May 14

Year one

Posted by Mrs. M

We just finished some gardening – geez that is exhausting! Along our back fence it’s all weeds and weeds. Also you see right into the neighbors yard. So I wanted to plant some screening plants – dual purpose, pretty the joint up and also add privacy (neighbors have a giant dog). So I ordered lilacs, forsythia, hydrangeas and burning bushes (got an excellent deal at michiganbulb.com). So here are the year one pics:

Back yard 1


baby plants

I also added some potted plants to the back porch. Hopefully we will be replacing the deck, pending assistance – but no reason we can’t have some color!

color on the porch


The girls are doing wonderfully! Veronica is running around and chatting away (still nonsense, but she has a lot to say!)
Here’s some pics:

Livia – so sweet


what a face!


Veronica at the petting zoo


Livia growing out of her clothes


Veronica in the Bumbo


Jul 9

It’s not easy being green.

Posted by Milkman

When we made the big “welcome to suburbia” move a couple years ago, we decided that when and where it’s reasonable, we would try and go “green”.

As one of the “never had to have one of these before” purchases was a lawnmower, we thought we’d try and get one of them Rechargable Electric ones. for a little while, it seemed like a good option – neighbors would marvel at how quiet it ran, it ran perfectly fine, we felt no buyers remorse.

Then, after a few months, the typical “rechargable” issue seemed to creep up……the battery stopped holding a full charge..and it would take a charge or two to complete the lawn.

A couple of times it would give up halfway through mowing the front lawn, leaving us with that “did your landscapers go on strike halfway through?” aesthetic.

We limped along for a while after that, until a couple weeks ago it gaveup the ghost. I brought it into an authorized repair shop. One of the gus there started it up, and the noise alone made everyone in the shop turn around and ask “Dear GAWD, what the hell is that?!?!”

While it is a bit of an optical illusion, the description on the invoice says all it needs to with regards to their prognosis:


Apr 19

Tree Murder…

Posted by Mrs. M

So we got back from Mexico – had a great time… As soon as I remember to bring the camera to work I’ll write a post about it.

We left early on Sunday so we had all day Saturday at home, it was gorgeous outside so E was going to work on some yard stuff. One of the items on his list included cutting down a scraggly decorative tree in the yard. I think it was some kind of cherry, but it was pretty pathetic looking. and it was always in the way. SO E got out his chainsaw and cut it down, no problem. Now there is a stump and the stupid thing will just keep regenerating… so I thought we should just dig the stump out and be done with it. It was hard work, but really it only took us about an hour and a half to do it. I helped, but of course E did ALL the heavy lifting… I was just helping him dig and trying to find where the thing was holding on while E yanked it out. Here’s the carnige

Now its just a mound of dirt… once E rolls the yard, should make mowing a lot easier!


Jul 27

Projects weekend

Posted by Mrs. M

So instead of tackling one project this weekend – we did 3! Of course. 2 of them were supposed to be simple, but the Charlotte house had other ideas. Project one, install a screen door in seven easy steps! (Note, each step takes an hour – that bit was missing from the instructions) E worked on that stupid door all afternoon and finally finished around dinner. Project two, install a bathroom fan… easy, right? ha! Turns out the ceiling in the bathroom is a 7-layer cake, lathe and plaster, chicken wire and plaster, a drop ceiling and couple layers of drywall… no wonder the roof freakin sags – there’s a 600-pound ceiling in the bathroom alone!! (I don’t even want to KNOW about the rest!) So E had to totally rig this thing up, but it’s up. Of course he spent most of the day in the attic trying to first get through the ceiling, then on Sunday to unravel the electric, which I think, is worse than he thought. Luckily I wasn’t around for the huge mess portion of that event, I wouldn’t have been much help. I went to Lowes to get the stuff for giant project #3. Rip out and rescreen the porch – and add solid panels along the bottom so the cat won’t continue to head butt his way through the new screens, and while we’re at it, lets paint the posts too. OK, no problem, right? Ha again! It took Sue and I several hours to get all the old screen out, they used about 9,000 3 INCH nails to hold in SCREEN. *sigh* oh well, can’t be easy – But I would guess that porch is hurricane-proof.

New porch – well sorta

New porch – well sorta

We had to take the railing off the deck to get to the posts – we’re using a screening system called Screen Tight (find it at Home Depot and Lowes), hopfully that will be easier to repair than screen stapled in with half-inch trim. We’ll see. But I think the porch looks 10x better just with the posts painted. The neighbors said they think that went up in ’89 and nobodys ever done anything with it except replace the screens once.  And I found the best stuff to clean mildew and mold and moss… Clorox outdoor bleach – a 2-1 with water and stuff would just disappear. Awesome. The only casualties so far are some beat up hands and my eyeball (got some flying depris on the LAST colum I sanded, yes, I was wearing safety glasses, guess I need some full-on googles if I’m going to be sanding stuff).


Aug 5

First foray into yard work

Posted by Mrs. M

So my Mom and her hubby were up a couple weekends ago and Mom helped me identify that pretty much everything that is growing in my yard is either grass, a hosta or a weed. **Sigh** We had figured as much, but those weeds are a lot of work! So Mamma helped me weed out around our maple tree in the back and we cleared out the flower bed next to the garage. This last weekend I dug the rocks around maple tree out and made it alittle more round (it had gotten kinda lop-sided) It’s still a little lopsided, you can pretty much see where I started getting tired! Then I dug up one lonely hosta from underneath a crab-apple tree and split it up and then swiped a stiped hosta from the front yard and encircled the tree with new flowers and mulch. I read on the internet that putting wet newspaper under mulch is a good weed deterent.. we’ll see. Here’s the result of that colassal effort:

Then we had this weird shape where they had linked 2 crab-apple trees together with a flower bed and landscaping bricks. Well, of course it was all weeds. There are day lilies next to one of the trees and I transplanted some black-eyed susans from below the porch. They looked a bit peaky when I took this, but they’re perking up. E helped me with this. We pulled the weeds then we had to dig up all the bricks and re-lay them to make the rings around the trees. We’re going to fill in the empty spot with grass. It’ll be a nice pass-through between the neighbors yards and it’ll make the space directly outside the screened-in porch usable. We still have the even out the new dirt area. I’m sure the torrential rain last night beat it down quite a bit, but a little work with the garden weasel and we’ll be all good.

And bug already found the daiseys!

And finally – now I have a hole to plug where I stole the daises from… I may see if I can get that green and white stuff to spread and fill that whole area and use the 2 hostas that are on the left for the tree in the front yard… we’ll see if I get that much energy or time!