Garden updates

Ok, besides the bitching in my last post, I wanted to give updates on mine and T’s garden. Holy crap everything is growing! We have 2 tomatoes on out one big plant and tons of new blooms. We have our first tomato growing on our Roma tomato plant. Most o our plants are actually growing blooms. And did you know that basil plants have flowers? I didn’t know that until yesterday when we had our first flowers bloom on it! Ok, enough talking, here’s some pictures.

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OMG

Has life been crazy lately!!!!

Ok, where to start.  First, I’m so sorry for being totally MIA for the last month.  Finding time for anything has been hell.  Between work, playing pool, and just life at home, it’s been nuts.

So to catch everyone up.  Work has been seriously nuts.  Not only have I been working crazy hours getting ready to push out new software for one department, now they’ve decided to throw in a whole other software change for the other department I support, all in the same timeline.  The clock is ticking down and I’m still stuck waiting for a decision on the other software change.  Ugh!

Ok, outside of that.  Playing on two different leagues, two nights a week, is getting to be a bit much.  It just eats in to so much of the little bit of free time I have!  I love playing, and both leagues are a lot of fun, but I just have so much else I need to keep on top of.  I need to keep on top of my son with school, the extra hours I need to do for work, keeping up with A and TC at home.  Wow, so much going on!  Monday night pool league is nearly over.  It really is a lot of fun, but I need to decide if it’s something I want to keep up.  I’m definitely sticking with my Wednesday night league, I’ve gotten to know so many people and everyone is so great.  But playing twice a week is rough, time-wise, and not cheap either.  I haven’t decided for sure, but thinking I’m going to have to drop one of them, and it would most likely be Monday.

As for my living situation?  Well, I am loving having TC around.  It’s really just so great to have that person around that helps lift some of the weight of life of your shoulders.  It’s not just what she does around the house (which is a ton, let me just say!) but just having her around to talk to and do stuff with.  And she’s such a good motivation for me.  I’ve done so much in the last month with her around that I had just been talking about before.  I will totally be posting pictures shortly of some of the awesome things we have done in my backyard.

Things are still going well with A.  He’s spending more and more time around here.  To make things better, him and Tina also get along great.  We are kind of becoming like the three musketeers, lol.  And in just a few more days, we will all be celebrating my 35th birthday together.  My parents are coming over, my son will be staying home, and TC and A will be here, and it’s honestly the first time in a long time I’ve actually looked forward to celebrating my birthday.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a few minutes to let everyone know that I’m still alive and well.  Things are going good, just keeping super busy.  I will try to post more, even if it’s just a few sentences here or there.  I hope all of you are doing well and things are going good.  I will try to get caught up, at least to some point, with all of your blogs as I find time to get online and do some reading.  Have a great Wednesday everyone!!!

Whew!

Busy weekend and a busy week!

Ok, maybe this week hasn’t been all that busy at work, but still busy. So I managed to get a lot more done this last weekend than I had initially planned. Once I got moving and doing stuff, it was kind of hard to get my body and my brain to stop, despite being tired and sore.

So let’s see, I did make it to the store on Saturday and got (almost) all my baseboards and my new grill with A’s help. The baseboards I didn’t manage to get was one that I simply skipped over on my list and the longest one that I needed. Well, ok, technically I did get that really long one, it just wasn’t quite the same length when I got home as it was when I first left the store. 😉 Turns out those cheap, flimsy baseboards will break pretty easy when you driving down the road and they are hanging out over the cab of a truck. Yep, that sucker snapped like a twig! The funny part was when we were heading back to return the truck I rented and looking on the side of the road to see where it went. Mind you, the piece that broke off was a good 90 inches (so about 7 1/2 feet). Where did we see it? In the gutter. No, I don’t just mean the side of the road, I mean the actual gutter, sticking straight up out of the grate! It was just too funny.

Anyway, we got back to the house and started putting the grill together. That was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but it was totally worth it. The grill came out looking gorgeous and working perfectly!

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The garage on the other hand………….

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Ok, the garage just looked like a bomb of cardboard and styrofoam exploded or something!  🙂  It actually didn’t take too long to get it all cleaned up and the new grill moved to the backyard, though.  And once we were out back setting up the grill and making sure everything was working right, my mind started contemplating what I was wanting to do in my yard by the end of this week.

So off I went again and started pulling up my poor dead trees.  I’m sure my neighbors were jumping for joy as they saw those eyesores coming down, LOL.  Actually, it was really nice to get those down and out of there and my yard immediately had a cleaner look to it.  Still a lot of work to do to get everything back in shape, but I could only do so much on Saturday.  Besides the sun was going down and there’s not a lot you can do in the dark!

