Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I thought it was Labor Day

...and I was able to convince Cricket to finish some yard projects this weekend.

We built a new flower bed. I'd bought some blackberries, strawberries,  knockout roses, and perennials a few weeks ago, so we finally got them in the ground. We desperately need a new fence to gain some privacy from the neighbors, but the greenery will have to do until we can decide what we want to do.

It complements the dahlia garden quite nicely, too.

Lowe's had zoysia sod, so we picked up about 40 pieces to extend the area we sodded last year. We threw in a few more pavers too. Hopefully, the color will even out as the sod takes root. It's better than the roots, weeds, and crabgrass.

We also beautified the mailbox and driveway. Mulch is magic! The trees lining our driveway looked overrun with weeds and awkward. A little weeding and a bag of mulch greatly improved the curb appeal. We planted some climbing mandevilla and lavender near the mailbox to give it a little more pizzazz. And I finally re-potted my hanging baskets into actual baskets instead of the plastic tubs they came in.

Our garden is well on its way with a few cherry tomatoes about ready to eat. The rest of the veggies are dragging behind, but surely they'll be showing their leaves soon.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Lula Day!

While most people spent their weekend celebrating our veterans poolside, lakeside, or bbq-side, we've spent our weekend focused on the most important of days. The anniversary of when Lula chose me as her mom.
[Lula checking the quality of the new sod]

Six years ago today, I met the big-eyed beagle mutt in North Atlanta. I'd driven to the adoption event to meet a beagle I'd seen photos of, but this one made my heart skip a beat. She was so shy, yet so full of love. She'd had a rough life. Her owner had gotten sick and was forced to board Lula and her sister at the vet. After 4-5 months, the owner couldn't take on the cost of boarding the dogs, so a nice lady at the vet brought in the aid of a local beagle rescue group. At the time, Lula was known as Candy. She and her sister, Sandy, must've had a rough homelife before they moved to the boarding facility. For months after I brought her home, she was terrified of men. To this day, she's scared of feet. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what must've happened. Repeatedly. And it breaks my heart.
[Lula taking a break from yard work on the chaise]

So I brought her home, mostly unprepared for what I'd signed up for, on Memorial Day 2006. I was a 20-something singleton who needed a friend. And she was a 1-year old pup who needed to re-learn how to love. The afternoon she came home with me, some friends came over to meet her. As they left, she bolted out the door. I thought I'd made a huge mistake--not only was I clueless, but she knew it and wanted nothing to do with me. After about 45 minutes of frantically searching the neighborhood for her (calling her by both the newly given name and her old one--that couldn't have been confusing), I walked back home, so disappointed in myself and afraid for where the new pup may be.

To my surprise, the beagle was sitting on the front doormat, panting with a big smile, covered in mud to her armpits. We've been together ever since.

[Lula testing the outdoor pillows]
So today, we celebrated Lula by taking her on a hike at Stone Mountain Park, where she actually waded into the lake on her own accord. 
[testing the lake at Stone Mountain Park]

[sweet pup prints from the water]

[Lula and her dad. He was determined to win her over despite her fear of men, and eventually her mom too.]

Throughout the weekend, she managed to live life easily. Always finding the absolute softest surface in any room. Whether it be the newly laid sod, the chaise lounger, the pile of outdoor pillows, or a massive pile of blankets. 

Of course, Frosty Paws followed...and she was forced to choose between Original flavor and Peanut Butter. She chose the latter.
[Lula's toughest decision of the day]

[Peanut Butter is the winner]
We're pretty darn happy to have her. And I think she's happy to be here.
[Kisses at the lake]
 Tonight, we're smoking some pulled pork. I'm pretty sure she'll find her way into a bite or two.