June 20, 2009


...translation: Danny and I were on our way home from our, sad to say, regular Sonic creamslush and mozzarella sticks run when we drove by one of the newer $500,000 homes around the corner from our house. In the driveway, it there was this sofa (as you can see from the photos) with a sign that read: "FREE".

Off handedly, we giggled that we should call Tony and his friends to check out this treasure. We are Garzas after all, so a good deal is worth a stop-and-look-see and a FREE deal is even better! We get home to find Tony and Marisa playing on the computer and phone with a netflix movie in the DVD player and volume on full blast. Danny mentions to Tony the FREE sofa. With a mouth full of microwaved chicken nuggets, Tony bolts for the door.

"Wait a minute!", we holler after him. Danny gets in the car and they drive half a block to the home that is offering such a sweet deal. Within 2 minutes, I hear the garage door open. Tony bursts through the door asking where he can find the armor all.

As you can see, the sofa cleans up pretty well for a FREE sofa. Now...next question: how in tarnation is Tony going to get this oversized, shiny, slick, kicked to the curb, FREE, black, fake leather sofa out of the garage and into his room? Remember the hammack stand...

June 19, 2009

Under Construction

The City is repaving our street and upgrading the sidewalk corners. Once they are done I'm sure it will be beautiful. But for now, it's inconvenient, loud, dusty, and ugly.

View from our front porch

Close up

From the other direction

Looking at our house from the street

Yep, inconvenient, loud, dusty, and ugly...for now.

June 6, 2009

Pergola Party

Morning! It's been awhile since my last post. My camera is out of commission and that seems to put a damper on my posting. Marisa has been kind enough to lend me her camera, so now I have quite a "few" photo-story tales to tell. First, let me start by saying that I have been wanting a pergola for 10 years. Finally, on Mother's Day, Danny and Tony start the "Garza Pergola Building Project". The motivation was not that it was a present for me, the Mom, it was because Tony had a birthday coming up and he wanted a "party place". So, here goes...

In order to build the pergola, the boys had to rent a truck from Home Depot to deliver the wood. It was a drizzly day, but they had two factions to contend with: this was my Mother's Day present and Tony wanted a "party place". No stopping now that the ball was rolling or that the truck was here to deliver wood!

Next step was staining the wood, over 110 pieces of 10-16ft planks. They just started the long project as you can see from their smiling faces. Only two weeks until the party of the year.

Now as the planks are drying, it's time to set the ground. Holes are dug, cement is poured. What you don't see is the sprinkler system that had to be cut and rerouted in order for the post holes to be set. (To this day, the sprinkler has not been reconnected...that's another "Garza Rerouting and Reconnecting Sprinkler Project").

We are starting to see Tony's fun factor fade and true boredom set in. Here, he is pulling the leather cover off an old baseball for our 5-month-old pooch monster, KC.

This is the view from Marisa's window. Pretty cool, actually. She could step out her window onto the top of the pergola and...sorry I had a flashback to when I snuck out of my parent's house via second story window.

Ground view. This is a few days into the project. Progress is slowing down, but it soon picks up. Mother's Day has passed, but the party is approaching.

KC was under foot the entire time. She is part goat. You see, she eats the wood blocks that fall to the ground. Those puppy teeth are now a full set of bully dog teeth. Doesn't she look so carefree and playful? She is, but with a punch or a bite!

UGH! Tony decided he was going to build a chair from the spare parts. Son! I think Dad needs help with the structure, not accessories. Can you refocus, please...

Alrighty! Back on track. Each piece had to be carved per Garza design. All you Garza's know that Papi would be EXTREMELY proud of the "favorite one". The design turned out great. Neighbors were peeking over the fence giving praise. I was surprised at the size of this pergola. I'm kinda getting excited about this. It's a great Mother's Day present. And the party to come...Wow!

There's Marisa. Staying out of the way. She might be asked to help, heaven forbid!

I can't seem to get a good angle on this camera. So, I go to the corner of the yard by the grape vines. We have not worked the backyard this Spring because our pup has either eaten or dug up everything. For those that love perfection in the yard...ain't gonna find it here!

Another angle. See Tony on the top putting in the last of the planks? And, Marisa...in the chair, looking through her first High School yearbook. It's like a bible for teens.

Tony sure does move at his own pace. He was exhausted by this time. Only 3 more days until the party. Now is a good time to talk about the party. Tony was told he could invited only 15 friends and the boys could stay for the night. They would come over, hang out, go swimming, hang out, eat, play guitar hero, eat, hang out, then the girls would go home and the boys would stay. Casually one afternoon Tony mentions...hey, I got 28 people coming to the party. WHAT? Now, after a few words of inappropriate parental confusion and exclamations, we start figuring the COST of food. Not to mention our liability for 28 14-year-olds at our house!

Needless to say, the party was awesome. I was a bit surprised at the dress of the girls. But, it's a sign of the times.

With the radio blarring on the porch, under the now completed pergola, the kids cut loose and have a good time. I'm the photographer and "bartender" (a great way to supervise without supervising).

Thank goodness not all 28 showed up, even though they said they would and we bought food for 28 teens. Once all that showed up that was going to show up, they walked to the rec center for a swim. Danny drove over to meet them and pay admission. What a gang!

Two hours later, they returned, hungrier than ever! Turns out, food for 28 teens actually feeds 16 teens and 2 exhausted parents just fine.

There's Danny, the grill master. Another covert parental supervision task.

And they feed...music goes up a notch. Pergola is holding up nicely.

The girl in pink is Tony's girlfriend at the moment.

Tummies are full. Guitar Hero Wars start. It's so flippin' loud at this point. Danny and I clean up and I do my photo thing again. No one seems to notice. Where's the other half of the party?

Playing Guitar Hero in the basement. Looky there....Tony! In the middle of the girls. That's a McDowell frat boy for ya, huh Uncle Jase?

Back under the pergola, Tony is center of attention. Tony's vision of a Pergola Party comes to fruition. Happy Birthday, baby! Glad you had a good time...