Or maybe we just won’t do any landscaping…

I emailed 3 more landscapers on Sunday for quotes. Three days later…. only one call-back. 

I also had a cable guy out here Tuesday who I got to chatting with and he told me his brother is a local landscaper. He called him right in front of me and gave him my number to call me to set up a time for a quote. 

Nada. 

So basically… if this landscaper that is coming out next week doesn’t work out I’m liable to just give up for this season. It just should not be THIS hard to give money away to people for doing a bit of work. 

 

*Harumph* 

Update on Landscaping… or lack there-of

You know what pisses me off? People/companies who can’t RETURN A FREAKING EMAIL.

I mentioned we had a landscaper come out last week (10 days ago now) to look at our flower beds and give us a quote on some work. The guy was SUPER nice and seemed knowledgable and professional. If the price was right, he had me sold.

He said he’d email me a quote by the next night (9 days ago). It never came.

No biggy, I emailed him last Monday morning (6 days ago) to inquire. He apologized for his tardiness and said he’d call that evening with a quote.

Except 1) I knew we would be busy Monday night and 2) I prefer all deals in which money is exchanged to be handled in writing.

It’s the lawyer in me, I can’t help it.

So I emailed him back and said if he’d like to call that was fine, although I may be busy that night, but I’d really prefer the actual quote to be in writing via email. My excuse, as I tell most people (and is really mostly true if I’m being honest) is that I have a horrible memory and if he gives me a quote verbally I’m liable to misunderstand or forget it, and so I really prefer to have things in writing so that I can refer back. I find this is a bit more congenial than telling people– I’m a lawyer and see people getting screwed over on oral deals every day, and thus I need it in writing because I don’t trust anyone. Sorry.

He called and left a message on my phone Monday night and gave me a price along with a general explanation of what was included. Not at all specific enough for my lawyer-mind. He also said he’d send an email quote with more specific emails “within the hour.”

Monday night, no email. So Tuesday I send a friendly message thanking him for his call and saying I had a few specific questions about what was included, if he could please answer these two things when he sends me my email quote. I look forward to hearing from him soon. (Ever the cordial emailer I am… even when annoyed).

No email Tuesday.

No email Wednesday.

No email Thursday.

Thursday night I sent a one-liner “Just checking in because I haven’t heard from you…”

FINALLY tonight (as I’m typing this blog post… why does that always happen? It’s like when you get up to pee in a restaurant and that is always when the food comes). I get a response email but only (kinda) answering my questions. No additional details that he promised me. No quote in writing.

So the question is: what to do?

Do I push forward for an in-writing quote and hope that this guy is simply TERRIBLE at emailing, and that he will in fact do a good job?

Or do I go with my gut which says: If he can’t handle emailing you when he says he will with the information he says he will… he is clearly not a professional and I’d be an idiot to trust him to do this job. He’s proven himself to be untrustworthy.

My mom says that I expect too much and some people just “aren’t email people.”

But as a business person who has email (and even has it on his phone, he mentioned to me), doesn’t he have a responsibility to conduct himself professionally? To either honor his word, or if he doesn’t want to email just not offer that as an option? And this guy is like, early 30s by the way. We’re not talking about a generational gap.

So… I’m torn.

I think I’m going to look for other landscaping companies to get quotes from tonight. What do others think though, am I being unreasonable?

Working on my black thumb.

It’s weird, living in a community.

I grew up out in the country. Acres of land, no sidewalks, no nosy neighbors. My mom had beautiful flower beds because that was important to her– but I always hated helping out in the yard. I don’t like being hot or getting sunburned (inevitable)… just wasn’t my jam.

And I never worried about it. Until we moved here. A community. Small yards, nosy neighbors. Well intentioned, of course. But there is a certain level of peer pressure to not be that house with the crappy yard.

Our yard didn’t start out that bad. Boring, of course… but okay.

Sod was okay. Beds were okay. We even planted a few little things the first summer here. Check out this cute tiny little mum.
(dark red flower on the left)

And by the end of the summer, it looked okay.

I still didn’t love the bushes the builder had planted, or the weird purple spiky flowers…. but at least it looked respectable.

And then came last summer, our second summer here. Everything just…. exploded.

The purple spiky things spread like crazy, the bushes got huge, the mums grew to about 10 times their normal size. Plus, of course, we let our sod die. See… they had to dig up our yard to do some maintenance and they put down sod right before we left for Vegas. A week gone and…. dead sod. Awesome.

But we didn’t really do anything about it. Because… I don’t like yard work. So let’s see where that got us this year, shall we?

