Thursday, June 27, 2013

Let's Get Physical

I had a good ol' physical yesterday.  And I'm one healthy girl.  The nurse was very happy with how healthy I was, I'm healthier then J.  Oh yeah.  That's what watching your caloric intake and making sure you live an active lifestyle gets you.  It does pay off.  And it means you don't have to give up any of the things you love, like cookies and cheeseburgers, you just have to eat less of them.  But anyway, the physical was for my insurance change.  J's insurance requires physicals before coverage begins.  So by next month I'll have new insurance.  Which will hopefully save us some money.

And then this morning when I got to work this was waiting for me.

At first I thought it was a joke the guy from the lab down the hall was playing.  He does that.  But I recognized the hand writing as our grad student. The grad student that is scared to death of snakes. So I knew it wasn't a joke.

 And low and behold, this was under the ice bucket.

The little ball python that had made a daring escape a few weeks ago. The lab he belongs to had torn apart their lab and the surrounding labs. But this little devil made it down the hall around the corner and hid out behind our fridge in the hall for a few weeks (we think). Then this morning he decided to venture into our lab.

And our grad student just happen to be in here at 5:00 am, so she was the first to find him.  She put a bucket on him and left the lab until I got there.  I told her I was proud at how calmly she handled the situation.  If it was a huge spider (which I know are in the building) I would have freaked out.

But he is now happily back in his lab.  He was climbing all over his little snake hut, I'm sure looking for a way to escape again.  They were extremely grateful that we had found him.  They are lucky that we found him and not one of the other labs that didn't know he was missing.

He's definitely a sneaky little shit.  He tried to escape his box four times while I watched him this morning.  And the last time he grabbed on to the side and fought me putting him back in.  Luckily he's a tiny guy, so he was easy to man handle.

He was pretty scared and, by the looks of it, very hungry.  His skin was very baggy and he was breathing very hard.  So I'm sure he's (sorta) happy he's back at home, getting fed and taken care of.  Yes, he's a research animal, no I don't know what kind of research they are doing with him, but I do know they usually adopt out the snakes when they are done, so don't worry.  They do a lot of reptile research, including respiratory research and anti-venom research (no this snake is not venomous).  This research is needed to help reptiles in captivity as well as in the wild.

So that was my exciting morning.  Helping a little ball python make it back to his home.  I kinda wanted to keep him and have him as our lab pet.  It would have been so much fun having a little lab snake, except that he would eventually get to be a big lab snake.  And we don't want that.  ;-)  Oh the joy of working in a vet school.  Now if only something cute would wander into our lab.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What was I doing?

I had something ready for today and now I can't find it.  So you'll just have to do with a cute kitten picture again today.  ;-)

Look at that adorable face.  I do have to say the great thing about working at a vet school is that everyone ACTUALLY wants to see pictures of your cat.  We've all decided that she is an adorable kitten.  She is really well behaved as well.  Now if only we could trade Toonces in for this little one.  I'm joking.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

All Mulched

I finally got my butt outside and finished up the driveway planter this past weekend.  I know it took me over a week to add three more bags of mulch.  What was up with that?  Well my insomnia was slowing me down.  But I'm feeling a lot better and I think I might be back to my old self.  So after my show this weekend, I decided that I needed to get my butt out there and finish up the mulch.

This is what the planter looked like for the past week.

Half finished.  And yes, that rake sat there all week as well.  I know, I'm quite the classy homeowner.

Well here is what it looks like now.

Looking pretty good.  It looks a lot better then it did.  And now we can plant our awesome arctic kiwi and then maybe by next summer we'll have some fruit.

My little owl looks so happy in his new mulch.  And maybe some day we'll fix that down spout, well we'll fix all the down spout.  Maybe after we paint.

Here are my happy front step herbs.  The bottom planter is cilantro, the middle is oregano, and the top are green onions.  And look at those awful those steps look.  We're hoping to fix those this year as well.

