Excitement Galore!

or - Earthquakes, Flooding, Renovations, Landscaping, Pretty Birds, Neighbor Kitty and Beautiful Blossoms!  This is also my 700th post!  

First, let me take you on a tour of the yard.  So many things are in bloom right now like these lovely chive blossoms!  

The comfrey is very happy this year!  Last year it did not bloom, but I divided it early this spring and now it is blooming beautifully!  It's a bit (a lot!)  invasive, so once I get my yard more settled, this will probably get moved to a spot where it can be better contained in the future.

The peonies are just beginning to bloom!

Some of these will get moved to the new flowerbeds once they are done blooming.  That will make mowing the yard much easier! 

The geranium is glorious this year!  It too will get moved as it now sits in the middle of the lawn! 

I suspect that this rose in the corner of the yard has reverted back to a wild rootstock rather than whatever rose had been grafted onto it.  Regardless, it is in full beautiful bloom!  The flowers are small and only seem to last a day or two, but it is profuse and filled with many exquisite rosebuds! 

While working on the yard, our neighbor kitty, Tigger (pronounce Tiger) comes to visit and inspect things.  She looks enough like my Mollie Kitty, that we always do a double take to check and make sure Mollie Kitty didn't get outside!  Tigger is a sweet kitty and visits all the neighbors regularly and even lets the neighborhood children pick her up and carry her around! 

Progress on the landscaping is making good headway.  Here, Jonathan and David are finishing up the garden beds. 

Jonathan used the little loader to move the debris pile into the dumpster.  It was quite a heap of stuff and we managed to fill the dumpster most of the way! 

This is a look at the house at the beginning of the month.

On Friday, the painter showed up and started prepping the house for painting by removing the shutters and the horrible old gutters.  I'm planning to leave the shutters off.  They collect so much debris and so many bugs behind them, which I really dislike.  I think I prefer the "cleaner" look of the house without them.  

That pile of shutters looks like a stack of small picnic table tops waiting for legs to me!  We may save some of them to turn into small tables to use on the back patio.  

Two huge pallets of stone arrived and I had them placed near the patio area to facilitate unloading it.  I'm really glad I did as most of the pieces took at least two of us to carry them!  On a misty morning, we got started laying the new patio.

It didn't take long and the sun burned the mist away.  Laying the patio turned out to be like working a giant jigsaw puzzle, but one where every piece doesn't necessarily fit.  Definitely a challenge and once again, it didn't go nearly as quickly as we thought it would.  How grateful I am for all my kids and their friends that have shown up to assist with this big project!  

By the end of the day Saturday, we had one end fairly well laid.

The other end however, had some issues, so we called it a day.

This morning, we went back to work and by mid-afternoon finally had the entire patio pieced together. Zach and David are working on leveling each of the slabs starting at this end and working their way across.  I think we have at least another day or two of this to go!   I can't lift many of the pieces as they are far too heavy, so I have to rely on the boys for assistance.  

I hadn't planned on putting anything other than flagstone in the patio, but when I went to pick out the stone, I spotted this compass stone and knew I had to include it.  My house doesn't sit "square" to any cardinal direction and everyone is always confused as to which way North (or east, south or west) is, so we laid this stone using a compass and can now refer people to it when they want to know!  As you can see, we still need to fill some small spaces with filler stones before the patios is finished. 

We placed the compass stone at the path between the flower beds.  We can't lay the path between the beds yet, because a sprinkler head needs to be moved first.  There are also sprinkler heads in the left flower bed that need moved, so no planting there until the sprinkler guy comes.

Here is this evening's view towards the house.  Eventually, I'll put an arbor over the path between the two flowerbeds and a pergola over the patio portion on the left.  

I'm so happy with the way it's all turning out!  So much nicer than the rough patio that we tore out and the weedy patch that was behind the garage.  The painter will be repairing the boarded up hole in the back of the garage ~ a remnant from a previous owner who had put a doggy door there and then a vent cover that didn't fit right.  The insulation crew blocked the hole and filled it with insulation, but the siding still needs repaired.  Once the painting is all done, new gutters will be going up.  

Among some other excitement, the north side of Greeley has been flooding near the Cache La Poudre River.  This photo was taken at the beginning stages a week or so ago.  Now this is all flooded several feet deep.  The river actually runs in the trees in the distance.  Some heavy spring thunderstorms over several days combined with a heavy snowmelt from the northern Colorado mountains have pushed this normally little river into flood-stage.  Thankfully, few houses are impacted.  

Our other big excitement was that we experienced an earthquake on Saturday evening about 9:35 p.m.  Just a M3.4 rumbler, but since earthquakes are very rare here, it was a bit of shock!  We were sitting in the living room when it hit and thought that something had hit the house.  It was quite a rumble that was both felt and heard.  We went running outside to see what it was, but there was absolutely nothing!  Then we checked the pipes in the crawl space and the furnace.  With all the possibilities quickly proving to not be the case, we thought to check the USGS Earthquake website, and sure enough, it was a real bonafide earthquake with an epicenter just outside of town!  

Another lovely thing that happened this week was that we had several new bird visitors to our yard!  This is a Western Tanager.  Not the best photo, but the best I could get through the kitchen window before he flew away!  So pretty!  We also had a Black Crowned Night Heron in one of the trees.  But the strangest one, was a white headed bird that seems very skittish and we only caught occasional glimpses of before we could finally identify it.  Turns out to be a grackle with some albino traits that gives it a white head and mottled feathers on part of it's body!  If I can get a decent photo of it one of these days, I'll share it with you!  

Needless to say, it's been a hugely busy week here.  My joints are tired and we are all exhausted, but very excited for the good changes taking place around my little home! 


Suztats said…
It looks welcoming already! Looking forward to seeing more of the transformation.
Anonymous said…
I think the pergola will be a great addition, What a huge amount of work but it will be well worth it when finished!! Love the progress.
Chyfey said…
That was one busy week
suz said…
wow, you guys have done a ton - the house and yard are looking wonderful! once you have the pergola up and the gardens filled in, that patio is going to be lovely
Anonymous said…
A lot of work, but it's looking so good, Lisa. The compass stone is a great addition! I can envisage two shutters butted together to make great little trestle tables. Once the garden's flowering and the pergola and arbor built, it will be a wonderful place, and well done your family for working so hard! So jealous you can grow peonies!
Val xx
Oh my, that is a lot of hard work, but the results are beautiful! Thank you for sharing. Carolina
janet anderson said…
Hello Lisa - my mother-in-law introduced me to your blog this morning - how lovely! i am an artist (www.janetspaintedlife.com) and i specifically enjoy painting images of flowers. would you allow me to paint the photo of your chive flower (i think that's what it is?! the first image in this post). I love it when there's a crisp flower in the foreground and abstracted images in the background.... thanks!
Susan Elliott said…
Wow! A tanager! what a beauty! I'm just getting caught up on all your nesting. Your smart to do so much structural repair, landscaping, and hardscaping in the beginning. You'll enjoy it so much moving forward!! Blessings have landed all over your special spot in the world. I knew it was going to happen when you had the wise old owls nesting in the tree next door. And I wasn't surprised at all with the choice of white and green...that's been a theme for you lately...perfect backdrop for the ivory blush of your roses...bloom girl bloom!!!

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