Working for the Weekend

The hours past each day as the stress builds, deadlines loom, expectations set, goals reached. The pinnacle moment? Not client response or fat commissions, the commitment was made as a young and in love couple added four legs then another four to the equation. The thresholds of each day are met with licks and throaty growls and two Boston Terriers and a fiance complete the days cycle.

Good People

Front walk completeThis week had its moments; some were minor accomplishments, while others had major significance for me and my family. From my previous posts it is understood that much of my week is spent working long hours, and my weekends spent working on the front yard, or sometimes taking trips to the lake. The accomplishments are as follows; complete 90 days at new job and pass the review, finish the front walkway, and develop a more organized system for my daily tasks. These simple accomplishments at one point in my life would have been enough for me to say I had a productive weekend, and I would have been proud of them while spending time with friends without a care. I am finding that enough is not enough anymore. When everyone seems to be calling it quits I am finding my second wind to take on more. Although, as much as I work to create and succeed, the accomplishments that made the most impact on me this week were not that of my own, but experiences shared with Julie and our families.
We shared our anniversary, which caught us both by surprise this year, which took some of the blame entirely off of me. It has been four years since we have officially been together. My previous post explains everything needed to explain our relationship, but I was taken aback by this milestone and reminisced about all we have gone through. I find that its moments of reflection that gives one the ability to see progress.
My family hosted a Father’s day BBQ at their house and we invited Julie’s parents to gather the families next to join together. This day was filled with significance, my brother’s first Fathers day, the first time all the immediate families’ fathers were together, and the announcement of Julie and I’s marriage date. Towards the end of the day, my earlier accomplishments seemed less than tangible, almost irrelevant. I learned that at the end of the day everything it doesn’t matter what your achievements are, if by those achievements, renders you alone. I looked back this weekend, to see where I stood, back on my life with Julie, my family and the relationships with those who I call friends, what I saw made me proud, selfishly, but it was due to everyone else. I am lucky to have a family, friends, and an awesome fiancé, it takes moments to step back and appreciate the accomplishments of others every now and then.

Another weekend gone another Sunday spent at camp!

The dogs, myself and my fiance, where assigned the task of entertaining her nephew for the day at the lake. Of course, as you all know,Image my yard is not complete, and any free time should be spent working, but, again, its the lake, what was i going to say? no? 

In my defense for not spending the day finishing or making progress on the yard is that I am a helpless soul who gives in to Julie, literally every time, whatever she wants, she gets. Something about her renders me powerless, I fold, it’s not characteristic of my personality at all, its unexplainable. I feel bad saying no to the women, so I strive to make her happy at any cost. If I owe anything to anyone it’s her, whether she knows it or not I am a better person because of her.

This humility has been a newly acquired trait of mine. I put aside selfish desires and go with the flow, I must mention that she is an events coordinator at the Chamber of Commerce so going with the flow normally means following a though out plan of attack. Myself, I act on whims; spontaneity drives my very existence, ADD? Maybe? Either way, I get a kick out of getting her to let go the ranges and go with my flow, which like I explained can be completely unpredictable. She, as I do, shows humility and trust, I have trusted her as she me, she has slowed me down to a manageable rate, while I at anytime can provide her with enough ranting banter and fantastical adventure to ensure she never gets bored of our relationship or grows accustom to a regimented routine.

It takes a blend, I believe, of personalities to create a balanced relationship, our will soon become a marriage, as scared shitless I am, I can’t keep but grinning when I think about the girl who became my best friend and who will soon become my wife.   

Progress

The process of undertaking a home improvement project such as a complete yard renovation puts many other aspects of life into a different perspective. For instance while you may be planning the next weekends’ objectives and setting aside a budget for materials, you may mistakenly forget about the family obligations you previously had, or the plans with friends that were made months ago. Now, my intention for this blog is not to whine and complain about spending time with family and friends, no, this blog is all about progress.
You see while this is my fiancés and I’s first major project in our new home, we had imagined and developed a plan of attack for the ordeal. Keep in mind the “imagined” part, while our plan was detailed and clear, we filed to factor in outside influence that would hinder our progress, hence the family and friends……and neighbors, and the dogs, and the right equipment, and supply stores hour of operation. The picture as of late shows an image of what appears to be a partially finished walkway, was this taken mid-day? you may ask, nope, that was last Saturday, at the end of the day, and that is as far as I have gotten, sad I know. Why did I stop? may be your next question. The answer is simple, when your all out of material and the supply store is closed and it’s the first heat wave of the season, there’s only one thing a young couple has left to do, call it quits and go to the lake!
As much as I would have loved to spend that Sunday putting the final touches on the walkway, leveling the loam and starting the next course of wall blocks, nothing beats a day at the lake. This lake has a special place in my heart as well, it is, I can honestly say the exact place I realized I was crazy the girl who had taken me there. Now years later, and a house full of unfinished projects, I stand by the statement that I will never sacrifice spending time with her at her cabin on Great East Lake, in order to “work” around the house. We look at it like this, they call a house a labor of love, but what’s the point of putting all that labor in without any love?
My plans for this weekend: work in the yard, until the next opportunity to bail out to the lake.

