Fancy Friday – Sept. 17

Just a little behind on posting things like this. We ate on the patio! We also used Mom’s china and crystal and my sterling.

Here is the Fancy Friday picture and one from years ago before we started updating/upgrading/cleaning up the back yard. Not quite the same view but you can definitely tell we’ve made progress!

Weekend Chores!

Hoping everyone is well and safe for this holiday weekend. We are both doing chores around the house – this will keep us away from others for the weekend!

John is working on the sprinkler system in the back – this seems like a never ending project. This is what happens when you get multiple leaks in the pressurized line, dig up to fix it, and realize the previous owner didn’t use the proper thickness of pipe. No wonder our water bill was so high compared to everyone else! I really wish I had taken a picture of the roots growing into the cracked pipes. He is also adding a new line.

I decided to do a little decluttering as I was cleaning. We replaced my iPad with an iPad mini for my birthday so the old cover can go. My iPad was so old, they would only give me $20 for the trade-in. Guess it is better than nothing.

When I got into a kitchen drawer, I found these old Weight Watchers point “calculators”. Guess they can go since they now have a great app for tracking your points and determining points for various foods.

An old sleep shirt and a couple of nonworking pens – you would have thought no more would exist in our house but you are wrong. I was also able to convince John to get rid of these baseball themed pajamas – he would wear them one day a year for pajama day at school/work and well . . . he’s retiring this year!

And these old headphones! Who uses corded headphones anymore?? These are so old they are literally falling apart.

Day 88 of Isolation – wind

Yesterday was a windy day – average wind speed around 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 miles per hour most of the day. We enjoy watching our wind sculptures by Lyman Whitaker spin. We purchased them at the Renee Taylor Gallery in Sedona, Arizona. [We are providing the links in case you are interested in more information. We do NOT make any money on links.]

We have the Double Spinner, Nebula, and Lotus versions. Somehow we didn’t show you them when they were installed. Go figure!

All 3 are stainless steel. John installed them by securing the pole in a bucket of cement and then burying the bucket. This will allow us to take them with us when we move.

Day 86 of Isolation – another yard project complete


This side took about 4 hours and filled our green and black cans, as well as 2 neighbors green cans. I’m very thankful our neighbors allow us to use their green cans (and they ours) when we have big yard projects.

I don’t listen to music or podcasts during these type of projects. I like having time in my own head. I feel so relaxed after having ruminated and thought through mental/emotional stuff while removing the yard stuff.

Anyone else notice that when you have yard projects like this, you declutter your mind as well?

Day 83 of Isolation – Decluttering

Today I decluttered a bottom drawer in the kitchen.

17 instruction booklets, 2 bags, 4 chair leg plastic caps (these just won’t stay on our chairs)

23 items decluttered today and a much neater drawer.

John worked on the sprinkler system in the back yard. We now have a drip system for the patio plants and planters and it is on the timer! Thank you hubby!

Day 73 and 74 of Isolation

We continued to work an the yard. It seems like progress is slow. Here are a few pictures showing we have made some progress. This post shows the before picture of the front curb/gutter.

I’m not sure what this gardening tool is called, but John has spent more time with it in the last couple of days than with me!

And I’m not crazy about this “new” version of WordPress editor!

Day 71 and 72 of Isolation – More Yard Work

Both Saturday and Sunday mornings were devoted to yard work. John has hit a snag in prepping the back for planting grass. The large tree outside the fence has MANY roots just below the surface that need to be removed. Some are quite large in diameter. This is slowing down the progress in planting the yard.

Barb worked on trimming the ice plant in the front as well as trimming a couple of plants in the back.

Here’s my before picture. When it’s done, I’ll post the after. I can finally see the curb and gutter again for most of this! Hopefully I can get the entire thing done by the end of the week. We are due to hit 100 F for a couple of days, also slowing down progress.

Since we live on a corner, this continues for about twice the distance on the side street.

Day 66 of Isolation

Today was a “relaxing” day around here.  John transplanted/propagated several trimmings of a Rose of Sharon.

Rose of Sharon are easy to grow and propagate elsewhere in our yard.  You just trim a branch and plant the trimming!  We’ve never had an issue with growth.

These plants are from a set of plants his grandparents had in their yard.  Grandpa died in 1965 so they’ve “survived” at least 55 years!  Trimmings from their yard went to John’s parents yard then to our yard.  We should get a set ready for Kiddo #1’s yard.  4th generation of them!


This area used to be where we planted tomatoes.  We are filling in the space with Rose of Sharon to help cool the kitchen.  The shrubs should provide a nice barrier from the afternoon sun.

Day 38 of Isolation – flowers!

I walked out the front door this afternoon for the first time in a couple of days and was struck by the beauty of these blossoms!  These bulbs were at my Grandmother’s place.  When she died in 1993, I “inherited” her dwarf lemon tree and these bulbs.  The lemon tree was transplanted from a pot to our patio flowerbed.  The bulbs were planted here.  We really should thin them out but we haven’t done anything with them in 26 years (no fertilizer or thinning). I think it can wait.  You can also barely see the ornamental garlic in the next planter going down the steps to the street.



While pulling weeds this morning in the back, we also found some wild violets growing the the back corner.  We know it is a weed but we are going to keep it!  Something different in that corner instead of grass.


Working on the Backyard

We’ve been working on the backyard for about a year now.  Here is a before pic and the current pic.

2 years ago, while California was in a pretty severe drought, we were highly encouraged to stop watering lawns.  We did our part and it all died, allowing the weeds to take over.  When we returned from vacation last year, this is what greeted us.

before the weeds were removed.


We decided to put in pavers to extend the patio, make flower beds along the side and make a divider around a fruit tree.  2 loungers were purchased recently and now we can look at the night sky in comfort (It is still too hot to be out there during the day.)  The chairs on the new patio were on the original patio by the sliding glass door.

We purchased the Lyman Whitaker wind sculptures last summer – one more needs to be installed.