Saturday, April 26, 2008

balance restored in st. paul!

well, at least until the republican national convention.

the weather is ridiculously nasty enough today that i have time to procrastinate indoor fix-ups by updating the house blog. just last sunday, the temp was in the mid-seventies. today, snow/wind/clouds AGAIN. kvetch, kvetch.

so when it was all beautiful last weekend, we were really jonesing to get our hands in the dirt. but, as any good minnesotan knows, it is waaaay to early to expose those poor plants to the elements quite yet. we satiated ourselves by digging up all the crappily-laid bricks bordering the gardens and re-doing them completely.

see what i mean by lack of balance?:

(these are either side of the porch on the front side of the house)

now, i'm all for eclectic design. however, the two of us are a bit too scandinavian for shenanigans like that. so, we changed it up to look like this:

and we have the south side before:

and after:

he DOES get all the fun jobs:

in birding news, we've witnessed tons of cool stuff lately. last sunday, a red tail hawk flew through the yard. the songbirds were NOT big fans. many new birds we've never seen before are stopping through on migration routes, like this fox sparrow:

and a new sighting just today, a white-throated sparrow:

most people don't get excited about sparrows. but we do. i'm not sure what that says about us.

we root for the underdog?

soundtrack for this renovation:

red-winged blackbird yelling

robin tweakin'

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Minnesota warms up, a bit. Then. There.

(FYI: B's first try at this blogging thing, hopefully I can spell pretty good.) The poor grammar in that preface goes out to public education and my blog mentor who's looking over my shoulder. did warm up last weekend and it's all the rage in Minnesota small talk. So it's not quite this nice:

But it's this nice:

That's me washing a big window. See the backup paper towel? That way when I fall off of the bar stool that I'm standing on I can use my one good arm to wipe the blood away from my eyes to see the clean windows in all of their glory. OSHA doesn't apply at City Cabin. I get all of the fun jobs.

With warmer weather and being American one also acquires a sudden drive to go out and consume. Luckily for us, there are a number of used/vintage stores withing a five mile radius of our home (think the flea market in Battle Lake, minus the campers) and you get to consume some relatively fun, previously-used stuff. For example, tired of looking at your washing machine? Get a couple of these:

and one can be mesmerized by the bamboo weaving instead.
Which also complements my favorite piece of string art in the room:

Our screened-in porch was essentially unused during the inaugural summer. Maybe it was because it looked like this most of the time:

Thanks to a weekend visit to Swank and a couple of days of deliberation with the realization that 99% of patio furniture is unbelievably ugly and expensive, our catio (termed by my blog mentor) became this today:
The three chairs, table and love seat all fit into a Dodge Neon. What a machine! Further props to my sponsor in catio design, Newcastle.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

in full denial of the current weather conditions

i just ordered 135 plants from spring hill nursery. that's a lot of planting.

i prefer to just not think about where those plants will be stored until it is safe to put them in the ground.

all of those little plants (and ALL of them will survive, dammit!) are going to go into these spaces:

butterfly garden. we're ripping up the bricks and re-locating the chives.

50 foot long shade garden (just a few lonely hostas there now):

and, the gap between the yard and the garage roof:

the entire five minutes i was taking these photos, i was being maliciously barked at by this:

the past few days have proven to me that grackles eat about five times their body weight in seeds every hour.