serendipitous reflections

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Time Warner Saga

I'm going to make this brief. Ten and a half weeks ago our cable went out. After 5 house calls and a new line dropped from our house to the tap, and another house call we had cable re-stored with some problems. Another house call and a "temporary" line was dropped between our yard and our neighbor's yard. Fast forward 7 weeks, about 15 phone calls, and a bright orange cable across our whole backyard, a supervisor came out to see why the permanent line has never been put in. (According to them, the work order was never put in....suuurrre.) Two more house calls plus the utilities guy coming out and spraying for the lines again. Another week and a half and this crew finally showed up to bury the line. I was told they would make a 12" x 12" cut in the yard at the fence and at the utility box and it would take about an hour to an hour and half. Well as you can see the 2 holes in our yard turned out to be 4 and they were 4' x 12". The workers also were here for 7 hours. You can see them having lunch under one of our trees and then at the end of the day another crew came over and joined them under the same tree for a drink (some without shirts).

And I'm sad to say that wasn't the end of the cable saga. I was told after the line was buried, that would be "it". Well it wasn't. The temporary line was still out there and I had to call in another work order to have the permanent line connected to the tap/utility box. On Saturday that crew showed up and we were told would be the final "thing". The workers never came to the door to tell us that they were leaving so we couldn't see if our cable was working or to see the work was complete. This is nothing new because almost every worker did this wonderful disappearing act. As you can see by the last picture, the utility box is not completely put together and there are wires hanging out of the bottom. And they killed several plants in the whole process. So one more call.....and now we wait again. I hate Time Warner.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Digging holes

Time-Warner Cable's finest is in our backyard burying the permanent cable, but it looks like they are burying dead bodies instead. Jeni is taking pictures to document the day!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Front Yard

I'll go ahead and apologize for the lengthy post, but for the amount of work we put in, it deserves a long post.

Dean and I decided to basically "gut" the yard and start over. The builders did as little as they had to do, and it showed. And the previous owners did even less. We knew we had our work cut out for us, so we started in early spring and luckily finished 95% of the projects before the South Carolina hot weather started.

Grand total for the front yard:
216 plants
10 bushes
1 palm tree
~950 lbs of compost, top soil and mulch
16 shrubs given away to a friend
2 ferns for the front porch

Here is a picture of the front foundation beds before we started.

All the bushes out...
Add 400lbs of compost, top soil, and mulch; put in 10 azalea bushes (between the two beds).....
Then finish it off with 8 daylilies(Catherine Neal, Custard Candy, Prairie Blue Eyes, and Strawberry Candy), 8 hosta 'Lady Guinevere', 4 Shasta daisies, 2 huge Crinum 'Bradley', 4 Columbine, 4 Penstemon 'Blue Buckle', 100 Tigridia bulbs, 2 butterfly bushes 'Black Knight', and 2 Robellini palms.

And today...
These are the faces of the daylilies in the front foundation beds.
From L-R - Catherine Neal, Custard Candy, Prairie Blue Eyes, and Strawberry Candy

And here is the bed the middle of the front yard. There was no definition to the bed, and as I said before they just put what shrubs they had left over in there. (In this picture, we had already removed the shrubs.)

We made the bed into a kidney shape; added 250lbs of compost, top soil, and mulch, then add in the plants -- 7 daylilies 'Black Eyed Stella', 7 daylilies 'Clara', 12 bareroot daylilies 'Just Watch' and 'Bourbon Kings', 14 hosta, 2 giant ginger lilies 'Luna Moth', and 2 daylilies 'Autumn Minaret. We also planted 15 Golden Spider Lily bulbs but I think the friendly neighborhood squirrels got them. The 14 daylilies are the only thing we kept from the original landscaping.

Here are some of the daylilies staring to bloom. Happy day!

Top:'Black Eyed Stella',
Bottom: 'Clara'
(I'm not a 100% because these are the one used from the previous landscaping.)

And today...
We put a windmill palm at the front of the yard. The palm is 4-5 years old, and we can't wait for it to start to get some height.

This is the front side yard. We forgot to take a before picture, but trust me, it looks a ton better. We removed 3 shrubs, a bunch of weeds/trees, and a huge bunch of ivy that was starting to move out into the yard.

First we gave the bed some definition, then we added 300 lbs of compost, top soil, and mulch; and then the plants - 15 lantana ('Ms. Huff' and 'Red Spread'), 3 Black-Eyed Susans, 3 flame flowers (Kniphofla uvaria 'Grandiflora'), and 2 bunches of pampas grass (to hide the transformer).

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Our house

The house is really coming together. We've been taking a lot of flower pictures, which we should have up soon since most everything has started to bloom. The rain and hot hot hot Columbia weather has helped some of them bloom. We've got most of what we want in the ground planted. Tracey and Clay had to postpone their trip, with gives us a little more time for some of the projects that we want completed before their visit. We did manage to get a fresh (and refreshing) coat of paint on the office walls, so we can move the computer in there (unfortunately no cable jack for TV, so we'll have to get that rectified soon) and then we can unpack a lot of the books that have been sitting in boxes for about nine months. That'll leave two rooms and a hallway to be painted (and maybe a new color in the hall bathroom upstairs -- an early effort that now doesn't work as well). It's definitely looking like our house now, without a doubt. And as one project comes off the list, there's always something that can be added just to make things nicer -- and that's the joy of home ownership.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

New recipes are up...

New recipes are posted over on Kitchen Sherpa. Check 'em out!