Monday, April 12, 2021

Garden Day


The past two days were sunny and mild, so the ground is thawed out enough to be workable.  This afternoon I'll be attempting to de-root some new crown vetch growth in the front-side bed that took me days to weed last fall.  If that doesn't wear me out I'll do a bit of rototilling in the back yard.  Phil put together one of the new galvanized steel raised beds I've bought to replace the breaking and rotting wooden ones.  The new beds are a foot deep as compared to the 6" of the previous ones: I may have to buy some new soil to fill them up as the existing soil has compacted a bit.  Tilling will fluff it up some, but not enough.  

The trees here are greening up nicely.  My forsythia have tiny buds ready to bloom, and the lilac has also started to produce some buds.  I'm looking forward to seeing that lilac bloom this year.  (I do wish we had a window or two on the east side of the house!) I pretty much missed it last year as I forgot I had it! 

Once the rest of the weeds have been cleared from that bed I'll be adding some tulip and crocs bulbs, sprinkling alyssum  and wildflower seed in an attempt to crowd out the weeds, and planting a few leeks, scallions and basil just to make things interesting. 

The mint bed, which is supposed to have several varieties of herb, is a mess.  I've been contemplating moving the blue hydrangea from a shady corner of the yard into the center area.  It will get more sun and be more visible there.  It certainly isn't too happy where it's currently planted! 

A New Fence


We've been having a landscapey week.

   After several years of dithering, we've gotten around to having a fence put up along the back property line.  Someone has been yanking out the little ornamental fence we'd installed and cutting through the yard, so it was time to get something more robust.

   I chose a shadow box style as it will still let light and the breeze through but provide a good deal of privacy.  I asked for a full-slat spacing; once about half the boards were up I realized that was far too wide.

   The next day the guys had to remove all the slats and respace them before they finished the rest of the fence. 

  One of our contractors (M) was a landscaper for years and suggested we level the soil in the yard rather than vary the fence slat length. That would, of course, be the more long-term solution to the problem of our crooked yard, but I thought it would be too time-consuming and expensive.  

   I ordered two tons of soil.  (For reference, one ton is about 20 cubic feet; the new garden beds  -that silver thing in the image above- are 18cf each.)  On Thursday, The Hubby did a lot of wheelbarrowing and dumped about a ton of the pile along the fence line and raked it out a bit, then used most of the rest to fill one of my new garden beds after I rototilled the existing soil.  On Friday, M spread the fence line smooth and graded it nicely while J built the gate, then the two of them installed the gate.  I think it looks quite nice, but as you can see by the space between the ground and the fence, I'm going to need to order another couple tons of soil! 

I've been wanting to level out the area between the garage and the higher portion of the yard since we moved here. I guess it is now That Time. It means learning how to install a French Drain, and of course,YouTube makes that look really simple.  I do not believe it. 


   I'm pondering whether to make a sort of rustic corduroy pathway from railroad ties or 4x4s to run over the drain from the gate to the back porch, or whether to use large stepping stones with a gravel fill and densely planted Roman Chamomile. 

   Today, we're getting a nice soaking rain that should help to settle and sprout the grass seed

Saturday, January 23, 2021

First sign of Spring?


I was sitting at my dining room table reading when suddenly I heard a "chip!  Chip!!" outside the window. 

"That sounds like a robin", I thought, so I got up to look.

Sure enough, there was a robin in the flower bed.  He currently seems to be having a territory war with a mockingbird. I feel like doing a Sybil Ludington and racing around the neighborhood yelling "the redbreasts are coming, the redbreasts are coming", but Covid precautions make that a little irresponsible.  Instead, I shall sit here enjoying the continuing "chip"s of the harbinger in my garden. 

Sunday, December 6, 2020

 When did I post last?

I can't remember. I guess I'll have to look it up.

What's been going on since then?  Mostly Covid  😓 and Covid-related sewing, like masks, although I've not gotten too far along with those.  I have fabric for about 1000, but motivation to just pet the fabric.  (I have some REALLY good fabric!)

I haven't seen my kids since last Thanksgiving, haven't seen my smocking pals since June, except for one lunch meeting with my chapter VP last month; masked and distanced. 

I lost my best buddy, Kali, 2 weeks ago to Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma.  She was diagnosed in early September, and gone in November.  I miss her.  

The Christmas dresses I started for my +2 nieces are still in bits up in the sewing room.  I have a week to finish them for this year!  There's pleeeenty of time, right?  I'm also still working on a silk reticule, a lace baby bonnet, a christening gown that was for a baby born 18 month ago who got cheated out of his baptism by The Plague but is now expecting a sibling, so there are now TWO garments to make.  The older one will get a button-on suit rather than a gown, as he's likely to be 2 years old by the time they can schedule a ceremony.  I'm guessing it will be a double-do, so the baby will get a gown.  I'm really hoping we don't have to wait til these kids are 7 and 5 to get them baptized!

If I have readers, I hope you are well and chugging along during the restrictions without a lot of problems.  



Friday, September 4, 2020

Oh, hai

 It's been about a million days since I last posted. 

