20 April 2013


I thought you might like to see the pergola we had to build to counteract the destruction the new neighbors wrought upon our yard when they cut down all the trees.  I certainly would like to send them the !@#$%^&*! bill!

The crew started about 8 a.m.

They finished about 2 p.m.

Now, to make it all pretty!

The walkways and ground covers are still being thought out.

Definitely need some more pavers!
Little will grow in this bad dirt.  I think we need a kidney pool in that "weed" section, don't you?

I am wishing I had added this lattice on the back and the other end, too.

The builder of the porch and pergola is still stalling about adding the agreed-upon underlayment to the porch floor...
I will see to it that he does.

We need to do so much landscaping!
The garden shed has been put back where it belongs, so the ARB should be happy.

The glass top is now back on the table since I shot this photo, and you can also still see here the makeshift coverup for the holes in the fence.

Sweet Husband has now reworked the shutters, or what was left of them.  He had nailed up the broken pieces WillyNilly to cover the holes in the fence.  The Dastardly HomeOwner across the fence has finally patched it up, but would you believe, he still hasn't cleaned up the mess of cut down trees?
I am afraid of the possible infestation of varmints.

In this one, it had been raining heavily.
I saw some outdoor curtains made of dropcloths on a great blog by UNSKINNY BOPPY who is also a Birmingham girl.  I am thinking of doing the same thing here under the pergola on the back side "wall", because it will take a while for those little cyprus trees to grow up big and strong.


I am taking a little sabbatical to regain some restorative energy and kick up the creative juices.  There is so much yet to be done, what with furniture painting, landscaping, slipcovering and curtaining.  And that is just the porch and the pergola!  There are many projects in the house yet to be tackled, too.  I will share my projects with you as I get them done, and as a matter of fact, I have already done a couple of things you haven't seen yet.  Why don't you just subscribe to my blog so that you don't miss out because I don't post on a specific schedule?  I subscribe to a number of blogs myself, and it is always a pleasant surprise to find a new post from someone who doesn't post on a schedule either because I might have missed it otherwise.

Meantime, a stack of new books is calling my name! I am going to read till I am cross-eyed.


I am linking this post to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday.  Also linking to Cindy at Dwellings The Heart of the Home for Amaze Me Monday. 

On Friday, I am linking to Cindy for My Romantic Homes' Show and Tell.

P.S.  We have decided to add the lattice to the back of the pergola.

18 April 2013


In the last week, I have noticed that my list of followers on Google Friend Connect has dropped by a few.  Does anyone know how to find out what has happened?

I cannot find anything on the Blogger Help page which will allow you to ask a question any more.  

Any input is greatly appreciated.


14 April 2013


New centerpiece for the DR table.
Too soon for shells?

Remember the Migrating Chair?
(from a few years ago?)
It migrated from the attic back to the MBR.
Found a new PB dish for my jewelry.
I think it was supposed to be for food.
I call this thinking outside the box.

Sweet Husband moved the garden shed.
ARB already has their knickers in a twist over it.
I assured them it will move again when the pergola and the guttering is all done.

Last week -- did it only seem like a week of Biblical proportions? -- at any rate, thank the lord it is over.  This one coming up is going to be really really really busy.  

The Lady Banks is looking loverly and green after drenching rains.

The rosemary looks like it is on steroids.


blue phlox and deutschia 

Tomorrow the front door is going on a little trip to Atlanta, and is supposedly coming back on Wednesday, all redone correctly and stuff. I am not holding my breath.  I might turn blue.

Green and white seem to be my new thing.

Removed a couple of slips --
maybe I'll make some new ones.
When I get around to it.

Switched out the chair on the balcony.

Made the new skirt for the laundry sink.

Played with the fancy stitches on the sewing machine.
Need to find a better way to make the skirt stay on the sink.
Velcro and double sided tape DO NOT WORK!

The broken piece (replacement re-ordered) of the door hardware is supposed to be in this week, too.  Uh-huh. 

Added another pair of brackets and plates to the DR

Need to polish some silver...

Yesterday, I discovered while cleaning up the pollen on the new porch that the porch floor has no underlayment as we agreed would be there!  (the layer of stuff under the floor boards which is designed to keep out the bugs)  The porch contractor is not answering my emails.  Maybe it was because of the weekend?  I might have to kick his fat-@$$.  Don't know how they are going to fix it at this late date, but they'd better figure it out fast.  I am running out of patience.

These improved my mood some.

Snow-balls are bountiful this year!

fake daisies are good, too

This chair just makes me smile

Tuesday I have a dental appointment.  Cross your fingers that it will be just routine.  Since I now have Medicare and a gap supplement, there is NO DENTAL COVERAGE!  Aging sucks.  Somebody is always trying to sell me a hearing aid or false teeth or a nursing home policy.

The 30-foot pergola over the patio is supposed to be built on Wednesday.  Termite inspector is also coming.  (Please God, I can't take it... no termites, please.)  The front door is supposed to come back from Atlanta. Their people are installing it, not my regular general contractor.  This makes me nervous.

On the bright side, I sicced the ARB onto the neighbor behind me -- remember him?  The one who broke the fence and cut down all the trees without so much as a by-your-leave?  Today he has been cleaning up the debris, finally.  Yesterday, he nailed up some new fence boards.    He told the ARB that he will be planting some fast growing trees.  He can kiss my sweet @$$ because he has cost us extra $$$$$$$ thousand$ that I would rather have spent on a trip to Paris!  (Well, wouldn't you?)

