Waiting for Paint to Dry

Does anyone else spend a good part of their lives doing this?

So first, I told a fib. I said I wasn’t going to add any new projects til the fall. Oh, wait, technically, it wasn’t a fib, was it?

We had a fall! I was referring to a season when I said it, but then the shelf in the laundry room fell. So strictly not untrue!

The fall precipitated a new project.

But first, we planted out the shade garden:

Those tags are where I planted BLUE hostas! We were able to find some this weekend. I’m ridiculously happy about it and I’ll be crushed if they don’t grow.

I heard from my sister and she said she thought hostas were always full sun. Then she amended to say they are weeds and thus will grow anywhere! I hope she’s right, at least about my blue ones.

Anyway. The flowers you see are annuals, so they will go away at some point. All around them I planted a variety of seeds. I followed the instructions very carefully, so in 8-21 days we should see a showing of the following:

If you believe I followed the planting directions, you don’t know me. I just cleared the compost and sprinkled each variety in a separate place. I put back the compost, watered the snot out of the whole plot and spread a thin layer of mulch. There is a slim possibility I will go back later in the summer and beef up the mulch.

This morning I painted a door.

Hot tip: Even if you have no desire to DIY (and you know who you are, Cat), I encourage you all to paint a door. It takes a sample pot of paint and 20 minutes. The payoff is worth more than the effort! If you love dark purple but are not ready to step out on the ledge with me, just paint the inside of your laundry room door or closet door. Somewhere only you will see it. I guarantee the next thing you know you’ll be painting the inside of your front door purple!

Back to the door.

This door leads to the garage. It’s in the laundry room, which is (sadly) open to the kitchen. It’s the room otherwise known as “fall” right now.

I scrubbed and sanded this door to get it ready for painting. There are still scuff marks, and dents and whatnot. It’s an ugly door.

Well, it was an ugly door:

This is just the first coat. The plan is to take it off its hinges and take all the hardware off for cleaning. It also needs a new bottom sweep. So while that is all happening, I will get a second coat on it before it gets re-hung. I’ll probably also do the trim around it, some of the baseboards, and the other doorway trim. That is the door plan.

Plans are like budgets in my world.

The rest of the room has moved out of the “I wish” stage and is moving into the materials list and shopping stage. I’m thinking I’ll tear apart the room on Thursday. It’s a 50/50 bet whether the Hubs has the same schedule. I need him to manhandle the appliances into the garage and take the door off for its spa day. He’ll also hang a tarp so the local fauna doesn’t think the toll booth has been removed from the opening.

The rest of the weekend was spent at the beach.

Sunday:

Is that a Mushroom Cloud?

Monday:

Memorial Day

It’s a day to remember. It’s a day to be thankful for the ones who have gone before us and sacrificed so much so that we could be free.

It’s my contention they would be very sad and disappointed in how we’ve managed to squander their sacrifice.

I can’t imagine how anyone can look at something like this and not realize how much freedom has cost.

Maybe I am blessed. I grew up in a household where we were taught to respect what we had. We did the parades and the flags. We knew about service to God and country.

I tried, but probably failed, to instill the same values in the Kraken. However, I have seen her tear up at a parade or two. So maybe I’m not a total failure.

Currently we are enjoying life as far from Washington as we could and still remain on the East Coast.

We live in a military beach town. Same as where I grew up.

While we were in Washington, I kinda forgot how different the rest of the world is.

So today, I am ever so grateful for the men and women who have served and sacrificed (my sister, father, uncles, aunts, grandfathers, et cetera included) so that I could live a pretty safe and pampered life here in the good ol’ US of A.

May we see more of this kind of respect:

Thank a military service person. Not just today, but any day.

Because of the jobs they do, you enjoy a level of freedom and liberty not found many other places. (Current level of socialist insanity in America aside.)

All About a Garden

Back when I was a wee lass and the earth was still cooling, we had Saturday chores. Of course because we were kids, we hated it. We probably bitched and moaned the entire time.

