I Was Smiling, Until . . .

By Kate Riley February 13, 2010

There was a break in the rain and the sun was shining today.  I went out into the garden and it had that smell.  You know the one.  Moist dirt after a fresh rain – waiting to be tilled and filled with spring seedlings.

I spotted this:

hydrangea bud

And this:


In February  !

And I smiled.

Then I looked down.


Huh ?

Has a large reptile hatched in my driveway ?

I was puzzled.  What could these be ?  Where could this have come from ?

Then I looked up to the second story gutters.

Uh Oh.

chip 1

Oh No.

chip 2

Oh Dear.

chip 3

Not good.

Paint chips on the ground all around the entire house.

Ah, the joys of home ownership.

Poor Mr. CG – away at a man-rugby-beer-poker-dude weekend with his buds until tomorrow.  He will not be pleased when he returns to see this.

I see in my crystal ball a weekend of silent cursing and climbing up a very tall ladder.

And it ain’t gonna be me.



  1. Hydrangea?? Mine are buried under mounds of snow…not sure if they’ll live to see Spring. I do not envy your husband…perhaps the combination of beer, rugby, and poker (winnings, I hope!) will have him in a decent mood. :)

  2. Ah yes, definitely one of the bitter pleasures of owning a home – there’s always something ready to mock us by falling apart right under our noses! Our house was owned by an elderly lady and then rented out for a year, so there is a tonne of maintenance to catch up with. I’m trying to take deep yoga-like breaths and not stress too much!

    But, at least we had a beautiful sunny day here in Northern CA. We got the grill out for the first time and congratulated ourselves on leaving London behind. ;)

  3. I’ve seen some blossoms forming this week, too, and it made me smile. I can’t wait for my dogwood to bloom.

    Poor Mr. CG. But, it’s gotta be done. I’m sure you’ll make it worth his while.

  4. What a horrible dose of back to reality for him! haha.
    Hope it gets fixed without a problem!

    We have roses blooming in our yard… or we did! We had a massive snowfall in Georgia yesterday and I am hoping it didn’t kill the flowers.

  5. Oh you lucky Nappa girl to have things budding in February! And so not lucky to have a soon to be p.o.’ed hubby. Yikes! This is definitely the un-fun part of home ownership. I’m dreading to see the damage all this snow has done to our roof come spring. There’s like 4 ft of it currently on my roof deck. And like you, I’m not shovelin’!

  6. You have things blooming…the joy of that would more than make up for the painting I see in your future. It totally looks like a man job to me…besides, he’ll be all rested up from his time with the boys! I’d just grab a glass of wine and a lawn chair and watch!

  7. Ahhh, spring…I can’t wait for the beautiful blooms but I can definitely put off the home repairs that come with the changing of seasons. Poor Mr. CG; I feel your pain but it totally looks like a job for a man.

  8. oh no! what if…if not cost prohibitive… you switched to copper gutters? Are you opposed to the green-ish blue color it turns? You’d never have a peeling problem again!

  9. Nature is all messed up. I was actually seeing iris’ in bloom in TN in Oct. That is unreal. Its fun owning a home…..I can relate.

  10. Gasp – oh no!!! What a mess. That really stinks! What a Valentine’s Day gift for your hubby to have to deal with!


  11. With home ownership, there is always something, isn’t there? Poor hubby. Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Love & blessings from NC!

  12. Oh, what a complete drag…but does make for a good post! I had something similar happen to the shutters on the second story windows on my last house. I had my dad come out to help…which means he “spotted” the ladder as I climbed up to repaint them. Lucky you to have a husband that climbs ladders! Janell

  13. Corinna – It’s funny you mention that because we have a mini copper roof over our kitchen window, so no, I’m not opposed to it. In fact, it would certainly enhance the facade of our home. Unfortunately, it’s cost prohibitive at this time – with the recession and all. Everything is tight these days. But yes, someday, it would be lover-ly to have copper gutters ! Oooh la la.

    Linda – you “crack” me up.

  14. Focus on the spring seedlings, Kate, hopefully the paint problem will go away. After all, the charm of many Italian buildings is own to the chipped paint. And yes, the oxidized copper is also the part of that same look.

  15. Okay well happy valentines to hubby! maybe you can make it up to him for all those hours he’ll be spending on the ladder!

  16. How exciting to see buds on your rose bush! If the snow ever melts here, we’ll be seeing some buds before too long. Painting those gutters does not look to be a fun job. I’m sure your hubby will be a good sport about it.

  17. I love seeing those first signs of plants coming to life ~ especially here in the northeast. Ah yes, house maintenance. I’m glad it looks like just paint. Christmas week we had a woodpecker that decided he wanted to peck vinyl siding instead of wood i.e. the front of my house. I now have to have the whole front of the house resided because we have no spare siding and it is old siding {been on our house for 19 years}.

  18. Maintaining a house/home is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge–it’s never done. It is a bummer when it creeps up on you like that. Enjoy the spring like weather. I think we’re in for a whole week of it. We are very fortunuate here in No.Cal.

  19. I am so jealous of your blooms and actual green things on your plants. We are still hopelessly covered in snow. But I am not jealous of those gutters…that should be a fun job. Good luck!

  20. Well, I was insanely jealous of those beautiful buds. Not so much of the paint chips! If you get discouraged, my friend, just remember that there is LOTS of white stuff on the ground here too, and it ain’t paint. :)

  21. Honey, you need to get colored aluminum gutters! That is what we had in Florida. Up here in Cincy they do painted gutters:(

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