Sep. 26th, 2006 04:48 pm
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My backyard is a fermentation tank!

Between the figs falling and the abundance of apples I can't clean them up fast enough. Although the apples are my fault because I was waiting for them to be ripe enough to pick. They went from unripe to falling off the tree in a matter of days. I cleaned up the mess as best I could along with the leaves that have started to fall. I just picked figs on Sunday. Basically the ripe ones I could reach from the ground and from the third rung of the ladder. I decided not to worry about the unripe ones that fell off as I picked because there are so many. Half of the figs that weren't ready to be picked n Sunday are ready to pick now. So tomorrow I'll do another round of picking off the lower limbs. At this rate I'll never reach any on the higher branches.
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I love the fact that when one person on the block mows the lawn, at least two other people drag out the lawn mowers too.
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I think I could write a horror movie based on worms.
These suckers are freaking me out.
I'm usually not squirmish about worms, but these are the mack daddies of worms.
I pulled up a bunch of weeds and thought I found the one I photographed yesterday.
I decided I was wrong when I found three more about the same size.
I'm going to go have my soak.
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We did loads of work on the house. And I've got pictures to prove it!

I've had a long drawn out saga with the juniper bushes that were taking over the front of the house. Finally, RTL and I can add the curb appeal that this house needs. The bushes are gone and hauled away PLUS the huge stump that was hanging out front is gone as of today. And we've installed most of the doors. No more sheets tacked up between rooms!!!!

This is what the house looked like when we purchased it in August 2004.

If you think that looked bad, then you should see the pictures of the inside before we started renovation.

After the juniper was removed )

$100 later . . . )

I've got doors!!!!!! )

Now I get the spend the rest of my afternoon installing door knobs. Way too much fun for me.
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Before I show the pictures, let me just say that I am a bleeding heart. Or a sucker for a sob story. Not sure which one is more accurate. As I was taking my after-shots, I noticed some men walking up the street. They had taken a break from doing some yardwork for one of my neighbors. Definitely a ragged bunch and obviously doing odds and ends to make a dime. They offered to help me finish removing the rest of my brush when they were done up the street. I politely declined. One of the men waited behind the others explaining that he was their captain so to speak and introduced himself with his full military title. I'm thinking to myself "oh great, he's going to ask me for money". As he starts the story, I realize that he is from North Carolina. Of course, I have this immediate bond with this man I don't know. He grew up in Kinston, he's around my dad's age, he's a Vietnam Vet and he's just trying to get by. Oh yes, the violins are playing. He never directly asked for money, just said that they were planning on buying some canned goods that would last for a while. And I, who have been called a b*tch and other nasty things by many homeless people and other's begging because I refuse to be guilted into giving someone money, gave this man money. Because for some reason, I walked out onto my porch, in my pajamas to take pictures at a busy time of the morning. Because I believe in angels and doing things not because you should but because you can.

Now for the real point of this post. RTL decided that what she really wanted for her birthday was to hire a couple of day laborers and finish ripping out the juniper.
The Before Picture )

Juniper Loses to Men with Shovels )

Now all I need is to rent a chipper/shredder and the victory will be complete. Now we've got to figure out what color to paint the house and what to plant in our "new" front yard. I just realized that you can even see the new front door in today's picture.

And the carrot cake was full-fledged no holds barred carrot cake.

She's Back!

Oct. 3rd, 2005 12:30 pm
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I left the airport at 10:15 last night with RTL in tow. This is after circling the San Francisco airport for about 20 minutes. SFO needs a 30 minute Park & Call like Oakland has. SFO's other problem is the amount of construction that they are doing in the arrival area, it makes sliding in and out of the pick-up lanes almost impossible. Thank goodness that RTL went through customs in NY and didn't have to do it here.

The dog and the cat were ecstastic to see her. Dexter made loops around the house before deciding it was time to go to bed.

