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Tag Archives: new house
I want to put my hands in the dirt. I want to feel cool soil under my finger tips. I want to grow things. Spring is officially here.
I’m still learning a lot about my house. April will be a year and this is my first spring here so its been fascinating to see what the trees do, one back yard tree currently has white flowers all over it. There are flower petals all over our back yard and there are always one or two catching a ride in to house on Sam’s back. I’m also finding all sorts of fun plants that are springing up here and there. I had forgotten that I planted irises in the front yard, and there they came, bursting out of the ground.
I’ve got the front yard somewhat under control. I’m sure I’ll still battle with that nasty vine weed thing again this summer. I will win this battle, I’m determined. But other than that, things are coming together. I’ve planted succulents (seedums and hen and chicks of different varieties) and they are doing quite well. I also have a passion vine that is quickly outgrowing it’s pot and needs a more permanent home. Three rose bushes that I got for Christmas also need a place to live (they are going in the back).
BUT I’m dying to plant veggies. I found tomato plants at HEB for $0.75! I bought 9 and a lone squash with no where to plant them. I have mental plans for raised flower beds in the back corner of our back yard. I’ve been trying to figure out the best thing to build them out of and after a failed attempt at picking up some used wood (and a very irritated husband) I’ve decided to buy materials. SO I’ve been searching and I found this on Southern Living…
I’ve priced the materials and I’m pretty sure I could do both my 4×4′ beds for $60 or less (I have some wood in the garage that I will use for the trim).
Then I realized I have to buy dirt. Buy dirt. That sounds so wrong. I feel the same way about buying dirt that I feel about buying water…why? Why would I buy something that I could get for free? SO I did quite a bit of research on trash can compost bins and tomorrow I will officially be a composter and I will let my waste become dirt. This my friends, excites me! My trash is going to turn into something I was going to pay for!! Fantastic.
So two projects in my future…I will, of course, keep you all updated.
I know you’re not supposed to lust…but seriously…Ethan Allen has captured my heart with this display. Bill and I visited Ethan Allen while we were waiting to close on our house back in March of 2010. I love Ethan Allen (sorry Martha, but they do compete for your place in my heart)…I do not however love their prices. SOOO I’ve been trying to capture this kind of look in my living room. Except with yellow and gray, black and white. I’ve purchased several great pieces, trash picked a few others, and was gifted still a few others. Our couch is the same style as the one in the picture, only cream, and so old that the style has come back around. I l-o-v-e that chair…and the lamp…and the zebra pillow. Sigh. One day my living room will be complete.
For as long as I can remember my mom has always been a gardener. When I was very young and my parents were still married, they had a large vegetable garden. I remember picking the peas right off the plants and eating them. The smell of fresh carrots, straight out of the ground, the way the orange looks against the deep brown of rich earth. Twirling cucumbers until they broke from the vine, the way the fuzzy stems feel and how there are little kind of prickly things on cucumbers that haven’t been covered in glossy wax stuff and shipped, and the skin actually tastes good. The place where there was a vegetable garden changed over the years, I had a play house on stilts, then it was just grass, and now part of her art studio sits in that space. When I was very young my mom dreamed of a pond, with a stream and a bridge. She took a wooden stake and nailed a piece of 2×4 and painted it white and with redish orange letters wrote “Visualize a Pond Here” and stuck it in the yard where her pond would eventually be.
She now has that pond, as well as most of the things she visualized when I was so young. She’s taught me a lot of things, but this isn’t really about all of those things, this is about gardening, and how my mother passed along a deep seeded desire to make and watch things grow.
Years ago she started going to this thing called a plant swap meet. The concept is things grow, and when they grow you have to thin them out so why not share the wealth and trade what you have extra of for what you might want, or not know that you want. And thus a plant swap was born. I actually saw an article on one that a lady has been doing for a few years in Martha Stewart Magazine. I thought, “Psh, you’re behind the times, ours has been going for nearly 13 years!”
Today was the fall plant swap and the first swap where I’ve actually had plants to bring (I’m pretty new at this whole gardening for myself thing). I got such amazing plants and an insane amount of history and information. Did you know there was a variety of bamboo that was native to Texas? Did you know pine needles are great for your garden as a mulch?
People pre-trade via a yahoo group, but most people will just give you things if you ask. If they say no they usually tell you that if you remind them, they’ll definitely bring it for you at the next swap. Its like we’re this gardening family that only gets together twice a year. We do a pot-luck lunch, and people come from as far as Galveston and Arlington to swap plants.
We chat and hang out and munch on food. People bring door prizes and we draw names to see who gets fun things like new gardening gloves, a book on native plants, or a hot ticket item like a stag horn fern (which I won one year, its doing splendidly by the way). Certain people are alway on the hunt for certain items…different kinds of ginger, interesting things. I’m always in the market for herbs, succulents, sedums, or anything thats colorful and blooms in the shade.
Some people are so organized with labels and pots, and then there’s mom and I who dig things up the night before or day of the swap and people take what they want. Either way plants get good homes.
Mom collects names for the door prizes.
Jennifer (the incredible woman who puts this whole thing together) has a great husband that mans the grill for us every year.
