Phew… well, the A-Z Challenge is over and I have to say I’m glad. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work and yes, pressure at times. Next time someone shoot me before I pick something I have to do photos for every day and type out knitting directions for. lol.
I haven’t done any “what’s going on here” posts while I was doing that, so hold on to your bloomers cause here it is. ;0
First.. I took some pictures of my gardens as they stood before the freezing temps set in again. I wasn’t sure what would be left, but luckily everything survived. Here are the piccies anyway. And yes, I know, the yard needs mowing BADLY. Every time the sweetie is off its raining or we’re out all day on errands so it hasn’t gotten done. Try to look past that part, ok? <grins>
This house had nothing when we bought it. Not a single plant, bush….nothing. So while I do not have the greenest thumb, and much of this has been trial and error, I’m still pretty proud of it. I did make a note to myself about trimming my rhodos at the end of the summer so they are more bushy and less “stalky”. Oh well, live and learn. I didn’t know they didn’t do that naturally.
I call this my side garden. That was all grass when we moved in. I pulled every single blade of grass out of that by hand. Grass wth 200 year old roots. Yep, that was fun. I couldn’t even pick up a cup of tea with one hand for days. BTW…click on the pictures for a bigger view.
I have a ton of plants in there. Funny part is..some of them I planted 3-4 years ago and only just came up last summer. Made for some interesting looks when the plants I planted in their place also came up. lol. This garden is mostly for color and for birds, bees, and hummingbirds. Those windows are my room so I wake up in the morning to the birds in my window feeder that my sweetie made me right beside my face. I love it. There is a lot of bee balm, pinks, dianthus, autumn joy (2), evening primrose (one of my favs), a giant yucca I never knew would grow, lamb’s ear, a big butterfly bush (which apparantly should also have been trimmed), a wild fairy rose right in the center which by the end of the summer will be almost to the second floor, 2 miniature roses, (i adore roses), various creeping sedums, and one I c an picture but can’t recall the name of but it smells wonderful, a few lily of the valley, daisies (no idea where they came from but boy are they spreading), and a hollyhock that was also a surprise. lol. Thats the stuff I can remember off hand. There are a few other things that usually just surprise me. I had wild strawberry and lamium, but I think they got lost in all the rest. I’ll have to redo those. The stuff on the wall are creeping phlox. I love those little suckers. hehe.
Next are some views of whats blooming in the front. You have to understand that until last summer, that entire front hill was all grass. It was horrible to mow. So I had someone come with a backhoe and we pulled up all the grass ( I was NOT doing that by hand again) and filled it in with a bit more dirt, then topped it with weed paper and pine chips. It needs another layer of chips but I have those already so just need to get it done. The rocks we placed so that I had a pretty rock garden. We even made rock steps up the side and one big rock to sit on. The other rocks we stacked on top of each other and to me its like a little fairy city. I’m going to do more with that and I’m tossing around the idea of painting some of them bright colors. The bush at the top left corner is a hydrangea bush I got from a lady who was having a yardsale and her hubby was throwing away tons of it. I asked her for some and he got it for me. Its slow to spread but it blooms pretty and each year it is a bit bigger. Again I think a trim would help it along, though. The other tree in the center top is my sour cherry tree. It had hundreds of cherries on it last year but the birds got them before I did. This year it will be tented. muhaha! The winter took down some of the stacked rocks, but I’ll fix that, too. It’s hard to see with the long grass, but in the center on the top on this side I have a Weigula Bush that I put in last year. It lived! Hoping this summer it takes off and gets some good growth. I love those bushes. The other on the corner is another hydrangea bush from the same lady. They are white hydrangeas btw. So pretty. In my barrels,…again hard to see… are stella d’oro lilies and that yellow plant I have no idea what it is. I put it in there and its a perennial but I dont recall what it is and the tag I left in there is gone. But they are blooming like gangbusters and look so pretty. In a couple weeks I’ll have pansies in there, too.
Now don’t laugh, but this birdbath is brand spanking new and was a real splurge for me. It matches last years splurge of the two huge ceramic containers you see in the background. I just love it and when you can actually see it, will look so pretty up against the blue house with the soon to be new blue shutters. (Yes, I picked, thanks to all of your helps, and I bought the paint. Now we just need dryer warmer weather. lol)
Next is my new phone. Ok, yes, you can chuckle a little here, but this is my first smart phone. Now the problem is that the phone and I are having a battle of wills atm and, I can’t let the phone hear this, but it’s winning. Yes, my phone appears to be smarter than me, but I’m coming up on the outside and plan to run its little techno-butt over. MUHAHA! On the bright side, I did manage to find some spiffy knitting apps and I have Angry Birds and Uno on it. I even got my own special ringtone now. Yes, I have officially entered the 20th century. Yes, I know its the 21st century, but I just got this far, give me a break!
I got some new books. Oh, they are new to me. I love that you can buy used books through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Saves you money for sure. These were all used, but they were pristine and only one of them even looked like it had been opened. You all lived with me through the hat I made for my sister, who is going to send me a picture of her in it as soon as she gets one, but I thought that top book might have been helpful during that. lol.
