Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Necessary Evils

There are things I don't really mind having to spend money on. They either give me great pleasure or they feed my body and/or soul. 

Like cheese. And chocolate. And wine. And gardening. And books. 

All good, nourishing things. Happy things. 

And then there are the necessary evils. 


I'm having a week of necessary evils. 


It's tough to have to drag out the wallet to fork out my hard-earned money on these things. 

But it must be done. 

One purchase I hated had to make this week was Milky Spore powder. 

Via
This stuff is pricey - ouch! To have to shell out a bunch of bucks for something that brings me zero pleasure is just tough. 

However, last year I had a terrible bout of Japanese Beetles in my garden. And the only organic way I know of to combat them is to use Milky Spore. 

You treat your property with the Milky Spore, following the specific directions, and it kills the grubs in the soil - and the beetles are gone for a very, very long time. 

Yes, please. I hate Japanese Beetles with a passion!

Via
So, if I don't want my plants to look like this.....which is what the leaves of my Morning Glories looked like last year....I must shell out big bucks for Milky Spore. 

Sigh. 

Another big expenditure this week.....


Gutters. 

Are you kidding me? 

Shouldn't a house COME with gutters? 

Who builds a house and doesn't even install ONE gutter?


I had to have gutters installed along the walkway from the garage, and also on the side of the house by the kitchen door. 

Can you see the rain in the above photos? My gutters were installed just in time!


Before the gutters were installed, the water would pour right off the roof and onto my head when I was trying to unlock the kitchen door. 

Ummmm.....no, that's not ok!

But the worst was when the snow would melt off the roof, and drip into a puddle right outside the kitchen door, and then freeze solid into a skating rink. 

Same with the pathway by the garage - the water would drip right onto that lovely pathway and create the worst walking conditions in winter weather. 

It had to be done. Out came the checkbook. Yes, Mr. Gutter Man, please take my money. 

Well, it turns out to be a good thing, as we finally got rain today, for the first time in ages. And wow, is it ever raining!

The gutters got a really good workout today. And you know what was nice? I could stand by my kitchen door, locking up as I left, and I didn't get even the tiniest bit wet. 

That was sweet!

Meanwhile, this is what the deck looks like outside my kitchen door right now. 


Why, you ask? 

Well let me tell you!

It's because the other side of the deck looks like this:


Remember how lovely it was just last week? 


Well, the reality is that the deck sadly needs some TLC. The previous owners must have done a super quick....and super cheap...'refresh' job when they were looking to sell the house. The deck needed to be power washed and needs to be scraped and painted with a really good deck paint. Not the sub-par horrible paint that was on it before. 

Which, of course, is another thing I am not happy about digging into my wallet for....but it has to be done. If I don't protect the wood, it's going to rot, and then turn into a much larger job. 

I knew it last summer but I put the project off until this summer. 

So, for a couple of weeks, I'll deal with the upheaval, and by the time Memorial Day rolls around - and we kick off summer in a big way - the deck will be lovely once more. 

For now, I'll deal with looking out my window and seeing this:


Instead of this:


And I'll spend more time on my new garden swing over by the garden cottage rather than on my deck swing. 


Because the end will justify the means. 

And it's all just part of being a proud homeowner!

28 comments:

  1. Ouch on the expenses. It does seem that bad and expensive things come in 3's doesn't it?

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    1. Without fail, Debbie. I'd much rather spend that money on something pretty, fun, or yummy!!

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  2. So true, but the end result will be worth the pain in the short term. Just don't forget to water your herb garden now that you cannot see it. LOL!!

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    1. The rain took care of it yesterday, Carole, but yes...I am trying to peek over the chairs to see if I see any signs of the dill popping up from seed!

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  3. Oh my goodness, those poor Morning Glories. That would have made me sad, too. You are a good home-owner, Deborah, and will reap the benefits come summer. Awww...there's that darling kitchen window-shelf all prettied up with some of your treasures. No matter what, it still looks nice. :) Enjoy your garden wing this week. Hugs, Deb (3 Deb's in a row. lol)

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    1. Lots of Debs out in blogland....isn't it funny? I don't meet many in person but they are out there!

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  4. I haven't had those beetles that I know of so glad to be prepared in case a few migrate over to my place.

