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"I believe in god, only I call it Nature."
- Frank Lloyd Wright

October 2020

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Posts Tagged: 'garden'

Jul. 8th, 2020

Wordless Wednesday- the Daylilies are blooming.

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May. 25th, 2020

Photo Dump- The Gardening

So you're warned, there's a lot of photos in this post.

We finally got the new bed I'd been wanting to do next to the carport dug out and built this weekend. Managed to get the Clematis, and morning glory seeds planted, just in time for it to downpour and show us exactly how much more good soil we need to add to it.

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It entailed, digging an 8" deep, 1.5 ft wide trench. Laying in hardware cloth, and then backfilling again. Lots of earthworms, so that was nice to see. The daylilies, bee balm, and Black Eyed Susan, had the leaves and (most) of the weeds raked or pulled out. I have daylilies by the back porch that'll get transplanted over to here as well. The Haku Ookan Clematis is on the other end, with morning glories up the center, and a fence for them to grow up. I'll add fall bulbs and more black eyed susans as well as echinecea to this bed as well.

But wait! There's more! )

May. 21st, 2020

Day 4- Rain, Rain and more Rain.

This is ridiculous. Four days of straight rain is excessive, Gaea, knock it off.

Spring Lake Damn is threatening to fail. The Roanoke River is half a foot below major flood stage, the Dan River is at flood stage, and it's *still raining*. Roanoke is at 7+" of rain, we're at 4+" of rain. And that's just here in Virginia. It's worse up north.

Mind, we're fine. We're up on a ridge line, so water drains down and away from us. But it's just *so much* and it's making it hard for my garden to really get going. Well, other than lettuce, spinach, carrots, sugar snap peas and radishes. *They* are doing fine, thriving in fact.

Everything else is getting waterlogged. Which is why I'm glad we do raised beds. Although, I've now planted zucchini *twice* and had days of chilly temps and rain immediately after, which meant the initial hills never germinated and the new ones likely won't either, which means I'll either have to give up and start them inside or try a third time.

Bush beans didn't do so hot this year either. The Royal Burgundy came up beautifully, but the Blue Lakes have significant gaps. So those will be replanted this weekend, hopefully. It's supposed to be nice. Supposed to be, mind.

Finally seeing roots starting on the Mammoth Jalapeno that voles had eaten the root ball off of. Already replanted the Rutgers tomato, in a oversized pot, as it had significant roots (it snapped enroute home), and starting to see roots on the Super100 cherry tomato that broke too.I'll likely put both in pots as well. No more hardware cloth cages to plant them in in the ground. This fall, we'll pull back all the dirt, down about 6" and finally finish putting in a hardware cloth barrier. Then next season, hopefully we won't have to use cages anymore.

I'd add photos, but well, rain. And windy. And chilly.

In other news, major churches are insisting on ignoring governor orders about not fully opening and claiming that staying closed is unconstitutional to be forced to *care about the health of your congregation*. I mean, really?!? Are you that stupid? Don't answer that.

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May. 15th, 2020

So it begins...

Virginia has entered phase one of reopening.

As for us, we're still going to be minimizing our exposure as much as we can. Which means, groceries and class and not much else.

Martial arts and C.O.B.R.A. classes start back, in person on Monday, outside only, limited to 10 people, 10 feet apart. We have to sign up the Friday before, for the next week's classes, to be able to do them. We can't simply show up. We can still do the Zoom classes too.

And we get to start working with the Bo staff.

Because it's mainly hands off and you practically *need* that 10 ft spacing. Heh.

It's up to us as to whether we want to wear a mask for the outside classes- for us that will be a yes, emphatically, because better safe than sorry.

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The lettuce and spinach are finally taking off, so we harvested a sinkful last night. It was tasty on tuna fish sandwiches, and I had more than enough for a big lunch salad for Mark, and will have one myself in a bit.

The rest of the garden is settling in. A couple tomatoes have too much frost damage, despite being covered, one at least I know isn't going to make it. Still watching the other. Can't remember which hill was what for the cucumbers, zucchini and butternut squash, but 2 hills have done nothing. I suspect its the zucchini, so need to find either seeds or seedlings if we can. Otherwise, I'll plant more cucumbers. Leviathan will eat those as well as zucchini.

