Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Snowball Blossoms

The viburnum bushes are gorgeous this year. What would the garden do without them? They sashay in after the lilac blossoms fade, but before the peonies burst. This viburnum bouquet is from our snowball bush. We have several on our property, one was here originally and the others I planted last year. 

It's really quite hard to not get giddy about all the flowers that will show in the upcoming weeks and months. The peonies are full of plump buds, as are the rose bushes and clematis. 

The hydrangeas are just starting to show little tiny green flowers. 

It's all very exciting. After putting so much work into the garden, it's such a wonderful feeling to see everything growing and looking more and more mature and vibrant. 

Then there's the vegetable garden! We visited our local nursery this past weekend and picked up all of our starts...lots of tomato varieties, basil, green beans, pickling cucumbers and some carrot seeds. And two pumpkin varieties for pies, breads, soups, cakes and who knows what else. We love our pumpkin! 

We are getting a late start with the garden this year. But as of this afternoon, everything is planted and making themselves at home for the summer. 

Photos to follow...

Smiling at the babies who were watching us from their stroller...xo

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hello Lilacs

The lilac bush is in full bloom. 

Mmmm, so fragrant. 

My mom is visiting and we are so busy. Busy having fun with the babies. Busy getting chores done. Busy finding new chores to do. Busy, busy, busy... 

On the to do list is to take a picture of her with Graham and Margaret in front of the lilac bush! 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An Attache

There are those things that you buy from time to time that you never thought you needed, or even wanted for that matter.  The other day, it was a wicker attache case with leather handle and brass hardware.

The three of us saw her in an antique store (the babies and me) and by majority vote we decided to buy her for $32. 

For something that I didn't know I needed, or didn't even want, and for something I'll probably never use, I thought that it was a bargain! 

What do you think? 

Shall I schedule a business meeting? 

Probably not, but maybe I should use it to bring my laptop somewhere...like a cafe. Or more practically, from upstairs to downstairs (for very important breakfast negotiations).  

Photos by Hubby.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Peony Tulips

I brought home a bouquet of peony tulips, a variety I've never seen before. It's a proper marriage I think because tulips and peonies are such close companions in a blossoming spring garden.  

I panned out so that you could meet my other photography assistant - my dining room mirror! She stands in when Mike isn't home to assist but let me tell you that she's not nearly as fun to 'work with.' I have to keep her clean, she only works during certain day time hours and her conversation is always quite bland. 

Hubby is much more perky and requires much less maintenance. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mr. Handy

I recently came across some old photos that had a very familiar theme - Mike working on the house! 
This photo brings me back! To think of all the work we had ahead of us - thankfully, we were completely oblivious!

Mike is doing a mock-up of what the porch roof would look like. We did a lot of mock-ups like this as we didn't have an architect so the only way to come to any conclusions on building details, like roof pitch in this case, was to play around with it visually. This was mostly for my sake as I think I need three dimensional visuals. 

He mocked up two different roof pitches and I remember standing at different distances from the house to be sure that the end of the porch roof (porch eaves) didn't come down over the windows on the front of the house

The gravel was something our contractor put around the house while they were working in order to keep the mud down. It was a great idea but something we had to deal with later on when we started working on the yard

After the contractor built the porch roof, Mike painted the porch fascia before the contractor arrived to finish the porch trim. I remember that we accidentally used flat instead of semi-gloss so it had to be done twice!

The is when Mike still smiled for me while working on the house!

I have yet to post on our house entry. Mike did all the hard scape (pathway and stairs). After he built the stair mold, a concrete truck came and poured the concrete. Mike then adhered our concrete pavers over it to simulate rock steps

 Putting in the pathway was a turning point as up until that point, we were using small square blocks, which seemed even smaller when it was rainy and muddy. To get up on the porch, we were using wobbly beams. Both were things left over from all the construction. I'll do a proper post on this project soon. 

Our vision for the dining patio was ambitious! This is what we started with and again, I just feel so exhausted thinking about all the work ahead of us. The patio took an entire summer for us to complete. Mike did all the surveying (he's a professional engineer), leveling, building, etc. 

After the retaining wall was built, he built a mold for the stairs. The stair mold was moved into place under the french doors. The mold for the front porch was built at the same time so that the concrete could be poured in one morning. 

Mike uses a lot of math when he's working on his projects. It's amazing to me, being more of a left brain person, that he can write down a bunch of complex equations and come up with amazing results. 

The projects are for the most part behind us thankfully but the photos are a reminder of how much work Mike has put into this house. He's worked most weekends, evenings and throughout entire summers.  

Finding these photos makes me realize how many photos I haven't included in my renovation before and after posts. I'd like to work on updating those not with just more photos but more detail on the resources we used and things we learned along the way. 

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