Do and REDO

The story of 2012-2013 has been “doing” and “redoing.”  Maybe this is the nature of Do IT YOURSELF (DIY) projects, maybe we are flat-out indecisive, or maybe home ownership simply lends itself to “redoing,” I’m not sure.  
You all are familiar with the idiom “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try AGAIN?”–William Hickson.  This idiom is our MANTRA.   
Here is a taste of our unsuccessful firsts, that we have TRIED again or are in the middle of re-TRYING:
June 8, 2012:
December 2012:
Unfortunately, around February of 2013, I had the “bright” idea to use duck tape to keep a broken-hinged cabinet hanging.  BAD MOVE resulting in a very CHIPPED cabinet.  So Matt tried to touch up the CHIPPED cabinet, as well as all other cabinets, and we ended up with BLOTCHY cabinets.
Note to anyone using Rust-oleum: touch ups are DIFFICULT (and don’t use duck tape).
Back to ACE Hardware we went for paint samples to re-do our blotchy cabinets.  We tried Benjamin Moore’s: Charcoal Gray, Ashley Gray, Davenport Tan, and Pismo Dunes.

And all color attempts were a FAIL.  So back to the drawing board for us re: cabinet colors.  Either we are going to keep the chocolate theme or we are going with a STARK white.  I’ll keep you posted…
#2 STEPS
This is supposed to be MATT’S post–but sometimes residency is well, residency.  SO, we went from:
the great WALL of carpet:

 to porch paint: 
to hickory hardwood:

AND finally, we are LOVING the hickory hardwood.  Hopefully Matt can write an update on this project soon!
On a side note, we have been busy outside this week:
The lattice has been stained (goodbye s.k.u.n.k):

Lava rock was added to the “flower” garden in our side-yard:

And, we have CORN:

We would LOVE to hear about your spring projects, paint colors, or garden plans…

"How Does Your Garden GROW?"

Last summer was about survival–WHEW, I said it.  We bought a house, Matt started his residency program, and I had my head buried in books until the end of July–love that Michigan bar.  With all of that behind us, this summer Matt and I have HIGH expectations.  We have ALL kinds of plans that include traveling–YAY to the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Gordon getting hitched in Colorado; boating and beaching–Holland love; and gardening–domesticated??
Before we bought our small house, spring was about jogging, being outside, and opening doors and windows–which rocks, and I still do it as much as possible: 
freshly painted front door, courtesy of Uncle Wayne
But this spring is different.  We are having FUN.  We have been PRUNING, planting, mulching, sodding, and FIGHTING off squirrels attempting to ruin our gardens:  
I love how this has bloomed–no idea what it is
    My favorite plant–hydrangeas–TRADER JOES $6.99

We learned the hard way last summer that sod dies in 90+ degree summers–re-sodding.  Hopefully take two goes a bit better…
There is a local store in Ann Arbor called the PRODUCE Station that I love.  We paid a visit there last week: hanging baskets and a pot of petunias for our porch: 
Note: we used red cedar stain last summer that held up WELL during this past winter
+ some Petunias in the window box attached to our garage
 Matt and Steve worked on the soon-to-be stained red cedar LATTICE! This was much needed as we had a visiting s.k.u.n.k. this past winter.  Thanks, Steve for your help!  
AND, we are attempting to grow a VEGGIE garden in our side yard:
But at this point, I have no idea what is a plant vs. weed?? So time will tell how this project is going to pan out!  Not to mention I have caught squirrels digging through our “garden,” which explains the bare spots…  How does one keep squirrels out of a garden?
I also owe a shout-out to my mom and gramsiebaby for all of their gardening tips…  With Mother’s Day tomorrow, I can’t help but think about all of the influence they have had on my life and our family, both immediate and extended, and I’m thankful.  Don’t worry, I won’t add an over-used garden metaphor now.

So come on over, friends and family!  We are ready to enjoy the end of spring, beginning of summer 2013 with you!!
P.S. Here is a sneak-peak of the next post–authored by Matt: Step’n Up!