Early adventures in home ownership

All right, everyone!

I’ve gotten several comments to the effect of What happened to your blog??

So here I am.  And I will try to be better about posting.  I literally can’t tell you how busy Mike and I have been since buying the house.  If it’s not one thing, it’s another.  Literally!  Can’t believe it!  All these new responsibilities!  It’s been in the 90’s for much of our summer so far.  Yes, apparently this is the new norm this year in Seattle!  We’ve already broken all historical records for the number of days over 90 degrees in one year.  That’s right… for all of recorded history, Seattle has never had a summer as hot as this one!  I bet we’ve never had a summer as dry as this one either… but I don’t remember seeing any stats on that.  So each night I spend 20 minutes watering the plants around the townhome and trying to avoid the spiders that tend to build webs in the tree branches.  I actually have green living things depending on me to SURVIVE!  Talk about responsibility!

Also, Mike has a new job!  He got it back in June and started after my brother’s visit to Seattle.  He is diving in with both feet and is working much longer hours than usual.  He’s enjoying it and wasn’t really pursuing any other hobbies this spring, so that’s all good.  But it does mean that Piper and I are holding down the fort.  And by Piper and me, I pretty much mean me.  Piper is an extremely talented cat, but her talents center mostly around learning to open doors I would rather she couldn’t open.  She’s not so good about handling bits of yard work, cleaning, cooking up CSA produce, doing the endless loads of laundry that this super hot weather is generating, prepping for the once-a-week yoga classes I’m teaching to my coworkers, doing grocery shopping, getting the dishes washed, meeting with contractors to get small stuff on our house fixed, etc, etc, etc.  And in the free time I have, I’m typically either taking zumba or yoga classes, running, or otherwise actively occupied.  (Yes, even in spite of the heat.  The run club that I’m part of at my gym has been running at 6pm even on the uber hot 90+ degree days.  After the runs we basically form one long line at the gym’s single drinking fountain and hog the water supply.)  And of course, I’m still working full time.  Whew!

So the blog has fallen by the wayside.  Hopefully I’ll get back in the rhythm of posting, though, regardless of busyness!  🙂

Our CSA deliveries finally started a couple weeks ago!  The farm we were going through started their deliveries over a month late… I think because of drought-related issues.  Apparently this no-rain, 90 degree thing isn’t making plants very happy.  (Hence my watering of the plants around our townhome.)  It’s a good thing I decided not to start a garden until next year because as bad as I am at gardening there’s no way I could have kept anything alive through this summer.

Speaking of watering plants.  That has been a whole adventure in and of itself.  When Mike and I first moved into our townhome we were so focused on getting the inside organized and planned out that we didn’t even notice what was going on with the plants and shrubbery around our house.  Until Mike’s parents came and Mike’s dad looked out our living room window towards the ground below and said, “Don’t you guys ever weed??”  Um, no.  We didn’t ever weed.  We looked out the front window to see that the Japanese maple in the front had become almost obscured behind four-foot dandelion bushes (I kid you not!  Dandelion BUSHES!  They were INSANE!)  So Mike and I spent one long afternoon pulling up all of the weedy trees and shrubs that had taken over our lawn space.  There was really no difference between the weeds and our desired plants height-wise so I kept having to ask Mike what was what to prevent pulling up any plants that the builder had specifically put there.

The advantage of pulling out weeds that are as tall as trees is that your work is rewarding in a hurry.  With each weed you instantly see a difference.  It’s really the best scenario you can hope for if you’re a weed-puller who is into instant gratification.

The disadvantage is that you basically need a shovel to get some of the weeds up.  Mike had a big weed whacker tool that was meant for some pretty serious weeds, but my little purple-handled gardening trowel was really not cutting it.  Eventually I was relegated to picking up the big tree-weeds that Mike uprooted and breaking them up.

