Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Garfield's Back!

Here he is, stalking something in the backyard again!  I initially thought that he was after the mint plant, but he walked right past it. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Scary Times Ahead

For once, the time stamp on this post is correct. I know the blog has been 99.9999% about the house, but this kind of relates to the home (plus, the label really applies it!).

Tomorrow's a big day in one huge way - Robert starts day care tomorrow! It's really scary, actually. I can't even put a number to the amount of child care providers I called in the City to just look for availability! It took us pretty much down to the wire to find a spot. I went through Google, Yelp, Community Care Licensing, my work's EAP - basically everything I could think of. Nearing desparation, I looked through Craigslist. I figured, "Shoot, I got half the furniture in the house from Craigslist, why not see if it'll pull through again!" It did.
Providers were posting notices of availability! For the first time in MONTHS, my search didn't amount to calling and asking if someone had availability but to calling and asking when I could meet with the providers and tour the facilities! It was pretty exciting. We were two weeks away from the date that we would require their services, and with a few days before we had to leave to Maui, we started to meet people.
I won't mention all the details, but initially, we were far from impressed. We narrowed down the available places to two, and finally, tomorrow, we're giving one of them a shot. There are so many what-if's that could happen, that I'd rather not think about it. I guess all that remains is to be patient and see what happens...


I decided that one section of the backyard is going to be full of Citronella plants.  I've started rooting a whole lotta clippings in the kitchen.  Here's a picture of my forrest:

Clearing out the Backyard

Today, I spent some time in the backyard clearing out the jungle.  There is still a whole mess of plants around the yard, and I guess I'm tackling it one area at a time.  This time, it's the place right next to the kitchen door.  It took me about two hours to rip out all the weeks, roots, plants, etc.  Here's a picture of what it looks like now:
All those bricks in the bottom of the picture had a thick mat of roots growing all over and in between them.  It was a pain in the butt to cut it all cut up and pulled out.  I have a feeling this isn't quite over yet...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spearmint Plant!

Today was a pretty exciting day! 

We went to Sloat Garden Center today to check out some plants.  My main goal was to get some sort of mint plants to propogate along the edges of the yard to build up a defense from mice and rodents (supposedly they hate the smell).  Sandra wanted to get some herbs and indoor plants.  We ending up getting a spearmint plant, a lavender, a cilantro, a rosemary, and a sweet basil.  I think except for the mint and lavender, these will be grown indoors.  We'd need to get a better planter if we were going to put the rest of the herbs outside. 

And I planted my spearmint plant in the yard!  It's the first plant from the group that we bought at Sloat Garden Center that we're planting in the yard.  I hope it takes.  It's an invasive species, and I hear they grow and spread really quickly.  Here's the little guy now:

It's not your imagination, if you noticed...  The top of the plant is cut!  I took a clipping to put in water to root.  This little guy's going to have clones all around the yard!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nice Bathroom

Here's the bathroom at Star Noodle in LaHaina, Maui.  I liked the barn doors, the stone walls, and the sink.  I'd never do this sort of design in a place I lived in, but it was very cool to see.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hello, Garfield.

As I admired the jungle that is my backyard, I noticed an orange cat sun bathing on the stairs.  Hello, Garfield.  I see you!

Robert's Dresser

The dresser from Amazon arrived on Monday. Hinojosa had helped me bring it to Robert's room. It's pretty heavy. Sandra was concerned about the state of the dresser, since the delivery man basically dropped it on our front steps. Yesterday was the day to build the dresser! I could watch the Giant's game in Robert's room, so it all worked out.

I started around 5:30, and by 7:00 PM, dinner had arrived (pizza!). I had pretty much everything except three drawers done. It was looking pretty good! The wood that's visible is solid and nice. The problem is the wood that makes up the other three sides of the drawers - they're pretty flimsy. I'm pretty sure I could've cracked a piece in half putting it together, if I just pushed on it a little hard. I made sure I took my time to read the directions, lay out the pieces, and put it together really, really slowly, just to it'd only happen once. Here she is, done:

It's the four drawer dresser that matches Robert's crib.

Clearing Out The Yard

I had planned on cleaning out the yard all weekend. Mother's Day and Giant's games pretty much kept me from getting to it. I decided today was going to be the day, since there was no game, and garbage was going out tonight.

Then Hinojosa hit me up and said he needed more drywall. He'd cracked the drywall he picked up last week, so I offered to help him cut it and all. He got there around 5-ish, and we cut and mounted the drywall onto the frame he and his group had built. We used a drywall saw to cut the hole for his mechanics, and voila! All done. He asked what I was planning on doing, and I said clearing out all these weeds. He offered to help, and we pretty much massacred half the yard!

Here's what it looked like afterwards. Again, I didn't take before pics... :-(

We pretty much filled up the entire 55 gallon compost bin, too!

I had to get in and compact it a few times, but it did the job. We used the "Vaquero Grande" by Cold Steel to cut through the ivy and vines that were climbing up and over the fence from the neighbor's yard. I hosed off the cement and started scrubbing it, but it'll take a while to clean off.

I want to plant varmint repelling stuff back here - citronella and peppermint plants, primarily. We'll see how well the citronella does outside!