Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Our front deck has been much neglected since we moved in.
Living downstairs, with the awesome patio--we rarely ever used the front door.
Now that we live upstairs and the summer weather leaves the back patio in full sun, we take respite on the front deck quite often.
During the inspection waaay back in March 2010, the inspector stuck his knife in to the corner of the deck and explained how lame that was. So we put it on THE LIST and promptly forgot about it.

Eventually we want to expand this deck--to encompass much of our lonely forgotten front yard (picture tumbleweeds) which is actually at the back of our house--and stays in shade most of the day
It will be a few years til we get to that project.
Til then-just to make it safe--we choose to spend the least money possible and repair the rotten wood and make it match the house.
For a total of $200 the boys had quite a lot of fun doing manly things while I looked on and took pictures.
Overall I think we spent $130 on wood, $20 on screws and $50 on paint.
They are so eager to get started I didn't get any real before pictures, but I got a few in before it was destroyed.

We knew it was bad--but this is worse!

No wonder it was bouncy in this corner of the deck!

So it is time to improvise the plan--and reinforce the supporting boards!
I couldn't resist this lovely picture.
Travis approves this break

Our dirt sifter in the background doubles as a light weight work bench for this project!

The upright "toothpicks" that go around the deck used to be 7" apart, which was not to the current code--as children's heads are smaller than 7"--go figure.
Travis re-spaced the new boards to 4" apart!

I would totally prefer a natural look--but these boys are picky and wanted to match paint colors.

I fail at after pictures too! I waited til dark but you get the idea. We ran out of the green paint-so the stairs got painted beige--which I actually prefer!

Anyone who didn't visit during the week this was under construction would never know it was rebuilt!

Not pictured are all the photos I took of the men butts while they were bending over--you didn't want to see that did you?
(I have enough to make a whole blog on the subject!)

Now it is time to celebrate! Good job men!
Now we have a safe deck and can move on to the next project :)
Tweedle D and  Tweedle Dork--who is who?

This blog has been long DELAYED due to the follow DOGS.
Actually--it was delayed because I couldn't find the picture of 1 dog-
Sadie--she lives next door has has us trained to give her treats or she will bark at us once every 10 seconds til we do. It started as soon as we moved in--and we keep stock in dog treats for this reason.

This is Lucy--Travis found her running down a busy road last summer and brought her home because the number on her tag was disconnected. Turns out you have to dial a 1 from a cell phone to get the other 425 area code. I found her owner the following day thru craigslist!!
Lucy got up to do her business many times in the 1 night we had her--some she woke us up for  and others we found the next morning. But she bought us dinner for our troubles (Go Reward!)

This is Pooper aka Blackberry--She was the first to leave a "house warming" present. While touring a few friends thru the yard--here runs a little doggie---oh how cute--wait? what? No--what is she doing!! HEY!!! Get outta here!
Hence why we called her Pooper--no matter how many times her owners still corrected us.
She moved away recently--which is sad as we had come to enjoy her company. And we had just trainer her with treats to poop in other yards!

This is our beloved Zuzu-
I don't have many pictures of her since my hands were always busy scratching her belly.
She was an old girl--blind and partially deaf-- who loved to come over for attention and belly rubs.
She would get all the loving she needed and then lay down on the stones and just hang out with the pack while we worked in the garden.
Up until the end of her days--her whole family--5 girls(!!!) along with Mom & Dad always knew where to find her when it was time to come in.
She could find her way across the street and smell a treat through a closed door!

Some nights we had to walk her back home several times before she stayed put!
She will forever be in our hearts--Rest in treats Zuzu.

Wait--This was not supposed to be a DEPRESSING entry--just a show of our lovely DOGS who have graced our lives here.

Someday we will have a dog of our own--but until then we will adore the dogs of our neighborhood--even when they leave US treats! 
We have discussed a hypothetical dog (along with our hypothetical children!) named George. He/She is a red golden retriever from a rescue. I wonder if we are the only ones with a hypothetical dog?