We started pulling stuff out of her suitcase so I could throw something in the washer for work on Monday and to get my goodies. No chocolate. *sigh* But I do have two beautiful rounds of plain Gouda and four little rounds of herbs-added Gouda. I might be having a grilled Gouda sandwich for lunch. Cheese and chocolate. Throw in a bottle of red wine & a loaf of bread and we've got a picnic. She also brought me back six bags of tulip bulbs, two each of three kinds. One is regular old tulips but they are blue and the other ones are fancy schmancy. I'll probably be out in the yard planting them later this week.

Now I have two weeks worth of work clothes to wash. I started the washer at 7:30 this morning. Glad I finished all my other errands over the weekend. I have the camera back so now I can start taking pictures of some my projects. Yay! I hear the Gouda calling my name. I'm going to go munch some.
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I've gotten sidetracked by not giving quality posts, so I'm going to work on that. I figured with RTL gone that I would have insight on amazing things at 2 o'clock in the morning. No, not really. I just find myself surfing the net and finding random websites that tickle my funnybone. I'll also put stuff behind cuts so I don't overload anyone's friends page.

Yardwork )

Edibles )

The Daily RTL Phone Conversation )

I think that's it for yesterday. I'm sure more excitement is in store for me today. I'm thinking about going to the library. I should get off my butt and go to the Berekely Resident Services and get a sticker for the car.
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I got my mundane act together and tackled the yard. Mainly the juniper, but I raked the glass clippings from where I mowed the lawn and worked on removing the weeds from around one of the rose bushes. So now I'm sitting here hot, sweaty and nasty while I down one of my recommended daily allowances of H2O and eat my lime popsicle. Yum.
Oh well, back to the mundane.


Jun. 21st, 2005 02:05 pm
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I haven't listened to JLC in about a week and I'm suffering from withdrawal. I'll have to make my smart playlist even smarter than it already is when I stop listening to my 80's flashback - all day and all night.

Been out doing errands this morning. Had to be up at the crack of still dark out this morning. RTL had to catch an early morning flight to Redmond, again. I'm thinking that Redmond should just be moved south a few miles. It would make it a lot easier for me to avoid early morning NPR wake up calls.

Then off to the floor store to return the floor samples we borrowed over the weekend. We had all the hardwood floors refinished before we moved into the house, but we didn't/haven't done anything to the floors that were tiled or the closet floors. We were considering installing some in floor heating for the bathrooms, but have since discovered cork flooring. So I think we've narrowed it down to cork tiles for the bathrooms, closets, and pantry.

And I went into the new Target that is closer to the house. OH MY GOODNESS! It's beautiful! Two floors and clean and not junky and it's very Berkeley.

Haven't been to the grocery store for people food or the pet store for Bella food. I'll get around to that eventually. I've got access to the car for the next couple of days to make running errands less of a hassle.

I've put on my junky clothes so that I can implement phase 6 of the juniper attack. Sounds like a B horror movie from the 50's.

The dog has been relegated to the back porch today. No cozy inside bed sleeping for him. Besides the toilet paper, digging through RTL's workbag for paper scraps, and the copious amounts of other mischief he finds; today he figured out a way to reach his treat bag in the pantry, ripped through the plastic baggie and ate what I believe to be approximately half of the treats in the bag. Not sure if the cat aided and abetted in the crime, but I believe that climbing the litter box was part of the plan.

Taking a break from RTL's freelance work briefly to do all of this. Let's consider though that I sat in front of the computer for about 13 hours straight yesterday to finish phase 1 of the task because RTL's freaking out about getting it done. Yes, I am having that moment when I want to ask "if we didn't live together would you be breathing down my neck like this?" I am semi-regretting that I agreed to help out. I keep reminding myself that it pays property taxes for the year.
Also taking a few moments so that the maid, dishwasher, laundress and gardener can get some work done around the house. They forgot to show up this weekend, so I had to giggle a little (OK, I laughed so much that I almost got the hiccups) when RTL couldn't find the clean clothes she wanted this morning. But the mess is driving me crazy, so I think some cleaning up is in order.
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I knew this would be a problem when I started ripping out the juniper.
I've got mice.
This is not good. I don't like mice. All mice, rats and other plague carrying rodents can just be eliminated from the earth. I like most creatures great and small, mice aren't on that list.

