Browsing Tag: our house

    Miscellany

    Tomato Update

    June 16, 2010

    Yesterday marked one month since we planted tomatoes at Casa McGee: two tomato plants in a Topsy Turvy planter hanging in the back yard, and two plans in the rock bed that lines our front patio/walkway.

    I’m positively giddy to report that all tomato plants appear to be alive and doing well!

    Back Yard

    back

    The plants in the Topsy Turvy planter are now pointing in the other direction, so I had to take the photo from a different angle. But they’ve definitely grown over the last month. No signs of actual tomatoes as far as I can tell yet, though.

    Front Yard

    front

    Meanwhile, the plants in the front are growing like gangbusters, like they have …. steroids or HGH or something like that. (TGH? Tomato Growth Hormone?) Super happy with how this whole experiment is going, but especially how these front-yard tomato plants are doing. I think we might actually have our own tomatoes to eat later this summer.

    Amazing.

    Miscellany

    Farmers McGee … That’s Us

    May 20, 2010

    We’re gonna need your help with this. If you pray, say a prayer. If not, wish us luck or send us vibes or whatever you’re into.

    We’re trying to grow tomatoes.

    As you can see, the plants are already grown. So, this should be easy. But no. I feel fortunate every morning that I wake up and see green grass. I have the least-green thumb of anyone on earth. Even though we bought tomato plants, not seeds, this will be an adventure of the highest magnitude.

    I took those pictures last Saturday. We went to the local nursery and bought four tomato plants. They had, like, 75 different varieties to choose from! What’s up with that??! Ummm, I’d like the red ones. That I can eat. If they manage to survive having me as their farmer.

    We put two plants into the Topsy-Turvy gizmo, which is now hanging in our back yard. I planted the other two in the rock bed that runs along our front patio/walkway. I’m sure an actual farmer/gardener would’ve known better where to put them, taking sun exposure and God-knows-what-else into consideration. I have no idea how often to water them, but we’ve had a few days of rain lately, so I think they’re doing okay. All tomato plants appear to be alive as of this afternoon.

    But that could totally change by the time I wake up. Wish us luck. Or say a prayer. Or both. Definitely both.

    Miscellany

    Random Thoughts: Dishwashers

    May 6, 2010

    I am fairly certain that the “Normal Wash” mode on our dishwasher is both faster than the “Quick Wash” mode, and smarter than the “Smart Wash” mode.

    That’s all. Move along.

    Tri-Cities, WA

    Why I Love Where We Live

    January 9, 2010

    Very early in our marriage, I used to tell Cari that someday I wanted to live in (or build) a development where everything that mattered to me was, like, really, really close to our house. I wanted all of my best friends to live on the same street so we could hang out without having to travel far. I wanted all of the important public services close by — stores, gas stations, our church, schools, etc. I basically wanted my own little, 3-square-mile version of utopia where nothing important was more than a five-minute drive away. How cool would that be, right?

    Here we are, married 18+ years and slowly it’s starting to happen here in West Richland! Have a look at the map:

    ourhouse

    Our house is inside that big circle. When we moved here in late 1998, the area was pretty dead. But as you can see, we’re slowly getting most everything we need right around us.

    Elementary School: A little south of us is the elementary school where both kids have attended. This opened the first year we lived in West Richland. It’s less than a mile away.

    Middle School: This is where Sean goes now, also less than a mile away. It opened … 3-4 years ago, maybe?

    Fitness club: This will open on Monday. I just signed up yesterday, because about a week ago I stepped on the scale and weighed more than I ever have. Yikes! That bicycle purchase I made a year ago didn’t work out as far as helping me lose weight and get in shape; just never rode it often enough.

    Grocery store: A Yoke’s grocery store opened up about 4-5 years ago, I think. It’s also less than a mile away. We don’t do all our shopping there because, frankly, the prices are pretty high. But it’s super-convenient for quick shopping trips.

    Gas station: Once Yoke’s opened, all kinds of new businesses opened up around it, including a gas station that also has a Quiznos inside. Nice.

    Fire station: This was already here when we moved in, but it’s comforting to know that fire trucks are a mile away, God forbid anything happen.

    Sports fields: Also already here when we moved — it’s a nice little sports complex with four baseball fields, a soccer/football field, and a concession building. Very convenient when Sean spent a couple years playing Little League. And it also has a nice park with playground equipment that our daughter always loved. Back before I started working from home, the daycare that we sent both kids to was right across the street from the sports complex — again, super convenient to have that so close.

    Post office/Public library: These were also already here when we moved, but again – nice to have them so close. There’s also a nice restaurant right across the street from the post office, and a good pizza place right near the library (that many say is the best in the Tri-Cities).

    Still Missing

    First and foremost, all our friends. I haven’t been able to convince anyone to relocate here. Yet.

    Our church could be a bit closer. It’s about … maybe five miles away and not on the map.

    The nearest branch of our bank is way too far away. It’s a 15-minute drive to the mall for that.

    We also need an urgent care-type medical facility. A new medical office opened last year about two miles away, but we need a walk-in facility, too.

    A dog park for Sparky would be cool. There’s one in Richland, about 6-7 miles away, I think. Wish that was closer.

    Guess that’s about it. No place is perfect, but this place keeps getting closer with all the new stuff being built.

    Miscellany

    Four Years and $800 Later…

    April 3, 2009

    For the past four years, I’ve been telling myself that this is the summer I’ll get around to cleaning up the corner of our property. The trees and bushes (and weeds) have grown out of control, and it was nothing short of ugly. Worse, it was the first thing people would see of our property if they were coming our way from the south or west.

    And for four years it never got done. Whether it was writing a book for two summers, or going through major career turmoil (last summer), I never got around to it. And it just got worse and worse.

    About five weeks ago, we went to the Pasco Home & Garden Show, and I used that as my opportunity to scout out some local landscapers. I put my name on a contact list for A-1 Landscaping and picked up a coupon for their services. They came out and gave me a quote, and today was the big day:

    Landscaping #1

    Here’s a side view, and another side view.

    Possibly the best $800 I’ve ever spent. We love it. Should’ve done it four years ago!