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!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

High Gardening Season

We had a very wet, cool start, although not as cold as last year.  Cold enough, though, to kill most of the buds on the white azalea. And wet enough to cause root rot on the peonies.  This is disheartening when you wait all year to see them.

The iris from my mother's garden bloomed this year; the light purple doesn't flop and the maroonish one was my grandfather's. I bought an Autumn Moon Japanese maple. Funny how when you go to plant something, the place you had in mind just doesn't work.
The maple is the orangey chartreuse plant.
I got rid of the dwarf evergreen; it just never looked good after the transplant. I transplanted two boxwood out back in its place; not sure if they'll live.  Ugh.  At least it's not my pretty Green Mountain box.  And the blue lacecap bloomed for the first time in a long time.  I have a few blooms on the macrophyllas, for which I'm grateful.  Last year was pretty much zero.
I have to finish transplanting stuff that I left last year - the Stella D'Oro daylily being crowded out by the Fairy Rose and the peach daylily being crowded out by the Tiger Eyes sumac. I also bought a white catmint, which I probably shouldn't have because I just read that they self-seed prolifically.

That's my Dusty in the background!