norsegirl: (Default)
Didn't want to make the last entry too cluttered, so I've saved the construction progress for its own post.

Work continues on the house next door today even though it's the weekend. A few more lots sold this week, so work is back up to the usual pace and I've got some updated pics. They've also started work on the empty lot across the road, so soon I won't be able to see any more weed-filled empty lots from my house - yay!

A shot of a wild morning glory-type plant growing on the fence on the empty lot across the road. It's just another weed of some sort, but a pretty one.


pics of the construction behind the cut )
norsegirl: (Default)
The construction is going slowly. Mostly because they're not really there and doing anything.

July 16th - no work

July 17th
I got my curtains hung up just in time for a dozen or so workers to descend on the site and start leveling out the sand that was dropped off two days before. They were done and gone by noon.


July 18th and 19th
The weekend. Surprisingly, no work.

July 20th
Workers show up in the morning to dig trenches for services (water, sewer and maybe electrical) and are done in an hour or two.

Greg takes me out to meet Rhonda for lunch. As we're standing around chatting after lunch there's this "pop" that sounds like a small explosive and an accompanying dust cloud appears on the construction site. The neighbour across the street hears it too and we all cautiously approach the site to figure out what it was. As far as we can figure the cap blew out of one of the pipes because the pressure changed as the air inside heated up, which is something one would expect as a summer day in Texas progresses. Below is a picture of the explosive pipe and the black cap that we figure blew out of it (Greg retrieved it from some distance away and tossed it back in the trench).


July 21st
Workers come in the morning and cover the site with black plastic. I'm not sure what purpose this serves exactly, but I have noticed that this step normally takes a few days. I'm guessing they let the sand settle and compact and maybe the black tarps help to make sure it dries out?


July 22nd
Thunderstorms loom all day, but don't produce much in way of rainfall. A bit of drizzle falls, but nothing worth noting. Construction workers do not appear and no progress is made on the site.

July 23rd
As of now still no workers on site. The next step is pouring concrete and those guys are usually around at the crack of stupid, so I don't expect there will be any progress today either. I hope that they choose to do that either Friday or Monday and don't wake us early on the weekend as it is VERY noisy, but it's not like I have any say in the matter.

In other news, Jason got up around 7:30 or so and joined me outside for nutella-covered croissants and a cup of tea on the patio furniture. This is the first time we've actually used the new table other than as a place to put the marshmallows during the July 4th bonfire. It's too damn hot to eat dinner out there, but first thing in the morning, especially if it's overcast like it was this morning, it's really quite pleasant.

Speaking of the yard, things out there are behaving unpredictably again. The bottlebrush, after shooting out all kinds of new growth and appearing to be happy with just being neglected and ignored, has suddenly taken a turn for the worse. All the interior leaves and some at the edges are curled and completely dried. At the same time as this is going on, there's still new growth at the ends of some of the branches. I'm not sure if that new growth is just stuff that hasn't got the "we're dying" message yet, or if this plant just kills off old growth regularly and this is a normal part of its life cycle. I've started watering it more regularly and I guess we'll just see where it goes and what happens.

Gotta love the spray paint all over my lawn. Like really, you shouldn't be digging here anyway, do you need to put orange and red all over everything?

Other things in the front yard seem to be benefiting from the neglect. When the daisy stopped blooming I stopped caring about it and it hasn't had any water other than what hits it when we water the lawn twice a week. It took a few weeks off to spread a little and develop more foliage and then all of a sudden last week there were blooms. I guess I should just continue to ignore it then.


In the backyard, things seem very happy. The ixora that was in good condition very enthusiastically threw out blooms for a few weeks. Unfortunately I think it also got trampled, and maybe sampled by beagles, so while it is blooming, it is kind of crushed and asymmetrical. I might have to stake it to encourage it to recover in a pleasing shape. The other ixora that was doing so very poorly before being planted is developing a nice shape (having not been trampled and having fewer leaves to support) and appears to be sprouting some buds. The buds however look orange just like the other ixora, which is interesting since the tag at the nursery claimed this one would be yellow. Ah well, the second "Meyer Lemon" I purchased also turned out to be a key lime, so I'm not really expecting much from the Lowe's garden centre any more. If you actually want to know what you're buying you really should go to a proper nursery.