And because I haven't shared my newest addition, here is the new fern that is hanging outside the front door.  A funny story about this fern, Nacho freaked out after I hung it.  She actually hissed at it and then ran away.  For the rest of the day she would not come into the living room.  She's over it now, but it was kinda funny at the time.  Oh our crazy neurotic cat.

Anyway, our driveway planter is all mulched and now I can start planting.  Oh wait, we need to paint first. So many things to do.

So what did everyone else do this past weekend?  Finish up any of those half finished projects or did you start some more?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Garden Update - June 2013

So I wanted to update everyone on how the garden was looking one month in, but then this happened this morning.

It poured and poured and poured.  I felt so bad for our neighbors, they are having a garage sale today.

These pictures were taken at 10:00 this morning, and it's that dark out.  Then after the heavy stuff fell, a lite drizzle stuck around for a few hours more.  Yuck.  But I guess it's better then last years drought.

Luckily the sun has now decided to come out and I was able to sneak outside and get some updated photos of the garden.  If you don't remember what the plants looked like a month ago, click HERE to see.

Here are the broccoli and kohlrabi.  Just a month ago they were little sprouts, now they are about 6-8 inches high.

Here are the snow peas. These babies are by far the best looking plants in my garden.  They are huge.  Those bamboo steaks are about three feet high to give you an idea of how big these babies are.

Here are the onions, as well as some lettuce.  I spilled a bunch of lettuce seeds accidentally and low and behold, they popped up among the onions.

And speaking of lettuce, here is the rest of my green leaf lettuce.  The taller stuff is the first harvest and the smaller stuff is the second.  You can continually grow lettuce all summer, so I try to plant a few rows every few weeks.  That way we will have fresh lettuce all summer.  *The copper is to keep the slugs away, I've had one hell of a time with the slugs this year.*

My basil plant is looking great.  I've actually cut it back two or three times already.  I think I might need to cut it back again.  Remember, the more you cut back, the fuller the plant will be.

My tomatoes and peppers are looking good.  The juliet tomatoes are growing like a weed and are covered in buds.

My lemon boys and black krims have tomatoes already.  I've never grown these varieties before, so I was surprised to have tomatoes already.

I have a pepper growing as well.  These are suposed to be green bell peppers, but I think I might have mislabeled them, because they sure don't look like any bell pepper I've grown before.  Mystery peppers!!!

My carrots are looking good.  I can't wait to try these.  I planted two very cool varieties this year.  I really need to mulch this last bed.  It's on the list for this weekend.

My parsley is taking over like every year.  This plant is about four years old.  I planted it while we were still in our old apartment.  It made the move with us and keeps coming back.

Then there is the chocolate mint.  It's such a great fragrant plant.  I just cut it back yesterday, so it looks a little on the sad side, but give it a couple days and it will be twice the size.  I'm propagating some mint for friends.  It's really easy to do, I'll show you guys how next week.

And last, but not least, I give you a cucumber sprout.  I have had to replant my zucchini and cucumbers three times now because the slugs have just devoured them.  I tried every homemade remedy I could find and nothing worked, a sprout would come up and the slugs would eat it.  So I finally gave in and went and got some commercial slug pellets and that solved the problem.  So now I'm hoping this last crop will sprout and produce wonderful cucumbers and zucchini.  

So that is what the garden looks like a month after it's been planted.  I can't wait to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  It sometimes can be hard work, but it's total worth it.  Check back next month to see where everything is at three months.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Driveway Planter

I'm feeling a bit better today.  I got some sleep last night (not of full night, but I'll take it).  So I'm ready to take on the day and get back into the swing of things.

This past weekend we tackled the garage and also the planter next to the driveway.  We have a large planter next to the driveway.  We don't have anything in it except two mums.  We plan on putting our arctic kiwi in here, but we're waiting to paint the house.


