Back Fence

At the end of May, KT started working on this back fence in the back yard:


We didn’t like this off white paint that was on the fence and had thought about either painting it a dark brown or stripping it and staining it.  Either way, it was a daunting task.  Then while KT was tearing down the shed, he realized that the back side of the fence panels were not painted.  It was actually a nice weathered brown.  This sparked a brilliant idea to just pull off each panel, flip it around, and screw it back on.  No painting, no stripping, no staining.

It actually turned out to take a lot longer than we had anticipated.  KT spent quite a few evenings working on the back fence.  It turns out the wood is very fragile and if he’s not careful, he can splint the panels or break them in half when he’s just pulling them off with elbow grease.  He had to patch some areas where Monster broke the panels trying to get out of the yard.


But at the end, I think it was all worth it.  Easy for me to say since KT did all the work.  =)

I am loving the weathered look.  I think the dark wood color makes our backyard seem bigger because it blends in with the trees that line the back fence.  Unfortunately, we would not be able to do this with the side fences between us and the neighbors.  Imagine them waking up one morning to find that the fence facing them is painted this ugly off white.  Haha.


Old Shed – Timelapse Video

Back in May, I mentioned here that KT tore down the old shed in our backyard.  He made a timelapse video that I’m finally getting around to sharing.

After he finished taking down the shed, he decided to finally deal with the back fence — as you can see in the last few seconds of the video.  I’ll share some pictures in the next post.


garden update


peach tree :: only one fruit is really growing.  Don’t know what’s going on with the other ones…photo (25)

grapefruit tree :: a whole bunch of what I assume are baby grapefruits.  I think I’ll have to pinch some off because I can’t imagine these fragile branches being able to support so many full grown grapefruits.
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basil :: it’s been a couple of weeks since they sprouted.  I’m letting them grow until they’re about two inches before I plant them outside.  photo (27)

roma tomato plant :: we first bought these on a tray of four about three inches tall.  I plant them all in their individual pots and they are flourishing.  This one is planted in the broken pot from here.  It tilts to one side so I faced it east towards the rising sun.  It seems to be doing better than the other three roma tomato plants because it is so much leafier.  photo (28)

cherry tomato plant :: a few weeks ago, five cherry tomatoes appeared.  It looks like one of them will be ripe soon.  Unfortunately, no other tomatoes have popped up since…photo (29)asparagus :: this plant popped up about a week ago.  Now it taller than the length of my hand.  Another one popped up yesterday about an inch tall.  Still waiting for the other four to come out.

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blueberries :: we are anxiously waiting for some fruits.  One bulb is looking quite promising.

I’ve been checking on up the plants every morning before work and I am relieve they are all alive.  I am a little nervous that the peach tree isn’t thriving like it was a few weeks ago though.  Despite that, I think we’re doing really well for our first garden.  There is still so much to learn.  I bought a few gardening books but reading about soil pH and the different types of soil really puts me to sleep.  I’m hoping that since I don’t have to plant anything into the ground yet, I can trust that the potting soil we buy have the right pH.  I’m trying to keep things simple for now.  I’m so glad spring is here and our plants are growing.  Happy Friday!


Container Garden Update

One of my goals this weekend was to finally prep these containers we bought almost eight months ago on a bargain hunting spree.


Since they only have one drainage hole, I brought out our drill and added a few more.


I tried looking for some container liners to put in the wooden barrels to help preserve the wood but I just ended up using heavy duty trash bags.  I poked some holes into the trash bag and pulled the holes in the trash bag through the holes in the barrel so that the water can drain.


Then I put a piece of landscape fabric at the bottom of the barrel and filled it with Miracle Gro Moisture Control Potting Soil.


It’s a good thing I planned on working on the container garden this weekend because KT’s parents were over and they enjoy gardening with us.


We had to run to Home Depot to pick up more potting soil and ended up buying more plants.

We ended up planting a blueberry bush. The blueberry bush is going to be KT’s responsibility.

More tomato plants.

And Asparagus roots in the wooden barrel.

We probably need to rein it in before we end up with more plants than we can handle.  Until then, I am thrilled with each new plant.

The Start of a Container Garden


This is the first year I’m trying to grow more than a few potted plants inside the house.  You’ve met our dwarf peach tree.  Over the weekend, we picked up a dwarf grapefruit tree and a tomato plant.


When we bought the peach tree, the man who was helping us said that the peach tree is small enough to grow in its current pot.  Next year, we might want to move it to a bigger container.  I like the sound of that.

Side note – An indoor plant I transplanted a few months ago is just barely hanging on by a string of pearls – it’s a string of pearls succulent plant.  Yes, I know, how hard is it to keep a succulent plant alive, right?  

I have enough trouble keeping things alive as it is.  I really don’t need the extra challenge of keeping it alive after transplanting it.  So this year, I’m going to try to grow all my trees in its original containers. Next year, if they’re still alive, then I’ll move them to a bigger container.

I just realized that even though I am fully aware of my lack of a green thumb, I am still over the moon about this garden.  Who cares if I fail right?  I’m sure it’ll be a whole lot of fun – at least this first time around.  And if it turns out I have a garden full of beautiful flowers and edible plants, and an orchard of blooming fruit trees, then all the better.

