Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Yard Plan 2011 and the current mess it is in

Our yard is currently yucky! We bought our house 5 years ago and it looked alright as far as landscaping goes. However, there were some issues. For example, all the shrubs and plants were planted smack dab against the house so as they grew they pushed outward and hung over the mulch. We had to pull up a butterfly bush that was massively overgrown and over the 5 years we've lived here perennials have died and some of the bushes have also thinned and become scraggly.

Last year we mulched with some recycled mulch from the local recycling plant and planted some tulips and mums. This year only two mums came back up (out of 5 ugghhhh.... The tulips we planted too far apart and they just looked sad. Another two shrubs died completely and so now we are left with this.
The overgrown grass is where I have left it for a week and a half so we can widen our flower beds. They are very narrow right now so we are using a shovel and digging up the grass. It is very slow work. It doesn't help that it has rained almost every day for the last two weeks either.


 Here are some of the plants we currently have in our flower beds. This is an overgrown rose bush that I hack at every year and it keeps coming back even bigger!
This is a black eyed susan I got from my cousin's house after he died. My mother dug up two and gave me one when we moved into this house. He died of cancer two weeks after our oldest child was born. It is planted directly below her bedroom window.

This next one is a raspberry bush my husband and I planted last year. I know it is currently out front but it will be moved to the back inside a large planter when I move things around. It was just a stick last year so this is great progress!
This beautiful climbing vine I can't remember what it is called, but I planted one three years ago and it keeps coming up!
Here is the progress so far. We've left the grass grow in the area we want dug up and I have started digging. It has been extremely slow progress especially since we are also working on the kitchen and other things at the same time.
The picture does not do my hard work justice. This is actually about a 3 1/2 to 4 foot stretch but I took the picture from the porch so it looks a little wonky. Don't want to miss credit for my work! :o)

Here is the general plan for our yard this year. We have already accomplished the covering for the propane tank and I'll tell you about that later.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Evolution of a Granite Kitchen Counter top

We began our journey to a granite counter top in March of this year. We went to Home Depot and Lowes and researched prices and colors. I originally wanted Carerra Marble but hubby told me no it would crack too easily. So... I wanted a light color but one that would work well with light off-white or white cabinets and a darker hardwood floor (when we eventually install it). 

We ended up picking this:

The granite has very light off white and clear crystals with some silvery sparkly ones with a some black. We thought it would be a great balance with the very light cabinets we were going to paint but not be too dark either.

The next step was to have the Granite man come and measure. He measured and then we drove an hour 1/2 away to pick out our actual slab. The girls had a blast!
Next we went back into Home Depot and finalized all the details.

Then we waited for the stone company to call us with our date and then we waited. About 3 weeks total. Last night and well ALL day Sunday, hubby and I worked on our kitchen to rip out the old counter top, sink, and ensure all cabinets were level.

This afternoon, the men brought our pretty stone out and installed it. We have since put the stove and fridge back and I have started in on the faucet. We are not really supposed to "use" the counter for 24 hours so we will finish installing the kitchen plumbing and the dishwasher tomorrow after school.

We have not finished the cabinets, floor, back splash, or purchased new appliances but one day this kitchen will be 100% finished. Probably not until next year but I'll go with what I can.

The kitchen cabinets are going to be done in Rustoleum's Cabinet Restore in a Linen with a light glaze while I think we may do an off-white subway tile as a back splash.

Finished pictures should be up end of June or beginning of July.  We do things in steps. The floor will not be done until end of the year or next spring. :o(


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