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H&G & DIY Challenge - Project #2a

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Before & after picks of my second project, which I have had to split into 2 parts due to its size & not being finished with the 2nd half yet (but I'm close!).

This project was my garden area. I wanted to not have to mow back there anymore 'cuz it is a pain getting around the raised beds. Plus I need fencing to keep Munchie the Stupid Dog out of the garden and not eating my veggies.

Before picture:


After pictures:







There are 2 hibiscus trees flanking the arbor. The buckets along the fence have potatoes growing in them. The straw bale will be spread in each of the beds once I do the weeding this weekend. The raspberries along the side of the garage are bent on taking over the world.

And this did not even use all of Mt. Mulch!

Phase 2 of this project will be to finish filling in the other side of the garage and behind it with mulch.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIQUEY73 7/24/2011 3:27PM

    Wow! That's awesome!

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FINDINGBOBBIE 7/7/2011 11:25AM

    Beautiful garden!!!!

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THISYEARSMODEL 7/6/2011 4:40PM

    Nice work! Congrats! emoticon

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BUTEAFULL 7/3/2011 1:32PM

    6this almost looks like a French garden in the park now, it's beautiful! great job

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MCJULIEO 7/2/2011 9:41AM

    What an exquisite work of beauty!

A joy to the eyes, and I'm sure, a delight to the tummy, if not now, then soon!

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SANDYKMAC 7/1/2011 8:50PM

    It looks great! I'm jealous.

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DENISEFOR110 7/1/2011 4:20PM

    Wow! That looks great. Your'e my hero. I have a brown thumb but I aim to change it to green. Great job!

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FUSCHIA6 7/1/2011 12:50PM

    That is beautiful! Way to go.

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BITTYGIRL51 6/30/2011 4:25PM

    Gorgeous! Kudos to you for a job well done! Bet ya burned a few calories too! LOL

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DOGSTARDADDY 6/30/2011 4:22PM

    That's red mulch? Looks great. Thanks for sharing.

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SOPHIEMAE2007 6/30/2011 1:08PM

    I'm so jealous of your garden!! I would love to have mine look like that!! Right now I have weeds, some left over onions from last year, and my raspberry bushes (that are taking over the world) and a sad little blueberry bush.

I haven't done anything with it this year, because last year I had a groundhog that ate everything or at least tried! My dog also loves tomatoes and raspberries and gets in there too! I asked my neighbor if she had seen the groundhog and she said she heard that it moved on! I am hoping it did as it lived under my shed.

I'll have to take a before and after picture of my garden and post them too.

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SPOOKYTHECAT 6/30/2011 12:56PM

    emoticon WOW~!!!!
There is not a big enough font here on SP to express my giant wow!

That is just incredible, when you said you had all the mulch I was thinking, Man~ she will have leftover mulch for years,
but little did I know....

It is just gorgeous, you should be so proud!!! Enjoy your bounty. emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/30/2011 12:46PM

    Wow, that is really fantastic! I don't know what all the initials mean, but whatever you are doing is very well done and beautiful! emoticon

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DIY Challenge: Warrior Babe

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

6 week challenge from The Proving Grounds (DIY) Team:

DIY Challenge Entry Form

My Challenge Name: Warrior Babe!

My Starting Weight: 144.3

Four other things I will be measuring during this challenge & their current stats:
1. Push-ups: 44
2. 2 mile run time: 20m 44s
3. 5k run time: 32m 07s
4. Longest distance run: 5k

If I am going to be 100% honest with myself, the reason I am doing this challenge is because: I want to be a kick-a$$ babe and earn my black belt

This time, I commit to finishing my challenge because I know that: Only I can make me succeed...and only I can make me fail

I'm scared of: Slipping back into old habits.

I want to: Look & feel confident and sexy, and know that I can do whatever needs doing

And THIS TIME, I will NOT quit, because THIS TIME: It's real, it's on, I've come too far to stop this close to my goals.

