The Accountant's Garden

Scheduled non-accounting weeks: April 10-14, 2017 June 12-16, 2017 July 24-28, 2017

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Ahhh, they're there :) While the R&R is great we're (Betty and I) looking forward (*just* a bit :) to seeing co-workers soon!

We're having a great time and hope all is well with friends, family and co-workers :) Driving here is pretty crazy but fun also! Summary so far: pizza, castles, vino, pecorino cheese, fascinating architecture and lots of walking. Can't see the images below, hmmmm?

Saturday, May 17, 2003

At last! The yard is finished. We laid new sod yesterday evening and this morning (we ran out of sod last night and had to make an emergency run to Home Depot this morning).

Thursday, May 15, 2003

As you probably noticed, my last picture post still had the tree stump in the yard. That was remedied on Sunday, when a stump grinder was acquired to grind down the remnant of the Birch tree. Oh yeah, and we decided to completely remove the lawn and most of the original plants.

In the past few days, I have been going about the business of getting a new tree and plants, and arranging to have some sod delivered. I also placed a planter border in between the new plants and the new sod. I have the new tree (Japanese Maple) and new plants in, but am waiting for the sod.

The sod arrives tommorrow...

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Today, I have a gardening post - and this one is a big one! Today, we decided to remove the tree in front of our house. It was just way too big for the size yard we have, and its roots were ruining the small patch of lawn. The tree had grown to 25 feet or so after 5 years, with careful pruning and topping. Based on its characteristics, we guessed that the tree was some birch varietal. So yeah, 25 feet tall, bushy, about 24" around at the trunk, and shallow roots. And Rudy, Stewart and I set off to vanquish this foul foe. And what an adventure it has become!

I forgot to take a photo at the very beginning, so you're really missing out on the size of this tree in comparison to our dinky front yard. But here, you can see Stewart removing the side limbs. This part of the tree removal was relatively easy. Stewart had a motorized tree saw, which allowed him to remove all the side limbs before we actually took out the trunk. After removing as many as possible of these limbs with the use of the tree saw and a ladder, he moved on to the 16" electric chainsaw. (BTW, quieter than gas-powered chainsaws, but the teeth became blunt very quickly.) This was used to remove the top-most branches.

I have to say, that up until this point in the project I was a little wary of Stewart's ability to work with living wood. But after seeing him today, wielding that chainsaw like it was his favorite tool, I'm completely impressed. Everything was done just right to bring the tree down safely.

So that was the easy part. Within two hours, we had stripped the tree of limbs and branches, cut down the trunk, and bundled all the green waste debris into the back of the pick-up truck (we rented a Ford F150 to haul our tree trimmings). We had went to the dump, got rid of the waste, and went back home to get ready for round two.

Yes, the hard part. Removing the stump and roots. We initially thought this would be fairly easy, as we knew that most of the roots were at surface level. So, the guys worked with a digging machine and pick-axes, and began to uncover the root structure. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I even chipped in, but being a little smaller and a lot less strong, I was given the chore of locating the roots and just digging a little bit around them.

Too many axes and shovels and the like were being hurled around on the lawn area for my liking, so I decided to work on my own project - one that I've wanted to do since I moved into this house - remove the original developer's landscaping. It consisted primarily of Lily of the Nile and Lantana bushes, and a couple shrubs that I planted. We left those. Everything else got removed. (Sidenote: never, ever plant the Lily of the Nile (aka Agapanthus), as the root structure is obscenely invasive and complex. If you move into a new house and it's been planted, tear it up before it takes over!)

More later...I have to go meet some friends.

Friday, May 09, 2003

I came home today to find that some "thoughtful" person had left a tomato seedling on my front doorstep. My dilemma now is, do I ignore this sad gesture of "friendliness" and become surprised when I find this plant two weeks later, dead? Or do I go take this plant in and give it a chance? Remember that I'm already battling volunteer tomatoes in the backyard from last year's over-abundant production. Oh, and if you want a mystery-variety tomato plant email me and I'll be sure to get you all taken care of.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Another day has come to a last!!!

I actually had a very productive and good day. Thursdays, I go in to the city to do bookkeeping work for a private Spanish School - Weekend en Espanol. They grow on me more each time I'm there. I just love the fact that despite uncertain economic times, they're ever hopeful for creating "the dream." Of course, my friend Kendra works there, so the job is that much more enjoyable.

And, I have fun in the city. For just one day, I get to feel the pace of city life. Running to catch the bus. Having exact change. Not worrying about my car. And, looking at the beautiful houses and scenery. I'm usually beat by the time I return to suburbia, though. So tonight we just ordered pizza, hung out with the cats, and watched basketball (not really my favorite, but good for falling asleep to!

Rudy is reading over my shoulder as I type, and I feel pressured to get going...

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

At the advice of my friend Michelle, I am going to try and update this site more often. I'm shooting for creating something of a daily diary (which I guess is what most people do with their blogs), in which I can displace some of my penned up emotions and frustrations. So, to begin with, here's another photo montage of my two furry children, Mr. Slinky and Happy.

What a long day! But I'm not complaining...I've been anticipating an increase in workload that would bring back up to 8 hour days. Today I billed over 8 hours, which I'm extremely excited about, alhtough it was a gruelling day. I was put on the spot to produce some financial statements for the past month (April), which sounds easy, but when you're dealing with an archaic batch-processing accounting system, it's quite aggravating. Not to mention that I'm not the person who usually handles this task.

So, besides today, I'm having a wonderful week. I travelled up to the North Bay (Santa Rosa, to be specific) to visit a friend yesterday and had a great time. In fact, the past few weeks have been good. I've been working on household projects (no, my yard is still a mess in back - nothing wants to grow - and my iris are NOT blooming), returned to making more household food from scratch (bread, cookies, sauces, etc.), and have been able to learn all sorts of new (and old) accounting things that I will need for the CPA exam. I won't bore you with the details on that one.

I'm also getting ready to go on vacation (woohoo!) ina couple weeks. Rudy and I will be in Tuscany for TWO WEEKS! I'm very excited. So excited that I haven't learned a bit of Italian like I promised I would, but hopefully, with the French language background, we'll be fine. I plan on taking plenty of pictures over there and putting them up when I return.

But for now, I have to go. Now that the cat has decided to sit on one of my arms it is extremely difficult to type!