Friday, July 30

Oh, it is ON!

Well now they've done it. And this time they've gone entirely too far. I am using every ounce of strength not to swear up a storm here. The deer knocked down my fence and picked everything clean. Everything! Hostas? Gone! Bleeding hearts? Gone! The fence was literally knocked over at one end, and at the other, the netting was trampled to the ground. I don't think they are lacking for food, but for whatever reason they prefer my plants to anything else. Don't they know how limited I am with what can grow in the shade here anyway?

Tuesday, July 27

Fresh paint.

The living room is on its way to being done. It is slowly taking shape as the game room, since we have no need for a formal living room right now. It’s been painted a lovely shade of blue, much improved from the matte white it was. I think this may be the only room to never have had wallpaper. Which means no spackle, no sanding, just lots and lots of painter’s tape before we got started. We did find evidence of another paint color, something in the taupe/cocoa family, not a bad color actually. The trim is still a very creamy off white, as it is in the rest of the house. When I say very creamy, I mean it’s almost yellow. I’d love for it to be a bit more white, but with all the trim in the house that’s quite an undertaking. Another year maybe.

The smaller flat screen now sits on top of the fireplace mantle, flanked by my vases of peacock feathers. I think they look great there, and it’s also the only place they can really live since Andre would eat them if he could get within reach of them. The Wii is all hooked up, and has been tested of course, so now there is an official Wii TV, with plenty of room to rock out and jump around. I tend to throw elbows when we play hockey, and Mario Kart, well pretty much anything where I’m losing. The rod hockey table is almost ready to go, just waiting on a few replacement parts before we can finish setting it up. We got a really nice dart board, in a little black cupboard, that needs to be hung up. Ping pong has officially been vetoed, at least for upstairs as it would take up the whole room. If we can find a good deal on Craig’s list there is still plenty of room in the basement. I have this feeling that I am an undiscovered ping pong bad ass. I just need a table, and my ping pong legend will be born.

My CL chairs will go in there, along with the most recent CL addition, a corner table I scored for $20 last weekend. It's in the process of some minor repairs to the veneer face. With a fresh coat of paint, a creme found in the Oops bin at Home Depot for $1 (with primer built in!), it will be all set.

So it’s a start. We’re still working on coordinating the artwork for the room. I have my heart set on getting this daybed as well.

New, can you believe it? I’ve seen this in the last few West Elm catalogs but without a need for it I never really gave it much thought. When I saw it again the other day I thought it would be perfect for in there. We want something casual, for lounging, and as this holds a twin mattress, it would also be handy for extra overnight guests. I’m crossing my fingers it will go on sale at some point in the next few months, so we’ll hold out for that.

Before and after pictures to come this week! Every time I walk by the room I love the color more and more.

Monday, July 26

Holy aftermath of a storm Batman!

We came home last Wednesday to find our neighborhood looking like it had been hit by a tornado. Tree limbs down (those damn locust trees fall apart with the slightest gust), debris everywhere. There was one branch next to the driveway, about 5’ long, that had fallen and stuck straight up, impaled into the ground. We spent over an hour cleaning up what the storm had knocked down. We could’ve done more but the mosquitos were driving us crazy, even with bug spray on, so we called it a night. One particularly large branch landed dangerously close to the house, resting just next to the front porch. It nearly toppled my deer fence, but I managed to untangle everything and save the delicate netting. Another lovely feature of these wretched locust trees is the extra large thorns, not so fun when you’re picking up a yard full of their branches. The back deck is still a disaster but we’ll have to wait until everything dries out to clean that up.

The good news is that the town came back on Thursday to pick up the massive pile of sticks, twigs, branches that we piled up over the weekend and finished off earlier in the week. We figured if the town was nice enough to send a huge truck, a front loader and a crew of three to pick everything up, we might as well make it worth their while. It was quite a pleasant surprise to come home to find it all gone on Thursday. Of course we had to start a new pile once we cleaned up from the storm, but not one that will require the heavy duty equipment.

So the side yard is now mostly cleared. There are still a lot of leaves and small sticks everywhere, but it should all compost well if we can get it collected. We have so much more “yard” now. Granted it’s in the front, and a good chunk of it is sloped, but it really does make things feel more open. There are still enough trees for privacy between the neighbors, but it doesn’t look like an overgrown mess anymore.

Monday, July 12

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

Another successful weekend of hardcore landscaping. Our faithful crew returned, with chainsaw in tow, for another round with the overgrown mess that is our yard. I planted the three remaining azalea and the lilac, which have sadly still been in their pots from the store for about two months now. They seemed to be doing fine so I procrastinated a bit, but now they are finally in permanent homes. We cut down a few more trees and lots of shrubby, weedy bushes in the side yard. Lots of weeding and pruning (thank you! thank you!) on the trees and bushes we're keeping.

Dave had his sights set on the bush at the end of the driveway, an overgrown and mostly dead Juniper. He hacked it back and then it was finished off with the chainsaw, clearing up a huge section of the side yard, and even revealing a small post fence in front of the transformer. Who knew! I was a little nervous about removing something so large, mostly because of the work it will take to cover up the mess it left, but it looks so much better. There is a huge bare spot, surrounded by weeds (below) that need to be taken care of, but still, better. I'm thinking that it might even get enough sun down there to plant flowers. Actual flowers that bloom colorful blooms. I know this may be a lot to ask, but it seems to have worked for some of the neighbors.

A cluster of pine trees also fell prey to the chainsaw. I was a little unsure about taking them down at first, because it would make the driveway so much more open, but again it was a great improvement. Our massive pile of sticks and branches decreased for a time, and them filled right back up again. I hope the neighbors don't mind. This is what one side of the driveway looks like now.

I am still trying to wrap my head around the neglect that this yard has suffered over the years from multiple owners. Yes, the work is a bit daunting, but it only gets worse if you continue to do nothing. I guess they were too busy putting up all that wallpaper to worry about the outside.

In the meantime we're hoping the town comes back to pick up the pile we left in the road. The town website says everything must be put in bins to be collected, but everyone else on the street just puts everything right in the road (which I absolutely hate!) but it gets taken away just the same. This morning they emptied the bins full of sticks we put out as a good faith gesture, like look! we tried!, but they left the large pile. Fingers crossed that they come back for the rest!