Archive for the ‘outdoor space’ Category

the first blizzard


Posted by Rebecca, December 28th, 2010

On Sunday, we were hit with our first major snowstorm since moving in. Thankfully, Mike’s grandfather bought us a snowblower just the week before, amid rumors of a storm around the 21st. That storm never came, but thankfully we were prepared when we were hit!

Yesterday we went outside to assess the damage. Wait… let me rephrase that… Mike went outside to assess the damage and I watched from the window. I planned on going outside to take some pictures and make a snowman, but MY GOD IT WAS FREEZING.  And ridiculously windy. There was no nice, sunny, day after storm weather. And it was my birthday, so I didn’t feel guilty sitting in the house while Mike used the snowblower. I mean, it’s not like we had to shovel this year, right? So in order to have some documentation of the storm to show you, I took this video of Mike snowblowing the driveway, with my iPhone, from the comforts of our bedroom…

Then I realized this was kind of mean. So I marched outside in my rubber boots and brought Mike some water.

I also took some pictures. It is ridiculously hard to take pictures when a) your hood is covering your face b) your hands are numb because you can’t use the camera with the mitten top covering your fingerless gloves and c) the snow is so bright and you’re too cold to play with camera settings.

See how deep that is?!

It was so windy that the covers blew off of our wood piles…

And there were these funny snow drift spots everywhere…

I think it’s safe to say that my mums are officially dead…

Hey there’s Mike again!

Thanks to the plows, we have to climb a mini-mountain to get the mail out of our box…

Though it still took Mike quite a while to do all of the sidewalks and the driveway, it was no where near as awful as it would have been had we not had the snowblower. Yesterday Mike rescued our next door neighbors, who were shoveling out their driveway with garden shovels. Then tonight, we came home to see our neighbors across the street (who we’ve never met) returning from spending the holidays in Canada and being unable to even find their driveway. We offered the snowblower, but apparently we were just a little too late, they had managed to shovel just enough to get their car in.

So even though we thought we were a little late with the snow preparation, apparently we were in the best shape out of all of our neighbors. Once again, THANK GOD.

the great Christmas outdoors


Posted by Rebecca, December 22nd, 2010

Before we actually decorated inside this week, we decorated the outside of our house on Saturday. We actually planned out something simple for the porch a while ago, but never had the chance to put it out. We waited until it was brutally cold Saturday afternoon.

First I finally hung the outdoor wreath I made a few weeks back.

We also picked up two artificial trees for either side of the door.

We actually planned to use those trees at the bottom of our porch staircase, but I completely forgot that we had two pointy evergreen type trees there already.  So we strung those with white lights and put these artificial ones on either side of the door. Thankfully, my Christmas color scheme matched my spring/summer doormat so I just pulled that back out for the time being. The mess of wires was inevitable, we got the smallest sized extension cords they had. It was so cold out there that we tucked them in as best we could and ran back in! We added some pre-lit garland to the porch rails and wa-la!

There’s our simple little porch. I would have snapped more pictures and played with the camera settings a bit, but the neighbors came out and I got all embarrassed that I was standing on the lawn, taking pictures of my own house, with a giant camera.

And now our house is finally all set for Christmas! 😀

glittery frost


Posted by Rebecca, November 29th, 2010

This morning when I woke up, I noticed that our grass was completely covered in frost.  It was so pretty and sparkly that I just had to take some pictures before work.

Goodbye pretty landscaping, I’ll see you in the spring when I decide to come out of the house again. Because I plan on hiberating until April….

the longest day ever


Posted by Rebecca, November 14th, 2010

Yesterday we did it.  We completed the first item on our pre-Christmas list and cleaned out the garage… for the most part.  Though I had dreams of it being completely done and organized in a day, we quickly realized those expectations were extremely high. Once again, the before picture…

The process was completely overwhelming and we often felt like we were getting nowhere.  Those small boxes on the bottom left of the picture? Full of random papers/clothes/unorganized things that were packed in the last minute.  So we’d get through a small box, only to look up and see a mountain of things that remained.  One of those crates contained nearly Mike’s entire sock collection. Quite funny.

I didn’t go into detail about how our garage got to look like this.  When we moved out of our condo, we were completely organized and the process was seamless. Boxes packed in an organized manner, labeled nicely and put into storage while we all moved in with Mike’s parents for 10 months.  The majority of this mess isn’t from our condo move, it is from the move from my in-laws’ to our house.

Six weeks before we decided to sell our condo, our worst nightmare came true and Macky began having seizures like his brother that we lost less than a year before.  We believe stress triggers them for him and long story short, Sunny once had a seizure while in a cat carrier with Macky and he is know terrified of carriers.  So when we moved Macky from our condo to my in-laws’, he had a seizure while en route.

