Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring is in the air!

It is hard to believe that it isn't yet April and Winston was sitting down and headed for shade during our walk because it was still 80 degrees at 5:30 today!! Bulbs are coming up and I just had to share the beauty of our dogwood...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What every wife wants to hear...

Scene: Wife tips ice maker while hubby uses garden shears to cut a hose connected through the floor: "Phew.  That WAS just a drain line.  No electrical."

Saturday, I got to play in the kitchen.  I used almost every inch of our countertop and had a blast - blondies, ice cream, meringues.  YUM!  Hubby got started on the closet in the front room.  It is a big closet... check out all the stuff that was in it!



He got the shelves put in on one side and a couple of coats of paint to freshen it up.  It's going to be a tool-holding closet... so hopefully he won't have to ask me where his hammer/tape measure is all the time =)

Today, with a little help from yours truly, hubby got started on the wet bar... turning it into my "crap closet", also known as a craft closet.


So, this is where hubby cut the water drain line in hopes that it did not also include electrical wire =)

All the junk is stuck in the front hall for the moment...  I took a picture but am having technical difficulties!  Everything is out, but the rain impaired the shelving installment... stay tuned =)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

PHEW.

Well, this morning, the forecast was showing nasty storms ahead.  So, I roused hubby out of bed early to get started on the rest of our tasks.  Getting the last 2 stumps out of the ground was ROUGH.  They had MASSIVE roots (one was actually going through a hole in the brick wall - and that root will continue on in its residence).  And we were really TIRED.  But, we persevered and... voila!


So, since we're celebrating bdays tonight and the roast had to go in at noon, I went to drop off the rest of our weekend shrapnel and pick up pine needles while hubby got to making bday cake.  There was this man at Lowe's who was attempting to put 30 bales in his truck.  I told him I didn't need to buy any - I could just follow him home and pick up all the bales he dropped!  Anywho.  Back at the ranch...  I planted the last two camellia bushes outside the courtyard, cleaned up, and raked out all the old pine needles and leaves and stuck them in another 4 trashbags.  Hubby returned the fabulous truck, and I made it inside as it was lightly raining to start getting rid of the massive amounts of dirt we tracked in... but not before taking more after shots!


The two new camellia bushes with fresh pine needles around them.


The small bed next to the stairs to the kitchen - hopefully it will have tulips blooming soon - and a peony - and blooming Sweet Daphnew and Knockout Roses and freshly chopped down monkey grass!


Shot of the gate in the courtyard with the newly trimmed camellia!


A better closeup of the corner where hubby hit his toe with the axe, we fought with a MASSIVe stump, and we planted the Christmas camellia!


All those fresh pine needles!  The courtyard looks way bigger than it did before, and I don't think either one of us can stop smiling over the progress we made this weekend.  Which is good, since toward the end today, I found myself grunting.  A lot =)  I think we'll both be OK with a work day tomorrow - it means we get to sit down!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

So many creative titles...

So little time.

Thanks Mother Nature / Winston's Pee of Approval / Green with Envy on St. Patty's Day...

Just so many choices.  So, instead of worrying about which to choose, I'll launch into an update, because there is a LOT of change happening around here!

Last night after work, we headed to Myer's Greenhouse to get the plants approved by our neighborhood committee.  First, the awesome lady who helped us to begin with recognized us right away and asked if we had gotten our plans approved.  So, we set out to pull together all the plants we needed.  Our courtyard looked like a veritable natural garden.


Winston was so not impressed and chose to pout from the comfort of the inside.  He officially had no good place to pee.


We pulled out all the stumps from the front of the house and felt very accomplished.  


The front of the house was looking pretty barren, and all the neighbors asked who we were going to have do our new landscaping.  Thumbs came in very hand ("This guy!") for our answer.  Finally, the front of the house looked pretty empty and ready for some new life!


So, this morning, we were back at it.  First, we had to bring all our "shrapnel" to our first house for curbside pickup =)  Then, I started pulling more of the stuff out of the courtyard while hubby went to get more, larger camellias (yup, the smaller ones weren't gonna do it, so we moved their planned location).  He came back with those AND golden Eunymus.  Or something like that.  We headed off to Greensboro to pick up some sod for Winston and then got cracking!  We started with the front.  First, the arrangement.  Here's the first choice:


And then here's hubby's choice:


We went with hubby's choice.  We decided it looked more like the other plantings in the neighborhood.  Hubby dug in, literally, and I helped as we went along - funny story here.  So, we were worried there was something wrong with the water b/c none was coming out.  But, I unscrewed it, and it was working fine.  Seems ants had made the nozzle their home.  Ewwwwww.  After a lot of hard work, the front was planted.


I was not happy with this pic.  I took it just as the sun was starting to come over the house and shading the front.  So, the house was ready for its closeups!  I put snapdragons all around the mailbox:


I am hoping that these have more oomph than the sorry washed out pansies that finally just made their first appearance since Mom got them for me last fall!  Next is a closeup of one side of the house - we replicated by counting bricks so it would be even =)


Still not super-happy with the pics, but I was TIRED.  I also got a boxwood for the planter Sarah gave me for Christmas and put more snap dragons in another planter that just happened to be in a coordinating color (and if you look real close, you can see me in my ridiculously oversized yard jeans =)


So, we took a break to bring the arbor to Mom and Dad's and then got to the courtyard.  Winston came with us and enjoyed the ride immensely!