Ouch. Let’s take it from the top. The flower beds? Horrid. Overgrown, crazy, ugly, unkempt. Then there is the dying yellow grass. Thank you 2+ weeks without rain and 90+ degree temps (and, if I’m being honest, our laziness in not watering the lawn). And then the weeds. Which somehow are looking quite lush and lovely…. giving a wonderful polka-dotted illusion to the lawn…

Yea. It was time to do something. So, B has been working a bit on the lawn. He has started slowly digging out the bigger weeds and using weed killer on the smaller ones. And we vow to start watering any day now. Really.

But the biggest change will be the flower beds. That’s right— we’re finally going to rip them out and start over. And by “we” I mean… the landscapers we are hiring because while my embarrassment of our lawn has reached a level high enough to want to fix the problem, it is not quite high enough to want to do yard work. Just keeping it real.

We got quotes last week for putting a retaining wall around the border of the two beds, ripping out the old stuff, and putting in some boxwoods, hostas, azaleas… and probably other stuff whose names I can’t recall. The surprising part is that this is going to cost us way less than I expected. Score for happy surprises!!

I’m not sure yet when the landscapers will come. We have a vacation coming up here at the end of the month and I think I want to wait until after that because I was told we HAVE to water the beds daily for the first two weeks, and I don’t trust our house/pet sitter to do that. (Although given our track record, perhaps I should trust him more than myself….).

Regardless, I am super excited for our yard transformation, and I’ll be sure to post photos when it is all done!

Super Duper Picture Post

I’ve written a lot of picture-free or picture-light posts lately… so let’s make up for those by posting the MOST PICTURES EVER in one blog post! Here are all my favorite iPhone photos from June 2010 when I got my phone through last week. They are just in chronological order. They are mostly of my pets. There are 41 (I’m sorry).


I love when he sits like a person!


The place I bought my wedding dress had a small prom dress/party dress section. Two of my bridesmaids (edited for privacy because they’d kill me if I posted them in these dresses online) in their “favorites.” Believe or not— these dresses were like $400 each. Woah.


Oh Hai.


Loving the costume.


Toooo close.


I dunno why him sleeping all sprawled-like cracks me up so much.


I think he was on his way to paint-ball? I dunno but this photo cracks me up. Also, check out the butt in those jeans 🙂


This is my hotel room on my first and only overnight business trip. Not as glamorous as expected. lol


My kitchen two days before my wedding. One of my wonderful bridesmaids working on our chocolate pretzel favors.


This is what my brother wrote in our guest book… sweet. haha.


Shopping at Walmart for supplies for our honeymoon the week between our wedding and Hawaii. Not sure we’ve ever had more fun in a Walmart.


Taking cover on the balcony of the St. Regis in Kauai during a rainstorm the night before the tsunami.


Top of Waimea Canyon


View from our back yard during a storm


One of my all-time favorite pictures of Stew. He looks so suspicious!


Two fav guys.


Just the sky one day on a walk with Stew.


Feeeeeeeeed me.


Turkey Leg at Yankee Peddler


Silly


Goofing around at the Zoo. B said he was trying to be a Gorilla.


Our community is really beautiful at sunset.


My parents’ sweet dog Molly. She passed away last month after 13 years of being awesome. She is sorely missed.


My brother got me a fisheye lens for my iPhone for Christmas. It has been underused…. I need to remedy that.


Over Christmas break (B and I took a week off to chill at home between the holidays), I found this to-list that B had made. It cracked me up for so many reasons. Not the least of which is that he has eating on the list. Twice. (About #6… first of all that is my first name, I go by my middle on the blog. Second of all, I have no idea what that means, but it is not as dirty as it sounds lol).


Chompers


Snuggle time


I miss her shaved ‘do


Pay attention to ME.


Pretty anniversary cake


Milo and Me snuggle time


I can see you


Perfect Friday Night.


Kitty says… too close.


Snuggle, remix.


No really, pay attention to me.


Exhibit book for our last trial. My boss brought it back like this. I am scared to consider where he was reviewing this…


My outfit for B’s sister’s graduation. I loooved these shoes. They hated me. (Then I hated them).


Classic.


We are snuggles masters in this house.

Welp… that’s it! Maybe next time I won’t wait two years so I don’t have to go through 2700 photos and cull them down to my favorite 40(ish)!

My Husband is Awesome, Music ed.

A thing you should know about me: I kind of suck about music.

I feel like this is kind of… unusual?

