We are Crazy

I admit it, we are crazy. We seem to just dive into one crazy venture after another.

Remember how we just finished our Bathroom Renovation? Yeah, me too.

This weekend we dug a giant hole in front of our home. Payed a guy to cut two doorways worth of the foundation out and poured a footing. In fact we have spent a lot of money on concrete. Close to $800. Plus the excavator guy and the man cutting the concrete.

This is the beginning – well actually this is after mike had ripped the deck off…

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We need to still pour the foundation, then backfill the dirt into the foundation hole and surrounding area. Then the building can begin. The irritating part is that well, no one will ever see what we just spent over a thousand dollars on. it will all just be underground.

It was so hot out this weekend with those poor men digging and mixing concrete. I felt horrible not having an air conditioned dome to cover them with. Here is the process in picture form:

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**Note that I left to go to work in between the cutting and removal of the concrete – So I don’t have a picture of the giant gaping hole, just a picture of it boarded up.ImageImage

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So there you go folks, another renovation, another vacation we won’t take. Another visa racked up. Isn’t it great! Stay tuned…

Fig Tree Bonanza.

This past week we started fixing up the shed. I wanted a window, the floors were rotten, the giant door that was there before was broken and had let the rain and snow in so it was just a hot mess. 

I also want my new chicken coop to back into the shed. This was I can clean the coop without getting wet or cold if the weather is bad. So we tore it apart, fixed and braced up the floors, put new floors in, new walls, added the window, put the siding back on and now tonight is coop night! 

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Yeah, I guess this year is get er’ done year. But we really have been making some big changes to our home/yard. 

I know what you’re thinking – that has nothing to do with a fig tree! Alright. 

Well it was Fathers day weekend also. Mike is a father so of course I had to include him in my father gifting. I was puttering at the superstore too lazy/late to make supper from scratch when I popped into the Garden Centre. That’s when I saw the giant pallet of FIG TREES. $14.97 each. No Tax.

A. Fig. Tree.

Naturally I bought four. This garden centre is the test market for the fig tree Robyn the garden centre guru told me. as I was making up my mind about them. They grow 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Grow figs you can eat. Self Pollenate. 
Obviously I bought them. I would have spent way more on anything else as a gift. So there was one for me, one for mike (hehehe two for me really), one for my dad and one for mikes dad. Of course mike was super excited… well after I explained how great they were and the GREAT deal – no tax. And as soon as he could smell the pre-cooked bbq chicken I brought home. I planted and re-staked them asap (well our two trees).

The next morning we went to visit mikes father. He loved it! Whats not to love? It’s the gift that just keeps giving I mentioned. Figs! Fig Newtons! A lifetime of tree! I was going a little overboard but I was excited.ImageImageImage

 

Of course with a shovel in hand I couldn’t help but notice the bull rushes growing in his side marsh. So I took some for myself! 

My father was equally thrilled! However he got some beer as well – he does help with our renovations. Speaking of which, remember that door I previously mentioned? The one from the Restore (and yes I did get the fifth chair – looks perfect). That Reno has begun. . .Image

 

Yes. I came home on Saturday to no deck. Remember this picture of our ugly front of house. Stay tuned, nothing is more irritating thrilling than a reno. Good thing we got dad that beer 🙂

 

ReStore – ing chairs.

Last night I was puttering on FaceBook, you know what you look through the profile of someone who you barely know. That’s what I was doing. I ended up finding a FaceBook page for Gateway Meat Market that announces their specials – awesome and a store that is partnered with the Habitat for Humanity – The ReStore. 

They had tons of awesome – TAX FREE – building supplies/appliances and furniture. Looking through the pictures of what they had in stock I found a couple things that interested me. Image

They were advertised as $15 each, tax free with several in store. Well… we all know what several means – between 2 – 3 chairs. I wanted them. I have been looking on and off for new kitchen chairs because the cat has destroyed the cheap Walmart ones we have.

Also I saw that they had Front doors. Well a new front door is about $850 – 1,200 … on sale. So since we have decided to add a front entry/split I have been keeping my eye out for deals.

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This door was wait for it… $400. Four. Hundred. Dollars. No Tax. 

Finally a door with a window. I put it on my visa. 

The chairs, they had plenty. I wish I had gotten five instead of only four. Love them, super comfy, real wood and the right price.

