Summer Time

Summer time has got to be my most favorite time of year, along with spring, and fall. Honestly, I could do without winter, the short days of winter, and scraping ice off the windshield on cold mornings when I’m already late for work, and  all the extra layers you have to wear to keep from freezing ones bum off. Yeah, I could live without all of that, but those warmer seasons are bliss for me.  I love the warm weather, especially baking in my car after being in a frigid office all day, the long evenings spent sipping iced tea in the backyard, just perfection. Lately, I’ve been watching our apricot tree spit out fruit like a baseball player spits out to-baccy, not a pretty picture? Well, lets just say our apricot tree is being very productive this summer.

I’ve picked two of those so far, I know it’s not too impressive to some folks but it’s a big deal to this little desertrat.

Do you know how many Silvery Minnows we killed using up their water from the  to get these suckers to grow?

Aside from growing apricots, we’re also growing some water conscience yarrow.

And some Holly Hock weeds, well, they aren’t weeds but they grow like weeds in that they never grow where you want them too. But I’ll take it, they bring color to my barren yard.

I’m not really sure what this little green bush is called, his tag blew away over the winter. I currently have him growing in a pot until he’s big enough to not be rolled on, run over, or eaten by my brat dogs.

Oh yeah, and you may remember my grass fiasco from last year, which can be reviewed here, here, here, and here. Well, the drama continues this year. Although, I must say I am pretty impressed with how things have rebounded this spring. Maybe my grass drama is coming to a close. If only I could keep stinking brat dogs from digging ankle breaking holes in the middle of the yard. Let’s just say I don’t say many nice words when walking across the yard in the dark. I owe you a more complete post on the yard and the grass situation, and how we’ve tried to conserve more water and therefore save more Silvery Minnows that reside in the Rio Grande.

But for the time being, a shot I got of  a bare spot in the grass this year. Looking back at some of the grass posts from last year, makes me feel a little better about the state of things this year. But I am still battling the  stupid brat dogs who keep wrestling over my baby grass so I keep re-seeding in the hope that something will survive.

I complain about falling in dog holes, fighting with destructive wrestling dogs, and worry about the plight of the Silvery Minnow, but all in all, I really do enjoy our yard. And I love that it’s summer time so I can while away my evenings tinkering with grass, avoiding the canyons that my dog-brats have carved into my beloved backyard, and just enjoy the fact that I don’t have to scrape ice off my windshield the next day.

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Holy Yellow Cow!

Apparently, I’m becoming one of those once a week bloggers. It was never my intent, I’ve always wanted to be a once a day blogger, gladly gabbing on about the newest happenings at my nest, or sharing that cute picture that I just shot of my puppies or sweet Hubba Bubba.  But alas, I’m lucky if I can scramble on here and quickly type up a post with some pictures thrown in. Actually, that’s not quite true, my posts take thought and time, I edit every single photo you see on this blog and try to be careful with those things called words. Maybe that’s why I’ve turned into a once a week blogger, it’s the time that it takes to put these posts together. Maybe I could become an everyday blogger if I were to include fewer word circles and start eating more potassium to prevent word diarrhea. (Yeah I went there)

Anywho, I’m not really sure how to transition from word diarrhea to how I prettied up my living room, so I won’t. Let’s jump right into the visuals shall we?

Ignore the ugly leashes that are so glaringly obvious in photos, but apparently are completely ignored while living in this space.

So, remember in my last post I finally got to reveal something finished on the ole blog, my oh so beautiful new floors? Well, I didn’t get to talk about how I prettied it up. With the living room having to be completely dismantled to install the flooring, it gave me a chance to finally work with a blank slate. This was a foreign concept to this pack rat, an empty room? With open, flat surfaces? Where does the clutter go?!  Well, the clutter hasn’t gone anywhere it’s just being stored in boxes in the sun room until I can figure out what I want to get rid of and what I want to keep. I am hoping to shake my pack ratty-ness and give away or sell most of the items that don’t have sentimental value to me. There’s just too many things to spray paint in this world for me to be wasting time dusting yet another thrift store knick-knack.

After putting all the furniture back in the room, and enjoying a completely clutter free space for a few days, I was ready to play around with some new accessories. I wanted color, lots of color, it’s summer after all. So, I started out with my new favorite yellow cow.

Yes, I know she’s a creamer, but the Bubba and I aren’t coffee drinkers, and I couldn’t bear the thought of putting Rillo away in a cabinet.(That’s what I’ve named her, short of Amarillo, which means yellow in Spanish. From what I’ve been told.) The flowers I clipped from my now dry and crunchy front flower bed.

