Monday, May 25, 2009

Productive Memorial Day Weekend!

We took advantage of the 3-day weekend to get some projects done around the house.

Today, Mark (with the help of Mark, his friend) replaced our old, yucky ceiling fan in the family room.



And, after!

Much improved I think! We still need to clean off the ceiling where a dirt ring of sorts has been left behind where the old fan's base was. Overall, I'm very pleased! The guys really did a great job! There were a few setbacks, but I'm VERY impressed!

Also, this afternoon we found a tiny little baby bird on the ground off of our back deck! He was just laying there, actually we were worried that he was dead, but then we noticed he was breathing and as we were standing there talking he struggled to lift his head and started crying! It was the saddest little thing!

I dubbed him Peep.

So, we consulted the web for what to do. First, we attempted to contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center, but unfortunately (probably because it's a holiday!) no one picked up. After more research here is what we found.

- The rule about not touching baby birds because their mommas will abandon them if they smell like humans is just a myth. Apparently birds have a terrible sense of smell and rely more on their hearing when dealing with their babies. They know their baby's cry and if they hear them they will come to feed them and care for them.

- The best thing to do for a displaced baby bird is to put them back in the nest they came from. Unfortunately, we were unable to figure out exactly where he came from and were unable to locate the nest, which brings us to the next point.

- If the original nest can't be located, it's best to get them up, off the ground and place them in a makeshift nest as near to where you think they came from as possible. If the momma's still around, she'll hear the peeps and bring food for her baby. You're supposed to watch for the momma to come back and if not move to the next point.

- If you know the momma is gone, or it's evident that the baby has been abandoned you should take it to a wildlife rehabilitation center. If that's not possible, you can keep the baby fed (every 15 to 20 minutes!), dry, and warm for the next several weeks until it's strong enough to leave on it's own, but they won't really get the proper education that they need as far as how to survive in the wild, find food, housing, avoid predators, etc.

So, I built Peep a nest

an old flower container (for proper drainage), dry straw, and a shredded paper towel, with some twine to hang in from a branch.

Mark put him up in the nearest tree

And he's been there all afternoon. I didn't really see the momma come back, but there were birds around. Maybe she'll show up later tonight? Other than putting him back up there, I'm afraid there's not much we can do. It doesn't sound like he'll really survive without his momma. Even if we do feed him and he makes it the next few weeks, I don't think he'll survive after he's back out in the wild. So, I'm going to keep an eye on it, maybe well try the wildlife rehab center hotline again tomorrow and see what they say.

Yesterday we put in a garden! Well... it's more of a vegetable patch really because it's pretty small, but I think it'll get the job done while being an easy size to maintain for our first try!

We decided to do a 4' x 4' raised-bed design - and by "we" I mean "I"! I made the plans, Mark then helped carry out my ambitious plans while grumbling a bit, but he did a wonderful job figuring out what I had going on in my head! - and planted a variety of plants.

I planted 4 tomato plants (2 large, 1 medium, 1 cherry), zucchini, butternut squash (which was SUPPOSED to be yellow squash, but it seems this butternut was hiding with the yellow and I grabbed the wrong thing. Ah well.), yellow squash (which I picked up today!), red and green bell peppers, jalapenos, and eggplant. I can't wait to see how things turn out!

I also potted some herbs separately - mint, basil, italian parsley, rosemary, and cilantro.

Yesterday, I also gave the outdoor patio cushions a good cleaning. I'm very pleased with how they turned out, I'll give more info on this later.

Last but not least, my hydrangea bush is blooming! I love it, the little blooms are so cute!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Sorry, I've been focusing on trying to get back in the groove this week. I miss the beach!

So, pictures.

View from our room

Random self-portrait

Giant fried bologna sammich!

Mark in Charleston.

Me in Charleston.

On a swing near the bay(? is it a bay?)

This is the restaurant we ate at in Charleston. It was sooo good!

Mark really liked the She Crab Soup : )

Another swing, this time in Surfside Beach.