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They fit right in. $60. From an Golf course – fancy sman-cy I think it’s a deal.

Thoughts?

 

Behind the fence

Today I woke up without a voice. Rolled over to say good morning to the hubby and it was gone. Stayed in bed most of the morning until I was sick of being sick. Cleaned the house, put dishes away and then did some laundry and hung it out.

Had a dozen or so chocolate chip cookies.

Looked at the empty hummingbird feeder and whipped up some homemade nectar. 1 cup of white sugar and four cups of boiling water. Stir until dissolved and then poured into the feeder. No food colouring. I’ve been warned of the health hazards the food colouring causes in hummingbirds. Regardless of the truth to this I play it safe. The feeder is red regardless.
I hope they will find it’s full again and come back to eat.

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This year we have done a lot of yard clean up, more than past years. Note: behind the shed and weeding behind the pond posts. The unfortunate part is I can see garbage behind our fence. Which I can only assume was also from the piggos that lived here previously. Today was nice enough (and I had no more motivation to continue digging and moving dirt for the path behind the pond) so I hopped the fence and went behind the fence to see if I could get some garbage.
Yes, I know, kind of weird. Why bother right? Wrong. I feel obligated to clean up my little portion of the world. 

So this is what i saw/found:

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Oh wait… is that a..?

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Yes, It was a sink.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat will I do with what I dragged out of the woods? Well there was various garbage + 2 basketballs (for the dogs to play with), A golf ball – put it in the garden, a gardening tool – now in the shed, the kitchen sink I The man of the house will probably make a base for it and the sink will become a beautiful flower garden. Found a frisbee, threw it for the dogs and as for that wooden shelf… I made a sign.

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Thrifting finds

This morning I woke up to a wet nose, in my face. Lexxi wanted me up. Turns out when I got up she really just wanted my spot. I eventually had to coax her out of bed with one of her toys and even then she was reluctant to start the day. 

After my morning routine I had to pop into town. I decided to make the best of it and popped into Gateway Meat Market – one of my favorite shops. I got bacon (on for $1.49 ea.) and some fruit/veg. They had peaches on for .67/lb so I loaded up on those too. I went to a Thrift store that I alway find gems in. Today was no different. I found a beautiful vase/bowl for 1.99$, two beautiful baskets for $2.99 ea. An outdoor lighthouse statue for the garden ($3.99) and a wooden statue ($1.99)

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Image    ImageThen I went to CT and got Mike a Framer nailer that was on sale and some framing nails. Popped into the dollar store looking for chalkboard paint/chalk and found garden gnomes. They were heavy, concrete gnomes. Usually I’m not a big fan of the dollar store – I find a lot of the stuff is just garbage. A sturdy Garden Gnomes for $3. Not a waste of money. So of course I got four. One of each position. Image

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I also found a window suction bird feeder that I hope will hold up and a snail that should be beautiful in the sun.

Image  ImageConsidering I spent $19.50 at the dollar store and I’ve spent $9.99 on a single garden gnome before I am really happy with what I walked away with.

After coming home and putting groceries away I popped over to Hubbies moms house to get those hosta plants we talked about for behind the pond. Armed with a shovel and the beautiful red wheelbarrow I filled up and I think it make a huge difference!

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Baxter is a big fan of gnomes!

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The above two plants are the ones left in among the weeds that I left. I think they’re happy to be getting some attention and full sun. Dogs were happy with my finds that’s for sure!

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Pond Garden Cleanup

Its Hot scorching out.

I’m still feeling crappy on and off, some kind of cold that decided to pop up on the couple nice days I have off. 

Today I worked behind the pond, it was a lot of work weeding and moving rocks to create rock barriers. Fortunately this yard is rock central and we had tons of rocks to use. I also finished weaving the string around the bamboo stakes to finish the pea trellises. 

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Peas staked and trellises.

Mike was fabulous enough to put my new hooks up for me. 

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I don’t like the second birdhouse for that location. So it will be moved and I’ll find something else that will suite the space better.

