Monday, July 14, 2014

Garage Shingles

A few days ago, K decided it would be a much better use of her time to hire a crew to shingle the roof of our garage.  She's so busy with work, and she figured it would take much longer for just her and her brother to finish the roof than it would take for a crew to just knock it out.  And it would cost about $1200 more, from the bids she was getting.

I agreed.  If it was actually going to save us money in the long run, AND save her a ton of headache and time-- it was completely a no-brainer.

I headed out in the morning to go to the farmers market, and then hung out for the day with my bestie and her kids, and by the time I got home...  they were done. Amazing.

Love it!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy Garden - Part 1

My raised-bed garden was finally discovered a couple weeks ago by the rabbits.  I'm pretty sure I know exactly who the culprit is, actually-- an adorable baby bunny that I've seen in our yard a lot lately.

One day, my radish plants were just GONE.  Like the seeds had never sprouted.  And the next day, a bunch of my carrot tops were whacked off.  And I've heard that bunnies like bell pepper plants, so while I'd been thinking that my pepper seeds never sprouted-- I bet they did sprout and the bunny just got them before I could see them!  Sassy bunnies.

So K helped me make a plywood wall around the garden, pretty late in the evening, a couple weeks ago.  It totally worked at keeping the bunnies out!  But it was also difficult for me to move around in there, and I had to climb over the wall to get in.  And for some reason, the bugs just LOVED being in there!  Maybe because the walls blocked the wind, it was just so buggy in there.  I got bit up every time I watered my garden or picked anything.

Temporary keep-out-rabbits garden fence

I wanted a trellis to run diagonally from my garden to the fence, for my cucumbers and zucchinis to climb up.  The zucchinis are so nuts now that it might be too late, but the cucumbers are just starting to reach out like crazy, so the timing is perfect.  K figured out how to make a fantastic trellis for me, and I helped.  While we were at it, we replaced the plywood walls with chicken wire over a new fence.  It was a lot of work, and we did it on a stupidly hot and humid day, so it was crazy.

Trellis frame

Trellis in place

I'll post some pictures soon of the finished fence.  We completed it pretty late, and we were both sweaty, ravenous, and bug-bitten.

Here's the latest view of the garage:

The next step is to finish the roof.  All the sheeting is up there, and most of the tar paper.  K needs to decide if she's going to have her usual roofing company do the job, or if she's going to do it herself.  Of course, it will be a lot cheaper for us to do it ourselves (and she's roofed a ton of things before, so this will be easy for her.)  But the time will be the deciding factor, I'm sure.  She's working on a big kitchen remodel right now, and finishing up a smaller one in the first couple days of this week.  And after those, she has a very elaborate addition project lined up.  So she's booked for quite a while.  Not sure when we'll be able to knock out the roof-- but once we do, there is a lot more that can be done with the roof in place.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Weekend Love

We made it all the way to July 5th without putting in our A/C window units!  (On the first floor, that is -- I've had one up in my office for a month or so.  It's much hotter up there!)  It's supposed to be really hot and humid tomorrow, so K wanted to get an A/C into the kitchen and into the bedroom.  We want to get a new central air unit, but we're taking things one thing at a time.  The garage comes first.

The first morning glory bloomed on our trellis the other day.  They're such a gorgeous purple, and I can't wait until they all start blooming!  Each plant is loaded with buds right now, so they should be going nuts very soon.

Did a little yard work this evening-- mowed the lawn, pulled weeds, trimmed a tree along the street, etc.  And I put mulch around the rose bushes in the front yard flower beds.  They look so much nicer-- I wish I'd thought of it sooner!  One of the rose bushes has been spreading and blooming like crazy, and the other bush isn't.  Hopefully it's just taking its time-- those suckers were not cheap!

We also got a bummer letter today from the City of Minneapolis.  Honestly, I've been a fan of the City offices ever since we bought the house.  They fixed a couple things in the alley when we asked, and they've been helpful every time we've called.  But today there was a letter telling us that we have less than 2 weeks to move our huge wood pile because it's a "nuisance."  The pile of wood is from that giant elm that we took down so that we could build the garage.  Our plan all along was to build a nice platform/rack right behind the garage, split all the logs, and stack them up so we'll have firewood for years to come.  But we've got to finish the garage first...  Otherwise we're just moving the wood twice, and that's nuts-- there is so much of it!

The thing that really sucks about this is that the only reason that wood pile is visible right now, is that the wooden fence is not up on one side of the yard-- and that's because a few of the posts were so rotten that they only stayed up for a year after we bought the house.  We've had an orange plastic snow fence tacked up since then, so our yard looks pretty trashy from that side.  You can see right in and can see our piles of materials and supplies-- pavers, siding, insulating blankets, windows, gutters etc.  It doesn't look pretty, I totally admit it, and I think it every time I view the yard from that angle.

And once the garage is finished, ALL of this will be fixed in a relatively short time, so this is really frustrating!  The windows have already been taken into the garage to be used in there.  When the siding on the garage is complete, it will be easier to organize all that wood right behind the garage and out of sight.  And with the work space set up, it will be easier to build a new fence, like we've been planning.  So...  I don't know.  Grrr.  We're trying, Minneapolis!!  We really are!