New Life For An Old Chair

And the work outside continued this weekend.  Accomplishments:

  1. Power washing the driveway, sidewalk, porch, and patio – this was no small task.  We had some moss/algae-looking stuff on the back patio that made it kinda spotty green in color.  We spent at least an hour on that alone, and I’m happy to report that all of the concrete is a stunning white again – amazing!
  2. Mowing – this was all William, and it was also no small task.  Our grass has come back gangbusters this year, which means more mowing.
  3. Staking one of our Rose of Sharon bushes that started leaning over.  We had to do this with one of the others last year, and it straightened right out.  Here’s hoping it works well for this one too.
  4. And, as the title of this blog post would indicate, we finally dealt with the wicker chair on our front porch.  That poor chair was gifted to us almost 10 years ago, and it’s been outside in the elements for that entire time.  It had truly become a bit of an eyesore – old and weathered looking, and don’t even get me started on the not-so-off-white-anymore cushion that adorned it.  We bought paint to spray paint it over a year ago, and finally, this weekend, I made use of it.  It’s now a shiny almond chair with a happy new green cushion.

DSC_0056Here it is, all shiny and new!  (sadly, I forgot to take a before pic)

And, in other happenings in the yard, some of our irises have started to bloom this week.  There are buds on the others, and we expect them to bloom within the week as well.

DSC_0051We love how bright and happy the irises make the side of our house.  Can’t wait till the rest of them bloom!

The weekend wasn’t all work.  We did go to my mom’s for a Memorial Day party yesterday.  There was amazing food, and best of all, great company.  It was definitely worth the drive over and just having some nice time to relax outside.  My legs are a bit sunburned today because of it, but oh well…they needed a bit of color anyway 🙂

Needless to say, I’m sorry to see this long weekend end.  We had such wonderful weather and got so much done.  Next weekend, we have a bit more work to do outside, but the focus will all be inside of the house (and dealing with what we affectionately call Mt. Saint Clothing 🙂 ).

Spring Flowers!

I had hoped to post this some time last week, but alas, it was raining until pretty much today.  For the past two weekends, William and I have spent a ton of time in our yard, working in our flower beds and just generally getting everything cleaned up.  For the past couple of years, work travel has made it difficult to pay too much attention to our yard, but this year, we’ve doubled down on our efforts, and it really looks nice now.

Our activities involved: weeding, laying down weed mat, laying down 34 bags of mulch, mowing (of course!), weed-whacking, edging, trimming bushes (mercilessly, I might add), trimming around all of the iris, and planting new plants both in the ground and in pots.  It’s been work, but it’s just so nice to see the completed project, it was worth it 🙂

On top of all of that, this year, we bought our plants from a local greenhouse – Spring Creek Farm Market in Columbia City for those who are local.  If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ll remember that in one of the many bitterly cold days during the winter, we had a flat tire on our way home from work.  It just so happened that it popped right before Spring Creek Farm Market, which was very lucky for us.  We pulled in their drive – a nice flat place to change a tire on an otherwise very busy road with no shoulder because of all the snow.  While we were starting to change the tire, a nice man named Jim came out of the building and offered to help.  He made the whole process go so much faster, and we were so blessed that he was there.  As it turns out, he owns the Market, so we were just waiting for spring to pay back the favor by buying things from him.  The good news is that the plants were all super healthy and beautiful, and we were so excited to plant them in our yard this year.

And now for the part I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for – the pictures of our labor 🙂  Warning: there are a ton this time!

DSC_0026-EditView from the road of our front yard – those beds hadn’t been mulched in 2 years

DSC_0031Flower bed next to the driveway.  We added the orange coleus (from Spring Creek Farm Market) and the copper-colored pot at the top of the bed this year

DSC_0035Flower bed leading to our front door, under the dining room window.  Flowers in the pots were all from Spring Creek Farm Market

DSC_0033Flower bed under our bedroom window – I trimmed the boxwoods in this pic like a mad-woman

DSC_0040Our new copper pot with these cute little daisy-looking flowers with purple centers and underside (from Spring Creek, of course)

DSC_0007We added a birdbath to the bed under our dining room window.  As we learned from William’s Aunt Jean, planting flowers in the birdbath is an excellent way to add color and height to your flower beds – we love this idea!  The petunias are from Spring Creek.

DSC_0004Pansies in the pots on our front porch.  We can’t take credit for these – William’s parents planted them while they were here, and they are just growing gangbusters.  We love how happy and bright the pansies are.  And, it just so happens that they are my sorority’s flower too 🙂

DSC_0012Small pot of succulents on the plant stand on our front porch.  We got these at Meijer, and I just think they are so cute!

DSC_0017Geraniums and herbs on the back patio.  William’s dad and my mom and grandmother always loved geraniums.  We figured it would be nice to honor all of them with these beautiful salmon geraniums from Spring Creek 🙂

DSC_0046And finally, a house plant  that we bought at Spring Creek.  This is a jade plant.  Whenever we visit William’s Uncle Fred in Alaska, we are always so jealous of his jade plants and century plant.  As our homage to Fred, we had to get one of these 🙂

Bonjour! (Trip to Quebec)

This week, I spent most of the week in Quebec for work. It was a very busy trip, where if was going from 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. each day. Despite all of that, the trip was very successful, and the team in Quebec is top-notch.

Most of the reason why the days were so long is that we had early morning breakfast meetings and dinner meetings that went late, followed by driving 2 hours to our next city for the next day’s breakfast meeting. Quebec City was kind of “home base,” and we typically went back there for a little bit each day. All that being said, I mapped out our route, and we drove over 740 miles in three days…nuts!

Quebec City–>Rivière du Loup–>Quebec City–>Trois Rivière–>Thetford Mines–>Quebec City–>Chicoutimi–>Quebec City

We did have a brief moment one afternoon to look at the old city in Quebec. It has a very European feel with narrow streets and little boutiques. I loved it!


Also, the drive to Chicoutimi involved driving through a national park. It was beautiful and reminded me of Alaska. Pictures don’t do it justice, but…


All-in-all a great trip, and I was so glad to have the opportunity!