Friday, March 17, 2017

Almost Springtime Freeze

We didn't get many inches of snow, but what we did get was covered with ice. I've always loved the look of ice covered trees and shrubs, but this year it was a little bittersweet since some plants had started flowering early. Some shrubs we planted last year were just starting to grow new leaves, the forsythia was blooming, and a magnolia tree had bloomed and been burnt by the freezing temperatures over the weekend. I love wintry weather (when the power doesn't go out!), but this time around I was concerned for the new growth on plants. And concerned about falling tree limbs. We did have some of that on our property, but thankfully nothing that downed any power lines or damaged anything else.

I love winter and I love springtime, and I prefer them in their proper order. Too many mild, spring-like days in February have really messed up early-blooming plants around here. I felt sad seeing cherry trees in bloom a couple weeks ago, because I knew they would freeze. One of our magnolia trees started to bloom before a freeze, but not all the buds opened. The other bloomed between two freezing weekends. I'm really, really hoping the first magnolia survives and has some buds that can bloom when it's really spring. Weather out-of-whack worries me. And knowing that we won't be able to enjoy some colors of spring because they bloomed too early this year just makes me feel sad.

The iced forsythia

Broken Cedar branches

Top-heavy Arbor Vitae

Iced Trees

Broken Arbor Vitae 

Frozen, iced Magnolia blooms

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Just Give Me All the Projects

I think this is the story of my life. I really do like projects, but I can get ahead of myself in starting new ones. Or adding new ones to my "to-do" list. Our neighbors across the street sold their house and are moving. But they didn't want the adorable little wooden playhouse in their backyard. They had a crew cleaning out their house and getting rid of all the old stuff they weren't keeping, and the plan was to have this crew tear down the playhouse and toss it in the dumpster.

I don't know about you, but as some one who never had a playhouse (and who really, really loved them), I did not want to see this thing torn down - especially since it still has a few good years left. Long story short, they said we could have it but we needed to move it before the day was over. Dan was at work, and it was too heavy for me to move, so it seemed like it wasn't going to work out.

However, the dumpster got completely filled, so the work crew didn't tear down the little house. I happened to tell another neighbor about the playhouse, and the next thing I knew, she offered to take it apart and carry it over piece by piece for me early the next morning. And that is just what she did. While I was getting breakfast for the kids, I looked out the window and saw the roof was off, and half of the walls were already outside our back door! I helped her carry the roof over since it was too big for one person.

So now we have the roof and four walls of a playhouse all in need of some fresh paint a some more screws and nails to tighten up various areas.

I spent much of Tuesday cleaning the walls and nailing some pieces back together. I bought paint today, and all I need is some more warm weather, and I'll get to work on them. It's going to be a big project, and I think I'm a little bit crazy (and I know Dan thinks I'm nuts), but all I can think is how much my 5-year-old self would have loved this little playhouse. And now my kids will get to enjoy it. Well, as long as I can put it all back together nicely.

Old Chairs, New Paint

When it feels like spring, it's time for an outside project. What better way to spend time than with a can of spray paint and some old chairs? I "should" be working on something for my online class, but this is much more fun. Plus, I can work on that stuff after the kids are in bed.

A number of years ago I bought 2 chairs (like this one below) at a used furniture store. I recovered the seats, freshened up their white paint and they were good-to-go. Lately they've been looking a bit worn out. I just purchased a vintage iron table and two small chairs, so I figured these chairs should get a make over too.

Just for fun: here's the original fabric. I left it on and just put the new fabric over top.

Cushion off, first coat of spray paint. I like them much better already!

And finished! All ready for warmer weather....