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The irises are going nuts with blooms this year. Ones that haven't bloomed since we moved here, are now blooming. Of course, I fed them this year too. Can't wait to see what the others turn out to be. So far, all along the porch has been shades of purples. Which plays nicely with the fuschia azaleas and the orange azalea.



Today is my dad's birthday. He's 82.


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Apr. 27th, 2020

Updates...

Dad is home. They diagnosed him with ischemic colitis. So, kept him a week to see if he improved and sent him home when he did. Now we play the waiting game to make sure he didn't catch the novel coronavirus while in the hospital.

I got to talk to him on Sat. He said it was good to hear my voice. I don't get to talk to him often these days, it's hard to understand him because he tends to mumble or slur his words, or he's napping.

He mentioned his antique guns again, and wanting me to have them. We have this conversation nearly every time we do talk. I finally told him to have mom tape notes to the ones he wanted me to have, saying they were going to me.

Went over and cut my brother's lawn on Sat as well. Helped him get his small garden started. Hopefully he listened and got his seeds in before it rained that afternoon. He was going to plant sugar snap peas, green beans and zucchini. He's got a good spot for it, full sun through to early aftenoon, then light shade through to full shade in the evening. Hopefully it does well for him.

Our garden is really starting to get going. the peas are up, the lettuce and spinach are doing well now that we've fenced them to keep the squirrels and chipmunks from digging in the soft soil. The potatoes are sending up new sprouts, so hopefully we'll get quite a few pounds this fall. The radishes planted over the top are going crazy too. The carrots have just started sprouting. Never grew carrots before, so this will be interesting.

Was out there, in the rain, well the start of it , on Sat, putting in zuchinni, cucumbers, butternut squash, tomatillo seeds (purple!), and beans. Dan would not stop talking after I took over another bag of garden soil for him to use, as we told him he definitely did not have enough, and confirmed it after he put what he had in his bed and sent us photos, especially after I told him , rain is coming in, get your seeds in, I gotta go get mine in, several times, as the wind picked up and you could smell the rain coming.

Sunday we put in the tomatoes and peppers. So far, wildlife is leaving most stuff alone now. We put cages over the tomatillo row and the cucurbit seed mounds, to help protect them. Also put out a lot of pollinator plants in the center bed. These will stay permanently- Liatris, Phlox, Coppertips, all were sprouted and growing well in the soil medium I started them in. The 2 Echinecea that came with them, not so much. But I put them out anyway, maybe if they're in the ground, they'll wake up. If not, I do have seeds in cold storage I can start and transplant.

Te swamp milkweed finally started coming back up, as has some of the Anise Hyssop. Need to collect seeds from that this year and scatter it through the wooded area some. Bees and butterflies adore it and it usually grows well here. It'll look good against the biennial black eyed susans that grow in the wooded area too.

I have noticed, toilet paper is starting to get easier to find, as well as paper towel. I suspect, fresh produce and fresh meat will now become scarce, as people start overstocking their freezers on that, with all the doom and gloom news about meat packing shutting down and farmers dumping crops. Much of whats being destroyed was never meant for the grocery store systems, but people don't care. Good thing we already have plenty in the freezer.

Trying to wake up my King Arthur Flour sourdough starter. I suspect it's been in the freezer too long. Haven't given up on it yet, but it's really sluggish to get going. Also trying to start a wild yeast starter as well. That'll be a first for us, so hopefully it works. Its been a long time since I've bake with sourdough (5 years), so will be nice to get back to it.

Apparently *indoor gun ranges* have been deemed essential services by a Lynchburg judge. How exactly going to shooting at targets, indoors, practically shoulder to shoulder (certainly well below the 6ft spacing) is an essential need, is beyond me. So fucking stupid.

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Apr. 6th, 2020

So what did you do while on lockdown...

Well, we basically relandscaped the front yard, on Saturday. LOL

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Before. We've been wanting to get rid of the ornamental bamboo because it's a non native invasive.


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Halfway done.