My top five non-health related motivations right now are:
1. Black Belt!
2. Cute clothes
3. Sexy undies
4. Knowing I can defend myself & put the bad guy in a world of hurt if necessary
5. Set a healthy example for my kids

The best way to motivate me is to: keep my accountable to my goals & action items...if people know I said I will do something I'm much more likely to actually do it.

The best way I can motivate myself is to: Stay focused on how close I am to achieving my goals

My name is Rebekah, and I'm ready to kick a$$ and take names, nothing is going to stop me now!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGSTARDADDY 6/30/2011 4:38PM

    All great motivations. Good luck!

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MCJULIEO 6/30/2011 12:38PM

    WARRIOR BABE ROCKS!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/30/2011 9:57AM

    Rebekah, I know you can do it! emoticon emoticon

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VYVIENN 6/30/2011 1:25AM

    Go, Warrior Babe, go!!

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GETSTRONGRRR 6/29/2011 10:57PM

    Way to go kiddo! You're doing great and I'm totally confident that you are DRIVEN!

Great goals and great motivation....Press the advantage!

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H&G DIY Challenge - Project #1

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For June the Home & Garden & DIY Team's Challenge was a before & after photo project. Here is my 1st one. Last year I planted 2 pear trees & 2 kiwi trees and put boxes around each of them but it was a pain to mow & I sort of let the weeds take over around the trees.

Before pictures:

The pear trees, the one on the right is dead since the rabbits ate all the bark this spring:


The kiwi trees; you can't see them b/c they are still very close to the ground. The rabbits have gone after them now:


After pictures:

I replaced the dead pear tree and put a full box in between the 2 trees, planted blueberries & coleus in the middle & painted the boxes; there is garlic planted all around both pear trees but they haven't come up yet:


I have pears growing on the original tree!


Details of the middle box; 2 different blueberry vareties & 3 kinds of sun coleus:


The kiwis are still there in the end boxes with some red petunias. In the middle I have 2 more varieties of blueberries and celosia planted around them. The shepherd's crook in the background has a topsy-turvy knock-off with a cherry tomato growing out the bottom & a lettuce & mesclun mix on the top:


Details of the middle box; yellow & pink celosia around the border, red celosia in the middle between the blueberries:

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUSCHIA6 7/1/2011 12:55PM

    You can get metal wraps for the bottom of trees to protect gnawing. We do it here to keep the beavers away. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AIMEEMOMOF2 6/29/2011 2:09PM

    Very cool! We planted some tomatoes(which didnt make it), some cucumbers, & bell peppers in the ground. They are not doing too well, bc it has been soooooo dry this year. emoticon

My five yr old loves to water them, though. Next year we want to build boxes and fertilize with our compost. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of shade so it's hard to grow anything. My inlaws live in the country and have a huge garden. They give us some so it helps. emoticon

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RUSSELL_40 6/29/2011 9:06AM

    the blue is much nicer than plain wood.

Be wery,wery quiet, Im huntin' wabbits! how goes the war? lol

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IHATESALAD 6/28/2011 8:00PM

  Good job! I like the blue.

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DOGSTARDADDY 6/28/2011 5:40PM

    Wow... that looks great. You did alot of work. Thanks for posting the pictures!

I've never tried one of those topsy turvy things. I was watching a report on them last week, and they did warn that you need to be careful of strong winds, 'cause the whole thing will sway.

I've never planted kiwi... looks interesting. I don't know that I like them enough to try.


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BITTYGIRL51 6/28/2011 4:52PM

    Looks sharp! Did you get a tan in the process? LOL I'm sure it was very theraputic and fun regardless of tan. I love working in the yard...and planting things.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/28/2011 3:44PM

    Very NICE!

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Crazy Me wanted the booty shorts

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My daughter turned 13 last Sunday, on Father's Day; her Dad gave her $$. Like a typical teenager she said, "Let's go to the mall!"

