Busy Times

Here it is mid-October and I haven’t posted here in several weeks. I’ve been busy with house renovations, yard projects, and Master Gardener activities and meetings.  I don’t have any pictures today, but I’ll list some of the things going on.

  1. Three weeks ago we decided to enclose the upstairs bonus room, turning it into a usable bedroom.  So we’ve built a wall, hung drywall, put up a door, and the next step (so I’m told) is mudding and sanding the drywall.  I’ve never done any of this before and I can’t say I’m enjoying it, nor looking forward to learning about finishing the drywall, but I am going to enjoy using the finished room.  David has friends coming to stay for a visit in late November, so the goal was to have this room ready to use.  Unfortunately, the loveseat/sleeper bed that we ordered might not arrive in time, in which case the guest will sleep on the downstairs couch, as he has in the past.  Maybe, with any luck, the loveseat will defy predictions and arrive early.
  2. September 30th was our last day of swimming – the pool temperature dropped down to 82 and that’s just too cold for me.  I’m trying to remember to still test for chemical needs, still throw the robot in once a week to clean it, and still check the strainer for leaves.  We’ve decided to leave the cover on to catch the leaves, rather than using the leaf net – it’s much more effective at preventing the leaves from decaying in the water.
  3. I’ve started work on the north back fence flower bed – laid down cardboard and outlined it with landscape blocks.  I should have time next week to begin adding some leaf mold and then compost and soil.  I have just a couple of weeks to get it done and then transplant particular plants from the south back fence flowerbed.
  4. The second compost bin has been set up.  Next week I’ll move the top half contents of the other compost bin into the one that’s set up, hopefully find some usable compost in the bottom, and then be able to set up the foundation for that bin.  It is super convenient to have them just a few steps from the back door.
  5. This Saturday is the DCMGA Fall Festival.  I am helping in the children’s area, the butterfly booth, for 3 hours, and then will float the other hours to see where I can help out.  Tomorrow I work with a couple of Master Naturalists doing a two hour program with preschoolers.  I tried working with preschoolers last spring and didn’t really care for it, but I thought I’d try again with this new leader, just in case the reason I didn’t like it was due to the way it was organized.  Time will tell.
  6. Plans have been made to travel to Alabama in November for about a week.  We’ll be helping the auction crew catalog all of Dad’s personal items for the auction that will be held online later in November.  Hopefully that will go well, but neither of us is looking forward to dealing with it all.  It will be nice to see Charles, Rebecca, and Liana, though.  It’s been over a year since we’ve seen them and that was only a couple of brief evening visits.
  7. I mentioned earlier that David had friends coming to visit.  They are his former roommates from when he lived in Phoenix.  We enjoy their visits and won’t mind at all that they plant to stay 10+ days.
  8. David is looking into applying to the local two year college just a couple of miles from us, probably majoring in database administration.  Hopefully he’ll make this leap and get on a better career path.
  9. My weight loss efforts are beginning to pay off.  I’ve been much better lately about no snacking between meals, plus consuming much less sugar – I’m avoiding Starbucks this whole month – and I’m happy to report that I’ve released 4 pounds in the last two weeks.  I’m releasing them rather than “losing” them, as I intend to not “find” them again!  Someone else can have them!

May Already?

Not only is it May already, but it’s a third through May.  Crazy!

I’ve been busy with Master Gardener Camp meetings and Spring Garden Tour work days, so busy that I’ve only worked in my gardens two afternoons.

Yesterday afternoon I picked up some new plants and some bags of composted cow manure – a mandevilla and a dipladenia, neither of which I’ve ever had, so this will be an adventure.   The ceramic planters were on sale, but sadly, the flowers were not.


When I got home, I went right to work laying down cardboard in the front flower bed, then emptying all of last year’s soil from Earthboxes and pots into that bed, along with the 6 bags (40 pounds each) of composted cow manure.  Underneath all that is last year’s leaves and underneath that is the soil from 2015 container gardening and more leaves.  Lasagna gardening and composting, all in one.


I plan to go back tomorrow and pick up more bags of the composted cow manure and hopefully some bags of top soil, along with some cardboard, if I can find some free – all for the other flowerbed in the front.  Well, some of the top soil will be for this bed also.  And then plants!  I have Sweet William started, but they are teeny tiny, nowhere near ready to transplant, so I’m not sure what I’ll do.  I can’t quite decide whether to do the Sweet William in the other bed, where the Texas Star hibiscus is, as I know that will self-seed and I won’t have to plant anything else there, of to put it in this bed in front of the holly bushes.  I also want to plant some Swiss chard in the front, and maybe some other greens too.  Decisions, decisions!

Another decision to make is whether to leave the two trees that we trimmed so drastically last year (or was it two years ago now?).  You can see one on the left side of the picture, the other is on the other side of the sidewalk.  The other tree has grown back more green along the whole trunk – it obviously gets more sunlight that this one showing here.  I hate them both and want them gone.  Bill still thinks they add something to the front.  One of these days he’s going to look out the window while he’s working in the office and see me attacking them!  They will be gone!