I need an Armadillo

Yay! We have grass! It’s not much to write home about, but it’s green! Which means a lot when you live in a water conservative desert city.

And not only do we have green grass, but the apricot tree is sort of coming back.

Never mind the dead branches in the middle, those are Annie Dog’s signature. (She likes to jump into the plants and trees when we aren’t watching.)

Speaking of dogs, the grass would be greener and more plentiful if it could actually be watered. Annie and her assistant Goldie, tend to enjoy chewing on hoses, and rendering them useless until being meticulously repaired by Bubba.

Here are the most recent victims…

Hopefully these poor unfortunate souls can be repaired and re-used in the front.

I know you can’t count them, but there are FIVE hoses there. Five hoses that watered the once pretty yard. Five hoses that only lasted a couple of weeks, sometimes a couple of days, due to the rotten beastlys that I have chosen to share my yard with.

Numerous methods of curtailing the hose chewing have been attempted. We have used a quick connect, to remove the hose entirely from the yard, hence, removing any temptations from Annie’s habitat.This didn’t work, because it curtailed our watering habits since the hose needed to be brought in from outside the yard and connected to the faucet. Then,  we used a hose reel. This worked pretty well, as the hose lived inside a box, which effectively concealed and protected it from our canines. However, the tangled mess that became our hose was too hard to deal with. Frustration ensues…So to end the frustration, I am currently looking at some different watering options, but that’s a whole different post.

The hoses and sprinklers are not the only things getting injured around here. Friday while Bubba was trying to repair yet another chewed up hose, he cut through the hose and through his finger.EEK!

Three hours at the urgent care and six stitches later he was good to go.

Maybe it’s time to invest in one of these…

Via

I love the pooch they have on their site…

Via

That look of utter disgust is just hiliarious. That’s the look I want my doggies to make the next time they try to chew through an expensive hose. Of course, I don’t want them to get hurt, I just want to discourage the hose chewing and plant-eating a bit.

By the way, does anyone want two “free” dogs?

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Green and Spring all over

March to me means, green and lots of it. Maybe it’s that certain holiday that requires most of us to wear green lest we suffer the pinchie consequences, or it could be all the green that’s popping up in the emergence of last years dafodlis and iris bulbs.

Or the FRUITING Mulberry tree in the backyard. Yup, fruiting, which means we have mushy mulberries littering our walkways during the summer months. Yummy but messy.

The rose bush is sorta coming back, I hope the ole girl didn’t completely freeze over the frigid winter.

Hopefully soon I’ll have some green grass to show you, but if you are interested, tales of our grass growing saga can be found here and here. Here’s Bubba sowing the seed…

Is that a sprout?

By the way we have the little fence up to keep the brat dogs out of our grass experiment. It’s not working…

Here’s to hoping for lots more green in the coming months!!

P.S. I am linking up the the monthly color story over at Pancakes and French Fries. This month the color was shades of yellow, but I cheated and decided to switch April and March (I’m a rebel like that!). Now, here at my casa/blog March will be emerald and April will be yellow. Sorry Jules, hope you forgive me!

Tail Spins

The past few weeks Bubba and I have been shoveling, scraping, occasionally cursing, and wishing we’d had enough funds to higher our own guy. No we haven’t put a hit on anyone and buried them in the backyard, but we have torn out the old xeriscape, weed membrane and all.

Here’s our progress thus far…

{Notice the little aussie shep enjoying the newly un-earthed and muddy dirt that lay under the old plastic weed membrane and pea gravel.}

Here’s what we started out with…

It doesn’t look so bad in the pictures, but it really is that bad. The dirt and dust get trapped in dog fur and carried into the house. Yuckie…so there is definitely a need for some sort of ground cover. You can find more of my ideas for the yard and some before pictures here.

As you can see, we’ve got a lot of work to do. Only half the yard has been stripped of it’s gravel. And that half hasn’t been tilled under and seeded yet. And I am still researching pet friendly and desert friendly plants to put in the flower beds.

