Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hello, Sun!

Today was b-e-a-utiful! And you can bet your sweet bippy I took advantage of it. Let's see...

I pruned a few shrubs, including two very neglected forsythias.


I know it doesn't look that great, but you'll just have to trust me on this. It had to be done! These two shrubs were beginning to get big enough they were touching the house, growing even more shrubs, and half of them were dead. I was really afraid to prune these guys since I've never really pruned anything except for a couple of box shrubs at my parent's old house. I had to take out any branches that were 3/4" or thicker, anything touching the ground, anything dead, and anything that was really criss-crossed. (And, boy, do these suckers get tangled!)

I also fertilized the front yard, but Ben tells me that the "grass" that I like in the yard isn't grass at all. He said the nice looking stuff is actually the weeds and that really scratchy stuff is the real grass. Herumph! If that's really what crabgrass is, how strange is it that I would prefer a yard full of it? I hope he's not right and it's just two types of grass in our yard.

And the thing I'm most excited about, I got some edging stones for the flower bed! Now that I'm thinking about it, there's no flowers in it, so should it be a shrub bed? Anyhoo, the edging really makes a difference, see?
Before. This is only half of it, forgot to take a picture of all of it before...oops.

Ahhh, such definition! I wasn't such if I should get these or the red, since we'll probably paint the house one day. I'm hoping that either they'll go with whatever colors we choose, or if they don't we can stain them if we have to. But for now I'm loving them! Now the flower bed just needs some work and maybe even some flowers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The greatest and worst thing about the internet is that I can spend hours just browsing it. Let's see, how did I come across this gorgeous house? Right! I was looking at ohdeedoh's post about a kid's pirate ship bedroom. Found this cool architect's work -- like a slide inside a home! Posted it to facebook, where one of my sister's friends saw it and commented on her fave architect: Alan Dynerman. Cut to: me googling and ogling a house he designed:

Ahhhh...and the best thing is it's atop a mountain in one of my hometowns: Huntsville, Alabama. Oh if only I had four million dollars lying around!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A little something I rigged up.

I recently discovered the dogs have found a new plaything-- our compost bin. I caught them *ew* licking the sides *ew* where some liquid was coming out *gag*. Not only is it gross, but I'm afraid it could screw up their insides. Thankfully the previous owners left some wood behind and about twenty "fence" pieces, some screws, and of course two cans of spray paint later...

...voilĂ !

Man, oh man!

I guess it has finally happened....the baby bug bit me and hasn't let go. I told Ben last night that I think I'm finally emotionally ready to have kids. I know, it sounds hokey, but I've been so terrified/horrified at the thought of birthing then raising a child that we knew it would be a slow process. Only now, we've got a short list of things we wanted or needed to do before having kids to contend with. And this list will put off baby making for about a year, if I'm amazing at saving money. I'm considering using this website I found called SmartyPig. It's an online savings account that lets you allot certain amounts of your savings towards different goals at one time. Which is great since I have a hard time discerning how much will go to what, I just look at it like one (not so) big number = money.

I've been working on paying off our debt, which thankfully is not much, and building our emergency fund. So far we've got one more credit card (0% interest), a car loan (0% interest) and a MIL (I seriously hope 0%!) to pay off. Thank God, we've always been really good at finding deals when it comes to debt! We got one of our tax returns last week and paid off the big credit card bill, saved some of it, and are using some to pay for our trip to SXSW. I just wish I could save more of it, but I haven't gotten a rhythm down with our bills yet so I'm afraid to sock away too much.

Anyhoo! Here's our Before Baby List:
1. Save $1000 for emergency fund.
2. Save (amount to be determined) for baby fund.
3. Get into crazy awesome shape and enjoy one last summer with a flat stomach. (My goal, can ya tell?)
4. Save up and visit Europe. (Currently trying to figure out how much we'd have to save up for this. The only estimate I've found is ~$6000.)

Oh! There goes the dog, guess the neighbor's open house just got some visitors. I hope they sell it and get something close to what they're asking. We actually looked at that house and it's gorgeous but they waaaay overbuilt when they moved it. I've heard they meant to stay there forever, but something happened with one of their jobs so they're having to move? Here's hoping they find a buyer!

::fingers crossed::

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A little plumbing and a lot of water.

Since acquiring my new job (and being flat broke for a moment there), the house renovations have slowed dramatically! So now I'm trying to focus a little more on the things that NEED to be done, instead of what we want to do. First up was going to be the extra bathroom that is pretty much useless at the moment...that is until all of the plumbing under the sink came off in one piece. This weekend was then used to figure out what went where and just what is plumbing supposed to look like under there?

A few moments before it all came crashing down.
PS- I never knew we had a water filtration system whose filter expired a year ago...oy!
I have never done any plumbing work, I know nothing at all about plumbing, and when I know nothing I get nervous and start googling the hell out of the subject. Okay, so what does everyone else's sink plumbing look like? 
The closest I could find to our setup...

Okay, okay...but ours drains into the floor. Is that okay? Should we have two different types of pipe? Am I getting lead poisoning from the metal one? Should I buy new pipes? Or just these gasket thingies I'm finding everywhere? Well, I manage to find one guy's account of changing out his neighbors plumbing and he mentions that at Home Depot you can buy an undersink kit. Perfect! Head over to HD, nothing. Try Lowe's and almost didn't find anything until...
Oh thank goodness! And there was even one for drains that go to the floor instead out the back! I hate that I spent $30 on the thing when it probably would've been cheaper just to buy the parts I needed and not have all this extra. But, I didn't have any idea what I was doing and it is an old house, and if I ever need to replace something else for that sink I've already got the parts. Anyhoo, back home I put it all together with no help from the poorly-written instructions. (Like I can tell which part is the tailpiece?!) And now...

 In the future, I'll try to remove that useless water filter, trim down the filler around the other pipes, and replace the paper. But for now, I'm just glad I can do the dishes. By the way, as to the "a lot of water" I wasn't talking about the leaking from the sink, I was talking about this...

Our mini flash flood yesterday.