Archive for May, 2011

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winding down May

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Hellllllllooooo! Still no camera working. I feel naked without it. It is so strange to go about my day and not be able to document it. I didn’t call the manufacturer today because my work day was crazy… and I am fairly certain I am SOL because my warranty is up. Errrrg. I did manage to find my old camera. Lo and behold it still works. But it won’t take my SDHC card. So now I am trying to dig up a smaller card and the cable to connect it to the computer. If I can manage this in the middle of moving furniture and tables, then I will be back in business at least for a while!

So bear with me while I sort out camera ridiculousness and the complete upheaval of our downstairs. I will find a way to snap some pics. Fixing the floors must be documented!

In preparation for the overhaul, I have also been researching ceiling fans, because we are going to install one in the living room. FINALLY. It has been sooooooo very warm here for the past 4 days. Sweltering. A ceiling fan will go a long way toward getting the breeze going downstairs. We do have a small A/C unit that we use in the master bedroom, but that is it. Although I am starting to rethink this strategy. I usually do not mind the heat, but it does get quite balmy inside. Makes it hard to function. I find myself so lethargic, just splayed out on the couch we are about to chuck (maybe?). Heh heh.

Yeah, we are quickly losing furniture and gaining all sorts of lofty ideas about ways to upgrade and improve our space. It’s almost like we think we have the money to redecorate with wild abandon. Hah!

So it will start with a ceiling fan and we will take it from there.

In other news, can you believe it is the end of May? The last full-time Spring month. I still remember the snow. It was not so long ago — it snowed on April Fools’ Day. And now we have temps in the upper 80s and low 90s. The crickets are singing at night. There is still a sliver of light in the sky at 9 p.m. I have mosquito bites dotting my legs and the backs of my arms from planting heirloom tomatoes yesterday. I heard fireworks in the distance this weekend. Craig has a sunburn from running. I don’t want to cook anymore because it is too hot in the kitchen. We have to run the dehumidifier in the basement because it is swampy.

Summer is coming. Fast. Sweetly. I am doing my best to savor every day.

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memorial day weekend and mixing it up

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Hello! This is a photo-less post. And I am very sad about it—my camera stopped working today. I have no idea why, but I am not feeling too good about my little camera’s chances. At first I thought the battery was just dead, so I swapped out the battery for a freshie. No luck. Nothing. When I press the On/Off button I get no response. And I’m pretty peeved about the whole thing because this camera is less than 2 years old. That should not happen!

But I am trying not to let this get me down. I will call the manufacturer and see what gives. In the meantime, I cannot show you our first harvest of baby spinach and lettuces from the garden this weekend. I can’t show you the crazy thunder clouds that passed by on Friday. I can’t show you the amazing heirloom tomato starts I bought today.

And most of all, I can’t show you the comical, utter disarray that is our downstairs right now. We are in the process of vacating all the contents of our dining room and living room in preparation to have our hardwood floors refinished next week. We have been talking about this for years and years, pretty much since we first moved in. The bulk of the flooring is in great shape, but the path from the kitchen through the dining room into the living room is really worn and looks icky.

I started calling to get quotes because I do not feel comfortable attempting this project ourselves. After I got some quotes, I found a refinisher who offered us a deal we could not pass up—he had a contractor back out on a job next week, so he has an opening. And he’s giving us a steep discount.

Sign us up!

Perfect timing with the long weekend, so we’ve spent the past two days moving bookcases and tables and figuring out where to stash the loveseat and dining room table and houseplants and chairs and end tables and whatnot. Our house is pretty small, so there’s not a bunch of options for where things can go. However, I think (!?) we have a plan in place. Today we moved the bookcases that are in the living room upstairs to the guest bedroom. The dining room table is going to go out on the screened-in porch covered with a sheet or tarp. The computer and desk are now upstairs in the guest bedroom as well. The TV and TV stand will go at the end of the upstairs hallway.

