Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our Patio!

So, we waited all summer for our patio, mainly due to figuring the whole thing out, picking stones, getting a permit, and the landscaper’s schedule, but it was finally finished a couple weeks ago!  I absolutely love it, and I’m glad we still have some time to enjoy it yet this year before winter sets in.

I have progress photos from each day something was worked on and completed:


Day one:  The stones were brought to the house and the base was spread over the grass.  We had the patio built up, not dug into the ground because we have a sloped yard, and the water would have run onto the patio if we would have had it even with the rest of the yard.





This little area might look funny, but we had a plan for it – you’ll see in the finished product.











Day two:


The border was put in place, the border stones were laid out, and the main stones were starting to get laid out.









The kind of crappy wooden step was finally gone!  He had to cut the thing off because of how it was bolted to the house, but we saved the step mainly for wood, since we did pay like $180 to have the thing put on when we bought the house!

View from the upstairs out onto the patio:









We picked EP Henry stones, Village Square style, in the pewter blend laid in a random pattern with charcoal brickstones for the border.

Day three:  Patio stones are all laid out and sanded in place!  All that’s left is the drain off to the side, the stone step to replace the wooden ones, and finish off the planting bed around it.









IMG_2606[1] Day four:  Original step design was put in place, but luckily not glued in place.  It turned out a little to shallow, and we were afraid of falls happening on it when coming in and out.









See how small it is?  I have small feet, and my shoes hung over the end of the step when I stood on it!  We re-designed, picked up more stone, and created a much nicer, larger, and safer step:

Day five:  new step in place!  Fix-ups done!  Planting bed edged and ready for flowers!IMG_2611[1]








IMG_2615[1] And finally, the finished patio!  Plants planted, pergola set up, table and chairs set out, grill in place, and that little circle area filled in:









IMG_2623[1] We have 2 butterfly bushes, Belgian mums, day lilies, and icicle pansies currently planted around the patio.  Once the weather cools down slightly and stays cool, I have tulip and daffodil bulbs to plant, so in the spring we will have those growing, the icicle pansies coming back, and the butterfly bushes.  I may have to get other annuals for the summer.

Unfortunately, today’s weather has been very rainy and windy.  The wind blew 2 of my chairs around, one of which landed on one of my mums and crushed it.  It also managed to blow the grill over, which landed on one of my butterfly bushes.  The grill is dented in the rear, and we’re hoping that’s the only damage, but we won’t know until we use it.  I tried to fix up the mum, but I don’t know if it was too broken to snap back, and the butterfly bush was pretty crushed, but I’m hoping and thinking it should be ok.  We’re at the end of its blooming season, and in some areas they can be cut down all the way to the ground for winter, and grow back in the spring.  So hopefully that will sprout new branches and be ok.  It’s amazing how the wind we’ve had today, which is nothing compared to some days, caused so much destruction, but when we had 70 mph gusts last week for a bad storm, NOTHING HAPPENED!!!  It just doesn’t make sense.

So now I’m headed out in this crappy weather to do some grocery shopping, or we won’t have anything to eat after today.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Favorite Kitty Pic Friday!

It’s Friday again!  The weather is a little crazy here this week – 94 degrees forecasted for today, and it’s supposed to be fall!  I was starting to get used to the slightly cooler weather, and was absolutely loving the fact that we could have the windows open and be cool (if not down right chilly some mornings) while saving some money on our electric bill.  The AC went back on yesterday!
Anyway, here’s my choice for this week’s post:
IMG_1452 Dusty is so adorable when he sleeps!  I remember he was so pathetic when I took this picture – it’s part of a series of photos from that moment.  So sweet!   :)
I hope you all have a nice weekend planned.  I will be going to a baton/dance performance for the group I teach with, and hoping all goes well, since the director won’t be there!  I also plan to enjoy my patio as much as possible this weekend.
If you’d like to participate in this post, grab the badge up top, create your own post, and link it here in a comment, or just leave a comment with a link to your favorite kitty pic if it’s viewable on the web.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Scrapbook (Saturday) Sunday

I was very busy lazy today (well, Saturday, seeing as it’s officially Sunday now), and just didn’t feel like creating this sooner.  Luckily, Sunday starts with an “S” too, so Scrapbook Sunday it is this week!  :)

This may be the last of my OCMD vacation pictures I post.  I have more, and I like them, but I haven’t decided if they are really blogworthy and entertaining enough to really post on here.  Maybe, we’ll see.  If you’d like to see them, let me know!

