Cleaning Up After Old Man Winter

With fingers crossed, I think we have finally seen the last of Old Man Winter. This had to be one of the worst, longest, and coldest winter we have seen in years, and I am glad to finally say good-bye.

Now comes the all the work in repairing the damage that Old Man Winter has done to the yard. I gathered my supplies of garden gloves, my edging shovel, bags of topsoil, black mulch, and my rake. (and my camera too!)

Yard Recovery1

Our flower bed behind the house was created a few years ago. Once there was nothing there but grass, but I decided the backyard needed to be spruced up a bit, and now, it is a flourishing flower bed that has matured quite nicely. For starters, I wanted to remove the curve I had in the flower bed so the flowers have more room to grow & expand.

YARD RECOVERY2

I started off with temporarily placing my garden bricks in a straight line to see how the bricks laid out. They fit in place nicely, so I set them aside and started to cut out the grass that was in that little curve spot with my edging shovel. This is a MUST do for a flower bed – – remove the grass first before you fill with topsoil!

YARD RECOVERY3

Once all the grass was removed, I started laying the bricks to complete my straight line flower bed border. Brick by brick, I over-lapped each one until the border was complete. Then, I filled the flower bed with bags of topsoil, then mulched the area. Mulch is needed in a flower bed because it helps hold in moisture for your plants.

YARD RECOVERY4

I noticed that a lot of my perennials were starting to emerge from the soil from all the sun we were having lately. I was pleased to see this as it tells me that our nicer weather will soon be here.

The dogs enjoyed the day outside basking in the sun and kept a watchful eye on what I was doing, just in case they wanted to help Mommy out.

BELLA HEY WHATS UP MOMMY

Bella is always silly and has to stick her face right in the camera!

NIKITA OUTSIDE ENJOYING THE SUN

Nikita watches everything that is going on & sniffs everything in sight!

BELLA SOAKING UP THE SUN

Bella relaxing in the sun. She is probably wondering where it has been all this time!

NIKITA CHECKING OUT THE GARDEN FENCE

Nikita is checking out the garden fence, just to make sure it is safe. Sniff, sniff, sniff!

BELLA

Here’s my best side Mommy!

NIKITA

I love this photograph of Nikita posing!  She is so beautiful and loves spending time outside with Mommy.

We are so glad to see our weather finally coming together and even though we have lots of work to do, we are glad to do it. As for our raised garden, I got the first coat of polyurethane on the wood to help protect it from rotting, and we have our Miracle Gro garden soil & other nutrients ready to be emptied into the garden. I have already turned over the soil in the garden three times, so it is nice and ready for our plantings next month.  It is still not close to the time to take anything outside, as we have to wait for any last sneaky frost warnings in our zone 5 area to pass.

 

 

The Red Baron Tug of War

Wednesday nights are when we watch American Idol and we usually have something fun for dinner like pizza. Red Baron pizza is our favorite. If you know us, we love Idol, but this year something is different. I usually would have blogged a few times about who we love in the competition, but we are not too happy with this seasons outcome. We are so glad, however, that we don’t have to sit and listen to Mariah and Nikki throw daggers at each other because that got really old last year to watch. We do in fact, love this seasons judging panel made up of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and the dreamy Harry Connick Jr.  If any of you have been following along with American Idol this season – – what do you think so far?

Anyhow, you know that our dogs have a huge cardboard fetish and that goes without saying. Their eyes gloss over in anticipation of getting their paws on that cardboard box. They sit beside me patiently as I attempt to rip open the box and remove the frozen goodness that awaits me. Only 15 minutes to wait for pure joy.

RED BARON1

Nikita grabbed the box first. And, as she always does, she runs to her safe place, her bed. She looks around to make sure that no intruders are in the vicinity to steal her new found happiness. Nom nom nom, she starts to nibble.

RED BARON2

 

But wait! What’s that? She sees an intruder approaching. MUST TAKE ACTION NOW!

RED BARON3

She attempts to defend her new cardboard Heaven, but something went wrong! She lost her grip on that oh so glossy pizza box and saw it get snatched away from her.

