October 22, 2021

Friday Night Photos

I almost always write my blog posts in the evenings, but I'd really like to start writing them earlier. Yesterday, I finished it in the afternoon and then in the evening, I was free to go out to the garage and work on the door jamb nightmare and another project. I used to love spending time out there in the evenings, when it was dark outside.

My blog posts take more time than you might expect; I typically spend anywhere from 2-6 hours (an average of 3-4, I would guess). Some of my big posts (that require a lot of linking and/or research) have taken roughly 40 hours! (Obviously done in smaller portions.) So I usually start writing at around 6:00 PM and then I'm finished at around the time I *should* be going to bed. I like to read, play Best Fiends, or watch a show though before going to bed.

Anyway, it's actually 7:00 AM right now and I'm getting my Friday Night Photos done early. Jerry is off work tonight, and if I can talk the kids into it, I'd like to have a family game night (or possibly go to the pumpkin patch/apple orchard!).

Once in a while, Jerry surprises me with a little gift from my Amazon Wish List. I was excited when I opened these a few days ago! They are super comfy slippers--and you know I love anything with squirrels.

Speaking of squirrels, this is so random but funny. My parents came over a few days ago and said they had something for us and to come out to the truck to get it. I was sure it was going to be a truckload of landscaping bricks that they were getting rid of (and planned to give to us). My dad was acting kind of funny, so I figured he was trying to make it sound like a fun surprise gift only for us to see the literal TON of bricks to transfer.

Well, it wasn't bricks, but it was close--a rock. A huge rock. And check this out--it has a squirrel carving in it!! I love it. I didn't get a straight answer of where it came from (I'm sure it was probably a garage sale or something like that). My dad said he spent back-breaking hours carving it out by hand, hahaha. But it inspired me to want to get our stupid landscaping done.

I (clearly) also need to stain our front stoop. I had to wait until the wood dried, but it should be good now. I looked at stain yesterday at Lowe's and I was overwhelmed. I've only stained a couple of things before--but nothing like a stoop/deck!

Ugh, which brings me to our landscaping. It's horribly embarrassing to even post this photo. We did end up getting the bricks from my parents' house--they each weigh 50 pounds and we moved a LOT of them. It took two trips with my dad's truck. Now, they are just waiting to be placed along the little sidewalk.

First, though, I need to get rid of the weeds (this will have to be done by pulling them out--we've killed them chemically several times, but they just come back). Then we have to dig a shallow trench, put some gravel down to set the bricks on and stack them (two high) along the sidewalk. Then we need to finally plant some landscaping.

Question: What is the easiest upkeep for landscaping? Should we do mulch or gravel or something else? Should we put down that black felt-like stuff that keeps weeds from growing through? What should I plant that is SUPER easy to take care of? (Basically, zero upkeep--I hate gardening of any sort.) Any tips would be appreciated!

How awesome are these socks?! I saw them on Instagram and wanted them immediately. They have a whole pack of Sesame Street characters (I've always loved the Sesame Street characters--particularly Cookie Monster (of course--very appropriate), Oscar the Grouch, Grover, and Elmo.) The whole collection is insanely expensive, but I *might* end up buying this pair. They're still a lot more than I would like to spend on a pair of novelty socks ($16 + shipping).

For those of you that have tried Bombas socks, are they worth it? Do they last a long time? Comfy? I have huge calves, so will the design look ridiculous? As you know, I'm partial to Balega socks (which I think are expensive enough, but they are only half as much as these). Just curious if you think they're worth it.

On Transformation Tuesday, I posted a reader's picture of her "before and after" cord clean-up/organization and I mentioned that I'm pretty sure every adult has a mess of cords that they keep around "just in case". I saw this meme and it's perfect! (Except my cords wouldn't fit in that drawer--I'd need like three more.)

As a thank you for helping my mom out with hanging the decal on her wall, she bought me these dishes from a consignment shop--aren't they PERFECT for my kitchen? The orange and blue matches so well! The shop had a huge set of all different kinds and my mom sent me a picture to see if I wanted to buy any, but they were pretty expensive (well, VERY expensive) so I declined. But they were marked down a few days later, so my mom bought me these pieces. I love them! I just need to figure out what to do with them so that they are on display.

(By the way, my mom contacted the Etsy seller about the misspelling of one of the words on the decal, and the seller sent her the word with the correct spelling; so I went back over there and changed it out for her. The misspelling would have bothered her every time she looked at it, so I'm glad we were able to fix it.)

When I went to Emily's on Monday, I got to meet her nine-month old son, Dexter (Dex)! He was SO STINKIN' CUTE. I usually make babies cry (not on purpose, obviously--I don't know what it is about me, but they cry when I hold them). Dex just smiled and smiled at me (and of course he stopped smiling for the photo--I was hoping to get him to make a Jerry-face). I love the way they chose Dexter's name: his dad is from Dexter, Michigan, and Emily is from St. Joseph, Michigan, so they named him Dexter Joseph. Cute, right?!

This thing drove me CRAZY until I finally just said forget it and took it apart. I was making an extension for my table saw so I could cut wider cross cuts on it. I had to route a slot (where the arrow is pointing) but it had to be the PERFECT width and depth--down to 0.002 of an inch (or probably even less).

If it's even the tiniest bit too wide, it will produce sloppy cuts. If it's too narrow, I won't be able to fit the miter sled in there (there are runners on the bottom that have to fit in the slots without any wiggle room). I spent SO much time working on this and making a jig to get the perfect slots, but I ended up missing it by the smallest fraction and it was too big. So frustrating! Maybe I'll try again someday.