But in between all the work and the planning, there is plenty of fun being had.  For instance, Bubba and the doggies have been going on “spins”…

More??

I don’t think so buddy…

Of course both dogs get a spin

But personally I think Annie likes the hug more…

Aww…

P.S. Bubba would like it noted that in the sequence of Goldie being spun, it may appear she was dropped after her spin. But to the contrary she was gently placed on the ground, he was simply asking her if she would enjoy another “spin” around the yard. Thank you, and good day!

The “Yard”

Remember in this post, I had mentioned that Bubba and I are planning our belated wedding party this summer. It will be held in our backyard, which currently looks like this…

Scary, I know!! My poor plants have been “Annie-fied”, and our landscape gravel that served as ground cover has been run across, wrestled on, and nested in so much, it is no more.

The backyard is now a giant sand box with spindly sticks that used to be beautiful plantings.

And we’ve got the  cinderblock walls of different heights and very close neighbors to contend with. Here’s the taller of all the walls, as well as a shot of the neighbors roofs (rooves?)

Here’s a better example of the different fencing levels. See in the corner, we’ve got the one side that is 7ft while the other is 4ft. There are even portions of the wall that are 3ft! I guess a some of our neighbors are more interested in getting to know us than others.

I know cinderblock walls aren’t pretty, but they do provide much needed privacy. So, I am choosing function over aesthetics this time around. The Bubba and I are getting bids from local fencing companies to achieve a more level fence in the back.  You know what they say, “Good fences, make good neighbors.”

Not that my neighbors are bad, but it would be nice to have some level of privacy in the backyard. Ya never know when I might want to do some nude gardening.

 

Anywho, moving on…Bubba and I are hoping to rip out  the nearly non-existant gravel with underlying “weed barrier” and attempt to plant grass. I say attempt, because here in the Southwest we are all on some pretty tight water restrictions. Plus, the soil is pretty sandy, I’m not sure if seed will even be able to root in the stuff. It will take come extensive conditioning to make the dirt grass friendly.

We’ve considered a few options…

1. Sod, this turned out to be entirely too much of an investment for us at the moment. Especially since I fear that any type of green grown cover will either burn in the sun or get trampled on by our sweet puppies.

2. Hydro-seeding which is essentially a spray on lawn that is typically seen on commercial sites and in highway medians. It is desirable to some because it’s cheaper than sod and grows faster than seed.There are some residential hydro-seeding contarctors in our area. So, I may give them a call. However, I fear they may chuckle when they see what a postage stamp yard we have.

3. Seed, this is desirable because of affordability. I could  buy 2 lbs of the stuff for ten buck-a-roos at the local garden center. But…(yes there are lots of but’s in this post), seed is very labor intensive and I am not entirely sure we’d have grass by the time the party rolls around.

There, three very good very viable options. It’s just a matter of deciding how much money and time the Bubba and I are willing to spend on a yard that may or may not hold up to poochies. Oh, that’s another thing, everything that gets planted out back will need to be resiliant enough to hold up to two very active dogs.

Oi Vey! I think I need to lay down!!

What do flowers pray for?

This evening I noticed my sunflowers have come to a point where their heads are too heavy for their little stems to hold them up, so they droop. But to me, they look like they are enjoying a prayerful moment with heads bowed. It got me to wondering what flowers pray for. Do they pray for the same things that we pray for? Do they pray for help in those dark times? Do they praise God in those bright and happy times? Or do they pray for more flower appropriate things like rain and less bugs? Do they hope for the day that they will be plucked and used in a beautiful arrangement? Much like we hope that God will pluck us and use us in one of His arrangements.  Or  do they find hope and peace like we  find in the Lord, when our heads seem too heavy for our stems to hold us up.

This reminds me of a verse that was a favorite of my fathers it’s got nothing to do with flowers specifically, but I find it appropriate for times when it seems that we cannot hold our heavy sunflower heads up by ourselves:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

So, just like these little sunflowers wait upon the Lord and show complete and utter dependence on God, we should do the same when life seems to make our heads too heavy for our little stems to hold us up.

