Monday, May 31, 2010

Sod n' Roll!

Tommy and I have started the growing process of our shiny, new sod this weekend. We received a number of compliments from passing by neighbors, seeing that our big yard transformation only makes their neighborhood that much better. It doesn't hurt that their encouraging words help us to keep moving along in these Blooming projects of ours as we know we're taking on a lot at once.

As you may have read in the previous post about the yard project, we began with hiring out our BobCat man from Lawn-n-Order to get us on the right foot. The sod, all 66 rolls of it was delivered and nicely stacked at the foot of our driveway at 9 AM as promised. We jumped into the project prepping the yard by leveling it with two rakes, a shovel, a bag of fertilizer and two very anxious new homeowners. We had asked a number of friends to help us lay the sod and in return we promised all the food and beverages they could ask for knowing it was going to be a hot day, and not to mention a holiday weekend for such requests.

So after shifting the soil around enough to even out any pockets, we were instructed to spread fertilizer with our brand new seed spreader! How dorky are we, proud owners of a new seed spreader. We're feeling more and more like home-owning adults as each project comes and goes.

And then it was time for a drink, well the sod that is. 
It was too early for summer cocktails. Or was it?

Before finishing up the last roll Tommy's dad discovered a pesky 'lump' in the ground. After a bit of digging into the issue, literally, we not only uncovered a lonely and HUGE tree root left over from an Elm tree that had to be removed years ago due to Dutch Elm's Disease, but we also found the remnants of poured cement that held up a once used laundry line post. Any experienced homeowner would know that they both had to be removed for two reasons because it was causing a funny looking lump in our yard, but more importantly the root would possibly rot out and cause mushrooms to grow some day. So in came the man artillery saw zaw and out came the stragglers! We're very happy and extremely thankful for our experienced home-owning parents to call upon when in need, rain or 90 degree weather, 328 or just 2 miles away, they come through for us every time.

We're also very thankful that A) the friends we have that agreed to help and B) the task of laying sod really only took us under 45 minutes and we had all the food and beverages to enjoy as Tommy and I just stared in awe at our instant lawn. What a difference!

 Can you believe that we had two exsisting trees in there somewhere? They were so buried in there, that you couldn't even see them!


The best part about the sod is not just that we now have a yard, but it's kinda become our baby. We're really not that in love with the grass, (or enough to admit it) but we can not stress enough how much of a difference it has already made for our new home. We were given strict orders on how to love it, and take care of it.

Water, water and more water.

So this morning, waking up to the thought of our brand new 'baby' outside, (yes, I'm that excited about it!)  I had a little moment to myself were I just laughed because I wanted to turn over to Tommy and say "It's your turn to feed the baby." Oh, it starts...

We hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Feel the Rythm. Feel the Ride. Hey Everybody, it's BobCat Time!

It definitely was not Cool Runnings (Bobsledding, if you're not familiar) weather this past Tuesday. Nope, it was hot, hot, (Did I mention hot?) BobCat-ing time! We have finally done it! We decided to take the plunge and dig out the right half of our backyard. But before I reveal any of our up-to-date yard photos, we want to share how we went about finding our Bob-Cat man that we hired to start off this project. 

With so many projects to be done in The Blooming House, we feel we have mastered the art of Craigslisting. Everything we need or want, we always look to our fellow mate, Mr. Craig of just in case there is that one particular item we're hunting for. And if not, we find something else on our way. So after we concurred our Corner Hutch Quest for our dining room, we began the hunt of The Landscaper. We started off by searching for people that owned their own BobCat to see what kind of pricing we'd find to plow through our backyard, pull up and remove any plants, er- weeds, that we did not want and to haul it all away. Far, far away! We also wanted to see what it would cost us to lay down new sod so that we could feel at ease with a fresh start and something a little bit more manageable.

I want to stress to any of the tree-huggers out there, that Tommy and I did not want to rip up everything living in our back yard to just throw it all away. We started off by inviting anyone and everyone to come over at their convenience to dig up anything they could identify and love as their own. Friends, family, neighbors, whomever! And after a couple afternoons with my Minnesota Aunt and Uncle and a close, gardening friend of theirs, they were able to point, dig and transplant some really nice plants from the over grown right-side to the neat and now orderly left-side of our yard (with plenty to spare for them to take home). I would have never of guessed what these plants were without them, so a big thank you to all of them. 