This made me laugh because I get SO annoyed trying to come up with new passwords that: 1) I can remember; 2) that fit all of the requirements; and 3) I've never used before. 

Jerry sent me this and I nearly died. It was so funny and so sad at the same time! Hahaha.

I swept up the garage after working on a couple of projects and holy cow--this was all of the saw dust. That's a larger-than-average wheelbarrow, too. I really need a good dust collection system, but for now, I just let it go wherever and then I sweep it up. It makes great kindling for a fire, but we don't have fires nearly as often as we'd need to in order to burn all this!

This is my new favorite evening snack. Toast with butter and peanut butter. It sounded so gross to me, the combination of butter and peanut butter, but Jerry kept insisting that it was really good. Well, he was right! It's a lot of calories (about 500) but because I don't eat much until dinner, it works out well. 

I got all four cats in one photo. Top to bottom: Chick, Duck, Estelle, and Phoebe.

This photo is as rare as a real, live unicorn: Estelle and Phoebe both sleeping on my lap at the same time. They are both "loner" cats and choose not to be near each other. But when they both want the prime real estate (a.k.a. my warm lap with a cozy blanket) they will swallow their pride and put up with each other. ;)

And that's all I have! That was kind of a lot for a Friday Night (morning). Now, I'm off to work on the side door and hope that I can get it done today. I'll explain it when I get it finished.

Have a great weekend! xo


  1. Good post. Your dad reminds me of mine. Love his little funniness (is that a word...lol). Slippers are cute. The dishes are awesome. Way to go mom! I dont know much about landscaping but I recommend the black stuff you lay down...really helps with weeds not getting through. We use mulch cuz we like it and it cost less. Is the sidewalk real close to a door? I love hostas and they are so easy to no maintenance. Someone told me not to put them near a door though because they can attract bugs when it rains. Not sure, but we dont have any close to a house door.

    Good luck

  2. I have Bombas and I like that they don’t show with shoes but I tore holes through all of them in less than a year.

  3. I have several pairs of Bombas but once you recommended Balegas I found I love those so much better!

  4. The dishes are Temp-tations. It is a line sold on QVC. The line advertises that they are non stick and you can cook in them ect. If you want to add to your collection, you can order the cooler and pattern. They make every kind of cooking vessel!

  5. I highly recommend renting or borrowing a rototiller for the weeds at this point. As for ground cover, don't bother with the felt--we have it in the backyard (rental property) and weeds can still poke through. Ditto for gravel. I would do mulch, because you can each year get a fresh load and just pull the larger weeds and dump more mulch, which breaks down over time. Also stones and gravel inevitably end up on the walkway, in my experience, which is super annoying.

  6. Funny that you mention Bombas socks - I ordered my first pairs this week for myself & running friend after seeing so many running bloggers recommend them. I'm getting ankle & quarter length so can't speak to how well they stretch over the calf. I do love Balegas so I'm curious to compare the two.

  7. I love these posts, thank you for all the effort that goes into them!

  8. I am a avid gardener, so I'll respond to your question about what to use to minimize or eliminate gardening chores (even though I love gardening, I am also sick of yardwork by the end of summer!) First, decide what you want your yard to look like. You need a vision and a plan!! Even if the yard doesn't have a lawn or annual flowers, it can be pretty. Then...Decide which plants you like and enjoy looking at. Choose perennials (you only pay once!) that are decorative (I love, love, love grasses!! A variety of grasses can make for an interesting yard even without much else). I recommend some type of compact blooming shrub to add color and pollen for bees, and/or a graceful shrub or tree for accent. Then....Do ALL of the things you mentioned (felt landscaping fabric, mulch, gravel, pavers) to implement your vision and keep weeds down. Please do not use chemicals. No bees, no food....

  9. Landscaping - this is a battle for me. The house I bought had a LOT of empty beds. I had a company fill them. It's a lot of work to keep up! But I want the outside of the house to look good, so I do my best to stay on top of it.

    I'd stay away from mulch. It needs replacement every 2-3 years. You mentioned the black felt stuff to keep weeds away. With you doing fresh beds, you could do that, or maybe even lay down the heavy plastic, then just cut out little spots for what you plant?

    Low maintenance - I'm thinking hydrangeas do nice blooms and you can let them get as big as you want or cut them as small as you want. Day lillies bloom once a year and you just cut them all back in the off season. I don't do a ton with my rose bushes behind keeping them trimmed - but if you have deer - I have some the deer eat down to nothing (they don't seem to bother to come up my walk, so the ones near my door do great).

  10. I enjoy your posts very much and want you to know I appreciate the time and effort it takes!

  11. Butter and peanut butter is THE BEST! My grandma and mom both did it on Ritz crackers, but I like it on toast, too!

  12. I love Bombas! The commenter who talked about the socks tearing is probably referring to the no-show socks, which are nice, but their other socks are much nicer. My favorites are the performance running socks with the split ankle. One cool thing is that if you lose a sock (as I often do in the laundry), they will replace it if you send a request within a year of ordering, so if you do buy them, keep track of your order number. Also, they donate a pair of socks to an organization for the homeless for every pair you purchase (of course, they are so expensive that they can easily afford to do so).

  13. The cable thing really made me laugh because I just helped a friend move this past Saturday and as we're unloading the Pod, we're yelling out what room the box needs to go in. I think we literally unloaded 5 boxes of just cables. I asked her, why on earth do you have this many cables?? Just one of those things that are hard to part with "just in case" lol!

    I also despise yard work. I keep telling my husband I want to rip out every last bush and plant and replace it with stones but he says its not a great look ;)

    I also wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your posts and the hard work that goes in to them! I so enjoy reading what you have to say!


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