Thursday, June 7, 2012

I am a Job Creator

I have been more or less MIA from blogging for the past couple of months.  I thought I would give a little update, lest some of you think I have been lying about sipping something tropical and eating bonbons.    I have been busy creating jobs for myself and to Wonder Hubby's chagrin him as well!

Since our winter was so mild and spring came so early I was out working on projects quite early this year.  I shared a bit of what was blooming back in March in this post.   I also showed a bit of the sad excuse for landscaping we had going on in the front of our house.  Since then I have been a pretty busy girl. 

We opened the fish pond and discovered our pump was dead (always fun to buy a new one of those, not).  So after a couple of trips to Lowes we got the right one and now the pond is up and running.  I cannot imagine my yard without the sound of the waterfall.

I will have to remember to take pictures after everything fills out more.  See my frogs on the right?  The big guy is in charge of getting the croaking started nightly...and let me just say he is very good, so good in fact some nights it is deafening. I am really shocked the neighbors don't complain!   The little guy behind was a gift from BDJ when he came home in March.  Against my wishes he name this one Fred....he is sick that way.  Fred frolicks nightly.

I am still loving that I replaced mulch around the pond last year with rock.  We did change it from pea gravel to Alabama Sunset rock this year and I really like the change.  It is so much easier to keep weeded and neat.

 Try to ignore the complete lack of grass....we were taken over this year with some kind of crazy weed that ate all the grass....we are working on it but I don't expect much improvement this season...ugggg.

We had some severed storms back in March that ripped up my hut and did some damage to our roof.  Lots of hail.

 We now have half the roof damage repaired which is good, however I was irate mildly annoyed at the number of plants in the new landscape that were damaged...errrr.

  After putting up the new hut top,  I realized just how bad the deck needed sprucing up.  I am sure I am not the only one out there that creates 10 jobs out of one so I know you understand how this happened.

  Wonder Hubby took a week of vacay and since we didn't have any "big" projects to work on (yeah, right....all the little things we planned to do, grew and grew)  we were going to tackle the deck spruce up.

  Our deck has been stained very dark brown for years and we were planning to go the same again.  Naturally I had to create a headache for us by deciding to change things up a bit and choosing a different stain.   I figured a couple of hours and ta da we would have a refreshed deck.  I will admit it, I figured wrong. 

Ready to be freshened up...should be quick and easy right?
What a mess!  First of all let me say to READ and FOLLOW the instructions on your stain.  Since I spend more of my time than not with a paint brush in my hand, I figured I  knew enough about paint and stay and I would just skip the whole part of the stain instructions where you should mix multiple gallons into one container.  BIG MISTAKE....BIG BIG MISTAKE.  I (and Wonder Hubby and the Nana) ended up staining with two different stains to rectify the mess.

 I don't love the way it came out...but it is what it is going to be as I have no intentions of cleaning/stripping it or attempting any other fixes...I can live with it.

Stain 1 gallon 1 was all pigment no sealant....stain 1 gallon 2 was all sealant and no pigment....and stain 2 gallon 1 would only soak up in the stain 1 gallon 2 areas...the rest beaded up like this.

I am just glad it is over now...and lesson learned I will ALWAYS follow stain instructions.  So the hut is up and the deck is stained and ready to be foofified.

Okay hut up, check....deck stained, check....oh man now the deck table is looking rough.

  Remember, I am a job creator so here I am excelling in my job once again! 

Ah....much better.  Now I need to get on with the decorating of the deck. 
I will have to post that later.

So I am moving on, completing projects and feeling good.  Then came The Nana. While showing her my Peony in bloom she pointed out just how bad the front landscape looked.  Moms are just good about that aren't they?  Sadly, she was right and I knew it, but I wasn't planning on tackling this project until at least fall.  The next day I just couldn't keep from staring in that direction while working in the yard.  After a couple of hours of this I just couldn't take it anymore and decided I should at least weed the area. 

   But, as all involved projects happen, weeding led to removing all but two some of the shrubs (I really did plan on moving some of what was there around to save money), and then I decided we needed to expand the landscape  which required topsoil and on and on and on.  What was to be an afternoon job turned into a large project. 

 This is a pic after I had weeded and removed some of the shrubs (as usual I got into the project before I ever thought to take pictures).  I don't know what we were thinking when we planted this originally, I had way too much in too small an area.  

 Everything had grown together (fought to survive might be a more apt way to say that) but when pruned everything looked just plain scary.  We were ready to do a dead forest Halloween display here year round!

I planned on keeping the shrubs on either side of the stairs

After further consideration, the fact that they were growing at different rates and had large areas of ice damage all but one was ripped out.  I thought I would (and by I, I mean Wonder Hubby) would move this one, but he let me know I was wrong about that, so it went too.