But we have been sick of looking at the old gross mulch that has been there since we moved in.  We decided that it needed a little bit of a pick me up.

So say good bye to the old mulch.  We removed all of the mulch from the planter and transported it back to the garden beds.  While doing this, we angered a very large ant hill.  I'm sure the neighbors were wondering why I was running around brushing all the ants off of me.  Ant bites hurt.

And in went the new mulch.  Now this is as far as we got.  We had very poorly miscalculated the amount of mulch we needed.  So we had to take a little trip to Menards to pick up some more mulch.  Which is still sitting in the driveway waiting for us to finish it up.  Hopefully while J is mowing the lawn tonight, I'll be able to put down the rest of the mulch.

And then the planter will be ready for our arctic kiwi.  Hmmm, we'll need a trellise, now to think about how to DIY a cooling looking one.  I think I thought of a new project to add to the list.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


So if you stop by my other blog, you've seen that I've been very unproductive due to my lack of sleep (I suffer from insomnia from time to time).  So I don't have anything for you today.  Well other then adorable pictures of J's parent's new kitten.

Yeah, I figured most of you wouldn't mind pictures of an adorable kitten.  She's going to be such a cute little fluff ball.

We haven't been over there to see her yet, but we have gotten quite a few pictures of her.  She is quite the cutie.

Hopefully I'll get some sleep tonight and I'll be back to my old self by mid week.  Then I'll get my butt editing photos from this past weekend's projects.  Hopefully the cute kitten pictures are a good substitute until I'm back to normal.  And don't worry I have plenty of them.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cleaning up the garage

We've lived in our house for about 2 and a half years now.  We've gotten a lot done, like the kitchen remodel and the bathroom make over.  This year we're tackling the outside and the garage.  The deck is the big project, but we also want to update the landscaping as well as organize the garage.

We decided (okay J decided) that organizing the garage was the first thing we should tackle.  So that was our project.  I didn't know it was going to be my project as well, I had other things I wanted to get done, but I don't mind helping J with his stuff (he does sit with me all day at art shows).

First J took down the shelves that were on this wall and made a work table out of them.  He added a piece of Corian we picked up at the ReStore to the top for a work surface.  So now the top shelf is the perfect height for him to work on car related things as well as house projects.  He was so excited to have a work bench in the garage again.  He even joked about sleeping in the garage.

After the shelves were remade into a work bench, he also added a shelf up above as well as adding the slat board (which we also got at the ReStore) to the wall.  We ran to the store to get some slat board hooks, but realized they were pretty expensive, so we're going to do some internet research to see if we can come up with a better supplier.  

Now that J has an (somewhat) organized area in the garage, he will start working on go through all the car parts and listing the ones he doesn't need on craigslist.  So if anyone out there has a need for Honda and/or Mazda parts, check back soon, we might just have what you're looking for ;-)

The weekend was quite lovely.  The weather was a little warm, but we used that to our advantage and made some sun tea.  Yoda helped me with the process, making sure that I didn't make any mistakes.

I'm not sure how impressed she was with the sun tea, but I can tell you it was pretty yummy on such a warm summer day.

Side note - you want to make good ice tea, add a little baking soda to it.  It will prevent it from getting bitter.

Hopefully we'll get a little bit more done in the garage this week and can move on to another project by next weekend.  What did everyone else do this past weekend?  And fun projects or did everyone just enjoy the weekend?

And a special good luck to our friends who are closing on their first house today (which is only five minutes from our house).  Congrats!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time to Paint

Okay, so it is extremely difficult to see the paint color we picked in this picture.  But trust me, we've decided on a color for the sun porch.  It's a wonderful buttery yellow.  Not too yellow, just right.  I can't wait to start painting.  This room will probably be one of my goals for July.  To get the sun porch all painted and ready for furniture.

