Monday, July 11, 2011

Well Hewwo!

Ah, yes. Slacking off the blog & all my stated goals. A few updates...

For starters, I have changed the name of my blog. AGAIN. Welcome to Violet Viva, a place that feels more like home to me then any of my previous hastily named blogs. More on this later.

So goals. Yeah, 100 hikes ain't happening. Why? An especially extended crappy spring followed by instant heat & huge landscape project taking up most not-oppressively-hot days. Last year spring was gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous... it started early, rained in short spurts & the temperatures were divine for outside work/fun. This spring... rain, rain, cold, and more rain. Blah. I'm still hoping for lots of late summer / early fall hikes but right now I am too busy / exhausted.

(minus)365 - I am still doing this but being a slow butt about it now after the quick start at the beginning of the year. I did get a new couch (again... more on that later) so the old (destroyed) one went to the curb. I'll post a pic of that & update on the purging stuff project soon.

Closets - Remember at the beginning of the year when I decided monthly closet makeovers were quick achievable house projects for someone with my non-existent attention span. That is exactly how long that project lasted. I do have many plans sketched out for many closets & some were even started. But I have not finished even one.

Kitchen - I am also still not finished with my kitchen. I painted the walls & hated the color so I've been going back & forth on whether plain old white or light gray will be better. The dining room walls are done, the cabinets are primed, a plan for a "new" floor is set. This is my #1 priority of indoor projects but it's stalled out while I work outside.

Outside! - Lately, all of my attention & energy (& money) has been going into the landscaping plan. I will post before photos and a sketch / detailed plan (5 year plan, for realz) later but the gist of it is: I am trying to replace large sections of lawn (yuck) with large sections of flower beds / fire pit area / raised vegetable gardens / gravel path. As well as having a few existing things fixed up and/or replaced. This. takes. for. ever.

My main goal for this year is too get the garden sections readied for more elaborate stages (planting / building raised beds / generally making things pretty) next spring. This involved lots of removing of old plants / sod / roots, rototilling endlessly, leveling / grading, laying layers of newspaper down to try to smother whatever is left, & then mulching over that. Since I am super low budget (and also cheap), I have been doing 95% of the work myself. The only thing I paid someone else to do was to have 4 small-but-too-big-to-dig-out evil holly tree stumps ground down & a group of 30-50 year old evergreen shrubs ripped out. There has been much trial & error but I've now found a working system that is moving it along nicely (though slooooowly). I'm in the homestretch for the front & side yards but it will still be a couple of weeks of sweaty work & constant trip to DIY stores. And then I'll start on the back yard... :/

Actually, I really love all the outside work, especially when I stop & notice how far its come & envision the long-term results. It also helps that all of my neighbors have backed off with their "helpful" advice and now offer me encouragement & compliments on every bit of progress. I do everything the hard way & for that they've (however begrudgingly) learned to respect my different priorities. I simply do not value The Great American Lawn. But I do value curb appeal & my 5 year plan is going to pay off with a kick-ass front house / yard look.

And the backyard work pace will be quite a bit more laid back since I can hang out with the puppies & have easy access to my lounge chairs. ;)

I guess that is it for now. I'm planning on making it a priority to post here 2x a week. That might mean lots of instagram collages for awhile but eventually some before & after photos and home projects will make it up.

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