Archive for June, 2014

Landscaping and Halloween Space
 

So a lot has been done with the house since my last update. Almost all the windows save for the attic window have been trimmed, and they are getting fancy copper accents on the top. Rain, rain and more rain kept delaying work and the finishing of the back porch/wall area. There is a photo of it below with some of the blue stone caps on top. These have to be finished, and will also be the same material for the patio area there. We are still waiting on our lights for the pillars, of course there was an issue with the ones we ordered. The company can’t find them in the warehouse and wants to sell us similar ones, for a lot more money. Um, I don’t think so!

Out front I got suckered into helping with landscaping the past few days. Today I finally said “Oh no, I’ve done enough shoveling, carrying large rocks and carting wheelbarrows of dirt!” It was a great workout, but I need a break. Fortunately they finished the last of it today . . . after all the heavy rock carrying had been done by yours truly. Most of the rocks you see in the photos below I carted from an old pile 100 feet or so away. Next to the side of the house, where the brick wall is now in the photos, was an old rock wall. They took it out, piled the rocks out back and the brick wall and a drain to keep water out of our basement. We reused those rocks out front. You can actually see the pile in the photo in the previous post I made.

There are still a few touch-ups to be done. The rock wall out front near the sidewalk and small shrubs isn’t yet finished, and the sidewalk area by the front steps is going to be expanded/widened out. Also a lot of grass or sod has to be put down in areas in the back, and some new grass out front as well.

While I’m thrilled that our house doesn’t look like white-trash anymore, I’ve lost so much prime real estate space for Halloween decorations, and the spooky atmosphere of the “woods” next to the house is totally gone! Where the two southern magnolia trees are now is where I used to have the cemetery gate and spooks hidden back among the trees. Two of the trees had to be taken down because they were rotting, one actually fell on it’s own in a big storm. We also had all the saplings that had been growing ripped out, and sums fugly bush thing. As you can see in one of the photos from the back, there is now a natural break between two mulched areas. There was always a path through there, it just got over grown, and another tree was in the way. I’m thinking the gate will go there, with some stuff placed behind it. I’m hoping it will, if lit right, cast some nice shadows on the side of the house. The front yard though . . . that’s gunna take spatial planning. At least I should have a usable porch again this year. John’s already ordered my birthday gift/s and said I’m going to be so shocked by them. Can’t wait! It’s months away though . . .

My Garden Is Growing!
 

So I finally got my garden in. I didn’t get it totally done until the end of May thanks to all the yard work going on, the cooler than normal temperatures and way too much rain. A photo of it is below, and yes it looks ghetto. It is even more ghetto than normal given all the work debris in the yard. Believe it or not, this was the nicest angle I could take it from. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll notice the fence around the area is completely gone. It opens our backyard up so much. Now if the rain would end so the patio could get completed and some of the junk hauled off.

Thanks to critters, (chipmunks, rabbits and groundhogs), I have to put my plants up as high as I can to keep them out. The cinder blocks really add that white trash look we’re trying to get rid of, and I didn’t think until too late to use segments of an old tree we had removed. A few pots are on those, and they at least look nice. By time I was getting ready to place and space things out, most of the tree had been hauled off.

A lot of the places critters been living here are now gone, so I’m hopeful this year won’t be as bad. I do know Mr. Groundhog and Miss Rabbit are still around, I think they relocated to the neighbors barn. I have tried all kind of critter ridders and sound machines to keep them out, but eventually they end up getting me! However there isn’t much I can do right now as once the porch area is done, and the final window touches are put on the house, the contractor has to tackle repairing and fixing up our garage. This is next to my garden area, so I couldn’t put too much down that would get in his way. What I’m hoping to do next year is put in a raised bed system and a small fence around just the garden. We we see though. Every year when my garden finally gets attacked I swear I’ll never garden again.

This year I am growing some new things. The list of everything I’m attempting to grow is below. I believe I’ve grown all the tomatoes at one point or another. The second list is all new. While I’ve done green peppers and Japanese eggplant, I’ve ever done any of these varieties. It should be interesting to see how they work out.

  • Classic heirloom tomatoes
  • Beefsteak tomatoes
  • Rutgers tomatoes
  • Super roma tomatoes
  • Better boy tomatoes
  • Super fantastic tomatoes
  • Orange bell “sweet” peppers
  • Mini bell pepper mix.
  • Sweet banana peppers
  • Mini Gretel eggplants.

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Facebook Is No More
 

So after a year of my love-hate relationship with Facebook, I finally did it and just got rid of it all together. I had actually deleted all my status from past years, photos and videos awhile ago. Let me tell you that is not an easy thing to do going back to 2007. I would then periodically clean my wall of recent stuff. I don’t know why I started doing this honestly. I think it was my version of slowly trying to get myself off Facebook.

Lately though Facebook has been less fun for me and often would make me angry, upset and raise my blood pressure. I actually had deactivated the account last weekend and survived a week without it. My initial thoughts were to eventually go back and purge my friends list of all but close people that I knew and liked. However when I tried to do that, I found myself unable to. I felt bad about unfriending people, and the there was the issue “if I unfriend this one, but not that one, they are mutual friends and the first will know and wonder why I ditched them…” It just became too much, and I ended up deleting a whopping ten people and still had 305 friends, many I knew I should just get rid of but again couldn’t seem to be mean enough to do.

So I the end I decided the easiest thing was to get rid of it. Now Facebook does not make this easy at all. You have to google to find the real way to delete, not deactivate your Facebook. They also don’t immediately delete it, you have to not log in for 14 whole days and then they remove it. It unfortunately becomes really easy to end up changing your mind and saving it from permanent deletion. I know! There is also the “connected apps” that can accidentally revive your Facebook. So I resorted to drastic measures. I went and unfriended all 305 people. That way there wasn’t much to bring me back. Then I made a random email on my server I would never remember, made that my default Facebook email, set the account to permanently delete … then deleted the random email I made so I again couldn’t retrieve it! Yeah, that was way too much work to get rid of Facebook!

Now I actually have to let what I did sink in and get used to not being on it. I do wish I had saved a few contacts that I now realize I didn’t have in my phone. However if someone really wonders where I went to and really wants to find me, it’s not hard to do that for me with Google. I imagine this blog may be getting a few more hits over this week from people doing just that. Who knows, maybe now I’ll actually blog more, because what I would normally share on Facebook I can post here. I think I am gunna need a new blog category for “John’s Brother Stories.”