Sunday, June 8, 2014

My Nemesis - Gout Weed and Mosquitos

I don't remember the last time I posted and to be honest it really doesn't matter. The winter seemed long and some projects were completed nothing major though. That's not true, the mud room flooring was completed, bathroom painting, organizing and small things and the kitchen island counter top was completed (the whole project is about 90% finished).
I think saying we're slowing down is an understatement.  Work, dogs and life are just getting in the way and then there is the whole, I'm kind of tired of working every weekend on the house and I want to just relax.
Now that summer have finally arrived it's time to focus our attention outside. We're not as lucky as some people in the blogging world where it's nice at the end of April and you see people in shorts out tending to their gardens. We still have frozen ground and then theirs the dreaded mosquito. I hate them with a passion. When someone says they're a pest, they are not kidding. Do you want to see some photos of what we've done to the outside of the house.
I'll just update you a bit on what's been done and then show you some before and after shots. They are AMAZING!!
Last summer we worked on the grass, boy was it in bad shape.

It's not now but there is room for improvement. It is no longer a field of dandelions, hard dirt, or tuffs of weeds. We actually have green grass. It took many seeds (6 in total), lots of watering (thank you June for being a rainy month last year) and lots of Par 3. Yahoo!!! The flower beds at the front of the house really needed to be tended to last year. It's what I saw everyday when I drove into the driveway. I know I've shown you pictures before but you can see the post here if you want.
We needed to tackle the north flower bed. Overgrown doesn't even begin to describe the amount of gout weed we had to deal with. DON'T EVER PLANT GOUT WEED AND NOT CONTROL IT for 10 years. You'll be digging it out for weeks like we had to do. Yes, for three weekends we dug and dug. We haven't gotten all of it because when we planted the Hostas yesterday we found more of it. I don't ever want to deal with that... you know the word and can fill it in. It isn't an area we see a lot of but I didn't just want a patch of grass to look at when I walked around the corner. The shape of the bed was nice and I wanted to keep something there that was pleasing to the eye.
We grew Hostas and Japanese Yews in our old house on the north side and I loved this area. I know these plants will grow well in a shaded area and look nice as well.
Here's what they looked like:

When I turned the corner at this point, all I could say was OMG!!!! Over and over again.
Look at how overgrown it was. 
We tried home grown weed killers...nothing happened. Round up...worked a little bit but it just kept growing. After lots of research and talking with people. The only way to remove this stuff was to dig it up. So away we went. The photo below is after we've dug for a day.

We're done with the gout weed. Don't ever plant it. 
The tree is coming out because it is too close to the house and we're worried the roots will grow into our weeping tile. Sad to see it go because it is one of our favourites but sometimes you've got to sacrifice to get a good result. 
Here's where we finished yesterday. We've still got 3 layers of landscape fabric to put down. Yes you read that correctly...3 layers. Our experience shows one is not enough. You'll have weeds and grass growing again in a year. We've also got mulch to put down to help with weed control and seeding of the dirt areas. 
It looks cleaner, cared for and well maintained. I can't wait until the job is finished, it's been a big one. 

AMAZING what some TLC can do!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

KItchen Island/Peninsula Progress

We finally got the island put into the kitchen. Well, let me clarify that, the island with the proper doors and hardware and butcher block top. We lived with the current island for about a year in various places and finally decided we liked it best as a peninsula again the wall. 
Here are some photos of what it looked like originally with the island in the middle and then up against the wall. 

During construction and deciding where it should go. Here or...

We chose the first one. 

We lived like this for sometime. Love my new kitchen.
Here it is without the island (I know I keep calling it an island but that's how I think of it)
And here it is just about done. 
In this picture, Darcy is telling me it's WAY TOO BIG!!! I disagree, as I always do :-)

After and during... there are still the white sides to go on to finish it off. I'm waiting for golf season to be done. 

Now we're just deciding on what colour to paint these stools. So far, I've gone from a darker blue to yellow, that's the colour they are now but I'm not completely sold on the yellow. I might try the light blue in the background, on the tray. 
So why did we go with this option? Many of you said to go with it in it's original location but Darcy and I both work in the kitchen so we needed the most amount of space. This option really does allow for us to move freely without being in each others way. He works at the peninsula/island and I work over by the sink. BTW, the white plastic will not be staying on the hood fan. Can't wait for that to come off. 
Also, if you were wondering, kitchens are a HUGE renovation. So many details to consider. It's the room that's taken the longest to complete and it's still not done. I hope you've enjoyed. 
If you were feeling generous, you could leave a comment or two on what you think. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Anniversary!!!

