Rainy Day Dreams

It’s been unusually rainy and dreary here in the “Valley of the Sun.”  In fact, we’ve been drenched with seven months worth of rain in the last 66 days.  Crazy!  So, what’s Dreamer to do when the weather is abysmal?

We do what we do best… Dream!

The Dreamers, along with some dreamy in-laws, trekked over to Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium – home of the Cardinals – and joined hundreds of fellow homeowners at the Phoenix Home and Garden Show.

Let’s be real here.  What ACTUALLY happened?  Actually, we willingly handed over cold, hard cash to subject ourselves to timeshare salesmen, satellite TV pitches, nagging posture assessment hagglers (posture assessment?  Really?  At a home show?), and took home a bag full of fliers that look oddly similar to junk mail we toss out on a daily basis.

But, we did have FUN.  Honestly.

We had a very simple reason for attending this event.  Our landscaping is a NIGHTMARE.  Need proof?  Alrighty then…

(BTW – Don’t let the gray day fool you – our front and back yards ARE this dreary.)

a midget-tree with not enough room to grow

awful brick pavers surrounding a half-planted area with a sad shrub

grass that looks like bad hair plugs (thanks, rain!)

eucalyptus trees that are in desperate need of a trim – or they will, apparently, fall on our Dream

random brick wall with railroad ties (?) apparently driven into the ground during a monsoon. (what else can explain that choice?)

Remember how pretty our front walk looked before our Open Dream Party?

this is what it looks like now… those mums didn’t last a week

Think that’s bad?… that’s just what our neighbors have to look at every day.  The Dream residents (including our Bulldog-babies) also have to deal with the BACK yard…

no plugs here... this grass is downright balding!

more random railroad ties (seriously?!)

random collection of small trees and an overgrown aloe plant (thanks, rain!)

dirt patches (which are now mud – say it with me, “Thanks, rain!”)

a glimmer of hope (rosemary plant) next to a shadow of despair (wall in desperate need of paint - can't exactly blame that on the rain)

See?  We need help.

even Miss Paris doesn't stay out a minute longer than she needs to

So… we braved the solar panel pushy sales team and clean water system pitches to scope out some ideas on what we could do with our little spot of land (which is actually not so “little” – we’re on a fifth of an acre on a corner lot!  Sweet!).  We were not disappointed…

we checked out desert landscaping… (easier to maintain than hair-plug-style-grass)

we even tested out Astroturf… (a step up from hair plugs… more like a toupee!)

we priced some plants. this pretty lady goes for $300. yikes!

we signed up for about 487 giveaways… including this one.

we admired a nice alternative to the brick wall/railroad tie monstrosity we inherited

we drooled over pretty iron doors that our HOA would surely frown upon

we considered the pros/cons of a raised flower bed

we found a perfect solution to our sorry little front walkway

We scored discounts and coupons for several area nurseries.  We also made appointments for free estimates with several landscape professionals.  We’re excited to see what they’ll suggest about making our nightmare nicer for our Dream.

So, there it is – our next project: DIY landscaping!  Anybody willing to buckle up their overalls and come on over?!  Anybody?  Anybody… ?

About Michelle Fortin

Michelle Fortin is a follower of Jesus, a wife and a mom. She's also an award winning broadcast journalist and public relations professional. Michelle spent nearly a decade working in television newsrooms across the country, both behind and in front of the camera. Training future broadcast journalists in her faculty associate roles at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and at Arizona Christian University was a cherished focus of her post-TV career. Today, she maintains a roster of public relations clients focused on empowering fellow “momprenuers.” She also serves as a speaker for various women's and mom's events. Michelle received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University and Master of Mass Communication (MMC) from Arizona State University. She and her husband, two young kids and English bulldog call Scottsdale, Arizona, home.
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