Yesterday I agreed to take her, partly because I had an ulterior motive. Inspired by SPOOKYTHECAT I decided to bite the bullet & buy a pair of shorts. I have not worn shorts in 10 years or more. When they heard the plan my legs were in shock at the thought of once again seeing the sun.

Jacq's clothing store choices were Forever 21 & Love Culture. As you can guess they cater to the teenage crowd. I remembered taking her to them last summer & standing outside the changing room wishing I could fit in the clothes again. The do have some cute tops & sundresses. But a year ago I was 50 lbs heavier & these stores did not carry anything in my size (14). I got depressed about it, gave away all my size 8-10 clothes I hadn't worn in years but had been saving for when I finally lost the weight and over the next 6 months gained another 10-15 pounds.

This time...this time was different. I picked out a couple pairs of shorts & tops and headed for the changing room. The tops are a size...wait for it...SMALL!!! OMG, I can't remember the last time I ever wore a small anything. Of course the downside of wearing a small is my boobs have shrunk a bit more than I hoped for but I'll make the trade; I can actually buy a bra in the store now & not have to special order. The bottoms are a size medium.




I ended up with a skirt/top (1st picture), the shorts/top in the 2nd picture and a 3rd short/top outfit (picture did not turn out). And a 3rd pair of shorts that are a size 28...which someone told me is a European size equivalent to a 6. I about died when I heard that. If it's not true...don't tell me. I'm basking in the thought that I fit in a 6.

After these stores we went to Victoria's Secret (sorry, no pictures from there!) & I got measured & tried on a bathing suit. However, being descended from peasant stock I have the stereotypical wide hips & big backside; Beyonce's booty ain't got nothin' on me LOL! So a Victoria's Secret bathing suit is just not going to work, the women they were designed for have no booty. *Sigh* But I'm wearing a medium!!! so I can live without the bathing suit.

While waiting for Jacq to finish her shopping I saw the Godiva chocolate shop across the way. I resisted, I really did...for all of 5 seconds, then went in & bought myself a giant strawberry dipped in white chocolate.



And I enjoyed every bite of its luscious white chocolate ripeness!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OFABULOUSME 6/27/2011 4:40PM

    That's amazing - you look so good! Can't wait to do the same one day! And so glad you enjoyed the strawberry!

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FUSCHIA6 6/27/2011 4:00PM

    You look fantastic in both outfits! Good for you! I love having undergarments (I can't spell that other word) that fit well. ENJOY! You've earned it!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MCJULIEO 6/27/2011 12:44PM

    WAY TO GO!

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DOGSTARDADDY 6/27/2011 12:22PM

    Just as long as you're not getting shorts with words on the back! No pants allowed in my house where strangers have to read a$$cheeks!

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DIANEWITHASMILE 6/27/2011 8:51AM

    You look fantastic! And it's very motivational - thanks! When the spark ignites, there's no stopping! Good job!

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RUSSELL_40 6/27/2011 8:41AM

    it's nice to be able to shop at the mall ain't it? both outfits looked great, and the strawberry kinda is a make-up for the spa visit.

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YAGERMONSTER 6/27/2011 6:18AM

    Oh come on now, they're not that short. And if you have to pick something up, bend at the knees. emoticon

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SARAHJG33 6/27/2011 5:24AM

    You're looking GREAT!!!! And, ummmm, yummy. That strawberry looks delicious. Good choice.

Enjoy rocking your shorts this summer. emoticon

HELLOOOOOOOOOO #6 emoticon

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INIT2LIVEIT 6/27/2011 4:22AM

    That outfit you picked is beautiful and looks so nice on you!! emoticon
Your haircut looks great too :)

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VYVIENN 6/27/2011 2:04AM

    Ok, first of all: WHO in their right mind could've said no to that strawberry?! In my case, I would've totally overheard the chocolate part and just went for the fruit, lol!

Secondly, I love the outfits! You look so elegant in the first picture, and the second one looks like you're ready for anything. By the way, if I may say so, you have great legs!

