As most who know me are probably aware, I've been unemployed for a little over a month now (my contract ended, that's just how things go at Microsoft). It kinda sucks, but it couldn't have come at a more fortuitous time really. I have been using my newfound free time to get the yard at Jenni's mother's place ready for the wedding and things are looking quite good if I do say so myself.
I started my hiatus back in August with some construction work (hammers and saws and such). I love building things, so this was easily the most enjoyable part of the house preparation. I got to drill things and saw things (first time using a circular saw extensively) and route thing (first time ever with a router, very useful tool) and do all sorts of other manly activities. It's a very nice feeling to have all of your pieces of lumber fit together nicely after all of the measuring and cutting and drilling.
So, on to specifics. I started by building some 'T's that have been placed at top of gardened area of the lawn to provide a platform for some climing flowers to grow. We're going to span the gaps between them with wire and hopefully end up with a little knee high barrier of flowers. I removed the ramp leading up to the front porch and patched the gap left in the railing by said removal. I also finished the railing for the deck in the back of the house and added a gate leading out to the yard. My latest work was to replace some warped and rotted boards on the deck. Once they've been stained they should blend right in.
New gate and railing (I built the two short segments next to the gate)
There hadn't been much activity on the yard since we seeded back in June, so the grass had taken hold pretty well by August and we were able to start getting the hill all planted. Well, really, the ladies (Jenni, Terry, & Darcy) did all of the plant selection and most of the planting. Meanwhile I did manly things like move dirt and build stairs out of rairoad ties. I am exceptionally happy with how all of the stairs turned out
Stairs in the upper-right, "T" in the upper-left.
The last thing to do for the year was to clean up the mess we'd made and lay down some bark to prevent weeds until next spring. There was a fair amount of damage (and indentation) to the upper lawn from so many loads of dirt, sand, and gravel so Terry ordered a dumptruck full of topsoil to smooth it out. Now, we've re-seeded the upper lawn and done another round of seeding to the lower lawn, there's not much more to do but wait and see how it's looking next Spring. All of the plants are doing well and the grass is filling out nicely, so I expect a lush lawn and beautiful flowers for the big day next July! :D
Not bad for a bunch of ametuers. Cheers to my dad for osmosizing knowledge of power tools into me somehow as a youth. And jeers to the internet for having too damned many ways of seeding a lawn.
The past month and half has been a blur of beginning a new job (Jenni) and going on hiatus (Trey). A blessing in disguise, Trey's break from Microsoft has allowed him to bring the yard up to snuff, and help out Jenni's mom around the house. Trey should be posting lawn details soon...
In the limited downtime that is slowly increasing in my life, the crafty side has come out. We decided to go with handmade invitations a long time ago, and recently ordered a few handmade rubber stamps from TerBerCo over at Etsy. The theme for the reception is latin inspired fun times. Basically colorful, playful, flowery, full of life and joy. So with that in mind, our invites will feature dahlias and love birds. The creative process is just beginning, with the ordering of stamps and a fun Japanese invention called a Gocco. This portable printing press allows the user to make multiple prints from one silkscreen making it much easier to print 100 near-perfect (i.e. no stamp smudged) images. A little pricey ($120), the cost was justified for us because of the hours of amusement and crafting that it will bring Jenni those weeks when she is on call (such as Thanksgiving) before and after we say our vows. We'll see how the process goes once we can figure out how to use the machine!
When we last updated, I was just looking for a dress. Found it! A simple number from Davids, only $150, it's a cream colored version of a bridesmaid dress. Comfortable jersey, simple, and inexpensive (!). Trying on dresses on the hottest day in July, I realized comfort means immensely more to me than style, and anything requiring a corset or containing taffeta was out. I also could not justify spending the same amount on our honeymoon on a dress I will only wear once. I don't care who says you can alter it to wear again, I have never heard of someone I know actually doing that. After seeing my mom's lacy, beaded 1979 relic in it's blue plastic bag, so sad and shoved behind clothes that no longer fit, I just couldn't lay down that kind of money in good conscience.
So wedding dress, check! Wedding invites, in progress (and months early). Engagement photos scheduled for the first week of October up in Bellingham. The next item on the wedding to do list is the CATERER! We've decided to look for a caterer for the main dishes of the night, and do all appetizers and side dishes ourselves. Looking for ways to cut costs, be realistic to the space were utilizing, and having decent food, we're modeling our food after abackyardwedding (the same place we got the idea for tables of pie instead of a traditional wedding cake). So for any readers out there, any good caterers in the south sound? Folks you know who are starting a catering business? Someone who can prepare the food off site? I'm hoping to have someone by the end of the year, and the weeks keep flying by!
Look forward to a post from Trey about the lawn... he's done some amazing work!