Friday, October 14, 2016

Unpacking at the Bamboo Lagoon

After organizing
So, we had two big shipments of our stuff...the stuff that was in long term storage was packed in 2007 and mostly contained stuff that we would not need living overseas...the second shipment was the items that we did take with us but still sat in storage for a period of time.

Most of our yard stuff did not make the trip because we didn't know what kind of housing we would end up with and we were limited on weight so anything too heavy and not absolutely necessary did not make the cut.

These four big boxes along with all the stuff that is sitting around them was stuff that didn't make the cut and still didn't have a home in our yard quite yet so I was content to leave it packed up.

Before starting...trashcans, tarps, coolers, and boxes

This week, we had a big storm coming our way, and I needed to get the gutter in the back of the house cleaned out. This gutter is actually under the covered area of the back porch so it can't be accessed from the roof and has to be cleaned out using a ladder on the back porch. I couldn't get to that section due to these boxes and extra stuff, so I was motivated to tackle the boxes.

Midway through gutter and cleanup

While doing this, I found a little hidey-hole that a neighborhood rodent has been using...lots of droppings and half eaten acorns, but that little spot no longer exists. Found a half eaten ant trap too...didn't realize those were a delicacy.

Nasty little hidey-hole

It took me a while to get it all unpacked and ended up finding a few surprises (the movers always put a few things in the boxes that don't really make sense), but for the most part, it was all yard stuff.

Some of the yard art will go up on the walls of the house rather quickly (once the storm has passed), but the number of pots we have is pretty immense and most of that was stacked back up near the house in prep for the storm and will be sorted out later.

So while it doesn't look like a lot of accomplished as far as moving things out, in reality it was....everything is cleaned up, organized, and accounted for.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Deterring Woodpeckers

Deterrent on south side
Each fall, we have a few juvenile woodpeckers that seem to get confused between our house and the trees that they should really be pecking each year, I head to the dollar store to find some cheap, colorful, shiny things to hang off the house for a few months...

This year, while I was on the roof cleaning gutters, I also hung the deterrents on the eave near the front of the house (where we have had pecking in the past). The wind usually pulls them down by the end of the fall, but by then the woodpeckers have moved on.

We have a spot that they created a hole at one year that is still only filled but not repainted yet (it is in a high spot on a slant so the extension ladder on unstable ground is scary) but I hope to get up there and paint it in the next few weeks when we get some dry days again.

Unlike some people, I am not willing to hurt the woodpeckers to get them to stop this behavior (not to mention that it is illegal to do so), so this little bit of effort is worth not having to fill holes in our house.
Deterrent on north side
Seems like it wasn't an issue the first two years we were here, but I hate to wait until I hear them pecking before starting to do anything about it since they can do some serious damage in a very short time. These are preemptive strikes for me....LOL

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

More Pine Straw at the Bamboo Lagoon

After the clean off
We are expecting a big storm here and by experience, I know that cleaning up pine straw is much easier done when dry than wet so I really wanted to at least get it off the roof and solar panels even if it didn't make it into the bin.

In order to get to it, I have to get on the roof in two different spots in order to not damage the solar panels. The first spot, allows access to the gutters as well so I figured while I was up there, I would clean gutters, and move some pine straw.

In order to make the new downspout screen, I had to take one of the other ones out for sizing, and then tin snips and some hardware wire made an easy job of it.

New screen for downspout

The roof was nice and dry and the view always takes my breath away. Gutters were not too bad, although I had to rebuild a screen for one of the down spouts. The back porch side of the gutter can be reached from a painting ladder, but was blocked by another project (subject for another post) so there was a bit of a diversion during part of this day of tasks. The pine straw was pretty massive but easy to move.

Pinestraw before cleanup

While I was up there, I also cut off a few limbs from the pine tree that were hanging too low over the panels and house. The pine tree is so big compared to when the panels were installed so they really don't get sun like they should anymore.

Pile off the roof

Once done, we had a pretty big pile of pine straw with some limbs in it. I was able to get all the limbs into the bin as well as get some of the drainage areas cleaned out of leaves so that we wouldn't have too much run off in our sloped yard. The rest of the pine straw will go in next week's bin.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pine Straw Clean Up At The Bamboo Lagoon

Pine straw is like leaves, it is a never ending project each year. Even though we don't have nearly the amount of pine straw here that we did in NC, it still requires a certain amount of maintenance. I really only clean up the straw that falls on a particular area of the yard and let the rest lie where it falls.

This area is right under two Ponderosas we have in the yard and is a thoroughfare to the back porch from the front yard so it has to be cleaned up. This is just the pine straw that fell directly on the ground....there is a bunch more that is on our patio roof that I need to push off onto the ground, but I wanted to get this out of the way first. This straw filled up our 45 gallon yard waste bin all by itself. I wanted to get this area cleaned up before I attempt to do some work on the back porch since walking through this area is necessary and the pine straw is very slippery on the landing area.

I raked all of the it off the landing area, and off the sloping area of the rock wall but left it alone at the top where it just adds to the nice forest look that we have on that side of the yard. It took me an hour to get it all cleaned up and that included cleaning up one side of the drainage system that runs along the yard as well.

I think it looks a lot better and I am sure that the plants that were under a portion of it are much happier to be back out in the open.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pruning Japanese Maple

Before with overgrown Japanese Maple and Lamb's Ear
I didn't get the project that I planned to get done, done but I did make a dent in the other things on the To Do list for the weekend.

This little guy has to be trimmed up every Spring to get it off the ground, and keep it under control. While doing this, I also weeded the three beds adjacent to it and re-stabilized the Japanese lantern.

It was a good workout and I felt like I got something accomplished even if it wasn't everything I wanted to get done today.

We might have rain tomorrow but I am hoping that maybe I'll get the first part of the day to do some additional yard work.

Cleaned up tree and lantern
Flowerbeds filled with weeds

After cleaning up all the weeds
Another angle on the overgrown Japanese Maple

After its hair cute...much happier
Now at least the house doesn't look completely abandoned...if I can get the lawn mowed and two more beds cleared of weeds, the front will start too look present-able.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Shearing at the Bamboo Lagoon

Wow...took a lot of effort but at least it is done for now...this lawn was 9 inches deep when I decided to tackle it yesterday...looks so much better.

I was sure the neighbors were sick of seeing that mess....

Still need to do a bunch of weeding and replanting as well as treatment on the lawn but before the storm hit, I am glad I knocked this portion out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Furniture Rearrange at the Bamboo Lagoon

I know it has been a while. I have kind of stalled out on projects. Not that there aren't tons to be done, but just that with working full time, I find that I am limited on time.

The way that this corner of our living room was set up (even though it wasn't completely set up) has been bugging me for a while, but I haven't had the time or inclination to do anything about it. Well, the other day, this changed...I decided it was time to just try it out. It gave me the opportunity to get some cleaning done in the same part of the room.

So here it is.

This is the before picture. I had the love seat kind of up against the wall, with the step tansu against the stair railing but set up as a buffet and not in the step configuration. I didn't like how the love seat bled over in front of the window and how I couldn't put it all the way up against the wall because of the task light and the heater vent.

So this is now it looks now...

I put the step tansu in the corner set up in the step configuration and added some art to the wall. I moved the love seat in front of the step railing. I think it flows a lot better and makes the whole area more functional. I guess someday I'll be done with the rest of the house...of course this will probably be ten minutes before we sell