Lastly, since you guys are always cleaning and re-organizing and making me feel like a slug <winks> I started in on my stuff in my craft room. The table still needs to be finished up, but it took me 3.5 hours just to get it looking like this. Sweetie is bringing home all kinds of cabinets from work because they are replacing the old ones and they have huge drawers and have made organizing stuff soooo much easier. It’s hard to tell but this is actually a huge table. It was hard to get a good wide shot though because I couldn’t back up any further till I start cleaning that side of the room. A lot of the stuff in that room is for a yard sale we’re having, weather permitting, this weekend. Once all that stuff is out it should be a lot easier to clean in there. Those are the new cabinets. It’s hard to tell here, but the drawers are really wide and really deep. I can even fit all my tools in them. He has two more of those sitting in the kitchen and another one that has one row less drawers, but the drawers are even wider. He will probably be able to get a few more of them. Oh boy! :: dance :: And no, I know what you are thinking, I do not know where I’ll put them all yet, but we’ll find a place. <grins>
So feel caught up now? Dangerous for me to let all that wait, isn’t it? I did warn you. <winks> Off to get my two trays of Shipwreck out of the oven. It was a dishes and cooking day. I’ll put up the recipe later. It’s yummy and sticks to your ribs.
bye for now!
Phew! I know its been a little since I posted just a regular post, but things have been busy and I’ve just been keeping up with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I wanted to catch you all up on happenings here today.
On the knitting front, I’ve been trying to learn how to do socks Toe-Up but have met with problems. I just can’t get them to look right. I’ve knitting at least 6 toes and had to frog them all. I got a couple new books and think I will just go back to double circulars for now. I really need to make some socks. I found soooo much sock yarn while I was going through my yarn. lol. I’m excited about the books. I got Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet , Mastering Color Knitting , (I thought after my sisters hat I really better. lol) and Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks . I’m totally excited about trying these socks/slippers. Going to give the toe-ups a break for now.
I want to start working on my staircase. It’s a new staircase (put in by the owner before us), but never finished. I’ve been going back and forth on what I want to do and finally made up my mind. Here is a picture of what I had in mind for them. I’ve been trying to explain this to my hubby for a while now, but when I found the picture, I was so excited because now I could SHOW him what I had had in mind. I’m thinking that I might paint the tiles myself. They wouldn’t be that hard and it would add a special touch to them, plus the white tiles would be cheaper and I could work on them as I got time. I love those stairs though and will be looking for some nice rustic planks at the local hardware/lumber yard.
When we first moved into the house, I made my own shutters (the ones that had been on the house had been removed and never put back up. The house looked bad. It had no “face”.) Anyway, I made them out of 100 year old barn planks from the barn next door when it fell down. (obviously I used the good planks ) I painted them and they looked nice, but I want something with more… pop. I found exactly what I want finally. So this picture is what my shutters will look like hopefully before the end of the fall. I would love the greenery, too, but the sweetie says no to planting anything that would be using the house as its prop. I know it ruins the house, but I love how it looks. lol. I’m going to paint my door as well, but still undecided on the color.
My house is a wreck right now. I’ve been tearing into cabinets, emptying, throwing out, reorganizing and generally trying to spruce(clean) things up. Spring is here and the itch to clean has started. Thanks to the influence (blame) of some of you frugal gurus, I’m redoing a lot of my kitchen and starting to make my own mixes and such again. I used to do that years back, but got away from it. I don’t make that many of them because sometimes it really isn’t cost effective, but I do like some. I had to buy ingredients this shopping trip and that was a little painful. lol. It’ll be worth it in the end though.
In a couple weeks we will be renting a rototiller for the garden. Yes, I know, many of you have started your gardens already. We in the Northeast though, know better. I mean we had two hail storms 3 days ago. We still needed the woodstove on until the day before yesterday. ‘Nuff said. I also have to buy some potting soil for some container gardening.
Well, I have tons of laundry and some cooking to do today, so I can’t spend all day here working on this blog. Thanks for hanging out with me a few mins and have a great day!
Yep, its that time again. I’m signed up, have my ideas ready to hit paper and am getting little bits of nerves. Will I make the entire 50K word count? I don’t know. I like my book idea, but is there enough to fill that many pages? (approx. 200) I guess I’ll find out. I really should have taken the time to do more of a layout for myself, but one thing or another keeps taking precedence. I’m going to remember now to be too hard on myself if I don’t make it. It’s my first time doing this and will be a learning experience no matter how I do. I’m not being defeatist, but I’m also not going to beat myself up or make myself sick as has happened on other projects too numerous to count. I’m going to view this as a fun adventure and not a matter of life or death.
Wish me luck all. I’ll keep my word counts posted. I’ll try making a text box down the sidebar and see if I can keep it updated there.
Ok, well a little launch, but still…
I sent my book out to a publisher today. Book 1 of a trilogy, that is.
It’s odd. You can edit it over and over, Read it and yes, enjoy it. You can show it to a few choice people while you sit and hope they don’t say, “Omg, what an ugly baby!” But it’s a whole new feeling when you send your baby into the bigger world, to someone with no vested interest in your or the book. Yet! They have no qualms about telling you your baby is ugly.
“I’m sorry but your baby’s head is lopsided and too big for their body. Their feet are too small and your son may as well have been a girl for all he is going to be packing.”
You stand there, aghast that anyone could have said such horrible things about something you slaved over for months and months. The uncounted hours of labor that went into birthing your baby into the world. Did they not have any decency at all? Did they have no conscience? Were they complete monsters?
Sighs… yes, it’s a harsh world you are sending your baby into. The best you can do is comb out its snarls and tangles the best you can. Pinch its little cheeks to make them rosy. Dress it up in something pretty so that it gives the best first impression.
But in the end, its very life is determined by someone else’s appreciation of it. Someone you have never met or spoken with will decide if it lives or dies, molders away somewhere, or has a glorious debut.
All you can do as a mother is stand by, wave and smile, and hope you prepared it the best you could.
Be kind nameless, faceless ones. Be kind to the mothers and fathers who are hoping you see the same value that you do in their baby. Be kind when you point out its flaws and inadequacies. Just…be kind.