Thursday, May 5, 2011

The saddest yard

That's right, we're in a contest with our neighbors across the street for the saddest yard in the neighborhood. We're trying though! "A" for effort, that's the motto in the White House. There happened to be one shockingly warm (and dry) Sunday in late March. We seized this opportunity to move up to the 2nd saddest yard in the neighborhood.

Last summer absolutely scorched our grass to an oblivion. Winter ripped away the dead tufts and we were left with a patchy front yard. We laid grass seed and the monsoon we've been having in April has helped our little seeds prosper.

We were having some issues with the wild woman escaping from the yard, so we knew it needed fixed. A few months back, Tim posted about us installing an invisible fence. That wasn't enough to stop the baby Monk! We had to get her the extra-shock collar. It has 5 settings. Setting 3 is for normal dogs, that wasn't enough to contain her... we had to give her the high energy dog setting (#4). Monk, high energy? No!

Flaig Drive is two streets over. There's a bank on the corner of Flaig and Gilmore Road. Gilmore Road is also known as Winton Road also known as the road that leads to Cincinnati also known as the road that connects 275 and Dixie Hwy. My little Sully man decided he was going to run some errands the Saturday before we installed this fence (below). WHAT? He got that close to the busy road? Yes, I could have killed him. Tim and I walked around the neighborhood thinking that he trotted off to pee on some mailboxes (his usual routine while on walks). I asked all of the neighbors en route if they had seen him. None had, but our sweet neighbor Bob offered to drive around to find him. He circled once and didn't see him, circled again, this time over on Flaig and found him up by the bank! Little did Sully know that the bank closes at 1 on Saturday. Yes, I baked Bob some cookies and thanked him generously for bringing Sullivan home.

We think Sullivan got into Mike's yard (where Maggie lives) then escaped from Mike's yard. Maggie is a good girl so she doesn't leave her yard and thus their fence isn't an issue. Here's Tim installing a two foot fence adjacent to Mike's to contain these heathens. It went surprisingly quickly. Our property has chainlink fence on 3 sides, all except where our property meets Mike's. He has a wood fence with chicken wire. Monk & Sully love visiting with Maggie, so they're always venturing into Mike's yard.

Tim called a few months ago to get an estimate to finish off the chainlink fence. $1000. Are you kidding me? You want to charge $1000 to finish off 1/4 of a fence?!? We priced the materials at about $200 (concrete, chainlink, posts, hooks, etc.). For all that we really need, we figured that $50 worth of short fencing should keep our dogs in their own yard (we hope).

Monk & Sully, the little rascals in action. See that red collar on Sully's neck? We tried putting Monkey's less intense shock collar on him (more of a "hey what was that?" kind of buzz), but it was unsuccessful. He was so paralyzed with fear that he wouldn't move off of the line that was shocking him, so he kept getting shocked. Then, he was too scared to even go outside and kept pottying inside. We now know that this, and all future homes, must be secured like Fort Knox so these two psychos don't get out.

Maggie and our new fence (the green bars).

This weird patch of dirt doesn't look like much. Right now, it isn't. We initially thought we might tear it out because the dirt is too close to the foundation. Then, Tim informed me there's no concrete below and suggested a garden. I planted two strawberry plants in this area. This will hopefully grow into a productive garden.

Nothing crazy here, just an additional hose and hanger out front.

This is kind of my pride and joy for right now! I revamped the flower bed out fron in an effort to give our house more curb appeal. You wouldn't believe how many earthworms and spiders live in this thing! Earthworms are one of the few bugs that I find tolerable. Spiders on the other hand... I call in Monkey or Tim to save me. Previously, the flower bed had bulky, ill-fitting pavers. I like the curves in this clean-lined, petite paver. The flowers are dragonfly (in the back, will grow up to 12 inches tall), pansies, and 2 pre-existing leafy plants (not shown).

We scored these solar lights for $3 a pop at Wal-Mart. They provide a soft ambiance to light the walkway at night.

With the April monsoon, the leafy plants have tripled in size and are more visible now. The grass is gradually getting less patchy too (although it's hard to see with the height of the other grass!).

Remember those bulk pavers I mentioned? Here they are! Tim wanted to spruce up the mailbox and we love repurposing items that we already own, so voila! Instant upgrade to our mailbox. The previous owners also used brick rocks to fill in the corners of the flower bed because the bulky pavers didn't extend to the edge of the corner. We picked those out and chucked them into the center of the paver circle. Amazing, and totally free!

Speaking of free--- I've got two 5" recessed lights that we can't use. HD is selling them to $0.01 now so I thought I'd see if anyone wanted them. If not, I'll probably just give them to ReStore in Hamilton (along with a boatload of other things I've been meaning to take there).

Coming Soon: Dining Room Phase 4 (I know this is the 3rd time I've mentioned this, Tim plans to do a post about it soon, or as soon as we're not busy haha), the Hutch, and Third Bedroom (speaking of using what you have on hand... you'll see a fun project coming up)

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