Jennifer calling names for the door prizes. She’s got an incredible voice that carries over everyone, but we’re thinking a bull horn will be a good addition for the Spring Swap.
I really should have posted photos of my take home. I got several new seedums, a few kinds of basil, a few kinds of mint, passion vine (SO excited), a few succulents, and some other things that I don’t remember the names of, I promise, I’m learning.
For more information about you can visit www.plantmeet.com.
The weekend…well last week, has been spent working on the house. We’ve been patching walls, painting, updating hardware, and building new furniture. A friend even trash picked the perfect coffee table which I have major plans for. Here is my loving husband doing one of his favorite things, putting things together. He told me that I couldn’t help. He’s fantastic.
Bill and I have been hard at work today, we did the lawn (he mowed while I edged), cleaned the house, painted my office, put everything back in my office, went through an incredible amount of paperwork that needed to be filed, and we did laundry. Be impressed. But after painting and the weed eating my arms feel like they are going to fall off my body. Its taking far too much energy just to type. It’s also taking far too long for each letter to appear on the screen.
Ever since my hard drive crashed and it was replaced my computer has been maddeningly slow. They gave me a larger hard drive but failed to mention that it was quite a bit slower. Apple, you will be hearing from me shortly.
The ache of the slowness was almost unbearable while I was working on my last project for my church, graphics for a new sermon series called Joshua Tree: Wanting All the Right Things. I got to see some of the notes while having a creative meeting for the artwork and I’d have to say I’m excited to hear what this will all be about.
I’m itching to do a photo shoot. I don’t have anything scheduled for a while so if anyone would like to take advantage of this free time I have and schedule something, please let me know. =)
The Office. Not the show. The place where I work. Though the show is quite awesome and I would really love a general “office” sign for my door. Anyways.
Its the first room I’ve really focused on in the house. I have a general idea of what I want in the other rooms as far as color schemes go:
Living Room: Grey, Black, White, Splashes of Yellow (possible tiny splash of turquoise as well, though I haven’t committed to the idea)
Kitchen/Dining: Black, White, Lime Green (LOVE IT)
Master Bedroom: Shades of Brown, Cream, and Olive
Master Bath: Undecided
Spare Bath: Chocolate Brown, Blue-Green
Spare Room: Chocolate Brown, Blue (mostly because I have all this stuff left over from college)
Back Patio: Eventually Blacks, Browns and Burnt Orange
Office: White, Martha Stewart’s Ash Bark for walls, With Accent Wall of Martha Stewart’s Feldspar (color accents in this as well).
Feldspar looks more blue green in real life.
I had a white drafting table already so I purchased these two things from ikea
Sorry the picture of the table is so lame, they didn’t have a picture on their site of it all put together. Any who, the table matches up perfectly with my drafting table giving me an entire wall of table top work space. Plus it all sits in front of a window which will eventually be flanked by Feldspar colored fabric covered cork boards. The book case is on the wall to the right with a small filing cabinet. On the left wall will be a giant 8′ or 10′ by 6′ dry erase board (yeah I’m pretty into them).
Now, the wall across from the desks, also where the door to enter the room is, needs a couch. I’m being very picky about said couch because I’d love for this space to double as a second guest bedroom if need be. So a normal couch just won’t do, a sleeper sofa it is. I’ve been searching and searching for one that I like and will fit in the budget. So I found this one from CB2, fantastic, not really budget friendly.
At over $1,000 after taxes and shipping my husband would have a heart attack and I think so would I. I look at $1,000 and go, thats a new computer (well a macbook) or a new lens, or some nice soft box lights. Not a couch for guests! (sorry to any future guests, its not that I don’t care, it’s just that’s a whole lot of money, I think you would want me to spend it smarter).
So I looked at my beloved Target, no such luck. And then I remembered my friend Bethia got a similar couch at Walmart and thats when I found this:
Smooth, fake leather, sexy, sleek, not the same couch as my friend but for a very very sweet $149 who can complain. The reviews all looked fantastic and just like the CB2 couch it lays flat, reclines, or upright. Nice. But then…I saw this…
I have a soft spot for 60′s-ish design. This couch sings to me. Also fake leather, extremely more sexy than the black couch, goes with the decor, will sit against the Feldspar wall (thanks Martha, you’re awesome). I might be in love with this couch. Oh, and did I mention its $249? Oh with free site to store shipping? Why thank you Wal-Mart, I think I will.
With that said the Bella Convertible Futon in White will be mine shortly. Future guests, prepare yourself for this beauty.
My birthdays, on the average, are synonymous with bad events. Usually there are high lights to the birthday week, but more often than not something super crappy happens that kind of brings down the overall celebratory mood. For times sake I will list both highlights and low lights in bullet form.
Highlight #1: I was born 25 years ago.
Lowlight #1: I’m half way to 50.
Highlight #2: I went out to dinner to one of my favorite restaurants, La Vista, with my family on the day of my birthday. (excuse the low res pic, I forgot my camera, gasp I know, and was forced to use the iphone pic).
