Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Spring Is Coming!

It's been a relatively mild winter with little snow, some cold days and no frozen pipes!  Daffodil shoots have already poked up as well as at least one crocus's blades that I saw.

I'm anxiously anticipating this spring and remembering the massive amount of changes I made last year, mostly involving moving things.  I'm remembering that I moved the big Stella d'Oro daylily and the peach one from the back garden to beside the front walkway, giving that area some definition since the Livin' Easy rose died.  I also cut the catmint way back in that area since it had taken over.

Near the driveway I moved most of the beautiful purple and white irises and transplanted two veronica from the back, where they were not doing well amidst the ivy groundcover.  I also bought an agastache and transplanted a large sedum from back to join the one I planted when I made this garden.  I moved the hosta to the shade garden because it would get crispy.  If I had any phlox left I got rid of that and maybe the daisies as well?  Oops, can't remember.  I transplanted a couple (?) daylilies from my mom's old garden to the strip between my neighbor and me. I also took some iris from my mom and put it in the Heritage Garden and in front of the small Blue Billow hydrangea.  I'm not sure if this is the year that the knockout rose died but it is most sincerely dead now.  I transplanted a piece of the big hydrangea in front to the smaller one on the side.  I think I transplanted the daisies in front where the rose was.
The pretty iris.

I bought a white catmint to put near the Blue Billow hydrangea in the front yard.

In the stone wall garden I moved the large hosta to under the Japanese maple and bought a caryopteris.  I also bough a Japanese maple, ironweed and a Purple Dome aster to go here.  I can't remember if I removed any foxglove.

I moved two boxwood from the back to the porch garden. And moved the helleborus from between the arborvitae to the other side of the sidewalk.

In other categories, I finally put stone dust in between the cracks in the walkway.  Now hopefully I won't have to weed there.  During my manic, sleepless, prednisone-fueled spell I actually finally made a stone staircase into the alley garden out back.  Hopefully it hasn't moved much.

I think that's all but I'll find out soon!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Christmas Preparations

First off, I hate Instagram!  My phone is too small and it's difficult to post.  Why in the world can we do that online?  Sheesh.

My stollen is in the oven.  I used the Martha Stewart recipe where you braid it instead of the wreath I made two years ago.  I think it's the same ingredients.  Labor intensive but delicious.  I started at 9 this morning and it's 1:49 p.m. now.  I'm watching this woman called Delia from England.  I guess she's their Martha. I like this Christmas special.

My pictures are all hung in the dining room.  It was torture as I knew it would be torturous to hang the rose pictures.  But the other ones I just eyeballed and are fine.

I wonder when I'll get around to finishing the closet.
We've gotten so many cookie deliveries at work that I don't even feel like baking.  Can't decide what I want to make.  Maybe fudge and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I'm going to make Fluffy Cheesecake (two) for Christmas Day dinner.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Thanksgiving Countdown

OK, so I'm exhausted.  Per usual I've procrastinated and added way too much to my to-do list.

First I stepped on (idiot) the storm window insert for my old, ugly aluminium storm doors.  I cannot justify fixing it so I decided to order two new Pella storm doors.  I also lost all my keys (idiot) so I can't lock the house.  Now I have to buy storm doors that lock.

But first I have to paint the door frame . . . just when the weather starts turning cold (it snowed Sunday). It has to be 40 degrees.  Very tricky.  Plus the screws are impossible to remove so I have to wait for my brother-in-law to bring his special tool.

I never hung pictures in the dining room.  I finally got everything framed but am indecisive concerning placement.

Due to my impending retirement I am hoarding vacation days so I can't take time to clean and cook.  Oh well, I guess the most important thing is to make sure the food tastes good.

This is the lovely curtain fabric.  And no, of course, I haven't sewn them yet.  My mother's and sister's sewing machines are broken and I'm too cheap to buy one.  Guess who's wasting her time sewing by hand?

The design for this room is bright colors, with a sort of country modern/garden theme.  The paint color is Ben Moore's Mill Springs blue.  And I have cushions on order from CHINA.  (Love the way Trump says China.)  Must have caught a fast ship because they're in town, and originally the date was sometime in December.  So I got hot pink, orange and lime green.  Hopefully the colors will be OK.  Couldn't find turquoise anywhere so I'll keep looking.