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Of course we dug out bricks.


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After. We planted the Dwarf Alberta Spruce that had been in large pots on the porch instead. They won't grow big enough to damage the foundation, or wide enough to block any views and they grow so slowly, that'll it'll be a long time before they're taller than the porch railing. It looks so much better now. The leaves got mulches up and put on the newer garden bed, the watering trough for potatoes with soil added too, as well as a bunch in the compost bin- it needed some 'greens'.



Then, on Sunday...

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We took a few hours to completely empty the beds, added fresh compost and garden soil and got them ready for planting next weekend. This year, we'll work on bringing them up another row of blocks, then topping them. Over the winter, we'll add more compost and soil.

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The center bed will stay one block high, with the landscaping blocks on top and gradually brought up to level, soil wise.


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Our Red Bud, Archie, bloomed this year! We're so proud of it!


Friday's numbers in Virginia-

19005 tested
2012 positive
312 hospitalized
46 dead

TODAY'S numbers here in Virginia-

24321 tested
2878 positives
497 hospitalized
54 dead

There are now 5 cases in Bedford County.


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Sep. 16th, 2019

And that was our weekend...

This weekend, I painted the bathroom. Well, two coats of the main wall color at any rate.

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Before


Valspar Signature Semi-gloss in Nordic Blue. Leftover almost full gallon from when we used it as the trim color in the bedroom at the townhouse.

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After


Finally settled on trim color too, well two actually. One will be for the doors, the other for the window and door trim. The door color matches the tile color in the shower, and the trim color will tie it all together nicely.

Next we need to get the waterproof wood flooring and swap out the fixtures, then the bathroom will be finished and we'll have 2 rooms completely redone out of...6 downstairs. So, techically 3 rooms if you count the upstairs studio space (that I can't use during the summer months until we get an ac unit up there as well as insulate the ceiling).

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Sunday, we finally got around to cutting back the peach tree from the roof and taking out as much of the dead wood from the underside as we could. Also removed non peach tree plants from underneath, again. A good feeding and it should be just fine. The birds are coming back for the refilled feeders now too. Eventually we'll put up a real garden fence, to keep the dogs out from under there.

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Got around to pulling the sweet potatoes this weekend. It's been nearly 120 days since planting. Considering this was our first year ever planting them, we're pretty happy with the results. The small, finger like ones are a result of putting trailing vines back in the container, something we knew would happen and weren't bothered by. They were planted in a watering trough, so next year, we're do it again and get a couple more for potatoes too.

Apparently my Fit thinks my typing is me cycling. It's so confused.



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Jul. 11th, 2017

July Garden update

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The beans are slowing down, boo. We've gotten a gallon so far, and today, just a handful. There's still more still growing, so hopefully we'll get at least another quart before they fade completely.

More! )

Jun. 9th, 2017

State of the Garden, June Edition

So much rain means lots of growth. Unfortunately, it also means things bloom, but no pollinators are around to fertilize them, because of the rain. Here's hoping at least a week of no rain every day will help in that case.

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The Heirloom tomato Indigo Rose has at least a dozen tomatoes in various sizes now. The Omar's Lebanese has a few tiny ones started.


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Tiny Cayenne peppers. I'm thinking it might have been mislabeled and it's more of an ornamental bush size, since it's not really getting much bigger than this and my last Cayenne pepper plant (Long Hots), was huge.


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I cannot remember which tomato this is, and the tag is subsumed by leaves. Need to add bone meal to the soil, to help with the yellowing leaves at the bases. It's not the Chocolate Plum, since that one has a few tomatoes, that naturally, have been sampled by birds. *sigh* The Mr Stripey, which moles tried to kill, has recovered nicely and the Cherokee Purples have doubled in size, so they'll be nice later in the season tomatoes.


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Both Cubanelle Pepper plants have good sized peppers on them. These are the largest. The Ancho Peppers are still tiny.


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Little Spaghetti Squash! Nothing on the cucumbers, the loofah, the cantaloupe, the butternut squash, the watermelon yet, but they all *just* started blooming this week. So hopefully that changes.


