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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.

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