Finally getting our house in order

For those of you who don’t know, or do know but never really noticed (since really, it’s not a big deal) Chris and I will officially be spending our third summer in our house this year. We bought the house in June of ’06! It’s weird for me to think that it’s been that long already, or for that matter that July marks our fifth wedding anniversary!
So, most people would think, that owning a house for fastly approaching three years, it would be well lived in (especially since it was 20+ years when we bought it), personalized, and “ours”… they’d be wrong, lol. When we bought the house, I was half-way through my frist pregnancy, so I at least didn’t do much that summer. Last year, Inara was born in Late July, so another summer was counted out. This is the first summer, that I won’t be pregnant, or dealing with a newborn. The idea is glorious! I can finally work on getting things done! For starters, last summer we finally painted our kitchen (honestly though, it took me a year and a half to decide what color I wanted) – just in time for Inara’s 1st birthday and a house full of guests. Aside from redoing Inara’s room and painting the guest bed and bath (only to decide I didn’t like them after all and start all over in choising paint colors again) that’s the extent of the work we’ve done. Our living room, halls, master suite and laundry room are all the same paint (that I HATE) that they were when we moved in. We’ve replaced the fridge and dishwasher with our own, and of course moved in our washer and dryer (since we already owned them and those appliances weren’t included in the sale of the house anyway). So we haven’t done much with the inside of our house other than make glourious plans.
The same can basically be said for the outside too. We removed a ton of lava rock from our front garden bed, pulled out a couple of the bushes that were up front, and trimmed WAY back the other bushes. Then proceded to do nothing with it except let the front garden and the area around our MT. Laurel (which we lovingly refer to as “the kidney”) get WAY overgrown and gross. Seriously I thought about decorating for Halloween last year because the front of our house looked overgrown, deserted, and creepy! In the back yard, we’ve managed to keep up with the pool maintinance, and plant our lemon and orange trees that we had as potted plants in our garden… thats it – oh wait, we also planted a grape vine that we then promptly ignored.

Well, the past few weeks have been busy to change all that! I finally picked out paint colors for the living room, guest bath and guest bed (more to come on the guest bed later). And a couple from our ABF/Small group, and who are great friends of ours came over and helped us do a bunch of stuff. Jen helped me tape off the whole living area (living room and both hallways) and we also took down the blinds in the front windows to get ready for painting. While we were hard at work there, Mike and Chris worked in the backyard. The guys worked hard at taking down wood and metal fencing Chris had erected the year before around the “garden”. What I mean by “garden” is that area where we planted the grape vine, both trees and Chris had set up his Hydroponic garden for the two months he fiddled with it then left it to sit and do nothing. About that same time, Chris also took down the metal shead in the back yard (in the utility easment, yay previous homeowners again) that we never used and wanted to remove since we bought the house. Chris then started painting the front room and got two and a half walls done. Then we took about a month off lol!

This past week, Chris has gotten the gardening bug again, so we’ve been playing farmer. We planted about half a dozen various sized planters (and don’t think flower pots here, we’re talking rubbermaid bins, LARGE flower pots, and our old recycle bin) with Green peppers, green chillis, cucumbers, strawberries, two differant kinds of tomatoes, and a bunch of herbs. We now have basil, lemon basil, cilantro, dill, flat leaf (or Itallian) parsley, mint, and rosemarry growning outside in addition to the dasil and chives I have in my small indoor hydroponic garden. We also gave our fruit trees some TLC with a good pruining, fertalizer, and mulch. Tonight, we went to Lowes to look for some more herbs (where we got the basil, cilantro, dill, and parsley) and impulse bought another fruit tree. We’d been talking about another fruit tree for a while, so it’s not unexpected, we just actually did it this time, which was. So now we are also the prowd cultivators of Plums.

I have lots of pictures of the blooms and fruits already developing on the trees, the grapes (which despite their sever neglect are doing really well this year) and strawberries. But my camera isn’t syncing with my computer for some really odd reason, so you’ll have to take a raincheck.

We’ve decided that with $100-200 from our Tax return, when it arives, we’ll tackle the front garden, including bringing in some heavy machinery (a garden tiller rented from Lowes/Home Depot) to qwell the over growth, dead stuff, and massive amount of yuck that has taken over. Then we’re gonig to plan some flowering bushes, flowers, and posibly even a second tree out in the kidney area.

Next weekend though, we’ve budgeted out the weekend, and about $30 to finish off the backyard. We’re clearing out all the trash and debre that builds up from who knows where, all the dead leaves and grass and dog poop. We’re filling in and smoothing out the holes and lumps the dogs have created in the back yard (and re-burring the cable cable for the 500th time). pruning our two palm trees (unless someone decides they want to buy them and come take them away before then – seriously – I hate these things!) and filling in the massive trench the dogs have dug around the larger one, and putting a good ring of mulch around them as well.

We’ve also decided that no matter what it takes, next summer our east and west facing privacy fendces are getting replaced. Frankly I’m surprised they’ve held up this long and I pray they make it one more year! I’ll wait a little while before I spring on Chris that I really want to get a couple Pet Peeks for the exterier facing fence when we replace it next year.

Once the back yard is done (which also includes replacing our pool filter) we’re moving back inide to continue painting etc. We’ve also decided to majorly change the basic usage/pourpose for a couple rooms in our house. Nothing that takes contruction work or anything, just a lot of furnature re-aranging. More on that to come though.

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