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Quite a few Summer Squash, though so far, it appears only 2 have actually been fertilized as only 2 are growing beyond the bloom size. It doesn't help that the male flowers seem to be blooming opposite the female flowers, so one is closed when the other is open- on *both* plant mounds. *sigh* No zucchini yet either, both plant mounds seem to only have male flowers blooming right now, though there are a few females growing still.


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Bonus! Katydid. Heh.


Moved the potted lavender, the potted anise hyssop, the potted strawberries and a bought variegated petunia (pale green and white leaves with deep purple flowers, it was stunning) to the edges of cucurbits bed to help attract more pollinators. Hopefully it helps.



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May. 16th, 2017

In other news...

Picked up 2 more tomato plants ( both heirloom, Omar's Lebanese and Indigo Rose), 3 more kinds of peppers( 2 Cubanelle, 1Bhut Jolokia, 2 Ancho), 2 tomatillos, a Loofa squash, a spaghetti squash, a fennel and 2 salvia for the flowers.

That brings our tomatoes to 6-7 different varieties- Mr Stripey, Golden Pear, Chocolate Cherry, Cherokee Purple and one other I can't remember right now.

Peppers are now at 6 or 7 ( couple different bells, hot banana, Serrano, cayenne, jalapeno, habanero).

Cucumbers, green beans, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, various herbs... Yeah. Oh and sugar snap peas to be planted at the end of summer.

Which means, if everything produces and produces *well*, we won't need salsa, green chile sauce, pasta sauce, cukes (which will become refrigerator pickles), beans, zucchini, or squash this fall for a good long while. Heh.



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May. 10th, 2017

Bring on the rain.

3 bags of organic garden soil was added to the center square of the garden layout. and 4 bags at 25 lbs each, of gravel was spread in the rain caused, larger holes along the drive.

Asparagus in now in the ground (it was in a big pot to get it started), as is the rhubarb(also started in a pot), the new lavender, one of the dill, the new rosemary, the old rosemary, 2 butterfly weed plants.

The green beans are coming up like gangbusters. Still need to get a couple more zucchini and cucumbers in the ground, but they need to get a bit bigger first. Tomatoes, other cucumbers, other squash, peppers, eggplant are all doing very well. We'll build out the rest of the garden layout this summer and next year, expand what we plant.

And so far, the wildlife has left the garden alone. Heh.

Had to move a giant! Wolf spider out of the garden bed too. She was guarding her rather large eggsack and was non too pleased that I'd disturbed her.

After apologizing profusely (*after* exclaiming, holy shit, you're huge! She was easily 2" front to back), I carefully scooped her up with the shovel and, still apologizing, transfered her to a clump of blackberry canes.

I think she'll be much happier and safer there.



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Jun. 22nd, 2016

Creating habitats...

So the Red Oak out front is dead. Dead as a doorknob dead. But it's huge and solid,so we're leaving it alone to essentially rot in place, eventually.

There are a few reasons for this-

One, there are Indigo Buntings nesting in a hollowed out knot hole in the end of one big branch.

Two, the woodpeckers- Pileated and Yellow belly Sapsucker so far, *love* this tree. So do alot of other birds, such as Nuthatches, the Goldfinches, Brown headed Cowbirds, Crows, Grackles, Sparrows, Carolina Wrens, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Purple Finches, Mourning Doves and so many more.

Three, there are Common Five Lined Skinks living on and in this tree. Along with all sorts of other insects that provide food for the Skinks and said birds.

The area beneath it had apparently at one point, already been a garden. The shape was there, but the shed bark and Pokeberry Weed (which is staying because it makes a nifty natural dye), along with Thistle and a Yucca were all that was left.

We added good dirt and planted swamp milkweed seeds, Mammoth sunflower seeds, various poppy seeds and transplanted some irises we found when we removed all of the Nandina from around the Peach tree (and found 6 other peach trees!) around the back of the house, as well as my Yarrow 'Paprika'. Also planted and scattered some black oil sunflower seeds as well.

Yesterday, while walking down to get mail, I spotted some milkweed growing along the edge of the hayfield, between where it starts and the mowed edge of the side of the driveway starts.



