There’s a Price You Pay For a Good Looking Yard

First day of bite

So, a few weeks ago I noticed two ticks on me.  One on my hand between my index finger and middle finger and one tick on my foot between my big toe and second toe.  Not exactly sure how the tick on my foot got there since I was wearing tennis shoes and socks.  However, I wasn’t wearing pants nor long socks.  (Apparently, wearing long pants and socks are the key; according to B.) Anyway, I got them both off of me and didn’t think anything of it.  But then I developed this rash on my foot where the tick had been.  At first I thought it was a staph infection because that’s what I had a few weeks ago due to the Humira (my Crohn’s medication.)  My doctor had put me on antibiotic and told me to use Lamilisil, which I did.  So, I automatically assumed the infection developed again, just on my foot this time.  Well, it didn’t go away and then I decided that I got bit by a tick.  I used all kinds of creams and washes and the bruise wouldn’t disappear.  The bruise began to grow and then I could hardly walk because of the swelling and pain; I tend to diagnose myself a majority of the time. After 5 days of pain I decided to go into the doctor.  She took a look at my foot and then told me it wasn’t a tick bite, but it was a spider bite.  Apparently tick bites don’t hurt.  Spider bites tend to bruise, hurt, swell, and streak.  So, after I got bit by the spider the tick must’ve fed off of the bite AHHHH! Makes me cringe just thinking about it.  So, she has me on doxycycline, which is a potent antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.  I took this antibiotic in 2006 when I had a swollen lymphode.  Unfortunately, the doxycycline fueled my Crohn’s disease and this is the first time I’ve taken it since then.  So, wish me luck!  Here are some pictures of the bite!  Sooo disgusting!!

Last pic before going to the dr.

Flavor Ice helps with the pain 🙂


More Landscaping and Drywall

A lot has happened since my last post.  I removed rocks that had been residing in the garden and we also had some family friends help us with laying out weed preventive plastic.  The place is slowly looking better!

B also ripped out all the drywall in the garage.  He then painted the garage to get rid of the musty odor in the garage.

Here is B ripping out drywall in the garage.

More trash

All clean!!

B bought this trailer so we could transport more scraps to the dump.  We filled that baby up!

While B worked on tearing out the drywall I made sure to take all the rocks out of the garden.  After I got rid of the rocks I was able to start laying out the plastic.  We bought our weed preventive plastic from Home Depot, called Fabriscape.  3×100 ft worked well for us.   To keep the plastic is place we used sod pins, which are easy to use.

Here are some of the rocks I had to get rid of before laying the plastic out.

B had removed the holly bush that was next to the light so I could lay out the plastic.  It was very doable.  I know absolutely nothing about gardening or laying out weed preventive plastic. So, if I can do it you can, too!  All together it took us 2 days just to remove the rock and lay out the plastic.  We’d like to do the other side of the stairs, which I think I will start this weekend if the weather is nice!

It’s starting to look great!  I can’t wait to share with you my next post!! Let’s just say it’s the price you pay if you want a nice yard! 🙂

Starting with the Landscaping

This picture was taken the day we closed. (May 2nd.) You’ll notice the over grown plants, shrubs and trees that haven’t been touched in over 2 years!!  That Friday, May 4th, B started tearing down all the drywall in the garage, which is going to be his workshop.  My job was cleaning up the landscaping.  Talk about a lot of work.

I should tell you all that I have Crohn’s disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that affects the GI tract.  I’ve had it since 2006 (diagnosed first with ulcerative colitis at 17 and then diagnosed with Crohn’s at 19 when I developed a fistula.) I’ve had a hell of a time with it since.  Unfortunately, I have an aggressive case and take 8 pills a day (which is good; I used to take easily 12.) and a shot.  I’ve also had numerous surgeries related to fistuals and have had over 4.5 ft of large intestine taken out!  I bring this up because some days I struggle just to do normal everyday things.  B does this work everyday for 8 hours a day and then goes to the gym.  The most activity I get is 2 hours at the gym and that’s usually it, unless I run errands.  I’m exhausted a majority of the time and have to rest constantly.  So, me tackling the job of pulling plants, and digging for 4 hours a day was/is exhausting!  Anyway, enough about the Crohn’s…

This is a picture of the slate stepping stones up to the stairs of the house.  You can see the crazy weeds that infested the area.  I handled that, though 🙂

We honestly had no idea the path was even that wide! There was only room for a single person to walk through.  Now two or three people could walk up.  You’ll also notice that we cut down the shrubs to the left (near the house) and I ripped up all the overgrown weeds, and plants.  Already looks better!

Here is a better picture.  Now we have to remove the rocks outlining the slate path.  We are still trying to decide what kind of plants and flowers we would like.  For now we are just ripping all the old out and starting new!

Bushes are not easy to take out.  Especially when they’ve been there since 1978.

Lots and lots of digging.  I would say I did this for a good 4 days, at least.

Pulling weeds.

More weeds.

We certainly can’t forget the leaf blowing.  2 years worth of wet and heavy leaves.

Here is my father, Larry, helping us rake leaves.  Never seen so many leaves in my life!



Took about a good 4 days to get to this point.  We still have a lot of work ahead of us!  Next up, weed killing and pulling up the last of the roots.  But for now, my next post will be pictures of B removing the drywall in the garage!

A Little About the Property

  • 1,445 sq ft
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 1.5 baths
  • 1.07 acres
  • Built 1978

The property is located in Clifton, Virginia. It has a bit of a contemporary feel, which is what we would like to carry on into the inside, as well as, “freshen up” the outside.  No one has lived in the home for 2 years and was bank owned.  Unfortunately, the bank never winterized the property causing many plumbing issues.  The property had 4 previous contracts prior to us, but all 4 dropped because the bank refused to fix leaks, plumbing, etc.  It was a very long process.  We put our offer in around late January. They counter-offered and then we counter-offered.  We finally settled at $300,000. (which is a steal because the land itself is worth $300,000. In 2006, the property had sold at $615,000!) We had a contract written up by February and FINALLY  May 2nd we closed.  Talk about a stressful few months.  Dealing with a foreclosure can be a pain, but if you can get through it it’s worth the wait!

First Time Home Owners!

My fiance and I just bought our first home together about two weeks ago, May 2, 2012.  We bought a foreclosure, fixer-upper on 1.07 acres in Clifton, VA.  And when I say fixer-upper, I mean FIXER-UPPER.  Walls need to be torn down, mold has taken over, bathrooms need to be ripped up, floors need to be replaced.  It needs a head-to-toe renovation.  You couldn’t pay me to sleep in the place. In fact, while renovating I won’t even use the restroom.  I drive the 7 minutes to my parent’s home and back.  When you see the photos you’ll understand.

Our plan is to fix this baby up and move in by the end of October. My fiance, Brandon, is a contractor and will be doing a majority of the work himself. Brandon (Or B, as I call him) works full time for himself renovating others homes. He’s the perfect man for the job!

I’ll help out where I can.  As well as, my parents, Mary and Larry.  We have no experience in this stuff so we will stick to the landscaping for now or until B tells us otherwise.  He calls all the shots!

We’re so excited to share our renovations with all of you.

Most of all, we hope to inspire some of you out there.  Renovating and creating something into yours isn’t easy.   And when you add everyday obstacles it may seem impossible.  But it’s not.  You’ll learn of all of the hurdles we come along during this journey.  And believe me, there are some pretty big hurdles!  We want everyone out there to know that whatever it is you want to do, it’s doable!

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