RED BARON4

She paused for a moment in disbelief as she watched the Red Baron run down the hallway. “Ok, now you are going to get it you pizza box stealer!”, Nikita said. Here I come to claim what is “Mine!”

RED BARON5

Nikita ran down the hallway and barked at the intruder that was hiding in the bedroom. She blocked the doorway so they could not sneak past her. “Give me back MY box!” Nikita howled.

RED BARON6

The intruder did not heed any of Nikita’s warnings, and they ran, rather pranced, right by her…proudly displaying their new found joy.  Ooooh, the race was on!

RED BARON7

A scuffle broke out in the middle of the kitchen as Nikita and the intruder battled for that piece of pure joy. No one would let go of that box. The only way to settle this dispute, was for the referee to intervene and ripped the box in half. One half for Nikita, and the other half for the sneaky intruder who always seems to steal things around here.

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Wordless Wednesday

NIKITA FRONT DOOR

NIKITA NAPPING

BELLA IM ADORABLE

NIKITA SMILING

NIKITA BELLA NAPPING

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Here’s an update on our progress  for collecting donations for the APL. To date, we have collected $700 and we are 70% to our goal! We are so pleased with the donations that have come in to help the animals who need our help!

If you are reading this post today, please consider making a donation, even if it $5, as it all adds up!  I need my fellow bloggers help so we can get those animals in need into their “forever homes” and help them find happiness & love!  

 

Wordless Wednesday

Bella Cigar Bar

Nikita Nibbles

Alphabet Ice Cubes

Bella Here I come to save the day

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Just a quick update on our progress to raise donations for the APL…
Our goal is to collect $1,000 in donations and we are at 62% of hitting our goal.  We have already collected $615 in donations, but we still need your help!  If you are reading this, please consider making even a $5 donation today, as it all adds up to help those animals who need us! A great big THANK YOU to those who have already made a donation!

 

A Slight Sign of Spring

Winter in our area has been very brutal on us. It has dragged on and on, hammered us with frigid temperatures, high winds, and lots of the white stuff. My shovel needs a break already!

SpringBulbs

I noticed that some of our early Spring bulbs are popping up through the snow already. Silly bulbs. These bulbs need to get their act together, because every year they pop up too early and get stunned by the cold. Their growth is inhibited and they never seem to make it.

PinkRainBoots

The time has been changing slowly too, as it is staying lighter outside longer, which is driving me nuts right now, as I always based when to start dinner by what it looked like outside. I now have to watch the clock to get dinner on the table at the right time. These are all signs that Spring is getting closer, and it will be happily welcomed here.

GardeninMarch

I always feel bad for our garden in the winter. It looks so sad all covered in snow. It wants to produce veggies and feed us. It is such a happy place in the Summer and we visit it often. The dogs even love heading into the garden with me as they walk around our raised garden bed sniffing all the leaves. Our strawberry patch is all covered in snow right now, just waiting to be uncovered and start growing again. I need to build a strawberry patch frame this year to keep out the birds and the chippies from eating all of our berries. I think I might make it out of PVC pipe and netting so the frame is light in weight.

StrawberryPatch

 

Backyardmelting

We have lots of things planned to get accomplished this year in the yard & garden.

  • Build a wood table for outdoor dining.
  • Create an outdoor rug – I have seen cute ideas for outdoor rugs all over the place which are made from a painters drop cloth. They have these at Home Depot which I can stencil on.
  • Build a new garden fence – This is a must as I was not happy with the current fence we have used, so I want to build a new one.
  • Purchase a few colorful Adarondack chairs to add some color to the backyard
  • We bought an awesome red ceramic garden fountain to beautify the yard
  • In the Spring time, I always work hard to fix all the burned out pee spots in the yard from the dogs and all that is fixed with a little dirt and grass seed. The way to get a plush lawn is to seed, seed, seed every week. I do this all Summer long and the grass is so plush!
  • Spring time is a great time to sharpen all of your garden tools, and check your lawn equipment (replace mower blades, re-string weedeater reel, sharpen your lawn edger blade, get your gas cans refilled, and your 2-cycle stocked up)

Bella

Since the temps are warming up a bit for us this week, the dogs and I were able to take a few walks, do zoomies in the yard, and enjoy some outdoor time. I always enjoy watching them sniffing everything in sight and you can hear their “sniffers” in full gear! Then, it’s nap time when they head back in.