Yard and Garden

Yard&Garden2Since last June, almost a full year ago my fiancé and I moved into our first house. The cape style home was newly remodeled inside, and had most of the features we wanted. This blog post will focus not on the interior but rather the front yard. With that being said the front yard was a disaster. It would take a complete overhaul to match the inside so the plan was to do just that, start from scratch. The season and timing was right to tear apart the yard to start over new. If you find yourself in a similar situation, use a skid-steer (bob-cat)  If it wasn’t for the bobcat, which I used to dig, and haul, and remove large rocks otherwise immovable, I my grand yard renovation would have simply turned into a once over with  rack.

Now I am finally finished sifting through the final piles of soil and have upgraded the ground towards my houses foundation. The plan was to have the yard torn apart and put back together by the end of the second weekend, its going on the forth week and nowhere near completion. I was once told that these types of things were “the joys of owning a home” and that this labor of love never ends, I can see it going that way. As soon as one task is completed another is started. As for the yard the next phase is to add a small block wall planter bed, and a paver walkway. These additional features are costly but will provide a much nicer outcome when all is said and done, whenever that may be.

Photos are of the progress on the last two weekends. One of which was taken the morning after a server rainstorm and the one showing the beginning of the paver walkway was taken on Memorial Day. The pavers were purchased from Accurate Landscaping, the owner Preston Ezzideen had some left over pavers and gave me a sweet deal, ended up being $1.50 sq ft, which I would take all day. Unfortunately he only had what you see, now I will be paying contractor price for the remaining 30 sq ft.

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Anyone for a swim? I was not intending to create a small pond, thanks mother nature.

If you look closely you will see our vegetable starters, which are squash, tomatoes, watermelon, peppers, and carrots. The rest of the garden already has and growing lettuce, radish, snap and snow peas, and wax and green beans. My fiancé’s father has a very successful garden which I planted mine next to, let’s hope mine doesn’t wilt in comparison to his. More updates on these matters soon. Wish me luck!

When the mercury falls these dogs get shaky!

The average high temperature in New Hampshire has begun to drop. This means falls in full effect and winter is not far beyond. The cooler temps now are fine for the short haired small bodies, but when the flurries start and the winds kick up, outdoor fun isn’t as easy as it was in the summer.

In my other posts I mentioned the importance of keeping your Boston’s active when the weather gets bad, but there are ways to do this and keep them comfortable at the same time.  Starting the walking regiment has proven successful during light rain and colder walks, and I hate to say this but we have coats for our two Boston’s. As sad or pitiful or cute they look it isn’t about fashion as much as function. They took some getting used to, like their harnesses which they hated at first they have grown accustom to having a coat or sweatshirt on. I refuse to buy the things, I leave that up to my girlfriend but once the dogs are wearing them they seem to enjoy the foul weather a lot more.

It’s easy for Boston’s to succumb to bad weather so leaving them outside is not an option; neither is making them stay in all winter. They will actively play in the snow on warmer days or when the winds not nipping at them. Keep an eye on how they hold their paws if they begin to lift or favor one, they may be getting frost bit or numb from the cold. I have seen larger breeds such as Retrievers wearing boot things but I can’t imagine Boston Terriers putting up with that, feel free to try though. As for the coats, anything to add some warmth to their small frames will help. They can go for longer walks and play outside for more time with a coat on, even if they look like small lumber jacks with their flannels on. So, as embarrassed you and your Boston may be, it is worth bundling up for winter recreation.

On a side note: road salt and calcium chloride used to thaw and prevent ice is painful to the pads on dogs paws, to prevent pain and chemical burns, bring a towel with you on walks and wipe off the paws after coming in contact with these.