Patio: Before-er

21 Aug

Summer’s over. For me, anyway. The most significant aspect of summer, my summer, is over: I have returned to work. I think I confused a lot of people on twitter when I mentioned I was back at work because it seemed like I had a maternity leave of almost two years. And wasn’t I laid off? What is your deal, Liberrian? Or should we call you Lie-berrian?

The truth of the matter is I have the best of both worlds: a librarian’s job on a teacher’s schedule. As school librarian I get summers off so spring and fall are a mad flurry of activity for me, winter is more calm, and summer, when I’m at home, is downright placid. Or at least, I always assume it to be for some reason. Then summer actually comes around and I find myself busier than ever and suddenly it’s August and I’m back at work, shelving books, kicking ass, and taking names.

I start each summer with a to do list that’s accumulated throughout the working year and I count myself lucky if I get through half of it. An item that always makes the list is to redo the patio area. I mentioned this before, so it probably sounds familiar.

Garden Buddha: Still chilling on the useless electric grill

As I’m back at work I don’t have an awesome ‘after’ photo to show you of my recently redesigned patio. It’s pretty much the same, but we did manage to get a couple things done, such as:

1. My mom replanted one of my very root-bound ferns. That counts, even if I didn’t do it, right?

2. I have two new Monterrey-native succulents! While on vacation we walked by a planter filled with healthy jade-type succulents on the way to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and I broke off two teeny-tiny pieces and planted them the moment we got home. Not exactly on the up-and-up, but I’m what you’d call a Rouge Gardner. Er, yeah.

3. I pruned the rosemary bush! (That sounds like a euphemism. I swear to you it is not, however further details of my “rosemary bush” will be saved for #oversharewednesday.) This is something I’m very proud of because it’s an actual yard work activity that I did. I normally can’t be bothered with anything besides watering and the occasional replanting, so I feel like this is a big deal. I have so much wonderful dried rosemary now my entire family’s getting some in their Christmas stocking. Take that, recession!

Our very nice neighbor across the street does the maintenance on our pond and he’s also been helping us do something about the sorry state of our back lawn. Our house was vacant for about a year before we moved in and around here if you don’t constantly water your lawn it will wither and die. Which ours did. But it still sort of looked like we have a lawn because we’d mow the weeds and Bermuda grass level and kind of fake it. It’s sharp and terrible though and you can feel it stabbing you in the rear when you sit on it, even if you lay a blanket down first. Isobel can only walk on it if she’s wearing shoes, it’s that bad.

A weird bush also started growing randomly right in the middle of our neglected lawn. I saved this photo from the real estate listing because it looked they they were featuring the weird bush as some sort of selling point:

I don't want no shrub

We never bothered about the lawn before because they are a waste of resources if you don’t use it. And we didn’t. Now that we have Isobel, we want to use it so Chris, the very nice neighbor, has been helping us salvage it.

We affectionately named this tree "the stick."

That tree, by the way? Dead before we even moved in. Like, dead-dead. It looks this way year round. Chris ended up just pulling it out of the ground. It took me three days to notice it was gone and even then I only noticed it because it was leaning against the fence by the pond. He pulled it out of the ground. Chris tilled the lawn as it was quite uneven and the next step is to re-seed. I’d love to have something sort of resembling a lawn for Isobel and Kingston to play on next summer.

Illegal Succulents

I still have some pumpkins! Remember the pumpkins? I lost my own bet as the first one to go was the one I thought would last the longest. In my defense the only reason it rotted was because Isobel loved that pumpkin and her favorite game to play with it was to pick it up and then throw it on the ground as hard as she could to see it bounce. It only bounced the first couple times, really. After that it turned into a pulpy mess.

Three is the loneliest number

I just realized I never answered my own question! I was laid off! But then I was un-laid off. It was sort of illegal for them to lay me off at that point so they un-laid me off then laid-off someone else but then they un-laid that person off at the last second.

After all is said and done I will most likely be laid off again at the end of this school year. Hey, more time to neglect my patio, right?

Still a D-bag

9 Responses to “Patio: Before-er”

  1. Bonnie August 21, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    I got my notice or termination the same day I got hired… I’m kind of looking forward to being done work (hiking around the bush all day and then building a house is tiring!) but I’m kind of thinking I should be looking for something else. Problem is, summer is the best time to find a job. Lots of people get laid off in the winter here.

    I can work for my dad, but he’s getting a knee replacement so we’ll have to see how he feels after that. I would kind of love to just sit at home with the pets and knit and cook etc. Plus, the twins will be born shortly after I’m done so I could help out with them.

    • LittleBig August 21, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

      Do people get laid off for the winter because it’s so hard to go anywhere with all that snow? Because I imagine it would be.

  2. Bonnie August 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    oh, and regarding your patio area… I am *so* excited about having a yard to dig in and plant stuff! I’ve planted a few native plants like wild roses and things I found while working. And stealing seeds from my mom. I’d transplant more but it’s a pain to water them with, well, no water at my house yet.

    I’ve told my sister I won’t need much stuff from a wedding shower, but I would love it if people brought me perennials and stuff.

    • LittleBig August 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

      My patio collection is bascially a amalgamation of plants donated by by mother, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts and cousins. Some of them I bought but most of them I inherited. More special that way and we definitely saved a lot of money!

  3. 1bellastager August 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    You crack me up…thanks for “keeping it real.” The cat photo is priceless & your baby…adorable!


  4. asiajane August 22, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    I love your succulents. That sounds weird. But anyway. I wonder about real-estate listing photos… people in the biz must have to really try to make them as bad as they are.

    This gardening thing reminds me: do you ever think of doing a terrarium how-to post? Because I’d like to know how to.

    Sorry about the random response. It’s Sunday night.

    • LittleBig August 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

      Everyone who knows me knows I heart random.

      Yes, I’m most definitely planning a terrarium tutorial. Stay tuned.


  1. This Must Be Underwater Love… « Little Big - September 27, 2010

    […] On our way to the aquarium I passed by some beautifully healthy succulents, and, er, helped myself to a couple of their babies. […]

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