Little, thin, straggly milkweed. So not what it should be this late in the season. So, this morning, Caena and I went back down the driveway, trowel in hand, and dug up as much as I could find. Ok, so I only dug up about 6 plants out of the dozen or so that I spotted this time down. Heh.

They are now transplanted into the Habitat Tree's bed. They're a little wilty right now, but they're small enough that it won't take long for them to settle in and perk back up, especially with the rain we got yesterday, are supposed to get today and tomorrow.

The butterflies are so going to love our yard next year. Heh.


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May. 31st, 2016

Five Oaks



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We've been here just over a month now, and it still feels like a vacation.

Fezzik! Our 400+yr old White Oak. What a glorious Tree.  #nofilter  #oak #oaktree #whiteoak #fiveoaks #home #garden #dantesspirit


Well, with the exception of yard maintenance.}:P Even then, there's a huge sense of accomplishment when we stand back and look at the fruit trees, the roses, the black leaved crepe myrtle, the day lilies, the irises, the asiatic lilies and more that we've already planted and see how well they're settling in and flourishing just within days, as well as how nice the grass looks when it's freshly cut .

This place hasn't had anyone living in it properly, full time, taking care of the land and the plants and the trees as they need and should be, for a very, very long time. As I've said before, we are apparently only the 4th owners of the property and as far as we can tell, outside of the first owners, it was really only used as a vacation home for much of it's 76+ year life.

But slowly, slowly, we are bringing the heart back into this land. The previous owners did an excellent job at updated the interior while keeping the original features and character as well as put in some great bones and framework for spectacular garden spaces, and now, it's our turn to help the land reach it's full potential.

Already have a good start on the road towards getting a bird sanctuary designation, common five lined skinks, red headed woodpecker feeding ground and home to various insects. So, until it becomes unstable, we're leaving it alone.

Meet some 'neighbors'- not really neighbors in the sense that they live right next door, more like across the road and up the next one aways. They've been here 50 years and love this area too. Watched the front hay field be cut yesterday. The guy spotted a fawn, stopped, picked it up and moved it out of the way. Then waited while it ran for the brush line, bleating for its mom, before starting the tractor up and finishing. When he was done, he waved and told us to have a good weekend. People are so *nice* around here. It's quite the change and we're still getting used to it.

Tomorrow, we actually make out first mortgage payment. Maybe then, it'll become real, that yes, this *is* in fact our home now. Heh. But first, a final blood count check for Miss Sassy.

Meanwhile, today, I'm in my office, admiring the view, smelling the fresh cut hay and getting ready to list new items in the Big Cartel and Square shops, while watching thunderheads build over the Peaks of Otter.

May. 10th, 2016

Moving... And coming Home.

So a little over a week and a half ago, we closed on our new house. It's a wonderful 1940 bungalow on 1.73 acres with absolutely no neighbors nearby. The nearest neighbor is easily a quarter mile or more away.

After we closed, we brought Dante, Max and Aries' urns over and they were the very first things to be unpacked in our new home. They look right at home on the mantle, surrounded by their photos.

We then spent the next 3.5 days actually moving the rest of our stuff. We are still trying to figure out how two 15 ft UHaul truck loads and then some fit into a 700 sqft townhouse. After we got the big things, like the bookcases, the buffet, etc, I spent the next week, going back and forth, hauling odds and ends from the townhouse to the house and cleaning it. Last Friday, we made the final trip, grabbing the bikes and closed the door on the townhouse for good.

Now I'm trying to figure out where everything fits in this 1266 sqft home of ours. The living room is really the only room that's 90% setup as it'll be. I'm in the process of arranging the studio/office, it's about 50% of the way there. Heh. Then there's all the books to unpack and put back up on the bookshelves, all the photos and prints to figure out where they will hang, some painting to do...

Oh and mowing the nearly 1 acre of open grass. Yeah. I accidentally broke our new lawnmower the day after we just put it together, 3 days after we bought it. So we had to take that back and exchange it. So 75% of the yard is mowed so far.}:P

So far, it's been like Christmas. Everyday, we discover something new here at Five Oaks (I did mention that the property was named }:P ). Sunday, it was that we have grapes! Today, it was that we may actually have Mulberry trees! And the stars on a clear night! Wow. And the frogs and bullfrogs in the ponds below us... It honestly still feels like a vacation.

