Monday, October 17, 2011

extreme yard makeover.

Ok, so maybe “extreme” is a bit of an exaggeration. But over the weekend, we did make some minor improvements of the landscaping variety. Before we moved in to the duplex, our landlord dumped a huge pile of bark on our property, promising to have a crew come in a spread it out. Well, that was 7 weeks ago, and up until last Sunday the pile o’ bark remained untouched.

Since last weekend may have been one of the nicest we’ll see for awhile, we decided to take matters into our own hands. Armed with a wheelbarrow, two rakes, and a shovel, we got down to business.

Here are some pictures from different angles before we did anything. This one is the area on the side of the house:

And here is the little corner by the front steps:

Many, many hours later, here’s how the side of the house looked:

Here is that same little corner:

And here are some more views from the front of the house and of the backyard:

It was definitely a group effort!

Chloe may have found her calling in life, because she said "this is the most fun thing I ever did except for the fair". Hmmm, I wonder if she will think chores are fun too?

The changes may look subtle, but to us it’s a huge improvement. We actually have a functional area outside where Chloe can play, which she couldn’t wait to test out last night.


Monday, October 3, 2011

the drill.

I know, I know, I should have posted pics of Chloe’s room long ago. But we still have a blank wall that we need to do something with, so I’ve been putting off taking pictures until it's finished. I have a few ideas of what I want to do, so hopefully we’ll “git er done” real soon!

There was one small task that I thought I could easily manage on my own this weekend while Tony was drinking his troubles away in Las Vegas. Last week he hung some purple curtains in Chloe’s room, and I didn’t like the placement of the curtain rod. It was too low, too close to the top of the window, and the curtains were all bunched up on the carpet. So, being the positive thinker that I am, I thought it would be super easy to use his DeWalt drill to unscrew the brackets, move them up two inches, mount them to the wall, and be done with it. Ha, was I wrong!

Here’s a list of troubles I ran into along the way:

  • Thanks to Tony’s super-neat organizational skills in the garage (garage post coming soon!!), I was able to find the drill right away. I picked it up, looked at it, and thought “Hmm, that’s odd, it’s not even plugged in to the charger.” Thinking maybe it was already charged, I tried turning it on. Nothing happened. Then I looked over to the left and noticed the base of the drill was on the charging dock. Ahh, that makes sense. I connected the base to the drill and headed towards Chloe’s room. (For those of you with even less knowledge of power tools then me, here’s what I was workin’ with.)
  •  I started with the curtain rod bracket on the left first, and was able to remove it even though my arms were starting to shake from holding the drill above my head. Yes, I’m a weakling. According to Google, this drill has a “Lightweight design (4.7 lbs.) to minimize user fatigue”. Liars! This user was very fatigued after the first 10 seconds. How sad.
  • So after removing the first bracket (success!), I measured two inches up and made a little mark with the screw. Then I tried drilling the screw it back into the wall. This is where things went awry. The screw wasn’t going into the wall at all, so I tried a higher setting on the drill. The screw still went nowhere, but smoke started coming out from somewhere and I could smell burning. I tried this about two more times, ignoring the smell of burning metal. Fail.
At this point my arms were so tired and shaky I could barely line the drill bit up with the screw anymore. So I let out a loud “AUGGH!” and stormed out of the room, leaving it in its current state:

There you go, a sneak peak of her room!

Luckily, Tony will be home from Sin City tonight and all will be well. It’s nice living with someone who doesn’t suffer from power-tool incompetence like I do.