Thursday, June 27, 2013

Birthday Bliss

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, my birthday!! I've been pampering myself and relaxing, but I did want to share a couple pictures I've taken in the past couple of days, just because they're pretty. Enjoy!

While trimming back my rose bushes a couple days ago, I found a beautiful little birds nest with these three eggs.

My sweet beagle, Harper, about a year and four months old, helping with yard work.

The lavender bush was in full bloom and filled with bumblebees.

Another view of the lavender bush.

Starting to get the porch ready for the 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Patience is a Virtue: Wildflowers

I'm not sure if it was the two tornadoes and heavy rains and the insane humidity and heat we've been having, but something has finally spurred my Wildflower Garden to life. Just when I was starting to think that my idea for a low maintenance flower bed was going to peak as a weedy mess, I spotted them. A few lone blossoms in a sea of green!

In case you missed it, an old shed in the backyard crumpled and left quite a mess. We cleaned the area up and decided to block it off and create some low maintenance curb appeal. Considering the shed was hideous and once it was gone, there was still a hideous open spot of dirt, anything would would be a step up. A couple of bags of wildflower mix and several weeks of watering and rain later, we finally have our first signs of color!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Keep the Curb Appeal Coming...

Renovation Status Update: We are making extremely slow progress with the County and the bank(s). {at least it's something though...} In July we will be applying for a grant that St. Mary's County is offering to residents in critical areas {check} for a new innovative sand septic system. After speaking with a couple Health Department officials, this seems to be the route we need to take.

We've also researched all of our options for financing this project. Now we have to decide who we are going to go with {offering the best rates}, and how soon we can get started.

Next on my check list is to call Dave Decker Plans LLC and schedule an appointment for him to come out to the cottage and draw up our addition {or second story} plans.


Ok, so in the mean time, we're working on boosting our curb appeal. Bubba took the initiative to freshen up our fence in the front yard with a fresh coat of white paint {pictures to come soon}, and it looks GREAT! That was one job I was MORE than willing to hand over to him. I'm all about painting inside the house, but a white picket fence? I'll leave that to Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, or in this case, Bubba Hill!

More up my alley was the flower basket I added to the gate of the fence. I found this cute little metal basket with a flat back and knew it would be perfect for the fence. It just needed a little bit of spray paint and a couple of screws. 

Oh, and of course some flowers too! I grabbed a couple buy one-get one portulaca's from a local flower and vegetable vendor, Betty Russell in Clements, and the project was complete. It turned out so cute, now if only I could get the flowers to bloom out a little more...

I threw a couple of the extra portulaca's in a pot and placed them on stump by our "driveway". 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Waterspout UPDATE: Actually a Tornado!

Ok, so you know how I told you that we here at PBC survived another waterspout? I was wrong, we survived a TORNADO!! I knew it felt awfully scary...

The National Weather Service (NWS) ruled that the storm we experienced on the night of June 10, 2013 was in fact an EF-0 tornado. I've never really understood the reasoning behind using a zero for rankings when it has no value, but I digress...that's an entirely different conversation. Anyway, they declared that it was actually a tornado and part of their decision to name it as such was because of the damage further up the street where a trampoline was shot into the air and became lodged in the top of a tree. You can see a really cool map and read all about this incident at the National Weather Service Website.

And here is a picture I was able to snap of the trampoline dangling from the tip-top of the tree!

Oh and don't forget the Derecho that came through last Thursday, June 14, 2013...a report I saw on the Southern Maryland Weather facebook page stated that the NWS confirmed that as the storm came through Coltons Point, it produced a waterspout that then formed ANOTHER tornado once it reached land. Two tornado's within a four day time frame?! Crazy.

I'm sure it doesn't seem crazy, or even newsworthy, to the residents of Oklahoma or Texas, but we live in Maryland people...We rarely get tornado's, let alone two within one week in the same neighborhood. We were lucky in the fact that we didn't sustain any serious damage, but our neighbors up the street weren't so lucky. They had a tree from the neighbors yard on their other side completely uproot and land on the roof of their house. Everyone was fine, but it left quite a mess! Again, these were EF-0's, so they weren't extremely serious, but I'm still thankful to the Big Guy for keeping us and our home safe. Check out some of the damage from tornado #2 in CP:

I will try and get a picture of the tree on the roof and update once I do!!

