Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Epic Tale of Love

Wow. While I'm still reeling about the fact that Brian actually made a post I figured I'd tell a story.

It's a story about love, marriage, and building a collection of phony-baloney proposals.

Brian and I have been engaged for almost two years now. Our wedding is less then two months away and we're super excited about it! So of course proposals and wedding stuff has been on the brain a lot lately, and that includes our Cedar Point extravaganza last weekend.

We were trying to think of things to do for the ride cameras on the coasters, and somebody said we should stage a proposal on the Magnum (the original big-drop!) and of course, then it had to be done. And it turned out so well that we bought the picture:

And don't worry, that's not really my ring in his hand.

I'm not sure how these things evolve, but we are now on a mission to stage whatever random proposal stories we can come up with so we can totally mess with our future kids later just for fun. Some will real photos, and some may have a little help from photoshop.

Yes, I know. We're weird. Don't act so surprised!

Also, Cedar Point remains one of the coolest places ever.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh my God! He does exist!


I'm the aforementioned fiance. I don't really have anything near as epic as tension rods to talk about, as I'm usually the one doing the behind-the-scenes maintenance work and/or grunt work (Lawn mowing, garage cleaning and the like). More than anything I'd guess I'm going to be doing a lot of color commentary on the topics at hand. For right now, I'll just say thanks for reading.

On a side note, if you had a hand in the "surprise" birthday trip to Cedar Point. I thank you, and my feet are mildly displeased with you.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Privacy Problems

Ok, the weather in Ann Arbor has been pristine! Low sixties in the mornings/evenings, about eighty during the day... knock ten degrees off both ends and we're in my favorite time of year! So let's shut out all that beauty with curtains shall we?

On our lower level we have a big window, it matches the window upstairs in width but because the lower level is halfway underground it's shorter. This presents an interesting decor problem: what do we do for curtains?

We definitely want curtains down here, it's street level, and it's essentially our office, so ya know, privacy is a good thing. I couldn't figure out what to hang for curtains until Brian's mom perfectly solved that problem for us! She gave us these cute white valances with white leaves on them. They'll work well in this green room, which for how much time I spend in it, is sadly neglected in the decor department.

So what's the problem? We have curtains, why aren't they up? Well, this window is 92 inches wide. And it's less then 1.5 inches from the ceiling. This presents a bit of a problem in the curtain rod department. I don't want to hang a curtain rod right at the top edge, it looks awkward, and I don't want to put it below the opening because that's EXTRA awkward. I have decided that a tension rod would definitely be the prettiest and cleanest solution for the space. But where do I find a tension rod that long? The search is on, and hopefully, we'll have curtains up in the lower level very soon. And pictures once I find my camera cord...

Also, it's time to call a chimney sweep! We want to make sure our fireplace is in proper working order so we can use it this fall/winter.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

That yard post I keep talking about

I know I know, I'm a terrible blogger. It's been a whole week since my last post! But I went on my trip and then there's been some life-crap going on, which I won't bore you with here. But at long last here is the yard post I know you've been eagerly awaiting...

Last week I decided enough was enough. I had to make a tactical strike on our yard. Lucky for me, my friend Sanjeev had nothing better to do, so he came and helped! First we started just yanking weeds on the front and side of the house. The weeds have been nothing less then vicious this year thanks to all that rain. So they were monstrous. Of course I forgot to take a 'before' picture, so you'll just have to believe me that it looked even worse then this:
Yes those red dots are the evil eyes I'm sure were in there when we started. We also had to pull out 3 massive rosebushes. While they still bloomed nicely, they had been neglected for so long that they were breaking! They had years of random growth and they couldn't hold themselves up anymore. We also pulled tons of grass and other weeds that were crammed into the tiny space. Then it looked like this:
Wow, it can breathe! Although, I think I'm going to move a couple of the shrubs on the left. You can't see them all, but there are 4 crammed in there! There's one of whatever-these-are along the side fence in the back all alone by itself, so I'll probably put them there.

In the back corner there you can see the electric meter, and it's case is missing. That's because Sanjeev knocked it off, and we left it there. We left it there because it was full of HORNETS! Huge ones! After they had dissipated I snuck back over and got a picture of the empty nest:
I was surprised it was so small since the bugs that came out were so large! They must have just moved in recently. I am still majorly creeped out.