It's been a whole year!!! We received the keys for this place a year ago today. What I remember about that day was the overwhelming need to keep repeating Oh My God.... and the amount of work we would be needing to do in order to make this house our home. 
Well, we're by no means finished but we've really come a long way in a year. There's been a tremendous amount of work completed, started and waiting to be finished. Right now it's little jobs... do they ever get completed???? We've lived through many stages of construction and I can remember painting every single wall, piece of trim, corner, and baseboard. It's been a labour of love and hate at certain times. But in the end it's been worth it. 

What I've learned:
1. I'm a perfectionist with certain things but not with others. 
2. I like getting jobs accomplished.
3. I can only live with a mess for so long and then it's time to git'r done. 
4. Living out of boxes isn't fun. 
5. I love my physio therapist.
6. I can do way more construction than I thought I could, although the table saw still scares me.
7. I'm an EXCELLENT painter.
8. Darcy and I make a good team and we do work well together, after we get past the....well you know what I'm talking about.
9. You can live without an oven, stove top, microwave but not all at the same time and never without a kitchen sink. 
10. Sometimes the most stressful moves, are the ones worth the most. 
11. My work ethic comes from my parents, thank you for that. 

Here's a peek at what a before and after of our living room and outside. Apologies for the darkness inside but it's all I've got. 

Ignore the boxes and half door on the cabinet. I was playing with an app. 

Again, all I can say is OMG! OMG! What a difference a year and some hard work can make. 
We would love to hear your comments, if you have any to share, write away. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One more thing off our long list

I know it's been awhile since I updated the blog. I've been de-cluttering and unpacking boxes that have been piling up in the basement as well as working on the outside of the house. It's been ALOT of WORK but worth it in the end. 
We finally have working ovens. Well I think they work. We worked on installing them this weekend and the electrician came out today to hook them up. 
 We took the paper off and shined them up and I'm very happy with the end result. I promised Darcy cookies... Which ones should I make? 
I have an awesome tray to go on the right next to the ovens. It's so cute...I can't wait to put it up. I've been eyeing it at this cute store called The Primitive Lane in GP.  There are way more pictures on her Facebook page if you're interested. I'll show you what it looks like soon. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

OMG! OMG! and our Accomplishments

That's all we could say the first day we got the keys to the house. We walked around outside, taking pictures and then inside. OMG! Were the only words to describe what I was feeling that day. Well, I think I was really OVERWHELMED with the amount of projects we had to get done. 
The house was in rough shape. We've worked weekends and even some evenings. 
Yesterday we tackled a flower bed. We'd decided we would work on one each weekend, well for the weekends we could work on them. We do both work very full time jobs at times. 
Here's what we accomplished this weekend and then I've got some before and after pictures to show you as well. 
First thing in the am. We were trimming the excess branches  on the bottom.
Privacy is great but  this is over growth. 

The finished product. We're quite happy with it. Please ignore our hillbilly dog area.
We're not sure what we're going to do with it. Oh it's an eye sore. 
You won't believe these before and after photos. I think I stared at them for over an hour last night. Marvelling at the amount of work we've done.

Monday, May 20, 2013


What a great weekend! We went to see Fleetwood Mac on Friday night in Calgary, they were as good as you'd think they would be. Classic Rock Band. I am so glad we drove down to see them. We just about skipped out and stayed at home. The weather was so good, we just wanted to be home to get some things accomplished. 
We decided to make the trip to Edmonton go farer and we headed home instead of staying to visit with family. As much as I wanted to visit, I also needed to be home to get some jobs accomplished. 
One of those jobs is our lawn. It is a sad, sad, sad sight. I think lawn is an understatement, it's more like a patch of dried dirt and dandelion. We are the eye sore of this neighbourhood. We're working on it but it's slow going. 
We drove home Saturday and arrived late but that didn't stop us on Sunday. We divided and conquered two major jobs that needed completing. Darcy worked on the railing on our front porch and I worked on over seeding the lawn. Both were big jobs. 
I think this photo gives you a pretty good idea of what the front porch and the lawn looked like on our first day. 
Oh my! It was in very rough shape. 
This was taken a week ago as our roof was being replaced. The cedar shakes smell delightful when it rains. 

You can see by the next two photos how badly the lawn needs to be attended too. 

This was today as Darcy was building the railings. It's just about done. 

I've over seeded the lawn with dirt, peat moss, sand and seed. Now we just need to water, water, water or maybe some rain would help our cause. 

The front porch all painted and ready to enjoy. I can't wait to sit out here during the summer months and read and maybe even have myself a margarita.  

I think I'm in love. 

The not complete but looking WAY BETTER photo. 
Here are the before and current photos again.