My idea of an easy weekend is…

We thought this weekend it was best to stay in town and take it easy by finally starting our pergola project. We’ve had the supplies in our garage — we just haven’t gotten around to building it because it been too hot to work outside…maybe if we did work on our project in the summer, we would have waited until the sun went down to do the work.

Continue reading My idea of an easy weekend is…

Choose what helps you bloom (PPAC #62)

Another piece of art on a utility box.

Continue reading Choose what helps you bloom (PPAC #62)

Vision boards for travel planning

Yesterday afternoon I was cleaning the deck and it now it looks good as new. I’ve been meaning to clean the deck for some time.

I’ll be honest, I actually cleaned most of the deck. So most of it does look nice. I did not clean that small part BIL occupies with his lawn chairs, sidetable, etc. It’s a mess and I don’t want to pick up after him. When he moves out I’ll clean that part of the deck too. I’ve given up asking him to help out long ago.

Continue reading Vision boards for travel planning

State of the yard

Welcome to homeownership. I’ve been meaning write about homeowner life and the projects around it. It’s a lot of work and we DIY quite a bit.

Last month my goal was to build a pergola in the backyard but this project requires a lot of steps. I thought it was pull weeds and add pavers. But we found a large part of the backyard has concrete below the a few inches of dirt. The last owners did an awful job with the concrete which is why we need to get rid of it too, not just the weeds.

Gladly, we invested in renting a drill for a day to break up and move the concrete in the yard. We can repurpose concrete for other things in the future. It was the best 70 dollars spent ever.
We also learned we need to slope the backyard away from the house. Right now the yard is sloped to the house and it’s bad because when it rains, it would ruin the foundation over time. We need to reslope so water can go away from the house and feed into the river.

Weeds, concerte, dirt.

This pergola project requires more steps.

Welcome to homeownership.

May Goals

I decided to follow along and post my May goals on my blog since everyone in the blogosphere is doing it. For me, I like to reading other people’s goals on their blogs so I was inspired to put together mine.

1. Start the Pergola Project

We bought a fairly cheap house in the Valley. It was built in 1953 and has not been updated since. In other words, we need to remodel the crap out of it. Last year, we updated the home electrical to code and added recess lighting. There’s other major resource-intensive projects such as remodeling the addition but we’re still doing research. This pergola project is fairly small and I would love to have a beautiful shade structure in time for summer events. Is it going to be professionally done, is it going to be a purely DIY project? We’ll find out.

2. Hike 3 times

Since the City Slicker Challenge, I want to take it a little easy on hiking. In March, I hiked 10 times. Though I told myself to take it easy on hiking so I can focus on my home projects, I’ll still do some hikes. Maybe not a 8-10 mile hikes for this month. I’ll place my focus on smaller, more hyperlocal hikes like Fryman Canyon, Lake Balboa, or Tujunga wash. Or when we go to Portland and Seattle towards the end of the month.

3. Clean my closet and drawers

This  was on my to-do list in April. I started this on April 30th and will continue to do so for the month.

4. Remove weeds in the backyard

This is a tie-in to the Pergola Project in the beginning of this list. For us to have a pergola and patio, we need to remove the weeds in the backyard. Last Saturday, I learned a little background on the last people who lived in our house from our neighbors: First, they were renters, and second, they made the house a mess. Ding, ding. We’re cleaning it up. It’s a lot of work since we are doing that on our own. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth getting a professional to do the job. Or maybe…we can leave it to the professionals to do the harder things like remodeling or placing pavers on the patio. You see, when you are a homeowner, all one sees are dollar signs. You’re already paying mortgage, property tax, all the utility bills –Dollar signs can scare people away. You need to see dollar signs from two sides: one for the services being done by a professional versus the services you are doing yourself. It can get tricky. Sometimes, it may cost more if you do it yourself because you purchased the wrong items or you purchased tools you end up using once. Then there’s the cost of the learning curve of practice and other potential wasted resources.

5. Donate books

I have a few books in my office that I am ready to clear out. I am open to doing a book-crossing, donate my books to a used bookstore at my public library, or donate to my local little free library. I hope whoever is the recipient of the books are people who’ll enjoy the books as I did or more than I did.

6. Post all my hiking trips from the 52 Hike Challenge

To date, I’ve hiked 21 times this year  and I need to document them! I plan to write about them all during May. It’s been a wonderful experience and a unique way to explore LA.

Los Angeles Zoo 2013 — Summer is almost here!

You’ll see some random photos in posts like these. I have a whole collection of old photos in my phone that probably deserve some spotlight, not just my wedding and engagement photos. I’m looking at you former brides who continue to post photos from their wedding though life moved on after the wedding. Because we’re nearing summer, I thought to share a photo of a little waterfall from the Los Angeles Zoo.