In that time I have :

   pulled out the weeds from the area formerly known as the raised beds

   done same with 3/4 of the planting bed on the west side of the house.  The remaining bit isgoing to be a while longer, as it is infested with poison ivy. Once the Roundup takes care of that bit ofgrowth, I can get rid of the rest of whatever is out there. (I think it's goldenrod).  I've been making a list of bulbs and perennials I want to put in to take the place of the poison ivy and crown vetch that tend to overwhelm the area. 

I've collected about 7 yards of various fabrics intended to become masks, but haven't gotten far with making them.  I did complete 12 earlier on in the pandemic, but they're lined with flannel as per the request of local law enforcement and I find them quite uncomfortable.  There is some nice white cotton muslin in the sewing room ready to be made in to linings now. 

  I just need to make it up to the sewing room and actually,  The room is still a certifiable hoarder zone, which makes it unappealing.  I've done some work, organizing magazines and weeding out duplicates and projects that I'm never going to actually get around to making.  That's been a bit of a help.  

  I'm finding it hard to cope with the fact that it's September, when it seems like this self-quarantine/isolation/social distancing has been going on for decades.  

Yep. That's pretty much the whole past few months.  Oh- I decided to let my hair grow out to its natual color of gray.  I applied a pale blonde that included a color-stripper to make the regrowth line a bit less drastic, and so far I'm okay with the change.  At some point I'll go in to a salon and have them do a better job of stripping the rest of the color and applying a silver toner but I'm not in a rush since the only people who see me are my husband (who likes it the way it is), my trainer, and the occasional waitress or cashier.  

here's hoping for a lovely Labor Day weekend for all, with no riots and no Corona spikes. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

warning: first world problem alert

I have acrylic nails. I don't have them because they look pretty, although that is definitely not an unwelcome side benefit: I have them because my natural nails are thin, delaminate, and rip to down below the quick, which hurts and can make things like sewing, doing dishes, and even getting dressed difficult. I had to postpone my most recent appointment because of schedule conflicts, and was about to head in when the salons were told to close.
It's now been almost 2 months since I last had them done. They're far too long to be sensible. I filed them down, but they're still too long, and I can't get them into a useful shape. They slide off the keyboard when I try to type! They're starting to lift away from the natural nail ( 6 weeks is an amazing amount of time for one fill to last, so I'm not. complaining about that! My tech is good!) and that allows water to get in there, which encourages fungus, aka "the greenies", and my long hair gets stuck between the layers.

Seriously, COVID. Fuck off so I can go get my nails done.

Also- I am running out of Southern Comfort and the online ordering slots disappear as fast as toilet paper.

I purchased a waffle iron on my last trip to Target for cat litter and other necessities (the waffle iron was not a necessity) and it doesn't make waffles. It makes dimpled pancakes. Target is not accepting returns or exchanges right now because of The Plague COVID.

As I said, it's all first world problems, because we're healthy(ish) and have enough to eat and enough toilet paper; the hubby has worked at home for the past nine years, so we've gotten (mostly) past that point of another person around the house being annoyingly different.

I will still be very glad when I can get my nails done again. [ I may wind up soaking off the current acrylic and making do with dip nails for the duration. I can do that myself assuming my base coat hasn't solidified. It won't look great, and it wont last long per application, but at least I'll be able to use my hands. ]

On the good news front, the power company is replacing telephone poles in our neighborhood. My hubby went to talk to a crew boss and they've arranged to not only replace the pole, but to MOVE IT two feet into our property line so it no longer blocks our egress from the garage in one direction or sits inside the roadway. I guess the previous owners wouldn't grant an easement; I think there may have been a hedge there. (previous building was razed and our house built new, so a totally different lot arrangement.

Whew. I feel better.

Monday, March 30, 2020

COVID-19 Social Distancing, Day....something bigger than 8

Well, my friends, how are you managing the daily grind of self isolation?  Are you filling the days with sewing and baking fresh bread, or are you staring at your stash and wondering when the fabric stores are going to open again? 

I have baked some bread, once I was finally able to find some flour in the store.  Alas, my stash is untouched, although I do have plans to make some masks, both for my husband and me, for my daughter-in-law, and for some local clinics that have requested them.  My DiL manages a meal program for kids in need and so has to be among People for some portion of each week as they pack up the week's meals.  This used to be just for weekends, to fill in for the days kids didn't get meals at school, but with the school closings, they are now providing breakfast and lunch foods for 7 days.   My plan is to make enough masks for every volunteer to have one while packing, which can then be laundered and ready for the next packing day. 

The husband has a remote-work job, and has had for a few years now, so working from home is pretty much his normal.  The main change for me is that I can't go out and cruise the fabric stores or The Container Store, so I'm a bit more stir-crazy than he is.  Oh; we've also furloughed our cleaning ladies (with pay) so I'm having to fight my fibro symptoms to keep up with the dust bunnies. 
   I wonder where the vacuum cleaner is?
He and I have also been binge-watching some older TV series.  We finished Midsomer Murders up to the current releases and switched to New Tricks last week.  Finished that last night.  I might need to convince him to re-watch the Miss Fisher Murders with me again.