Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gettin' dirty.

Today we had a 60 degree and sunny afternoon! So we took advantage of it and spent the day outside at the house, mostly playing in the dirt. We did a little sprucing up of one of the backyard rosebush beds, which has much more in it than just rosebushes, we found. We dug up mystery bulbs that haven't yet sprouted, and some tiny little sprouting plants that are also of an unknown variety. We replanted the bulbs in a different area, and stuck the seedlings in a pot to see if they are something we want to keep. Bryan sifted dirt in his homemade dirt sifter and resurfaced the bed.

bryan at work
Name this plant!

I got to meet the next door neighbor to our left, in the brick house. Her name is Frances and she has 8 children who take turns coming over to visit on the weekends and help her with her yard and house. She's very nice, and Bryan spoke with her about the fence we share. Apparently in the past, one of her children's dogs got into our yard and killed a dog that lived in our house. Scary! This explains why there was a fence extender on that side of the yard! Bryan took the extender down this afternoon, which prompted a visit from Frances to give us the backstory. That dog is no longer living, so the coast seemed clear. But can you imagine? Probably wasn't the best thing for neighbor relations...

Perhaps most importantly, to me, we hung 2 sets of the shutters on the front of the house today, to see if that would ease my concerns about the siding. I think the shutters do help quite a bit. Partly because it covers up some of the siding I don't like, but also because it give your eye something else to look at. So, that's good :)

New shutters

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Meanwhile, in Bramberville...

I know, I know... long time no post. (wow - nearly a month!) Things have been nutty. We haven't had much time to head over to the house the last couple of weekends, but even in our absence, lots has happened on the house front.

Our new chocolate brown roof was finished 2 weeks ago and the siding has been replaced. The roof looks pretty good; however, the wrong style siding was put on the house! The contractor totally admitted it was their error and has offered to replace it with what we ordered, but they've also offered a pretty substantial discount off of our total bill if we stay with what we've got. And I think we're probably going to take them up on it. My concern is that the style we chose makes our cute little 1940s house look like a prefab mobile home. And I still mostly think it does, but I think we're going to sell out and take the money... I also think that with the addition of the black shutters we've purchased, a revamped stoop/front door and some actual plants around the front, it will look much better. Bryan says when we're rich we can replace the siding. :) I won't hold my breath for that...

Roof in progress!


The new windows upstairs are also in, but there were some installation issues with several of them, so there will be some reinstallation/replacement happening in the next couple of weeks.

Other bramberville news? We've continued to work on scraping the upstairs floors and cleaning up the hardware from the doors (which is looking great!). Bryan has been fiddling in the attic with clean up and wire-wrangling, and digging holes in the back to investigate our soggy backyard.

look ma, no paint!

Our Director of Restoration Svcs, at work

Attic adventures

We've also been thinking about the landscaping as the weather starts to warm up -- we've got lots of mystery plants and bulbs starting to leaf and grow, so we are looking forward to seeing what we've got to work with. Casey and I worked on one of the beds in the front yard a week or so ago, and unearthed a lot of neon green, stunted bulbs growing underneath about 6 inches of dried leaves! One mystery bulb in the front yard has a giant bud on it, and it doesn't seem to be a tulip or a daffodil, so I'm very curious to see when it will finally open and let us see what it is!

practicing to be Garden Martha.

oxygen starved plantlings...

look what was hiding under 6" of leaves!

Today we bought grass seed and fertilizer to try to bulk up the lawn a bit and took measurements for the big herb box we want to build and put along the front of the house (to the left of the stoop).

That's all the news fit to print from bramberville (...with Bryan involved, there's totally some news NOT fit to print, but you'll have to come visit to hear about it.) And, don't forget, if you want more photos, less talking, then check out our Flickr set. :)

Watchdog at work