Lessons Learned

This fine holiday weekend I found myself learning many things:

Lesson 1:  You may think you like living near/in the woods.


But you will think differently about that when you are cleaning up approximately one million tons of leaves from your yard.

Lesson 2: My superhuman ability to form blisters also extends to my hands! After only 5 minutes of raking! While wearing gloves!

I REALLY want to post a of picture of the world’s grossest blister on my hand, but I think you might be grossed out.

Lesson 3: Although, I guess I’ll accept the crazy blisters since apparently I’m still not allergic to poison ivy. Oddly, neither is Matt! Neither of us has ever had it, but I had a moment of fear when I looked over at him picking up a pile of stuff that I had just raked (which I KNOW touched both of our arms and legs) and thought, “leaves of 3, let it be”. It was definitely poison ivy, but neither of us has developed any rash type thing… so while I won’t be deliberately touching it any time soon, I’ll count my lucky stars that we dodged a bullet this weekend!

Lesson 4: Apparently, at some time, there was actual landscaping at our house. Because look, flower beds, and brick steps built into the side of the rock/woods/side yard thing:


If this does not impress you (and I realize that it is not terribly impressive – YET) I will show you the one lone before picture that I took:


We also found a gas can and an orange parking cone. Special!

Lesson 5: The moral of the story is that with a bazillion hours of hard work, 12 trips to Lowes, and lots of your hard earned money, YOU TOO can have a decent looking yard.

The front of the house flower bed thing:


My hanging potted plants and the thing I bought to hang them on, which I also almost speared several people with while trying to navigate my way to the checkout:


The front of the house with bushed that I pruned. I pruned, people!


The guy at Lowes tells me that this is a “container garden”. I call it a “bucket of flowers”. Either way, it’s pretty, right?



I call this one the Charlie Brown Potted Plant. It was on the 50% off ‘injured plant’ rack. I will nurse you back to health, gerber daisy!


OK, so I like hanging potted plants! This one is in the flower bed in the back.


This is the flower bed:


See that little stalk sticking out of the ground? That’s Matt’s grape vine. We hope that it will grow up that trellis (is that the right word?) thing and grow us some grapes. Right now it just looks sad.


Oh yeah, this is what our back yard currently looks like. Pathetic, right? But there is actual grass growing now! I never expected that it would grow so sporadically, since we planted all of the seed at the same time, but uhh… hopefully it will all grow in soon.


And finally:


These chairs (there are actually two of them but the picture only shows one) represent TRUE LOVE. Matt knows that I have wanted an Adirondack chair for a really long time. On Monday morning he started shopping online to figure out how much they cost so he could surprise me with one. Well, they cost A LOT. As in, sometimes more than a damn couch.

He perservered though and somehow stumbled on to the Christmas Tree Shops website. This is funny because Matt hates Christmas Tree Shops even more than I do, and I hate them a lot. He saw, on the front page of the ad, a Adirondack chair, ottoman, and table set for $49.99. So! Off we went to Christmas Tree Shops (he finally told me what he was doing instead of surprising me, largely because of his hatred of this store and his not wanting to venture in alone).

Of course, Christmas Tree Shops sucks and they were out of this set. We only had to ask 6 people to figure that out. So then we had to stand in another line and ask another person to call other locations. After we forced him into calling two other locations we gave up and went home, where I called every single location within a 50 mile radius until I found one that had two sets left. It was an hour away and I told the lady that we were getting in the car at that moment and if she sold them before I got there she would witness my head exploding.

Finally I was in possession of my precious, precious chairs and the job was left to Matt to assemble them. It took him Four. Hours. Mostly because the directions included sentences like “Attuch the sappurt arm to the ciar slide rial sappurt.” They also repeatedly referenced a part K, which would have been fine except that THERE WAS NO PART K. Oh, and “nuts and blots” equals nutsandbolts as it was written that way every single time.

However, finally we were able to sit out on our patio, drinking wine/beer, playing Uno, and eating dinner, and all of the weekend’s hard work was pretty much worth it. I say pretty much because OH MY GOD YARD WORK SUCKS.  But still, it looks pretty in the end.



Filed under Home Sweet Home

5 responses to “Lessons Learned

  1. I would KILL for some patio chairs (and DANG those look awesome (and also I apparently really love to capitalize)), but before we can even think about gorgeous chairs and tables, we must pour a new patio. And that? Probably will not happen until next summer. Which is lame.

  2. -R-

    Wow! Fantastic work! I love the chairs!

  3. jen

    Looks AB FAB, Darling!
    Now come do mine, okay? Because I know what I like, but I have no earthly clue how to arrange them so they look good TOGETHER!!

  4. Jen – I have the same problem with the inside of the house. I’m so worried about coordinating and making things look ‘right’ that I haven’t done much at all. BUT with the outside, my strategy was:

    1) Go to Lowes
    2) Matt and I each get our own cart
    3) We each pick up things that we deem pretty and put them in our carts
    4) We go to the check-out and hope that the total comes to something less than one trillion dollars (clearly we failed here, but oh well)
    5) We plant stuff completely randomly and hope it doesn’t look like crap

    And really, when you start as low as we did, ANYTHING is an improvement. So I say get what you like and do what you want and to hell with worrying.

  5. jen

    See? Now the inside of my house is exactly as described. I pick up stuff from wherever…estate sales, garage sales, IKEA…Randomly arrange them in the house and hope it doesnt look like crap!!
    I am now going to take that advice and use it outside of my home!! The only thing I have outside that I really really love is my Peony! OH! Its gorgeous. And, if left up to me, I would just plant 62 more of those, but I realize that is overkill…

    And, my husband might puke at all the Pinkness.

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