Friday, February 22, 2013

A Thorn in My Side, and a True Thorn in my Side

I'm so excited for this next month.  As I shared in my last post, we will be overhauling the backyard.  We are putting in a fire pit/living room area, and building a deck for a dining room area.  I have been pinning mosquito repelling plants like crazy so that we can be out there and not become dinner.  But, something that I forgot to mention is that we are also creating a front porch sitting area by our front door. 

One of my dreams of living somewhere that my kids would grow up is to have a front porch so they can play outside in the front with the neighborhood kids.  One of my fondest memories growing up was playing with the neighbors at dusk when the fireflies were out.  My parents were chit-chatting with their parents, and we were just enjoying life, being kids. **Rabbit Trail Alert** Then we would go inside, take our baths for the night and go to bed when our hair was dry. Sometimes we would go to bed when it was still dusk.  I thought it was crazy to go to bed so early, but it must have been comforting, because now, sometimes at dusk, I just want to go to bed while I can still see the light through the blinds, and whisk away to dream land.

Well, that was Ohio.  In Florida, our dusk is only about 10 minutes long, compared to about 3-4 hours on a cooler Ohio summer night.  We also don't have fire flies here.  But, I have made a home here in Florida, so I have to make do with what I have.  I may not have dusk or fireflies, but that doesn't mean that I can't make some of those same memories in this neighborhood with my kids. 

Here is a picture of the house when we first moved in.  Notice the jungle that was our front flower beds.
Those flower beds took months to clear out.  MONTHS!  I was going to try to keep some of it, and just cut it back, but there was a very thick bed of ferns that had to come out.  The more I tried to pull them out, the more I realized how in-the-way the bigger bushes were.  We ended up pulling out absolutely everything and starting from scratch.  We ended up changing the shape of the flower bed, which also took a lot of work. I never realized how strong I could be until I had to dig up 100 pounds worth of bush and ferns out of the earth.  I'm like Wonder Woman, only less 80's.

We have also made a few other changes to the front. We painted the whole house.  It's hard to tell in that pic, but the house was pink.  Everyone in the neighborhood hated it, not to mention that it had been years since it was last done, and there was mildew stains and hard water stains from the irrigation system.  It was really terrible. 

My father in law came a couple weeks ago and installed gutters.  That was a huge blessing, because we had a water fall where we wanted to put the porch, and knew that we would regret laying pavers if we didn't put those up first.

Here are a couple pics of the area that we will be putting the porch.  Please don't judge me for the weeds.  The fact is that we have dug weeds out of that area several times, and there is nothing protecting the ground from them right now.  That will change this weekend.

I will keep you up to date on all of the progress over the next month. 


I'm going to get serious with you for a minute.  My brother posted this video on Facebook the other day.  I don't care who you are.  If you are a kid, or a teen, or a parent or future parent, you need to watch this. 

Bullying is a real epidemic amongst kids.  I myself was bullied terribly in school.  I have overcome in a lot of ways, but the pain is still real.  Kids these days are killing themselves over what people are saying to them.  It's not something to joke about, and no kid, no matter what they look like, who they choose to love, how much money their parents have or what they did in the past should deserve to be bullied.  Yesterday was an extremely emotional day as I first watched this, then saw in the comments someone try to make light of the bullying situation.  That particular person just happened to be from my past, and someone I associated with my bullies.  When I called him out on it, he basically told me that I deserved it because I didn't stand up for myself.  Needless to say, I was a wreck yesterday. 

I won't keep you any longer but do want to say, please, please pay attention to your kids.  If you think your kids seem depressed, struggling in school, not playing/hanging out with their friends, please talk to them about bullying, because they very well could be a victim.  On the other hand, if you think your child could be a bully, please put an end to it right away. 

Have a kid or teenager in your life?  Tell them why you love them, and how great you think they are.  That could be just what they need that day, or as a reminder for their days ahead.

If you yourself are being bullied, please know that it does get better.  When you leave high school, the people that you were around, will all go their separate ways.  You will grow up.  You will learn who you are, and accept who you are.  They will grow up and mature.  I would have never believed it, but 99% of the people that bullied me, I don't know where they are, or what they are doing this day.  The adult world is so much different.

If you have any questions about bullying, please refer to this website.  It will give you some insight on signs to watch for, plus what to do in the situations. 



  1. I pulled everything in front of our house last year and put in a brick border. It took all summer to get done (and we have a tiny house/yard)! It looks so bare because we haven't done any replanting yet! Project for this spring!