“Can Open, Worms Everywhere!”

(that’s a Chandler-Bing-from-Friends quote, but I don’t remember which episode it’s from…)

Soooo. This weekend. Not exactly what we’d planned.

We bought new doors several weeks ago, and we had installation scheduled for next Thursday. Well, last Thursday at around noon, the installation company called and asked if they could come in an hour. Sure! Enter a STRESSFUL couple of hours, with the front door not coming in the right size, but the company deciding they could make it work, and me deciding just not to look until it was done because, hello, there was a ginormous gaping hole in the front of my house that I hoped would be filled by a door by day’s end. There are a few things they need to come back and fix on the back door (which is just a plain white door with a window) installation, but I don’t care, because lookit that beauty! I’m so, so happy with our choice.

Of course, installation meant a lot of cleanup for me (dust everywhere) and many small, tedious follow-up jobs, most of which have not been started yet, like staining the new trimwork, etc.

Matt came home early on Friday, and we spent the afternoon taking down the shutters (to be painted black), which we had planned to do all along. The boys helped scrub the shutters clean, as you can see. Project #1 underway.

before. well, with one missing shutter and the new door in place.

i hated this part. i don't think he was a fan, either.

good little helper!

whatever works.

We also hate our landscaping. I mean, if I were judging all of the landscaping in the neighborhood, I would give ours an F-. I hate everything about it – the rocks, the yews, the barberry bushes, the hideous juniper. I can’t wait to rip it all out and put in new. But that’s budgeted for about 2 years from now. Keep this in mind as you read the rest of the story.

The barberries were by far our least favorite. Yes, they are a lovely reddish color, but that’s where the goodness ends. They are thorny and they grow like crazy, so you constantly have to trim them. If hell has landscaping, it’s done in barberry bushes. So instead of coming out of the garage with the clippers, Matt emerges with a saw, and proceeds to just cut the stupid things down. We were laughing the whole time, talking about what we’d do to fill in the gaps for the next couple of years until we do the big project (solution was a couple of large planters filled with annuals).



Since we moved in, I’ve been talking about ripping out the juniper. It was so ugly, and since we’d done the barberry, why not? In its place we’d just plant hostas for the next couple of years, and at least it would look a little nicer. I even went so far as to get on Craigslist and find a lady who lives fairly close to us who was selling hostas from her yard, and we stopped and bought a couple from her on Saturday morning, so that we could just finish this project up lickety-split.

Until we wrestled that hideous thing out of the ground, and realized what a mess we’d just created.

well. that is uglier than planned.

Way too big of a space to fill in with hostas. Not enough rock to cover the area exposed (this thought had occurred to me prior to ripping it out, but I didn’t care; I figured we’d work something out). Giant holes in the black plastic lining that keeps weeds out, meaning a million weeds would be growing through soon. Earthworms the size of snakes. {OK, that didn’t really pose a problem, but I had to tell you about it…for crying out loud, they must be on steroids. } Landscape lighting, already the cheapest there is and on the fritz, now totally destroyed.

Matt started working through the household upgrades we’d budgeted for this year, and we’ve decided to put the new window coverings for the kitchen/playroom/living room on hold for a year, and instead, guess what, do the landscaping! And because we want to save money where possible, I suggested we put our rock on Craigslist and offer it for free to whomever would come dig it out of the landscaping. He thought I was crazy, and that no one would want to do that, but I had 5 emails in the 40 minutes I had the listing active from people interested. Now, guy #1 hasn’t scheduled a time with me yet (which is just like Craigslist), but I have the other 4 in a queue waiting to be called up, so surely someone will haul this away for us. Yay for Craigslist!

Many hours upon hours of painting later, the shutters are done and ready to be put back on the house. We did manage to squeeze in some fun with the boys this weekend, too, with games of Farkle, a trip to the neighborhood pool (freezing cold, but that didn’t stop Luke and Bennett), dining al fresco at El Maguey, a backyard campout complete with the music of cicadas in the background, a trip to a ball field to practice hitting, and friends over for dinner.

4 square in the cul-de-sac!

This song keeps playing in my head. Because this is a good life. And also maybe because I listened to Y98 for hours while painting and it gets played hourly.

4 responses to ““Can Open, Worms Everywhere!”

  1. You guys are some serious workers! I want to know your secret for keeping the kids from interrupting the whole time. I cleaned out the master bathroom drawers & cabinets and it took me an entire day.

    PS: My palms got all sweaty looking at that picture of Matt on the ladder. Yikes!

  2. Yay!! I’m so excited for you! You’ve been itching to tackle the landscaping.

    Sheesh your house is going to look completely different.

  3. “If hell has landscaping, it’s done in barberry bushes.” Hilarious.

  4. Looks like you’ve got a good start on your project! It’ll look like a whole new place before long! Our first house had terrible landscaping that we ripped out. The worst part was getting rid of the rock. It was like 4 feet deep with many layers of various colors of rock! If you can get someone to get rid of it for free, you are amazing! Our current house had no landscaping, so we started from scratch. My mom thought I was crazy….and you will too…. I planted barberry bushes……quite a few of them. They match my shutters and I still don’t mind them. I loved your comment about the worms….bet the boys had fun with those!

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