Monday, December 27, 2010

Why are holidays so busy?!!!

Is it me or are all holidays crazy busy?  I usually feel like I need a vacation afterward.  We tend to go visit everyone, everywhere and jam pack all of that into a day or two.  Don't misunderstand...I love visiting my family and seeing people I haven't seen most of the year. But goodness, I feel like a need several weeks to do it!  Now if I could only have a vacation where I did nothing, but lay around.  That would be nice!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's been awhile

Okay, so I'm not very good about keeping my blog up.  I can't believe it's been over 3 months since I last posted anything.  I guess that happens when you completely redo your yard and home and then get burnt out.  I still have yet to finish painting our kitchen cabinets, but I did get all of the hardware and a new kitchen table.  The master bathroom will have to wait a while longer as it will be more expensive and time consuming. Well, I guess I should catch you up on what's happened since August 19th...
August/September: Alabama football!
October: More football and Awesome Halloween party! I'll try to post some pictures.
November: so far, Daniel and I went to historic Westville with his family.  Other major things that have occurred: My dad had a heart attack on 11/9 and had a triple bypass the next day.  He came home that Sunday.  He's better, but not feeling absolutely great yet and he's completely bored. Also, my two Alma Maters played football against each other last Thursday night.  Daniel had the audacity to ask who I'd root for.  Let me tell you; I did not go to Georgia State for their athletics.  I went there for PT school and that was it.  My allegiance for college football is with Alabama.  ROLL TIDE!  Now I just hope that we can be Auburn!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Grass is in!

Well, it took two installments to get all the grass in the backyard.  Well, a miscalculation only got us two pallets to begin with, but on the other hand, the trailer would not have been able to carry all four pallets. 

This past weekend we got our first batch down.  It was already looking better and more "home-y".  We had the help of my mother, my brother in-law, and Daniel's mom and step-dad.

We realized that it didn't go as far as we hoped and had to order two more pallets.  So on Wednesday, we got the new ones.  We started placing them and half-way through, the sod was looking rough; not as green and less dirt on the bottom.  They really looked as if they'd been cut days ago and they weren't used and they thought they could just put the good sod on top and no one would notice...well at least that's how we felt.  But regardless, we laid it down anyway. 

OH MY, how much better it looks!  Having grass actually makes my yard look smaller.  Go figure.  But, it looks more like a yard with purpose.  No offense to the former owners, they had some nice plants, that I've moved around a bit, but they just didn't have much of an order or purpose and it was a bit overgrown.  I think it does now. 

NEXT UP, kitchen or bath remodel!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jungle Removed

So, after two and a half long, tiring months we have finally begun to see the potential of our yard. We dug and raked, and hauled so much I am just completely exhausted. I can't wait until I can just set out the sprinkler, trim a little, and sit and enjoy my lovely backyard. Look at what has become of our yard. Scroll back to the last post to see the before pics. Oh yeah...all that empty space will have grass in it's place TOMORROW!!!

Those big plants are azalea.  They were just out in the middle of the yard.  We moved them back to the fence to open up they yard, then added some hosta and hydrangea in that bed.

The front of the pool house.  I added a small bed in front of the window and a cute bird feeder!

I made a new potted plant with some coleus, pinta, and white lantana with pretty lantana in a hanging basket to the back of the pool house.

I even found a place for the other potted plant I took with me from our old house.

I can't wait to get the grass in.  I'll certainly take pictures and show you!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Big Jungle

Yeah, sorry it's been so long since I last blogged. It's been kinda crazy around the Maguire household between the move, Daniel being sick, and us trying to make this new house our home. It has been a lot of hard work, especially with the back yard - a complete jungle!

see what I mean?!

I've had a lot of work cut out for me...stay tuned for updates of the jungle-removing process.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Daniel is in the hospital again...

Well, it's been since before our move that I last blogged. I've been incredibly busy and preoccupied with getting my new house and yard the way I want it. I've also been meaning to upload some before/after pics, but just haven't made the time to do it. But the house is coming along. On the other hand, Daniel has not been feeling well enough to help with much.

I don't know if it's the stress of the move or what, but he's been having flare-ups of his ulcerative colitis. It's an auto-immune disorder sort of related to Crohn's disease, but only affects the large intestine. Daniel was diagnosed 2 years ago after a few tiny symptoms and a colonoscopy. Daniel's brother had it too. He was diagnosed at 14 and had his colon removed at 19. He had it pretty severely. Daniel has not really had many issues since his diagnosis, only a few minor dosage changes to his meds. And then WHAM! About 4 weeks ago, he develops some gut pains and going to the bathroom a lot. He went in to see his doctor who immediately admitted him to the hospital for treatment. He was there for 3 days and 2 nights and had a scope while he was in. The doctor said it looked pretty bad. They prescribed predinsone and oral antibiotics.

