Sunday, May 13, 2012

Landscaping... oh my...

We still don't have a completed kitchen, baseboard in the bathroom, a deck rail, or siding on one wall (or C.O. for that matter - don't tell the town)… But we decided that it was a good idea to make our yard a bit more aesthetically pleasing. Luckily, Steph's dad has a tractor at his disposal, so he brought it over and we went to work.

First order of business was straightening out the shed in our backyard. There are some massive roots in our yard and a bunch of them were under this shed. Using the tractor we lifted the shed up and started to clean out the mess that was underneath - roots, cement, blocks, dirt - it all had to go.

The main root was about two feet thick so we had to dig around it and chop it out with a chainsaw.

Next we used the tractor to clean out all the ivy and trees that were growing everywhere…

I thought we just got this mess cleaned up!

Cleaning up by hand seems so… manual… guh… But Steph was employed to clean up the more "delicate" areas.

The benefit is that we find lots of little suprises… like this little guy!

We also found something a little less "cute" - a partially decomposed squirrel… but I'll leave that off this blog.

Look at these monster roots that came out - Thank goodness we had Steph's dad's truck and a couple chains to get these suckers up.

It looks nice and bare… and ready for improvement! IMG_1098


Steph and her mom planted some amazing knock-out rose bushes out front… at 8:00pm. This is serious business!
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And don't forget the fern, of course...
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In the end, it came out really nice for a start, though.
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And this is just the front!
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Originally we were just going to have to bring in "a few yards of dirt" to grade - no problem, right? Ha! Due to a slight "misjudgement" with the height of our deck steps, we needed just a little more… try 13 yards. Our neighbors love us.

What are we going to do with all this dirt!?
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So we decided to cover our whole backyard with topsoil and grade everything. It probably would have been nice to do this piecemeal, but it will be awesome to have a level yard!

We had to put fertilizer and new seed down. Our lawn is going to be so plush!

But now I have to water it...daily - which might be the scariest thing I have ever had to do. I feel like if I cannot get this grass to grow I will fail at being a man and will be forever shunned.
As of this blog post, nothing has sprouted up yet… but there is still time… I hope.

And the best part of summer will be....

GRILLING! Living in an apartment for the last 4+ years has left us with a void in our lives. There has been a serious lack of deliciously grilled meat and charred veggies. We always had a grill pan, but its just not the same… While the purchase of a grill was certainly not a "necessary" one, after spending a month with very limited cooking resources we decided it was time to shake things up. Lowes had a great deal on a beautiful Chargriller with both propane and charcoal options (the foodies in us love the possibilities). We had gotten some money back from various returns so we decided to jump on it.

Now, they offered to put it together for us, but it would have taken about 4 days… and we just couldn't wait. I got this…. No problem...

I spread all the tools out that I would need… a knife and a screwdriver. This should be "easy"… Untitled
On step 4, I realized that there were no washers in the box. Luckily Steph was at Home Depot and picked some up for me. I was about to have to use this knife for evil… whew. Crisis averted… Untitled
Well… its starting to look like a grill… why do I have so many parts left? Hmmm Untitled
So many screws… so many… Untitled
My dad looking on and "supervising"… no doubt remembering many a time when he had to put up with similar situations. This time, he is not getting involved. Smart man… Untitled
Ain't nothing going to damper this guy's spirits… and yes, I look like a orphan. "Can I have some more (grilled meat), sir?"
Two day's work and a few mistakes later, we are ready to grill. Fire up that chicken! Too bad we have to grill by flashlight since we don't have outside lights yet… Oh well… baby steps…
Bring on the summer!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Painting party take 2

My parents were on their way home from a wedding in connecticut, and they decided to stop by for the night. Instead of just hanging out and relaxing, we put them to work! Mwuhaha…
They attack a painting job with a level of intensity and efficiency that we could never replicate on our own.
They were here for less than 24 hours, but got our hallway, stairway, and living room done… with two coats!
At about 6' 3", my dad is not a short man - but even he had a hard time painting this stairway. Seeing him standing on a ladder hanging over the edge of my strairs at full extension to edge the walls and ceiling made me fear for his life. Hence the lack of "action" shots…
They also brought us up some carpets to use throughout the house (pictures later). Its funny how a coat of paint and some carpets can really make a house feel a little bit more like home!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The true owners finally show up...

In the midst of all the chaos and destruction that is going on in our house, we decided it would be best if our cats, i.e. children, stayed at Steph's parents house until it all settled down. After a couple weeks, we had all the major deliveries in and we had spent a bit of time cat-proofing the house, so it was time for the little princesses to come home. We know they are very adaptable cats and do well in new situations, but we thought they might be a little hesitant in a new place... but nope... right back to walking over everything.

Thats a face looking for trouble.

Walking on boxes is possibly the coolest thing ever..

Bella agrees...

The first look out of the window...

And so on, and so on...

So the tall and skinny of it is that these guys seem to be doing just fine. Sure they probably don't like using the litter box in the basement... but hey, we cut out a "cat door" for them... har har...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sorry for the radio silence!!

We have been keeping VERY busy with work on the house - painting, landscaping, siding, kitchen, oh my. Stand by for updates very soon!