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    1. Oh, you are so lucky! Perhaps they aren't in your area? I don't know. I do know they are a problem up here....but last year was the worst I had seen. Of course, it could be that the previous homeowners did not treat for them like I used to at my home....so they were out of control. Or maybe it was just the season....Who knows!

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  5. It's wrong, it's just wrong. But I can't stop laughing.

    Before you get upset, it's a sympathy laugh, we too are facing silly issues and "feeling the pride of home-ownership" since we bought our home. You and me can probably go on a long discussion about crappy & cheap craftsmanship.

    I have asked the same thing: who does not install gutters?! I have seen several houses without any and people have even argued it is "ok". NO, it is not ok.

    As for the beetles, oh wow, they are nasty!

    ps. add some extensions to your gutters; get the water far from your foundation/basement. The new (and pretty!) gutters are currently throwing gallons straight at your home's feet.
    Speaking from experience, you want the water away.

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    1. My home is on such a slope the water is going to run right away from the downspout so the extensions are not needed. The garage water will run down the front yard, to the parking area. The house downspout is actually running right to the slope that leads to my well - putting the water back where it belongs!!

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  6. My oldest daughter and her then husband built a house out in the country years ago. They did not install gutters. Every summer, (and I lived in TX), they would pay a small fortune for shrubs and plants. And every summer, the rain washed them away. They did not think about gutters! When I was finally there to look things over, I told them they should save their money on plants until they installed gutters. My daughter said her husband thought gutters were ugly and didn't want them. I told her that if they wanted landscaping, they'd better fork over the dough and get gutters. Now they're divorced. He still lives there, but is about to get remarried. And will be selling the house. But at least it has gutters!!!
    Brenda

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    1. You are so right, Brenda, and I have that problem around my little garden cottage. The water runs right off and drowns the pots around the base....I might actually have to think about gutters for there also, once I plant! Sigh....

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  7. Yes, dear girl, gutters are a must....they take the water away from your foundation. Water does the worse damage of homes. You may want to attach a roll out sleeve to the downspout. Those darn beetle are horrid..they can eat just about anything too. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. They are absolutely terrible - not sure which is worse, the beetles or the slugs....and yet I love living in the country and growing all sorts of things for them to eat....can you explain that? :)

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  8. Oh, it just never ends! It's the maintenance that kills ya. You'll be sitting pretty by summer!

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    1. Hopefully by summer all the bigger projects will be done and it will just be maintenance. Which is quite enough to keep me busy during gardening season!

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  9. Uh huh, in the last week we've had to have the microwave oven fixed and the sprinkler system fixed twice. Now the sprinkler system is because of our pond project...we keep finding the pipes accidentally with the shove. That's life though! :)

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    1. Ooooh, oops, that stinks!!! Sorry, sweet friend...but your pond will be worth it in the end also!! :)

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  10. I feel your pain - the expense of being a homeowner never ends! It is always, always something. A friend of mine had posted this article about Japanese Beetles on FB. I thought I'd share it with you: https://www.almanac.com/content/japanese-beetles

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    1. Wow, no mention of Milky Spore at all - how weird! I did look up the Parasitic Nematodes and no thank you, I'm not putting them in my garden!! I like the tip on the dish soap and water....that one is most definitely worth a try!

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  11. I hope the powder works on those beetles! And you have your work cut out for you with that deck. It will be wonderful in the end, though :)

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  12. I hope the powder works on those beetles! And you have your work cut out for you with that deck. It will be wonderful in the end, though :)

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    1. It will be, Deb, and I can't wait until it's done. I'm not great with everything being turned upside down....I am a little too OCD for that!

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  13. Oh been there more times than I care to count. I would so much rather spend money on the pretty!

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  14. I had no idea milk spore was so expensive. A little jar like that shouldn't be mucho bucks. Not fair.

    Now about those gutters...our house didn't have them either. Lots of houses don't in areas where there are harsh winters because they can cause ice dams. We installed the leaf guard ones a few years ago and added some electrical wires on the roof to melt the snow.

    Spending money on stuff like that is a definite bummer, but part and parcel of home ownership. Sorta like buying tires for your car when you would rather have pin stripes put on ;).

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    1. You are so right, my friend. And I will need to see how this winter goes with the new gutters, figure out if I need heat tape on my roof. Sigh, it's always something, right?

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