Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What have you been doing lately?

A lot of time summer comes around and, particularly in the heat of the valley, people do a whole lot of nothing but lounging around, inside where it's cool, or outside by the creek/lake/pool.

I've been down in Chico for a while now, mainly because the bulk of projects at Dad's are done, but also to spend some much needed time with Dale. We're enjoying the warm weather - when it comes to playing in sprinklers, going swimming and in general staying inside with AC when it gets too hot.

A couple weeks back, the roommate situation became more than we could take. I won't go into all the details, but needless to say we found ourselves wanting to move overnight. Dale is currently waiting to find out IF a house we'd like eventually becomes available, so he didn't want to move to another rental if we could absolutely avoid it. If the house does come through, it looks like LD and I (and the pets) will be back in the valley permanently. Of course we'll still make several trips a year up to dad's to help him out with big stuff (stacking wood and the like), but for the most part it looks like we may be back!

After deciding there was no point in renting (specifically getting locked into a year lease) I talked with my mom and we put a bunch of stuff in storage (from Dale's and my mom's) and we moved in with her. While we were all originally concerned it'd feel crowded, it's surprisingly not, even with only one bathroom. Dale and my step dad work nearly opposite schedules, so there's hardly ever a time when they're both home (aside from weekends) and LD and I have plenty to do during the day. Everyone has their own bedroom, albeit LD sleeps on the air bed in the office, but hey, it works!

Since we've been here I've helped my mom & step dad by:

  • cleaning out and organizing the office
  • organizing the laundry room
  • cooking meals
  • doing dishes
  • general household cleaning
  • doing laundry
  • mowing the lawn
  • doing other assorted "needs to be done" items
Most recently she commented on her flower garden. MANY years ago she wanted an "English-type" flower garden. While that's often hard to accomplish in the valley heat, she did come up with something lovely. Since then however, she went back to school and life took over - and so did the weeds. Her garden was totally overgrown and you couldn't see what was there. 

Last week, I decided I was going to start weeding it. Since then, I removed all the weeds. Over the weekend, mom and I expanded the area that the flower garden occupies. We also laid down newspaper over the freshly tilled soil - this action serves multiple purposes. First, it keeps her kitties from making deposits in the soil. Can you say EWWW??? Second, it acts as a weed barrier. Ideally MANY layers of paper would be put down, but we didn't have many layers, so we went with what we had, which was two layers. It'll work for now. 

Next weekend is a family reunion for my mom's side of the family. She's taken this whole week off. Yesterday she spent the afternoon looking up all the plants she has in her yard - she wanted to know what conditions were needed for each plant and which of those in pots could go in the newly cleared flower garden. Last night we placed 6 potted plants in the garden area. 

Today I'm going to continue working on yard clean up and then after that I'll move on to the landscaping plan I came up with over the weekend - it will take out some of the lawn in the back that is patchy due to poor conditions (foot traffic, water deficiencies, etc) and replace it with pavers and a brick border. 

Yesterday I also fabricated an outdoor turtle pen. $15 and some DIY turned a kids' plastic wading pool and some hardware cloth into a pretty nifty outdoor place for Hector. 

Eventually I'll try to get some pictures of things, but for now I need to get back out there. It's cool and starting to get light, the best time to work outside in Chico during the summer. 

What have you done over the last couple of weeks? Any projects accomplished? 

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