KT and I talked about planting the trees directly into the ground but since we’re not sure how the other backyard projects will shape up, we won’t know where the trees will end up permanently.  Beside, I really like the look of a container garden.  There’s something very charming about it.

I’m using Miracle-Gro Fruit and Citrus Tree Fertilizer Spikes.  I’ll be fertilizing the trees twice a year, in the spring and after the last harvest.  These spikes will do the job in feeding the trees continuously for me.  I love the product already.

I would like to add a meyer lemon tree to our garden this year.  I’ve been looking for it in stores but no luck yet.  I would also like to buy a valencia orange tree and a navel orange tree.  If not this year, then next year.  We’ll see.

weekend projects

I’ve took a long needed break the past week and it certainly helped me gear up for the past weekend.  I was feeling re-energized and wanted to hit as many projects on my to-do list as I possibly can.

I wanted to finally finish trimming the french doors and it was at the top of my to-do list.

Week #14But I’m waiting for our nail gun to arrive in the mail.  We should get it tomorrow.  =)!!!

On to the next project.  One of the first thing I did when we first moved back here was to put up a clothesline.  I had left over rope from that project and it has been sitting in my under-utilized oh-so-cool tool box.

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So I made a hanging planter.  I hung this using a metal shower curtain hook we no longer needed.  This project didn’t cost a pretty penny and it’s making me feel pretty resourceful.

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The next project was actually one that I have been thinking about for a very very long time.  It’s not done yet but here’s a first look at it.  Our new-ish front door.

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It’s going to need several more coats but I’m amazed with just how big of a difference one simple coat of paint can make.  I left the door ajar all day so it can dry properly.  Every time I walked past it, I kept thinking “wow…”

I’ll be painting this door for the rest of the week so I’ll post a before and after picture when I’m done.


Peach Tree Update

After the rain shower that passed through here on Friday, I went outside to check up on our dwarf peach tree.  I was dismayed to find all the flowers gone.

See all these flowers here?  They were vibrant and blooming when we first bought the tree.


It looked like they have all wilted and died.  Some were even growing some fuzzy mold!


Then I looked a little closer…


And realized that the thing that look like little fuzzy molds are really baby peaches!!  The blurry fuzz ball in the middle of the picture below is the biggest fruit so far.


I was so giddy about this that I made KT go outside to check it out too.  Here’s to not killing a tree… so far.

about a peach tree

KT and I went by the plant nursery last week to finally pick out our family tree.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have any dwarf variety of the crepe myrtles.  Actually, the only dwarf trees they had were peach trees.

Our plans for the backyard include growing a variety of citrus fruit trees.  I wasn’t planning on growing peaches because I was afraid it would attract insects.  But what the heck, we bought a peach tree.


I asked the guy who helped us at the nursery how I should care for the tree.  I told him I have a hard time keeping plants alive.  He told me, “this is a tree so it’ll be really hard to kill.”  We’ll see.

Staining the Patio Table

I have been waiting for a weeklong dry weather forecast so I can stain our patio table.  Last weekend was the weekend.


To prepare the table for staining on Saturday, I used Behr Premium All-In-1 Wood Cleaner No. 63.  It basically cleans and brightens the wood.  Following the instructions, I hosed down the table.


Then scrubbed it with the all in one cleaner.


After I rinsed down the table and pat it dry, I noticed that there was still sap on the surface.  I guess it doesn’t get rid of sap.


I did some research and discovered that if the wood wasn’t properly dried during manufacturing, it will leak sap.  The only way to deal with this is to scrape it off, sand out the stain from the sap, and seal the wood.  I will have to do this process over and over again until the wood dries out and stop excreting sap.  It can take a few years.

I scraped off the sap.  Lightly sanded the table.

After our 5K run on Sunday, I started staining the four removable wood pieces that covers the built in coolers before moving on to the table.


I used a polyester brush.  I kept the stroke long from end to end to avoid any unevenness.

I think this is the only photo showing the “built-in coolers.”  I didn’t do a spectacular job staining these two areas but they won’t show once the plaster “coolers” sit in there.


I used a smaller brush to get into the hard to reach places.  I’ve considered not staining under the table.  Then I thought I should at least stain the areas underneath that is easily visible.  After I got started, I decided I might as well stain the whole thing.

While I was staining the table, KT was cleaning out the shed and the babies’ toy chest.  Monster and Sugar was extremely excited to play with all of their old toys. Monster kept bringing me his toys to play with him.  In the picture below, I was staining the underside of the table. He brought me an old tennis ball and wouldn’t stop licking me until I played with him.


I threw the ball and it definitely got his attention.  See how alert he was in the picture below?


Then he stared after it, not sure if he wanted to chase it.


After some hesitation, he darted after his ball.


Back to staining… After five hours on a Sunday afternoon, the first coat of stain was on the table.


I put on the final coat this morning before work.  It needs some touch up but what do you think?

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I picked the darkest semi-transparent stain, Slate, available from Behr.  This color matches our other patio set.  Now it’s time to hunt for the perfect chairs – yea, I’m not going to build the chairs.

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A Sneak Peak and a Sneaky Monster

Here’s a sneak peak of our patio table:

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I spent almost five hours putting on the first coat of stain yesterday.  I can’t wait until its finished!

And here’s what a sneaky Monster looks like:


He wouldn’t stop digging in the yard.  KT took some pictures of him after catching him digging over and over again.  He looks so guilty right?