Before we moved into the house, the inspector told us that he was unable to look at a portion underneath the house because he had found snake skins under there and legally he didn’t need to check any more but he did look at something like 90% of the under side of the house. We later found out he was lying when Eric fell through the floor just feet from the entrance to the crawl space but being new home buyers we nodded and smiled. It was suggested to us that we get rid of as much of the underbrush around the house as possible to leave the snakes feeling exposed so they would leave on their own. When Jamie’s family came down to help move, her brother Russ attacked this project with a vengeance and took out 3/4 of the bushes and brush on the front of the house leaving us with the sides, the back and all around the garage, and a giant bush out back. You can read about that in Yard.
So when they left, on Halloween day we took up our shovels and rakes and set to work on the side of the house next to the garage. Talk about hard work, the vines from kudzu and wisteria have taken over our entire yard, every time we put the rake to the ground it was ripping up roots or vines. We had to dig up giant stumps from the giant holly bushes that had taken over but after a hard day of work and passing out at 9:00 pm with no trick-or-treaters, we felt pretty good about our progress. Until Tuesday when I (Jamie) started seeing little bumps around her wrist, right where my shirt ended and my garden gloves began. Within a few days my arms had swollen up so much I could barely fit in the sleeves of my shirts and lets just say it was a disgusting mess. I finally went in to the doctor and when I showed her my arms the doctor shrieked, “What? Were you gardening naked!?” I had to get a shot of steroids to the butt and the nurse was so nervous she shut the light off on me after asking me to stay 20 minutes. “20 minutes?” I thought, “that’s ridiculous, I’m not going to have a bad reaction.” and then I remember thinking I was going to throw up because I stood up and then woke up laying on the ground. Feeling pretty embarrassed at having passed out I jumped up and laid in the bed. When the doctor came in she asked how I was feeling. “Okay, but I think I passed out.” She stopped and looked at me with her eyebrows raised. “No, you didn’t, you just fell asleep.” “Maybe,” I said, “but I woke up on the ground.” She still didn’t believe me but made Eric drive over to pick me up anyway. We must have gotten most of it out of the yard because I haven’t come down with any more poison ivy since, thank goodness!
We hauled all the rocks that lined the beds away and broke two wheel barrels in the process. We used some for a walkway out back which you can check out in Yard, and our neighbor took the rest to use in their garden.
The next thing we did out here was paint the front door red! We also switched out the light fixtures with some we got as a gift and we started adding some plants back in like some roses and azaleas but there is so much space it feels a little overwhelming so we need to come up with a plan before we keep adding random plants willy-nilly.
We were disappointed with how much of the red front door disappeared behind the storm door. So we tried to replace it, but apparently our door is an unusual size and to custom order a new one was way out of the budget. Instead we just took it out all together and holy cow what a difference!
Next we painted the trim in Amphibian by Behr just to set it apart that much more and we love it. Exactly what we were looking for.
We were also shocked by how much difference power washing the sidewalk and siding made. It looks like a brand new house!
Most recently we made some house numbers out of piece of scrap wood and painted the same color as the trim. Now hopefully all our guests won’t keep driving past our house! We still have a ton of work to do out here, but it is already looking better than it was!
To Do List:
Remove the Storm Door Paint the Front Door Trim Fix the loose bricks Power wash(50% finished) Make a Wreath Add House Numbers
- lay down mulch
- plan out what plants to fill out those bare spots
- paint the trim around the windows the same Amphibian as the Door Trim
- edge the garden beds with brick
- Add in a Front Porch?