I will have lots of time this summer for projects, so I hope this blog will be filled with new DIY goodies.  I have to go down to part time at work for the summer because of lack of funding.  That's the life of a researcher that lives off grants, money is not always flowing freely.  But hopefully we will get at least some of the grants we applied for, so I'll be back to full time by the fall.

To tell you the truth, I'm not really all that upset about only working part time this summer (who would be).  I've been dreaming of a break for a while now, so this is just what I needed.  And hopefully, it's only temporary.  It will allow me to focus more on my etsy store and art shows.  It will also give me the opportunity to finish all those half finished house projects we have.

In a little bit better news (okay, having a summer break is pretty awesome news), J got a new position at work.  He'll be working in research now, something he's always wanted to do.  And the best thing, he won't be funded by grants, so there is less of a possibility for him to loose funding (but let's face it, that is always a possibility no matter were you work).  He starts at the beginning of next month.  I know he's excited, not only because he'll be designing new product, but because he gets to wear jeans to work.  No more business casual for him.

So this summer will be interesting.  J will be starting a new position, I'll be cutting back on my hours at work.  But I should have plenty of time to update this blog (hopefully more often then once or twice a month) and show you all of our fun DIY projects.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May 2013 Accomplishments

Well It's that time again, to look back at the month and see what we accomplished.  I've been so bad at updating the blog this month because of my crazy work schedule.  (I've been working 5:00am-12:00pm and then back at 4:00pm-7:00pm)  But fear not, we have been busy.  We've accomplished a lot so far this summer, I know it's not officially summer yet.

So let's see what we set as our goals and how many of them we accomplished.

1.  Install lights over the bar

Not Done.  So we bought really cool lights, but unfortunately  we have not installed them yet.  We took most of the month trying to decide where the bar was going to be and now that we've decided we have to figure out how to install them in a dropped ceiling.  So the will be in soon, hopefully.

2.  Clean up the back yard

Done!!  Well, we still have three very large pieces of the tree in the back yard, but everything else has been cut up and stacked in the back of the yard ready for summer fires.  We are thinking about make benches with the large pieces, but we're not sure yet.  You'll have to stay tuned for that.  

3.  Plant some flowers

Done!!  The flowers in the front and back of the house are in.  Now I'm just waiting for them to fill out and look lovely.  

We also planted some ferns that were gifted to use from J's parents.  Hopefully they will distract people from how bad that side of the house looks until we can paint.

4.  Get the garden started

Done!!  Everything is planted in my garden and everything seems to be happy.  I have sprouts all over the place.  I can't wait to start harvesting.  I think my lettuce should be ready to try soon and I have even planted my second round so that I never run out this summer.  Yay, for gardens.

5.  Start designing the backyard patio/deck

Sorta Done!!  We've measured and decided on dimensions for the deck and even a shape and height.  Now the next step is to draw up the plans and make the appointment with the city.  I'll keep you posted.      

6.  Get ready for my first art show of the season

Done!!  So my first show of the season was canceled due to the weather, but we still got ready for it.  I have a new layout and new table cloths.  I've also added my new beaded paintings.  So in a week, we'll be ready for the next show, which is now the first show of the season. 

7. Finish the Bar

Done!!  We finished up the bar and we're ready to start serving mixed drinks.  Yum!

8.  Get a Grill

Done!!  We have finally bought our self a grill.  Which is awesome.  Now we can enjoy delicious grilled foods all summer long.  I think I see Friday recipes coming back.   

9.  Get a Fire Pit

Done!!  I am so happy we did this.  We were going to wait until the deck was done and build our own, but this little guy makes me happy. 

We've had a fire every weekend since we bought it.  It's almost as exciting as the grill. 

So that's what we've accomplished this month.  I don't think that list is that bad.  We have plenty planned for the rest of the summer.  I can't wait to get the back yard turned into a little oasis that we can escape in.  

What has everyone else accomplished this month?  Have you started outside projects or are you waiting till June?  Did you have to wait until the end of May to plant your garden, or did you luck out and have nicer weather?