Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Yard Reveal

This week Brooklyn and I finally finished landscaping, planting, and decorating our almost 1/3 acre lot. We wanted to share with you our love, sweat and creativity as we transformed an unloved and uncared for plot of land into our own little piece of heaven. I am so happy I live with a girl who loves beauty as much as I do and doesn't mind working! Brooklyn, you are the best! I bought this house sight unseen. I told the realtor, "Find me the ugliest, cheapest house you can." When I drove up this is what I saw! I have included the before and afters in each sequence. What a transformation! The side yard has rv parking and was very neglected. From barren to beautiful. We planted many iris plants which were given to us by our beautiful neighbor Helen, a butterfly bush, some black-eyed susans which are very happy here, and a peach, plum and apple tree. This side of the yard will bring us joy and fruit for years to come. And see that old fence resting against the concrete wall? It will make an appearance later...stay tuned! The backyard was horrible. With some help from a landscaper and a few refurbished pieces of furniture we had hanging around...we made a nice little retreat. The tree now also stands majestic in our backyard. The back porch still needs a coat of paint, but it provides a nice place to rest from the hot desert sun. One day driving home from work I saw an antique piano in the back of the truck in front of me. I thought how beautiful its legs were and knew someone was lucky to have such a beautiful piece. Imagine my surprise when the next day one of my friends (thanks Deb) posted on facebook that she had a 120 year old piano she had got from a repo house and she wanted to get rid of. She said she had bit off more than she could chew. Piano and delivery - free! I wrote back, "Pick me, pick me!" And she did. The piano received a coat of deck stain to protect it (yes it works, but refurbishing it would cost in the thousands so it has become yard art). I have planted ivy to grow on it as well as some flowering bushes around it. I hope it will be a beautiful spectacle in a few years. I also hung an old window and antique wash basins on the fence...all things I already had! Brooklyn loves tropical plants. Our neighbors were throwing out this pond...they were tired of trying to keep it clean. Brooklyn kindly asked for it and they were happy to give it to her. She enjoyed picking out her tropical plants. So far we don't have sprinklers running to that she is hand-watering it for now. As we move around to the other side yard (we live on a cul-de-sac and our yard touches seven other people's yards) we have our raised vegetable garden and another sitting area that we just completed yesterday! This side yard was a mess. It needed weeding and leveling and general clean up. We were able to get these raised beds from a local plumbing supply company. They receive their pipes in them and then just trash the wooden frames - yes, we are very frugal over here. The wood chips in the veggie area were free from a friend. We did pay a delivery fee because we try to be nice that way. The early high temps - 106 degrees in May - didn't give our vegetable plants a chance to get established before they were burning up. We hung this sunshade...we could use two more...but they were expensive! These will be pricey vegetables by the time they finally get here...but it is so rewarding growing your own food. Last but not least, the crowning project, was this little sitting area. We got some free pallets from our wood chip friends and painted them and made a chaise out of them. The bricks and pavers were laying around the mess of our yard. And the fence makes its appearance on this side of the house. It is actually hiding a tangle of cable and telephone wires as well as a gas pipe. I decided to graffiti a quote on it for fun. We planted a cherry tree and a pineapple guava tree in this little area. We also planted an almond and pecan tree as well as a pomegranate bush. We are so happy to be finished. Now on to maintaining! If anyone is ever down around La Verkin feel free to stop by and enjoy our little Garden of Eden with us. Brooklyn would love to make you a snow cone...she makes several a day. I must warn you though, the only flavor she has is pink lemonade!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

By Small and Simple Things...

By small and simple things great things are brought to pass. I learned this from Alma when I was young. Sometimes we humans bite off a lot more than we can chew...literally and figuratively. I have come to realize that if I can do one small thing a day, it can lift my spirit and propel me to move on to the next small thing. Before I know it, I have accomplished many things. Things which can be seen and things which can be felt. Sometimes my to-do list has twenty things on it. Sometimes I add things I have already done just so I can cross it off! Cheating...maybe, but at least it makes me feel good.

The small thing can be anything. It can be organizing the silverware drawer, planting a flower pot, calling a friend, and the list goes on. But just knowing I acted on whatever it is, makes me feel good inside. Makes me feel productive and sometimes even accomplished.

So my goal for tomorrow is to write a thank you note. I had a wonderful weekend with some really wonderful people. I told them thank you, I hugged them goodbye, but I want to do something a little more. I want to write down how special they are to me, how much I appreciate their friendship and their love, and then I want to seal it with a kiss and a stamp and send the little love note on its way. I hope they feel as good receiving it as I do writing it.

The small thing is the thank you note, the great thing is the bond that deepens between friends.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Coming Home

A dear friend asked me to describe the magic of my life in 150 words. It is hard to condense so much into so little...but here goes:

I always had the desire to find a place and stay put forever. Safe and secure. But once divorced, everything changed and nothing seemed right anymore. I awoke one day and I ran. I ran to a town I had never been to and a house I had bought sight unseen. A place where the only thing people knew about me was what I chose to tell them. But in my running I discovered that I had found my way to the place I always belonged. In this valley, my great-grandparents are buried two miles away and others from my family tree sleep in a cemetery thirty minutes down the road. My great great grandfather served as temple president here for 31 years. And on Christmas Eve 2010, my father was laid to rest just down the street from my home. I have roots and heritage here. I did not run away…I was actually coming home.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sometimes I wake up thinking...

Sometimes I wake up thinking, "What the &$#% happened to my life?" I miss the family vacations, I miss the security of not making all the decisions myself, I miss going to sleep and waking up with my best friend. Or who I thought was my best friend.

But then I remind myself:

And I remember:

Don't get me wrong, I never want to go backwards to the lies that my marriage was based on, but I will never stop hoping that there is a kind, trusting, honest, loving man out there for me. And I will never forget that:

All I know is God didn't need to write me a novel...a haiku would have been just fine!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


As each day passes I seem to become more and more melancholy. It is the time of year...and this year in particular.

On Saturday it will be the one year anniversary of my dad's death. Remembering all the emotions of last year, the final goodbyes, the laying next to him as he was taking his last breaths. I have not listened to the Christmas Story he recorded, but plan to tonight. I wonder if it will bring me peace or sadness.

Also, this Christmas I will be without my children. Divorce is a very ugly thing. How can I be living for next Christmas, when it will be "my turn" and not enjoy this Christmas?Since Brooklyn will be her dad for Christmas, we will be opening presents tonight. I try to remind myself that it is the season, not the day. But when you know so many in the world are celebrating in their homes, with their families, it makes me feel a little lost when the day actually does come around. I need to put my heart in the right the feet of my Savior.

Just as the balloons add color to the gloomy picture, I have a bright spot. My son, Elder Moore, will be calling from Nicaragua on Sunday. I will be so excited to see his face, via skype, and to hear his voice. He has the ability to make me laugh simply because he is one crazy kid.

So as Christmas comes and goes, so will the ebb and flow of my emotions. Thank goodness we have a new year to look forward to. May 2012 be bright and colorful and full of possibilities!