Once we got all that done and cleaned ourselves up, we headed to the store to get some food for dinner.  After all, there was a brand new grill sitting in my backyard that needed to be broken in!  So we made some big ol’ cheeseburgers and I grilled those babies to perfection.  Yum!!  🙂

So after all that work Saturday, you would think that I would want to kick back and take it easy Sunday, huh?  Nope!  After I’d had time to fully wake up, out to the garage I went.  I started measuring and getting all those baseboards cut down.  Ok, so I still need to trim everything to the exact measurements and cut the corners so they fit together correctly, but I needed to get those long pieces cut down to more manageable ones and I did get that part all done.

Of course, I still have a pretty full plate for tomorrow.  I’m taking off the rest of the week to finish off this baseboard project.  Tomorrow I will be up early and working out in my garage.

Hope all of you are having a great week so far!

DIY Season

Yep, it’s that time of the year again where I get all amped up to do stuff around the house. So what’s on the agenda this time around?

Ok, for starters, I am finally going to finish up getting my baseboards put back in from redoing my floors last year.  Yeah, I got lazy and money ran short so my downstairs have been without the majority of the baseboards for the last year.  My mom has been driving me up a wall complaining about it.  So this weekend I’m heading to Home Depot, renting one of their trucks, picking up all of the remaining baseboards I need, and ……drum roll…… getting myself a branch new grill!

Oh, that’s right.  My 8+ year old crappy-cheap-barely-lights-on-one-side piece of shit grill is finally being replaced.  And the new one I’m getting?  Oh, she’s a beauty!  I’ve been eyeing her since last summer and now she will finally be mine!  Muwahahaha! 😉

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So in just a few short days, I will have a garage full of baseboards to paint and cut and a shiny new grill sitting on my back porch.  As for actually doing something with all the baseboards I’m getting?  Well that will actually happen next week.  I’m going to take next Thursday and Friday off work, do most of the prep work on Thursday, then on Friday my folks will be coming over to help get them all in.  Plus, being that I will have a new grill that obviously will be screaming to be used, we will be having a nice steak dinner done up on the grill.  🙂

Which means that I also need to get on the ball to get my backyard cleaned up.  I know, I know.  I started trying to get my yard back into shape last year, then I just kind let it all go.  But I’ve been giving it a lot of thought and have decided on what I want to do with it.  I’ve decided to forgo ever trying to find all the issues with my irrigation system and fixing the few leaks and broken sprinkler heads that I know of.  Really, that would require me getting a landscaper in and would cost me a ton of money.  Not to mention that I still have no lawnmower so actually bringing my grass back would cause a whole separate issue.

So what will I do?  I’ve decided to get rid of the grass altogether.  I love how my yard is laid out, design-wise.  The original landscaper did this “Y”-shaped thing with the grass with red cement curbing and light-colored rocks on the sides and at the top.  It looks cool and I don’t want to lose that, so I will (eventually) replace where the grass is with a different type/color of rock to keep the same shape but make it lower maintenance.

In addition, my trees have died.  I know, sad, but at the same time not.  The original placement of the trees was really not good as they are too close to the fence, so I’m just going to pull those bad boys out and be done with them.  I’ll still have my pygmy palms which do very well with minimal maintenance.  Plus I still have my big, non-functioning fountain in the back center of my yard that I’m going to turn into a planter.

As for vegetation around the rest of the yard?   Well, I know I’ve had issues in the past with plants dying, not sure if it’s something in the soil or what, so I’m just going to go with some nice decorative pots around the yard and put some color but low maintenance plants inside those with proper potting soil.  As for watering everything?  Well, I will have to be better at going out and manually doing that, but as I get my yard in shape and as summer gets here, my backyard will be a place I enjoy spending some time again.  🙂

Doing up my yard will be done slowly and over time, as there will be a lot of stuff I will need to get (like rocks, the big pots, plants), so I’m not going to be rushing it.  However, I plan to start getting things going this weekend.  Especially if my folks will be over doing some grilling, I at least want to get those dead trees out, maybe do some trimming on the palms, and just general cleaning up from the dogs.  The yard will still look kinda sad and dead, but at least it can look a little more put together.  Beyond that, I’ll just do a little here and there as money permits, and get the grassy area prepped for rocks.  I figure it may be next year after my next bonus before I’ll be able to actually afford enough rocks to fill in that whole area, but between now and then I can at least work on leveling everything out.

I know, I probably sound overly ambitious with my list of things I plan to do, but then don’t I always get that way?  I’m hoping to stay a bit more on track with the yard this year, though.

Well, I hope you’re all having a good week so far.  For now I need to get going as I have my pool league tonight.

Turn for the better

So things do seem to be taking a turn for the better inside this little head of mine. Still not quite to where I want to be, but I’m feeling much less anti-social and a bit less depressed.