It's an itty bitty Peach! Woo!  #nofilter  #fruittree #fruittrees #peach #garden #fiveoaks #dantesspirit
Itty Bitty Peach!


There's a Catbird nest with 4 eggs in the cedar bush directly outside the back door, so we moved the walkway out further, to give the birds a touch of privacy. Morrigan has discovered them and now camps out in the windows on the back porch. Free cat TV. Heh.


Two owners ago, they buried a beloved cat in the back corner, complete with stone marker. The previous owners scattered the ashes of their beloved German Sheps there as well. So the plan is to turn that corner into a memorial garden. We brought Puck, Rue and Nyx's stones with us and will be placing them there, as well as selecting nice memorial stones from my collection for Dante, Max and Aries.


Still need to plant my Irises along the front of the front porch, got the compost bin set up, now need to lay out the garden area, plant the rest of our plants we brought with us and figure out where we want to put our new apple and pear trees and the future pecan trees we want to add, as well as clear the right back 'field/wild brush' area as well, thin out some of the sumac/paradise trees and bittersweet vines trying to take over in that area. Oh, and get the ivy off of Fezzik, our beloved 400+ year old White Oak next to the house. Speaking of irises, someone who lived here absolutely *loved* irises. They are everywhere! And in colors I didn't have.


So, as of right now...

Bird tally so far- Cardinals, Titmouse, Nuthatch, Catbird, Redwinged Blackbird, Goldfinches, Purple/House Finches, Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, Robins, Carolina Wrens, Sparrows, Chickadees, Pileated Woodpecker, Indigo Buntings...

All the birds at the townhouse and then some.}:P Seen Crows around but not in the yard yet. Canadian Geese and goslings in the field in front of us and a Redshouldered Hawk soaring overhead.

AND a Crane/Heron (couldn't *quite* tell which) flew over from the ponds as well.

Fruit/Nut tally so far- Plums, Peaches, Apples, Pear, Black Walnuts, Blackberries, Strawberries- the 5 plants I brought with me are producing- GRAPES, Quince, potentially Cherries and maybe Mulberries too.

In the near future, we want to get chickens as well. And look into solar power.


I'd say we are well on our way to being as self-sufficient as we possibly can be.}:P


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Apr. 24th, 2015

Bone tired but happy

It's a good thing I love gardening and getting dirty, because right now, I'm thoroughly sick and tired of it.

But the raised bed out back has been extended- took 2 days and 2 trips to Lowes and it still need more dirt, but it's pretty much done except for that. Today, I put up the extra section of 6ft privacy fence, trimmed back- ok, chopped- the honeysuckle to get the fence section in, cleared out all the old wood- most of which went INTO the bed- and leaves so we can get almost all the way around it easily.

Two more beds to build and plant, then the patio and other than the veggie garden, it'll be upkeep only from there on out.

Need to get some potting soil and repot the spiderplant, it's vastly outgrown the pot it's in. Need to find a new hanging pot for the wandering jew so it can be split into two and repotted. It'll be happier then. Have to remove the dead butterfly bush- it'd been declining for a cuple years now and gave up this winter. I can pull entire sections off or split 5" thick branches just by pulling on them, so out it comes. Then that area gets amended and a new one will be planted in its place. It lasted nearly 15 years, so I guess that's a good thing. After that, it's newspaper mulch and river rocks to cover it and the front bed is completed.

Thankfully all the new crepe myrtles- including the black diamond one in the pot- survived. The black diamond one will be put in the ground, it barely survived in a pot. That's part of one of the two beds that need built though. That'll happen in mid to late May and June.

So. Hopefully by August-Sept, we'll have a nice patio and completed hardscaping that just needs trimming and cleaning up come fall and spring.}:P

This weekend, I'm hoping to get a table easel and play with my new toy.}:P



A handmade from salvaged 100yr old barnwood 3ft triangle loom, from Clarksville Weaver. Isn't it lovely? Hee.



