And now for some “never thought we’d type that in our entire lives” news before we dive into today’s post. Remember when we Instagrammed this (well, I guess technically we Regrammed it) back in May? It was from our day of shooting a little segment with the OWN crew (as in Oprah’s crew). #ahhhhhh #more screaming
Well, that “short film” is airing this Sunday! It’ll be on towards the end of their Super Soul Sunday season premiere (info here) and we’re practically ready to faint at the possibility of Oprah saying our names out loud. Seriously, somebody get me a fan, a ruffled dress, and a chaise lounge so I can dramatically swoon.
But now back to the opportunities that we seized and missed. First the one that we missed (I’m a “tell me the bad news first” kinda girl). A few blocks away from us we noticed that a neighbor was mid-renovation (the sizable dumpster in their driveway was our first clue). One day we spotted a bunch of outdoor furniture peeking out over its top edge. Was that some chunky wicker Restoration-Hardware-ish stuff? And some iron chairs and a table? Why was it in the dumpster? It looked to be in good condition. Could this be our new sunroom furniture?
Our brains started fantasizing a trash-to-treasure rescue story. Maybe a little cleaning or rust-removing spray paint was all they needed? But then again, maybe they were in the trash pile for good reason. And would it be super awkward to knock on a stranger’s door and ask to raid their dumpster? Oh, but it would suck for salvageable stuff to go to waste…
We spent a couple of days trying to decide if our idea was genius or crazy. Would the neighbors think we were thoughtful or out of our minds? Finally I decided we should just satisfy our curiosity and ask. No sooner had I mustered the courage did John burst my bubble: “I meant to tell you, I noticed on the way back from preschool that the dumpster had been emptied.” $herdog = sad clown. I know it could have just been old broken furniture anyway, but now I’ll never know. I guess I’ll have to find another dumpster to dive into…
But in other “hey-what-are-the-neighbors-up-to?” news (here comes the good part) the family two doors down is in the midst of some major landscaping work involving all sorts of awesome things like an outdoor fireplace and a stone patio. We love them and Burger is even on decent terms with their dog which is a small animal miracle because Burger only likes cats. Anyway, we don’t have anything major that needs to be done (yet) but it did give us one of those “since you’re in the neighborhood” ideas. The tree work that we had done a few months back left us with some high spots, some low spots, and some grass-won’t-grow-on-that-pile-of-ground-tree-stump spots. Photos don’t do the ankle-breaking-potential justice. At their worst there were some areas that were about 15″ off (either too high or too low) so don’t let what look like small piles fool you. We’re talking about 30 wheelbarrows full o’ mulch in that mound on the right.
We had been meaning to slowly-but-surely wheelbarrow out the piles ourselves, but we eventually came to the conclusion that this was a job for some heavier duty equipment. We considered renting some sort of mini earthmoving dozer (um, John would be in heaven) but even the smallest dozer rental was $425 a day from local rental places like this. So we thought it couldn’t hurt to ask the guys pushing dirt around just two doors down, right?
I strolled down there one afternoon, found someone who appeared to be in charge, and asked if they had an opening in their schedule to roll up the street and roll around on our yard a little. We figured it’d be easier (i.e. cheaper) than calling another company who would have to lug their equipment all the way over just for us, and hopefully they’d like the idea of earning some extra cash whenever they had a spare moment to stop by. They were very friendly and, more importantly, totally game. They said we’d have to get Miss Utility to mark our yard first (so they didn’t hit any pipes or wires in the process) so I dialed 8-1-1 and just a couple of days later the yard was marked and, fortunately, nothing was in the path of our piles.
With our yard all flagged up, we checked back in with the landscaping crew and before we knew it we had front row seats. Clara was in awe of her own personal “digger show.”
The crazy thing is that what we guessed would take a few hours, literally only took the guy about thirty minutes. He was a total PRO. And John was only a little jealous.
He even scooped all of the too-acidic-to-allow-grass-to-grow-on-it mulch and rolled it into our wooded side yard before meticulously spreading it out for us in there. Can’t even tell it’s there, right?
After his 30 minute flattening spree he said “how about $60 for that?” and we were elated! Sure beats the time and money we would’ve spent renting something. Dude, our front yard is sooo much better. Okay, maybe it’s still kinda brown and weedy, but at least it’s flat. And flat means it’s ready for grass seed!
