Sunday, August 21, 2011

Patio Fin!

Last weekend I worked like crazy and busted out all the remaining projects on the patio. Go me!

Saturday morning I got up and tackled the assembly of my privacy arbors. They were surprisingly simple.  I love simple in assembly.  I probably liked it because the directions were text based, rather than the photo directions that I usually encounter.  My mom, sister-in-law, and niece showed up as I was finishing assembly so I finagled them into helping me install - which just consisted of lining up and pounding anchors in. Again, way easier than expected.

That did it for Saturday, since I headed out to Wisco for a family reunion.

I got up bright and early on Sunday morning to tackle more projects.  I started with washing the plastic furniture pictured above.  I was ready for my first foray into spray painting. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of the project. The biggest problem I encountered was the ant pile I stepped in while spray painting *shudder*.  Plus the resulting yellow boogeys from spray painting.

But look! Success!

In between drying  coats of spray paint, I went out to the Home Depot and got some new plants to replace the ones that died in the planters during our heat wave this summer. I love fall blooms. The colors...*swoon*

After the planting and spray painting, my dad came by and helped me get the patio cleaned up for sealing.  But before we could do that, my aunt, uncle and cousin stopped by.  Uncle Keith just happens to be an electrician....and he happened to hear about how I needed help changing my light fixture. How fortuitous!

Bye bye brassy light fixture with wonky sensor....hello pretty black fixture that matches the light post on the side of the house.

In addition to that lighting change, I also picked up some more solar garden lights and put three on each side of the patio. Love the resulting ambiance, even though I have no picture to show you.

Finally, my dad and I got down to the main event, sealing the patio.  The sealer was a high gloss, to give the patio a wet look at all times.  Imagine nail polish remover. Times 10,000.  I had a headache the rest of the night that tylenol couldn't even kick.

But the result? Magnifico. Bellisima.

The end, patio!  It's been great building with you. *MWAH*

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm 30. Now What?

I turn 30 today.  It feels like a huge milestone, something that should indicate a ginormous turning point in my life. How is my life going to be different now that I'm 30, rather than 29? Does it even matter? 
Sometimes I feel like at 30, I'm missing out on so much that my friends and family who have turned 30 have accomplished. Namely getting married and having a family.  But I've done so many things that other people couldn't have or didn't. I can't let what I don't have drag me down and diminish all the great things I've accomplished since graduating college: saving the world one illiterate child at a time, getting a masters degree, starting a career I love, buying a house and fixing it up....

There's a reason why my family and friends are proud of me/impressed by me/think I'm the best librarian ever. And it doesn't have anything to do about my marital state or lack of fruit of my loins.

Turning 30 can matter, especially if I make some changes, make some goals. I think I should have monthly goals, changing my life in small, meaningful ways. So this is kind of like a new years resolution, but not.

Month 1:
August 16 - September 15
Keep house picked up and kitchen cleaned. My house reaches a general state of chaos by the end of each week. A pit. The PIT OF DESPAIR. I hate it, but so far I've done nothing to improve it.  Henceforth, kitchen, living room, and foyer shall be picked up at least every other day.

Month 2:
September 16 -  October 15
My money managing skills are non-existant. At 30, I feel like I should really have a better handle on this. Month 2 will forever be known as the month I kept track of every single penny being spent.

Month 3:
October 16 - November 15
Now that I've kept track of my money, I need to establish a budget - a workable budget - and actually make it work. I've done a lot of things that are harder. I shouldn't wimp out on a budget.

Month 4:
November 16 - December 15
Time to learn something new - or re-learn something that I've forgotten *cough* crochet/knitting *cough*

Month 5:
December 16 - January 15
Make my bed every morning.  I remember reading about John and Sherry over at Young House Love doing this.  When I do make my bed, I love the way it looks and climbing into it at night. This will be especially good in the winter since I'll turn my electric blanket on and it'll be extra nice and toasty when I get in.

Month 6:
January 16 - February 15
Make a lunch/bring a lunch everyday to bring to work.  I waste so much money and eat really bad things for me when I'm not prepared for lunch at work. Time to stop wasting money and find some things I can really enjoy for lunch at work.

Month 7:
February 16 - March 15
The month for fitness. Usually by this time in the year its gross outside - been too cold for too long, the snow never seems to go away. But working out always makes me feel better in this weather. Month 7 goal will be to work out 4 days a week.

Month 8:
March 16 - April 15
Spring cleaning time! It's time to tackle all those nasty chores I haven't been doing all along (clean those windows girl!). This will take breaking it down week by week....
Week 1: Windows
Week 2: Cleaning out closets
Week 3: Organize pantry
Week 4: Floors!

Month 9:
April 16 - May 15
Spring planting! Time to get the grass ready to look good and flower beds cleaned up and planted. Out comes the patio furniture. Time to enjoy the outdoors again.

Month 10:
May 16 - June 15
Plan a trip. The trip doesn't have to happen this month, but I want to figure out a vacation to take. A real vacation, to a real vacation spot, for a real relaxing time.

Month 11:
June 16 - July 15
Be social. I tend to become pretty hermit like and sometimes it takes more of an effort for me to go out. Month 11 will be known as the Social Butterfly Month.  At least once a week I will do an activity with a friend (that doesn't include softball night).

Month 12:
July 16 - August 15
Explore the City.  There's so much in the cities that I haven't done, haven't seen. This time of year there's a lot of festivals, markets, etc. I should be able to find something to do at least once a week.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Landscaping is REALLY hard (Part 2)

I got the plants in and finally finished moving the last dirt pile and put down grass seed.  So much improvement!

When I started digging my first hole for the arborvitae, I hit a buried concrete footer. Awesome. I adjusted where I was digging and managed to get all three in.  That did me in for that day since it was about a billion degrees.

End Day 1

Day 2 is another hot day, but I got up bright and early, thinking I'd counteract the oppresive heat. I was out there by 7 am, digging and planting.  I finished getting all the plants in on the left side of the patio.  And I managed to get a billion mosquito bites. So I have to ask myself what is worse - sun stroke or a billion mosquito bites. The jury is still out.


I decided to test the theory and after showering off the first round of dirt, resting, and shopping, I headed back out for round 3 in the afternoon.

Round 3 success - got everything planted on the right side of the patio and got all the mulch down.

So pretty

Then my pops came over and attached some steps, so I can get in and out the patio door!

That about does it - no pictures of the grass seed, but its just a boring picture of dirt. Fingers cross grass sprouts up from it soon.

What's left now....sealing and attaching the new light fixture! At least thats what I remember off the last list....

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Patio List

One of my coworkers just asked if I was done with my patio now that I had the plants in. I said no...I just have....

So, I thought a list of what was done and what was needed to be done was in order.

  1. Plan patio
  2. Demo exisiting porch
  3. Excavate
  4. Level, lay class 5, compact, level
  5. Lay and screed sand
  6. Place pavers
  7. Compact pavers, add polymeric sand, compact again
  8. Purchase and build patio furniture
  9. Purchase plants and plan landscaping
  10. Purchase privacy arbor
  11. Plant plants, lay edging, cover with mulch
To Do
  1. Install privacy arbor
  2. Install new stairs
  3. Install new light fixture
  4. Seal pavers

I still am thinking about some kind of outdoor lighting, maybe some more small solar lights, just to make it pretty around the new bushes and flowers.   Also maybe a deck box that can do some storage (and also a place to attach a bottle opener that would sit above a pail).