Working with Rillo as my inspiration, I pulled items from around the house that would coordinate with her yellow glory. I found that my small collection of globes and a vintage children’s book brought the perfect mix of bright and fun to the room. Perfect for a summer setting on the ole coffee table.

Apparently, I easily fall victim to trends, notice the other globe on the end table in the foreground? Oh, and I can’t forget these guys:

Yeah, I totally went with the  owl craze too, but I never follow a crazy trend  I’m not completely in love with. Those owls and my globes are some of my favorite things in the room. Here are a few others.

C.S. Lewis is awesome, that’s all I’m sayin’.

Monograms are almost as awesome as C.S. Lewis. But the only monograms I  seem to find more readily are A’s. Oh, well, I’ll just be a self centered little A and only have my monogram selfishly displayed.

What changes have you made to make your home more summery?

New Floors

Way back in my post about my visit to the Abo Ruins, which by the way was freshly pressed (I’m still amazed that someone found one of my posts to Freshly Pressed worthy!) I had mentioned that Bubba and I would be ripping out our old stained carpet and replacing it with vinyl plank flooring. Surprisingly, there was minimal gnashing of teeth during this project.

Here’s what we started out with, I had started moving things out and thankfully remembered to take a sort of before shot.

I didn’t realize how beige my house was before seeing these photos. Maybe it’s time to put some new paint on the walls, and more substantial art above the sofa.

I’m almost embarrassed to show this shot, but I’ll show it anyways so you can see a contrast between the before and the after. Those spots you see are “signatures” left by the doggies, they’ve been steam cleaned and scrubbed to an inch of their lives, the carpets not the dogs. With each new stain, the carpets would get spot cleaned and then shampooed, to no avail. The stubborn things would go away for a little while, and then somehow reappear, I called them poop stain ghosts. Since they were haunting me. They are the reason the carpet had to go.

This, the dirt that lurked under the carpet was another reason I wanted to rip it all out. There’s nothing that says home like puffs of dirt coming out of ones floor!

See those ugly brown things? Those are linoleum tiles that were originally put in the house at the time of construction way back in 1957. I don’t even want to think about the risk of asbestos, ignorance is bliss until we all die of lung disease. Anywho,  the remaining tile around the perimeter was holding tack strips down. And underneath those ugly tiles and tack strips was crumbling  concrete.

*Commence gnashing of teeth*

After the tedious act of ripping out the old carpet, prying the tack strips and old tile off the concrete subfloor and finally patching said concrete this is what we had to work with. Yup, that’s a giant crack going down the center of the house, from the end of the hallway all the way to the end of the living room. We tried patching it with some of this concrete patch stuff that the nice Lowes guy recommended, but later found that plumbers putty worked just as well since the concrete patch got a little crumbly when it dried. But don’t take my word for it as I have no idea how the plumbers putty will hold up under the heavy foot traffic that we inflict on our floors.

And that scary looking black stuff is the adhesive from the original tiles from 1957, again, I don’t wanna think about the chemicals lurking within that mess.Thankfully, the sand that was trapped under the nasty carpet pad got rid of anything that was still adhesive-y.

After removing all the remnants of old tile, tacks, sand, and everything else that is nasty it was finally time to start laying down the vinyl planks.

We used Surface Source Vinyl Plank Flooring from Lowes, in Classic Chestnut. At first, I wasn’t too sure about the color, but at .88 a sq ft it was worth a shot.

So, we commenced laying of planks, the first row went down pretty easily. So did the second, third and fourth.

Then we got to that last row in the hallway and encountered some issues. The last row didn’t quite fit around the door frames as well as the first row did, and apparently someone *guiltily looks away* laid the first row of planks slightly askew. It was at this point I stopped taking pictures and started to worry. Thankfully, Bubba was there to help, and sawed at some of the frames a bit to get the planks to fit underneath, just as the instructional video suggests. But either the saw wasn’t sharp enough or the door frames were built of steele, because we were only getting a lot of dust and a major arm work out, but the planks still weren’t fitting underneath the door frame. It being 10 o’clock on a Sunday night, we couldn’t do a thing about it until Monday. So Monday after work, my sweet Bubba ran to the hardware store and bought an oscillating saw. After that, things went much quicker, and the gnashing of teeth finally ceased.

While we were sneezily pulling up carpet, prying away at those annoying tacks, and stressing over door frames, the rest of the house looked like this:

But amidst the chaos there were a few peaceful moments too.