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Apr. 20th, 2015

An open letter to the bees

Dear bees-

I like you I really do. I see that you're loaded down with pollen and building materials. You're ready to make a new hive and have chosen my yard.

Great!

But there's just one problem.

You see, the place you've decided would be ideal to build a nest... isn't so ideal after all.

For one, it's got really tiny entrances, really, they're screw holes in the upright part of the baker's rack that serves as a potting bench and empty pot storage for me.

Secondly , it's on the front porch. Lots of traffic there. Lots of birds that would love to eat you.

Thirdly, and most importantly- it's next to the front door. That's a big one since that's the door, you know, we use regularly, several times a day. That's where my mail and packages are delivered, where my husband exits to go to work and comes home through, where we go to buy groceries and plants that you like.

So, you see, while I'd love to have a colony in my yard, what you perceive as an ideal hive spot, in reality, isn't.

I've moved the baker's rack, I've wafted air at you, I've firmly and sternly told you this was not the place to build.

Please take the hint. I really don't want to resort to extreme measures and currently, there's only 4 of you right now- scouts, I presume. There's lots of bushes and dead wood out back at the top of the hill- the mock oranges will be blooming soon- go build your ideal hive up there. I promise it's a lot less busy and you'll be much, much happier there.

And so will I.

Lots of love because I really do want you to stick around- unless you're yellow jackets, which you aren't, or killer bees which you damn well better not be (they didn't attack me and simply buzzed me when I was moving things around, so I'm inclined to say no, they aren't),

Me.



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Mar. 30th, 2015

Pictures make a post...

Recent garden blooms-

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And recently made things-

Gaming bags-

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Mini Bags, Available Here.

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Full sized bags, Available Here.


And I made myself a lap throw, which was promptly taken over by the cats-

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There's more, all of which are listed Here.


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Oct. 31st, 2014

Preparing for winter...

Today, I went out and finally dug out a 1ft x 1ft trench around the new Crepe Myrtle planted by the driveway, added good dirt and covered it back over with the hard gravel. All in an attempt to help it settle its roots in better before winter really gets going, since it's pretty hard packed where it is.

Then I moved potted plants on the porch that will overwinter there, up against the house, well sheltered with the heavy pond liner up against them. I need to get burlap or something to cover them with and then, hopefully, they'll be ok there.

Everything that needed watering, was thoroughly watered. Cut back the butterfly bush to well below the front window for the winter, it'll come back fuller and better next spring. Cleaned out the bird bath and refilled it- the sparrows are enjoying it. Added dirt to that bed and the side bed.

Moved metal edging back around front where we will build a new raised bed for vine like veggies against the fence next year. The new gate works extremely well. Swept up leaves off the front walk and against the fence where they'll mulch in.

I think I'm as prepared for the wintry weather they're calling for this weekend as I can be right now. And now I can go back to weaving a new winter scarf for listing.



Hand dyed some 100% wool yarn last weekend, let it sit for several days and got a varigated reddish brown shade to much of it, with hints of black. Lovely color, if I do say so myself. May overdeye the finished product with a dark red, to bring out the red tones more, not decided yet.



I'm about 2/3rds of the way finished with weaving the scarf. It's a straight forward, standard weave, no fancy stuff. Trying to do some simpler, less expensive, warm scarves for the winter. It's roughly 12" wide right now, but will shrink when washed, to between 10.5" and 11.5". Not sure on the length, but generally between 5.5' and 6.5', good for wrapping around the neck, head AND shoulders, I think.

Hope to get it listed by next week and several more over the course of November, with an eye towards a good sale in December (thinking 40-50% off to move some stock and catch last minute shoppers who need stocking stuffers, etc.).

Anyway. Back to work I go.



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Oct. 28th, 2014

Catch up post of sorts

I really need to get back to blogging here again.

Feline Standoff


So this happened late last week. Neither would get out of the window for about 5 minutes. Sassy has the old lady glare down perfectly. Morrigan still runs from her, but she's learning to stand her ground more. They've started more or less with the ignore each other phase. Random hisses here and there, a few growls when one or the other gets too close, but fewer as time goes on. Will they become best of friends, let alone friends at all? I doubt it. It'll be more of a tolerate each other type of truce, I think.