After the trellising and getting the beds ready for dirt/planting I popped to the Garden Centre down the street. They had a buy $100 in the garden centre and save $10 – automatically so $100 worth of stuff = $90.
Nothing makes me happier than saving money but if I’m going to be spending money I don’t need to then that isn’t saving. I needed some more soil – I have a big bag of peat moss that I will be working in as a great soil filler :). I needed about 15 bags of soil and at 5/$10 that brought me to $30. I needed a couple more blueberry plants to fill in the space – 3 at $9.99 each brought me to 59.97 and a 12 pack of succulents to fill in the space between the stumps, edge of the first garden. ($12.99) and the cabin bird house ($19.99) for mike that I had been eyeing for a total of 106.89 including tax. I think because I’m their so often and they  felt bad for my dirty appearance they gave be a 15$ break – I only ended up paying $86 and change. That is actually a $20 savings!!! I was thrilled! Came home and lugged the dirt out back, mixed it with peat moss and planted the succulents and blueberry bushes. 

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Hubby’s mom Sharon wants her hostas trimmed, so I will be taking some pieces and hopefully filling the back part with five hostas or so. they will fill that space in perfectly!

What a big difference $86 makes and some hard labour. Lots more to get done but I’m feeling good about how much I’ve accomplished so far this year. 

Oh and July 16th is going to be a big day here at the Stevens household! Stay tuned…

 

Trip to the garden centre(s) is all I need for motivation!

Today I was feeling motivated, with the morning off and beautiful weather it was time to get some things done.  First of course laundry needed to be done so I could hang it out and then the regular daily clean up. Then I popped into the city to go to Canadian Tire where I got my fantastic Rhubarb at the end of the season last year for $1.99!  The hubby loves rhubarb – I mean who doesn’t!? – so I was feeling good strolling through CT. That feeling lasted a very short time. Apparently they’re sold out. For the year! But I got some late summer last year… Fluke she said. Got some comet and eggies for hubby, he’s been talking about them for some time now. Nothing can make you want something better than a good Infomercial. Image Then I headed home a bit disappointed. That was short lived. I popped into Sobeys Garden centre where they had Rhubarb – a giant container of rhubarb! For $9.99, that is a little more than I wanted to pay but now with the worry if I don’t buy it I’ll miss out on getting rhubarb I decided to just get it. I also got two containers of Lavender – the lavender I tried to grow never really grew into much of anything. As well as a small container of lemon balm. After my successful shop there I popped into another garden centre where I got nothing and then Lakeland. There they had rhubarb – I just had to compare! for… $18.99!!! and the plant was tiny! Maybe I just really lucked out last year.  Their Blueberry plants were way too expensive considering you need to buy two to get them producing fruit I would have to spend $24.99 (twice). I’m not necessarily cheap but gardening gets pricey so $50 on two blueberry bushes is just not something I can spend without feeling guilty.  I got home and then it hit me. Oh… I have no place for these plants… So I put my garden gloves on and started weeding the other side of the stump pile behind the vegetable garden. While I need to start working on the garden behind the pond it will lead quite nicely into that work. It took four hours and a lot of shovelling, pulling and hard work. I also found (remember the pile of garbage I cleared out behind the sheds – that is what the old owners did, buried their garbage..): a paint roller with the metal part, nail polish bottles – full of polish x 2, three shoelaces – one pink, two white with writing, a spoon, two bowls, three plastic pots, a broken pen, a garbage bag and a lamp shade.  Then after removing the weeds and garbage and building the bed up with rocks to create a raised type bed I really didn’t have much dirt so I went down the street to the local Superstore Garden Centre and got 5/$10 bags of top soil and two blueberry plants for $9.99 ea. I also got two metal hooks between $12.99 – $32.99 each at Canadian Tire – only $5.99 each at the Garden Centre! Score. Perfect spot for my bird feeders/hanging stuff. Oh and two little frog statues (prince and princess) for $4.99 each. 

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Hooks!
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Blueberry plants!

Came back and lugged the dirt to the backyard, planted my new goodies and finished the bed. Brought out the basil and oregano that had been on the windowsill and put those into my new herb garden too. I also had found two plants in among the weeds so they stayed. Cleaned up the mess, brought the frogs out. Decided I shouldn’t have cheap out and should have gotten two more rhubarb plants to sit on top of the stumps. Hubby’s mom came over with her new puppy and inspected my work, she liked!  Found Gout weed on the other side of my new garden – freaked out! Hate that stuff!!! Made sure to get rid of it. Put it in a garbage bag to make sure it doesn’t find its way back. Started working on the other side, tomorrows project.  Here is my progress!