So for 10 months, we dreaded moving to our house because we were terrified of losing Macky the way we lost Sunny.  We had a very detailed plan, which was to not put him in a carrier and instead put him in the back of my mother-in-law’s SUV with me.  It was only a 5 mile drive and we could move him from their garage to ours, without him ever going outside. (Note: I do not recommend this under normal circumstances.  A cat carrier is equivalent to putting your kid in a car seat, so please don’t try this at home) So we set a date about 2 weeks after closing because we didn’t want to move him anywhere near the anniversary of Sunny’s illness, which happened to be the anniversary of Macky’s first seizure AND which happened to be their 4th birthday.  April 27th is a bad luck day for us and sometimes I am a crazy worrier, but when I told Mike that if our closing date fell near the 27th, we needed to wait to move.  He agreed.  Two years of bad birthdays for Macky was enough.

So we planned, closed on March 30th, emptied our storage unit into our garage and began unpacking.  We would unpack after work, then go back to Mike’s parents’ and sleep there with the kittens.  Then we got a phone call that the week we planned to move the cats, our driveway would be paved and we wouldn’t be able to drive on it for 7 days. Cue the panic attack.  So we ended up moving the cats on during bad luck week.

Because of our garage to garage moving plan for Macky, we had to be able to park a car in there.  So we quickly pushed things over to one side, moved some things to the basement and managed to get him in the house. We decided not to bring any boxes in the house for a few weeks, so he was as comfortable as possible here.  Also so he didn’t know what was going on, we didn’t move any of our things out of our bedroom at Mike’s parents’ before we moved Macky. Elaborate scheme, I know, but he means the world to us.

Turns out he moved perfectly fine, though I was crammed in the back of a CR-V with him and had bruises all over my legs from his pacing back and forth, but he didn’t have a seizure!  In fact, within a few hours he was roaming the house like he’d lived here all along.  Finally, FINALLY, we could be excited that we closed on our house and our whole little family made it here with us.

We would run to my in-laws’ after work and quickly throw some of our belongings in a random bag/box.  I believe I emptied our bathroom there into a grocery bag in about 5 minutes.  I found a shoe box of things that were in my nightstand, which was not only my nightstand while we lived there, but my desk, medicine cabinet and wedding planning station (Yes, we also got married in the midst of this).  Most of this stuff ended up in the garage.

Spring came and went, the hottest summer ever made our garage 100 degrees most days. Plus it was just so disorganized from our hasty box consolidation that two bikes and a dresser blocked all of our smaller boxes.  Not something we were looking forward to tackling.  AT ALL.

Yesterday we managed to at least organize the space, find where things were and get Mike some damn socks to wear…

It isn’t completed, but it’s a huge step.  Most of the stuff left in this picture is old office furniture we plan on selling/donating.  The bikes are going to get hung on the wall.  At one point, Mike pointed out that we were just moving the stuff to other rooms, which was true.  But it wasn’t trash… so the boxes labeled “office” were put in the office to be sorted and we got rid of very little.  Our small piles of trash/recycables…

Though at the time we didn’t appreciate what we did, we now know that if we need to, we could fit our two cars in the garage and with some shelves/organization system, we’ll be done.

It’s a start, which is usually the hardest part…. and it feels pretty good to close the “living out of boxes” chapter of our lives.

ps- it’s ironic that the longest day ever resulted in the longest post ever… sorry about that guys 🙂

the grass is always greener


Posted by Rebecca, November 7th, 2010

One of the added bonuses of buying our particular house was that the builder included sod and landscaping in our front yard.  Our sod was laid in April and we went on to have the hottest, driest summer ever.  We don’t have a sprinkler system and we didn’t want to use too much water, so by the end of the summer our grass was looking awful.  It came back to life quite a bit with some rainfall in September and October, but it is still showing signs of the heat.

Good in some spots…

Awful in others…

Many people in our neighborhood use Scotts lawn services.  They’ve come by before offering to maintain our lawn, but we declined.  We reseeded the bare spots at least twice on our own, with no luck.  We knew the grass had to be aerated, but what the heck did we know about that?  This is our first time actually having a yard! I knew you could rent an aerator, but with the cold weather quickly approaching, we knew it was another thing we likely wouldn’t have time for on the weekends.

So when Scotts came knocking a few weeks ago, we listened.  The very nice man told me how the builder is in such a rush to get the sod down, that they are not laying it on hearty soil.  We learned this on our own while planting flowers this summer, when we saw our soil was actually construction zone orange dirt.  Two of our azaleas never rooted and I literally pulled them out of the ground with little effort and they were still shaped like the pots the landscaper took them out of!  What he said made sense, so we signed up for just some aerating and seeding.  Aerated grass looks like goose poop.

No fertilizers, no pesticides, I don’t like that stuff.  We have a little pond across the street, okay it’s a detention basin with fountains in it, but there is a family of geese in there.  I don’t want those chemicals floating around the cute little babies, nevermind all of the people who walk their dogs, the deer in the backyard and the roaming peacocks. Wait, I don’t think I had this blog for the peacock story.  Another story for another day….

So far we’ve seen a few grass sprouts here and there and hopefully we still have some grass growing time left this fall!

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