Black-Eyed Susans, Echinacea (Purple Coneflower), Irises, Day & Tiger Lillie's, shade ferns and Rock Cress are to name a few (but only because I couldn't keep up with which ones were being handed to me) are now found in our left-side garden. I vowed to myself that the left-side would be my challenge as a new and very inexperienced gardener, but was determined that a new start on the right would do the trick! I love how our left-side of the yard is turning out so far and some of those mysterious green plants that were at one time identified to me, are beginning to show more life and even some color to hopefully remind me of what they are next year. 

But back to the dark, more like green monster-side. We took a number of before photos in hopes that the 'afters' will be far from what it used to be. So THIS is what has grown to ridiculous measures once we realized what kind of a yard we had purchased this past January.

Do I need to point out "The Right Side" for you?

The boxed off areas that you see were at one time vegetable and herb gardens after identifying a few chives, sage and last year's leftover (and rotted) onions bulbs. I'm planning on keeping the two plant boxes placed nicely on the left-side of the path to challenge myself to a vegetable garden of my own someday.

And here is the biggest and most over grown rhubarb plant that you could ever imagine set foot at the end of our yard, just before our driveway/alley.

As you can see now, we had quite the collection of some really great plants, only growing in the most "eclectic" fashion to put it nicely. But what we're really excited to get back to is the BobCat-ing part...

I stumbled across a guy on Craigslist that owns his own landscaping company and I can honestly say we replied to his post solely because of his landscaping company name... Lawn-n-Order. After meeting him and having him meet our yard, we obviously hired him from his experience and tip-top pricing. But Lawn-n-Order sold me. Our yard had committed some serious crimes and we wanted him to take action on it. Perfect.

About three hours later (and that included about a 45 minute route to the city dump to haul away the first of two loads, here's what he had achieved.

 All I could think about while he was scootin' around was 'Beep Beep! Comin' through!'
Such a cute little BobCat with very big results.

Goodbye over grown...well, everything! Into the trailer you go. Notice, no more rhubarb.

This was taken from our upstairs landing. Or you could say I was 'jumping for joy' to capture this shot!

G'bye plant-box-o-weeds.

We asked that Mr. Lawn-n-Order man to make his way around the two new trees that were planted by the previous owners. No tree-killers here.

At the end of the day...
 ...and there's no turnin' back!

It was such a fabulous Tuesday afternoon for us and we even had a few curious visitors stop over as it made such a big impact. We may have a mud-pit in the back of our money-pit, but we're still quite proud of it all.

So now we're on our way and putting our landscaping hats on as this will be a first at plotting out a brand new yard to enjoy. Tommy and I have decided to sod the yard ourselves, (with the help of some friends and family of course) since this is The Blooming House and what good would it be if we didn't get a little dirty in the process. The freshly cut sod will be delivered this Memorial Day weekend so  please keep your fingers crossed for us!

The Thrill of the Hunt

With a new home comes new projects, but what I like to think is with Craigstlist comes new treasures for that new home at a steal of a deal!

After Tommy and his brother ripped down the upper cabinets above the pass through window in the kitchen, we had noticed the significant loss in bar glass and cookbook space that we once had.   

When we first walked through the house in hopes to put an offer on the now Blooming House, we noticed the previous owners had owned and displayed a corner hutch that fit perfectly in the left corner as you entered the dining room. So my challenge, as I choose to accept it, was to hunt down the perfect corner hutch for that very same spot. We didn't have too many requirement, just something tall enough, a corner formation to save on dining room space, not too wide (since there is a nice big window just to the right of it) and possibly equipped with doors on top and bottom to hide anything we really don't feel like keeping organized. Our plan was to find an oldie, but a goodie and spruce 'er up!      