It's absolutely fascinating trying to adapt my gardening techniques and figure out how to grow all these new things in a new environment.

On the indoor plant front, I'm down to only one orchid in bloom right now, which is rather sad. It's taking all my self-control not to pick up another one every time I go in to Ikea or Lowe's (the two places they are cheapest). The hibiscus doesn't seem to be doing terribly well in the pot it arrived in. I suspect it has outgrown it or that the soil doesn't retain water well enough. Jason suggested it wasn't getting enough sunlight and there were a few bugs on it, so rather than deal with the bugs I decided to toss it out on the back patio. Jason was wrong about it wanting more sun. Within 24 hours it had dropped every single leaf. I brought it back inside, sprayed some soap water on it to clear up the aphids and have been nursing it back to health. There's lots of tiny little leaves and it did reward me with one bloom, though the other buds all dropped with the leaves. Since there are no more blooms to be had anyway I might just take the time to re-pot it this weekend. I'm also thinking of picking up a spider plant or two to improve our indoor air quality. Maybe one each for the dining room, master bedroom and baby's room. Or maybe I'll just get one for the baby's room and split it as time goes by.

Yesterday morning was fun. At about 6:30am I woke up screaming (and dragged everyone else into waking with me) because I got my first pregnancy leg cramp. I managed to work it out in only about 5 seconds but it continued to be tender the rest of the day, and truth be told I'm still aware of it now. Sorry Jason and beagles. Last night I went to bed practically crying because she'd shifted into some strange position that had my whole left side tender to the touch and in agony even when not touched. I tried pelvic rocking to encourage her to move, but that just made her settle in there even deeper. I tried to manually push her out of that corner, but she wasn't going to budge. In the end Jason massaged my back until she wiggled out of the spot. I was pretty tender there most of the night, which probably explains the frequent waking and giving up on sleep entirely at 5 this morning. Today my chest hurts from the slouching and the drag from all that extra weight like usual, and the indigestion is still pretty bad, but other than that I'm better.

While I'm very aware that I've only got 4 weeks left until my due date and a lot of projects I'd like to get off my plate before she arrives, I have to say, I'd still welcome it if she decided to make her appearance now.

Photodump

Jul. 15th, 2009 09:24 pm
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My last orchid from Ikea (by which I mean the last one I bought, not the last one I will ever buy, I'm honest) and the first orchid we bought from an orchid show when we moved here. Great condition on that orchid. Very few flowers and the colour is nothing unique or particularly flashy or special but they came out before any of the other orchids and outlasted them all. As of a few days ago they finally faded and fell off though, so I've only got the one orchid left in bloom now.

I'm feeling like a photodump today. Pics of my SCA campsite at Ansteorra's 30th year last weekend, orchids and beagles behind the cut.

Read more... )

They finally started construction on the lot next to us. The "sold" sign has been there for almost 2 months now, and it seems to me like several other lots have sold and been built on since that sign went up. I was hoping they'd be done before the baby arrived, but with a house taking about 8 weeks and the baby due in a little over 5 the chances of them beating the baby coming home are slim. At least they'll be done most of the work and the bulk of the really noisy stuff at that point. I'll just have to deal with the painting crew and their Mexican ooom-pah music.

While it takes 8 weeks to complete a house, it takes very little time to get it looking like a house at least from the outside. I've decided to take a pic every day of the construction just to share how fast it really is. The whole process absolutely fascinates me.

Here's the house yesterday at noon when the lumber truck pulled up and dropped off the stuff they use to frame out the foundation. I happened to be outside in the garage working on my viking box so I grabbed the camera to start taking the "before" shots.



Here is is today around 3pm or so. The foundation is all framed out and they've dropped off the sand that goes under the concrete. I think tomorrow is just levelling the sand and the noisy concrete work will probably happen over the weekend - just great. And yes, they do work on the houses here every day of the week. I guess one of the many the advantages of illegal immigrant labour is that you can make them work even on weekends.

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