Now we were down to only 2 azeleas and 2 bohemeth holly trees. Wonder Hubby had planned to leave the holly since they were gonna be tough to get out but after living with this for a day he decided they had to go too. 

Removing them took a bit more than a little digging.  So now my little weeding project involved  Wonder Hubby and my Dad and a chainsaw.

Told you I was a job creator.  So far I have managed to put The Nana, Dad and Wonder Hubby to work on a project that wasn't supposed to even happen.  I really should work for the government!

Now to extend those beds.  Sounded straight forward enough, but I soon realized that I really wanted to amend the soil and have a good 4-6 inch edge in the front.  You know what that means don't you?  That means I created another job.

On this day I employed Mr. Jerry the topsoil man.  What a nice man he was!

When I was a little girl I would have never imagined getting excited over a big ole pile of dirt, but I did. 

Now I going to admit this and some of you will laugh and others won't even be surprised.   I was planning on doing this all myself (hahaha....well except for the digging up the roots of the shrubs and cutting down those overgrown holly trees) and that included moving the above mentioned big ole pile of dirt.  My dad had said "you can't move all that with a wheelbarrow" which just made me even more determined, so I got started.   I thought I was doing well and making progress albeit slow but progress nonetheless.

 Did I mention this was the week Wonder Hubby was on vacation?  Well it was and he quickly lost interest in watching me move 1/2 a wheelbarrow of dirt at a time and had no serious interest in spending his whole week doing it either.  He was quite relieved when Dad offered to bring the tractor and get it all moved.
Wonder Hubby seems to be the man with all the shaping with a shovel skills so we got the edge just the way I had planned it.  Now it was ready to plant, we left only 2 azaleas  from the old stuff.  I just couldn't give them up they are such a pretty red.  I had 3 but one had literally been chocked to death by the other shrubs.  I really wasn't negotiating on keeping these and I hate to admit this but they really made laying out my new plan a real pain.   Three would have been fine but the two threw the whole design off....oh well we are living with it because, a. I don't want to give them up and more importantly, b. I don't want to admit I may have been wrong.

My plan was to get things to this point and then go back to all the projects I had going before I jumped into this.  I wanted to wait until fall to do the planting.  This lasted about a week and Wonder Hubby couldn't stand it so we went ahead got the plants.

Laying things out was hard because I was so used to the big stuff!  Everything is so small!   I am still adjusting to all the space. 

Seeing the two giant azaleas is going to drive me crazy till some of the other shrubs catch up!    I know I will love it when things fill out but for now it looks weird to me. 

We put in Encore Azaleas, Soft Touch Holly, Firepower Nandina and Monkey Grass.  I AM going to take my time with the last few things that I will put in.

Currently,  I am on the hunt for a Crown Jewel Gardenia....if anyone sees one, please, please let me know where.  I am also thinking of adding a couple of hydrangea as well.  I definitely left room for garden art.....statuary, obelisk, orbs.....I haven't decided yet, I will know it when I see it.

We still have to decide what to do about a walkway, we have been using stepping stones but aren't sure if we will keep them.  We will also be working on recovering the grass lost to construction and/or the monster weed that took over.

It was right around this time that we had our encounter with Sneaky Snake.  That really put a crimp in our landscape interest! 

 My favorite part of the new area.....why the pot Wonder Hubby gave me for Mother's Day of course!  

It is planted with a Boxwood topiary, Needlepoint ivy, Lobella and various shades of purple Calibrachoa.  I love, love, love it.  I am already thinking of what I will do with the pot in the fall and at Christmas since the boxwood will have to move inside.

In between these projects, I have planted my maters (y'all know how I feel about those) and my back flower bed and planters, worked in a few crafts and actually enjoyed a little down time with Mini.
So...that explains some of what I and several folks that were kind enough to be part of my job creation program having been doing.  Thanks for stopping by for the update. 


  1. You've been stimulating the conomy - good job! :-D

  2. Shanee for President!! We need a job creator in there. I nominate you.

    This was wonderful. You could subtitle it, "If you give a wife a cookie..." It's amazing how one job begets another, and it's even more amazing how "our" projects always turn into "their" projects. That's what the husband says anyway.

    I think everything you have done is wonderful, and I am SO GLAD that you wrote about the deck stain. I'm planning to redo mine, and I guarantee I would not have read the directions. NOW I will.

    Glad to see an update that doesn't rattle and slither!

  3. Love the pond! That is my next backyard project. Hopefully, it will happen this year! I am your newest "linky" follower!

  4. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the hottest virtual strippers on my taskbar.


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