After that we moved on to the back yard. Again, lots of weed pulling and shrub trimming, but no massive bush evictions... yet. We need a chainsaw.

Also we got a new (to us) fun toy in the back from my parents:
hmm, maybe you can't see it from there, try this:
Yeeeeaaahh. That's the ticket. We have a hammock now! The trees already had hooks in them from the previous owner, and I love hammocks so it was a done deal. I haven't gotten to use it yet, but I'm going to use the crap out of it as soon as I have a spare 5 minutes!

On a less related outdoor note, any history buffs out there might get a kick out of our air conditioner:
We think it's from between 1973 (when the house was built) and the revolutionary war, but we can't get more specific then that. Truly it works well, we're just not sure for how long! Eventually when it does die and we replace the unit I want to move it out of the center of the backyard.

And finally, I'd like to have a moment of silence for our lovely hose. Brian ran over it with the mower (I still can't figure out how, it wasn't out in the yard!). It was a good hose, and will be missed...                    Thank you.

And again thank you to Sanjeev for all your help! You rock!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Doodle is a Funny Word.

A post about our most recent yard adventures is forthcoming. This has been a bit of a crazy week (I know, again???) so it's been hard to form coherent sentences. I think it might be best if I wait and proof that post when I have a better grasp of the English language don't you?

In the meantime I took a break and doodled Brian and I as cartoon people:

I have some plans for these doodle-rific doppelgangers, I think it will be fun.

Also, I'm headed to Boston this weekend to see some of my best friends on the whole planet! Fairly excited about that. I'll try to make sure the yard update is posted before I go.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Musings on Trees

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, but it's called 'Musings on Trees' and not 'Epic Photo Montage on Trees' for a reason...

So I'm going to be working in the yard tonight. TRYING to make some progress in the 'make our yard not look like crap' department. I'm going to focus on the following:

- Weeding. Again.
- Edging and tilling the entire front planting bed
- Pulling out the 3 hostas on the front of the house (I've tried to save these, but they didn't react well to the sudden onslaught of the sun when trees above them were removed, and I don't think they're coming back)
- Digging extra dirt out of the hole in the middle of the yard (we had a stump pulled from there) putting it against the house to help with our grade and spreading some grass seed there.
- Pruning the roses on the south side.

I doubt I'll get it all done but I'm going to try. I want to plant a tree soon, and maybe the shrubs I've been thinking about as well. I want to put a smallish decorative tree in front of the house on the south end - the side away from the garage. I'm thinking weeping cherry right now, but I'm also considering a redbud or a flowering dogwood. Any suggestions would be awesome! Apparently it works well to plant trees and shrubs in early fall around here so I'd like to do that so we'll have some flowering and such next spring.

And the shrubs I want are dwarf burning bushes, probably 2 of them. I don't know if I'll be able to find them this year though.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wow, just... wow

So this has been one heckuva week! Mostly, it's related to car trouble and the most frustrating series of days ever! We had a lovely weekend at the lake, and returned home Sunday feeling pretty good. I was convinced I'd get to work on decorating the bedroom this week, but boy was I in for it...

Monday on my way home from work (around 7:30 after running some errands) I noticed my car was making a smooth grinding noise, it started at about 40mph and got louder as you got faster. It's quite loud on the freeway. So I made an appointment to bring it in to the shop before work Tuesday. Brian went with me, and took me to work from there. Yes he is awesome, and no, I won't share.

About midday they called and said the noise was because my tires were trashed and my car really needed an alignment which was what caused them to get so worn. I said fine, new tires is a safety thing, go nuts. I drive a 10 year old Saturn by the way, it was also my first car. Then during the day my graphics card in my work computer fried (yay working from a machine without the capabilities I need to do my job for the next 2 days!) and my sandwich I'd bought for lunch was inexplicably wet... so by then I was feeling dandy. When we went to pick up my car at 5:30 they told me a little something while I was paying. Apparently when they tested the tires they noticed my wheel bearing was making some noise and is wearing out, also the tire support on the right side is rusting through and that won't be worth fixing in a car as old as mine. Well, I figured I would be buying a new car in the next year anyway, so I said thanks and left.