Annie the Destroyer

This past weekend, as I walked through my dog ravaged backyard I remembered a time when my yard was compliment worthy. Really, when we were having window guys stop by for estimates they’d look out the back window and proclaim the beauty of our backyard. But that’s all changed since Annie dog came in the picture.

Yup, she looks cute and cuddly in the picture above, but believe me, there’s a master of destruction lurking behind those sweet puppy dog eyes.

Take the one above for instance, that’s our four legged house guest we had a few weeks ago. Can you see how nice Annie got along with her?  Actually, they got along quite well, this is an action shot of them wrestling. Annie just happened to have her mouth open and aimed at the little dogs head. But the point of this post, was to talk about my yard. And the yearning I have for it to return to it’s former glory.

The picture above doesn’t quite portray it’s former glory, but believe me, it’s better than what I’ve got today.

This pretty pink bush no longer lives. It was a casuality of Annie, much like many other plants in my yard. In fact, no shrub or flower was spared.

But enough mourning over spilled milk and eaten plants. I’m moving on, and I’ve been looking into alternatives to make my yard pretty again. First of all, a temporary dog run might need to be instituted until Annie dog has calmed down enough to realize we don’t want her eating our plants. It’s too bad we can’t train her to pull our weeds as well as she pulls  branches off of my Spanish Broom.

Here are some dog run options I’ve found:

A homemade dog run, I like this option, because we can make it as large as we want. And add shelter to it and maybe plant a little bit of grass in there for her.

Here are a couple of store bought options, these seem a little small for our dog. The first one is the most expensive of the two, but it comes with a nice cover, which is definitely needed. The second, would need a cover added to it, and I fear that Annie dog would jump right over it.

petsmart.com

petsmart.com

It’s something that will need some thought. It’s sort of like deciding whether you want to spank your child or not. OK, maybe not exactly like spanking your child, but I do feel like this would be a punishment. Which is something I certainly don’t want it to be. Maybe Annie will only have supervised time out in the yard.  Well, off to take my destroyer of all things green on her second walk of the day!

Open Air Room?

So with it being summer and all, the sweetie and I have been spending a lot of time outside. Mainly hanging out in our sunroom. Did I mention I have a sunroom? I really need to make more pictures of the casa. Right now the sun room is a bit on the dusty side as it is basically a porch with windows. This weekend I promise I will clean it up and make pictures for you.

In it’s present state, my sun room is a bland and dusty space. I’ve been trying to come up with ways to make it feel more like a living space and less like a walk through space. So, I visited good ol’ reliable Better Homes and Gardens for some ideas. I discovered something called “porch rooms”. I’m in the love with this idea, they also have some pretty pictures of “open air rooms”, these are basically patios, but still I love the terminology. Can you picture it, lemonade in hand, inviting guests to the open air room. That would get you some curious looks I’m sure. But on to the pictures.

I really like the porch above, I’ve tried this in my sunroom. It’s worked out fairly well, now if only I could keep the dog hair and dust out.

This one is really nice too, I’ve thought about converting my sunroom into a sleeping space. Especially when my casa is full of family.

I love all the rocking chairs in this one.

This one looked so cozy, I could see myself curling up in that backyard with a good book.

The fireplace on this one caught my eye. Can’t you imagine sipping lemonade on that patio in the summer, and sitting near the fire in the early spring and late fall?

I had to include this one, because I just liked the patio. I would love to re-do my old cement slab patio with something like this. I’ve thought about scored concrete. Hmm….the possibilities.

There are so many pictures I would have loved to share, but alas, there certainly is not enough time to share them. I hope you enjoyed the stroll through my current favorite “open air rooms” and “porch rooms”.

