Well, everyone, my grades are submitted--in time, I might add. And I'm feeling fine! Now I can breathe a little. I have some other projects I have been wanting to start on...writing some grants and contract proposals, some manuscripts I need to get submitted for publication, and a big conference coming up that I need to prepare for. But it's nice to have some breathing room to do it!
Yesterday when I got home, I found a squishy package in the mailbox. Yay! My zipper pulls arrived!
I think they're just really delightful. Each one is about the size of a quarter, and they are so cute! Sweet Pea asked right away if she could have one. I said, "Sure!" She has a friend coming over to play after school today. She asked, "Can I have one for Maddie, too?" I said, "Sure!" These are just too cute not to share! (SisLH, do you think Bitsy would like one?)
I got them from Jennie and her etsy shop, Zipit. She threw in a few of her other designs, too. I really love the black and white flowery one, as well as the plaid ones. Really cute. If you are loving these, remember Jackie posted a 15% discount code you can use if you want to order some for yourself. I am not sure how long that discount lasts.
I took the little ribbon off the pouch I blogged about yesterday (there's a pattern review for this bag in that post if you are interested) and put one of these pulls on instead. Cute, huh?! (Oops, I cut off part of the zipper in my photo! LOL.)
Okay, some updates on the home remodeling, which will probably be starting up here, soon, since classes are out and we have a little more time. Some of it is outdoor stuff, so it sure would be nice if the weather would cooperate a little. It's 43 degrees and rainy again here today. I swear, it's never going to warm up!
Here's a closer view...you can see all the grass is dead under the fence, and the bushes were so overgrown that you could barely walk on the sidewalk...you were sort of pinched between the fence and the overgrown bushes. Also, these bushes were green on top, but they were all woody at the bottom. Maybe you can see that in the picture. They just didn't look good. Also, see the downspout running along the brick wall? We didn't like that. And the downspout on the right there (which you can barely see) let out right next to the foundation of the house. There really weren't too many other options...to get the water away from the house, you'd have to run the downspout right across the sidewalk. (This year, Papa Pea promised me new light fixtures on the garage and entryway, too. Yay!)
Last fall, we cut down those big, overgrown bushes. This spring now, we need to get the stumps out. I think Papa Pea is talking about renting a Bobcat for a day and doing it. We don't think our 4-wheeler will do it. He also trimmed up the other bushes the other day, and they look pretty good. They are sort of woody underneath, too, but we'll see how it goes with them. I am trying to figure out what we will put in front of the house here. (And we need to touch up some paint and stain.) Notice that when we got new gutters we revamped things so we don't have that gutter running along the brick anymore? Cleans it up nicely.
And the other day, I came home from work, and look what had happened to the ugly bushes! Papa Pea took the chain saw to them! Yippee! He wants to pull up these stumps, too. We had already pulled up the fence last year. You might be able to see where the sidewalk looks funky on the right. Papa Pea tore it up and (this is brilliant), dug a trench. That downspout along the side of the house now drains underground through a pipe, which pops up somewhere in the yard on the other side of the sidewalk. It's great.
Here's where I need a little help and suggestion from all you gardners out there. We decided that the sidewalk is too narrow, so Papa Pea wants to tear up the whole thing and pour a new one. I said, if we're going to do that, then we should think about how we really want it to be. We have talked about a lot of ideas, but here's what I'm leaning toward. I would like your advice and help.
I think it would be nice to have a more curvey walkway. I don't like how the current sidewalk is so narrow by the garage. I'd like it to come down further to the driveway, so people don't have to walk on the grass to get to it. And I'd like it to be wider. I think it would be nice if it made a swooping curve from the front step to the driveway. And I'd like it to widen by the driveway. Then, we'd have a curved bed we could plant between the sidewalk and the house.
You see the flowering tree behind the garage and in front of our workshop? Well, the grass gets a lot of traffic there...we walk on it to get to the workshop and to get behind the house, where the garbage is and the cats are. We have been thinking of putting a little brick patio right there, with brick paths that lead to the garage, workshop, and driveway. I could see a little wrought iron cafe table and chairs under the tree and on the brick. I was thinking if we did that, we should brick the front sidewalk as well so there is continuity.
What do you think of that idea? We'd love to get some salvaged bricks somewhere if any of you are local and know where we can get them.
We also talked about doing the sidewalk in cement but perhaps coloring the cement and then stamping it to look like stone or something. Any of you have experience with that? What do you think of that idea?
Finally, I told you I'm a black thumb. But I do like the front of the house to look nice. So, I'm trying to decide what to plant there. I woudl like to raise the bed and put some stone or brick or something along the edge to separate it from the sidewalk. I love hydrangeas and would love that. But I need to see if they could hack it here. This is a west facing house, so it gets some pretty intense sun later in the day. Suggestions?
Oh, one more thing...We'd love to update the look of the house. We are sort of committed to the dark brown trim (even though we're not crazy about it), because we just got the new gutters and downspouts, and they are white (gutters) and dark brown (downspouts). We noticed the shutters need to be painted, and I told you last year, we want a new front door. Do you think we should just leave them dark brown? Or do you think we could update the house with another color? I would love to hear your thinking on it. I'm afraid adding a new color will make it look like too many different colors....
Here's a cute story, by the way. On Sunday, Sweet Pea and Papa Pea were so excited to surprise me with two rose bushes they bought for me. They yelled, "Happy Mother's Day!" I told them how much I loved the bushes, but that Mother's Day is next Sunday. Well, it did't matter! I loved the sentiment, and it totally surprised me! I am thinking of putting one of the rose bushes here in front of the house and the other in front of the workshop. What do you think?
Thanks for any help, tips, inspriation, ideas you can give me. I tried to google landscaping ideas but all I found on the web were sites you have to pay to see any pictures. I'll keep you posted on how this goes. This is one of our major projects for the summer. (The major inside project will be to rehab a bathroom!)
Until next time,