the neighbours think when i'm starting the thing up and driving it all over our lot--most of them only have 8K-9K lots. We've also doctors our mower with some bumperstickers--the country codes for Germany, Ireland, and Norway. We must provide a few giggles for the nosy neighbours. It gets the job done so much faster than a self propelled jobby, hoping that we save a little exhaust that way.
The yard looks pretty good when she's all dolled up. Hubbie's birthday party is in a couple weeks, and we're hoping we'll be able to enjoy the yard and some nice weather. You never know though, one year we had a Memorial Day party and we had to "party" in our carport, for it was so windy and rainy.
In other efforts to clean up the place, i scrubbed part of the deck and freecycled some of the pots, BBQ, and things that had accumulated there. It's looking pretty decent now, if i can just get the rest of the moss/jet fuel fallout scrubbed off of it, it'll look pretty swanky for the party.
The raspberry canes are amazing this year! When we first moved in there were canes out in our front yard that seemed to be languishing in the sun all day. My parents gave us some of their raspberries, and we had them in partial shade, hoping that it would control their shoots and help with h2o control. That didn't work so well, cause we'd get about a handful of berries every year while my parents would get gallons and gallons of them. So we moved the canes last year and this is what we have now
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
course, so, too, is my daughter...