Please note that all images are courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

Light the way…

A couple of months ago, the sweetie and I updated the porch light and the house numbers. Upon purchasing the house 2 years ago (!) we inherited a dirty old plastic porch light and faded house numbers that had been hammered onto a piece of old wood. The wood had been painted to match the faded trim around the porch and garage. Sooner rather than later, I would like to re-paint the trim, however, the sweetie and I just can’t come to an agreement on color. But that’s a whole other post in itself. Now back to the porch light and the house numbers. The old porch light and house numbers looked like this:

This is actually a picture I took right before we had the windows replaced. Someone whose name rhymes with Pearl forgot to take before pictures of the old light and numbers. But I digress, in the above picture you can see that the old porch light was an odd shape ,the picture doesn’t show quite how nasty this light really was. It was cracked and stained with years worth of dirt that wouldn’t come off even with lots of elbow grease. And you can see the ugly color  the house numbers were painted, even though I blurred them out a bit. The numbers themselves were pretty beat up too.  So, it was time for some updating.

Every little project in my house, gets a lot of thought before it actually gets done. So it took the sweetie and I a year and a half to decide upon what sort of house numbers we wanted, and what type of porch light to buy.  Honestly, we went through so many different options I can’t remember all of them. But I do know that the finalist really was the best suited for Casa de Yellow. (How’s that for some good Spanglish?)

In the above picture you will see that we chose a pretty shaped wooden background for the letters. I spray painted it with black lacquer paint, so it would have some shine to it and match the numbers better. Which brings me to the numbers, for those I ended up with a brushed nickel finish. I blurred out the other numbers for privacy sake, but left one of them so that you could get a better idea of the overall look.

Here is a closer view of the house numbers, of course most of them are blurred out, again for privacy sake:

And the porch light, which I love. It’s not too big or too small for our little casa. And it’s so much brighter than the old light.

The stucco does need to be repaired around the new light, but we are procrastinating holding off on repairing it since we will be getting the entire house re-stuccoed. Hopefully, very soon. *keeping fingers crossed*

There are so many mini and not so mini projects around the casa that are either in progress or need to be done it’s overwhelming. It could drive a girl to eat an entire carton of Pecan Praline ice cream! But instead I’ll leave you with some pretty pictures of porches.

apartmenttherapy.com

robolady.blogspot.com

younghouselove.com

July Flowers

Last night, the sweetie and I got to work on the front flower bed. If you remember, a couple months back I planted some seeds in the front, I talked about that here. Well, my poor little seedlings didn’t stand a chance against the birds, the wind, and the heat. Hardly, any of them came up, and the ones that did come up, came up in a huge clump of green weeds flowers in the middle of my flower bed. I’m not even gonna talk about the poor baby flowers under the tree. I guess the soil under my majestic Pinion tree still isn’t up to par. So, maybe this year I will baby the soil a bit more with some good ol’ cow poop and the “good dirt” that comes in a bag. Then maybe next year I can have some color in that corner of the yard.

Well, since the seeds didn’t come up I gave in and bought some plants to place in my barren flower beds. Saturday my mom came over and we had a blast going through all of the plants in the garden section of Home Depot.

O.K. we may have gone a little overboard, but aren’t all those colors just fabulous!! I hope they look that fabulous after a couple of weeks in my yard.

Most of the plants I picked up were prennials, meaning that theoretically, they should come back year after year.

So here’s what I ended up with:

Moonshine Yarrow, it’s supposed to be very hardy, and I’ve seen several other yards around town with globs of them.

naturehills.com

Some Black Eyed Susans, because who doesn’t like a Black Eyed Susan, unless you’re Susan.

nicksgreenleafgardens.com

And some Yellow Tickseed. No, there are not ticks on them, contrary to what the sweetie thought when I brought them home. They are called tickseed, because their sprouts almost look like ticks. But aren’t they cute?

And some Yellow Daisy’s, because everyone likes Daisy’s right?

Here are some more pictures of what we planted:

I have a few more to plant tonight, so I’ll be adding more photos later. Hopefully my July flowers will turn out much better than my May flower experience.