Happy belated birthday to Jacq! 13 was a fun year for me, I discovered Depeche Mode and could buy whatever I wanted off the rack!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/27/2011 12:26AM

    WOW! You are looking GREAT! I am so proud of you! You must have just been beaming! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MELIVA 6/27/2011 12:04AM

    You look fantastic! The haed work pays off.
emoticon

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KELLYDUP 6/26/2011 11:45PM

    emoticon You look great!

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IMPROVINGME 6/26/2011 11:42PM

    You look great in those pictures! Good for you to treat yourself -- even to the chocolate covered strawberry. Sometimes you just have to go for it!

emoticon

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Mt. Mulch & my staycation

Friday, June 24, 2011

I took Wed-Fri as vacation days this week. I hired a handyman to come on Wed. and put in some new faucets & a new garage door opener; Thursday I was going to take my daughter & one of her friends to Cedar Point (this region's roller coaster mecca; it is what Six Flags aspires to be when it grows up LOL!); and Friday was my spa day reward for hitting the 50 lbs. gone mark.

Now I could have done the sink faucet myself, and figured I could also replace the bathtub one too. But I know it would have taken my 5 times as long to do so as it would someone who knew what he was doing, I did not really want to spend most or all of a day messing with it, and I was not going to to the garage door opener myself anyway so decided to just have the handyman guy do all 3 things.

The handyman came Wed., on time. He replaced the bathroom sink faucet, no issues, but when he got to the bathtub he ran into problems. The reason I was putting in a new faucet & handles in the bathtub was b/c all the water would come out of the faucet OK but only a small percentage would go up through the shower head. Most of it continued going through the faucet so I was wasting a lot of water. The hot/cold mixture through the shower head was also very iffy so sometimes you would either freeze or scald while the water in the faucet was the perfect temperature. It had been like this for years but has gotten much worse the last few months. The guy at Lowe's said it might be easier for me to just replace everything (not to mention better sales for them!) that try to remove & replace the part that was probably not working.

Apparently my EXH, who installed the last faucet/handles did a bang up job with the install, jury-rigging many of the connections and piecing together the pipe going to the shower head out of several small pieces of pipe soldered together. No wonder I had problems, it was definitely not a standard installation. The handyman felt bad because he now needed to cut away part of the drywall to fix everything & it was going to take him longer than originally estimated. But he got it done and the shower now works beautifully. He did a good job with all the work & was very reasonably priced so I'm keeping his card. He does talk a lot though.

Wed. night Jacq & her friend decided to postpone Cedar Point due to the weather forecast - 70% or more chance of thunderstorms. No point in driving all the way there (2.5 hours) just to find out that the rides are all shut down because of rain. The friend's Mom is going to take them sometime during a work week instead. So I spent my Thursday running errands, catching up on all my e-mails, spark page comments & new spark friends.

And then I gave in and gave up the bagged mulch..and got Mt. Mulch delivered.

10 yards of brick red mulch for the garden area. And wherever else I can use it up. That is A LOT of mulch. The picture does not even begin to convey the awe inspiring mulchiness of it all. I will be moving mulch for a long, long time. I think I have enough to fill in a good part of the swampland masquerading as my backyard.

Today was my spa visit...a massage, facial, manicure & haircut. I am completely...underwhelmed by it all. The massage was nice but maybe my expectations were too high. I thought that afterwards I'd be reduced to a pile of boneless goo but really all I can say is it felt nice but I really didn't feel like anything was worked out.

The second lady did the manicure & the haircut. Part of the fault is mine, I did not choose nail polish colors wisely. Based on the bottle I thought I was getting a nice shade of medium blue but apparently truth in advertising has not yet reached the nail polish world. What I got is this iridescent sparkly light blue color suitable for a 6 year old. It glitters for pete's sake. Tomorrow it is coming off. And the lady really didn't do a great job putting it on. I could have done just as good & I've put on nail polish myself maybe 6 times in my entire life so I don't really do it that well.