2 weeks later, he saw his doctor and was feeling fine. They started and ever-so-slight taper on his prednisone. That next day, he started having pain again. This pain was very intermittent. This went on for a few days and then it started to get more frequent and then constant. The doctor was called twice that week and they gave him another prescription and made other changes, but it didn't help. He didn't (and therefore neither did I) sleep a wink on Friday night. So Saturday morning, I loaded him in the car and we headed for Brookwood Hospital ER. Why drive to Birmingham? Well, his doctors are at Brookwood and we want them taking care of him since they know him. They are doing the same treatment in the hospital and he's having a scope sometime later this morning to look at his colon. Then we'll gather a game plan for a new meds. It looks like he'll be going on immunosuppressants. They reduce inflammation and autoantibody production. This will help Daniel's condition greatly, but he'll have a harder time fighting an infection than normal. The only real cure for ulcerative colitis is to remove his colon, like his brother. I'm sure they want to explore other medications prior to this drastic procedure. I just want Daniel to stay out of the hospital and feel well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I am the Warrior!

No, no...not the Patty Smyth/Scandal kind, although the beginning of the song talks about running. Daniel and I, along with our friends Buddy and Tim, ran the Warrior Dash. I did survive and became a full-fledged warrior. It was super fun and hard. There is nothing that can prepare you for all of the crazy obstacles in that race! Daniel finished too (although behind me, mind you!). It was funny, because walking up there we didn't see very many dirty people (we all expected to get muddy), but then we got to the mud pit near the end of the race and got filthy. Most of it washed off through the next obstacle in the water going over the logs, but Buddy still kept some mud on him! The race was pretty fun and Daniel got it all on video with his head cam that he just had to wear. Look for it soon on youtube. Next on the agenda: finish packing up our house and move to Tuscaloosa. Our closing is Thursday!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Moving, Running, etc.

Well, it has been crazy for me lately. I've been trying to pack up my house, and at the same time avoiding it. It's weird. I really love my house, my backyard, and my why am I leaving?! I know....moving to Tuscaloosa will be better. Less stressful commute everyday, closer to ammenities, etc. And I think we will really like our house and new neighbors in Tuscaloosa, it's just so hard to pack without getting emotional or depressed and you just don't want to do any packing. The big day is next Thursday! One week away! It's so scary and exciting at the same time. We will be moving all of Memorial weekend (if anyone wants to help, just call me!)and we give up possession of Lake View home at 4pm on June 1st.

Until the big move, Daniel and I have been "sort of" training for the world's craziest 5K. We have been running a little more than occassionally, but less than we probably should have. Daniel's birthday is Sunday and he decided he wanted to spend it in Mountain City, GA running the Warrior Dash with some friends. It's a 5K with an obstacle course. Daniel thought he might actually want to run in this race because it was different. He doesn't even like running, so I agreed and will be running with him and a few of our friends who live in Atlanta. I hope I can finish without hurting myself on an obstacle! And I hope I am not too sore to move next week! I'll keep you updated and post any pictures we take!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Blog Name - Same Ol' Mandy

As you can tell, I've pretty much just been posting about my yard lately, so I decided to change the name temporarily to "Mandy's Garden". Let's face it, there was no reason to keep the name "Daily Dose" since I never wrote daily! To continue with the theme: Here are some more pics from my garden!

This is my rhodedendron. The leaves got eaten up pretty badly last year by bugs (mainly japanese beetles), but it still is blooming! It's got plenty more buds on it.

My peony is beginning to bloom. It hasn't bloomed in 3 years and it decides to finally bloom right when we're moving...well, at least I still get to enjoy it now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

more yard pics

I betcha can't tell that I'm proud of my yard!

More flowers blooming everyday! You can really notice my azaleas.

my spiderwort flowers in the morning and they close up at night

This iris was trying to bloom for several days now and finally opened.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My yard, a sentimental memoir - Part 3

Today we signed off on the contract for a couple to buy our house. Now we wait for their approval letter and the home inspections on both houses. I'm excited and fearful of this new chapter in our lives. I'll be glad that now I can feel like I can do things when I get home and sleep 30 minutes later in the morning or go for a morning run. I'm very proud of what I was able to accomplish in the yard at my Lake View home over the past almost 5 years and looking forward to work on my new yard. You know, it amazes me how different my back yard looks just after a few weeks of spring. I love this time of year and new things popping up everyday. I hope the new owners enjoy it just as much as I do and take care of it just as well too!

The above picture was taken on 3/27/10 and the one below was taken 4/17/10.
Amazing, huh?!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Yard, a sentimental memoir - Part 2

Well, today we put in our counter-offer for our house. I hope they accept it. Apparently they really fell in love with our house and I hope the back yard too. I am giving up my refrigerator as part of the deal. It was a graduation/house warming gift from my dad, so I was reluctant to do it, but in the end gave it up for the greater good. Plus, I can get a newer one with all the bells and whistles now. The buyers requested May 31st for closing. That's a significant day - not only is it Memorial Day (so I'm not really sure we can close on that day), but it's also our 7th wedding anniversary. We were planning on coming back from Gulf Shores on that day and if all goes according to plan, we'll have another thing to add to that day's importance. Here's some more of my memoir of my yard:

Just a note that I didn't mention before - our backyard had some grass then woods behind with more weeds than anything. The first spring, I remember waking up to see millions of huge weeds that I swear were not there the day before! It took a lot of hard work, but eventually we got it to where it had a purpose and got all of our neighbors jealous, yet motivated to make their yards look nice too!

my hammock: such a relaxing place in the springtime. It's also one of the first parts of the yard we worked on. It was a perfect place between 2 trees.

