The Boring Bits

I hope this will be the most boring entry in the Burlingame Barbie Dream House saga. It’s about a storm drain, so you might want to curl up right now with your binky and take a short nap. This drain does not have anything specifically to do with the building of our house except for the fact that it will go in our driveway when the carport is poured. Plus it was something that really needed to be done for our adjacent neighbors who have terrible problem with water gushing between their homes and creating a mucky, mushy mesh in their side yard and in front sidewalk area. They’ve been wanting to solve the problem for months, but it was necessary to have our plans solidified so we could figure out where it could originate and exactly what path it would take to the street. (Are you asleep yet?) So…I’ve documented this exciting progression in photos. You’ll want to print these for your refrigerator art, I’m sure.

The white house isย  Tracy & Carol, and the yellow house is Martha & Irl.

The drain is going through Tracy’s side yard so they had to dismantle part of his fence and dig a trench all the way to the street. Sorry dude!

The guy we hired to dig this monster is named John. He is an OX in a man’s body! This guy can WORK! And I’m pretty sure his body fat is about 3%.

Message me if you want his contact info. He can do lots of stuff!

Jim’s brother Dave was visiting from Pennsylvania so he put his two cents in about the project.

Glad I don’t have to do this!

To give you some perspective on the location, here is our lot with the Pink House in the background.

The work was slowed by some rain, but gradually enough progress was made to lay a 12″ pipe.

Are you snoring yet?

The drain will be surrounded by our drivewayย  and the company who is pouring the concrete will contour the area to empty into the drain. It should be a great solution to all the water that pours down from the top of the hill.

Getting there.

If you’re still awake, here is the last photo I took this morning. John will eventually finish laying the sod and fixing up Tracy’s yard.


The pipe reaches the road in front of Irl and Tracy’s house. A plan is in order to run the pipe under the road where it will empty toward the lake. That will happen eventually, but for now we can proceed with our build as soon as all the plans are approved.

Next step…THE WALL!

Prolly not gonna be this big.

Wake up! This entry is over. I’ll try to be more exciting in future posts.






We’re Going to Build a Wall…

And MEXICO is going to pay for it!

Unfortunately negotiations with Mexico fell through so Jim is going to have to foot the bill.ย  Seriously, we are building a retaining wall on our lot before construction on the house begins. There are lots of reasons for it, but the most important is that it will level our yard and make it easier to manage water. Plus it will be pretty! Here are two pics of what we’re aiming for, but on a bigger scale. I just found these on the interwebs.


Instead of actual bricks/stone, we’ll use cinder blocks for stability and later cover them with stone facings.


A little more like this but along two edges of the entire lot line.

An added bonus will be that the water problem for our neighbors to the right and rear of us will be lessened. (but not solved) To fix the water flow for my down hill friends we’ll have to figure out a drain that will also be constructed during the leveling of the lot. See, I told you some of this stuff would be boring. Anyhoo…we are so ready to get started and are still waiting on approval from our ARB and Pike Road planning. This is taking waaay longer than I expected but meanwhile we are enjoying life in the Pink House.

Some more than others. ๐Ÿ™‚


Feeling relaxed Miss Rowdy?

The Boring Parts

I did say some of this would be boring so here is the first installment. Our lot is small and weirdly-shaped in the back (more on that later). So we applied for a variance to build directly up to the property line. This will help in the construction of our carport and driveway. We had to get letters from all three of our contiguous neighbors stating that this plan does not infringe on the use of their properties. (Thanks Irl, Tracy & Mike!) And although this enables us to have enough room to access our carport, there was just one more major problem.

Those dang electric boxes that stick up from the ground!

We all have them in our back yards here at The Waters. They’re ugly, of course, but that was not the problem for us. Our box sat in the place where we plan to pour our driveway. If we couldn’t have it sunk in the ground then we could not fit two cars in the carport. The rules do not allow us to move it from its location but we did find out that Alabama Power could sink it in the ground.

You would not believe how much they charged us for this. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We paid a pretty penny for this service, but we felt that if we couldn’t sink this thing, that we would likely have room for only one car and that was a game-changer. So three dudes with shovels came and spent a few hours lowering the box and Voila!

Muuuuuuch better.

So now when the concrete guys do the driveway, they can just pour around the sunken box and we can drive right over it! My question is why don’t they always sink these boxes instead of making those ugly green monsters in everyone’s back yard. They DO get in the way. I’m happy we were able to accomplish this task.ย  Now the future steps in our project should be fun. The next thing we have to do before our actual construction begins is to build a retaining wall. More on that next time.ย  I know you are shivering with excitement! ๐Ÿ™‚

If You Build It…

OK, I don’t have a punchline for this, but you can fill in the blank. I have not created a blog post in a very long time. Since the KITTYBUNNYCHICKEN is mainly about my animal adventures, I’ve had little to say lately. My last kitten fostering gig was mostly wonderful, but there was some heartache during the experience too. That, plus the fact that we moved into a 900 square foot house with four fat cats makes fostering near impossible these days.


