Curb Appeal 2016

Now that we are official in summer all of our trees are providing full shade and some of our flowers are blooming. We are excited that this year we have had the opportunity to watch the rhodi we bought last year bloom.

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What is even more exciting though is to see the tall Rhodi’s next to it blooming as well. These plants were sickly and dying in front of the house. Unsure if they would survive, we put in them in the burn pile, only to see one bloom! So instead of burning, we transplanted them along the roadside of our property. So it is exiting to see they are becoming healthy again.

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We are still waiting on the astiblie’s to bloom, the hostas to sprout their purple bells, and the peonies to bud as well. On the other hand the bleeding hearts have been amazingly beautiful this spring.

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One project we are trying this summer is to transplant a wild hydrangea plant from the backyard to our front bed. It was hard work because the location is on a hill. Trying to dig up the plant with enough roots from that angle took some hard work from both of us. We dug a good sized trench in the front bed and transplanted about a quarter of the plant.

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The first few days we were not sure how it would go but by this past weekend, it looked like most of the plants were recovering from the shock of the transplant. Now we just need to decided if it’s worth the effort to fill in more space along the wall.

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Trust me they look a lot happier now; this was right after transplant

We also bought some hanging pots for the porch this year. Aldi’s had a deal on begonias for only 5-10 each bucket. Also I found a fuchsia plant in the discount section at the Walmart garden center for only 12! They add some wonderful color to the porch while we wait for everything else to bloom.

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The garden is doing well, all plants have sprouted nicely minus the basil. But it can be finicky and take the longest to show growth.

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Another curb appeal project we finally completed is a path from the house to the gravel car spot. Last year we dug up large pieces of slate, perfect for a path. But we discovered they are too fragile and uneven on their own. So we bought a rubber stopper and pea gravel. It took Luke only two hours to pour the gravel, stake the rubber stopper in place, and space out the slate pieces.

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Since then it has worked out great and we are happy to not be trampling any grass.

Kira update: adult puppy

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Our puppy Kira is 11 months old; an adult puppy. She has not lost her puppy coat and she has times of crazy energy but she knows the rules and routine and follows them (most of the time) without stubbornness.

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Since our last update we have done a genetic test on our furry family member to discover she is not a lab at all! She is mostly American foxhound, American Stafford Terrier, and a little Chow.

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We had guessed she could be part chow because some siblings are very fluffy, plus she has spots on the bottom of her tongue, typical of Chows. We would not have guessed the other breeds, but with research about personalities and behaviors it makes sense. She is all nose, can track anything, but she is also all muscle, very agile, and alert. So we have a tracking/hunting dog also with guarding instincts.

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With all the yard work we have been doing (more to come). It has been a task keeping  her from eating the fertilizer, plant food, weed killer,  (even gravel) that we have been laying down. It’s like she is a two year old with shiny objects.

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We just recently went back to Stony Brook and were able to do the full trail both ways! In the past Kira’s attention span meant that we only would make it part way. This time the park was crowded but she did not jump on a single person, something we have been working on. For more on this see:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2016/01/13/winter-walk-stonybrook-park/

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Even though she is almost an adult, Kira still has many new experiences. At the park she was curious but afraid of balloons and strollers both items she has not seen before.

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This past week Kira had another new experience, the groomers.  In the past she has been scared of brushes, not a huge fan of baths, and requires treats  to  cut her nails. With this in mind, I stayed for the appointment.

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I was shocked and impressed at how well she did. The groomer was able to not only clip Kira’s nails and give her a bath but also trim down her winter coat with an electric shaver, something I thought she would be completely scared of. But the groomer was great with her and Kira is adaptable.

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It’s hard to believe we have had Kira in our home for nine months. She has challenged and frustrated us, but also impressed and surprised us. We are glad to have her.

 

Memorial Day Weekend

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This past weekend allowed for a much needed break and time to catch up on work around the house.  On Saturday we went to Lowes and did (hopefully) the majority of our summer shopping. We bought all the plant food, fertilizer, bug repent, and grass seed we think we need. Also we bought supplies to finally create that path to the front door we started working on last year.  For more on this see

https://agreenesadventures.org/2015/09/24/august-backlog-summer-project-curb-appeal/

An update will come as some of these projects are completed.

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On Sunday we drove up to Rochester for a special dinner. All the month of May the Rochester melting pot had a special for a gluten free four course meal. That meant they took all croutons off the salads, I had good gluten free bread with my cheese, meat that was not in a flour based marinade for the entree, and flourless brownies and angel food cake to go with our chocolate. It was a great date meal out, plus because we had gift cards, and a groupon so the dinner cost half of what it normally does!

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On Monday we took the day slow and did some outdoor work. Then in the afternoon, to get out of the heat, we went to see the new x-men movie, which was of course good. For our memorial day dinner we did homemade cheese hamburgers with all the fixings and baked potato wedges. We already have enough mint from my plant that I was able to make mint lemonade to go with. Later for dessert I made my fresh berry salad with homemade whip cream, a light and healthier summer dessert. For more on this see:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2013/03/30/hot-cross-buns-and-berry-salad-a-new-easter-tradition/

Overall it was a great weekend, but as always we could have used a few more days. How about you?