30th Birthday Page Just a very simple page this week.  It’s late, my eyes are a little tired, and I unfortunately didn’t have a birthday kit in my digital scrapbook program I’m currently using.  It has been a tradition for us to go to a hibachi place for my hubby’s birthday every year since we moved to NJ and discovered this place there called “Nagasaki”.  We usually just went there, ordered the hibachi food, but only ever sat at regular tables because we didn’t know how the whole hibachi experience went.  Since we no longer live in NJ near Nagasaki, and we decided to take this sort of last minute trip to OCMD for the week of my hubby’s 30th birthday, he still wanted to go to a hibachi place for dinner on his birthday, so we found this place called “Sakura” in the outlets on the Coastal Gateway.  We had the true hibachi experience this time, no regular tables in this place (at least none that we saw)!  We sat at a table with a family who was there for the dance competition taking place that same week (we watched some of it the first full day there) and a mom and her son who lived very close to where I went to college.  The chef was very fun and entertaining – sadly I didn’t catch any scallops in my mouth, but hubby did!  He even got a special ice cream dessert for his birthday, which I didn’t manage to get a picture of, and I even got one too!  (coupon for a freebie was an excellent find amongst my many coupon booklets)

We would definitely go there again to eat whenever we end up taking a vacation in OCMD.  I highly recommend it for anyone who likes that kind of food and is going there or lives in the area.

…It was a little weird, though, to have a waitress dressed in a kimono who had an Irish (?) accent…talk about a culture clash!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Favorite Kitty Pic Friday!

Happy Friday!  And a great weekend forecast for my area too!  The patio is 99.9% finished by the landscaper, just needs some cleaning of some of the stones, so hopefully we can set everything up on it this weekend and enjoy it during the last of the beautiful weather.  I will do a post all about it when it’s finally set up and completely finished, pictures and all!  But today is devoted to kitties, so here’s mine:
IMG_1222 Here’s tubby Jasper in a predicament!  (Sorry for the poor quality of the picture – not one of my best, but still funny!)  We have this cat tree/perch thing for them.  He hardly fits through the hole in that top part anymore, but still goes up there all the time.  I haven’t seen him lay like this in there since we moved to the house and the tree no longer sits up against a wall like it did here in the pic from the apartment, but he used to get himself into this position a lot back then, usually to wash his big fat belly (you see the massiveness of him??), and then he would give me this panicked look like, “Momma, I can’t move – I’m stuck!”.  Simply due to his size and very little room to move (the space next to him is where the open hole is to crawl in), he’d literally get stuck in this position and would try to roll around, but not really be able to and I would have to rescue him.  I love my tubby kitty!   :)
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  I’m off to go finish planting my plants and flowers around the patio!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Cafe Press Shop!

I have decided to try to get some of my photography out in different ways.  I will be adding some to my Artfire site, once I figure out my best photo printing service and costs, but I also wanted something I could set up immediately.  Cafe Press!  I opened my shop Monday, and added even more products yesterday.  I will also be adding calendars in the near future, but I have to pick out more photos for those. 

So here it is, the “Grand Opening” of my newest venture:  My Style Crafts – Photography Gifts

They have a sale going on that ends TODAY – save $10 off a $50 or more purchase.  So, please, check out my shop and hopefully you’ll find something you like to add to your shopping cart!  Christmas is coming, if you’re more of an online shopper and like to buy gifts early.   ;)

Here’s a sneak peak:

Sand Heart Note Cards (Pk of 10)

Blank note cards     Greeting Cards (Pk of 10)


                          Blank greeting cards

Caribbean Beach Tote

Beach tote

There are quite a few other items as well!   Happy shopping!   :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Scrapbook Saturday

I hope you all are enjoying your Saturday and are having just as beautiful weather as we’ve been having here.  I am at a yard sale until 2ish today, dealing with crazies and thieves (we actually had someone steal something once, right out from under our noses!). 

Back to the beach with this post.  I wanted to share more photos from our vacation to OCMD.

OCMD Page 2 The top picture is one my hubby took with his cell phone camera.  We took a boat ride called the Assateague Adventure, and it took us over to the shoreline of Assateague, where it let us off for a short while to walk the shoreline and collect shells and such.  All I kept getting were rocks, and the shells I managed to find contained snails, so they had to get thrown back.  In retrospect, I should have left all my junk back on the boat instead of trying to carry it. 

The second picture is of the Ocean City beach from where we were sitting the first day we went to relax on the beach.  We went a little late that day, but it was nice because it was cooler and a lot less crowded.

The third picture is a tiny baby clam I managed to get a hold of down at the water’s edge.  Hubby saw something that looked like a shell when the wave pulled back to the ocean, but when he reached to grab it, it buried itself into the sand!  I managed to snag one before it could bury again, and it turned out to be the tiniest clam I’ve ever seen!  I did put it back in it’s home, but just had to snap that photo first.

