Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gardening 2012 - Phase 1 - Cinder Blocks

I experience a strange mix of excitement and dread every time I look out my kitchen window into my back yard.  It is a substantial canvas with amazing potential, however, before I can bring out said potential, I have to whitewash what is a fairly fouled canvas currently.

In case you did not follow the metaphor, allow me to be more blunt.  The yard is an overgrown mess.  Not only that, it is filled with artifacts of prior gardening attempts which are old, rotten, and half buried.  So as to not completely overwhelm myself I have set a goal of simply cleaning the slate this year.  That includes getting rid of all the junk which I no longer want back there, pulling up nearly every flower bed, turning over the earth everywhere I want to plant next year, and reseeding large portions of the lawn.  This also includes ripping up a few fairly substantial bushes and trees, but someone will be hired with cash monies for that job.

This weekend I set to digging up the bricks and cinder blocks which lined the rear garden.  The bricks I should be able to get reuse out of.  The cinder blocks however are in terrible conditions and, frankly, were not aesthetically appealing to begin with.  The job was only complicated by the fact that buckthorn, a plant who's roots are relentless, seems to run rampant through the yard currently, and had actually grown INTO the cinder blocks.

The next task I have set for myself is uprooting everything which is in the rear garden, followed shortly by turning over the earth in the garden to prep it for next year.   I'm considering also lining it with stones this year if I get around to choosing what form of masonry I want to decorate the yard with, but that's fairly low on the priority list.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Officially Closed

As of 12:45 today, we are officially homeowners.  This short sale amazed all participants by proceeding as smoothly and quickly as it did, all in all taking only a couple months with no real complications.

Looking at the front of the house

We're (and I use the word "we" very loosely) painting much of the interior over the next few days, and will officially be moving in around two weeks from now.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Big Shoulders 2011

This morning, Laura, very uncharacteristically, got up at 5:45am (and I, very characteristically, got up with her), to participate in this years Big Shoulders swim in Lake Michigan.  Leaving from ... well ... essentially from Navy Pier, she swam a 2.5k and made it out with all body parts in tact.  This is her 3rd (or maybe 4th, I can't recall) Big Shoulders swim, though not the longest open water swim she has done (trivia: the longest was a 6 mile swim).

For whatever reason, the first time she went to a Big Shoulders swim, we brought Skull along, and I think he's been to all the others as well.  He was certainly there today as can be seen from the pictures.  I don't think we've gotten her official time yet, but she was definitely well within the first 20 women in her division (she was a yellow cap - I'm not sure what that represents).

Congratulations wifee!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Curb Couch

This particular method of disposing of furniture is rather curious in it's general acceptability.  I am certainly not against it, especially since the couch in my first apartment, which served me well for five years, was acquired by Anthony from a curb similar in nature perhaps to this curb in so much as it was a curb.

This couch was left down the street from my current apartment and from the looks of it is in fine condition.  Not that I need another, I have amassed three at this point somehow.  Point being, for a college student or recent grad this would be a godsend.

The phrase "Curb Couch" seems an appropriate moniker for the practice of leaving couches roadside in the hope that someone in need will carry it off free of charge.  What happens if this does not occur before it rains however?  Is there a next step in the process here whereby the couch is properly disposed of?  Do garbage trucks actually pick these items up?  And what is the limit on the type of furniture which can be left on a curb?  Surely if I replace my toilet it would not be socially acceptable to leave it sitting outside my house in case someone wants to eclectically decorate their basement.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Petrie Loves His Beefheart

Beefheart - the fillet mignon of aquatic foods.

Petrie enjoying an afternoon feast.  I always enjoy how he just beats the heck out of his food after dragging it underwater.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Glenview House

The Glenview House, originally established in 1878, recently re-opened under new ownership and after undergoing major interior renovation.  We had not visited the site prior to its closure but being that it's within walking distance of our current place of residence, we decided to patronize it last evening.

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Laura being the rather boring and glutton free eater that she is got a wedge salad.  I on the other hand had what I would dare say was the best burger I have had in my life.  Consider the following:
Braised Short Ribs, prime rib, and chuck, ground and formed into a healthy half pound + burger, and topped with black truffle mayo, fontina cheese, and served with brioche.
That is the Three Beef Burger, too good to be called a sandwich, served locally at the aforementioned Glenview House.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Laura and some fava beans after this mornings Wrigley 5k. Running for Childrens Home And Aid, she came in with a 33:44 time, and was still breathing at the end.