Most people are passionate about music, especially people in my age bracket. It is certainly the “cool” way to be. But honestly, I’ve never been that into it.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy music. It’s just that I’m generally apathetic and lazy about it. I think part of it is that I have the world’s WORST memory for names which means I find it impossible to memorize who sings what and what it’s called.

You play me any popular song from the last 15 or so years, chances are I’ve heard it. But 99 times out of 100 I can’t tell you either the song name or the band who plays it. This is true even of very popular songs. The only bands I can identify with any sort of accuracy are The Beatles, Dave Matthews Band (my all-time fav), and Sublime. And even then, I usually can’t tell you the song name.

All of this leads to the fact that I kind of just listen to whatever is on, whatever CDs friends make for me or force me to buy, or whatever B turns on. My iPhone has had the playlists from our wedding (and only those) on it since before we got married. That should give you some indication of my level of apathy.

Anyways…. last night while I was making dinner B turned on the VH1 countdown of the 100 best songs of the 00’s. And somehow we got into it and watched all five hours and reminisced about which songs we loved and what we were doing when we first heard them, etc.

And I got this sudden burst of motivation to (finally) go through iTunes and make myself a play list or two.

And that is how I lost my weekend.

It started with technical issues. I don’t have my own iTunes, so I tried to hook my phone up to B’s but that caused problems. Two calls to apple tech support and 10 hours later (had to let it run overnight), we had gotten most of his music transferred to my iTunes on my computer. We spent the rest of the morning trying to recover the songs that stubbornly refused to transfer before finally giving up.

This left me with just under 7,000 songs on my iTunes list to go through and attempt to make playlists.

Remember how I said I have problems remembering who sings what and what it’s called?

Seven. Thousand. Songs.

This is how literally our entire evening/night went:

Me: Do I like Fabolous?
B: Yes.
Me: What songs do I like?
B: It’s My Time and Imma Do It.
Me: Okay. Do I like Fallout Boy?
B: Yes.
Me: What songs do I like?
B: Just Sugar, We’re Going Down.
Me: Do I like Fighterpilot?
B: No.
Me: Do I like Finger Eleven?
B: Yes, that whole album.
Me: Do I like Five Finger Death Punch?
B: No.
Me: Do I like the Flaming Lips?
B: No.
Me: Do I like Flo Rida?
B: Yes. Right Round.

And we’re only like 1/3 of the way through ONE letter there.

Can I just acknowledge the patience of my dear husband in:

1) Spending the time to go through 7,000 songs with me;
2) Not getting at all annoyed that I literally have no clue who I like; and
3) Actually knowing who I like and which songs of theirs I like.

Seriously, how does he even do that? Amazing.

And now, about 26 hours after this adventure began, I am finally syncing my iPhone. A fun side-effect of which is that I discovered I had 9 gb of photos on my phone. If you’re wondering, that is about 2,400 photos (clearly I’m more of a photo person than a music person!). I had to download them all to my computer to free up some space for music (comparatively, those wedding playlists took up a whole .7gb, and that was my only music).

Getting to watch 2,400 photos from the last 2 years flash by as they downloaded was SUPER fun. If you haven’t downloaded your phone photos lately, I highly recommend it. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll go through and pull a few favorites for a “best of” post with pictures from the last few years. I hope you all like pictures of my pets! haha.

And now, it is way past my bed time (woah, 12:05am lol) and I need to put myself to bed.

Anyone else have a techy-productive weekend? Anyone else as clueless about music as I am?

A Brief WTF on Travel Costs

With all the seriousness around here lately I randomly decided to window shop some vacations. Not that we’d actually be taking one this year… but you know… it’s fun to look.

My first stop when vacation shopping is always to check out the package deals on Dreams Puerto Vallarta, which is where we got engaged. We absolutely loooooooved the hotel and the beach and… basically everything.

It’s pretty much the place I keep in my mind as my “happy place”… somewhere that was absolutely perfect and where I dream of returning.

But it seems that going back may be a bit harder than I thought because HOLY COW why has traveling gotten so much more expensive?

Our last trip was late October 2009. 6 nights (all inclusive) + flights + $200 resort credit = $1,687. Plus, we got upgraded to a balcony suite for free!

I looked for the exact same week this October 2012. 6 nights + flights (no resort credits) = $3,353.

WHAT?!

That is fully DOUBLE the cost of 3 years ago. Double. With no resort credit, and no guarantee we’d get upgraded (so we would probably just want to book a balcony room, which brings the total up to $3,463.)

Sigh.

We are definitely going to make it back. Someday. But I think that day is a bit farther off than I thought it was. I hope they hold our seats for us.