Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Chores

I won't be blogging as much in the near future because I will be doing a lot of work on my house and lawn that I've been wanting to get to for some time and this will be taking priority. When I first moved into my house almost five years ago, this is what the front lawn looked like.

This is what it looks like today.

It has been a continual work in progress and has taken over four years to cut back what was there when I moved in. There's still more work to do, but at least it's not as overwhelming as it used to be.

My first project of the season has been to paint the outside of the house. This is what the back deck area used to look like. It certainly didn't look bad, but after the five years I've lived there, it definitely needed repainting. I actually like the look of the trees coming out of the decking in this picture, but they were growing so much that when you went out there, you would have to duck under the limbs and most people want a patio area they can use for sitting or entertaining, so I took those out. (That's my youngest son in the chair not wanting his photo taken.) By the way, another big difference is how green the yard is. When I moved here in the summer of 2004, it was a very rainy season which you can tell by the green grass. We haven't had a good rain in I don't know how long, so now all the grass is brown.

So this is it now after the re-painting and taking the trees out. Looks a little more stark but more functional. (I should have moved the grill before taking the photograph.) I painted the door on the left dark red about a year ago, but didn't paint the door on the right. I know they should be consistent, so now I need to decide whether to paint the red door white or the white door red. Any opinions on that?

I was painting the front doorway area and took the light fixture down so I could clean it. I went back outside to put it back up and this is what I found when I opened the door.

Silly Nutter Butter. I mentioned in a prior blog post that Nutter was a stray that my son brought home from Olive Garden one night. Her prior owners had her spayed and declawed. I've never owned a declawed cat and it's been very interesting to see how she makes up for her lack of front claws. She is very adept at catching lizards and shrews from the field behind my back yard. In case you don't know what a shrew is, here you go:

Even though it looks like a mouse, it is a mammal...not a rodent. They are actually pretty slow-moving creatures (they kind of shuffle along because they're so low to the ground...and I don't think they're real smart), and Nutter brings them in to have a little fun batting them around. I'm sure the poor shrew is thinking otherwise about having fun. So it's a game of running under the furniture away from the cat while Nutter runs back and forth from one side of the furniture to the other trying to catch the little critter. So I put Nutter in the garage while I grab a towel and throw it over the terrified creature and release it back into the field.

So I've digressed. The whole thing about Nutter's ability to adapt to not having claws is pretty amazing. When she climbs up the ladder, she actually wraps her paws around the rungs and pulls herself up. It's almost like she uses her paws like we use our fingers.

But all the amazement went to the wayside when she started climbing into the planter box. Don't push it, Nutter.

Another digression. I always get a Hibiscus to plant in my planter in Spring because they remind me of Isla. I bought this one about a week ago for ten bucks. I walked outside this morning and couldn't believe how many blooms were on it...and had to take a photo. Usually there are about two or three. This was just too beautiful.


Nancy said...

Love the closeup! You've done a great job on the landscaping also.

Jamqueen said...

My vote--paint the white door red--it's a nice contrast. We have lots of projects to do this year, too. If we could only have a couple of non-rainy days! Beautiful hibiscus!

Life's a Beach! said...

Deb, you've done a great job with your house! I vote for the red because I like contrasting doors on houses. That hibiscus is beautiful, and Nutter Butter is really a cute cat!

Vee said...

Another red door vote. Not only is it cheery, but it's supposed to be good luck. My front door (a French door) is red. I like it!

Isla Deb said...

Nancy - Thanks! The yard was no walk in the park...more like a walk in the jungle. There were days when I would go outside to work on it, take one look, and go back inside.

Ann - We could really use some of your rain for our brown always seem to be feast or famine.

Beck - Thanks...Nutter can be a hoot...probably a little like your Saby.

Vee - I never knew that about red doors bringing luck. On that note, red it is!

Thanks for your votes ladies!

Anonymous said...

how about we ship some SD snow down south, let it melt, and like magic the grass turns green.

Islagringo said...

And I was going to vote white! Have you ever thought of putting a pergola roof over the back patio for extra shade? I know, I know. Everything costs money! Or maybe a long bench with planters on each end instead of the single pot in the middle? Your home, at least from the outside, is so homey and comfy looking!

Isla Deb said...

I guess you've been out-voted on the door, Wayne! IS as comfy home, and, yes, I've thought of putting some kind of protection over the patio. Nothing better than sitting outside on a pleasant Texas evening without shade when it's about 150 degrees! Actually, I'm thinking about selling the house, so that's why I'm doing all the quick expensive improvements for now.