The same lady did my haircut. I told her twice I wanted layers. What I got was really short in back and then the rest of my hair on the side & front hanging straight down, all one length, which she started to blow dry into a bob. It was hideous, no transition at all from really short to really long. So when I told her that is not what I asked for she got upset...and then went overboard "fixing" it. I now feel like I should change my name to Rizzo, get a pink vinyl jacket & find myself a T-Bird. I have Stockard Channing's hair. That is not a look I ever felt the need to emulate. Fortunately my hair grows fast so I shan't have to put up with it for too long.

I don't think I will go back to this place.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ODDIPA78 6/26/2011 8:06PM

    WOW--that is a LOT of mulch!!! But just think of the fabulous "mulch muscles" (and lovely flowerbeds) you'll have when you're done! Your haircut description cracked me up, I have layers and I've had some pretty awful haircuts, myself. Sonia Kashuk at Target has some matte blue polishes in grown-up colors, if you feel like a DIY mani or a spa day do-over. Congrats on losing 50 pounds--that's so awesome!!! :o)

Happy mulching!!! (and good luck... that is a TON of mulch, I am in awe!)

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RUSSELL_40 6/25/2011 2:34PM

    from all the people who I have had in to fix the store, I find that they talk more when they think the price is too high.. like words will make up for the cost. whether it is too high isn't the point, it's what the handyman thought in his mind.
The best ones consider that they are doing it on the cheap, and the bad ones are waiting for you to yell" For this price, I could get a competent handyman".. seems like you split the difference. A talkative, competent handyman.

I do NOT envy mt. mulch. I moved back into an apt. to avoid gardening. Hope it doesn't rain on the pile before you get it spread. Then it will be a real workout!

Isn't it the job of the spa to say " Um, that's got glitter in it" ?? Call the handyman, ask if he does hair, and nails..lol.



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SPOOKYTHECAT 6/25/2011 10:59AM

    Wow, that is a lotta mulch! We got 1 cubic yard & it filled up the bed of Ted's truck ,& it filled 4 beds~! & we still have some leftover!

Put a tarp on it,& you'll be surprised w mushrooms later ;-)

& Man,you get a do-over for your spa day,you deserve perfect hair & nails for losing 50,I say!
emoticon

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MCJULIEO 6/25/2011 9:45AM

    I'm lusting after your mulch!

Your haircut/massage/manicure experience? Not so much...

Although it may not be nearly as bad as you think.... I think I might like having blue sparkly fingernails for a while.... I've got some glitter glue and may give it a try!

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VYVIENN 6/25/2011 6:12AM

    Mt Mulch immediately caught DH's eye in passing, hehe. Leave it until winter, and you'll have a perfect sledding hill.

Ha, I have good memories of Cedar Point! Once we got so drenched on a log ride, we ended up buying a towel there, which turned out to be about as thick as a sheet of paper and roughly as useful in getting dry... we did have it for a long time, though.

Sorry your spa experience turned out like that! It actually sounds like a very mediocre place... emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/25/2011 12:09AM

    I enjoyed your blog! You write so well! emoticonI'm sorry about the poor haircut! My hair grows really slow, so I'm glad for you that yours grows fast! emoticon

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MY4KITTIES 6/24/2011 11:18PM

    Redecorating your yard with mulch is an intensive workout but the end result is well worth it! I worked with mulch about a month ago and was wore out after I was finished. Of course, it was done when the temps were in the 90s and I was working with black mulch. However, when I was done, I was very pleased with the results and got numerous compliments. Happy mulching!

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KNITTY_JESS 6/24/2011 11:13PM

    I was perusing through blogs when I came across yours. I'm from the same region & I agree, Cedar Point is far superior. I am supremely envious of your mountain of mulch. Enjoy your time off.

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TAICHIDANCER 6/24/2011 11:01PM

    Moving Mt. Mulch will be good exercise.

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