Archive for July, 2009

Rebuilding.. a month in.

July 15th, 2009

So it was a month ago today that my parents got the call that there was an explosion and fire at their house.  Can you believe it?? A full month has gone by!  In someways it seems like it has just been days and other ways it seems like it has been forever.  I haven’t been back to the house lately, so I don’t have any new photos to share.  But from what my parents say, not much has changed.  The grass is a little less green (due to lack of water), but my mom has been working hard in the flower beds to keep it looking as nice as it possibly can.

Here’s another note from her that I wanted to pass along:

Greetings from 30 Jonquil Lane.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month since the fire.  It has been a very busy month, but a good one and we are settling into our new home.  As soon as we get a new adapter for the camera, I will download some pics of it.  The rental furniture is working out ok and friends have filled in with a few pieces and lots of lamps. For most of the month our kitchen-ware consisted of 4 plates, 4 bowls, 2 mugs, 2 glasses, a coffee maker, 2 frying pans and 2 pots with a few basic utensils. Guess what?- it worked just fine.  We would just wash them and they would be ready for the next time.  Definitely saving using the dishwasher. This week, we received some of our dishes, glasses, mugs and cookware back from Service Master (14 boxes to be exact), so it is looking more like my old kitchen. But I didn’t unpack everything.  We have discovered that you can live with less, much less.

There has been no work on the house.  A team of inspectors are coming tomorrow and look over the site again and hopefully determine the cause. Then they will release it to the construction company.  They will remove all the debris and start to disassemble the interior.  They will take it down to the studs and brick and rebuild it from the outside in.  We will be getting a brand new house.  I am confident that my “in-house interior designer” will guide me through the design aspect of rebuilding and the finished product will be quite nice. It will be at least 6 months or longer before it is livable again.

Everyone has been so thoughtful and kind to us. Contrary to public feeling, there are good caring people in this world and we have met many along the way – the wonderful firemen who saved my Christopher Radko Christmas ornaments; the mail lady who delivers our mail to our new address without a forwarding request (long story, but she saved the day}; Travers’ patient who cuts the grass at Reynolds Drive for free, the friends who have brought numerous meals;  friends who brought bags of groceries (I lost everything in the pantry, frig and freezer); the flowers from the flower lady and so much more  The list is endless, but you get the idea.

Will keep everyone updated on progress of rebuilding.  Carter

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Being Thankful, Family, Rebuilding

Steals and Deals- Week 3

July 15th, 2009

I’ve kinda got that itch to freshen-up the living room a bit.  Don’t tell Mr.vB!

monogrammed pillow This was the fuel to my fire!

Ballard Designs- Pillow Covers

On SALE starting at $7.99 and it includes FREE Monogramming!

I can just envision the red ones with a big ol’ vB monogram on it sitting our sofa.  Wouldn’t they be a nice addition?

(After further inspection I noticed that only 2 of the 15 color options are actually on sale for $7.99.  The others are regular price..hmm..that isn’t cool! Maybe this isn’t such a steal and deal after all.  To be continued)

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Steal and Deal of the Week

Lasagna Gardening

July 12th, 2009

Have you guys ever heard of this before?  I just learned about it this week at our neighborhood garden meeting.  Mr. vB and I have been wanting to create our own garden for awhile now and this concept perked our interest even more.

So Lasagna Gardening is the concept of “a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that results in rich, fluffy soil with very little work from the gardener.” See more details here.  It’s referred to as lasagna gardening because of the layering effect.  You alternate the layering of brown items such as fall leaves, pine needles, and newspaper clippings with green items like grass clippings, vegetable scraps, and garden scraps.  How great is it that you can mix grass clippings, junk mail, coffee grinds, and banana peels and get FREE organic soil!!

Mr. vB and I have been debating about where to locate our new garden.  We decided the best spot would be right in front of the deck.  Now remember our backyard is about the size of a postage stamp.  We are trying to leave enough room for the Boots and the Bae-Bae to run around, but we would also like a few nice flower beds.  (I can’t believe I am actually posting a before photo of this area.  I haven’t done a good job tending to it and it looks horrible.)


We figure that we could get a 12′ x 2′ raised bed and have it separated into two sections.  Mr. vB started by nailing a 12′ board directly to the deck.  It was my job to use to pick ax to dig up the weeds and even out the existing dirt.



Then he added the 2 side pieces.


And then the front piece.


The finishing touch was the piece to separate the bed into 2 parts. (I am thinking one side for veggies and one side for flowers.  Mr. vB envisions the whole thing full of veggies.  We will see.)

And if you didn’t believe me before that our yard slopes to one side, this picture says it all.  There must be at least a 4-5″ difference between the right corner that is flush with the dirt and left corner that is hovering above the ground. (Don’t worry we aren’t going to leave it like this, we just ran out of lumber)


The next step will be to fill in the beds with the brown and green layers.  We are also thinking about ditching the border that runs the length of the yard towards the back gate.  We can use the extra soil in our new raised beds and in it’s place we will just plant some more grass for the boys.  See below.

nix border(On a side note, Yes Boots is still wearing his head gear- which I am SO over.  He has lost his peripheral vision and is constantly banging that damn thing into a wall, my leg, or Bailey.  It makes the most wretched sound too.  We head back to the vet this week to hopefully hear that it can be removed.)

So we will keep you updated on the progress of our Lasagna Garden! Next weekend we are going to start the layering process.  It sounds pretty darn simple so we shall see!

P.S. If any of my local readers have some old newspapers they can part with let me know.  thanks!!

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Go Green!, Yard/Garden

Vacation- Part Two- the “Stay”cation

July 11th, 2009

We also decided to add a few extra days on to our “go”cation and have a “stay” cation too!  Meaning that we planned to take a full week off of work, and spend the first half of the week with family and the other half at home.  Pretty smart eh?