Next up is E (for EMPTY!)
I haven't come up with a topic for this one yet--but I can get to it now that I've gotten this one off my to do list.

Friday, August 12, 2011


In a perfect world I would be posting a letter or 2 from the alphabet each week--but as perfect as I am things have conspired against me!
For each task to be completed there are 3 others that have to come first and 3 that lead up to each of those and so on and so forth... at least here at Castle Debauchery aka The Twilight Zone.

For instance--the notebook I have all my photos stored on had a fan failure. I get 1 more chance to turn it on and transfer the data but 1st I have to bring home an external drive from work! All so I can write the letter D. I am bursting forth with important D's to Document! Along with e, f, g, and all important K for Kitchen.

So I will take you on a little journey--but lets get a snack first shall we?

My 2nd tomato of the year--first one was sliced and eaten long before I thought to take a picture--It was only a possible an Early Girl.  Since all the tags are blank in the garden--they are all mysteries this year. And I am more than okay with that!
I do believe this is a Black Sea Man--since it was my first tomato last year, and it resembled it inside and out. Look what I have learned! In just a years time!

This is Black Beauty--my first and only Zucchini so far.

 Here are my first ever carrots and a beet!--I needed to thin my carrots and couldn't resist bringing them inside--they taste great! As for the beet--maybe I'll play with that tomorrow.

Onwards to my story. Like I was saying--every project to be completed needs to be preempted by 3 others.
I have some terribly embarrassing seats in the Jeep at the moment. Smittybilt admitted to having had a manufacturer use less than adequate material in these XRC racing seats--and REPLACED THEM FREE! Smittybilt you rock! I was so surprised to actually receive customer service when I complained, as these seats were only 3 years old. The original Jeep seats were 10yrs old with NO holes what so ever when we replaced them.I should have them installed by J I hope!
 Anyway--in order to install the seats--I have to finish the cupboards, tear down my work bench and rearrange the garage in order to pull the jeep in to a flat surface. ( I'm not even concerned about actually parking in there! My kitchen seems to be having a fine time living in the garage.)
So I have been painting every other day as it takes at least 48hrs to not be tacky--touch ups, touch downs and some sanding and then flip another 48hrs later... I moved most of them upstairs finally today:

Either I missed a spot--or that is a reflection on the 2nd from the left!

I am positive these are reflections.

I actually finished 7 of them a month or more ago, but 3 of those went to the next project so I decided to wait to install them all at once. Also I had to rearrange my kitchen cupboards to my liking and figured it would be easier without the doors on. I was right! 

This leads us to this section of the living room-previously full of kitchen boxes--I had to unpack those in order to make room for the other boxes from the garage! 
Oh boy--I see many a trips to good will and garage sales in my future! 

It has been 18 months since we have used any of this stuff!

Time to purge!

See anything you want?

I am NOT putting these back up! No way, no how!
This is sorta like "airing dirty laundry" but only really dusty boxes.

So now the cupboards are 98% painted, hinges are done, kitchen is rearranged, all ready to finish what I started last November.....

Just as soon as I install a new man in the cupboard....

Oh Wait--did he leave a MARK in my cupboard?
Damn it! Not again!
(Hi Mark!! Thanks again!)

I mean.... have the men install new wood under the cupboards!

I have just painted this tonight!! (Yes-its Friday! Woooo Party!?)
48hrs and I can put things in here and install hinges and doors too!
Oh Golly--and the handles I bought 18 months ago!

And the complete end result of replacing the wood under the sink, painting it, installing hinges, arranging the dishes, finishing painting the doors, installing doors, moving boxes up, installing jeep seats and cleaning out the garage:

Our tool shelf has runneth over, plus it is still in the kitchen...
Travis gets to build a work bench in the garage!!!
Imagine that! A real garage I can park in and he can build me things in!

