Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The View Outside & A Frugal Cool Treat

We had a busy weekend here at Chez Sluggy.

On Sunday we tackled "the jungle".
That's how we refer to the west side of the house.
There is a tree over there next to the house, along with 4 overgrown shrubs.
I don't think we did any yard work over on that side of the house the last couple of years, except for mowing the grass that's over there.

It's a nice shady spot, due to the assorted trees shielding that area from the road, which runs along it(we live on a corner lot).  I had plans to put a nice garden bench over there and have a shady cool spot to sit out in the yard.
But before I get the bench, we needed to tackle "the jungle" that had grown up over there next to the house.

And here is how the side of the house looked after 5 hours of hacking and chopping and sawing.....

There is still work to be done on the left side of the photo.  There are "suckers" from the tree that need digging up and those 2 shrubs need trimming back.

We decided to chop down one of the shrubs....the one closest to the front of the house.  It had just grown so tall and pruning it back just made it look nastier and smaller. lol  I have never liked that bush.
So we chopped it up and all that needs to be done is to dig the roots up.....

When Hubs was starting to take the chainsaw to all the branches of it, I said it was too bad we didn't have a redneck with a pick-up truck and a big chain handy to make quick work of that shrub.
We just don't have the right friends sometimes......

And after we got most of the branches and all the debris taken out of there, I looked up and noticed that there are decorative shutters on that bedroom window......

I hadn't seen that window, let alone those shutters in 6 or more years!
That little purple red tree was about 7 feet tall when we moved into this house.  It hadn't even reached the bottom of that 2nd floor window yet.
In the Fall, when we take that window a/c out of the window, we'll trim more from that tree so it isn't brushing against the house.
Who the heck plants a tree that grows this tall or taller right next to a house and a window too boot?! lol

Now I like shrubs and things near the base of your house(but not too near).  But I like shrubs that are A-full and nice looking when they grow and B-don't traditionally grow too large/tall for the space.
Whomever planted the stuff on this side of the house hadn't a CLUE about how big these things get when full grown.

I told Hubs I would like to make a flower bed over here bordering the house.  Put up a nice little border and fill the thing with mulch or stones.  I'll probably angle it out into a semicircular affair so I can include the base of that tree in it.  I'll probably finish digging up the 3 shrubberies left and replace them with miniature type shrubs and some partial shade perennials.
Maybe some Lily of the Valley and Hostas?

Hostas to replace the ones Hubs dug up in the side flower bed.
My stonewalled side flower bed with the humungous Rhododendron in it.....

Behind that bush were 3 lovely Hostas in that bed.  I had #2 Son weed that bed back there(and to the right of the Rhodo) and then lay down landscaping fabric with red bark mulch over it.
Hubs wanting to "help" went over and dug up my Hostas in tiny pieces and threw them out.....thinking that #2 Son hadn't finished weeding the bed and that those were weeds.
I am still giving him grief over that. 8-((

But I digress.....

Anyway, we had a HUGE brush pile of branches after all the cutting and hacking was finished for the day.  A pile much too big to add to the already large brush pile heaped over behind the shed in the backyard.
I told Hubs not to put this new pile of brush on the old pile, as the old stuff was dry and about ready to burn in the fire pit Daughter made in the backyard.
So what to do with all that fresh brush.......

Genius solution was found!

Fill up the dog run which we don't use anymore! lol

As we burn the old pile of brush, we can move the new stuff over behind the shed to finish drying out.

While I was out helping with the shrub/tree hacking and brush removal and gathering up dead sticks for kindling in the fire pit, I also did some weeding in the garden out back and took some pictures of the plants.

The bean vines are starting to cover the deck fencing and if the Japanese beetles leave enough leaves for the vines to live, we may see some actual green beans.

The broccoli plants are of epic proportions.....

The cucumber plants in the barrel have tiny cukes ....

And we have baby eggplants now.....

I tired growing white variety eggplant this year.  By next week we'll be able to harvest smallish eggplants and prepare some sort of eggplant dish. 8-)
They are suppose to be less bitter than the purple eggplant but they can have more seeds and need to be peeled as the skin is tough.