Speaking of grass seed, we may actually get a quote from the landscaping guys (the neighbor’s project still has a few weeks to go) to see how much they’d charge to drop off some top soil for us before we seed. It’s not a must-have, but a fresh layer of topsoil certainly wouldn’t hurt our first season of grass-growing. Plus, they mentioned we might be able to piggyback on a delivery they’re bringing to the other house. Is that efficiency I smell?
So there’s one moment missed and one moment grabbed and squeezed like a lemon in my sweet tea. Sidenote: How much do the end of our railings look like hamburgers? I’m tempted to paint them like this. You know, in honor of Burger.
What have you guys been noticing around the neighborhood? Now that it’s getting cooler and kids are back in school it seems like a lot of people are getting house stuff done – which of course we LOVE to watch. There have been some pretty amazing new fences going up and a whole lot of house-painting. Tis the season!
We had a tree taken down and the root ground a few years back, leaving a large pile of sawdust, or, as I saw it, “Free Mulch!” I sent out my two boys–young teen and older teen–to wheelbarrow it into a holding-place in the woods. Every time I looked out, the pile looked the same size. “You’re not working hard enough!” I encouraged in my best Mom voice. Maybe air gets incorporated into that stuff as you shovel it, or it somehow otherwise multiplies, but I can vouch for how long it takes to move. My boys would probably have been insulted to be offered $60 for the work it took them!
Oh yeah, it takes forever to make a dent in those piles! What looks like five wheelbarrow’s full can end up being 30+!
We have one of those “diggers”/bobcats/skid steer (goes by many names). We co-own one with parents and believe me, where we live it gets weekly use! Just yesterday my husband wanted to blow off steam after work, so he took out/push down a patch of trees I’ve been wanting cleared. Then used the skid steer to drag them to the fire pit. Pretty nice having heavy equipment when you live in the country. He’s even been “hired out” by friends.
That sounds like the most fun anyone can have after a long day at work.
Does this mean you’re going to be a regular on OWN? or can you say yet?
Congrats either way!
Oh no, nothing like that! It’s just a 3 minute special :)
Clara looks like a giant! I swear she has to be taller than my 4 year old. And I’m so excited to see you guys on TV! I will definitely be tuning in.
This is totally off topic and random, but how’s the Homearama house going? I only ask cause it was one of the suggested posts at the bottom of this post and got me curious.
So good! We’re actually writing an update post for you guys right now (John’s on picture duty and I’m typing things up).
Mary Cole says
Hahahahaha @ the hamburger post cap. I’m all about dumpster diving, too bad you missed out on the chairs!
Woot woot! I’ve got my DVR set for Sunday’s show! Can’t wait :)
Thanks so much Katie!
I really feel your pain with the dumpster miss. I would love to see what you guys could do with free stuff. I’m on a don’t spend any money decorating budget so a little inspiration would go a long way.
The burger photoshop should definitely make it into the month end recap!
After I read the line “Seriously, somebody get me a fan, a ruffled dress, and a chaise lounge so I can dramatically swoon.” I scrolled up to see if this post were written by John or Sherry. LOL kinda wish it had been John hahaha
I think I need to go to bed…
Okay…. this is totally off topic but! Have you guys seen your book on the Anthro website?? Look!!
:) Thought you’d appreciate!
Isn’t that crazy?! I screamed when I saw it.
Seaweed & Raine says
Bummer on the missed out on furniture. I’ve missed a few opportunities like that myself.
But what an awesome digger dude! It certainly pays off being bold enough to go ask, doesn’t it! :)
I both laughed and cringed at the little burgers. Would they go with your blue door? ;)
I wish I knew how you guys find the time to do stuff, be parents, AND blog. I know, I know, I’ve seen your pie chart. But I still seriously find it a challenge to get ANYTHING on my blog any more.
You guys are so polite and I mean that in the most flattering way.
The last time we had a dumpster, for a week I was woken up at 6 AM because people were climbing in and digging through stuff. There was nothing good in there and I often wonder if any of them ended up in the hospital with tetnus. If they did, it was their own fault.
Any time I have furniture or something I think somebody might be able to use, I stick out by the curb with a free sign. Some stuff goes faster than others, but it all disappears eventually.
Lisa E says
What the whaaaat? OWN? Awesome sauce! Show them haters where it’s at! :) Seriously, so happy for you two. Much deserved. Great idea on saving money, too. Will definitely keep that in mind as I would have never thought to do that.
My neighbors had a dumpster in their driveway, too. I asked them if we could pay part of their dumpster bill for the privilege of dumping a few things in it from our kitchen renovation. They said no. :(. But now, we’ve had this flood in Colorado, so guess what? The city is coming around to everyone’s house to pick up their construction debris. Score! We weren’t damaged, but we certainly have debris. Now, it’s going away for free.
I can’t believe they wouldn’t take your money and share! So glad you’re ok from the flooding though and that the city is helping you guys out!
I missed out on some cool bar height patio chairs at the local goodwill. They were brand new and only 20 dollars a piece. They were a pretty teal color and I wanted them so badly.. but waffled on the purchase and now they are gone. Of course they were gone because they were perfect and cool..lol
Aw man, sorry they were gone Sarina.
Can I just say that on Monday morning after I read your post I thought, “I wonder when their Oprah thing will air? I will have to post & ask them!” But then I got busy and forgot to do it. Sure enough Tuesday morning comes around and I thought, “Psyyyychiiicc!!” in my best Oprah voice. : D Can’t wait to tune in!
So funny! You’re totally PSYCCCCCHHHIIC!
[email protected] the Manor says
We’re in the process of overseeding our yard now, so that’s taken up a huge chunk of our landscaping budget :( But I know it will be come it come Spring!
I’m so glad you made a call-out to 811. My husband works for a utilities company and has had way too many conversations with homeowners, construction crews, and even landscaping companies that have hit a utility line! It’s imperative that ANYONE digging have a locator come out and flag the area.
Louisa T. says
We are currently having major work done to our yard. We’ve had our in-ground swimming pool (i.e. “the money pit”) removed and the whole yard is being regraded and landscaped with a new retaining wall, deck and fence. Our neighbors have done the same thing, taking the opportunity to have some yuca plants removed and a few stumps ground down. I have no problem whatsoever with them doing that as anything they have done only improves the look of the neighborhood as a whole (not to mention our street!). Don’t think twice about it. The time used to work on their yard was during down times on ours such as waiting for dirt to be delivered, dumpsters being changed out or when one or two were working on the retaining and the excavator was just sitting there not being used. At no time have I felt like we were being taken advantage of and the time should have been spent on our job. So no worries!
Aw, that’s great to hear Louisa!
Emily @ Life on Food says
Sucks about the furniture but I would be stoked about the yard work. Even the littlest savings makes me so happy
Mary B. says
Went to DVR you on Super Soul Sunday – will you be on the end of Mariel Hemingway & Bobby Williams episode?
Yes, that’s the one! Ahh!
Just this past Saturday we were having our back yard graded/scraped. By about an hour into the process there was a giant pile of dirt and debris that needed to go. We were planning to have the crew take it to a local green waste dump, but a neighbor strolled by before we had the chance and asked if we’d have the dirt dumped at their house. They were covering an open ditch they’d just laid pipe in. It worked out so beneficially for us both – free dirt for them, and dumping the dirt only a block away saved us lots of time! Only ONE load went to the dump and that one was mostly branches and tree stumps. Perfect neighborhood project outcome!
We moved to Paris last month and we have been working on getting our house here furnished. I noticed last week while walking and driving around that there were a lot a big trash items out. There were all kinds of salvageable pieces that I saw around, but I was too timid to stop and get anything. Between our 3 crazy kids that I almost always have with me and the fact that I am 8 1/2 months pregnant and I can’t carry much home I feel like I missed out. I was driving away and I saw a wooden coffee table going into the back of a garbage truck and I wanted to kick myself. I am definitely going to be on the look out next month, my mom will be here to help with the new baby and she is not afraid of carrying things home from someone else’s discarded treasures.
What a bargain! $60 probably just covered the fuel for the dozer! He did a great job too.
Nicola Blake says
Well super soul sunday is on!!!! I am so proud of you guys!!!
Ahhh! Thanks so much Nicola! It feels so surreal to watch it for us!
wow, that is so cool!! I love Oprah..Congrats on getting on that show! I wished I still got the OWN Network..Hopefully someone will post a clip on youtube or online somewhere lol
I found this link(in case others here wanna see it) to a video of y’all!!!(Can you tell I’m originally from NC & SC? hehe)
It’s almost 4 mins. long! You may want to update the post above with the link..Just thought I’d help:) lol
http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Young-House-Love-Home-Is-Where-the-Soul-Is-Video SO exciting! I also see there are some full episodes on that website of the show!
OOPS, I see why you didn’t have the link originally..I just realized this aired yesterday on OWN..duh! lol..It’s been one of those busy Mondays, and I totally didn’t get that this was for the show that aired yesterday! sorry!
No worries! We’re going to post a big behind the scenes post on Wednesday about it including the clip!