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Remember when I used to post before and after pictures of home improvements? These days, the house is pretty much done so the dramatic improvements are limited, and I’ve had nothing to blog. Lucky for me, there is no shortage of improvements to be made at Nate’s house and this weekend, I decided I would up his curb appeal and put in a garden. I wish I had the real before picture, with the beds all overgrown with weeds, but you’ll have to use your imagination on that part.

Before

After

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PS. I have a new hobby.

Another fun weekend of home improvement. In order to avoid the massive hype that would surely ensue after the launch of YoBeat, I figured it would be best to just stay home anyway. That and I had a pile of lumber and a bunch of new windows just sitting around. Now if you know me, you may know I am sort of a spazz and patience isn’t one of my better qualities. Instead of waiting until I had everything and doing it all at once, I insisted on putting the french doors as soon as we got them a few weeks ago. Apparently this t-111 siding has to lock together and long story short, the stuff we’d already done made the new stuff a bit trickier. But there’s only one little chip that no one other than Holmes on Homes would ever notice, and he’d be too preoccupied by the fact we didn’t get any permits anyway. Here are the fruits of this weekend’s labor.

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We have created one awesomely big pile of garbage, and we ran out of siding so now the house is looking extra white trash. But check out those new windows!

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Since i am more useless than usual with my elbow and all, I wasn’t much use on the heavy construction.  I did, however, make a neat rock garden and planted a bunch of annuals in place of the vegetables in the garden that have already come and gone.

If you want extreme stuff go to Yobeat. I updated it again today. People seem stoked. I might really keep it going this time.

I was going to do a 4th of July post for 4th of July weekend, but I think I’ve come up with something even better. You see this weekend, I took advantage of what’s truly great about this country. I am very opposed to being in debt, spending money I don’t have, etc. This tends to make me totally cheap about things. But for some reason, the one thing I am willing to spend money on is my house, and I recently decided to bite the bullet and get all new windows and doors for the place. I planned on just paying for them out of savings then “paying myself back” over the next few months, but then I was in the Home Depot, looking at the total and thinking, man, sure would be nice to save 10 percent on this! I figured there was no time like the present to get the credit card, save my 10 percent and then just pay it right off. Well what I didn’t think about was the 4th of July special for no interest, no payments for an entire year! Needless to say, I threw out all my beliefs on avoiding debt and was like, woo! free money!

Of course it’s not as awesome as it sounds. You have to spend $299 to get the no payments thing, so the next trip I found myself wandering around picking up random things to make sure I spent enough. $450 trip to buy caulk (ha, caulk) later I think I might have to stop using the card already.  But anyway, it was sweet while it lasted and now I have two new doors and new windows on the way. Here’s some sweet pictures of the destruction.

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Of course I forgot to take an actual before picture, but here is the general concept of what it looked like.

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My local Dennis the Menace came over to help.

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Ripping shit out is cool.

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And here’s what it looks like now. We’re replacing the other window, putting in a little deck, and painting the whole thing, etc.

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Anyway, America rules!

Day 2

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Just a photo and quick update on my yard project. Bribed some boys with beer and hot dogs to help me move the asphalt. Went to Home Depot and bought some plants. Set everything out how I want it. Today more digging, but it’s coming together.

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If you’ve been reading this blog then you have probably deduced the things that I am interested in: cats, food and extreme sports. But there is one more great passion in my life, home improvement! It’s not just that I watch HGTV constantly, but since I got my house almost two years ago I have delighted in painting, digging, destroying and refurbishing things. While I have a very useful boyfriend who has done things like put in a sky light and wood floors, sometimes I just like to get my hands dirty myself. That, and my spazziness gets things done much more quickly than his need for perfection.

He left town yesterday, so I decided to go to town on the random strip of asphalt next to my drive way that has been bringing down my curb appeal since I moved in. I started out timidly poking at it and seeing how hard it would really be, and before long I was was going full force, smashing, ripping, pulling and tossing. The whole neighborhood got in on the act. Bob from across the street was offering up sledgehammers and other useful tools, and Robbie, the six year old from next door, was actually helping. What six year old wouldn’t want to destroy shit?

I had only intended to do part of it, but before i knew it all the asphalt sat it two not-so-neat piles at the end of my driveway. Today I am going to cart it away– I found a place that will take it for free, and then the space will become a lovely garden with a path using some flagstone Bob gave me. I don’t want to sound like a dork, but this stuff is way more fun than skateboarding.