Monday, December 26, 2016

What Did Scott Do On His Winter Break? Or you never know what you might find!

December has been a frightful month in Portland. The first snow arrived three days before our move which, if you're from Chicago is normal. But in Portland it's cause for school closings, six hour traffic delays and ice on the roads (because Portland is notorious for failing to manage snow and ice on all but the main roadways). 

The second storm hit the week following our move. Not really a problem, lots to do inside and Scott was out of town. The weather finally cleared and warmed a bit, and Scott was off work most of late December. So while I was at work at the shop, he spent most of his time outside in the yard. First up - tackle the remains of the climbing Honeysuckle he removed from the side of the house the day before we moved in. It had been sitting in a pile just off the patio.  This was a two day, four yard waste bag job, but he got it done in fine fashion. 

Next up, pine needles! This is a bigger job than one might imagine. There are pine needles everywhere. Scott started before we moved in removing most of the pine needles on the driveway before the first snow. This past week he tackled the pine needles in the gutters and the roof. Thank goodness for his new battery powered leaf blower, which made the job much easier. Still the downspouts and drain systems to clear out, but add five more yard waste bags to the tally! 

And finally, the patio. Scott seemed to be on a mission to get the covered patio cleared, cleaned and set up. This job also entailed removing the English ivy that was attacking the house slowly (but effectively) at the corner of the patio and living room.

English ivy attacking the house slowly, but effectively!
Clearing the ivy was an experience that will likely be repeated on other projects around the house. It goes something like this...remove the first layer revealing something unexpected, remove another layer revealing a complete surprise and so on. In the case of the ivy, the first discoveries were multiple strands of decorative lights - large blue bulbs, small blue twinkle lights and a string of white plastic partridge lights. Then more ivy with wire and string supports and extension cords running through it. And then a concrete and stained glass pedestal fountain? Yes, really! 

But wait, there's more! Digging deeper into the ivy pile Scott found a cast iron frying pan, a large 1/2 barrel planter, another sunken barrel planter, multiple clay pots, and a trellis anchored to the soffit with wire, hooks and two lengths of chain. Apparently the trellis had tried to make a break for it some time ago. Visually the house looks so much lighter and cleaner, I have to believe the house is sighing in relief. Nicely done, Dear!

Anybody want a fountain?