It must have stuck however, ever since we’ve had a yard, Saturday is chore day.

Today was no different. The Hubs got to mow, and I got to finish squaring up the garden.

Here’s where I started:

Hot tip: Yard work is much more pleasant with some music.

I roll old school, I have an MP3 player (because my Walkman finally gave up the ghost after 30+ years) and corded headphones.

It took me about 10 songs to get to this point:

Toward the end I was dodging the mower, but I managed to edge and add a little compost to beef up the sandy soil. I don’t know if anything is slated to go over here yet, maybe herbs I don’t have! But I’ve decided to punt the other side til fall because I just don’t have anything to put over there yet.

After I finished that, I went over to my shade garden and started digging it out. I amended the soil, I prepped a hole, I edged it.

And as I was getting ready to drop a hosta in a hole, I saw this:

Well who freaking knew there are full sun hostas?!

Everyone but me, apparently!

So here is what my shade garden currently looks like:

I’m thinking seeds now. Just sprinkle a mish mash of shade flower seeds and hope for the best. But I’ll look to see if I can find something already growing to plop right in the middle so it doesn’t look like one more neglected space.

I put in 2 temporary splash blocks:

I’m hunting endlessly for something clever and quirky for these, but so far nothing. After 6+ inches of rain last week, it was clear I had to do something lest these downspouts make holes to China.

The search continues.

What about this?

Or this?

But they still don’t address directing the water. So in the end It will probably be some variation of this:

Someday.

Will it be gardens first or water directing first?

I added a second row to the front:

And now I apparently have a couple of hostas to add here as well! But this was at the end of the session, so I was pretty much out of steam by this point.

There’s still a ton of real estate in this front garden to address. I sort of feel like it’ll never get done.

I ordered a horde of daylilies this week. I can’t wait for them to arrive… but when they do, I’ll have to plant them all pretty quickly. Ugh. But, it could go a long way to taming this area.

And finally.

I came around the corner from the back to the side and saw this:

It still doesn’t look like much, but I thought, “Wow, we’ve done that!”

Slow progress is being made. The grass is filling in, the garden is growing, the compost is cooking, new gardens are appearing.

Hopelessness has no place here anymore.

Remind me of that when the fence falls down.

Another Set Back

I was getting ready for my day yesterday when I heard a crash.

Oh what fresh Hell is this?

I went out to the kitchen because I kinda knew what it was. I shouted it was all good so the Hubs would not end his call and come running to witness the mess.

One of my laundry room shelves collapsed.

Instead of taking a pic of it, I just started laughing.

Not the “ha ha that’s funny” kind. The hysterical “this HOUSE!” kind.

On the upside, nothing broke or exploded. Which is a pretty substantial miracle. I had a Rubbermaid container of leftover dining room paint on that shelf. And a glass jar of borax.

See why I was laughing?

But, to the credit of Rubbermaid, the little container did not breach. Its little red plastic cover stayed firmly in place. It was all I could do not to run to Target and buy all they had. This is my new favorite container for everything! Except Borax, because the glass jar I store it in stayed closed and in one piece!

See?

Miraculous.

After picking up all the shit that used to be on the shelf and distributing it throughout the rest of the house (hello, guest room), I spent some quality time in my new little nook on my not-favorite rug looking at ideas for micro-laundry-room storage.

I’m thinking a cabinet in the middle with maybe open shelves or cubbies on either side. I told the Hubs I was gonna buy some baskets that all match and have them fit perfectly into the cubbies.

He laughed.

So to get him back, I bought paint today:

No I didn’t really. But I do like this color. And it coordinates with my chosen kitchen color. But the thought of seeing it every time I get home was a little much. So I went with:

Which actually looks good with the pink. I might paint the door pink.

Maybe next week I will begin the process of prepping the laundry room. There’s some mess on the wall from the failed shelf. There’s the other shelf to remove and repair. There’s also a big hole behind the dryer from where we moved the plug. Picture all this going on in a 6×6 room with a washer and dryer still in residence. And the door into the garage.

