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Archive for March, 2010

This weekend, we made a big dent in our DIY backyard landscaping.  We had a couple of estimates from the home show we attended, but decided we could do the bulk of the work ourselves.  Now, we understand why everyone we know over 50 whose seen our Dream says, “It has a lot of potential, but you’re young.  You can handle it.”  At the time, we thought “Huh?”  Now we know – and we have the aching backs to prove it!

The achievements of the weekend can be summed up in one big pile of…

bulk trash!

please note the pile of railroad ties in this mess... most of them are finally gone!

Once a month, we have a bulk trash pickup and we took FULL advantage of that this month!  The “rules” state that the collectors cannot be at your house longer than 20 minutes.  Our pile is so big, we’re a bit worried they’ll leave some behind.  Hope not!

So, we can’t reveal exactly what’s going on in the backyard, but here is a sneak peak…

several tree stumps...

edged grass... with several new pavers in the running...

many misc. yard tools and (of course) a bulldog.

We figure we have about a month to get the project finished before the real desert heat sets in and makes it difficult for new plants to grow – and even more difficult for Dreamers to work outside.

In other news, Mrs. Dreamer took a break from some of the fun in the back yard to hang out with the gals.

i made this (!)

for her. (well, for her baby)

We were MOH’s in each other’s weddings – she made me wear salmon and I made her wear dusty blue (neither was that bad – I don’t think!).  And now, my sweet friend, Carrie is having a baby girl!  So, we surprised her with a fun shower and I made a dress – she was as shocked as everyone else.  🙂  But this is cause to celebrate… the new little one is a Dream come true.  She’ll have two big brothers to look after her and we all cannot wait to meet her in June.

duck... duck... goose!

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It’s been unusually rainy and dreary here in the “Valley of the Sun.”  In fact, we’ve been drenched with seven months worth of rain in the last 66 days.  Crazy!  So, what’s Dreamer to do when the weather is abysmal?

We do what we do best… Dream!

The Dreamers, along with some dreamy in-laws, trekked over to Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium – home of the Cardinals – and joined hundreds of fellow homeowners at the Phoenix Home and Garden Show.

Let’s be real here.  What ACTUALLY happened?  Actually, we willingly handed over cold, hard cash to subject ourselves to timeshare salesmen, satellite TV pitches, nagging posture assessment hagglers (posture assessment?  Really?  At a home show?), and took home a bag full of fliers that look oddly similar to junk mail we toss out on a daily basis.

But, we did have FUN.  Honestly.

We had a very simple reason for attending this event.  Our landscaping is a NIGHTMARE.  Need proof?  Alrighty then…

(BTW – Don’t let the gray day fool you – our front and back yards ARE this dreary.)

a midget-tree with not enough room to grow

awful brick pavers surrounding a half-planted area with a sad shrub

grass that looks like bad hair plugs (thanks, rain!)

eucalyptus trees that are in desperate need of a trim – or they will, apparently, fall on our Dream

random brick wall with railroad ties (?) apparently driven into the ground during a monsoon. (what else can explain that choice?)

Remember how pretty our front walk looked before our Open Dream Party?

this is what it looks like now… those mums didn’t last a week

Think that’s bad?… that’s just what our neighbors have to look at every day.  The Dream residents (including our Bulldog-babies) also have to deal with the BACK yard…

no plugs here... this grass is downright balding!

more random railroad ties (seriously?!)

random collection of small trees and an overgrown aloe plant (thanks, rain!)

dirt patches (which are now mud – say it with me, “Thanks, rain!”)

a glimmer of hope (rosemary plant) next to a shadow of despair (wall in desperate need of paint - can't exactly blame that on the rain)

See?  We need help.

even Miss Paris doesn't stay out a minute longer than she needs to

So… we braved the solar panel pushy sales team and clean water system pitches to scope out some ideas on what we could do with our little spot of land (which is actually not so “little” – we’re on a fifth of an acre on a corner lot!  Sweet!).  We were not disappointed…

we checked out desert landscaping… (easier to maintain than hair-plug-style-grass)

we even tested out Astroturf… (a step up from hair plugs… more like a toupee!)

we priced some plants. this pretty lady goes for $300. yikes!

we signed up for about 487 giveaways… including this one.

we admired a nice alternative to the brick wall/railroad tie monstrosity we inherited

we drooled over pretty iron doors that our HOA would surely frown upon

we considered the pros/cons of a raised flower bed

we found a perfect solution to our sorry little front walkway

We scored discounts and coupons for several area nurseries.  We also made appointments for free estimates with several landscape professionals.  We’re excited to see what they’ll suggest about making our nightmare nicer for our Dream.

So, there it is – our next project: DIY landscaping!  Anybody willing to buckle up their overalls and come on over?!  Anybody?  Anybody… ?

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