Mission accomplished! After a few post replies that I was "Too late, it's sold." or the location was just too far for us to truck out to, we found our hutch. And bonus! It had display lighting already installed in two out the three shelves along with glass-pane doors up top to display something more organized and worth showing, while hiding away the disorganization down below, just as we had hoped.

Our plan of attack is to paint it a nice rich black. (I know most people might think, 'why paint the  existing wood') The wood and stain is in really great shape, but our intent is for it to not only standout but to mimic our already owned dining room set. The table and chairs we had bought when we first moved in together has a nice dark brown finish to the tabletop, but that very same rich black we're going for is found on the legs and chairs. I was also thinking of finding some really unique and small of course knobs to replace the simple existing woods ones up top and down below.

We're still unsure about what color to go with for the dining room walls, but we think this new hutch will look great with it. If you care to look real close, but not too close since we chose not to use the taping method since the walls will be needing painters tape then, we have already tackled the chair rail to match our newly painted kitchen cabinets just on the other side of the dining room walls. Once we finish up the base boards in the same white and nail down the right wall color, we'll have the woodwork all ready to go. We even have some framed art to bring into the room, stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blooming House: The Dirty Edition

A couple weeks ago we had our shiny, new granite installed and as you all know, by orders of the man of the house, we are waiting to show the big reveal. But, I thought I'd share some of the hardship that came along with those new counter tops of ours.

Here the boys are putting our pass through window to good use for the first time!

The sink had to be removed along with what's last of the yellow from the kitchen before the granite guys came over the next day. What we didn't realize was that huge yellow sink was huge and HEAVY since it was made of cast iron.

Three Greenbergs later the yellow beast was removed up and outta there! But it wasn't a total waste since someone out there there in alley-collecting-land is the proud owner of a free, and oh-so yellow cast iron sink.

Wondering what the connection is to the headline of this post yet? Now onto the smut of the post...

Easy now, the Blooming House is a PG blog only! Since the sink and faucet had to be removed for our new under-mount sink we had to disconnect the plumbing above and below. This also included the plumbing to our brand new dishwasher. Yup, new and still unused. Just there to taunt us while the dishes pile away. I feel like we have hit an all time low with the pile of dishes we're forced to contribute to. We're waiting on a part for our faucet to arrive in the mail, so in the meantime it's been getting pretty bad on dish duty. (I'll spare you the images of a couple weeks worth of dishes sitting on our beautiful counter tops, just dirtying it up!)

But tonight was the night of all nights! While the boys have been slaving away at installing our new garage door opener (we knew it had to be done at closing day back in January) I have decided to tackle Mount McDirty.

As I have said before, we are a PG rated blog, but I am advised to warn how dirty the following images you are about to see. We're talking Dishes Gone Wild!

I had no choice, but to clean them in... yes, folks, the bath tub! 
Oh the horror! Please don't judge, it had to be done.

By the end of the night, we're back to dish #1 in hopes that by tomorrow that new part will arrive and we'll be a dirty-dish free household again! And I'll be waiting by the mailbox like a kid waiting for Santa to deliver presents on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What's THAT?!?!

If you may have already noticed a new little ditty that we have added to our blog and said, 'What's that?' Then you have come to the right post. Awhile back I mentioned that I wanted to setup a little section of my own to house my craft projects and whatnot. So with alot of guessing as to how to go about doing that, I came up with adding a NEW blog in addition to Our Blooming House blog entitled, (drum roll please...)

 "Loopty Lu and Her Crafty Corner"

 So this is where 'Crafty Corner' is now located on Our Blooming House blog. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Funny Snap of the Day

So I thought it'd be kinda fun if we started up funny pictures or tips from other great websites or some sort of random house-project-thought-for-the-day kind of posting in hopes that our followers might want to share the same. So while we are including random acts of sharing, we hope you do the same. And to get it started, I have to share this photo. I couldn't help, but stop and snap a picture of this!

You're welcome, Richfield Floral for the free advertising, courtesy of!!

I was driving home from work one day and noticed this sign in front of a flower shop and it actually made me stop and smile. I wasn't in the mindset of researching and hiring a florist for our upcoming wedding just yet, but it sure got my attention.

What made you smile today?