Lowlight #2: I had to work on my birthday. I realize most people have to work on their birthdays, but I am a strong believer that no one should. And if I ever do own my own company each of my employees will get off on their birthday, with pay. Agreed? Good.
Highlight #3: My husband knows me so well that be bought me all of my favorite coffee branded things, plus a Martha Stewart magazine (I have a weird obsession with her, not unhealthy, just odd).
Lowlight #3: See lowlight #4, it counts for two.
Highlight #4: My dad washed my car, changed the oil, sand blasted my headlights, and made my air conditioning blow cold. He is truly the best dad ever. (Side note, he can work on your car too, see Royalty Paint and Body).
Lowlight #4: I got laid off. Yeah. Awesome huh. Via email too.
Highlight #5: My new found lack of employment gave me a chance to clean my house, unpack things, and cross things off my every growing to do list.
Lowlight #5: While shopping for the Quarter Century Bash Party we had this weekend (a joint birthday party for me and our new house, we’re the same age) I bashed my pinkie toe into the wheel of a walmart cart which caused blood to fill my flip flop and I’m pretty sure that toe nail is going to fall off.
Highlight #6: The Quarter Century Bash was AWESOME! I feel incredibly loved by the 50+ people who attended. I got to make awesome food for them (this makes my heart really happy). My husband had a birthday cake made for me (I usually make my own, I’m told I am forbidden to do this from now on) by the amazingly talented Stacy from Stacy’s For the Love of Cake. And everyone seemed to have a good time.
Lowlight #6: Sam (the black lab) got lots of “treats” from my husband and I, and I’m sure from many party goers. The next day there were three large puddles of liquid poo on the one piece of carpet she has access to in the house. I think it was the brisket scraps that did her in.
Overall I’d say 25 was a success. I mean yeah, I lost my job, but its just a job. My dog got sick and pooped on the floor, but I hate carpet anyway so no biggie. And luckly, unlike most things on the human body, toe nails grow back. The highlights much out way the low lights. I have such amazing friends and family in my life that constantly bless me simply with their existence. I hope the next 25 years are equally as awesome.
So there are these weird clear/white gecko lizard things that are here in Spring, Texas that we DO NOT have in the city of Houston. We have the green ones that change colors and have the red necks that puff out when they are trying to mate, I hear they are called Anoles. But these things, yeah, not real sure what they are all about. They are much more plump and I feel like they would be really juicy if I ever accidentally squished one, not that I would want to. But they are everywhere at night.
My first run in was when we first moved into the new house and we were cleaning all the windows. I was taking the screens off from the inside of the house, I got to the last screen and inside the lip of the window (which slides right to left, not up and down like a traditional window) was one of these gecko things. I screamed, more because it startled me than anything else. Then I quickly closed the window.
Bill got to said window to clean it from the outside, yelled to me to take the screen off. I told them there was a lizard thing in there and he just gave me this look like, “are you kidding me?”. So he forced me to open the window again, and there it was, but this time it somehow got on the inside of the house, in the track. If I left the window open he was trapped, but we couldn’t get to him. If I closed the window, he was able to run loose in my house which was not a situation I was going to allow. So I made Bill catch him.
I’m told that he got a broom to try to shoo him out the window, to which the lizard thing responded with a leap into the house, my husband somehow harnessed ninja like reflexes, caught the gecko lizard thing mid air and then tossed it out the window in one swooping motion. I’m told that the gecko hit the fence, landed on the ground cold, got up, shook it off, and then ran away.
So today I get home after a long day, go to fill Sam’s (our black lab) water bowl. I reach for the knob of the kitchen sink and one of these lizard things jumps up at me. I scream, again from being startled. I’m also super pissed that somehow it got in my house and is now getting its lizard germs all over my sink. Its trapped. So I make Bill catch it between a cup and a piece of paper and toss it outside.
These creepy lizard gecko things want to be in my house. This is seriously not ok. And what worries me more is they’ve clearly found a way in and I have no idea where it is.
So I did some research and it turns out its a gecko, more specifically I think its the Mediterranean Gecko. See the picture below (note I did not take this picture, found it on a google search).
I also found another website that called it a house gecko, which is SO NOT OK! These WILL NOT be living IN my house, on our around is fine, just not IN. Though I do like that I found a picture of one eating a spider (found at this blog), because we seem to have an issue with that as well. The blog this photo came from, called Biological Ramblings (check it out, its pretty awesome) also noted that some species of this house gecko are parthenogenetic (female-only, reproducing asexually) which is crazy interesting.
I wonder if I could train Sam to hunt them and then gently put them outside so they could live happily in the outdoors. Hmm…
I’m seriously behind on blogging, most of these photos are from two weekends ago. I’ll have this weekend up asap! Still other than our first anniversary this weekend, last weekend was MUCH more eventful.
My dad pulled some awesome strings and got us 10th row seats behind the Astros dugout for the Astros v Phillies game. It was a surprise for Bill, this is his face when we told him that these were our seats. (more from this later as well)
We took our ONE youth students to Chuck-E-Cheese for our monthly One Out. This is Sarah and Kristen (youth leaders) riding the monster truck. =awesome!