NikitaOldPhoto

I made some adorable wood bunnies for Easter, painted them in a pastel pink and tied on a pink tulle bow. Nothing screams Easter like a pink bunny!

Bunny

We hope to say goodbye to Winter real soon, as we are ready to welcome & say hello to Spring, new growth, and accomplishing lots of projects this year!

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Bye Bye January

Thank God it’s Friday, and it’s the last day of January too. Where in the world did the month go? I am actually happy to see the calendar heading on over to another month, as that means that we’re closer to Spring and better weather.

NIKITA BACK DOORI am sure that old groundhog is going to tell us that we’re in for another six more weeks of Winter, figures. Mother Nature has not been that good to us lately.

DREAMING OF SPRING

It has been so cold lately, that I can’t let the dogs out for too long to play, so we make the best of playing hide and seek inside, chasing each other all around the house, playing tug of war with the toy of their choice, and practicing all of their tricks for a treat.

BELLA NOSE

NIKITA NOSE

Never do we ever run out of ideas for photographs, and this week we had a lot to snap. Nikita and Bella have been on deer patrol, and run from the back door to each window in the house, just to see where the deer are walking.

DEER1

We have not seen much of the deer lately as I am sure they bunked down somewhere due to the extreme cold, but the temps rose this week and they are all out in full force looking for food. I feel bad for our neighbors bushes, as the deer have munched on each and every one of them. Even our own front bushes have been munched on as we find hoof prints in the snow right under the windows.

DEER2

I am glad to see the month end already, and if you joined in with us on the 52 Week Money Challenge, you should have $15 in your money jar right now. How the 52 Week Money Challenge works, is for whatever week you are in, you put that amount of money in the jar. Example: Week one, you put $1 in your jar, week two, $2, and so on. By the end of the 52 Week Money Challenge, you will have saved $1,378! You will be able to pay off any Christmas expenses next January, or pay off a credit card with what you saved, or even take the money and go on that vacation you always wanted, but did not have the money saved for it. Whatever you choose to use the money for, you have saved for it this year. It works, and I hope that all of you have joined in with us and are saving along the way!

Snow is Beautiful…Until You Have to Shovel it

1-25-14 Snow2

Snow is beautiful, when you don’t have to shovel it.  We got hit really bad this weekend with more than a foot of snow. It started snowing late Friday night and did not stop snowing until Monday morning. We woke up on Saturday morning to a white out and spent the entire day cleaning off the driveway just to keep up with the amount of snow coming down. It was crazy! In just an hour, we had another few inches pile up on the drive and it just never stopped. Sunday was a repeat of Saturday and it snowed the entire day! It’s been awhile since we saw snow coming down like this so hard and for so long, and we are just so glad that for now, it has stopped. Now, we’re back into freezing temps of zero for a good part of the week. We laughed when we heard that we might even get 40 degrees this weekend, as that will feel like a heat wave to us right now!

1-25-14 I need wine

From using the snow blower, and our shovels, and even our leaf blower, we kept up with the snow removal this weekend. We only saw the city’s snow plows once or twice the entire weekend, as they were busy clearing off all the main roads. Side streets were secondary and a snow ban for parking on the streets was in effect. Whoever tried to park on the street probably made the worst choice ever, as I am sure they got stuck.

NIKITA IN THE SNOW

The dogs loved the snow though, as they ran and jumped in the huge piles in the yard. Poor Bella jumped in and sunk to the bottom and disappeared which was funny. But since the temps have dropped to freezing this week, I have to watch the dogs closely as their paws get cold really fast and they start limping. It is just way too cold for them this week to romp around in the snow and I keep a close eye on them. We would get the dogs those little paw covers, but we know that they would not like them at all.

BELLA

Unfortunately for me, I now feel like I am getting sick from being outside the entire weekend. I am just glad that I am getting a little break from having to shovel and can stay indoors. Snow is beautiful…until you have to shovel it!