Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Master Bedroom Redesign

Here is our master bedroom (minus the current clutter and "furniture"):

While I love the yellow paint that the previous owner used throughout the house, I'm not really into a yellow bedroom.  Here's one of my ideas for our re-do:

Bedroom ideas
Bedroom ideas by Kristine on

What do you think?  What color would you paint the walls given this color scheme?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yardwork! Trucking along...

Moving into a home that's been unoccupied for a few years does have its disadvantages; namely yardwork!  Although our neighborhood is entirely desert landscaping, that doesn't mean that our yard full of desert shrubs and bare dirt fits in here.  The current "landscaping" is ugly to say the least and it's one of the things that we're most excited about improving!!

Our biggest challenge so far has been the creosote bushes that cover the entire yard.  A little background on the creosote:  They're very interesting bushes that are native to the Arizona desert.  They're very drought resistant and can live on little to no water for long periods of time. (That's probably why they're about the only plants that survived our home's empty years).  They also live for a very long time.  Creosotes average 100-200 years and there's one creosote in the Mojave Desert that has been carbon dated to 11,700 years old!!!  That means that there is a bush on this earth that has been growing here since before the birth of Jesus.  Amazing! Unfortunately, part of the reason that creosotes live so long is that their root systems compete with other plants for water (and usually win), so that makes them not the greatest garden plant.

Enough about the creosotes.  They're going to make it very hard for our planted trees and plants to survive, so they've gotta go!  Here's the yard before we started:

See?  Not very attractive. 

Now for the big question:  HOW do we get rid of them???  Joel and I are the DIY type and we don't like paying someone for work that we can do ourselves.  The first time we took one of these suckers out we tried the "trim and dig" method.  It took us two days and a LOT of hard work, but we took out our first creosote (and hopefully impressed the neighbor whose property it infringed on).  After deciding that "trim and dig" might not be the quickest technique, my wonderful mother suggested pulling them out with the truck.  Great idea...but would it work?   The answer:  YES!  After neighbors confirmed that chains and a truck will indeed pull out a creosote, we decided to give it a try.  Here we are in process:

Success!  My mom's idea worked and, I have to admit, we had a great time tearing our yard apart.  It was nice to finally use the truck for something tough.  If I wasn't a Toyota Tacoma girl before, I am now!  Here's the before and after:

...and the right side:

You might have noticed from the "after" pictures that today wasn't just about removing things.  We also made 2 new additions to our yard.  These are our new cascalote trees which we planted from 15 gal containers.  They're slow growing trees so we wanted to get them into the ground ASAP to allow time for them to catch up to the other trees we plan on adding.  

Our little baby trees might not look like much now, but in 5 years or so, they'll be these blooming beauties:

Now for our next challenge:  hauling them all away!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Buying our first home has been an amazing experience, but now that the initial thrill has worn off a bit, reality is starting to set in.  We love the extra space and privacy that comes with a big lot, but big yard = more landscaping!  After doing a little price comparison at local landscape companies and seeing how overpriced things can be ($200 for a ROCK??), we decided to try the whole landscaping thing on the cheap.  Our lot now is pretty much a blank slate.  There's not much out there but some creosote bushes and some poorly laid gravel from the previous owners.  In a way, it's nice...we can do whatever we want!  On the other hand, it means a lot more work (i.e. a lot more cost).  We've decided to do most of the work ourselves.

A few weeks ago, Joel was driving home the long way and stumbled across a huge abandoned rock pile out in the desert.  You see a rock pile, we rocks!  Today we headed back and loaded up the truck with a few of the biggest rocks we (meaning Joel) could lift.  I knew all those squats and deadlifts would pay off!

And this is where we're grateful for the truck....

The goods:

Still not sure where they're going, but we'll be making more trips back soon to pick up some more to match!  Next on the list:  Free fill dirt from craigslist.

Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 Tucson Reptile Show

I guess everybody has hobbies.  Joel and I have a somewhat unusual one - reptiles!  We love snakes, lizards, and tortoises!  This year we had the opportunity to attend the Tucson Reptile Show in Tucson, AZ and it was a blast!  We have been planning on buying an Argentine Black and White Tegu (our first lizard) for a long time, and we were hoping to find one at the show.  Alas, no tegus in sight...but we did come home with a few surprises!

Last February we picked up a 100% het pied female ball python from AZ Reptile Center with hopes that breeding her would produce this:

We've been on the lookout for a het pied male and we found one this weekend for only $40!!  We had to pick him up.  Here he is:

We haven't picked out a name yet.  Our female's name is Juno...any ideas?

As much as we love ball pythons, our best find this weekend was a little green snake who will now become the highlight of our collection:

A Barons Green Racer!!

This is by far the rarest snake we own.  They're not very popular yet in the pet trade for one reason:  they're venomous!  Despite having a mildly venomous saliva, the Barons aren't considered dangerous to people for 2 reasons:  1) The venom is only strong enough to cause mild swelling and numbness for approximately 48 hours and 2)  They're so nice they never bite!  There are only a few rare anecdotes of people being bitten by racers and they're all due to error on the part of the keepers.  This species of snake is not aggressive and they actually make great pets!  So far our little guy has been a total sweetheart.  He's very interested in what we're doing and loves climbing the vines in his tank.  Barons get around 6 feet long, so eventually we'll have to move him to a larger enclosure, but for now this will do!  His name is Stewie. :)

Here are a few more pictures from the expo.  If you ever get a chance to attend one of these shows, they're amazing. Even for people who aren't reptile lovers, there's so much to see and SO much to learn.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Home

Joel and I recently bought our first house, so here are the long-awaited pictures.  Keep in mind that these were all taken before we moved in.  More blog posts to come about our adventures in decorating!!

Our first blog!

We've finally stepped into the 21st century and decided to start our very own blog!  We thought this would be a great way for family and friends around the country to stay up to date on what's happening with the Crawfords in Arizona!  Technically it's not our first blog.  Joel has a website for his writing that you can see here.  This blog is all about us, our life together, our first home, and our love for desert living in Arizona.