Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Storage Shed

Our shed.Since we’ve moved in into our house more than 10 month ago we have done a lot of things. There is an endless stream of projects and purchases of various magnitude and we end up not writing anything about them.

As the time went we realized that we’d rather take care of our yard on our own instead of hiring somebody else to do it. Grass cutting, leaf clean up, snow plowing — all these things really add up cost-wise and you end up with subpar service.

Our shed.We weren’t really lucky in finding any good parties that would provide a quality service that we would be happy with. Initially we were paying $140 to get our grass cut twice each month.

At first that worked OK, but then the autumn started to get closer. Leaves started falling. Instead of mowing through the leaves and mulching them our hired help started avoiding those area altogether, which was ruining the grass.

Walkway. Work in progress.If it would rain and the soil would be soaked with water they would still come and ride their machinery through all that mud, ripping up the yard. Nobody really cared.

And then we were quoted $400 for leaf clean up that has to be done at least twice a year if not more. And on and on it goes.

Walkway.We did leaf clean up ourselves — mostly Alёna actually — with a small electric tube blower. Then one of the neighbors landed Alёna a walk behind gas blower. She said that she did the work in hours that would take her days with that tool. So we bought our own.

Then we bought a pressure washer. And then we bought a wheel barrow for yard work. And then we bought a grass mower. And a ton of other yard tools such as rakes and shovels of different kinds on top of that. And the snow blower will come closer to winter.

Unloading the shed.That’s when we realized that we really need a dedicated place to store all that gear since one of our cars has stopped fitting into the garage as we were taking up more and more space with our tools.

We decided to order a proper storage shed for our house. After some research we went into a place that was recommended by a lot of people in the next town over. We ended up ordering a 10 by 16 feet shed with windowed doors and windows, painted in the the same color as our house.

Pegboard. Garden tools.It is build from weather and pressure treated wood that is durable and should last for a long time. We also ordered a gravel foundation to be built for it. All in all it ended up costing us somewhere around $5,500.

We placed an order in the middle of March. The foundation was built in the first half of April and our custom built shed was delivered on May 1st. It was delivered and put in place by a single guy which was quite amazing to me.

Closet shelves repurposed.In the last couple of weeks we have installed a couple of pegboards inside and a bunch of shelves that I’ve removed and kept from when I rebuilt our master-closet. They really came in handy.

All-in-all we’re quite happy with our shed and the amount of additional space that it gave us. We’ve also gotten a number of compliments.

P.S. We’ve build a stone walk-way next to it to store our garbage bins at and we’re planning to extend this walkway to the entrance of the shed itself in the coming weeks. It came out OK for our first self-built walkway ever.

View from the back.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Cherry Blossom at BBG

Us at Brooklyn Botanical Garden during Cherry Blossom Festival.This past Sunday we made plans to go to Brooklyn Botanical garden. I thought — Ok, the weather is nice, the cherries are blooming, and so are the lilacs (which are probably my favorite flowers by the way) — why don’t we go to the local garden? There will be people, but probably not that many, right? Right? WRONG! The size of the crowd was mesmerizing. I though that we’d never find parking and even fell into that is-it-worth-it-should-we-head-back-home mode which occasionally irks Danya.

Cherry blossom.Anyhow, after a few circles around the park in dense traffic, Danya made a strategic decision to try our luck on smaller streets. And what do you know? We got lucky — somebody left right from under our noses. One good thing that came out from all the “round and round the park we go” activity is that we spotted a service entrance which had a very short line (as opposed to huge lines to all the regular entrances). When we got there, there was no line at all. The only catch was that we had to pay cash, but luckily we had some on hands (it was $45 for 3 adults, and no charge for the baby). Daniel’s mom went with us; his dad would have come too, but he went to Manhattan to attend a presentation by Garry Kasparov (he got his autograph at the end).

Arosha checking out a tulip.It so happened, that this exact weekend fell on the 30th Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival. I am not sure if there were supposed to be any performances, but we did not really see anything apart from some people in weird costumes here and there.

Arosha with mama and grandma.The cherries were beautiful, although I actually saw a lot of them in our neighborhood without realizing what those were. I am more used to white and smaller sour cherry flowers, which were blooming in abundance in my neighborhood back in Minsk when I was growing up. Danya took a few pictures of the blossoming beauties, but it was impossible to take any artistic shots due to the roaming crowds. To be honest, if we knew about the festival in advance, we would have re-scheduled our trip, but then again, we had fun, and that’s what counts!

Tulips.First, we saw a tulip garden. There were lots of tulips of different shapes and colors, and I can’t even say which ones I liked best. The ones that seemed the most unusual to me looked like a tulip-peony hybrid. Gorgeous!

We then proceeded to the cherry section of the park. Aroshka fell asleep (we switched him from the stroller to the ergo baby), so we walked around for some time while he was napping.

Sakura garden.When Aroshka woke up, we found a picnic spot and had a little picnic. We ate hummus with olives and some Uzbek bread — simple, but satisfying food.

Arosha's trying his first grass. o.OIt was probably Aroshka’s first contact with so much grass. He approached it with caution. He touched it lightly, withdrew his little hand fast, then probed it again as if unsure what to make of it. It seemed like he was very surprised that the grass was not firm and bounced back after he let it go. After some consideration, Aroshka decided that he prefers the safety and familiarity of the picnic blanket, although at some point he got brave enough and crawled a few steps in that sea of green towards his daddy. Ah, there are so many things for him to discover!

Alena and her new skirt.I tried breastfeeding Aroshka, but it was not very comfortable. First, I think he is too used to the nursing pillow, so my bare knees were less satisfying. Second, he is NOT used to the nursing cover, so he tried to move it out of the way. To be honest, I don’t really care if somebody will see some of my naked breast while I am feeding my child, but there is that nagging though in my head that some people find breastfeeding in public inappropriate. Even though I disagree, I keep thinking that some prude is looking at me in disgust and sending bad energy my way. Ugh. I wish I could just relax and do what I think is so natural and normal. And don’t forget — it was crowded out there!

First shot of Arosha's first teeth.So that’s all I really wanted to say. The only thing I can add is that we should do things like this more often. Ah, I envy you, people leaving close to nature!!! One day we will too!

Lily of the Valley.

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