At least the mice aren't in the house, I took some preventative measures with keeping them out of the house.
However what I didn't count on was the fact that they would take up residence in the garage.
Although, I believe part of that problem is the apartment complex that leans their garbage up against my garage. Which means all the little mousies get to have a field day.

So when I noticed the prescence of mice a few of weeks ago, I went to the hardware store and purchased a couple of humane "rodents will avoid areas with these painful sonic wave" thingies. At first I didn't want to kill them, really. I didn't want to set and clean out traps either. I just wanted them to leave and go find another home. So the sonic wave thingies worked on the front part of the garage but not the back part.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when one of them peeked his head out over the wall to see what I was doing. That was it, no more humane treatment of animals. I bought some rat poison and put those suckers in the garage.

I finally got my first dead one today.
Victory Dance!
And RTL is the one who found it and freaked out. (evil hee hee)

I will prevail!!!!
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I finished filling the plant bin. Woo Hoo!
I feel like I've accomplished a lot so far this week and it's only Tuesday.
This week's scores in Battle of the Yard.
Creepy crawling/buzzing flying things - 0
Spiders - 0
Juniper - 3
Grass - 1
Weedeater - 1
Dana - 27
Flying debris, dust and other miscellaneous plant material - 102

Clearly this is unscientific and based solely on my own biased opinion. But I feel a win.

Despite what I've accomplished I didn't get a nap, never figured out what's for dinner and I'm starving.
Woe is me.
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Maybe hate is too strong of a word. I'd like to sit by the pool all day (if I had a pool) and sip some exotic drink with an umbrella while the cabana boy feeds me bon bons and fans me and the gardener makes my lawn pretty and rips out mean nasty juniper hedges. Thank goodness for daydreams.

It's not the work though that bothers me. I actually kind of enjoy that part. It's the creepy crawly things, specifically the spiders.
That sounds too girly.
I know that most creepy crawly things have a purpose. I like the fact that ladybugs devour aphids and bees make honey and spiders make beautiful webs. However, I don't want to play with the bees or the spiders. Add to that the fact that I have a spider bite from October that is still healing, the spiders can go find somewhere else to play.
So not so girly at all, I've got good reason to avoid things with more than 4 legs. And no I won't play with a spider who is missing 4 legs.

So I'm stuck outside with the long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and socks. Yuck! And it's hot today. I have half of my plant debris cart left to fill and I still can't really tell that I've made a dent in the juniper. Truck and chains are sounding really good about now.
I did look to rent a chipper because I thought that I could grind the juniper and spiders up and use it as mulch. But no one rents chippers because apparently they are cheap to buy. But I don't want to buy something that I won't need after I'm done. Of course my other option is to get a dumpster from the city, but I don't want to pay for that either when I can work at my leisure and have the city pick it up every other week as part of my garbage fees. slow but steady like the tortoise.

On the very happy side, our friend GM is sending a prolific tomato plant home with RTL today. Apparently his mom planted tomatoes and they were quite prolific in her garden so she donated to GM which in turn benefits my tomato tooth because he has too many tomatoes to handle. Happy Happy Happiness. I think my dog will be happy as well. Now I've got to find a good place so Dexter doesn't devour the tomatoes off the vine.

Contemplating - a nap and what to cook for supper
Ready for RTL to come home so we can watch the rest of the 4400 and Hell's Kitchen.
Back to fighting the evil juniper.

Dont' forget to call the vet.
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I'm so tired and I have to make an attack on the juniper hedge today. I would love to wait until tomorrow, but plant pickup is tomorrow and it must be done.
I wish there was a better way to get rid of the juniper than my slow but steady progress. Of course I told RTL my dad's suggestion of hooking the juniper up with chains to the truck and ripping them out, which she is all into now. I'm afraid that may be on the to do list this weekend.

I think my brain may be too clogged to write. Tired or too many thoughts? Not sure. Trying to stay focused just ain't workin' right now.
We'll see how I feel after a little juniper mutilation.


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