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Before
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Before, see past the stumps – weed central.
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Weed Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peas have been trellised … 

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Next project (besides behind the pond)…

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Garden update!

I planted the garden  – in spurts – three weeks ago.

Here is our garden as it was today – Can you tell I’m pleased?!?

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Potato barrel #1

 

Potato Barrel # 2
Potato Barrel # 2

 

Zucchini Squash is up!
Zucchini Squash is up!
Broccoli
Broccoli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turnip - something is munching on these sprouts.
Turnip – something is munching on these sprouts.
Watermelon is up!
Watermelon is up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkins are up through the garden - seeds from the compost that grew...
Pumpkins are up through the garden – seeds from the compost that grew…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA brussel sprouts and spinach are just growing like weeds!

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Rosebush that has grown back despite mike and I sawing it down thinking it was just some ugly tree that was out of control. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Radishes I planted three days ago that have already broken ground.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Corn is up!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe garden long view!

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Rhubard that was just a little seedling last year at the end of the season that really has come a long way – I want more!

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All in all, our garden is just happily growing 🙂

How are your gardens growing?

 

I’m actually a Crafty Little Bugger!

During my big behind the shed clean up I found an old rusty shovel head that I couldn’t bear to part with. I’ll admit it, I am a pack rat. I love garbage treasures, saving old things and repurposing.

I have been looking for some yard garden ornaments/decor. Let’s be perfectly honest – my family has a saying about parmesan cheese on a salad, when you think there is too much, put some more on – this saying bodes well for how I feel about garden decor, bird feeders, chocolate and gnomes. So I’ve been looking for good deals on gnomes/birds for the garden. 

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Shovel head, in all it’s glory!

Having had zero luck today I was feeling crafty and I used the shovel head quite well I think!

Firstly my idea was to take some tole paints and make some kind of folk artsy flowers on it. Then I couldn’t find any paints, any brushes and I really can not paint. At all. 

So then I put the shovel away. 
No – of course I didn’t give up! Don’t worry – there is more to this tale!!!!

I was rooting through the garage for sand paper when I found an old beer can in the garbage. That was a little odd, we all know cans belong in the recycling. Hubby must have had a little moment. I rescued it and then thought – SHOVEL HEAD! EYES! I got excited, cut the can in half, cut it into like a sun shape with the edges bend. Spray painted two bottle caps for the eye balls, folded a can top into lips and then realized the big issue.

We don’t drink out of cans. 

UH oh. This one particular can I found in the garbage was a can i brought into the garage while dandelion head hunting and found it in our ditch. I couldn’t use the other half of the beer can because I needed the bottom part. So I ditch hunted. Found nothing which was bitter sweet – less litterers around! Went to mikes mom (who lives three doors down) and stole a can from her recycling! Success! 

Now how to glue it all together… SILICONE! Clear of course! 🙂 

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Classy lady isn’t she!

And there you have it. Lady of the shovel. 

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What have you created?!

Look how far we’ve come

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Garden 2012

Today I was looking through last years pictures on my computer when I realized just how our yard is evolving and how much I’ve learned about gardening, yard work and  home ownership. Two years ago I moved in with the hubby and last year we built a garden. Not really sure about how to go about it or how much work it would take. we naïvely jumped in headfirst and actually did quite well. That’s when we fell in love with gardening. When we were chomping on corn from our own garden, eating peas freshly picked from our own backyard and looking at how well we did. We were hooked.

This year we decided to enlarge our garden and use a side patch for cucumbers, put our potatoes in potato barrels and look into planting more rhubarb, try to use the wild raspberries that are all over the back yard and look into a cold frame to extend our gardening season. So far we are right on track.

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Garden 2013

***Note the Green Potato Barrels, black compost barrel and enlarged garden. We also added rain barrels to the sides of the house and have a little strawberry patch!

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Hubby composting!

We also have grape vines that the previous owner put in as a measure of privacy which we have used for grape jelly, wine and everyday munching.

We have two crab apple trees that we are trying to get a little crop from as well. Not that we are against grocery shopping as we still do that weekly but nothing tastes better than your own home grown food and whats better than letting people know you made it.

Here is to a good year in the garden, good health and creativity!