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So Our Mail Lady Thinks We’re Cool

Guess what I did yesterday.

It’s something I despise but, much to my shock and dismay, is pretty much a must-do for homeowners.

That’s right – yard work.


We actually have quite a bit we “should” do in both the front and back yards to make this place more presentable for resale, but when I start to think about the stagnant pond we need to take out, the grass we need to plant, the holes we need to fill in, and the termite-infested garden bed we need to demolish, I find myself fighting the intense urge to crawl back under the covers and not emerge until September.

And, considering I love summer, that simply won’t do.


Baby steps.

Just like everything else.

Last weekend, Justin removed this random trellis sticking out into our back yard off the side of the house which the previous owners had stuck there to support the equally random rose bush vine thingy that’s full of thorns that will claw at you every time you enter the back yard through the fence gate or back garage door, which lie on either side of the trellis.  Oh, yeah – he took the rose bush out, too.

I didn’t cry.

Here’s a photo I snapped of the trellis on Closing Day*.  The owners must have installed it just before we moved in, because it took virtually no time for the thing to start warping and the paint to peel and virtually start looking like a big ol’ catastrophe:

The “bed” for the bush had been loosely lined with some leftover bricks they’d used for the back patio, so yesterday I dug those out and decided to beautify our mailbox.

I forgot to take a “before” photo, but the mailbox was basically a naked post surrounded by spiny weeds and gravely dirt and over all just looked unkempt.  We recently replaced the “box” part of the mailbox for around $11 because the old one was falling apart, but I wanted to use those leftover bricks and some cheap-o flowers we bought on our recent trip to Big Bloomers to finish the whole thing off.

Because – you know – making stuff look pretty is what we do in the ‘burbs.

Forgive the crazy lighting in these photos.  The sun this morning is already pretty intense.

Turns out this, like so many other projects I start, was a bit more difficult than I’d originally bargained.

For starters, the ground at the base of the mailbox was not level.  Not by a long shot.  So if I’d simply laid the bricks around it, there would’ve been several holes and it would have looked like a 2-year-old decided to stack some blocks around my mailbox and never put them away.

So, after hauling bricks from the back yard to the front, I dug.  I used a tiny little garden trowel and dug through rocky soil, roots, grubs, and spider carcases (I kid you not) to have a relatively flat surface on which to build my little brick wall.  I’d sufficiently basted my skin with a fine layer of sweat and a flour coating of dirt and grime by the time I finished what I thought would be a five-minute project.

Of course, it wasn’t until after I finished the project and wasn’t completely satisfied with the overall stability/levelness that my neighbor told me I should have used a rubber mallet to completely level the bottom layer.

Oh well – I’ll fix it when this one falls apart.

Overall, I’m still fairly happy with how it turned out:

It’s definitely not perfect, but neither are the bricks.  And for that matter, neither am I.

And any time my inner perfectionist is annoyed at the slight misalignment and unequal brick sizes, I’ll remind myself of one, indisputable fact that makes everything seem okay:

It’s just a mailbox.

*I just this minute realized that tomorrow (4/20, baby) is our 4 YEAR Anniversary of owning this house.  Holy crap, where does the time go?  I guess that trellis didn’t deteriorate as quickly as I’d thought…


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Ahhh nice work, you are getting so…so…so…domestic – gasp!


Eek! It fights me, but I try. ;)


Been a long time reader (since before your awesome Costa Rica adventure)… I really look forward to your daily posts :-). We just purchased our house before new years and I totally understand how long everything takes! Just wanted to say that your mailbox looks great! If you feel like some more gardening projects… Feel free to head up to Jersey :-) we just had a new septic system installed (and a well and electric but that’s another story) so our entire backyard is just bare dirt! Must. Plant. Grass.
Sorry for the book… Excellent blog! Thanks so much for posting each day… As soon as I see a new entry on my reader I know it will give me something to smile about :-)


Rachel, this post just seriously made my entire day. THANK YOU for commenting!

Unfortunately for you, I most definitely do not need any more gardening projects. But if I ever make it up to Jersey (let’s hope so), I’ll let you know. ;)

Sounds like you’ve been busy with some major renovations! I’m sure you’re looking forward to the day when you can just do a little mailbox project, rather than dealing with big ticket items like water, and electric and plumbing. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with any of that! (knock on wood)

Thanks for reading and making it worthwhile for me to post. I know they’re not all “winners,” but I’m glad I can make a bit of a difference in your day. :)


Your mailbox looks great! I love how the little spruce ups can make such a difference. Thanks for sharing.


No kidding! I always thought I had to spend a ton of money and do a huge project to see any real progress, but it turns out these little projects (like the mailbox and the hall closet) are more satisfying than I thought. Who knew?!


Very nice :) I like it! You are way better at this stuff than I could ever be!


I’m sure, given some bricks and a mailbox, that you could manage this one. ;)

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