Today we had a surprise cold rain, whereas the local meteorologists had said it would be warm and sunny.  A good day to read my new Lisa Scottoline novel DON'T GO.  The snowballs (viburnum) and the Lady Banks seem happy, though.

I know -- kvetch, kvetch, kvetch. I need a vacation.


P.S.  Today I tried a recipe I found last week on somebody's food blog -- roasted asparagus with eggs and parmesan on the top -- dee-licious!  I will have more to say on this later.  I didn't take photos today because we gobbled it up.  Next time!

I am linking to  Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday.  Hope you are feeling better, Susan!


03 April 2013


The door is in, but...

What's wrong with this picture?

"Some days it don't pay to get up!"  Geneva

That's what my mother used to say when it seemed that Murphy's law kicked you every which way from Sunday.

Trying out some possibilities...

If you have been reading along lately, following the adventures in our home renovations and "upgrades", you had better get yourself a good slug of Jack and Coke, settle back and prop up your feet for this one.

Decision No.1:  We decided to add a screened-in porch to the back of our house.

What happened:  The porch is finished, very nice and all that, but.....

First, we discovered that the chimney was rotted as well as some of some of the adjacent siding.  So that had to be fixed and just that portion of the work was painted, because the weather was too wet and cold for the house washers to clean the house prior to painting the rest.  So the house is two different colors on the back.

Look Ma, no trees.

Then, the neighbors in the back cut down the row of trees which provided us as well as them with shade and privacy.  It now looks like a war zone, because they broke the fence (still not repaired it) and they still have a pile of tree debris all over their back yard.  

Next, I thought the porch looked a little smaller than I expected, so I measured it.  Lo and behold, they had given the carpenter who actually did the building the wrong set of specs -- the first ones before we made some changes! (There were actually three sets of drawing before all was said and done.)  So the porch, while very nice, is two feet smaller all around than it was supposed to be!  That meant that my stuff that I was going to use didn't all fit.  I had to buy a new tabletop and four new chairs, instead of the other table and the six chairs I was planning to use.  Supposedly we have been given a credit.  I haven't seen it yet.

It has been too cold and wet to do any painting on all the junky furniture...

As if that wasn't enough, the guy came out yesterday to do the flashing around the roof where it joins the house and chimney, and refused to do it because he said the roofing shingles had been applied incorrectly, and if he touched it, it would negate our warranty.

So now, the builder has to come back and redo the roof. (If he shows up!) Fun with Contractors!

Look closely at the builder!
He is a good carpenter, though.

Decision No. 2:  We ordered a very expensive custom-made front door, solid walnut, French design, with leaded glass diamond panes. It was supposed to give this little house some pizazz.

It was supposed to be similar to this.

Like this to be precise:

What happened:  The door is indeed a thing of beauty.  It is being installed today.  I kept looking at it, though, trying to figure out what was wrong with it.  I knew it just didn't look right.  I went over to the files and pulled up the drawing.  It is backwards!  The high point of the curve is supposed to be in the middle!  (This Frenchy line is supposed to mimic a woman's cupid's-bow mouth -- did you know that?)

One of the next projects is to get rid of the "dueling downspouts"
and redesign the front entry

We had to wait a long time for it because they had a hard time sourcing the glass, so I suppose it will be a long wait again.  Meanwhile, we have an unstained door which is backward on the front of our house.  The company said that they would be back to get them in about a week, take them back to Atlanta and insert the glass and hardware into new frames and then come back and reinstall them. We would have a temporary door while all this was happening.    Nice.  So much for the trip down the beach next week...  Even backwards the doors are gorgeous.

Decision No. 3:  We wanted the rest of the house painted soon because the new color is much lighter than the old one.  The painter gave us a quote, we agreed, but he said he couldn't come till May.  

What happened:  Then the contractor said, "Don't do this!  Some of the other siding is rotted, so are some of your windows, and you will just be wasting your money.  Get all the repairs done first."  Well, go shake the damn money tree...  Mean while, we have a two-tone house.

This is what the neighbors murdered with their indiscriminate tree cutting.
  Decision No. 4:  We decided to add a 30-foot curved pergola across the patio which spans a lot of the back yard due to the loss of shade and privacy.  Nothing much would ever grow there because of the former trees/shade, so now the patio is totally unusable unless it is covered in some way. K-ching!!  Shake that money tree again, dammit!  

What happened:  We still haven't received any drawings, but we have made payment arrangements, so I guess we need to go give them another shake, too.

Decision No. 5:  Move the washer and dryer to the garage, thereby giving me some kitchen storage in the form of a butler's pantry.  

What happened:  I gave this up because it would have cost more than just buying a nice big cabinet, which I did.  After the rude shock of the chimney re-building exercise, it seemed like the most cost effective thing to do.  We just painted the laundry and reorganized both it and the other little pantry.

Decision No. 6:  Renovate the Master Bath.

What happened:  We got the godawful garden tub removed and I covered up the raw space with stuff I already had (see the post about my Boho Bath) till I decided what to do next.  Then all the other stuff happened:  the unexpected tree-cutting and expense of a large pergola (30 feet!); the rotted chimney; the rotted siding and windows.  On and on and on.  I guess I will be taking my sweet time about making decisions about what to do in there now.  Meanwhile, maybe another money tree will grow me some more cash?

Moral to the story:  If your house needs, needs, needs -- just take out all your swell stuff to a great place and blow up the damn house.  It will be cheaper and less of a headache in the long run. 


Linking this tale of woe to:


 Stone Gable for Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits on Thursdays 
 The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays 

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