Maybe not next week.

While I was feeling good about my house last week, we made pizza:

The crust left a little to be desired, but the sauce was flavorful and the toppings yummy. We’ll try it again sometime this week and see what happens. But I’m pretty sure I’m gonna need a new crust recipe.

Also going well:

I think they enjoyed the 3″ of rain they got over the last 2 days!

I’m planning a shade garden in the back yard, I picked up some edging, some mulch and a couple of hostas today. I wanted blue ones:

but I couldn’t find them. 😦 I ended up with generic ones.

Over time I’ll find more varieties and throw them in. Think:

Meanwhile, I still need lots of plants for the front. I’m envisioning something like this:

Only instead of a hedge in the back, it will be the garage. And the colors will be purple, yellow and pink.

A Milestone

Today it’s raining. A lot of rain. Some thunder. More rain.

The Hubs loves the weather. I do not.

Outdoor work was pretty much out of the question, especially since the plan was to reset the rain barrel – which is now full.

So we moved my desk.

It’s not ideal. I’m not sure I like it.

But it started a few days ago. We identified a spot:

Looks like there is some pre-move work to do!

I relocated a lot of this stuff over a few days, and pushed the sofa over a little ending up with this:

And then I needed a rug because my chair has a mind of its own and sometimes rolls me places I’m not interested in going.

I don’t know why I love this rug, but I do. It has been under my desk since we lived in RI.

Today we moved the desk in:

But it’s not looking like the rug is going to work here.

I have another option:

It’s not ideal, but it’s not terrible. The Hubs set up my computer and now I have a little nook to try my best to keep neat.

Which I won’t.

I don’t love having my back to the slider. I don’t love being out in the open doing my secret computer work.

And I have to find a place for my rug.

Which I can’t.

BUT…

I now have an operational guest room!

Who’s first?

Just give me a few hours to make the bed before you knock!

Where Was I?

This morning I got right to work. I was digging in the garden extending its borders.

At some point I noticed I was not alone…

I was very brave. I didn’t shriek. I wanted to, but it’s his domain and I was digging in it.

I’m super crawly writing this… I am SURE one is on me right now.

I did my best to ignore him. And I did for a while. But he wouldn’t go away. He just took up a post right next to a garlic and stayed there.

Yes, I attempted to reason with him.

I even tried to hit him with my shovel.

Nope, he was not going anywhere.

I picked a stopping point and forced myself to get to it.

But once I got there, I was done.

I will work on the back 40 a little more next week to square it up, then the plan in to extend the foreground a few more feet.

Baby steps.

The Hubs went along behind me and put his potted garlic in. It’s looking a tad stressed here, but it should perk up in a few days and start doing garlic-y things.

I don’t know if I have shared, but a few weeks ago we got a rain barrel:

It needs to emptied right now and re-installed (that’s on the list for tomorrow), the Hubs thinks it’s a little too high or low and we’re getting spillover. Plus he wants to level the platform and I want to seat those blocks the watering cans are on.

Can I just take a sec to bitch about watering cans? Have you had to buy one recently? Well, I broke the spout on the red one the other day and thought, well it’s a cheap plastic item, I’ll just get another one because this one has actually been irritating me for a while now (contributing factor to breaking the spout – I was trying to get it to stop leaking).

So I start shopping. A 2 gallon can is about $27 on Amazon.

WTF?

So I start looking locally. Every where I go, I look.

None.

WTF?

We were in Home Depot yesterday. They have 1 kind. It holds about 3 tablespoons of water. Perfect for watering your orchid. But just one at a time.

I hunted online last night and found some at Lowes $7.98. A little more than I was originally thinking, but way better then $27.

So we went to Lowes this morning armed with the print out. And they we’re marked $21.

WTF?

Fortunately, the Hubs had his patience pants on this morning because I was right next door to making a scene.

He spied some on another rack and they were marked $7.98. So we got 2. Not taking any chances!