Not sure if Mr. vB and I were on the same page as to what to get accomplished during our “stay” part of the vacation but finishing the bathroom was at the TOP of my list!!  I was also hoping to fit in some yard work, but I only had 2 days to get it all done, so I knew it was going to be jam packed.

So on Stay-cation day one, after the Baby Bird’s visit, I jumped into working on the bathroom. I needed to get just one more coat of paint on the walls and then touch up ALL the trim and the new crown molding.  Mr. vB got to work fixing the sink drains and then made a trip to Lowe’s to purchase the necessary parts to fix the leak in the exhaust fan.  It’s amazing how the little details are just taking forever to finish.  Am I being too much of a perfectionist??

Here are a few more teaser shots..




Then Stay-cation day two, I was up and at ‘em early because I was trying to beat the heat.  My plan was to weed the flower beds, cut the grass, plant some new flowers, and then mulch…SHEW!  It makes me tired just recapping it.  These photos were taken a week later, so the grass needs to be cut again, but I am pleased with how the borders look.






Also check out my new door decoration.  Isn’t it cute??  My neighbor buddy got it for me at our local Botanical garden.  It actually is suppose to hang down, but I just tacked it onto the door with a nail.  I love how the lime green looks against the blue door!



Now on to Vacation Part Three- Family Reunion Time!

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Home Improvement, Yard/Garden

Poor Boots…

July 7th, 2009

Without going into too much graphic detail, Baby Boots had to take an unplanned trip to the vet today. He is having a bit of a fanny problem.  Sure he is now sporting a fancy “Elizabethan collar” around his neck, but he wasn’t gonna let it ruin his day.   He hung his head out of the car window the entire ride home from the vet.  The looks on people’s faces were priceless as they saw him.  Poor baby.  Hopefully within a few days he will be back up and running, minus the fancy collar.

boots with ecollar

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Steals and Deals- Week 2

July 6th, 2009

pumps payless

So I was pursing the world wide web and found that May’s Shoe of the Month is now on SALE!!

The Brinley Ribbon Pumps are now only  $22.99.  And remember you can get free shipping to a local store!

I think I might have to splurge and get a pair!!

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Steal and Deal of the Week

Vacation- Part One- “GO”cation time!

July 6th, 2009

Mr.vB and I always visit with his Mom and step-dad around the 4th of July and this year was no different. So after dropping the dogs off at the kennel (as noted in the prior post) Mr. vB and I got on the road for our 6 hour trek down to Myrtle Beach.  It was Mr. vB’s step father’s 65th bday and the whole family was planning on parting the weekend away.  We did a pretty darn good job I must say!

First we did a little decorating,


Then we did a little playing…




And finally we did some celebrating!!


Happy Birthday Hootie!! We LOVE You!

We ended up having an indoor picnic because it was WAY too hot and humid to have it outdoors.  Just envision 9 adults and 3 kids all spread out on beach towels in the living room.  It was great!!


Then the next day we got busy decorating for a surprise baby shower for Mr. vB’s brother and his wife.  They are having baby #2, so we thought we would help them out with some blue goodies.  (They were down at the beach while we quickly decorated)

DSC_0266Aunt Ashley, the artist, worked on a cute sign with the baby-to-be’s initials.


I worked on laying out all the food and stringing the onesies from various things.




Aunt Ashley also made some awesome sugar cookies that we painted to resemble soccer balls.  Miss M was a big fan.



I think her parents were quite surprised and excited too by the event!


In between all the partying we also fit in plenty of beach time.

DSC_0267 Is this a pose or what???




And then sadly it was time to leave the ocean behind and head back to Richmond.

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Birthday, Family

We’re BACK!!

July 5th, 2009

Well our vacation is swiftly coming to an end.  T-minus 15 hours and counting before we are officially back to the grindstone.  Mr. vB and I are sad, but happy to have the “boys” back at home with us.  They have been out at Wingmont Stables and Kennels for the past week while we have been traveling up and down the east coast.  We were both quite excited to pick them up and had to snicker when they came running up to us with matching 4th of July necker-chiefs.


Bailey stayed awake long enough for me to take his photo.  As you can see in the background Boots is already fast asleep! (And behind him Mr. vB is snoozing too!)  The boys love going out to Wingmont and even though it is about 40 mins outside of Richmond, it is well worth the drive.  For one, it is actually cheaper and this is important when you are paying for TWO dogs.  They also have 6 grass play-areas and a gigantic swimming pool for the dogs.  We asked if either of the dogs got in the pool and they said they stayed safely on the sidelines. We weren’t surprised- you would never know these boys were half Labrador’s with their lack of retrieving skills and finickiness when it comes to water.

So while the boys sleep, I am currently uploading the 275 photos we took over the past 10 days.  I am also working up three different posts to give you the full break down of our vacation, photos and all.  We were quite busy and had TONS of fun!

But before I get started, I must give a shout out to my newest favorite follower- Linda Chenery!  Thanks for reading and stay tuned!!

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Did I mention..

July 2nd, 2009

that I am currently on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N??? Wasn’t trying to keep it a secret if I didn’t…

Mr. vB and I have been off of work since last Friday and we are LOVING it!!  I will go into more detail as to what we have been up to in another post.  But for now I wanted to share some pics of my nephew (this is my brother’s little boy).  He and his mom surprised me with a visit this morning.  It was such a great way to start my day!

DSC_0357HELLO- my name is Baby Bird.  It is so nice to see you- Indeed!


DSC_0359I love my Aunt TT.


He is getting so big!!  It’s hard to believe he is only 21 months old.  I look forward to the day he is old enough for me to tell him stories about his dad.  The Good AND the Bad.  It’s payback time for all those years my brother picked on me!!!

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