Wednesday, July 30

The Joys of Owning a Home: Part One

Ahhh...remember the phrase (or the great Daughtry song with this line) "Be careful what you wish for cause you just might get it all." ? Anyone? Well I say that in light of the these next thoughts. I am so thankful with what God has blessed us with. I would not change a thing. But much like my job as a stay-at-home mom...there is the good, the bad and the ugly. Owning a home has its major perks (laundry IN my home, more space, indoor parking...well, for one of us...) and its stress (the yard, the bugs, the roof, the trees, the plumbing, the carpet, etc). I mean we have been calling the landlord and expecting the work to be done in a day or two for 7 years! Now the landlords are "yours truly" and DJ Jazzie Jones...and we don't know what we are doing and are certainly not as punctual! :) BUMMER.
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Right now the "ugly" part would be our yard. I have been calling us "yard retards" since we have taken this beautiful landscape and slowly, actively, yet unintentionally been KILLING it. Let me show you:

Before we bought the house...during the inspection.
Above is before we bought the house. All thick, green, flourishing the way God would have it!
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NOW LOOK AT IT...below....


Look at my fern! They all look this way!


(above) and this is the front yard.
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The deal was that we sprayed the yard with a "fungicide" (at least that is what the bottle said) since we had talked to the previous owner and he said he would do that about 1 time a year...and with all the rain we had gotten it may need it. Well, once we saw the grass turn a lovely tan color we thought...uh oh...some-ting-wong. We called a lawn company who inspected it and said we may have accidently used a herbicide (aka ROUND UP...AKA...KILLS ALL PLANTS!) and/or severely burned our yard. Niiiiice. Greaaaaaaat. Puuuuuuurfect. Can't even maintain a great yard...we just kill it! Dan said we are like that scene in Tommy Boy where the Chris Farley shows the waitress what he tends to do to his nice, perfect sale (using a stuffed chick as demonstration). We have taken something so sweet and precious and just squished it. :)
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But let me say this...when we moved in... our yard was AWESOME. (And keep in mind we have been in this house since June 9th (a month and a half). )

So there are 3 options:
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1. The previous owner really spruced this place up to sell (bought the palms, did yard work galore, bleached all the outdoor tiles which now are green, cleaned up the rock beds...).
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OR...
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2. They had no other life than to work in this yard and make it look amazing. Cause it did...but it doesn't do that naturally...like we thought/or hoped. It's so much stinkin' work! Just when you are done and you sit back and enjoy it..3 days later it's time to get out there again! Or a storm comes and knocks lots of junk into the yard. Then you start hating every time the wind blows cause you know it means more work! :) I mean the family before us had 2 little girls...how did they do it??
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OR
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3. My guess is they had FULL service yard service that did it all! Grass, weed, trim, water, edge, blow, fertilize...all by someone else. THAT'S AWESOME. LOTS of our neighbors have lawn services (mainly cause they are rich and/or older). We are saving for that ourselves. Well, now that the grass is dead there is not much more to do. But we may do it next summer.
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Keep in mind we have never had a yard to maintain. In addition to that, it has never had to take up any time in the last 7 years of our lives because we never had to deal with a yard. NOW we have to work in it, juggling the kids or arguing over who "gets" to cut the grass and who has to stay inside and keep the kids entertained. I admit I love the hour of my iPod and pushing the mower...call me crazy. Dan usually lets me do it.
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We have about 10 potted palms that probably need daily watering. NOT going to happen. I mean I hate to see them die...but I attempted to bring out the kiddos to water them one afternoon. The whole task should take about 40 mins (yanking the dang hose all over the yard and then standing there watering). I put Isaac in a backpack (painful from the very start!) and Daisy was going to be my "helper." As I am sure you predicted...THE LUG was killing my back since I was having to squat and lean over to pick up the hose and so on. Then "helper" decided after one palm that she was hot and tired as she stood watching me (really, "helper", do YOU have 50 lbs of baby and backpack on while getting the hose to the OTHER SIDE OF THE HOUSE???). Anywho...I am not going to use my valuable nap time to water the palms. So they will have to die. Or I can pray for rain.

I wanted to share my experiences with you all. I did tell Daniel yesterday that I was thankful that we didn't have a shabby yard that we were having to totally redo and/or nurse to health ourselves. That would be worse. Or would it even happen? HA! Feel free to comment on your own yard troubles or advice for the "yard retards."


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Here is little Isaac (11 mo) in his fav chair. It's a little giraffe folding chair. He climbs up in it all by himself. It's pretty cute to see his little fat leg hiking up to get in! Then he is so proud! And he fills up the whole seat too! He is not smiling in this pic...bummer. The bad part is him getting out...he usually falls back or forwards ending in lots o' crying. Poor bug...he will figure it out!

2 comments:

emily said...

my slogan around here is, "i'm growing children, not plants"! we are yard retards, too. we bought our house, along with a beautiful lush yard, from a retired couple who i am sure raked and manicured this yard DAILY, just like our next door neighbors. (when i am retired, i still don't think i'll want to do yard work!!) we have a lot of oak and other trees in our yard that continually shed leaves from oct to may. so in the past we have waited till may to rake them up because, really, you are wasting your time to do it more than once! but that results in a really really dead yard. so this year, i actually tried to keep up the raking in conjunction with the kids playing outside. i didn't stress about it, but whenever we were out there, i raked a bunch. and that helped. we were also sprinkler retards and finally got all our broken sprinklers fixed... so this spring/summer, our yard has gone from 80% thatch to about 10%. we'll see what next year holds after all the leaves fall again!! :) i have nothing that needs to be watered by ME in our yard. i just don't have time for that. i have friends that can do that, but it is not on my priority list!! i will say that we have budgeted a little bit of money a month for a guy to mow our yard once a month (or every three weeks in the summer). we are on a tight budget, but we felt that it was worth it so that brian (or i) didn't spend all saturday working on the yard when we could be spending time as a family. it is definitely not a full yard service, but it helps alleviate the yard stress! and you know, in december, everybody's yard looks brown anyway (unless you do winter rye), so you're just ahead of the game. :)

Lark said...

We call this house our 'test' house. Because we've learned a lot of lessons in home ownership. Many have been out in the yard. When we moved in the front yard was green and pleasant, but over the months and years (of us not doing anything but mowing it) it went totally brown. Why? Chinch bugs. So we had some people come out and look at it and some told us we needed to pull up the whole lawn and re-sod the whole thing. Well, we went with a different pesticide company who comes once a month and in one year it's all green again and growing in places there was not any grass at all. Miracle! So definatly pay the 30 or so bucks a month to have someone come out to spray it with pesticide and then I think 2 or 3 times a year with weed and feed. It's just something we realized was a necessity if we actually wanted grass. And yes, we decided that grass is a necessity (at least if we'd like to sell the house one day). Kevin does all the mowing, trimming, edging, and blowing about every 2 weeks in the summer and once a month in the other seasons. Good luck with your 'test yard' :o)