My kid is back home after house sitting for the last 2 weeks for my folks. It was a rough couple weeks with him in regards to school. I still think I made the right choice putting him into online school, but like with all things there is a learning curve. Since he was doing so well in the beginning and staying on track, I became a bit too lax with monitoring him. And the last 2 weeks of his class he wasn’t home because of his house sitting gig and that made it tough for me to properly monitor and keep him on track. Needless to say, I think he failed his first 2 classes, or at least one of them. But like I said, learning curve. I now know that I need to be much more vigilant in monitoring his work and his postings for school and I think the 2nd session will go much better.

Our new kitten Chaos is doing great. He’s really fitting in and loves playing with the dogs. We’ve had him for about 4 weeks now and he has yet to even try to venture outside. This is actually a good thing as I’d rather he didn’t go outside at all. But alas, with 3 dogs and a doggy door, there’s no way to ensure he never ventures out without locking the dogs either inside or outside, and they wouldn’t appreciate either of those options.

My weekend was actually pretty good. I finally put the tile into my laundry room and it came out pretty good. It was a lot easier than I expected it to be. I’ll be honest, I was a little intimidated at the thought of doing it, but my parents came over to help and once we got started I realized how easy it actually was. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely hard work, but it wasn’t difficult. I did end up having to buy a new drill yesterday though, as I was mixing the mortar to finish the last bit of the tiles, my poor old wimpy drill decided to go out in sparks and smoke! Yep, the poor little motor fried up. But a quick trip to Home Depot and I was right back in business and knocked out the rest of the room in no time.

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Not too bad, huh? Of course since I didn’t finish laying the tile until yesterday, I have to wait until tonight ti grout it all.  I’m still feeling a little bit intimidated by that part, I don’t have my dad here to help this time. But I’m sure I’ll be able to do it just fine. Then I have to wait another 24 hours for that to set before I can seal the grout and a couple of hours after that before I can finally move my washer and drying back into the room. At the moment, they are sitting in the middle of my front room.

Good thing I did laundry in the middle of the week last week!! 😀 I think doing this is part of what’s helping me feel better. It just feels good to do something productive.

Other than that it was overall just a pretty good weekend. I went and played pool Friday night, of course. I got a new cue that I need to break in and get used to. Oh, did I tell you guys I got a new cue? Yeah, it’s awesome but a totally different grip than I’m used to so it’s throwing my game off.

This is actually the exact cue that I bought. The ridged grip is what’s so different about it.

As compared to the normal grip you would see on a pool cue.

So anyway, I went out and played with my new cue and ended up playing with a small group of people who were playing at a table near me. That was actually a lot of fun and one guy was really nice. Funniest thing was that it turns out he literally lives in the subdivision that’s right across the road from my subdivision! I know, too funny, considering most people I meet don’t live anywhere near me. The downside of living so far out. Anyway, we did exchange numbers and we’ve talked and hung out again Saturday. Kinda nice to have someone to hang out with. Although I do hope he doesn’t expect too much out of this. But well see what happens with that and I’ll get more into it if it seems worthy. 🙂

So anyway, this week is going to be busy. I will be doing the grout in my laundry room tonight. Tomorrow night I will finally be able to seal it and then I gotta figure out how to move my washer and dryer back in there by myself. Ok, sure, I could make my kid help, I’m just not sure he’d be able to do lift the stuff. Hmmm, maybe I could bribe my new friend with a couple of beers to come over and help me. With any luck, once I get the washer and dryer back in there and hooked up I will have time to do a load of 2 of clothes. I would wait to do it Wednesday night, but that’s the new player orientation for the pool league I’m joining and I have no idea how late I’ll end up being there. Whew! Just thinking about these next 3 nights is making me tired! I don’t have anything planned for Thursday, which is good, and I have Friday off of work. So I should be able to get some rest then.

Well, I hope you are all having a great Monday so far and I’ll let you know how the grouting goes!!

New project

I know, I know. I need to finish one project before I start another. I still need to finish the baseboards and do the new tile in my laundry room. But those are a bit bigger projects that I’m not totally sure I can do by myself. As for the baseboards, well having someone with a truck who is willing to actually help me go pick up the long pieces I need would help me with finishing those. If need be, I can work around that though.

Anyway, the newest project is replacing my dining room light fixture. The fixture that came with the house comes down about 30 inches. Being that I only have 8 foot ceilings, that hangs pretty low. So pretty much everyone who doesn’t pay attention can hit their head on it. And it just kind of annoys me how low it hangs.