In other news, I've been trying to kickstart the weight loss here as I've plateaued after my initial 49 lbs. loss.  So I've been trying to eat 2 main meals a day instead of 3.  I also eat a few small snacks along the way each day.  I tend to stay up late and rise late morning due to the heat.  So I'll have my main meal-my turkey sandwich lunch-when I get up in the morning or about an hour afterwards.
Then I eat a small snack(yogurt or fruit or both)in the late afternoon and a small dinner portion around 6-7pm.
The other day it was coming up on 4 pm and I got hungry so instead of fruit/yogurt I took some blueberries Hubs couldn't finish that were going to go bad soon, a couple hand fulls of frozen peach slices, a handful of ice and about a 1/2 cup of 100% Peach/Mango juice blend #2 Son had just opened(and hadn't guzzled the whole thing down yet!lol).
Take all that and whirr it up in the blender which gave me this......

A sorbet/slurpee frozen treat.
All natural, no added sugars or flavorings.
A cool fun thing to eat on a hot day and frugal too.

So what have you been up to at your house?



  1. I had never seen a white eggplant, but they sure look cute. Now I really wish I had a blender to make frozen random things. The best thing we used to make back home was with papaya, a bit of cinnamon powder, evaporated milk and ice. Tons and tons of ice. A bit of sugar and it was done. Greatest thing on earth with a sweet papaya (which I haven't found in the US yet). Or just, you know. Evaporated milk, chocolate syrup, and ridiculous amounts of ice.

  2. Don't you love finding a fun treat like those shutters when you least expected it?
    I hope to find a secret passage way someday...

  3. Those baby eggplants are super cute. :-) My favorite warm weather treat - frozen banana & a little splash of milk in my blender - makes something akin to frozen yogurt. If I have enough calories left over for the day, I add peanut butter for protein.

    Are you tracking your calories? I love MyFitnessPal for quick & easy tracking on a phone or regular computer app.

  4. The view outside and the frugal cool treat look amazing!!! Kudos!! Not much on my end ;o). Laundry (always good to get caught up). Was out a couple of hours in the humidity and wasn't any good for much after getting back (around 11 this morning). Tomorrow is day #1 of grocery gathering (I prefer gathering since, after 28 1/2 years, I think it's psychologically more pleasing and doesn't cause the twitch). Warehouse and Target, the market section. Then Friday is the major grocery chain and Trader Joe's. Titillating, isn't it. I know I'm tingling!

  5. Spent the last 2 evenings at ROSMY, and still eating my blueberry/banana smoothies for breakfast, and leftovers for lunch. UH-OH! Didn't cook dinner tonight, no leftovers! I'll make a tuna or sardine sandwich for lunch tomorrow.

    Peace <3

  6. Your tiny veggies are so cute!

  7. I get around needing ice by using frozen blueberries or strawberries. I don't have a blender that would handle an ice cube.

    If you found the hosta before they were discarded, they would have made new hosta. I planted a crape myrtle a decent distance from the overhang for the basement entrance and now I have crape myrtle growing under the overhang and against the house!

    I live on a corner and keep the side yard a little, okay a lot over grown so it is private. At the corner under an oak tree I put a stone bench. In six months all the other houses on my corner had garden benches on their corners as well. You just know I am a trendsetter.

    Thanks, I am better and still working on two weeks of kitchen disaster.

  8. My exbf, the one who regularly comes to help me around the place, did not like having shrubs. He is anything but a redneck. He did own a pickup only because he got a good deal from his company when they changed vehicles. He took his truck and pulled out every shrub from the front of his house! Now, he has monkey grass. That's it! He had three pine trees cut in his back yard. He only has a large tree in his backyard, far from the house. Moral: don't get too ambitious with the

    His house is naked. Yet, he comes here and does things for me. However, I just ask for minor and occasional favors in the yard.

    if your husband gets tired of stump and root removal, use dynamite.


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Though I moderate it's partly to keep spam out but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.