Tag Archives: lawn

Welcome to the Jungle

14 Jun

Anthony, our good friend Jake, and my Father-in-law spent a very rainy Saturday morning installing sod in our our backyard so Isobel can have a lovely green place to run around this summer. We ended up texting Jacob first thing in the morning and said something like, “Hey, do you want to come over in an hour and help us lay sod? On a Saturday morning? In the rain?” And he did! He gets the Awesome Friend Award.

In frustrating news, our neighbors have a very expensive little terrier dog that is naturally the bane of our neighborhood’s existence. Constantly barking, always digging holes and getting loose, frequently running in the path of oncoming traffic, and (of course) taking dumps on everyone’s lawn, this dog is just basically an asshole. He’s been in our yard on a near daily-basis this summer, and I’m torn about it. On the one hand, here’s a tiny, helpless, innocent animal. And I could never hurt an animal. I love animals.

But when I see that little dog running around on our new lawn I lose it. My vision goes red, I start imagining some wicked guitar licks, and I can hear myself saying, “You know where you are? You’re in the Jungle, baby! You’re gonna DIE.” And then I fight the urge to punt him over the fence like a football player that… punts stuff. (I don’t really know where to go with that. My knowledge of football starts and ends with punting. And cheese dip.)

Here are some not lovely shots of our lawn for you to compare to the gloriousness that is the top photo of our finished lawn. I call it, “A Tragedy for All Seasons.”

Here we have winter, when  green patches flourish among the dirt.

And then we have spring! When the weeds make it look like we have some sort of lawn-ish.

Ah, summer. When the lawn is dead and the wisteria is once again angling for world domination.

And fall. Everything is dead and sharp and painful and the sand is so hot the parts of you that aren’t stabbed are burnt on its molten surface. Wear shoes, or regret leaving the house.

Tired of waiting for our troubled neighbor to get rid of the pond like we arranged, Anthony finally took a sledgehammer to the whole thing and filled it in with rocks and lawn clippings and dirt and now we have a little garden area complete with drainage.

Here’s the lawn area, ready to be tilled. It was sunny the days we prepped the lawn area, but rainy by the time we got it down.

While Anthony toiled away in the sun, I watched Isobel on the weekends while I was home. I was finishing up the school year at this point. She loved climbing on the piles of dirt. She called them “mountains.”

Here’s Isobel’s infamous “cheese face.” She makes this or some other weird approximation when I hold the camera up and say, “cheese.” I love it.

Here she is asking where Jupey is. Most likely he’s hiding from that asshole neighbor dog.


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