There are no pictures to show the hour plus of chopping and grunting and yanking and whatnot it took to get the last stump out of the ground.  I'm not sure I'll be able to get out of bed tomorrow.  But, teamwork led to our victory, and it left a hole the perfect size for the camellia that Sarah got me for Christmas.  Yes, it made it through the winter and finally found its home!  The sod went down (I think I'm all out of order, but only hubby will care...), and Winston came out.  I think he might have been excited about it and a little thankful for the new diggs...


He gave his grass the inaugural pee and was happy.  Yay!!!  We got to cleanup... and while we still have plans, we think it's looking pretty good!


Ok, so here on the left side, hopefully gladiolas will be popping up around that tree.  We're going to get a big pot to go to the left of the tree and plant herbs.  We're also going to plant monkey grass as a border to the real grass (with the hope that Winston will love it and not turn the pretty green grass yellow!)


So, you can't see it, but it had started to rain, so behind the table is our camellia.  That big bush on the left of the table is a sweet olive, which smells like apricot!


And, here, on the right, we're planning to have jasmine growing up the trellis, surrounded by encore azaleas and then annuals.  But, the azaleas haven't come in yet, and that's ok by me =)

Thank you, Mother Nature, for raining.  First of all, the grass needed to be drenched, according to the nice sod guy.  And, all our new plants probably needed more water than they got.  Second, it meant that we couldn't tackle the other two stumps!!!  More updates to follow tomorrow, hopefully!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Uh-oh... a casualty!

Yes, folks, it is time to say goodbye...

...to the shovel...


But, before I explain what's going down here at Turnberry Love, I want to take a moment to say a belated happy birthday to my amazing aunt...


...and to my amazing dad...




I can't say enough how lucky we are to have the family support we have around us.  We celebrate you both and feel fortunate to have both of you in our lives!

So... back to the poor shovel.  Yesterday, it was beautiful.  A few days ago, we got the "do what you'd like" blessing from the head of the grounds committee... and, as Travis pointed out tonight, he had heard from a certain someone*coughmotherinlawcough* that our courtyard is a little lacking...  Trav began tackling the sticky ugly bushes outside the courtyard, while I worked on the overgrown camellia bush:



Soon, outside the courtyard, we had this:



Which the nice yard guys hauled away for us today!  And inside the courtyard, we had this:



Winston came out to check things out and really wasn't sure about the situation:


But we got the tail-wag of approval, anyway.  So, when I left work, I was so disappointed to see that it was raining.  I had planned to do more prep work tonight, and mother nature was taking care of those plans =(  Hubby had other plans for M.N., though!  This is what I saw when I got home:


Three stumps and lots of pachysandra all over the bricks!  Unfortunately, the fight against the old stumps was eventually lost, hence the shovel casualty.  So, tonight, we purchased a new shovel so the fight can be renewed tomorrow.  Pretty excited to bring new curb appeal to Turnberry Love this weekend!!!  let's hope it doesn't rain all weekend now...

The front of the house is to have Camellias, Gold Mop Cypress, Nandinas, Daylillies, and some annuals.  Stay tuned to see if those plans actually go off without a hitch =)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The kitchen

We have some minor details to finish up in the kitchen, but it is fairly complete!  So, I figure it's time for before and after photos.  It's a beautiful day, the kitchen is mostly clean, and I'm trying to act like I'm on vacation.  That is proving to be difficult.  Anywho, without further adieu...

Before: looking into a yellow and peachy coral kitchen with lots of potential...


After: hardwood floors, black cabinets, granite countertops, and green walls!



 Before: Walking in the main entrance for the homeowner (through the courtyard) - a huge but slightly depressing view...


After: A (hopefully) warmer welcome with shiny stainless steel reflecting some of that beautiful sunshine!


Before: Looking in and seeing chunky handles from the great room...


After: A cleaner welcome (handles yet to be actually attached *nudge nudge hubby*) with some fun stuff displayed now!


And one more old view, from the door looking into the breakfast nook...


And a few last views, since my original pics failed to catch all of what would become our hard work!




The to-do list for the kitchen now includes sealing the backsplash and getting grout to go down around the counter, adding the few last knobs, and making window treatments... but not today =)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Life's a beach.

We took a little respite after several months of feeling like we've been going 100 MPH.  Hubby got us an "ocean view" room in Myrtle Beach for two nights, so we headed down Saturday morning.


For those of you who have made the trip from NC to SC, you'll know the statuary place on the right hand side of the road that I'm talking about.  Mom and I classically tease to stop.  Dad and Travis have classically made sure they were driving so we don't. This time, though, I was shocked to find hubby slow and turn!



It was so fun. I found a frog and a birdbath that I wanted but decided we don't really have room in the courtyard. I also found incentive for dad to stop next time =)


So, we got there and hit up all our favorite places.  Croissants (twice), Ciao, Margaritaville, Kaminsky's Deli.  And so we ate...


And ate...

And ate...

And ate =)  Yup.  Had that mint brownie twice.


And we shopped! And I slept every time I tried to sit down to read. It was good rejuvenation, but man are we looking forward to our own bed and Winston! Back at the ranch, Trav put up the rest of the kitchen cabinets' doors.  I'll post pictures as soon as I clean the kitchen =).  And I planted gladiolas, dahlias, and a peony.  Fingers crossed they come up!