Had I zoomed out-you would be blinded by the floor AND
see the big pile of tools that no longer fit with out rearranging the whole shelf,


How can he relax at a time like this!?!!?!!?! There is so much to do!!
Ok ok--It was Friday night--I will let him relax for now.

And here is how I relax:
Here is a shabby picture of a happy little accident.
I needed a place to put these for now so tucked them in where they may get water.
This corner is now my favorite in the whole garden--even though it is outside the garden.

I did buy that external drive--so D should not be Delayed too much longer..
but time is funny here sometimes at the Castle Debauchery! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The old man and the C

First I give you the old man!!! Well, not THAT old, but the oldest here.

He is Crafty, Clever,Charming, Cunning and Cute!

Travis does not approve

And now on to the other important stuff!

First up we have CHERRY TOMATOES!!
I ate my first cherry tomato July 25th!! I have a few more on the way..
and when I say a few I mean a few plants!
I have 5 or 6 cherry plants--they were a big hit last year
so of course I wanted more
I'm up to 20 eaten now!

These aren't cherries tomatoes below
but If I stuck with just the letter C you would never get
to C all my plants by the time they are eaten.
All my other tomatoes are mystery plants this year.
Before I wrote down the names the tags washed off--
They were free and they will still be tomatoes with out the names!

These have started turning red in the week since I took this pic!

I planted a few new things this year, but didn't take the time to record
WHEN I planted or WHEN they will be ready.
How do you know when carrots are ready? 
This is my first ever CARROT!
As you can C, it's pretty small.
I did manage to make it 2 bites and guess what?

It tasted like a carrot too!
This right here? This is CROWDED!
We have been so busy upstairs getting unpacked and settled..along with Travis' newer projects
and as it turns out--maybe 3 beds of greens was a bit much?
I have neglected them in part to the bitterness of the collards in our last couple BBQs.
Maybe I should make a dish with out the collards?
Since LAZY isn't for 9 more letters!

 This right here? CRAZY! Or COURAGEOUS or Chaos? Or maybe I should save this for D (Dumb!)
I had no problem planting this--only took 2-3 hours to get it all in the ground... we planted 3x the garden as last year on purpose. I expected to lose a few plants and eat more veggies and give more away--but finding 2+ hours a week to work in the garden doesn't sound like much, but it is really hard to find the time recently

Here is the breakdown of what is going on out here:

I planted WAY too many peas--possibly of some super sucky variety so they do not taste good off the vine-I have 4 gallons in the fridge already. Should I stir fry them or freeze them? or Shell them?

I planted 20 bean plants--but cannot see them!
My broccoli is all done and I tore it out. What do I put there?

2 of my beds of Greens got Aphids that I can't get rid of. Started tearing some out and soaping the rest.

Lettuce--oh how I love thee! We ate a lot for a month and then? I was sick of salads and quit harvesting it... now they are several feet tall. Lettuce is NOT supposed to be tall right? Think I will tear it out and replant.

Carrots & Radishes--have no idea when to pluck them.

Cabbage is cabbage-less. One less thing to figure out!

Kale, Collard, Chard: What doesn't have aphids needs harvesting, what does needs to be torn out.

Weeds: Plentiful! Must harvest soon!

Tomatoes are doing great! But I better figure out what to do with them all pretty soon!

Flowers--I pluck a few each week and put in a bud vase on my desk

I also need to feed things and reroute my hose to make sure the toms get enough.
I have a list around here... somewhere...

Contrast--love how this flower was randomly planted next to the purple lettuce. I forget the type of this flower--it was the only one with out a tag

Cats prowling for birds. They don't care for veggies.

Cannonball!!!!! As a quick celebration of the sun, I brought a pool to my favorite little girl Ivy.
We had fun in the sun last weekend. The adults(?) sat in chairs with our feet in the pool whist she jumped and played and splashed us.

Well--if I do not post this now--I will continue to add more C's to the list and you won't see it til August September.
I now have Crows, Chester, Cake, Cayenne to add!