This innocuous picture of my front door represents over three hours of my time trying to figure out how to put all the door hardware back on, after SIX YEARS.  Yes, I procrastinated that long.  I completely forgot how it went together.  This Old House has a diagram but putting the lock back on was tricky.  After I was done the door WOULDN'T CLOSE.  I started chanting "I hate my house!"  Couldn't figure it out.  I remembered my brother-in-law had a trick of putting something on the edge that rubbed off so he could tell where he needed to sand the door down.  This was after I took the door off its hinges in order to paint it, and when I reinstalled it, of course it didn't close.

So I kept fooling with it, removing the strikes.  Finally got it to work, better than it ever had. I was so proud and told my co-worker, who then said, too bad you lost the key to it.  Yes indeed. But at least my house doesn't look so freakish, with a hole where the doorknob should be.

There have been coincidences lately.  I was watching old Martha Stewart videos online (looking for gravy recipes) and her daughter was saying they didn't have doorknobs in their house during its renovation phase. I can relate.  I still have to put a lock on the bathroom door.

 As I'm looking at this right now I think I like the first one the best (it's upside down).  I texted a good friend who is so good at these kinds of things (well, she's good at almost everything to be truthful) but didn't hear from her.  It's the busy season at her work.

I wanted pictures of bright roses from the garden.  I think this (below) will work out. I would have preferred an odd number but the span is 74 inches and this would allow about 3.2 inches in between.

This is the space above the pass-through.

So right now I'm waiting for my timer to go off so I can put a second coat of paint on the doorframe. It's still 45 so I'm good.  It got into the 60's today.

I'll try to remember to take pictures of the food Thursday.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Leaf Peeping in Vermont and New Hampshire (originally posted October 2012)

My sister decided on the spur of the moment that she wanted to go to Vermont a couple Saturdays ago so we all piled into my car and went all the way up the Quechee Gorge.  It was a bit cloudy and chilly but what beautiful scenery!  It wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be.  There is a bridge which spans the gorge and here are shots from both sides.

We also went to Woodstock, which was pretty crowded.  Here are both sides of a covered bridge, of which Vermont has the most in New England.

On the way home I took a wrong turn and we ended up in New Hampshire, where I believe these shots were taken.

 It's been wonderful this fall to enjoy the season, rather than stress about painting the house.  I have one coat of yellow left on the last side, which should only take a few hours.  Right now I'm working on replacing the trim pieces that had rotted, which has been a nightmare.  Another nightmare is rehanging my front door, after taking it down for painting.  Logic would tell you that if it fit before, it'll fit after painting.  But nooooo.  Nothing is easy in an old house, it seems!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Another Bobcat in My Yard (originally posted December 2016)

Yes, once again, the beast showed up, the Monday before Christmas.  The first time was during the porch rebuild in 2015: I was so nervous I forgot to take pictures.  This time it was to unclog the sewer.  It took two days, in the bitter cold.
Working way down in the street.
I had an "elbow" replaced in 2008 and at that time was told more work needed to be done due to tree roots encroaching the Y connector in the street.  They quoted a cheaper price than eight and a half years ago.  They did not block off the street like they said they would in 2008, which would have added to the cost.  We have very little traffic on this short, narrow street; it is one-way coming from one end so that helps.  Mostly the traffic is from neighbors coming and going.  The job was done before my neighbors came home from work.

I had been stressing because the guy who came out initially told me several bushes would have to be moved.  I didn't know how they would survive the winter, plus I had just transplanted the dwarf blue spruce this fall and it didn't look so hot.  But fortunately only one small rosebush was in the way, and it's never been that great a performer anyway.

So now I can do my laundry with no fear of sewage backing up into the laundry sink, which was really quite disgusting.  I had put it off as long as I could.  It's no fun spending money on stuff you can't see, but peace of mind is a good thing.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Fine Gardening

I submitted pictures of my gardens to Fine Gardening magazine.  Here's the "Garden of the Day" feature!