Archive for May, 2014

Flowers In The Attic
 

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The “Flowers in the Attic” books (also known as The Dollanganger Saga) by VC Andrews were the first real adult books I ever read. The only reason I even read them was because the mother of my best friend at the time owned them and had them locked in a glass bookcase for all to see, but not touch. My friend and her siblings would always say those were dirty books, which is why their mom locked them up. So of course me, being in the 7th grade, purchased them the next time I went with my mom to the grocery store. I actually bought it at the Crown Bookstore that was next-door to the local Giant.

I remember not being able to put “Flowers” down and reading it in the span of 24 hours. Then I of course had to buy the rest. I remember “Petals on the Wind,” which was the longest of the books if memory serves me, took me forever to get through. It wasn’t as gripping as the horror of the first. It basically was just about the abusive relationship they all ended up in. The third was down right twisted, and the forth was just a depressing ending to it all.

If you have been living under a rock, Lifetime TV has made movies of the first two books. “Flowers” aired in January and “Petals” just aired tonight. I will say that the “Flowers” movie disappointed me. The acting of the main kids was terrible, I didn’t feel the fear or terror in the book, and even the dirty scenes just weren’t shocking. I was actually rooting for them all to just die by the end. However Lifetime greenlit the sequel even before the original aired, and it’s a good thing they did, because it might not have come about it they waited for the reception “Flowers” got from many like myself. “Petals” was phenomenal! It was definitely better than the book. Whereas I hated that they cut so much out of “Flowers,” the cuts to “Petals” were welcomed. I haven’t read these since I was 12/13, but I plan to reread them over the summer and before “Thorns” and “Seeds” air.

Oh yes, Lifetime is making all four of the original books into movies. There is no word whether “Gardens,” which was a prequel about the Grandmother and Grandfather, will become a film.

Happy Birthday Ebbie!
 

So last week was Ebbie’s birthday. She was one years old on the 18th. I totally forgot as I had so many other things going on 🙁 I’m a bad doggy daddy!

Ebbie turned out to be a tiny Westie. She’s smaller than Princess, who is considered ideal for a Westie. Most Westies I’ve met tend to be a little bigger than Princess. Nikko, the Cairn, is actually a bit bigger than an average Cairn should be. Most Cairns are smaller than Westies!

I’ve been forced to feed Ebbie kibble for now. I’m trying to get weight on her scrawny butt, and kibble has the carbs that do it. I don’t like feeding kibble as it usually is what Princess was allergic too. However she’s shown no signs of any itching or paw biting like Princess did as a puppy, and as you can tell from the photos she also isn’t getting the beard staining. Though I did just bathe her because she was a dirty puppy. She likes to roll in the dirt more than anything else.


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Princess, Ebbie and Nikko

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Princess and Ebbie.

We Really Need Another Brick In The Wall
 

So our big ole ditch out back finally has been filled in with all sorts of high-tech draining system stuff, and they are onto bricking over the ugly cinderblock wall. Unfortunately because it was so wet this whole week, they didn’t get far. Sadly the week coming up doesn’t look much better. Apparently it’s not good to do masonry work when it’s raining or to moist out, it is bad for the mortar.

In the photos below you can see the start of what is planned. Hopefully they will make a dent in this work tomorrow before all the severe storms move in. The pillars you see here will all have some kind of lights/lanterns on the top.

Were the wall bends in is where our new bluestone patio is going. This will also wrap around the backside of the house where our back door is. The indentation is going to be my grilling area, and eventually I hope to get some kind of table and chairs to put out there so we can enjoy the patio.

We are also working on getting some new bushes put in soon. So much of the brush and trees had to be removed, really exposing the back of our house to the street. We are hoping to put something back as a shield, not just for privacy but especially for the noise from the road.

One thing we really need back though is our A.C.. They took this out in order to grade the land for water and dig all the ditches. Unfortunately one of the reason we are getting storms this week is the heat is soaring into the mid-to-upper 80s. We have several windows open now to create a breeze, but it’s also bringing in the dreaded pollen. It seems like every year right when we need the A.C., we don’t have it for some reason or another!

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Spring Is Here! My Garden Is NOT!
 

So spring is finally here, and our house is actually coming along. The contractor is back to working on the outside, thank God! Come fall or winter of next year we are looking to redo our kitchen and bathroom. After last year, I am going to stress that this should happen AFTER the holidays. I want to be able to get decorations up in a timely fashion and without fear of breakage this year.

Right now they are working on our patio and side wall that will also include a French drain to carry water away from our house. The patio is going to be done in bluestone. It will also include short pillars with lights/lanterns on them. I don’t know what the whole thing will look like, the final design hasn’t been set in stone . . . except for the bluestone on the ground. There may be a pergola and backsplash put up for me to put my grill in front of to guard from the wind, which always comes from that direction.

I took the below photos this weekend when it was nice out. They actually did a lot more work since I took these, but the weather turned horrible these past few days and I haven’t had a chance to take new ones. I’ll try and do that this weekend or next week for an update.

Gum Wrapper Rings First up, the bushes in the front of our house got a massive trim, especially the one on the left. The purple walkway is being replaced. I put these old doormats down during halloween to cover all the cords for the lights so that nobody tripped on them and sued us. We are going to use the large stones from our old back porch to make a staggered sidewalk out front. I’ll just have to post photos to explain, but think of the chains made from stick gum wrappers . . . if you remember those things. Here I’ll just add a photo to the left!

The black goop on our house walls in the one photo is what has been applied all over to seal the foundation so that water will stop leaking into our basement. So far so good! Well except for yesterday when we got 5+ inches of rain in 24 hours. We had a very tiny bit of water in the basement, but nothing like the flood we would have had. We also had a nasty back-up with our septic system, but that has been cleaned up and we don’t need to talk about that crap 🙂

My garden area looks a little bit better than it does below. The giant pile of dirt is gone, but that’s about it. If you’ve followed me, you’ll also notice the entire fence around that area is gone too. I am hoping to do something with that area and have things planted by mid-May. I have told the contractor I must be able to garden, as it is comforting to me. Most of my friends, and even John, think it’s silly since I live on a farm and can just go pick whatever I want from the fields. I always say “That’s not the point! I want to grow it myself!” I like growing my own veggies, though I don’t like the yearly battles with the critters. This year though the groundhog holes got filled up completely and covered with rocks, a lot of rocks. I hope they don’t return!

The porch is almost entirely finished, aside from the one end shown in this photo. They haven’t fit the railing on there because of the giant vine growing. That’s John’s precious wisteria plant, which he has agreed to cut finally. It runs up to the very top of the tree to the right of our house, and the only wisteria that blossoms seems to be at the very top of it . . . which is so high you can’t even really appreciate it.

The other photos are mainly of the retaining wall they’ve been building to redirect rainwater and runoff away from the house. It looks ugly in these photos, but it will be covered with a nice brick facade eventually. This is partially where our new back/side porch will be as well. They’ve actually filled all the trenches in these photos in.

The house still needs a final coat of paint, the roof then needs to be tended to, and finally they have to finish with all the window trim.

While they take care of that this summer, I have to work on organizing the inside of the house a bit better. I finally bought some new dressers, I just have to clean out the old ones, chuck them, and move the new ones into the downstairs rooms. Next up at some point will be a new desk for the room that will be my office! This way I’m not sitting and working in the dining room area . . . where I’ve been for the past 12 years.