Sprucing Up Outside

Obviously, this post is a few days late, as our first homestudy visit was two days ago (more to come).  We did a three-day overhaul of our it’s-really-not-that-bad house and we thought we’d share the fun in photos.  We’d already spent Memorial Day getting plants out and doing some general sprucing up:


Found another patch of poison ivy about here. Yay. 😦


We also put out our very small garden (just yellow squash, Crowder peas, and peppers) in the only spot in our yard that gets lots of sun.

After I got home from work on Saturday, *A* and I hit the deck – well, the front porch, actually.  We have three Bradford pear trees in our front yard, and a sketchy history of gutter-cleanings that have combined to leave our formerly white porch rails kind of grimy.  Well, it’s been a project that I remember needing to do only when sitting on the front porch to drink a cup of coffee.  So, with our important visitor expected soon, we decided this was the time.


We don’t watch a lot of TV, but we have a favorite sitcom from the 1990s, Mad About You.  In one episode, one of the main character’s moms (played by frequent guest Carol Burnett) is visiting them and goes into their bathroom. It’s a running joke on the show that she’s critical of her daughter’s house-cleaning skills, or lack thereof.  A few seconds after she goes off screen into their bathroom she yells back, “Oh, your mold grows in such interesting patterns!” Yep. As you can see above.  Except I don’t think it’s “mold” exactly.  Tree drippings? Tree scum? Is there a technical term?


Here I am, rounding the first corner. It’s coming off pretty easy – and for that we were grateful, for sure!


This part was directly under the trees.  Could YOU enjoy a cup of coffee with this in front of you without mentally raising the level of urgency for this item on the to-do list? It hadn’t bothered dear *A* quite so much as me, until she saw the difference between scummy and clean. Until then, my “oh, I like Bradford pear trees,” and I-adore-trees-in-general partner thought this scouring was a little bit of overkill in preparation for the visit (“Green porch rails have nothing to do with parenting!).  A few minutes in, if I’m not mistaken, I believe I heard some mumbling about “stupid trees…” powered by a new enthusiasm for making sure we don’t come across as people who live unkempt-ly.  (Is that a word? It should be.)


Tucker would take no part in the cleaning festivities.  He kept slinking around the porch avoiding the water hose. I think he’s only about 2% Lab. Maybe just his ears – he’s got Lab ears. The rest (the remaining Boxer / mutt mixture) is some sort of fraidy-dog who doesn’t want to get wet no matter what he needs to do to prevent it.


What a difference!  These rails are gleaming like soap-opera-star teeth!


Of course, then I had to hose down the whole porch, which was STILL (round #2? #3?) covered in yellow pollen.  Blech.

The porch cleaning didn’t take that long, really – maybe an hour and a half.  I think when we actually own a house  with a lengthy porch with rails(we currently rent), I’d probably just paint the rails green, especially if they’re under trees.  At least you could still enjoy your coffee in the morning without dragging out a to-do list.  🙂

At this point (Saturday), we still had no idea what this first home visit would be like.  We heard from some new friends who are also working with the IAC that we really shouldn’t sweat it.  Still, never let it be said that this long-awaited Littlest Brooks-Livingston was brought home to a house with grimy, green porch rails!


4 thoughts on “Sprucing Up Outside

  1. 🙂 I could definitely hear your voice in the “Your mold grows in such interesting patterns…” 🙂 How do you like our little island garden? Why on earth someone would actually landscape their front yard with a figure eight around a single maple tree and fill it with white rock is beyond me. Hopefully this garden will work out – it’s not growing by leaps and bounds yet, by any means…

  2. Pingback: Home Study Visit #1 | the littlest Brooks-Livingston

  3. Pingback: Last Year, This Year: Our Home Study Update | The Littlest Brooks-Livingston


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