Oh, and I know you all care so much about this, so I wanted to share my shawl with you:

I had to start over, but that’s what I do. If I make a boo boo early on, I’ll rip it out and start again. I like the way it looks against the vanilla sofa!

After an early dinner this evening we went to the beach.

It was pretty wild today. A few people were in getting tossed around.

There was some fishing happening and guess who’s back?!

I have not had a Heron sighting in many moons.

We were very happy to see each other! Nah, just kidding. He’s part of nature and just cares about his next meal!

Oh snap! Look at that, I DO like a bird!

We left before the sun actually set tonight.

PS… excuse the errors tonight, due to the pic posted I couldn’t bear to go back and edit

A Little Success!

Well, a couple days after I planted the morning glories, I noticed this:

It’s looking a lot like we’re gonna have joy here at some point!

Which makes me want to do more.

I’ve been sitting down hoping the feeling would go away.

I don’t think I showed you this:

It’s our one tree-ish. It’s called a Sago Palm, and when we were looking at houses, I really wanted one in my new yard. From far away they are very cool. At close range, they are very unfriendly. They are supposedly poisonous, but the fronds are so pokey, I don’t think anything would actually bite this. I spent a morning doing the blocks – which as you can see I’m not an expert. Last weekend I gave it a haircut, then the Hubs went along behind me and cleaned up the leavings.

The fronds will relax at some point, and new ones will sprout again next year. Some people’s have babies, some people’s have many layers. I’m taking a watch and see posture with this guy. I might re-work his edging and make it fit better.

I took a big leap yesterday and put out some feelers to see if anyone would talk to me about their house. Someone actually responded! And today I went to her house and she showed me some of the updates they had made.

Namely, they have removed the beam in the kitchen.

Here’s a refresher:

There is no reason for this. I’ve been told it’s a plant ledge. A lot of the homes here have them in some configuration or other. But this bridge to nowhere just doesn’t make sense.

So this woman has taken hers out. And I was pretty amazed by the transformation! They have a table where those bins are, and their dining room is an office.

Hmmm….

I reported my finding to the Hubs and he immediately started re-planning the kitchen layout.

Now if only I had 60Gs just kicking around.

I might call the contractor and see how much it would cost to get the beam out. It’s not load bearing, it should not cost a mint. But it’s not something I think I can con the Hubs into taking on. And I don’t really want to have to repair all that drywall either.

Question is, where does it fit in the scheme of things?

My list is ever growing and my bank account is ever dwindling.

What Really Happened

Not to say we weren’t privy to birds being wild animals. But that was not all that happened.

While the Hubs was mowing, I did some planting:

OK, you got me, I didn’t really plant these, I pretty much just dropped the plastic pots into the cast iron planters. But I’ll water them and take care of them and they will grow and reward me with beautiful purple flowers all summer. Maybe. I don’t know how long they will last here.

It’s not a great shot, but don’t you love my pots? Auntie gave them to me and I treasure them! Every so often I sand them up and treat them to the color du jour. They need a refresh, but this is from our “soft iron” phase. Which would still be a thing, but we can no longer get the paint.

I suppose this fall I’ll do them, a table (you saw a baby bird on it last week), and maybe even the gas meter (because I can) with whatever color strikes my fancy – and is approved by the Hubs since I am more likely to choose “mayan treasure” or “tropics” than “gas meter gray” 🙂

Have you seen that Behr is putting out a line of spray paint? I’m pretty much beyond excited! I have pointed out a few of the colors to the Hubs and when he makes that face, I know I’m on to something wonderful!

Don’t fret Auntie, I will not paint the planters pink…

I dug a bit more of the front garden:

I am trying to decide what to put here, a rose? An azalea? Something climb-y? But while I ponder, the Hubs expressed interest in Morning Glories. We have had excellent luck with them in the past:

So we are hopeful a planter full of dirt will yield similar results!

