Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring has sprung!

We've been waiting for the first weekend of the year where the sun shines and air is crisp and almost warm. And it came this weekend. Both cats were out and about, eating blades of grass and romping through the neighborhood. We spent Saturday exhausting ourselves moving boxes and furniture for friends Ryan and Michelle. They're spending the summer in an apartment while they search for a new house. And today, even with a few sore muscles from yesterday, we made some progress on the arbor and some other outdoor projects. I'm pretty proud of our accomplishments.

We hung a bunch of lattice on the trellis, filling it in. We under-ordered on a few dimensions of wood so we couldn't get much further than this today.

After a trip to the home improvement store, we came home with some hooks for improving our storage arrangement for our garden tools. I installed the hooks and hung all of the tools while Justin worked on the arbor/trellis.

When we bought our house, it had bars on the basement windows. But, last year before we had the windows replaced, Justin and I removed all of the bars, opting for an unobstructed view. Thinking ahead to a day like today, I saved the decorative ironwork with the future hope of making a trellis or garden art. With our sugar snap peas planted and sprouted, these re-purposed window grates should provide a nice support for our incoming crop.

A perfect width!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another weekend

 This weekend has been jam-packed! On Friday night, Justin and I went to the opening night of Paul Simon's tour for his new album. I'm a huge Paul Simon fan so this was a special night. Justin was really amused to be sitting amongst a sing-along-er in every direction. He had no idea that there were so many people cut from the same cloth as me! This may be the last time ol' Rhymin' Simon tours; he's going to be 70 this year. I'm super happy that I got the chance to see him one more time.

On Saturday, we had a birthday party for Justin which entailed spending the day sprucing up the house and cooking up a birthday feast. We made banh mi sandwiches for the party and they were a big hit. These are Vietnamese-style sandwiches: marinated meat on a crusty french roll with pickled veggies, jalapeno, cilantro and spicy mayo. If you haven't had one, your most exciting discovery will be the price: usually < $3 for an 8" sandwich that is truly delish. We made ours using a great recipe from last year's Bon Appetit magazine.

And on Sunday, we were planning a day of rest but I had ants in my pants and couldn't help digging into a timely project. I've been planning to re-purpose the security grates that we pulled off the windows when we moved into the house as a trellis. I've planted sugar snap peas along the garage and now that they are poking out of the ground, I need a trellis for them to climb up and flourish. I spent the afternoon scraping rusted metal off the old grates, washing off the dirt and spray painting. We ran out of spray paint so I'll need to pick up tomorrow where I left off but I'm hoping to have a homemade pea trellis on the side of our garage before my little pea vines grow another inch.

Scraping off the rust:

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Justin dug in with enthusiasm to this trellis project. The wood has been sitting in our garage for over a week and I know he has been getting anxious to saw it all up and build something. Justin loves getting the drills out. 

Here's an action shot:

The skeleton of the trellis, all up: