Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I am embarking on the overwhelming task of spring cleaning. Getting rid of the old(clothes that I wear once every 2 years), and making new space. Overall, it's a good look.

Things have been great in Westview and sassy 511 W Ontario. There are some updates from the last stages of fence removal, other fun stuff, and the recent adventures with neighbors down the road.

Until I get my pictures uploaded, I wanted to(especially in the spirit of reflection) to share my year in review. I know its March and this was done in January , but life just got in the way.
2007 was such a tremendous year. I grew in many unique ways. Amazingly, I became a home owner a feat that I think of as powerful for a young, Black woman. But with that power is the constant dialogue about "owning" property and what that all means.
Nevertheless, I am super stoked about the abundance of 2007 and what 2008 is turning out to be!

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Yard Reclamation Act in Several Parts- How to remove a fence and remain sane

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!
Busy like a wasp's nest. This is an actually was nest that we took down from under the roof of the house. Its now inside as a lovely reminder of the dopeness of pollinators!

We have been working on removing a chain link fence that is partial up, partial tangled in trees, some pieces with barbed wire, and about everything else you can find(like a car starter!)

It takes tons of determination and just good old fashioned work in getting in taken down. I did tons on research to find out what the easiest way to remove the fence but we have been using:
1). bolt cutters- to cut the random places of fence to make it easier to remove
2). nippers- I am sure it has a technical name but it is great at attacking the ivy, roots, and tree limbs that seem to be growing everywhere
3. rakes- it has been so much debris and junk because it seems like no one did any yard work in close to 10 years!!

We have planned our offensive in 3 steps:
fence removal- today was our second day of focusing on removing one side of the fence and it is finally down! the next side is set for imminent take down!
clean up- there is an impossible amount of junk. we have to clean up all the the crap, leaves, tree, barbed wire, carpet, and all the metal from removing the fence.
know any junk yards anyone?
new fence in- just like it sounds!
Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

Mel and Dominique working hard to remove a length of fence. It's a combo on pulling, cutting, and raking.

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

This is just a little idea of how tangled the vines are. The trees had not been cut back and the vines grew every which way. It is so neat to see nature doing its thing. How it can grow and be resilient even in the midst of people made things or structures.

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

We collected a bad full of goodies from the back yard. Lots of old beer and liquor bottles. Random metal pipes, a metal bowl, and other randomness of accumulation.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

650 gallons of leaves!

Fall is over but the leaves are not. Dominique and I raked the front yard on Saturday and Melanie joined us on Sunday to do the back.
Thanks to the thinking power of my brother, he came up with a great way of bagging the leaves. We got a huge 50 gallon trash can and filled them and then we used the big container to fill the smaller refuse bags. It made us go much quicker-it was still 3 hours but it looks nice out there.
Mostly we are just bagging the leaves we put into piles. The great thing is that there is mulch and green onions, grass and daffodils that grew in the warmth of decomposing leaves.
We even had our neighborhood friend Andre come and at least watch us pick up leaves.

Now comes the fun time of planning what to plan and where. Sowing seeds(hopes of a "green" lawn), and fence time!

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

Melanie, showing her guns, and Dominique out front the 24 30 gallon bags waiting on the curb for pick up!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Winter time in 30310

It has been a whole season since I have been able to blog. Life has been hectic but things in Westview have been lovely. We have seen the holidays, snow, and two new additions my brother and his dog Doughnut. My brother doesn't know that I am just letting him stay because of our love of his cutie doggie.
We haven't done much around the house, but my head is swarming with ideas. What room to do first! Right now we are talking about a fence and finishing the mudroom. Either would be great, I just need to do something. I guess I have cabin fever .
Let's see if there have been an neighborhood updates.
  1. I see more and more homes foreclosing and it is travesty. Housing is a basic human right and folks are losing everything, and I fear the face of this great neighborhood will change as well.
  2. The recession has been in affect for a while for us Black folks and it ain't going to get better anytime soon.
  3. Oh yeah, Mel and I are the official chair and co-chair of It's Our Neighborhood!
  4. We are going to get street toppers for our neighborhood!! I am totally stoked. After street toppers, we will have t-shirts and flags!!!!
  5. The leaves finally fell! We can now say the trees are clean
Its been pretty low key but I am feeling adventurous, at least in my thoughts. The next couple of weeks should prove exciting and full of more tales!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fall as a verb and a noun; pumpkin as a lifestyle

How many bags can someone rake? I have put a moratorium on raking. It seems like there is not point to it. In the last weeks its been hard to check in. We've had many home guest, a major fundraiser for my organization, friends, leaves, and pumpkins!

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!
Its like Sesame Street. On a lazy Sunday of eating pho(or watching the eating of pho) and talks of the golden child. See my pretty pumpkins.

Some great updates. We have removed the random yucca bushes on the side of the road. With help from Melanie, Audre & SCout(the killer JRTs) Hamadi(thanks for breaking my rake), and Elys we were able to uproot it.

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!
Hamadi has the shovel that will later break and Melanie, Audre and Scout are rooting him along. These yucca, although a nice natural boundary, did not have a place on the side of the house so out they went. Its already looking better!

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!
I have the yucca root in my hand and it was so white and crisp looking.( I also have Mel's hemp gloves that are great but not awesome if you have stuff with thorns- ouch!) I know that I have eaten fried yucca, and I am wondering if this is the same kind? At my old college apartment we had these plants everywhere which were not the best for drunk college students- hence the name "stucca".

I also got 5 delicious pumpkins. One could say they are just for Halloween but these will last the entire fall and people know that I am prone to keep them til spring. I love them so esp. the heirloom pumpkins that remind me of Cinderella and all things majestic.

So as long as the weather is still trying to make up its mind if its fall or summer (fammer or saller), I'll keep thinking about spending an entire weekend raking only to be succumbed to the verbage!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's Finally Fall in Atlanta!

Yeah!! It is finally Fall. It's October but it has been so hot. Today there was finally a nip in the air and I had my first apple cider of the year! But there have been the tell tell clues that fall was right around the corner. The leaves and in reference to the house, the leaves are every where. Behind my shed that is approriatly named House 4 Girl- all the leaves that ever where are raked into decaying piles. I wish I could say that the piles are compost they are just the remnants of fall's past.

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!
A wonderful warning painted by the previous owner of this House 4 Girl

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!
Audre is standing in the dent I made in the pile of leaves. Beyond, you see a clear tarp that was just there and a plastic bag. I found many bottles, a car battery, jumper cable, and little something for "female hygiene".

Over the course of 2 weekends and the help of 3 10 year old neighborhoods, who were compensated nicely- a total of 18 bags of leaves have been raked!! And we still have some more to go.

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!
Mel, Zapatista style, after we have raked 14 bags of leaves. We had to get all this stuff down to the curb. Thanks to the trusty Subaru we got it down in 3 trips!!(on the roof and in the hatch)

I went home to North Carolina and my dad gave me several pairs of nippes, shears, and a shovel. There are tons of baby trees and taming of the wild bushes, sprouts and the like.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

From 3 to 4- Welcome our newest sweetie Scout

Our newest heart throb, Scout

My oldest baby, Audre

The cuties together

A new Home, A new Love!
Along with that love comes a new baby. Welcome Scout, the newest pal in crime and home repair. It was time that Audre got a sibling, an only chile for 6 years.
We need the extra hands/paws in making this house a home!