I designed this arbor with 3 support posts instead of one. Daniel, his brother, and brother's friend built it for me. We later put in a floor, which is kinda backwards. We were indecisive on whether doing pavers, the wood decking, or river rock.

The pond was one of the hardest projects ever! It really has taken 3 years to really perfect. We got the pond liner from Daniel's Aunt Tricia. Mom and I dug, but the ground was so hard we couldn't get it all the way down. We added dirt and rock. The next year we pulled it up and dug down even farther using all the water from the pond to soften the ground. We were able to get it down to the lip of the pond and added the rocks back to hide the liner. We did have a different kind of waterfall that was more like a stream, but last year I got the this waterfall in the hopes of hiding all the "unnatural" portions of the pond/pump system. It's really hidden now!

My pond features goldfish. It once had fancy koi and shubunkins, but an owl got to them. He had expensive tastes. We noticed that they kept disappearing without a trace (not floating on the top). Once night I was feeding them at dusk and saw the reflection of a flying animal in the water that landed on a tree over the pond. I looked up and there was an owl, waiting for his supper! Now I have the 15 cent goldfish from Walmart/PetsMart. They procreate so I never had to really replace them.

I have lots of little creatures hiding in my yard. They are mostly turtles and frogs. For some reason, most of my turtles lose their heads; this one's just lounging around.

You can't see me!

I've had this peony for 3 years now. When my mother first bought it (and made me plant it), it had a few blooms. Every year after that, it never bloomed for me. But, apparently that's typical for when you move or plant one. This is the first year it's bloomed for me and I have at least 7 buds on it!

Can you believe that this was one little plant? One little piece of grassy stalk sticking up out of the ground? Well, we've coined it "the peach park plant". My mom saw it in Clanton at the Peach Park. It had a pretty orange flower and she wanted us to find one. Well, she "took" it and I planted it. We never found it at a store. It spread and spread and spread. I even have given some away! I can't wait until it blooms!

This is a portion of my yard behind the arbor. We have several azalea bushes and oak leaf hydrangeas surrounding a bird house that was given to us by Daniel's mother. It's like a duplex as it has 2 sides with a wall in the middle. Every year we have a pair of bluebirds that come to live in it. They keep a nest in there, but they only use the right side. Funny, huh?

This Japanese Maple is about 4 years old. We bought it from Pike in Birmingham at only 2 feet tall and scraggly-looking. We only paid $15 for it! That is unheard of! We really got a deal. It's probably worth $100 now.

This is an iris my neighbor gave me. She split a bunch that were taking over her garden and gave me about a dozen. They've done really well in my yard.

This plant was bought in honor of my brother. He moved to Charlottesville, VA a few years back to be a chef at a French restaurant up there. Mom found this a couple years ago - a Virginia Sweetspire.

You can't see them very well in this photo, but about 2 years ago, we put in 3 crepe myrtles to the right of our house as a decorative border between us and our neighbors. We thought the trees were going to die because it was so hot that summer. We split some daylillies from the other side of the driveway and put them between the trees. They're getting so big, they'll have to be split again this year!

These trees are our "cingular trees". You know the Cingular/ATT commercials with the ascending items in the background to symbolize their signal bars. Well, my trees were descending with the largest to the left and the smallest to the right. Now the middle tree has caught up. They were all the same size when we bought them!

These were old burglar bars from my mom's house. They work perfect as a fence/trellis for my carolina jasmine to grow.

Bauer will miss his backyard and holding down CTU (Canine Terrorist Unit).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Yard, a sentimental memoir

Well, several hours ago, we got a call from our Realtor stating that we had an offer on our house! We don't know any specifics yet as we'll meet with our Realtor tomorrow afternoon. Like I've said before, there are mixed feelings about this move. I love my house and my yard, but Daniel and I both work in Tuscaloosa and have for over a year now and it's getting really tiring. Thinking about the real possibility of moving, I began to get pretty weepy-eyed. I am really going to miss our first house and the yard I've put so much work into. I've been meaning to put newer pictures up for you to see, so here's my photo memoirs of my yard.

Our home

the back side

our patio furniture

my pride and joy

one of the first areas we planted
when we moved here

I have many different types of
hydrangeas in my yard. This one has
so many buds. I can't wait til it blooms!

One of my hydrangea trees

This is a hydrangea that Lowe's just about
killed and put on sale for something crazy like
$5. I revived 2 of them and they are huge!