|Our side yard. Lots of basil and tomatoes, plus phlox and roses. Once full of nothing. It has never looked better.|
Yow. That all sounds hard to do. Let's look at flowers
|Bouquet made from the last wildflowers in our front border, plus some pretty coleus leaves.|
|Kitchen before remodeling. Note wallpaper, plain counter tops, and ugly floor|
|Kitchen after remodeling. Note cool backsplash, granite counters, new lighting, ceramic tile floors with glass inserts.|
It really was not an unpleasant process at all, thanks to having a competent contractor. I can't say what my favorite part is. Perhaps the backsplash, which is natural stone with a band of brown glass. Or it could be the faucet in the deep stainless steel sink. Mmm. Here is a close-up of the backsplash.
|Sink and backsplash. I like the detachable faucet head and deep sink.|
What else is going on? Lots of family time this summer, which has been great. As much as I would have liked Tuba Boy to get a job, it has been nice having him home, when he is awake. Beccano is teaching my coworker guitar, so making a little spending money. Mostly we do things together and laugh--we've been enjoying having Beccano's girlfriend around, too. She really fits in--they have been together a year now!
And I have been Driver Ed instructor for Beccano. I am pleased to report that using the clutch has finally become clear, and that he is a good driver otherwise. We just have to finish up a few more driving hours and get through all the exercises in his book, and he will have a license in time to go back to school. Of course, that means insurance. Ugh. Everything is more expensive (my portion of college is more now, too), so I sure hope I can hang on to some employment for a while longer!
Since I have not been knitting much, I have turned my fascination back to my aquarium. The poor thing had been dealing with some bad water combined with bad algae. The kids and I totally cleaned it out, saving the two remaining fish in a holding tank, and have it back up and running. I got a new and expensive biological filter, new lights, and new plants (fake). We put starter fish in (mollies and danios) and are now patiently waiting for the aquarium to "cycle," so it will be safe for more fish. That is taking a while. The consensus of the fish experts at AquaTek (go there--it is reputable and has some beautiful tanks) is that the Brushy Creek MUD water just is not good for tropical fish (as opposed to the water in Brushy Creek, which is). So, once it's all set up I will be using reverse osmosis water from the grocery store with some salts put in it. So there. I hope to heck that this week I can get a catfish and algae eater, plus a few more live-bearers to round out the school. The mollies are actually eating some of the new algae, which is good. And the algae that is forming now is "normal," not the scary kind. Fingers crossed. The new fish have now been in there a month and only one has died--a danio jumped out of the tank (glass top is on order!).
Rather than make this post un-ending, I'll close here and try to blog more soon. Say hi in the comments if you wish!
Addendum: I was thinking about what I wrote and want to be clear that the friend I refer to in the first paragraph has never said anything that offended me--in fact comes across as incredibly sweet and considerate. The things she said just led me to muse that sometimes what seems completely innocent or kind to one person can be interpreted quite differently by someone else. I was not intending to fault her. Hmm, am I over-explaining again???