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A Fifteen Minute $6.00 Side Yard Spruce Up

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Two four year old dollar store chairs that were faded by the sun, a newly power washed concrete slab, a small table that folds up and has floated around the house for years, and a tray I found in the boy’s closet when I cleaned it out. (No idea why I put it there…)

Valspar spray paint- Tropical Oasis…what could be more perfect?

A quick spray of the chairs later, this is the result.

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Real beauties huh?

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Not too bad now. I think we will be out in them in the morning. Want to join us?

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Hubby’s View on Plants

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I have just finished three days working on the yard at the city house with the love of my life, aka Mr. Grumpy because he was stuck at the city house on the weekend. I discovered something about this farm boy.

I have come to the conclusion that he categorizes plants into the following categories:
Food– any plant that produces food. This is a a good plant.
Trees- Trees grow pretty much without any care and produce shade. This is a good plant.
Bulb– Pioneers carried bulbs in their covered wagons, you can still see them sprouting where torn down homes once stood. They do not require any love and still look good. It is possible to mow over them and not kill them. This is a good plant.
Weed– Any plant that is not one of the above. These are bad plants and must be removed.

In full disclosure I told the love of my life I was going to write this. He smirked. Our back yard is now mostly bark mulch with crepe myrtles (tree), bulbs (bulb) and rocks scattered about. He even asked if he could take out the rose bush that I rooted from his family farm site. Roses, even those with a family connection, are not food, trees, or bulbs, so they must be a weed. Apparently I love weeds.

What the Junk Fairy Left Me

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IMG_1253I wanted to show you all what the Junk Fairy left on my front porch. It is a solid wood 1970’s beauty. I think I am going to stain the top, but what color should I paint the bottom? It is definitely going to be gifted once done, so if you want it, you have to tell me and what color it should be… red, yellow, green, blue, white, black or even metalic. I need a project for stress therapy.

Getting The Backyard Sale Ready

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Our city home is on a funny lot. We have a great big corner lot with established trees and a huge side yard but our back yard is a narrow L shaped space. This lack of a private back yard has not been a problem for us. This is a front yard neighborhood. We hang out with our neighbors, their kids and grandkids. We have watched them practice baseball, walk to the bus stop, learn to ride bikes and even learn to drive. Years ago Hubby, the kids, and I put in a rock walkway and flower beds back there along with a pergola. The rock we chose did not hold up well, sooo out it had to come. The flower beds haven’t had the care they needed the past two years so they were a weedy mess. Hubby has done all the work up to today, but I have been recruited, drafted, enslaved to get the back yard finished up and ready for its close up inspection.

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Yep. This weedy mess was our backyard.

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Gross.

Don’t judge us. We work a lot of hours. I know, it is pretty gross right?

Step 1- power washing the concrete. We were able to borrow a power washer which saved us a ton and allowed us to use it in stages as needed. It is amazing how much better the concrete looks clean.

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It was too icky for me to even be outside. I had to wash the windows when he was done.

Step 2– lay down landscape fabric under the path. This really does help keep the weeds out and in the sub-tropical climate we live in weeds are ever present.

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Step 3– the heavy lifting. Moving 700 lbs of flagstone and 2 yards of crushed granite, adding sand under the rocks as needed to level them. This took a while. Hubby sprayed down the house with a pump up sprayer full of diluted bleach to kill the mildew on the siding while we took a break for lunch. There was some yelling during this point. We were both hot and tired. 87 degrees in March.
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Step 4– Power washing the siding and laying a tarp down on the path to throw the weeds on. We then weeded the beds. It looks better already, but by this time the dirt yard was closed. Hubby had to get mulch after work Monday.

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Step 5-adding some color, cleaning the windows and sprucing up. We have a borrowed bistro set in the back yard. It got the power wash treatment along with everything else. I added a tough hanging basket that should survive our neglect and new plants to the wall hanger along with a few annual plants are all we are doing because we are afraid of the upkeep right now. The two chairs where the kitchen patio is we’re faded so they got spray painted turquoise fusion paint. A metal table from the hoard, a chandelier I bought on clearance last year and some votive candle stakes added a little more interest.

Here is the almost finished project. We still need to add in annual plants to the beds. What do you think? I wish we had done this sooner so we could have enjoyed it more. We will be getting colorful plants once the wind dies down.

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The Brawn Behind the Work

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First of all welcome to those of you who have recently started following my blog. I am honored and humbled that anyone reads what we do! Thank you for joining us in our journey. I was recently featured on Roadkill Rescue and I got a few comments about my husband not loving to stop and pick things up on the side of the road so I thought I might introduce him to you, if you don’t mind.