The couch you ask. The couch? Well, I think this is the kick in the pants we need to finally say goodbye to it. Our couch and chair are hand-me-downs from Craig’s parents. And while they are very comfy, they are decades old—and very, very worn—and pretty much gross at this point. When we got married two years ago, we put aside some wedding money to get a new sofa. But Craig and I could never agree on one.

That was then! This is now! If we toss the ailing, sagging, worn couch, maybe—just maybe—that will force us to recommit to furniture shopping and finding one we love.

I am ever so hopeful.

I would also like to spend a little time rethinking our dining and living room layouts and maybe reconfiguring the spaces. It is almost like we are moving in all over again!

This is kind of fun. The downside is that summer decided to make its appearance quite suddenly and temps have been near 90°F for the past 3 days. It is oh-so-warm in our little abode. But we are making do as we haul furniture around, heave books, clear out the clutter, decide what we no longer need, and get ready to have our floors done.

I am so excited to refinish our red oak floors! I cannot wait! But here is what we are still stuck on… the finish. We are going to go au naturale with just a clear, low-VOC water-based polyurethane. However, do we go with a satin finish? Or semi-gloss? We have to decide by Tuesday. We have a satin finish now. And I like it. But I do wonder what the space would look like with a little more sheen… Decisions, decisions. I don’t want it to look like a bowling alley, but I also wonder how a little gloss might transform the rooms? Our living room gets a ton of light, so I don’t know if semi-gloss would be too reflective? I keep going back and forth.

Have you redone your floors? What finish did you go with? Any suggestions or recommendations? I would love to hear your thoughts.

And I hope you are having a lovely and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

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what’s blooming in the late may garden

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

The last of the Spring tulips are finishing their show right now.
may tulip

I also got just a few grecian wildflowers to come back this year.
grecian wildflowers

My lilies are up, up, and away! Every year they are a sore spot for me because they come under attack from red lily leaf beetles. You can check out last year’s escapades here.
This Spring has started out no different:
lilies

I have encountered at least 4 red beetles. But my tactic this year has changed considerably. I now seek and destroy, grabbing the bugs and smashing them out in the street. Gross and rather violent I know, but those red lily leaf beetles are so sneaky!

In the side garden we planted 4 blueberry bushes first thing this Spring, and they are doing their really cool blueberry bloom thing!
blooming blueberries

blooming blueberries

And out front, our dogwood tree out front never disappoints this time of year.
dogwood tree

dogwood tree

As we try to get our new lawn to come up, we are doing our best to manage weeds and sundries. This means we are no match for the violets this year. They are everywhere. But at least the violets are pretty when they bloom!
violets

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the chipmunk prowler

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

We have a little friend who likes to sneak into our yard and hang out. And he likes to hang out in the usual spot, right outside the chipmunk hole in our back yard. Just waiting. Wishing. Willing. So dedicated to his craft. So patient.
chipmunk prowler

I don’t know if he’s had any success, but I do admire his concentration and determination.
waiting for chipmunks

Ah, to be a cat. Living the good life!
waiting for chipmunks

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the radishes are ready

Friday, May 20th, 2011

After 6 days of rain, the garden and yard are pretty water-logged. But as soon as I got home from work, the most wonderful thing happened… the sun came out! Yeah! Hello, sun! Oh, how we have missed you. Actually, let me clarify: I have been very thankful for the rain because that means I do not have to water the lawn we are trying to grow. But seeing the sun again was quite wonderful after so many days.

I puttered around the garden and realized that the radishes are ready!

may radishes

I see you!

So I picked!

first garden radish

First 2011 garden radish

This radish is an organic french breakfast variety. It was one of the first seeds I put into the garden back in early March. And finally, the radishes are ready for consumption! I cut this first radish in half, splitting it up between me and Craig. I sprinkled my half with a little sea salt and popped it in my mouth. It tasted fresh and tangy and blissful.

More radishes to come! Perfect for salads. I cannot wait!

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