Friday, March 15, 2013

If a tree falls in Wiles Hill ...

Since moving into the Bungalow, Mike and I have wrestled with the idea of cutting down the cawtawba tree in our backyard. She was a bit too close for comfort and her root system was most definitely threatening our foundation. Then, in 2010, the City decided she needed an ugly haircut. But we have still debated over what to do about her. Lilo always loved laying under the tree's shade.

Even as young as approximately three months old,
Lilo enjoyed surveying the neighborhood from under the shade of her tree.
Just a week ago our neighbor informed me he was having two 80-foot pine trees removed. The idea of sharing cost and getting our tree removed at the same time came easily to me. It is still gray and dreary on Short Street, so without the green leaves and the green grass around it, that tree was uglier than ever. The sidewalk around it is cracked and uneven, and the tree's branches dangerously hung over our roof. The catawba's time had come. Sorry, Lilo.

Lilo's cawtawba on her last day
Our neighbor's tree cutters removed his trees first, and I went home for lunch just in time to oversee the removal of ours. The guys had the tree cut and cleaned up in less than an hour. It was an interesting sight to witness. 

They removed individual branches first.
Does anyone else think of Fargo when they see this picture?

Here's a view from below, next to the garage. Notice the line going through the tree. That was interesting. Nothing a large rope couldn't hold back while the tree was sliced.


Once the guys had the tree down and started cutting off the stump, they showed me that there was a large hole through the middle of the trunk. I sent a the picture below to my WV state forester friend and he informed me that the tree had been rotting from the inside out. Suddenly I felt tons better about our decision to remove her. 

The view from the back porch isn't as private and protected as it once was, but we have opened up many possibilities for a patio or a deck with potential for privacy fencing. Maybe we can put our firepit (a Christmas gift) to good use here.

It's amazing to look at the before and after pictures. We do miss our tree. And Lilo is so confused. But with the tree gone, our house is safer, and we can definitely see the potential for a nice little getaway in her stead.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Apologies for the Hiatus

We have neglected this corner of the Internet for far too long and there have been a few significant updates to the sweet yellow Bungalow. Apologies to the two readers out there still checking in. It is my hope to have a few updates posted here before March goes out like a lamb ... or whatever it does. Stay tuned!

Until then, Lilo is still cute.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Go With Your Gut

I keep learning the simple lesson of trusting my gut. This is something I already know to do yet frequently go against that knowledge. The lesson was learned once again last weekend.

For years I have wrestled with the idea of purchasing a fake Christmas tree for our living room. It's easier to deal with. It is quicker. It won't make Mike sick (though he swears real trees don't make him sick). These are all thoughts that go through my head each year when the holiday season is underway. I will talk myself out of it with the promise that I will purchase a fake tree after Christmas when there are sales aplenty. But, in reality, I know I won't. And I also know the pretty fake trees will all be gone anyway.

So last weekend I went out on a mission to buy a fake tree. It made sense. Mike wouldn't get all stuffy and I wouldn't have a huge mess to deal with without his assistance. And he could actually help me decorate "our" tree. I had heard Lowe's had a beaut of a tree, so off to Lowe's I went. Courtney and I milled about for about 45 minutes, but in the end I left without a tree. Couldn't do it. We then went to the mall for a bit. Upon leaving the mall parking lot, I went back to Lowe's and ran in and purchased that fake conifer. Done deal.

The tree and I came home and I quickly set it up. It had 800 lights on it, but I am a stickler for an at-least-1,000-light-tree, so I added two more sets. After about an hour of fluffing the branches I noticed that four of them on the bottom would not light up. I worked on that a while to know avail and finally pushed that side of the tree against the wall. This is what I was dealing with:

 It was very merry and bright. But it was also plastic. There was no pine smell wafting through the house. Basically, it sucked.

But Mike walked in from the airport and said "That's pretty. Is it real or fake?" I excitedly told him that he could help me decorate "our" tree for the first time ever because it was, in fact, fake. I think he was surprised. And didn't seem too jazzed about helping to decorate the behemoth. And then he realized the look of excitement on my face was about as fake as the tree. I tried. Really hard.

So I decided to sleep on it. I woke up Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. and walked in to the living room. I took one look at that manufactured mess and said "Screw you, tree." And he quickly looked like this:

I got the thing mostly back in the box and used some packing tape to hold it all together and off to Lowe's I went. The customer service rep was very sympathetic to my story and confided she disliked fake trees, too. I got my refund and went on about my day. Later that evening I went to the trusty Suncrest Kiwanis and Boyscouts tree lot and found a perfect Fraser Fir. And it is sitting right where it belongs:

It's happy scent is filling our home while it waits to be decorated. Mike helped the only way he physically could by taking a broom to the errant needles left in the floor from me pulling in and setting up the tree. And my gut and I are finally satisfied.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Number Five Alive!

Our fifth wedding anniversary was Saturday (Aug 25). I may have exclaimed "Number Five Alive!" several times.
Remember Short Circuit? Full of great one liners.

"Nice software ...."

Anyway, yay us! We enjoyed our day by taking in the WVU Alumni Association's National Capital Area Chapter's 35th Annual Crabfeast!

After the Feast at Fort Hill park in Virginia, we headed back with some friends to the Arlington's WVU -friendly bar, Ragtime, for more fun.

Yes, that is a corsage. Yes, Mike is old fashioned. He thought I needed a pretty flower for our special day (thanks to his helper for helping him with that!).

I'm not sure how we got here, but hey, it has been five years. He might be tired of my chatter.

In keeping with our tradition of buying traditional gifts, we purchased gifts made of wood for each other; which is the traditional gift for a five year anniversary. Mike received a birdhouse and I received a bonsai tree kit. I'm excited to get to work on this guy.

We purchased wood crown moulding for the bungalow, too. It can be considered an anniversary gift. I won't give any more details about that yet. Don't want to spoil future blog posts.

It's so cliche to say 'time flies when you're having fun.' But it is a true statement. Mike and I have been having a lot of fun these past five years. Here's hoping we have at least 50 more!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Three Little Birds

Mike and I will celebrate our five year wedding anniversary in a week. As a gift, BG Al and MoJo brought us this lovely bench. With birds!

 Three Little Birds!

Such an inviting spot in the backyard.

Friday, August 17, 2012

It is Not Only Fine Feathers That Make Fine Birds

We were fortunate to be able to visit Mike's Uncle Lou in Ohio before he passed away. He gave us a print of one of his prized photographs while we were there. During the same visit we trekked to the Root Candle factory and outlet store where I found a neat square plate with a couple of birds on it. Both of these treasures have found their way onto a wall in our bedroom and make a nice complement to the bird art we already had in there.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bored and in Need of Enlightenment

In hopes of fixing our living room ceiling sometime when the weather is warm enough to open our windows and Mike is home to help, I've been daydreaming about lighting in there.
I like this guy a lot:

That is the Tarlton Semi-Flush ceiling light found at Linens-n-Things. I like him. But Mike still wants a ceiling fan (help me talk him out of that). 

I also like the Inglebrook:
This one is also found at Linens-n-Things.

If we MUST keep a ceiling fan, then this could be an option:
This big guy is also at Linens-n-Things.

While we are on the subject of lights, I want this one for our back porch. It is on sale at Linens-n-Things, too. It suits the style of our home AND it has a motion sensor for those nights we park in the garage and come in the back door. No more failed attempts and finding the right key.