gifts that keep on giving

12 08 2009

calibamSo for the last number of years my birthday gifts keep getting more and more creative.  I’ve reached that point in my life where I don’t really need things.  After all, I buy a pair of shoes every couple of years and make a trip to Marshall’s or TJMaxx before any important events when I need a look a bit more chic than my five year old jeans and the t-shirts that I’ve been “recycling” for that many years.  I’m not a girlie girl – no perfume or mani-pedi gift certificates for me.

I’ve got tchotchkes galore from all over the globe.  Some things are really nice and expensive and some barely more than trinkets.  I like them all – but there are rarely things that I see in shops that are must haves.  There is, however, a never ending list of things that the Money Pit is in desparate need of.

About four years ago this trend started with a great seagrass rug I had been dreaming about for under the dining room table.  Just something to put down to cover the 100 year old wood floors that we say we’re going to refinish year after year and never get around to.  I came home from work and found that the Dr. surprised me and there it was for my birthday.

Three years ago we were starting to have problems with a newest toilet in the house which had probably been installed in the 1950’s.  Couldn’t wait for the whole bathroom re-do (I’ll probably be in my 80’s when we can afford that!) but there are things we can do until such time.  What better way to say “I love you” than to get TWO of them – really great ones I might add – that are handicap height, elongated bowls, self-closing lids, 1.6 gallon flush that really work…the whole nine yards.  Not every girl gets to use her birthday gifts on a daily basis.

Last year, I got a new roof.  Oh, it is a fine roof.  They even let me pick out the color of the shingles.  The other one had been leaking and making a huge mess of plaster ceilings on the second floor.  No more buckets – no more drips.  Just lots of repair and painting for another year’s gift list.

This year…oh this year.  I really really really hit the jack pot.  We’ve been watching our backyard fence take on some major degrees of tilt over the last few winters.  Since we have to look at this fence everyday – a few gazillion times a day letting the beast out – it had to be something that we wanted to look at.  That is what happens when you work from home.  You really see things and realize how much you tolerate, love or hate them.

We’d gotten a few estimates on designs in cedar but I decided to go out on a limb and wow the Dr. with my incredible internet savvy research skills and show him something “green” – something sustainable – an investment piece if you will.

I had actually started with looking for alternatives that were considered neighbor friendly fences – the kind that look good from both sides.  Why should I spend the money to put up a fence and have to look at all the bracing when the neighbor’s rug rats enjoyed a great view from their new fort?  No way!  It was my birthday present and I deserve to enjoy it from my side too.

So a little heaven on earth – Cali in Michigan…my new bamboo fence.  Notice the mud pit…the landscapers are coming on Friday to start talking about how we can put some more zen into this space.  Did you know it was the Dr.’s bday in a couple of days?  Fence for me – mulch and pea gravel for him.

P.S.  I failed to link you to the genius fence makers from Outback Casual Living & Fence