Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July Shut Down

As promised, I will update you my dear readers on Miguel's shutdown. He ended up being off for 16 days so we had the chance to get a lot of things done around the house. There was a small catch though, outside of one purchase that I shall show you later in this post, we challenged ourselves to make no non-essential purchases. This is was great though because it forced us to do the "little" things that we had the materials for but never got around to doing in light of the "bigger" things we are always working on.

Let's start with the fun thing we did on shut down...we went with Nicole, Mike, Micah and Jordan to the Toledo Zoo. I have not been there since I was a kid myself. They had a baby elephant that I could have watched all day. The kids had a great time even though it was pushing 100 degrees that day. I give Nicole a merit badge for being 9 months pregnant walking all over the zoo! After the zoo we went to The Elephant Bar, one of my favorite places.

Ok, now on the "things we got accomplished on shut down list". Miguel started with the loose ends in his man cave. He finished putting outlets in, completed the install of moulding, finished sprucing up the trim around the window, touched up the paint, and installed the door. Here is the finished product.

Right now nothing is in his man cave expect for his keyboard, an area rug, and his chair. We are going to put a futon/couch in so this can dub as a guest room as well. We haven't hung any pictures yet or decorated until we get the furniture all arranged.

Miguel also got the door hung that is in the living room that leads to the upstairs, finished the moulding in the guest bedroom and hallway, and worked in the guest bedroom closet. I will show you pictures of the guest bedroom when it is completely finished and then we will take numbers of people who wanna come stay with us. Seriously, I love to have company and entertain and I will be so excited to finally show guests to a guest room all set up for them instead of a half finished room or the couch.

It was so great to wrap up all these little things. I know just reading it it doesn't sound like much, but all the little stuff kept us busy during Miguel's shut down. It was also nice to make use of the materials that have just been sitting and waiting so now we have more room to work with upstairs.

We also did a lot of organizing to assess what materials and supplies we had and what we needed to finish things up upstairs. We tackle the utility room, AKA the room where you put everything that doesn't have a home. So, we made homes for everything. I had these clear Rubbermaid totes that I was using in various other places in the house. I empty them all out and sorted the items and put them in bins and labeled them.

Not as pretty as some of the really cool basket organizers I have seen online, but I'm trying to work with what we have. It makes me wanna do a happy dance every time I open the door and see everything nicely labeled and put in the correct place, oh and I can find things now.

Ok now on to the only project we spend money on in July. Look closely at this next picture of these plants.
They were dying at the beginning of this month. I can see you all wondering "Well, how do they look so nice now when we have been having record heat in my little slice of the world"? Well dear readers, let me introduce you to my new BFF......

The Mister Landscaper Drip and Irrigation System. It was taking me almost 2 hours every single day to water all my flowers and trees and berries and veggies. It was so not relaxing any more and even spending 2 hours watering the plants were struggling like they weren't getting enough water. We have talked about installing one of these systems before so we decided to go for it. I got online and this system had all 5 stars and glowing reviews. So, we set out to Lowes and picked up the starter kit which was around $33. We knew that would not be enough, but the great thing is they sell all of the pieces individually as well. All you do is hook up this black tubing to your outdoor spigot. We decided to get this little "t" piece to attach to the spigot so we could have this system going out one side and still have our hose attached to the other. You then have these stakes that you attach wherever you want along the black tube. There are then various misters that can spray in a fan shape, 180 degrees, and 90 degrees. There is also a tool that you can poke holes in the black tube to have it drip on various plants, trees or bushes. We then either buried the black tubing or put mulch over it so you couldn't see it. It is soooo wonderful. It seriously has been super hot here. I texted my brother in law one day in AZ and it was hotter here than there. Weird! In spite of all of that, my plants look better than ever. It was worth every penny. We don't have it installed to the veggies, herbs, berries, or trees yet. It is installed all the way around the house though and it only takes me under an hour to water now. Sorry for my less than technical description, but seriously people if you have a garden I completely recommend this.

Miguel also finished the last path in the veggie garden and sorted through the rest of the brick to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

We have already canned and froze some of the veggies. My tomatoes are struggling, but hopefully when it cools off they will do better.

I also had the chance to do some garage sale'ing and I found some great stuff. I got 3 shepard hooks one day for 50 cents each and these great lanterns for 50 cents each as well. I love how they look and they create such a neat atmosphere when lit at night. (Please ignore the really big Internet satellite in this picture. It mars my view but its the only option for Internet out here.)

We were also blessed to have some of our friends from AZ over while they were back here visiting family and friends. It was so great to see Josh and Sarah again and Adaliah had great fun playing with their two girls.

Baby number one was born for this summer as well. Maria had a healthy, beautiful girl on July 7th. Her name is Jana Rene. Adaliah simply adores "the baby" and Micah is warming up to the idea of having a baby brother after being around her a bit.

Well, whew! That's our shut down adventures for the month of July. Anyone else been getting some things accomplished lately? Do tell! I will leave you with one of my all time favorite pictures of Adaliah. She loves bugs and Miguel caught this shot of her as she was coming down the stairs after a nap when she was yelling "Look! It's a bug". And yes she is wearing PJ's. She now insists on wearing PJ's for nap time, not just at night. lol God bless you all richly. Remember to have "Joy in the Journey" cause you will never have this moment again!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hey all! This is a quick post but I will be back soon with lots we have accomplished while hubby was on a two week shutdown. I wanted to tell you all that I linked my last project to one of my very favorite blogs She does amazing things with her house and she doesn't fear power tools. If you are at all interested in home improvement/ decorating you should check out her blog. Once a month she does a before and after party that I linked up to. The projects people post on her blog are simply inspriring. Sometimes when I lack motivation, I get on and look at what everyone has done and it motivates me to get in gear and get things done. So, go check it out and stay tuned for what we have been accomplishing around the Calderon Abode!