Spring Fever

It’s that time of year…the seed catalogs start showing up and I get spring fever bigtime. It doesn’t help that my plants are confused by the mild winter and everything is budding out. I predict the blooms will open on these Pear branches by Friday, latest.



It’s 60 degrees today, and we had snow over the weekend, with more predicted this coming weekend. Today is my window…it is time to prune the horsetail rush or Equisetum Hymale. I didn’t prune it last winter and I think it showed by blowing over so easily. Now it is laying down completely flat and it’s time to hack it to the ground.  This is how it looked when I first put it in.

And this is how it looked today.  So sad.

I couldn’t find the electric hedge trimmer in the garage chaos, so I had to go old school with the shears. FUN!


Hopefully it will return reinvigorated and upright, like the picture I showed you when I first decided to go for this stuff.  By all accounts, it should, so fingers crossed!

via Grow Where You’re Planted


I created a path leading to the front of the treehouse this weekend….it required VERY CAREFUL bushwacking with lots of repellent and immediate showering with copious amounts of tea tree soap.

Until now, we have taken a short cut coming in from the left, but it’s steep there and a bit hazardous when muddy. We are used to it, but our future visitors might be annoyed.  Nothing like biting it on a muddy slope to brighten your day….

I need to cut through the old railroad tie to create an official opening from the main trail, but I’m skeered of chainsaws, so I have to wait for the CC on that one.  I have found my appendages to be quite useful over the years…I know, so selfish.

Camp Vågö

While we still plan to create a proper patio area outside the kitchen, as discussed here, I wanted to implement something we could use this year…and before it gets too hot. (Impatient much?)

Enter Camp Vågö.

When word got out this winter that the Ikea Vågö would be re-issued, I knew our outdoor firepit situation (version 1.0) was settled.  $25 each?  DONE and DONE.

An Atlanta trip was not in my game plan given our treehouse commitments, so we enlisted the dudes at ModernNash to do it for us.  Locals who may not be aware of this amazing service..take note…totally worth it.

While I still have visions of the CC casting a beautiful round firepit in concrete, that’s not happening right now, so a metal tree ring kit from Home Depot will have to do.  They come in sections..I got 3 to make a three foot wide ring.

I didn’t want to actually SEE this ring, so after digging out the pit, I piled river rock around the outside of it.  Since we burned through all the nice dry split wood in our log holder this winter, and we haven’t built a firewood shelter yet, (on the list) the wood that’s left is getting rained on, so we have to ring the fire with logs to dry them out a bit. At least now the ring is disguised inside and out.

Like the Things ash graffiti?

Camp VÃ¥gö was a huge hit with the whole family.  The deer came surprisingly close while we were chillin’ by the fire…we’re STILL waiting for the owl babes.  Lots of hooting, but no sighting yet.

While this area still leaves a lot to be desired….plans are to cover the fugly concrete wall with a custom built firewood wall, plus patio and pit upgrade…this was just the ticket for now, and we don’t have to wait another year to cook s’mores and the like over our crackling fire.

Cost Breakdown:

6 Ikea Vågö chairs $150

Tree Ring $19

River Rock $34

Stump Tables  FREE



To Do: Patio

Here’s what I think I want to do with the CC’s new cement mixer.  The area known in the past as the ugly poor man’s patio, will be an oasis of concrete circles, like Jenn Ski did here.

photos via Jenn Ski

Wexler House via Housepet via PSMod

Housepet’s patio, image by Housepet

I think a circular firepit should be worked into the plan as well, no?


What do we think Billy?



Will it Go Round in Circles?

Year Two

Today marks the birthday, blogiversary, whatever you call this thing that we feel the need to measure in increments of time. Two years… already?  Apparently so!  Last year’s recaps are here and here.

Hmmmm… 2010.  This year was vastly different from the last, and I guess we’ll just wait and see what going to 11 does.  This year’s biggest project was completing the next phase of landscaping…front steps and back decks specifically.  The tour of the exterior gives a feel for the sequence of things that seemed to drag on, mostly due to our crazyass weather this year.  The city flooded, which caused us to lose a treatment plant, thus water shortages.  It was a difficult Spring for a lot of Nashvillians.  We were VERY lucky.  We still had a home.

At the end of 2009, I still couldn’t get in my front door, despite having some nice new concrete steps up from the driveway…

But we got that done in 2010….

With some big jobs done outside, it was time to start focusing on making it a home inside….read FURNITURE.  2010 was just getting this place starting to feel like it goes together.  I’ve updated the Tour a bit to show where we are on the main rooms. For example..the living room last year….

was very different than it is now….

I moved in with a mix of Mid Century and Deco furniture that seemed to work well in my previous 1912 home, but, notsomuch here.  It was time to cycle out some old pieces and get in some things that seemed to suit the house..and me better.

With that in mind, I faced a challenge with ModFruGal this year.  When you move inside and start decorating, it’s a lot more personal!  Sharing exterior projects doesn’t hold the same amount of dread that showing your living room to the internet does!

Thankfully, that fear has eased over the year, mainly because I have awesome readers I NEVER thought I’d have, so seriously, THANK YOU for making this a fun, and less terrifying endeavor.  There was a certain comfort in thinking that no one was reading, then boom! There you were, and you surprised me by how supportive you were..and are.  While renovations and growing pains are not everyone’s thang, I’m glad it’s your thang, and you can keep me company while I get this place groovin’.  I don’t call it the Regal Beagle anymore because all the green carpet, maroon walls, and general decor malaise is almost gone! Almost.

So let’s knock out some more projects in 2011, whaddya say?  I can predict one thing for sure for this year…there will be concrete. The CC got something for Christmas that he’s wanted for a few years..well, ever since we did this.

Pour, baby, pour!!!!

Stay tuned, it’s almost time for the annual list reconciliation…..