Ahh, yes rest, it does a soul good. With those few moments of cuddle time on the couch we were able to find that final bit of energy to finally get it done. Plus, I was getting really tired of having to put shoes on just to walk through the living room and down the hall.

But not anymore! It’s so nice to have floors without disgusting stains on them! And all the dust stays on the surface just waiting for the daily sweeping or vacuuming. I thought the vacuum wouldn’t work so well on these floors, but it really does a better job of getting that dust and fur up than any broom and dust pan could.

Here’s another view, ignore the ugly Goldie chair, yes we are those crazy people that have a reserved chair just for our dog. I have been on the hunt for a couple of nice dog and people friendly chairs, but for the time being I just use a blanket to protect the hand-me-down that Goldie is so attached to.

 A close up, I have found that vinyl plank flooring is quiet and doesn’t have that plastic-y feel and sound that some laminates have. Plus, it’s generally cheaper than other hard surface flooring and super easy to install. This type of vinyl plank is floating meaning that it sticks to itself not the floor. I’ll have to do a how-to post about it when we do the other rooms in the house. Oh, and we liked this flooring so much we want to replace all the carpeting in the house with vinyl plank. Exciting stuff eh?

On being Freshly Pressed

Imagine my surprise when I went to log into my little blog, and saw a familiar photo on Freshly Pressed. At first I thought, how cool someone else has been sight seeing around my fair state. Wait, that’s my photo! It took me a few moments to realize that my quickly put together and not researched at all post about my visit to the Abo Ruins had been Freshly Pressed. I quickly logged into my blog to see what sort of action was going on. There were so many sweet comments and likes and even new followers!! I still can’t believe that my little blog was chosen to be Freshly Pressed out of all the other worthy blogs out there. All I can say is thank you WordPress people! Thank you for finding me amongst all the more worthy blogs out there with better pictures, better posts, better words (yeah, I know that’s not grammatically correct, but that’s how I roll!)

Once the shock of being Pressed wore off I started reading through all of the sweet comments left by the good people of blogland. You guys really are the best! I am so humbled that you would take precious time out of your day to read my post, press that like button, leave a comment or even follow me! I really want to give each and everyone of you an awkwardly long bear hug! (Aren’t you glad that isn’t possible?)

Anywho, I’m feeling a little like an actress clutching her brand new shiny award as the music plays to shoo her off the stage. So I’ll end this awkward post with another thank you, thank you times infinity! It is such an honor and so humbling that people other than my mom enjoy reading my ramblings. (Hi Mom!)

Oh, and just because I’m so darn proud (and maybe a little nutty,) I saved a screen shot!

Abo Ruins

So, it’s been a while. How’ve you been? I’ve missed you, the people of blog land, and Mom, (hi Mom!). Things have been a hoppin’ around these parts, but I don’t feel like talking about it. Nothing bad, all good stuff has been going on, I just need to organize my thoughts and photos. Instead, I’ll just show you some pretty pictures from my birthday weekend trip. Yeah, I know it’s the beginning of June and my birthday was way back in April, but darn it, I took photos and edited them for you so I’m gonna share. Sit tight, relax, and enjoy this virtual sight seeing tour of Nowhere New Mexico.

Actually it wasn’t Nowhere NM, it’s the Abo Ruins just outside of Mountain Air. This was one of the most pleasant stops we hit up on our way down to Las Cruces. The weather was perfect, there weren’t any crowds, and it was free. Now, that’s something I can do an awkward happy dance for!

The ruins consisted of one large building with a few out buildings that were later built by ranchers in the late 1800’s.

I’ll give those little rattlers all the privacy they need, thankyouverymuch.

The main mission consisted of several large rooms, the main structure itself served as the center of the community.

Look at those stones that the structures are made of, can you believe they did all of this by hand? There were no crews of brawny Canadians that came out and made this right (enter Holmes on Homes joke here.)

Although this was a Catholic mission there are still remnants of the Native American culture and religion. Here’s a kiva as evidence.

I had to include this one, see that bottom sign with Caution man walking his dog? His posture reminds of my posture when going on an evening pull walk with Goldie dog.

I hope you enjoyed this little visit to Nowhere NM with me. I don’t know about you, but I  needed a little virtual vacation since there won’t be road trips  this weekend.  Bubba and I  have made plans to start a little remodeling project on the ol’ casa de yellow. We will be ripping out the old carpet in the living room and putting down vinyl plank flooring. Pray for us, hopefully there will be no gnashing of teeth.