Dinner at a taproom. It was a good deal, we got 3 beers, an appetizer, a soup and a salad, Mark's steak and my fish, and a dessert to share for under $30. This of course is after they comp'ed Mark's steak which wasn't cooked the way he ordered, gave us a free dessert to apologize, and rang up our free appetizer coupon twice. They waitress said it was okay, so hey, so did we!

Mark with his beer.


Chillaxing at the pool.

We ate tons of crabby!

The End.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm baaaack!

From vacation.

We had a wonderful time and I miss being at the beach, but I was ready to get back to my own house, and my own bed, and my animals.

I just have to say that after a week of eating crap - huge portions, fried food, and gallons of sweet tea I need to cleanse my body with some fresh veggies and water. It's sad how much my body is craving good food right now! I'm not used to eating so much badforyou food all at once!

::sips on water::

Pics coming soon!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just call me Susie.

Homemaker, that is.

What was I doing last night at 9.40pm, you ask? Watching Idol? No, that's what I should have been doing! Instead, I was on Round 2 of Operation Stain removal.

Mark arrives home yesterday evening with the pizza we ordered for dinner and a huge orange grease stain across one of his favorite polo shirts, which also happens to be white. The stain was at least 6 inches long and right across the belly where he had put the pizza box up against the front of him.

This white shirt is not a good thing for Mark. He somehow manages to get something on it at least every other time it's worn. However, it's usually a small, fairly inconspicuous stain that I have to get out, not BRIGHT orange grease right across the front middle of the shirt!

I make him take the shirt off right then. I bring it to the laundry room and attack both sides of the stain with Stain Stick. I let it sit for... about 20 minutes to a half-hour, and then I washed it in warm water. At that point, the majority of the stain had come out, but you know grease stains, they're stubborn! Some of the stain could still be seen and like I said, I don't think it could be in a less conspicuous place.

At this point, Mark was ready to throw in the towel, but ::pats self on back:: I was not.

I THEN take the wet shirt into the kitchen. I've heard of a trick for getting grease stains out and I was going to try it as a last ditch effort. So, with Mark standing on giving me the side-eye, I squirted liquid dish soap on the stain, dumped baking soda on top of that to make a paste, and then scrubbed the area with a clean toothbrush for a good 10-15 minutes.

At that point, I couldn't visibly see the stain anymore - mostly because it was covered in my makeshift paste - so I tossed the shirt back into the washer, crossed my fingers, and let it go through another cycle with warm water.

20-30 minutes later, I pulled the shirt out and after careful inspection under normal light and also held up to direct light, I was unable to see anything out of the ordinary!

The stain is gone and I'm very pleased with myself :D

P.S. We're leaving for the beach tomorrow morning! SQUEE!!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

April Showers Bring May Tornadoes.

The weekend started off interestingly enough when I was sitting at home by myself in the evening while it was storming out and I heard a strange sound. It sounded like a loud engine... or a siren... is that the tornado siren?!

Sure enough, the dog starts barking and I hear the beginning wail of the tornado siren. So I turn the TV on and we lucky Central Ohioans were under a tornado warning. The summer has unofficially begun. It wasn't fun. Needless to say, I did end up surviving.

Saturday, after I had recovered from my Friday evening scare, Mark and I finished up our ambitious landscaping project. Last weekend, we spent Saturday working on the front beds, this Saturday we spent working on the back beds.

Here is evidence of our hard work:

Front Bed

Close up of the flower we planted, yellow marigolds

The backyard, we planted white, pink, and purple petunias

A few impatiens and a hydranga bush - I've always wanted one of these!

And a couple of hanging baskets

And, for our Sunday project, we installed new fixtures? Accessories? Whatever they're called, on the front of the house.

This is what we had orginally:

Ugly, outdated, rusting gold stuff

And this is what we have now!

So. Much. Better!

And here's a close up of our new porch light:

Mark installed this all on his own (with my assisting skills of course :) ). This was his first solo electrical project and I would say it was fully successful since the new light works, and nothing blew up before, during, or after the install! I'm very proud of his handi-abilities.
Now, we are trying to get organized for Myrtle Beach! We leave Friday morning! Woohoo!