Sunday, March 22, 2009

Home Improvement Part 3

Okay, the tear down is complete. Sue and her nephew, Greg came over and built my planters last Monday. Don't they look great! Notice the wire grids for a trellis and the PVC pipe to fit in hoops to cover with shade cloth or to protect from the birds. They were pretty big in my little yard. They look like bunk beds or coffins! The first thing I realized was that I needed an awful lot of soil to fill them. I bought some bags at Ace and it didn't even cover the bottom.

So I realized I would have to rent a pick up truck from Uhaul and then I went to Baker Nursery. Here is a photo of them loading the truck with the first load of soil. I can tell you that two scoops by a bulldozer, or one cubic yard of soil is a lot of shovel loads out of a truck by hand. And it's even worse when it all has to be toted through the inside of my house because there is no access to my backyard except through my house. I had hired my neice Karliegh to help. We quickly figured out that we weren't going to get 3 truckloads of dirt through my house without some more help. So I went to Home Depot, got a wheel barrow, another shovel and picked up a couple of guys from Honduras. They were really nice, very hard workers and extremely efficient. They were able to move 2 truck loads of soil and one of mulch in about 2 and half hours. My house looked a wreck and was filthy, but the soil was in the planters! It looked like this:

We had some more mulch than would fit, so we put it behind the planters and I am going to plant there too. It was a really hot day for all that work.

Then I planted the seedlings I already had and some seeds. It looks something like this now. I have just a few more seeds coming that I want to plant and then it's taking care of it and wishing, hoping and praying. I keep waving my hand over it and tell it to be fruitful and mulitply and fullfill the measure of it's creation. I hope it's listening. I am really excited to have everything grow and to can and eat the produce. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Improvement Part 2- The Deck Tear Out

I have just finished reading a very thought provoking book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I may do a post just on thougts about that later. One of the things that reading this book has done, is get me to finally figure out a way to put in a garden. I have wanted one for years, but my backyard was too shady and I had too many animals.

I finally decided that if I tore out my deck (which was 22 years old anyway and needed to come out) I could put in some raised planters. I would have enough sun and raising them would keep the animals out. Here are some before and after photos of the tear down. Tomorrow, Sue Ward and I are building the new planters. Then Wednesday I'm going to go get the soil and hopefully get the plants and seeds started either then or Thursday. I'm very excited to grow some of the things that I can then can and eat!

Home Improvement Part I

I've done several home improvement projects in the past couple of weeks. Here is one to see! When my friend Geoff helped me redo my kitchen about 8years ago, he made concrete counter tops for me. They were a lot of work for him and he tried hard to make them perfect. They were great for quite a while, but there were some cracks by the sink that had gotten worse. In addition, I work in there a LOT! I do lots of canning, etc and I think I was just hard on them. So I just had some new granite counter tops installed along with a fabulous under mount sink. I really like the outcome. Here are some before and after photos. I love how much brighter and lighter my kitchen looks!

My Little Celebrity

Here are some photos of my little celebrity dog. He is sitting on my mom's lap along with my other two dogs. He had to be carried there. He won't willing go into anyone's lap. He's too scared. But once he is there, he is quite happy to be there.
He is the reddish one.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Heart Walk

I have always heard of all this charitable walks or runs for various good causes and have never participated in one. Banner Health helps sponsor several of them and we even have had teams from my department. The last one was for Breast Cancer, in the fall, and I would have done that one, but it was on Sunday. So, there was finally one that was on a Saturday and since I had lost weight and felt able, I thought I would try and see what the experience was all about. I also felt a connection to the cause as my Father died of a heart disease.
I thought I would raise more money than I did. I was a little surprised by that. I did raise 150$, but 50$ of that was mine! Thank you to those who donated for me, I appreciate it and I felt a responsibility to you as I was walking. There was one point where people were taking a short cut. Penny asked if I wanted to and I said no, people gave money to support me doing this and I am going to do it right!
So I thought I was going to walk with my friend Penny and people from my department. There were a lot of people there! Lots of different health care groups, especially, and some representing families of someone with a heart disease.
So this is Penny, Victoria and Kim and the other picture has me in it and Penny taking the photo. I was surprised by all the food that was there. Of course I couldn't eat any, but some people were gathering bags of stuff for later I guess. I think it was mostly meant to be breakfast. As we were at the start, there were lots of people there not only with there kids, but with their pets. And some of them brought unusual pets.
I don't think I would bring an African Grey Parrot to such an event. There were so many people there, I think it would be somewhat stressful for him.
There were lots of dogs, from the tiniest Chihuahua to a Great Dane. And lots and lots of people. Thanks to the hiking and walking I do with Cindy, it wasn't a hard thing to do at all. We went across the Mill Avenue bridge, down the other side of the Tempe Town Lake, back across the Rural bridge and up the other side. It was 5K or 3.1 miles. Very shortly after we started, it became evident that Kim and Victoria wanted to power walk and Penny and I were quickly left to our devices. It was fun and interesting to see all the people. The view mostly looked like this.
The lady with the pink sweatshirt around her waist is Penny. Along the way were various groups to cheer lead us. And then finally the finish line. Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves for our virtue by going out to lunch and getting a pedicure!