March 19, 2010

Church ladies complain about my front lawn

Although I would like to take credit for the brown lump of dead grass that is our front yard, I would like to point out that it was like this when we moved in 2 & 1/2 years ago. The first year we lived here we were optimistic. We watered, fed, seeded, aerated, & said nice things to the slope, thinking it could be cured with a combination of lawn care products & plucky optimism. It showed signs of hope all spring until about June, when it became clear that our efforts were futile.

It didn't take long for us to give up the not-so-good fight. In year 2 of our residency, we adopted an environmentally-friendly attitude, and stopped watering altogether. We considered it a sign of green pride that we weren't wasting water on our lawn. This had the added benefit of letting it die off so we didn't have to mow. As you can imagine, it looked freakin' fantastic (not really).

Months later, I was at a "ladies tea luncheon" with my mother over christmas when one of the ladies politely (kind of) said to me,

"Oh! Your house is looking great! except for that lawn (tisk) - looks like you have some work to do! Have you thought about fixing that?"

I could be indignant and say she was being rude, but she's right. The curb appeal of the house is stymied by the washed-out dirt patch that greets passerby.

Now that we're on year 3, we are ready to realize our dream of drought-tolerant, slope-friendly, low-maintenance plants to replace the grass. We want something interesting, non-invasive, beautiful, yet hardy. Is that too much to ask? California poppies, sage, Ceanothus? Plus, what do we have to do to prepare the washed out soil for new plants.


March 4, 2010

Death to weeds

Just spent my entire lunch break plucking dandelions out of the lawn with my trusty Grandpa's Weeder. Pulling weeds out via this method is actually very satisfying in an outdoorsy, obsessive compulsive sort of way.

March 1, 2010

Kitchen Before & After: the Final Chapter

Finally - some completed "After" photos. Here's what we did:
- New countertop
- New tile backsplash
- New hardware on cabinets
- New sink & faucet
- Painted walls & cabinets
- New range
- Added Multi-pure water filter
- New electrical outlets (no more 2/3 cut off outlets! I can now sleep at night!)