No room at the inn little dude!

But we’re about to start a project that will be fun to document and I am going to use my blog for that. No law says it HAS to be about Kitties, Bunnies or Chickens right? So here goes…

For two years now, we’ve been planning our new house and we think we may be within weeks of breaking ground. It has not been easy to get to this place. I think the process of trying to adopt a Martian baby would have been less complicated. When we built our yellow house in 2007 it was a fun, stress-free (mostly) experience for us. Many people who build a house together have lots of stories of disagreements and fights, but Jim and I were 90% on the same page with our thoughts. He drew the house and we got a designer to make blueprints from our ideas. Then we hired a builder to make it a reality. His name is GT and he and his partner Chris created our pretty yellow house that we have lived in for eleven years.

In fact our house was the last one completed by this team, since sadly, Chris died shortly afterwards. (They also built the Pink House that same year, although at the time it was not pink.) GT later partnered with another builder (and a childhood friend of his), Gary. They’re the builders who have been at the Waters the longest, and it was a no-brainer deciding who we wanted to build our new house.

Step one of our evil plan was to sell or rent the Yellow House, move into the Pink House and begin building the Green House. (I like color) ๐Ÿ™‚ The location is perfect since I can sit on my front porch now and watch the progress. Here is the lot we’ve chosen.

The lot is very small and weirdly shaped in the back which made designing the house a challenge. We just wanted to make a small (around 1400 sq. ft) cottage with a little back yard and simple, pretty landscaping. I think Jim did a great job (with a bit of help from me) I plan to document the whole process. Some of it will be boring, but you’re welcome to come along for the ride. I do hope all the big obstacles are behind us and we can begin the Barbie Dream Home very soon.

I always wanted one of those. ๐Ÿ™‚

…And Then There Were None

I took my kittens to the shelter yesterday. Soon they’ll get their surgeries and shots and go to the kitten room to find a forever home. This foster situation was new to me. I’d never had aย cat give birth in my house before and I was happy to have hard-working mama to take care of the babies. My only real job was to take care of Midnight.


You won’t believe what just happened to me!

I trapped her March 5th and ten days later she gave birth to five cute kittens. We named them Sheba, Blackjack, Misty, Shadow and Ashley.ย  After the babies were mostly weaned, Midnight and Shadow went to their forever home at the Butterfield farm and sanctuary. I kept the remaining four babies until they weighed enough to bring in. Miss Tayunia was there to welcome them and prepare them for the next step.


We meet again my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

I will share some final photos of my cute babies. I will miss them, but I know they will have a happy future with their new families. The workers and volunteers at the Montgomery Humane Shelter are my heroes. Think of them when you’re in the mood to make a charitable donation to a VERY worthy organization.


Ashley & Sheba take a sweet nap.


Some days you just need to take a nap with a monkey puppet.


Mommy, we have a situation!


My pal Andrew has a weakness for kittens and wine. Smart guy!

I highly recommend the experience of kitten fostering. I’ve been doing it for 8 years now and I can’t imagine stopping. For now we just have four fat couch potato cats at home and one more batch of pets that I’ve been keeping on the down-low for a while. Want to make a guess what they are?


Shhhhh…Don’t make a “peep”


The babies have almost made weight. They go to the shelter on Monday. I am still able to adopt them out from my house until then. Here are a few photos to entice you to take one of these little puff balls into your heart and home.


Misty & Ashley

It’s kind of funny how my two gray babies stick together most of the time. These two little girls have sweet, shy personalities. They love to play and they enjoy falling asleep next to the HU-mans.


Blackjack & Sheba

These two little hellions tear around the house like they’re on fire. Miss Sheba will be a long haired beauty. She’s super lovey-dovey and she’s the softest thing in our house. (Unless you count Rowdy’s tummy). Mr. Blackjack is our only boy and he feels firm and tough like he has muscles. He chases all the dust bunnies in my house (there are many) and he’s super-playful and crazy.


United Colors of “Kittyton”

They all love each other and will be sad to leave the first home they’ve ever known. The shelter does such a great job of finding forever homes for these babies, but I selfishly would love to adopt them out to a neighbor. Won’t you consider it? Burlingame-raised kittens come with a grade A+++ seal of approval. Guaranteed happiness or your money back!


Come by for a test drive while they still have that “new kitten smell”.