This weekend we finally got the gate up that leads to the backyard.

Garden Gate


It's a lovely TARDIS-esque blue (as close as we can get anyway, but taking Mark's BBC official TARDIS mug to Lowe's and paint matching it, Valspar Stained Glass Blue in High Gloss Exterior. ) It matches the front and back doors and will be echoed in a couple large pots that will be put out on the back patio once it's built next spring- we're taking the winter to gather the needed materials for said building. We also put down landscaping cloth and spread the 4 bags of pea gravel we had, figured we need at least 6 more bags to finish this stage of the pathway that'll lead from the front to the back. So far we like how it looks. WE haven't decided whether we're going to go ahead and place stepping stones or leave it as is yet.

Last Sat, we spent with the BiL, SiL and niece, since it was the weekend of the SiL's birthday. They'd gotten some very nice club chairs for their family room from the ReStore, so we went by there to see what they had in terms of a couch and came home with a really nice bench that we got for $30.00.

New bench


It'll be sanded, the metal repainted a gloss black and the wood (cedar or possibly teak) will be restained a rich mahoghany and sealed. Then it'll go out on the patio next spring. Then all we'll need is a nice fire pit and a couple more chairs and our outdoor space will be set up. It's a good, solid bench, not sure if it's actually vintage or made to look vintage- there's a tag on the back I couldn't read in the store and needs cleaning before it'll be legible. Not bad for $30.00 from the ReStore if you ask me.

And now, I have yarn to rinse and dice bags to sew/weave.


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Sep. 8th, 2014

Catching up...

Last weekend we went up to the cabin for a nice get away.



While there, I worked on the most recent project, getting past the halfway point at the very least. It was fun, nice, serene and not too hot.

The bear had been back since the last time we were there. Fresh scratches on the pole out back, with hairs stuck in it and Mark found bear scat on the trail- it wasn't fresh, but was at least a week old. Lots of frogs in the pond and baby fish. Lots of raccoon and deer tracks too.

A couple of the maples up there had hints of color, so I expect by the end of this month when we go up again, more will have color on them.

This last week, we got the materials to finally start on the patio out back- the landscaping cloth, the metal edging, and a couple bags of pea gravel to start. Also picked up a can of Kilz to prime the gate sections and get them painted. Picked up a good sized watering trough for next year's tomatoes. 2ft deep x4ft long x1 ft wide, it'll be large enough for 4 plants and give them excellent root room and such.

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And I finished the wrap. It's lovely, very sunset color like, and although it's not exactly how I planned, still very lovely. All that's left is the fringe which is in progress. Mark says it's so not my colors, but it is definitely very warm.}:P It'll be listed in the shop by the end of the week.

Found another Black Diamond crepe myrtle- the kind with the purple-black leaves and deep red flowers. Potted it up in a deep navy blue pot, 3 times it's size- it'll sit out on the patio when it's built as a nice plant grouping along with the 2 red barberries I picked up and need to get blue pots for as well. 3 more barberries were planted today in front of the 2 dwarf Alberta spruces and white crepe myrtle in the next bed over. That fills out that bed nicely and gives it a variety of colors and textures. Behind everything, the daylilies will fill in too.

Mark had his last- for now- major dental appointment. He's still getting used to his new teeth now and is very selfconscious about them because he's still having issues with speaking (and he's still very tender).

His mom is doing about as well as can be expected. No worse, but obviously, no better.

Today, I also trimmed up the big crepe myrtle again- it's on it's second blooming, moved bricks to make room for the gate when it's put up and finished the raised bed by the garbage can where the clematis is, trimmed dead flowers from the geranium, pulled all the dead leaves and stems from the daylilies, picked a half dozen banana peppers- lost one to critters, picked one anaheim pepper and several pequito peppers. Trimmed the tomato plant- when the tomatoes left on it are ripe, it'll get pulled.

Now, I'm going to sit around and be lazy for a bit before I go do last night's dishes.


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