So I found a new fixture at Home Depot. It has the brushed nickel that I like and is a flush mount so it won’t be hanging really low. I’ve gone and looked at it and the other choices they have several times, but since payday was Friday, I went after work today and got it. Now that I actually have it, I’m more likely to get it done. So here’s what I picked out:

Now, I’ve not had a great history with doing anything electrical, but I’m hoping this won’t be too tough. Of course that was the initial thought as most things come with instructions. Then I got home, opened the box and looked as what they assume is instructions – (yes, it is only 1 page, this is the complete instructions provided in the box, there is nothing more)

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And that is supposed to translate to this –

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So I spent some time staring at these supposed instructions and I still haven’t quite figured out what they’re supposed to mean.  Now, it’s not like I’m trying to do this tonight, but I thought I would get an idea of what I was going to do.  I’m actually planning to do this Saturday, yes, before R gets back from his work trip.  I can only image what it would end up being like if I attempted to replace my light with him sitting there.  I would maybe get the step-ladder out before he just took it over.  Not that it would be all bad if he did, but I’ve gotten a little tired of him taking over every little project I try to do and ignore the projects I actually ask for his help with.  Ok, I’m not going to get into that as it’s a whole different topic.  So the point is, I’m finally going to replace my awkward, low hanging light and have the replacement fixture in hand.  Now if I could only decipher their so-called instructions.  Maybe when I actually get the old light off I’ll be able to just figure it out.  🙂

Keeping Busy

I am certainly keeping myself busy these days.  Work has been crazy busy so I haven’t had a lot of spare time during the day to do much writing or posting.  And home has been pretty busy as well.

It was a hell of a productive weekend.  I think I mentioned last week about my garage door opener giving me problems with not always wanting to close.  So I had decided that since I have some extra money because of my refi, I would go ahead and replace it.  I went to Home Depot, found the one I wanted, and noticed a sign saying that professional installation was only $97.  I thought about it, and being that I’m not sure how much I can rely on R for help and I didn’t want to put my parents out, maybe it would be a good idea to just have it installed by them.  Not to mention it’s hot as all hell right now and doing that much work in the garage myself would just suck.  However, by Friday I no longer just had an issue with the door closing, I starting having issues even getting it to open.  Saturday I made the decision to just install it myself.

So Saturday morning I planned to go get the tiles and supplies to do my laundry room floor and to go pick up the garage door opener.  I was also going to get baseboards so I could continue working on those.  Now, earlier in the week I had asked R if he could help me out with going to pick all that stuff up, as his truck would be a lot easier to haul it all and it could all be done in one trip.  Come Saturday, he started mentioning some other stuff he needed to do and it only took a minute to figure out I would be going by myself to pick everything up.  That turned out to be a bad idea on my part.

I had to go to Lowe’s to get the tile (I didn’t care for the selection at Home Depot).  If you’ve ever picked up a full box of ceramic tiles (15 tiles per box and the tiles are just over a square foot each), you know that they are not light.  And if you recall, I broke my collar-bone right at the shoulder back in November and it’s healing very slowly.  After lifting 2 boxes into the cart, I realized this was gonna be difficult.  I needed 5 boxes.  But nonetheless, I got everything loaded into the cart and managed to push the heavy thing up to the front, pay, and get out to my car.  Loading everything into my trunk was killer and I was hurting something fierce by the time I got home.  Fortunately, my kid had stayed home this weekend so I got his help to unload everything from the car.  I probably should have taken him with me in the first place.  Oh well.  So back out I went to go get the garage door opener and while I was at it I finally got replacement vertical blinds for my back door.

So once I got home, ate something and rested for a bit, R was back from his errands.  Well, I was determined to get my new door opener in that day, and my folks had offered to come over if I needed them, so I headed out to the garage.  R followed asking what I was up to, and I started opening the box for the new opener.  Then I told him I had decided not to have it installed and was just gonna do it myself.  Well, he stepped up and started helping.  As we pulled the old unit down, he informed me that the wrong wiring was used, this was the wiring that the builder had put in when I had them pre-wire for an opener when the house was built.  And R was gonna have me go crawling in the attic space to run the new wires.  Hmmm, how to get out of that, oh yeah!  My kid was home for the weekend, lol.  Well, it ended up taking the 3 of us about 5 hours to get the new rail up and rerun all the wiring, but we finally got it all done and I now have a new opener that works consistently and is much much quieter.  😀

By Sunday, my shoulder was still a little sore but feeling somewhat better, so I decided to get the new blinds up.  Of course, that couldn’t be an easy task either and R ended up helping to get the new brackets up for that.  Apparently he doesn’t feel right to just sit by while I’m doing something like that, especially if I start running into issues.  And he said he knew my shoulder was still bothering me.  So we got that all done and decided I was done with projects for the weekend.  No more work me except just picking the mess from the old blinds and the remaining mess in the garage.

I’m thinking I’ll wait another week or 2 before I tackle putting the tile into the laundry room.  I know my shoulder will appreciate a bit of a break!!