Backyard fix

So I’m pretty sure I want that big tall lovely bamboo as a privacy screen against the back of the property. That however, will need to wait for now. That said the second level of the yard has fallen into disrepair, the sprinklers weren’t working well and the grass was never really grass but weeds full of prickers; tormenting kids, dog and even the inside of the house was not Immune to the prickers.

One thing I realized was I don’t need the whole top area to be grass, the play area could easily be mulched, ultimately saving on water. I also decided to mulch around the patio and to move the patio to the back corner. This of course, involved moving some fruit trees as well. The drip irrigation was not done correctly in the back and some of it needs to be redone and it needs to be added to places that lack it.

The good news is the mulch and patio moving phase is underway! The less good news the bamboo and new grass will need to wait a bit but this should help the existing plants do better (proper irrigation) and save money and water by reducing the area that needs watering. Hopefully this part of the project will be done this week!

Here it is very much in progress…

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One thing, leads to another…..

Well to start now I have the Fixx song running through my head, maybe you will now too…..

So the plumbing repairs that I mentioned awhile back, well they are done. The water main was replaced and the last section of the sewer main was replaced as well. I’m still paying the plumber, it was not an inexpensive fix….

The reason the sewer main section closer to the house had not been replaced when I first moved in when I replaced the rest of it, was that it meant cutting up the patio and that was an additional expense. Well, that section of the sewer main finally had to be replaced and the patio did indeed have to be cut up, sigh.

So now I have this

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If I patch it, it will look terrible. I should also add the grading on the patio is terrible and water pools in the center of the patio and it really isn’t looking it’s best these days. I’ve been getting quotes to replace the patio and there are concerns the patio wall won’t hold up to the replacement of the patio floor, see one thing leads to another….

Also, if I do fix it, I want to potentially tile the patio and that of course adds to the expense…this whole patio is a case of one thing leads to another….. Just not sure when or what will happen but I can’t have a big hole there for much longer, it’s a safety issue and well as just plain ugly.

But there is so much still to do. I need gutters and the back driveway has drainage issues, I really want a laundry room, and a banquette in the kitchen. Not to mention the kitchen and bath remodels still need to happen. The backyard is another huge project too…so much to do, but it’ll happen, eventually.

And so it begins…..

It’s been since the holidays that I’ve felt the need, not a desire, but an actual need to replace the sofa in the livingroom. My dear friend Stacey, kindly and correctly, pointed out the existing couch was not as formal as the living room. This makes sense as it was from the old house where it was the only sofa and served multiple purposes. It served me well, but it is time to pass it on to another loving home.

My sofa history has been a good one of finding what I needed via Craigslist and then working a little reupholstering magic. This time I was going a different direction. I knew what I wanted, a very specific look that was a nod to a sofa we had for a while growing up. It was tufted, purple mohair velvet and slightly curved. I don’t have a great picture of it but it’s seared in my memory as a perfect sofa. So the search began, I was looking for something reminiscent of said sofa. I spent hours looking online, hours and hours. I narrowed it down to two choices. A purple velvet chesterfield Anthropologie was selling or a more modern Jonathan Adler sofa. Well, in person the Adler sofa was too diminutive for the space and the chesterfield felt just too generic somehow.

So after months of research I was left nowhere….well I turned to CL and I found an amazing sofa. I bargained and got it for much less than asking, which always feels good. It is full of potential! It is so much (or will be) like my inspirational sofa except much bigger. It’s 9ft long! It needs work!! To start with it needs some legs to give it a little height and these will need to be just right or they will ruin the look. So that is project number one. Then I need to find purple mohair velvet fabric and finally it will need to be reupholstered and have a firmer cushion made.

This sofa is so big it has me removing some furniture from the living room. Less is more, I think. But now I’m facing a conundrum of where things should go. Well it’s a process and it won’t get done over night but I think this is a major step In the right direction.

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It pays to be Green, sorta….

Two of the things that helped me decide to prioritize landscaping the front before other projects were the that fact I’d save water (this drought is no joke) and that LA DWP was offering a $2/sq ft rebate for each sq ft of turf you removed. I still have a nice grassy backyard for the kid/dog to play in and it seemed rather wasteful to have so much grass we didn’t use. Plus I think it looks great and helps out a ton on the curb appeal factor.

Today my rebate check came, and while the landscaping costs exceeded the rebate (by a lot) it’s still great to get a check in the mail! Hurray turf rebate program, hurray!

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It’s on!

Finally, my solar is on and rolling back our electric meter. Good timing too, given it’s been crazy hot. And since LA is stupid and won’t pay you for any excess you give to the grid, I’m keeping my AC on and for the first time feeling no guilt about it. I need to maximize my solar investment! The LA DWP guy came and installed new meters, I have no idea how to read them (but I will). Of course the switch to the new meters will delay their ability to bill for a few months…meaning I won’t know how much over or under I am in terms of usage…..but I think I can figure that out once I figure out the meters. And, I had the system based on 110% of actual prior usage so I should be good.

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Our Garden

Thankfully the veggie beds are pretty self sustaining and they give us yummy things to eat. This year I planted corn and it is (surprisingly) doing well, there are little baby ears of corn! This morning’s harvest would also include a bunch of strawberries, but Charlie ate them all.

This mornings harvest

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Some of our plants

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