***Update! Here is the picture of the neighbors with a tree on their roof:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

PBC Survives Another Waterspout

We were expecting some pretty heavy rains yesterday evening here in Southern Maryland, and boy did we get them. Around 8:30pm the thick clouds finally gave way and drenched Colton's Point. Just as I was making my way to the bedroom to read I asked Bubba to mute the TV because it was the loudest rain I'd ever heard in my life. And then it sounded like the porch was going to rip off, and I'm pretty sure the house was shaking/rattling. We flipped on the local news stations and saw that we had a tornado watch in full effect. I got nervous and wanted to head to the guest room in the center of the house, but withing minutes the howling and rattling stopped and the rain slowed down.

We never lost power or had any other cause for concern. But then I got a couple of worried text messages and phone calls and started to wonder if the rest of the neighborhood had seen something we didn't. Luckily, it wasn't much, and there was very minimal damage, but it appears that a waterspout did make it's way down the top half of Point Breeze Rd. and across the Point onto Beach Rd. You can read about it on the local fire departments website, HERE.

I quickly snapped a few pictures as I left for work this morning:

Beach Rd.

Top of Point Breeze Rd.

Top of Point Breeze Rd. (if you head straight ahead in this photo, you'll be on beach Rd.)

Top of Point Breeze Rd.

Top of Point Breeze Rd.

The only damage we sustained: My garden decor/bird, who had been sitting on my porch railing, fell to the ground.  Honestly, I think this so-called spout shot off into the River once it got down in front of our house, so we were pretty lucky!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Birthday Wishes!

A very happy birthday shout-out to our first nephew, Jacob, who turned 5 years old today! 
You are smart, thoughtful, an excellent big brother, and we just LOVE you so much!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cottage Improvement Chronicles: Flower Garden UPDATE

A little less than a month ago, I shared the story of our "Dead Shed" with you, as well as our plans for the revitalization of the spot where it lived. To make a long story short, we have an UGLY spot in our backyard that needs to be made pretty. Easy enough, right? Right...

So, we've cleared the spot, tilled it up, bordered it with old bricks and drift wood, planted wild flower seed, and are waiting not-so-patiently for the first signs of "bloomage". In the meantime, I decided that it needed just a little something else to make it a true oasis for the wildlife in our backyard. A bird bath! Yep, that's what it needed, it would add height to the space and give all the wandering birds a place to cool down.

After a little browsing, I realized that a decent bird bath is not cheap. And then it hit me, why would I buy a new bird bath, when everything else in the garden was a DIY project constructed out of things and materials that we already had? I decided I'd make my own bird bath...While perusing Pinterest one day, I stumbled across the cutest idea for a home made bird bath from Eclectically Vintage...

I mean, seriously, how adorable is this set up?! It got my juices flowing, and I rummaged through our cluttered garage in search of an old step ladder, the bottom pieces of a couple flower pots, and some smooth stones.

Stones? Check...we use to collect sea glass and unique rocks from the beach in a basket on the front porch, and I had a baggie of store-bought stone left-over from my boot rack project a couple months ago.

Flower Pot Holders (I'm sure there is a real name for these things, and I just don't know it...)? Check! I couldn't believe my luck, something told me to peak under the back deck and there sat two perfectly sized plates from pots in a pretty sea-foam green and your typical stone color. Thank you, former landlord...

Old Step Ladder? Negative. But I did find an old work bench, a weather worn stump, a big plastic barrel that I bought last year from Lowes that was filled with flowers, and a vintage plant stand left by the landlord that I had spray painted and kept on the porch. Not as rustic or cute as the step ladder, but hey, it all worked for me!

After some serious placement and replacement of all the pieces, I finally found a set-up that I was satisfied with. I even found a cute little bird decor piece from a yard sale to complete the DIY project. It's certainly not as cute as the pictures and inspiration I found on Pinterest, but I'm REALLY hoping that once the wild flowers come up it will look nice and give the birds a save haven.