People always ask me how I am able to do the things that I do, and my answer is always the same; it’s easy, you just have to find a guy just like my husband! My friends often ask if I rent him out.  No way!

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I have been married to this guy for more than 30 years at this point, so after I write this, no offers to trade me in for a newer or better model are allowed.

I met Hubby when we were both in college. I was a city girl and he was a country guy. I was an art major and he was getting a degree in business. There were over 400 in my high school graduating class, there were 46 in his, I am the oldest of 2, he is the youngest of 4. Opposites really do attract! When I say he was a country boy, what I should say was he was a farm boy. He tells me he started driving a tractor alone by the time he was 10, driving a gain truck into town by the time he was 14, and working alongside his dad all summer for as long as he can remember. He grew up learning to make it work, figure it out, and do it yourself or do without. In high school he took wood shop and was in FFA. He can build just about anything I can draw, he uses an amazing assortment of tools, he can weld, do wiring, plumbing, and can get about any motor to work. In college he took tractor mechanics as an elective course for fun and rebuilt an old tractor from the ground up.

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I know, lucky right? I would have to agree.

He is a math teacher and is loved by his students. Being a math/business/farm guy means that he tends to be no nonsense with the frilly, girly, just looks nice stuff. He doesn’t always “see” what I see when I look at a piece of unloved furniture. Show him a chair, he sees a chair. I may see a coat rack, or bench…because I am wired that way. If something is broken, he thinks it should be thrown away…me, not so much.

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We also sometimes discuss things LOUDLY. It could be that we are both a little stubborn.

When we are on our way home from church and I spot a broken dresser/desk/chair…insert other pieces of furniture here, he is not always excited to stop in his good clothes and load a dirty, sometimes smelly,piece of broken furniture in the back seat of the car. Same goes for late at night in a shady part of town, or digging through our neighbor’s trash…but he has done it all for me. There are times that I have to convince him to save something, but he has also gone out, in the rain, to rescue a piece of orphaned furniture for me just because someone texted me a curb alert.

We really do work well together. He teaches me new things every time we have a project and I amazed at his skills all the time.  I so do not love the sweater t shirt he was so proud to wear to the Coldspring Christmas parade!

I hope this helps you to understand my Hubby a little better. When I say I had to convince him, usually it is because he really understands how much work will go into what I envision, when I don’t always see the work in my excitement to do something new, unique and different.

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M-O-B Dress Shopping

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The Southern Belle convinced me to go dress shopping with her. I am thrilled to report that I found both the rehearsal dinner dress and the dress I will wear to the wedding! So excited, I just need to make sure I look good in them so I am now on a serious workout plan and back on my weight watchers. This week I got the chance to attend a shower at her office, meet some of the kids’ friends, do a few projects around TSB’s home and spend time with my sweet husband.

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Here I am dancing like a goofball in my MOB dress with Baby Boy.

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And with the beautiful, stunning, gorgeous bride!

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What I Learn From My Daughter’s Decorating Style

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I have written before about my daughter’s decorating style. I love her simple elegance. It is a theme that is evident in her whole life, not just decorating her home. As I prepare to move from one home to what will probably (hopefully) be a smaller home, I am glad I have had the chance to spend time in her very peaceful home. I have viewed what she does with fresh eyes and I will be taking what I observed home with me and apply it in my new digs.

Here is what I have noticed about her home that makes it so serene:
1. Keep only what you love. She pares down easily where I struggle with keeping things I do not love because I love who gave it to me or I fear hurting someone’s feelings. As soon as the new mirror was installed the old one went to Restore. Because she only keeps what she loves, her home is a true reflection of her personality. Her home is peacful because it is not too full of stuff.
2. Select a subtle theme and carry it through the home. The Southern Belle loves navy blue. It will be the color of her brides maid dresses. Every room has a touch of navy. Pillows, chair cushions, valance, shower curtain trim, the office walls. It travels through the home without being overwhelming. She lived in costal communities for a few years. That costal vibe is also evident, but not kitchy.

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3. Nothing beats white trim work. No matter the wall color, the white trim unifies each room.
4. Dark colors work well in bedrooms, as long as the furniture is minimal and light. It is restful.

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5. Nothing fussy. Natural fibers, wood, fruit, fresh flowers.

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6. Keep the metals the same throughout the house. In The Southern Belle’s home it is silver, chrome, or brushed nickel. She stays true to that family in everything. Light fixtures, furniture hardware, lamps…

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