I also put in the phlox. I’m thinking I’ll get a few more to fill the gap to the sidewalk. I want something that covers, but doesn’t reach out and grab as you walk by. The little pot has some daisies in it. If they grow I’ll add them to the mix.

As you can see, the squirrels have already been into the mulch. Ahhh, wildlife.

Here’s a little update on my blanket flowers:

They are doing better than the grass!!!

In other news, I’ve given a little update to some candlesticks I have:

I like them better darker:

Now all I have to do is finish my mantle. Mostly I’m pretending it isn’t there, hoping maybe it will transform itself!

Oh, I almost forgot my garden update:

We’ve extended it a little toward the fence, and the idea is to extend the other 3 sides about 2-3 feet (or more) each to allow for more goodies, like herbs. We’re still researching winter crops like potatoes. Since there really isn’t a winter here (2 weeks of 30s is NOT winter), we are learning how to garden all over again.

My plan is to edge this all out so the Hubs can weed whack with impunity and not damage my plants. I’ve walked it off and think I need to acquire about 40 more pavers to finish my planned expansion.

And about 3 weeks worth of yard waste!

I’m feeling less sad about my house this week.

But it’s only

Who knows how Boozeday will feel to me?

Dirty Birds

Have I yet mentioned how much I hate birds?

I mean really, I do not like birds. At all.

I don’t mean in an Alfred Hitchcock “The Birds” way. I mean in a completely-grossed-out-they-are-so-nasty-and-revolting way.

Sorry to my sister who has a really unnatural affinity for the creatures… even though they try to eat her on the regular.

At the beach, we have these guys:

They are called Laughing Gulls.

Today while I was trying to relax after a swim, I was watching some of them land, they catch the wind and it’s a little Mary Poppins-ish. I was kinda feeling a little less hate-y toward them.

A bit later, the Hubs and I are sitting there watching a smaller one peck at the beak of a larger one. We were saying how kids of all species are irritating and he’s trying to get mommy to feed him.

All of a sudden the larger one jumps on the smaller one’s back. We laughed thinking mommy was going to give the kid what for.

And then, it happened. Right there in front of beachgoers, other gulls, plovers, and God only knows what else.

I could not believe my eyes!

I mean, you would never see a Pelican get down and dirty right out in public.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, after he got off, another bird tried to step up to the plate.

What is this world coming to?

I found this online, because I can’t know this alone:

In case you couldn’t get the image going for yourself.

Judging from the other birds in the pic, I guess this is done in public.

Birds are so disgusting.

Look What I did!

Or as we say around here: “Lookim I do!”

Today is just a random sampling of projects. I hope you’re not too bored.

We’ll start with the garden. Stuff is happening despite the harsh conditions of beautiful weather:

Jalapeño

Got a flower on my tomato plant:

And an actual tomato on my cherry plant:

And a sad showing of carrots:

It’s not really sad, they started appearing 8 days after planting, just like the package said they would. I think it’s a respectable beginning.

Now on to the wild life.

This little guy seems to be a fixture here. I see him every morning. I kinda want to feed him, but I want him to eat all the bugs that are slipping past him more!

We have a new addition this week:

This one I really wish would go away. It’s a baby-ish mockingbird. He’s super obnoxious waiting for his parents to feed him. We think he’s big enough to shove on out of the nest. I hope he does soon before I find a pile of feathers that used to be him.

By the way, lest you think I am mean, the mockingbirds here are assholes. They chase the lawn rats, they sit atop the chimney and delight in the echo chamber for hours at a time. And today we saw a half dozen of them terrorizing a crow.

Have I mentioned lately I hate birds?

I finished my scarf, it’s sort of blocking right now:

Other than the non-color, it’s not a bad effort.

I started this today:

When it grows up it’ll be a shawl. It’s cotton, so it will be useful here.

At least it’s not vanilla!

This weekend there’s some yard work to get done. I hope I don’t see any spiders, I really need to do a few things.

I might buy some flowers. I might re-pot my peace lily.

I might not do any of this and just go to the beach!

Don’t judge, you would too if you were here!