January 13, 2012


We hit our three year anniversary of my husband being laid off by Motorola and will be celebrating our third year of living in Arizona in April.  The house we found was and still is, beautiful.  The people who lived before us did a great job of updating it to present-day standards.  And yet, I am starting to want to make it mine.  It all began when we were getting ready for Christmas doing "Christmas cleaning."  Christmas cleaning involves the refrigerator and blinds and other "extras."  The blinds were awful, but the worst ones were the blinds by the window at the sink.  Food from dishes had been flung far up the blinds.  As I tried to get the food off, I discovered that some of them had been stained.  "Why would someone put up blinds in a kitchen window that doesn't have privacy issues?," I asked.  My husband agreed with me and off came the blinds, making the kitchen with its low ceiling and rust red walls a little bit brighter and giving me an unobstructed view when I sent my kids out in the back to play.  As an added bonus, I have a window ledge to put things, once I figure out what we should our could put there.  But even before this, little ideas were starting to blossom in my head.  Okay, some of them are big ideas requiring a lot of work and maybe even a lot of money.

One idea would be to change the kids' rooms into kids' colors and maybe change their closets as much as I can.  The girls want a sea theme and the boys want a space theme. The girls need help in their closet to help keep things more organized and I have ideas, but not lots of time to work out the details.  I would love to change my bedroom from  mocha brown to something that goes with our new coverlet.  I have also dreamed from the moment we found the house of putting plantation shutters over the windows in our bedroom that overlook the living room (yes, you are reading that correctly) for both privacy and sound reduction purposes.  In reality, if money were no object, I would replace them with stained glass windows custom fitted and able to be opened when desired.  If I could, I would convert the sliding glass doors in the family room that are currently covered with bookshelves into french doors with a security lock to prevent young children from getting into the pool area without adult supervision.  I would also change the windows in the dining room into french doors with security locks because it, also would have access to the pool area, where we now have a dining set in the pool area, thanks to my grandma.

Raised beds built by MWH*
Most of our efforts this year will involve the outside.  We are in the process of converting part of our side RV pit into a raised vegetable garden.  Because Arizona is part of  opposite world, February is the best time to begin planting for a spring garden.  By summer, the sun will have burnt everything to a crisp.  Then, we can start another garden sometime in September or October.  Over two weekends, I worked with my son, Kyle and Eric shoveling the rocks covering the dirt into a big pile.  Last weekend, Eric bought the wood and some weatherproofing stain to build the bed.  This weekend, he will finish installing the irrigation system that is essential to growing things in Arizona.  Then, we have to buy a truckload of dirt and some plants and seeds to start it.  As the season progresses, there are plans to put up a sun shade to screen the plants a bit, since this area gets a lot of sun through most of the day.  The previous owners loved palm trees and we have 27 in our front and back yards, mostly in the back.  I love the palm trees in the back because they provide a lot of shade in the pool area, but less in love with the front ones.  I would love to replace one set of three in the front with a cocktail tree--grapefruit, oranges and lemon trees planted together to make one big tree.  I would also love to replace some bushes in the back with rose bushes, which also seem to thrive surprisingly well in Arizona.  We will see how much gets done this year other than the vegetable garden.

*MWH = My Wonderful Husband


AquaJane said...

Congrats on your anniversary, Kris. I love your redecorating ideas; they are both practical and creative. The raised beds look great. A good height, too. I'm fascinated by the cocktail tree idea, all new to me. Happy growing season!

tandemingtroll said...

A cocktail tree is tree that grows a variety of citrus fruit--lemon, orange, grapefruit are the most common. The owner of the nursery near me said that the easiest way to get a cocktail tree is to plant three different saplings in the same hole. The three trees grow together to become one that produces three different fruits. I was thinking about getting a lemon tree, an orange tree for juice oranges and maybe a navel tree. My friend has navel oranges the size of grapefruits on her tree.

Jennifer Dougan said...

You have palm trees?! That sounds lovely. And gardening is always exciting, isn't it? Have you done raised beds before? When we move to our own yard some day, I may experiment with raised beds. Now we garden at community center plot nearby, which is wonderful too.

Jennifer Dougan

Ken Hagerman(The Barba) said...

Cool raised gardens. You need that to add the soil in, right? It is a little sandy there?

Cool bikes BTW. We homeschool as well in Paraguay.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Tandeming Troll,

Mm, basil from scratch! As soon as our house sells and I can fill my house with plants again, I am going to start some more basil too. So good for food. Good for your daughter. I doubt you have a black thumb :) -you just need the right plants that are sturdy and tolerant. Philodendrons, aloe vera, etc.

I would love to hear your "You Know You're Old When..." post. I feel exhausted now after jogging laps, so that would be appropriate for me too. ;) Link it up here so I can find it.

Jennifer Dougan