As we were working a neighbor from further down the street came by walking her dogs and stopped to say “THANK you for cleaning this up.”  Very passive-aggressive.  Very Pacific-northwest.  A two-edged compliment.  THANK you for cleaning this up and what took you so long?!?  Love it!  🙂

So we got weeding under control and started to feel like we were getting a handle on this home ownership thing.  And then the really hot, dry summer started.  We became slowly and vaguely aware that our plants didn’t seem to be growing.  And then that they were turning brown.  And then that their leaves were all crackly.  Mike and me and all of our neighbors realized around the same time that we really, REALLY needed a way to water our plants.  And within a week hose racks started going up on the back of everyone’s townhome.  It was really pretty hilarious how in-sync we all were.  But the most hilarious part was how very, very different Mike’s and my hose was from everyone else’s hose.

I’ll start back at the beginning.  Mike and I decided that we needed a way to water the plants.  I wanted to get a cute watering can.  Maybe something light-blue painted aluminum.  Mike wanted to get a hose.

“The hose would have to be too long!” I protested.  “It would have to reach all the way from the back of the house around the side and up to the street if we’re actually going to use it to water all of the plants we have.”

“No, it’ll be fine,” Mike said, already researching hoses online.  “Fifty feet should do it.”

“Measure it with a tape measure before you buy anything,” I said.  “I bet it’s more than fifty feet from the back of our house to the front.”

And thus we ended up with a 100 foot hose.  A 100 foot hose!!  Isn’t that the length of a football field or something??  No… actually that’s 100 yards.  Never mind.  But you get the idea.  It’s a LONG HOSE!  And not only is it a long hose, but after extensive research and hose discussion with his friends at work, Mike had picked out The Best Hose.  The Hose which will not get kinked, bent, twisted, broken, or otherwise mangled.  The Hose to end all hoses.  This hose was a very strong recommendation from one of Mike’s best friends at his old job.  Interestingly, when Mike’s friend was talking with his wife about us needing a hose to water our plants, she said, “Why don’t they just get a watering can?”

Great minds, people.  They think alike.

But Mike had already set his sights, not only on the Hose-to-End-All-Hoses, but also the Hose-Rack-to-End-All-Hose-Racks and the Hose-Nozzle-to-End-All-Hose-Nozzles.

So.  While everyone else in our townhome community got mini spiral hoses not drastically bigger in diameter than a plastic drinking straw, Mike mounted the Hose-Rack-to-End-All-Hose-Racks on the back of our house and hung what basically amounts to a huge black fireman’s hose on it.  The hose doesn’t look drastically different than a giant Burmese python coiled up against our house.  But sadly, the hose is far longer (Longest Python) than the longest python on record.  So our hose could be a really, really long python if it were EIGHTY-ONE FEET SHORTER!

While it may sound as though I’m bitter about not getting my sky blue aluminum watering can, I’m learning to love the hose and am pretty comfortable lugging bulky coils of it around the side of the house so that I can water the plants in the front yard.  The hose and I have established a pretty good relationship.  It has seriously helped our relationship that the hose is capped off by the Hose-Nozzle-to-End-All-Hose-Nozzles.  Although I may not have been a big fan of the hose, I have speedily become the world’s biggest proponent of the hose nozzle.  It has like fourteen different settings, some of which imitate a water can, some of which shoot a long stream of directed water, some of which shoot a long-range sprinkling of water, some of which are appropriate for filling a bucket.  Basically, however you want to squirt water, this hose nozzle does the trick.  I love it!

So, there we are: the joys of home ownership.  For all of you renters out there, now you know what you’re missing out on.  A ONE HUNDRED FOOT BURMESE PYTHON HOSE!  And the best hose nozzle ever!  😉

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see what I can do about posting more regularly.  🙂

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2 Comments

Filed under Gardening, Life in Seattle, Running, Seattle, Weather

2 responses to “Early adventures in home ownership

  1. Nate

    Just a note from Mike’s parents: We packed for cool-ish, possibly rainy weather but were surprised by five days of absolutely perfect, 78 degree days. They were wonderful hosts who had planned many fun-filled events. They took us on the hilarious Underground City Tour, then onto the Ducks tour that drove around in amphibious craft including into the water in the harbor (one is encouraged to sing songs and act silly), the Boeing Aircraft Museum, the Snoqualmie Falls waterfall (seen on the Twin Peaks television show) and several fine restaurants. Seattle is a great city. Mike and Karena were amazing. – Mike’s Parents

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