Guess what I heard when I got on the freeway? Yup. same noise. It was the bearing all along. So now I had new tires and a car that was still making a crazy noise and was apparently going to fail at some point because the structure is rusting out. Yay.

I called the second I got home but they had already closed, so we went back to the shop this morning and I raised a stink. Why didn't they call me about the bearing/support? Maybe I would have said fix that not the tires? Why would I want to put new tires on a car that apparently, I've got to get rid of soon? Why are you trying to lie and say the tires were causing the noise YOU heard? That last one is totally impossible btw, the grinding is that loud. So after 20 minutes of being angry with them they agreed to see what they could do.

A few hours later they called and agreed to put my old tires back on and refund the money for that part of the repairs they did. Yay! I mean, now I'm going to be driving on crappy tires and have the noise and other stuff still wrong, but I get a substantial piece of money back and now I can go shop for a new car... without emptying my savings first!

Still sad about the whole thing though, I like my Saturn :'(

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Battle Continues...

This has been one heck of a summer for trying to set up any kind of landscaping! Once the trees were pulled and the rain stopped it rocketed to 90+ degrees every day. Oh, and we still got a bunch of storms anyway.

So with this, it's been a struggle keeping our pots on the front step alive and the weeds at bay. Our yard had been sorely neglected for years before we came, and unfortunately improvements have been slow. We did not get it mulched this year which is part of the weed problem, but also they got a head start!

I'm almost embarrassed to show these pictures because they really show how we've done NOTHING this summer. But remember, we did get a bunch of trees pulled in June. Now, the image on the top is what happened in the week between weeding sessions. The one on the bottom is after an hour of weeding:

There was more that was weeded in that hour, but you get the idea. One week! That's all! The knarly looking thing that's still on the far end there is actually a rosebush that was getting choked. I think it will be ok. The roses over there need pruning but are doing quite well.

The other issue is of course our flowerpots. In ONE night they went from this:

To this:

WTH??!!?? When I came out of the house Tuesday morning I almost cried. They'd been doing fine all summer (I had to break up a fight or two between the strangler vine petunias and the begonias but other then that...) and in one night they both just died. And it really doesn't look like it was painless...

So I got the tallest mums ever instead:

It's almost time to pull out the late summer/fall wreath too! Brian won't let me yet though. In other but related news I got new garden gloves and I love them:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Do eet!

Nothing exciting today, just a reminder to get out and vote!!! Remember, if you don't, you have no right to complain about who wins! /endsoapbox

Also, why have my planter pots on the front step died very suddenly and for no apparent reason? Just curious...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ahhh refreshing weekends are refreshing!

I know what you're thinking. The title to this post is soooo like, deep and stuff. Say what you want but it's true! Brian had to work every day this weekend but we still had a really really nice time. We made it a point to relax and just enjoy ourselves. This is practically the first time this summer we've done this, what with moving and the wedding it's been pretty nuts. Here follows what most would consider a boring play-by-play of said weekend:


Friday night we relaxed at home with a pizza and "Hot Tub Time Machine" (review: amusing, but definitely not for everybody). Saturday while Brian was at work I went to the zoo with some friends (yaaaay animals!) and went to the mall. I dunno about anybody else but buying jeans sucks, and being successful at buying jeans is just about the best thing ever. Then we went to dinner with said same friends at Vinology.

Vinology Review:
This is a very 'cool' restaurant. Good times were had. HOWEVER, it's very very pricey. I think it would be the perfect place to stop in for a few drinks while out on the town, but we were there for dinner. And the menu of this place is so far up it's own ass that you can't tell what you're ordering through all the snob! I ended up just getting a dessert. So, fun, but probably won't be back soon.

Yesterday Brian worked while I worked on addressing more invitations. Then we went to the lake! It was just us and Matt (Brian's older brother) so it was super low key. I made burgers and corn on the cob. Then we tried some wake boarding. The guys were great of course. Me? yeah I was so good I'll be competing next weekend sucked. Granted it was my very first time trying this but I couldn't even stand up. Then I couldn't even get the board off my feet were so suctioned into the boots. It was embarrassing, but Brian assured me this is fairly normal for a first try. I'm determined to give it another go next time. For now, just imagine that this picture I found on the internet is me looking all cool: