18 June 2012

Mistress of My Domain

OR: I will kill those mother-farkin weeds if it's the last thing I do

We made some excellent progress on the to-do list this weekend which is good, since we've been pretty much ignoring it for most of the week. There is still tons to accomplish and the clock is dwindling, but at this point we're sort of adopting the attitude of What gets done, gets done. And what doesn't? Meh. No biggie. There are more important things than weed-pulling and trim painting, like this:

The little one in the middle, in the yellow jersey and black shorts ... she's mine. And while it doesn't look like she's motoring along very quickly, in fact she won first in her heat (by, like, a mile) and placed second overall in the finals. Pretty good considering it was a six-school track meet!

Anyhoo, it's true that I've been abandoning the housework in favour of hanging out at track meets, and over coffee with friends, and just generally getting out and about. But the to-do list won't wait forever, so Daryn and I strapped on our work clothes yesterday and gave the backyard a kick in the pants.

Now before I show you the photos, I want you to know that I'm showing you these because I trust you. Obviously this state of the yard causes us much distress and embarrassment, and except for those neighbors who border us and can't help but be offended by on a daily basis see the sad, sad yard situation, we generally aren't keen to broadcast just how terrible it really is. So my showing you photos is kind of a big deal: I'm trusting you with my dirty little sort-of secret. Be gentle with me.

The Horrible Before:

Admittedly the "before" of the patio was taken after we'd already pulled up a ton of the weeds, because I always Always ALWAYS forget to take "before" photos when it's actually "before". At least I got the shot of the table shell and the millions and millions of pieces of tempered glass all over the patio, which shattered one weekend while we were away (hit with a tree branch, maybe? Lighting? Our resentful neighbor? Who can say...) And what you can't see in the overgrown "garden" in the second photo? The giant, four-foot thistle that took umbrage at our attempts to hack it out with a dull shovel and stabbed me numerous times in the hand, twice in the leg and once in the head. It wasn't an easy transition. But after several dedicated hours, a lot of grunting and back strain and some considerable cursing ...

The After-in-Progress:

Like, a thousand times better, no? The grass between the flagstones has been taken care of, too, with a homemade mixture of pickling vinegar and dish soap; I'll have an updated photo of dead grass in a day or two when it succumbs to my superior will and weed-killing skill.

For those of you keeping score at home, here's a review of the to-do list progress:

  • Front yard
    • Collect the wooden ties (currently creating a loose "border") from around the lawn and store in rock garden
    • "Round Up" (read: kill off) the entire front lawn
    • Rake up dead lawn
    • Till
    • Dig out border trenches and lay wooden ties
    • Create patio-stone pad at street level for garbage cans (so we don't kill the new clover on garbage days by piling our bins on top)
    • Seed with clover seed
    • Water 'til the cows come home ... or the family does
    • Plant some new plants in the planters (you know, curb appeal at what not)
  • Backyard
    • Clear out any garbage and debris
    • Power wash the patio
    • Tarp the pool
    • Remount shed door (it fell off. I don't know why)
    • Mow the weeds back to an acceptable level; clear out the debris
  • Transition
    • Replace the screens in both front and back screen doors
    • Tidy up the upper driveway/transition to the backyard, just to make it a little more presentable and a little less trailer park-y

  • Paint the outstanding window and door trim in kitchen and living room
  • Apply final coat of paint to the hallway ceiling
  • Paint hallway ceiling trim and install
  • Touch-ups as required
  • Install hallway lights
  • Hang artwork
  • Paint master bedroom
  • Install master bedroom chandelier
  • Cleancleancleancleancleancleancleancleancleancleancleancleancleancleancleancleanclean

Not great, but OK. Still working on it! And tomorrow: an update on the front lawn.

Happy Monday, folks!

PS ~ Speaking of photos, I apologize for the crappy quality of all of these. Tough to take a great pic on grey, hazy days.