Painted brick

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I’ve been wanting to paint the exterior of my house for years. My house is a 60s ranch burger that is cute, but doesn’t have much architectural interest. The brick is pretty nice, though – I think it was reclaimed brick, so it was interesting in a rustic way.

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I’ve been pinning pictures of exteriors of homes where the brick has been painted for years now. There is just something elegant about brick painted a creamy gray-white. I have nothing against natural brick – I love a classic brick Georgian or Federal home – timeless.

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There is a house we drive by on our trips to Trader Joe’s. The house is in an area of Atlanta called Virginia Highlands that is full of 20s and 30s homes. The house is so cute has painted brick – it’s a creamy white – gorgeous. Every time I saw it, it made me want to paint my home.

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A neighbor down the street painted her ranch a sage green a couple of years ago, and another neighbor painted her house a charcoal gray last year. Their houses looked so good, it really inspired us to get our act together and get our house painted.

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We decided to pull the trigger and get our house painted. We were wayyyyy overdue. We hadn’t had the trim painted since we moved in 12 years ago. It was looking kinda shabby.



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So two weeks ago, we went ahead and called our painter and told him to paint the brick and trim. I love how it looks so much. But you know, there is kind of a domino effect when you make improvements to your home. The old stuff just doesn’t look good anymore. Now I need new lanterns for the front, a new knocker, knob and deadbolt, numbers, etc. New landscaping (argh!). The list just keeps getting longer. I have a little stash of decorating money, so I think I can swing the lanterns and a few other things. We’ll see!

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Hydrangeas and Snowpocalypse 2014

We bought our house twelve years ago from an elderly lady who was a big gardener. It’s got a big back yard that totally sold us on the house, even though the house itself needed lots of work. Like it hadn’t been painted in about 20 years and needed a new roof right away. That didn’t scare us though.

I love that our yard is filled with blooms most of the year. Fortunately, most of them are bushes and trees. I’ve found I’m not so good at keeping up with annuals or perennials. Our yard used to have a bunch of irises, gladiolas and daylilies, but I had to take them out, because the weeds around them got too hard to manage.

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Blooms start in the winter with camellias – I’ve got a few really tall dark pink ones in the back and a couple of smaller lighter pink ones in the front. After the camellias bloom, the quince and forsythia bloom. Then we get the azaleas in the spring – you get the idea! I have a huge gardenia that is usually covered in blooms in the summer, but it was kind of sad this year – only a handful of blooms. It got hit pretty hard from the ice storm last year – it dropped all of its leaves last year and I thought it was dead.

The big ice storm last February was called Snopocalypse down here. In the south, it doesn’t snow all that often – usually about every 10 years, so we don’t have any equipment to clear the roads. Northerners laugh at us, how we can’t handle two inches of snow. What really happens here, though, is that it will snow, melt, then freeze overnight. When you wake up, the roads are covered with sheets of ice two inches thick. You can’t go anywhere!

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When it started snowing, I was on jury duty for an aggravated assault case. I think it should’ve been attempted murder – it was awful to listen to the testimony of the victim. She was a sweet lady who sold candy to the kids in her neighborhood. Thankfully the guy was found guilty. The judge told us afterwards that the guy had all sorts of cases against him. Anyway, it started snowing mid-day, so when we came back from lunch, we were dismissed. At the same time as the rest of the 4 million people in the metro area. Normally a trip from the courthouse to get my oldest from school and get home would take about 30 minutes or so. It took three hours. When I left the courthouse, my phone gps was telling me to get on the highway, so I called my husband. Thankfully, I was able to get ahold of him -everyone was trying to call at the same time, so calls were dropping and it was difficult to make a connection. He said don’t get on the highway! Thank God I listened to him – people were stranded on the highways all night!  It took my youngest son’s teacher 16 hours to get home that day!

We did end up having a big ice storm – and it got super cold. Normally, I can get through the winter without wearing a wool coat down here. It was so cold, I had to wear a ski jacket that my cousin gave me. The boys had fun in the snow, but I’m not a big fan, so I was happy when it melted.

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We were not prepared for the ice, so the plants got hit pretty hard. The hydrangeas also dropped their leaves right after the storm. I was afraid that they had all died. I’ve got a big bank of hydrangeas, so it would’ve been pretty awful to lose them. Thankfully they came back last summer, but didn’t bloom. I was really bummed because I am used to being able to cut hydrangeas all summer long.

green hydrangeas

This summer, the hydrangeas came back, but they are green! The petals are an apple green tinged with purple. It’s the weirdest thing – they are normally bright blue. I googled to see why this happened. There is no explanation other than sometimes it happens for a couple of years.  Maybe the frost traumatized them?