Sunday, June 14, 2009

The One with the Actual Update...

Okay, gang. You've been VERY patient with my lack of posts lately (as in, I consider it a minor miracle that I am still gaining new followers/subscribers, and my current commenters still love me enough to keep coming back! I love you all!!!)

So here it is - the snapshot of what we've been up to. I started to write it as a narrative, but while we have been busy, it has not been that exciting around here, and I don't want to eat up your whole day with that much we're going with bullet points of a sort. Here goes!

Back in the spring, I set out with more determination than usual to actually get back in shape. Not just for pool season, but also for the sake of all the stuff in my closet that I still can't get into. So I bought the Jillian Michaels 30-day shred DVD and have two things to say about that - PAIN and GLORY. Pain is pretty much the dominant theme for a while after you start this video (the most accurate review I read correctly asserted that I would pray for death, LOL!). But it is, as promised, followed by the glorious feeling of actually losing real (not water) weight. I've only lost 3# so far, but I've kept it off (even through getting sick and then several weeks of traveling). Woohoo! I'm back on the wagon this week. And I'm hanging in no matter what! Some nights this eats into my blogging time, but I am going to try to get a better routine worked out going forward.

May was busy for us - the first weekend, I went home (well, to my hometown!) to see my little sister graduate from college. Great job Squirt! I won't embarrass her by posting photos, but it was fun and I got to spend some time with family. Unfortunately, that same weekend I missed out on a fab trip to Biltmore with bloggy friends, but I ended up getting to spend the day with my 91 year old grandmother, whom I rarely get to see. So that was good.

I already posted about our trip to Miami - which was fabulous! But then two weeks later (last weekend) we went to Destin for a second wedding. Hubby's law school roommate and good friend, this time. We took a couple extra days to hang on the beach there, and I am planning a post for Friday with photos of that, so keep an eye out!

In between all of the above travels (which is a lot of travel for us in a five week period!) we've been pretty busy at work - good news, but it's making me a little nuts. It's fiscal year end for us, which is motivating everyone. But it's keeping us hopping in legal and I am ready for July, already!

Meanwhile, this spring we also had some landscaping done around the pool. It was a big decision cost-wise, but it really needed to be done. Our attempt last year to plant Leylands all along the fence fell flat, as most of them died (the guy we hired to do it had no idea what he was doing - but didn't mention that when we asked him!) Here are a few "before" pics, to give you an idea of how bad it got. Of course these were taken in late winter, which makes the whole area look worse, but was bad!

There never really was anything in the side beds (by the house) after the pool was put in - the whole area was torn up during the construction, leaving it looking pretty bare.

Then, the Leylands (for the most part) died - I think we had 4 out of 11 survive.

The hillside also took a lot of damage during the buildout, and the pool company left a huge pile of rocks sitting in the yard (nice!) - see that little gravelly area behind and to the left of the hot tub? (oops, it's actually in the pic above)...that was after hubby spent a day moving the rocks!

And then our existing clieras (sp?) took a hit from the bobcat equipment they workers used. They mangled one of the bushes so badly I thought it would die, but miraculously, it actually made it!

So this year, although it was more expensive, we went with a local landscaper who's actually knowledgeable about what and where to plant. And thankfully, our drought here seems to be over. We have gotten plenty of rain, which has been a blessing for everything we planted (and the rest of the property!) Here are a few pics of that project - we are loving it, as everything is thriving! I am also going to include a few photos of our spring greens and flowers, which I meant to post ages ago.

First is a comparison of the same four areas shown above -

And...oops, looks like we need to prune that hanging railing vine a little bit. It's taking over the world! But behind it, you can see the knockout roses and lorapetalum that they planted along the steps.

Here are a few shots of specific plants they put in - and the flowers I just love! I love all the pinks and purples, which are my favorites (plus the green, of course!)

And then in this shot, you can see where we moved the four surviving Leylands. Over behind the fence, along the ravine... So far, they are hanging in!

So let's see - this has not been quite the bullet point list I meant for it to be! - but also in the mix:

I have not been cooking much, and I MISS it!! I will have some new recipes up to share soon! I took a few hours yesterday and made some blueberry-banana oat muffins that hubby loves, some marinara sauce to freeze, and enough Cajun meatloaf for about four dinners on workout nights. Yum! I make Pastor Ryan's recipe (as featured by PW) and it is sooooooo good. I have a few other things to make this evening, but first, we are having friends out to swim this afternoon. So I need to dash and get the house picked up.

Hope you enjoyed the update from our little corner, and I'll be around soon to leave bloggy love!

Love, Dahrlin'


Jane In The Jungle said...

Hey Gril,
That looks soooo good now! Isn't it amazing what a real landscaper can do?? Of course at this moment, hubby has the boys building a new retaining wall for the area he had leveled in the back yard. And guess what, no he's not a real landscaper!! Argh...................

Angie's Spot said...

Wow, the new landscaping looks GREAT! I remember how upset you were about the, ahem, dead trees. So glad that the new landscaper gave you some value for the money. :-)

I hate that we can't seem to nail down a get together date. I'll look at the calendar again and see if there's any other weekend that I can pull off. Such is the life of us busy women!

Love ya!

Connordog said...

That looks REALLY good! We are going to get some landscaping done to sell the house - and I can't wait!

CaraBee said...

Your pool is SOO gorgeous! Super, super jealous!

teachermomof2 said...

Wow! Your landscaping looks great! What a difference!

enjoy it!

t.t. millers said...

Wow! Great job landscaping! It has taken us years to get our flower beds that nice! Now all I need is the pool... ;-)

Lula! said...


the landscaping around our pool needs some serious help. It looks like Beirut back there. Embarrassing.

Robin's Reports said...

Wow, very cool seeing the before & afters. You needed some serious grass & better trees. I'm glad the 2nd landscaper knew much more than the last.

Love the new color in the yard. How's the pool water?

Hey, I didn't know Steph was moving soon.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Hey girl. I am so happy I get to communicate with you on the side otherwise I would really feel like I am missing out since we both have less blogging time. I LOVE what you guys did with the pool area. I really want to do some landscaping too around the house. One day....

Lora said...

Hi, Angela!
Your pool is absolutely beautiful! So wish we had a pool in this horrible heat wave:)

I promise to drop by more often now that my move is over.

Jane In The Jungle said...

Hello...Knock, Knock...Still there????

Angela said...

LOL yep, we're still here, and so sorry for the bloggy "radio" silence lately. We have traveled three out of the last five weekends, and I am so far behind by now on just about everything. It's nuts. But thank God we are home and ready to get back to a routine! I'll be back to blogging very soon!

Michelle said...

It's amazing how much difference a little landscaping means! We did ours last year, and ahhhhh! It looks so much better. And this year, some of the plants have gotten so huge! I already know I'm going to have to split hostas next year ... and possibly some of the day lillies, too.

Soooooo where have you been the last two plus weeks? Everything ok?

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