Is summer almost over?

Seriously?  Summer is almost over and I didn’t get nearly as much done outside as I wanted to this year.  Our house was going to have a cute, quaint cottage look by now … but instead, the two front bushes are dead, the ivy is growing out of control, the lattice is falling down, the shutters are still peeling paint, and the house is d.i.r.t.y.

We have gotten some stuff done though …

ONE
We bought all new bushes for out front.  We needed something to fill in the behind the scenes of our garden.  Something that would stay green year-round and not make our house look so dead in the winter.  Enter five holly bushes, good size, grown at a local nursery.  It rained for about a week straight.  Nice.  Fertilizer, root grower.  The bushes looked great.  Enter 100+ degree weather with no rain for the next 3-4 weeks.  The two bushes by the steps get direct sunlight for a good portion of the day.  I did not water nearly enough (or maybe not at all for the first 2 weeks of heat?) … BIG MISTAKE.  Helpful hint for new home owners – plants need water.  🙂  They are dead.  We have to buy 2 more bushes for the front of the house.  Good news, the 3 bushes near the house and the tree are doing great.  Ugh … I did not get my mother’s green thumb … that went to my sister for sure.

**See previous blog post and picture the bushes on either side of the steps dead – that’s what it looks like now.**

TWO
We did finally get that guest bedroom painted and close to finished!  We painted the walls, ceiling, and all of the trim, hung molding & trim, and got a few new accessories.  It looks pretty good back there now.  I have a few more items to round the room out … including a second coat of paint on the small table, a headboard, and decorating stuff … but it’s coming along nicely.

The closet is still organized!!!
Bought a new doorstop … because the previous owners used a cordless phone base … I know it may be hard to imagine, but it is true.
(and I’m embarrassed to admit, but we used it for almost 2 years now too. totally. embarrassed.)

THREE 
So, when we were kids, my dad designed playground equipment to install at our elementary school – really only Libby & I went to school here because we moved before the boys were old enough.  The school was right next to our house – literally it went our house, neighbor I don’t remember, Dria’s house, cross the street, @ the school, and you had to walk through the playground to get into the school.  It was nice.  In the winter, the firemen would come and flood the big field in the back of the school so we could ice skate during recess.  I always wonder if today they ever do that anywhere anymore?   Coming back from the tangent … a while ago my parents were moving again and my mom was getting rid of some stuff and these playground equipment architectural drawings were in the pile.  I took them and have been lugging them around with me for 5 years through 2 moves and finally had a place to put them.  They are framed and hung in the guest bedroom, and THEY. LOOK. GREAT.  You’ll have to see them for yourself, but they are a totally cool, unique addition that adds a touch of modish adult style to the purpleness of the room.  Have I mentioned that I am in love with them … definitely on the list of favorite things in my house.

FOUR 
We had the side back yard area groomed … weeds pulled, top soil poured, paver stones laid, mulch & gravel spread.  Our grill sits nicely on the paver stones now.  Weeds won’t grow back to the side of the garage.  And eventually we’ll plant some knock-out rose bushes along the fence.  It’s so nice.  But, just so the story is documented … it was NOT NICE getting it to this point!  We called a local landscaper, finally giving in to the fact that we were just not going to get this done ourselves (our neighbor did it once, it grew back; we paid a guy to weed it, it grew back this spring; it was a jungle again; Pat tried to weed it – got about a 3′ square section done in 45 minutes; that was the end of that).  He came out a couple days later to look at the area.  It was a bit weird, but we waited about 6 days for a quote after that.  We talked it over and called him back within a week to tell him to go ahead with all of the work, except planting any bushes.  We didn’t hear from him for a couple of weeks, and the work wasn’t done.  One day, I came home to a message on the answering machine – “Sorry, things got really busy after we talked, but we’ll be out in the next couple of weeks to do the work.”  I called him back, left a message and said – “No big deal; we still want the work done.”  Two weeks later, no work done.  Pat now calls him, and left about 2-3 more messages.  He never returns any phone calls.  We are now about 4-5 weeks into this, with no work done and just leaving messages.  So, we agree this guy is fired.  Pat schedules another landscaper to come out and give us a quote that Friday.  Thursday night, I get home and the area is all cleaned up.  WTF?  Haven’t heard from this guy in 3 weeks – no messages, notes, nothing – and now he does the work?  Whatever, Pat calls him again.  Still no answer.  A week later, he leaves a message saying his guys are spraying weed control and will be able to finish the job Thursday or Friday the following week.  No work, nothing done that whole week … or the week after.  UGH.  Finally, Pat calls and says that he really has to finish this or else. (Else what?  We weren’t sure … but it was getting SO old.)  He came out the next day and finished the work.  Then he mailed us a bill RIGHT AWAY.  The bill came out to double his quote.  WTF, again?  Pat called him that night and discussed the situation, and we came to an agreement.  We mailed the check today, and as soon as that sucker is cashed, I am totally reviewing this business online.  It was a nightmare.  But, it’s done and looks much better!

FIVE
We got a new kitchen light … again … for the third time … but this one is good.  It’s really good.  And the decor is good and the light is good and it just looks good.

    SIX
    We painted our interior shutters.  They look good.  They fit the LR windows perfectly, and the DR windows almost.  So, we are going to figure out a way to hang those babies up and pull these curtains down.  Oh … this project is going to be enlightening (hahahahaha – because they are going to allow so much more light into our LR/DR … (I felt I needed to explain that joke))!  Stay tuned!

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