I miss that vacation – it was so nice.  I especially want my daytrip to Ocean City, NJ now!  We go every year after Labor Day, so I’m hoping to get there soon!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Favorite Kitty Pic Friday!

TGIF!  Except that I have to get up very early in the morning tomorrow to go deal with the crazies that show up at 6:30am for the yard sale at my parents house.  I’m hoping to sell some stuff or get some orders for my craft stuff, but not looking forward to getting up before the sun does.
Anyway, I was feeling nostalgic again today when I went to pick a photo for this post.  Here’s my choice for this week:
cody in bed Here is Cody again (click on the link to read more about him).  He used to love to burrow into things.  I have a few pictures of him buried under towels, etc.  I think for this picture I actually covered him with the blankets, but he obviously enjoyed it and stayed long enough for a picture.  I love my cats now, and I’m very glad to have had the time I had with Cody, but I still miss him sometimes.
If you’d like to share a picture of your favorite feline(s), copy the badge above and create your own blog post and leave a comment below with your link, or just leave a link to the photo somewhere on the internet.  I’d love to see what your furry kids are up to!   :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TV is a harsh mistress…

Or so my hubby says.  I watch a lot of TV.  I don’t usually get to watch anything when it actually airs.  I have to figure out what to record, where I can record it (DVR box, DVD player, upstairs VCR) if things overlap.  Thursdays are always tough – why do all the channels pick Thursday as their favorite day?  At least to air all the shows I like.  I even have to type up a schedule of season premieres and regular show times for the season, or else I get all confused (especially since a lot of the shows I watch are changing their regular nights to different ones!).  So, because I type up schedules, and have to figure out my recordings like I’m figuring out a vacation itinerary or child’s school schedule, hubby says “TV is a harsh mistress…”.

Here is my season premiere list:


One Tree Hill – 8pm, CW


Survivor – 8pm, CBS


The Apprentice – 10pm, NBC


House – 8pm, FOX

Dancing with the Stars – 8pm, ABC

Two and a Half Men – 9pm, CBS


Glee – 8pm, FOX

Raising Hope – 9pm, FOX


Bones – 8pm, FOX

Big Bang Theory – 8pm, CBS

$#*! My Dad Says – 8:30pm, CBS

Fringe – 9pm, FOX

CSI: - 9pm, CBS

Outsourced – 9:30pm, NBC


Supernatural – 9pm, CW

CSI: NY – 9pm, CBS


Amazing Race – 8:30pm, CBS

Desperate Housewives – 9pm, ABC

And I’m not even caught up on previous seasons of “House” yet, so we’ve been getting them through Netflix as fast as we possibly can.  I’m not really sure what exactly to do when it starts if we’re not 100% caught up on the old shows yet, because I don’t really have the DVR or DVD space to record and save them until we do get caught up.  This is an abbreviated list too, since “Lost”, “Ghost Whisperer” and “Heroes” were canceled and “V” won’t start airing until later in the regular season.  Hubby also watches “Star Wars: Clone Wars” on Cartoon Network, which is not on the list, but I just remembered it needs to be added.

There are a bunch of new series on here that looked funny, so my list might get shortened if I find out these shows are terrible.

So, is this a lot of TV?  Do you watch this much, and what are your favorite shows?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Favorite Kitty Pic Friday/Scrapbook Saturday

I’m cheating a little here.  I know it’s not Friday, I totally missed doing my “Favorite Kitty Pic Friday!” post yesterday, and I was very busy today, so I’m late in the day with my Scrapbook Saturday post too.  So, I’m combining them both right now and I created a kitty digital scrapbook page for today!  :)
Jasper Page I think this picture of him is just too funny!  I caught him laying like this on my computer desk chair today, and it made me think to use this picture of him laying the same way on our couch back at our old apartment.  It just strikes me as funny because he’s laying there like, “Woe is me!” or like he’s playing dead.  I’m still learning how to use this program, so this is mostly a pre-made template with his name, the word lazy, and the paw print tag added in.  Be prepared for some less interesting/busy scrapbook pages when I finally start trying to create one from complete scratch.  Digital is still very different for me and I have to definitely get used to it.
In other news, our patio is “finished” (yay!) but we have a couple issues making it not quite finished (boo!).  I will do a whole patio post later, progress pictures and all.  We did buy some plants and bulbs today for the area around it where we are landscaping, but more on them at a later time too.
I hope you all are enjoying your Labor Day weekend!  No special plans here, since the patio isn’t 100% yet and the rest of the backyard is a mess now.  Just relaxing, maybe some crafting, probably some video game playing…   :)


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