Sunday, August 17, 2014

Little Projects

We have been busy with a few little projects around the yard and house lately. One is taking care of some annoying wiring. Zach pulled off sections of the exterior temporarily on the east and west wall of the house to add in outlets in the bedroom, run networking and HDMI cables. 

Another project is reclaiming our creek from overgrowth. We cleared a lot of brush from here this winter with help of my parents. This spring and summer the weeds came back full force. Right beyond the green clump ahead, the creek widens and gets deeper and the weeds disappear.

Clearing our side of the creek along the driveway revealed our sad looking retaining wall. We have some erosion problems in the front yard and sand likes to wash across the driveway. We figure on replacing this retaining wall this winter when it is much cooler. That will help hold the soil in place.

We also cleared the tall shrubs we had between the tall cypress and pine trees along the driveway. We would like to replant with some small shrubs and hostas, but that will happen after the new retaining wall is in place.

We have a large poplar tree in the backyard, just off our deck near the canal. Since it is on a slope the root system is quite unique. We had a small herd of potted plants sitting around the garage since we've moved in. Put both together, and we have a new home for bunch of potted plants. Making that area a small garden negates the tripping hazard. We might put some mulch around it yet.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Little One has a name now, Freyja.  Her middle name is Jo-Jo. :-) (thanks Isaac!)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Patio Set

We recently rehabbed 4 patio chairs and patio table for a patio set for our back deck. I did a bad job getting before and during pics, but you get the point. :-)

Our next door neighbor was cleaning out his garage and asked if we wanted a free patio table. Of course! It was rusty and faded mint green but no matter to us. We were on the lookout for one. Zachary took it apart and brushed off the rusty bits.

Over the winter, my parents found us a deal on 4 patio chairs at a rummage sale. They were in fairly good shape, just missing seats. So they have been sitting around our backyard waiting for a table. When the table was found, the project was on!

We headed to Jo-Anns to find seat cushions and fabric. We ended up with green canvas that was 50% off and cushion foam was 50% off too. It was our first time doing an upholstery project and it went together real easy. Although ours was simple, I look forward to trying it again with more complicated upholstery projects.

We used Rust-Oleum black hammered finish spray paint on the chairs and the table.

Project complete! I like how it turned out. I also love the fact we didn't spend an arm and a leg for a patio set. With the fabric, foam and paint, we spent about $80. I would like to find an umbrella for it eventually, in case we put it on the non-covered part of the deck.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Fourth on the Beach

We walked down to the beach on the 4th to take in the Fireworks display on the water. Luckily we live a few blocks from the beach, so we just walked down with our chairs and not have to worry about parking. The beach was crowded and groups of people along the beach were firing off their own fireworks, so the air was sulfurous. Nevertheless the actual fireworks show was excellent, PCB shot off fireworks off both of the large piers in town simultaneously.  It was our first year seeing them. One thing we noticed with the beach fireworks are quieter than other ones we have seen. The sounds just goes out over the water, not bouncing off the buildings as much.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


In mid June we went on vacation with our friends Ben and Amanda in Cape Coral. We had a wonderful time, very relaxing. A lot of time in the pool, relaxing by the pool, playing card games by the pool. A great way to spend a few days away.

We did go on a kayak outing, in the mangroves. Our seasoned guide took us out into the mangroves, telling us about the ecology of the mangroves. It was fascinating.

Practicing our paddling techniques
Outdoor floating classroom

Male crabs showing off their big claws to the females
Black crab

Mangrove tunnel, snake alert on high

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hot Night

We check our weather from often and a few weeks ago I had to screen capture the webpage, as the current conditions forecast was rather ridiculous and funny. 163F at night, 129F heat index, but thank goodness only 3% humidity. At least it was a dry heat. :-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Holmes Creek

In early June, Zachary and I rented a canoe in Vernon from Old Cypress Canoe Rentals to check out Holmes Creek and Cypress Spring. Vernon is about 45 minutes from PCB. Late May/early June was pretty wet for NW Florida, so the creek was quite a bit higher than normal and muddy. Nevertheless we were pretty excited to get in a canoe again, we hadn't been in one since moving to FL. The creek is typically fairly clear under normal weather conditions.

Besides seeing saw palmettos in the undergrowth in the woods, you would think we were on a river in WI.

Padding upstream on a tributary to Holmes Creek, the dark muddy water suddenly went crystal clear. We found Cypress Spring. Beautiful shades of turquoise blues and greens.

The spring itself is quite deep, about 75 feet at its opening. It is only accessible by boat, but it is still quite popular with the locals, boating in to swim, dive and just experience a natural treasure.

Even though these pictures don't show it well, it was surreal to see all the cypress roots crystal clear underwater, along with the plant life and fish.