Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Whole New House

At long last, our home has landscaping.

It has morphed from a sad, empty (save for the numerous weeds), ugly space into something streamlined, and beautiful, and blessedly low-maintenance.

Observe, the horror of before:
And the gorgeous after, with plants (with room to grow) and neutral rock.
The little teensy spot on the other side of our garage might be my's so cute!
From the road...a house that NO LONGER looks abandoned!
Having this project complete makes me very happy. Please e-mail if you would like the name of our landscaper. He did a wonderful job (in nearly freezing rain, no less), and we hope to expand the landscaping down the sides of our house in a year or so.
P.S. Husband and I can take credit for painting the porch the much more pleasant shade of brown. Let's hope it not only looks lovely, but also staves off the carpenter bees next summer!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Year of the Praying Mantis

I've seen so many praying mantis this year. One on our truck, one in my hanging flower basket, one on the door to my work building. They are strange and elegant little creatures.

I almost imagine their slender arms are waving to the warm summer as we slip quietly into fall.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Pointing out the obvious: our economy is bad. I read articles that say it's getting better, things are turning around, it is all going to be ok. I don't yet believe those articles. I want industry to grow, people to obtain jobs with adequate compensation, for our world to not seem so gloomy.

So it is with this mindset that I find myself, conversely, fighting against a growing business.

We purchased our house in January 2009, next to my in-laws, who built their dream home and have lived it in for more than a decade. Our home was about to go into foreclosure, and we saved it. We renovated it. We improved its value immensely. We had planned to enjoy our starter nest, to start our family there, until we, too, were able to one day build our own dream home.

So our dismay was great when we learned that the beautiful, natural field behind our house might be sold to a nearby factory, for expansion purposes. They plan to put in a big, bright blue building, with an access road for heavy semitrailers and the new 24-hour staff. All this would be 75 feet from our backyard.

75 feet is a far smaller distance than I'd previously ever thought.

We are already awoken by crashes from this factory dumping their excess at 5 a.m., but they are currently far enough away, and work two ten-hour shifts. It was not much more annoying than the train, whose whistle blows each time it enters town. A mosquito buzzing, a minor inconvenience.

But now they want to put this factory and this road nearly in my backyard. And I am not happy about this. Next door, a playset for the children who live in government subsidized apartments would be just feet away from this access road. A church would become completely landlocked by the factory and access road.

I can't imagine what this will do to the property value of our and my in-laws' homes, and our peace of mind.

So off we went to the city council advisory meeting last week, to explain our position and our concerns. The factory vice president also presented his position, and the advisory committee truly gave him a harder time than I'd expected. They were in a difficult position - we've known many of the members for years, even been taught and mentored by some of them. They don't want to be against economic growth, but they wouldn't want this near their homes either. The meeting was relatively moot as the actual city council itself will come to a decision on November 1. We will be there, too, pleading for an alternative solution.

I don't want to be against economic growth. I don't want to be against the opportunity for job creation. But I don't want a factory in my backyard.
Our backyard extends to the nearest line of small trees in the picture. And then, a factory. We are distraught.

Daily Eye Candy

I once saw a girl with a handbag that I coveted. I didn't ask her where she got the bag, and it is one of my life's great regrets. This bag, however, looks a little bit like that one.
Balenciaga, $988. Really, Balenciaga? Only $988. That's such a steal.

Originally found through OhJoy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

I realize I've had a bout of radio silence whole week with no new posts! Shameful.

Two Mondays ago I came in to work and was greeted by an e-mail from my Dad (yes, he e-mails now. The whole world has gone mad.) that my grandmother had fallen. It turns out she broke her hip.* Life seems to have spiraled from there for yours truly, with commitments and busy days and a giant freelance project coming due.

Mea culpa.

On a completely frivolous note, I got a new iPhone. New, in this case, is new to me. I received Husband's hand-me-down phone while he grasped the new 4S in his sweaty little hands. I hold no grudge, however. I hated my previous damn phone. And now I can play Tetris! Whenever! I! Want!

Built must have divined my new acquisition, because I just found some beautiful new accoutrements on their site. These are actually for the 4S, but Husband tells me they're practically the same. Swearsies.

*The most stereotypical of elderly injuries. She's currently recuperating in a local nursing home (the same one my dad recuperated in, unfortunately). It looks like she will ride out the winter there, at least. For those who are familiar, let us hope they never let her return home.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Best friends in our hearts

Husband and I participated in our final wedding of 2011 on Saturday. My best male friend, Philboy, had stood with the bridal party on my side during our wedding, so I was touched that he included me (and Husband) on his side in his wedding. We have been friends for 8 years (yeah, dude, it's been that long), and he is one of the most intelligent and funny people I know. Lucky for him, he found a partner who is all that and more.

Exhibit A. Gorgeousness personified.
Their ceremony was just the right mix of traditional and modern; religious and irreverent; solemn and celebratory. They wrote their own vows, they symbolized their unity through a sand ceremony, and Philboy was so excited about getting married, he tried to say his "I do's" twice.
Rather than throw sand or blow bubbles, each guest was handed a personalized flag to wave as the newlyweds left the chapel. It was an absolutely adorable touch.
I have to give a special shout-out to my hair (or hairdresser, that is). It wasn't sleek and it was off-center and totally not something I would ever request, but I absolutely loved it. I didn't want to take it out after leaving the reception. 45 hairpins later, however, I will admit my scalp was a bit happy. (And check out the Adonis I conned into posing with me!)
The bride and groom made their own cake topper out of Lego. Behind the little figures is a red heart. It was so sweet and unique!
The bride and groom are honeymooning in Disneyworld (I had to look that up, because I always forget which is in California, and which is in Florida). These adorable hats sat in front of their places at the head table. They wore them as they departed the reception.
The Puritans. We're all a little older, a little wiser, and a little drunker. But we're still all together. I love these people.
This has nothing to do with anything, but what would a wedding be without moustaches? I'm thinking about adding this as a permanent accessory.
Thanks to their wedding reception, I've had LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" stuck in my head for seven days now. At least it isn't "Pussy Control."
Every day I'm shuffling.
This is one of those weddings that I will remember. Not because it was any better (or worse) than any other wedding we've attended recently, but because I know that these people will be in our lives for many years to come. In fact, when they return from their honeymoon, they are going to become our neighbors for awhile. They are two seriously wonderful people, and I am so happy that they found one another. They deserve so much happiness. They are our best friends in our hearts.
You know that, RIGHT?