Monthly Archives: December 2011

A few house presents

My sister Sharon got into the housewarming spirit with my xmas presents… First we have the “I’d never buy it for myself, but it’s totally cute” lawn gnome:

(I can't decide if the anime eyes are creepy or not...)

I set him up between the two lavender plants right where our driveway meets our front walk.

He looks pretty happy there. But then he got rained on that night, so he may be less happy now.

Sharon also got us a “I’d totally buy this for myself but I’d never admit it” Angry Birds pillow:

The camera loves this thing. I even post-processed it to make it look LESS neon green...

Anyway, we also got lots of other awesome stuff from various family members, so don’t feel too unloved, family. I just can’t really justify devoting a post to how much I love chocolate. The more practical presents will probably be making appearances soon though. 🙂

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Backyard Light

just a quick one… here was our corroded, worn-looking, non-functional backyard light:

(Poor sad useless light...)

So we switched it out with a functional and somewhat nicer looking light:

(We pointed the lights at a more useful downward angle sometime after I snapped this pic.)

Even with a bit of chipping away at the wall to fit the new metal brace in the hole, this was a really easy switch.

(He's becoming quite the expert at this...)

Now we get a nice lit backyard every time a raccoon wanders through in the dark. I think Loki likes it too, he doesn’t feel the need to bark at every random rustle when he goes out to do his business at night. Success all around.

Holiday Decorations, Part 2

When I saw this light-up penguin, I knew we had to have it:

(Loki was a bit freaked out when he first saw it.)

I wish I could say I was really cool and made it myself, but no, it was just a totally-worth-it splurge. 🙂 It has a strand of white lights strung up inside to light it up, and we’re contemplating doing some surgery and replacing the old-school lights with LEDs. It shouldn’t be all that hard, the way they’re attached.

And then there’s our monster wreath:

(I'm pretty sure there's still a door behind it somewhere...)

Most of the wreaths we were seeing in stores were either pretty small (and by small I mean normal-sized) or already decked out in red decorations. But I held out, and finally found a wreath I approved of. I added the silver and blue parts, and we hung it!! It hasn’t fallen off so far, and the door still swings normally, so I’m calling it a success. here’s the front of the house all put together:

(And I'm finally getting better at photo editing, so the entire front patio isn't gloomy shadow.)

Outdoor Chores

We’ve been getting some strong winds, which unfortunately have ravaged the really old and dilapidated sections of our fence:

(I sure hope those pieces weren't important...)

Due to our interesting location in the neighborhood, we actually share a fence line with 5(!) different neighbors. Two of the 5 sections of fence seem to have been replaced fairly recently, and the longer of the two was even replaced with a taller fence, which nicely hides our neighbor’s storage sheds from view. This section of fence in the picture was already pretty bad when we moved in, so it was really just been a matter of how long we could get away with not replacing it. Our neighbor pretty much just uses that part of his yard to store old boats and boat parts, so he hasn’t been in much of a rush.We’re not really in a rush either, even with it looking this bad.

But then another section of fence lost 4 slats all in a row. And this is the neighbors with a ridiculous vegetable garden and rabbit pens in their yard. The slats were just being held in place with grooves and tension, so we stuffed them back into place and screwed in some extra support:

(Surely this will hold for a long time...)

With that done, I turned to finally hacking back the bougainvilleas. I had trimmed both of them down pretty far over the summer, but the bigger one was back to looking like this:

(Dave told me to try to look "fierce".)

I’m pretty sure that one branch was 10 feet tall!!! But I perservered, and after much battle, I had the whole plant down to this:

(Ha! Take that!)

And here’s the carnage:

(Did I mention the branches were covered in super-long thorns?)

Possibly now the fence will lose more pieces if we get some more high winds, but I’m happy to finally have that thing under control. For now…