Benign neglect in the garden with lesmel - part 1

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Benign neglect in the garden with lesmel - part 1

Editado: Jul 30, 2021, 1:47 pm

Since I can't ever seem to hit 150 posts in my gardening threads, I'm just going to keep a rolling thread instead of threads by year.

For the first time all year,, I think this is the SECOND time all year...I pulled weeds. I started just as the sky was lightening and quit at 7:20 because I was starting to get dizzy from the heat/humidity and sweat pouring off me. I pulled two half-barrels of weeds and crap. I had to abandon the project only partially done. I'll need to throw everything in my garbage can on Monday because I'm going to miss trash pick up today. Unless I get some lawn service over the weekend.

My HOA has been sending me veiled threats about my driveway and my fence. I can fix the driveway easily enough (I just won't because we keep getting so much rain); but the fence isn't going to get replaced until lumber prices drop further. In fact, I just scheduled some driveway cleaning for next week. Woot!

Jul 31, 2021, 4:47 am

Hey! Glad you are back at it. Is this your most recent thread before this one?

Editado: Ago 1, 2021, 2:30 pm

Ago 1, 2021, 2:28 pm

Decided to tackle the rest of the weeds on Saturday. It was all great until the bleeding. I have no idea how I managed to literally rip/slough a chunk of skin off my left hand ring finger. I was working on trimming away crepe myrtle suckers, pulling away grass overgrowth, and breaking up a dead ant mound. The next thing I knew, my finger was stinging and then I knew there was blood...and there were no holes in my gloves. *sighs* Gardening chores over for the day.

I got in the house. Washed my hands. Then realized I was probably going to faint. I have no idea why. My finger didn't hurt that bad. I've had bloodier wounds. I fought off the woozies while laying on my cool kitchen floor with my hand in the air. This is pretty typical of me. If I injure my hands at all, there's a good chance I'm going to get the woozies and/or pass out. No matter the pain or blood (or lackthereof).

I spent the rest of the day running errands and reading under the cool, cool fan on my couch. If you haven't read it, Finlay Donovan is Killing It is a hoot. Short version: romantic thriller author is mistaken for a hit-woman. Shenanigans ensue. There's a sequel coming out in Feb 2022.

Ago 1, 2021, 2:47 pm

>4 lesmel: I was going to say grass cut; but you were wearing gloves? Confusion. Pamper yourself for the rest of the day.

Put the book on hold, but the library says 6 month wait.

Will catch up on your other threads. 😘

Ago 1, 2021, 3:39 pm

>5 2wonderY: If you don't get the willies: (no blood; but loose skin). And yes, gloves. I was pretty confused myself.

Ago 1, 2021, 3:51 pm

Ago 1, 2021, 4:23 pm

Looks to me like you managed to make a blister and open it. Not fun.

Ago 1, 2021, 5:41 pm

>8 MarthaJeanne: I'm guessing not a blister since it was incredibly bloody. It also all happened in less than two minutes. I only know that because I'd taken my gloves off only a few minutes before and then put them back on to tackle that last bit on that crepe myrtle.

Ago 11, 2021, 8:16 pm

Finger has healed. I sloooooooooooowly peeled the dried out, jaggy scabby bit off yesterday because it kept catching on everything. I was fairly sure I was going to rip that sucker off and make the whole thing bleed again.

It rained cats today. Tons of thunder & lightning. Really heavy rain for about 30 minutes. Varied rain for another 1.5 hours or so.

Set 6, 2021, 7:59 pm

Here it is nearly a month later and my yard survives: overgrowth, hard shearing, tree removal, and hard core bed clean up. None of that was done by me; but I paid a pretty penny for it. The guy that mowed and did the bed clean up also murdered my sprinkler system. I had the sprinkler guy come out to repair the wires and reported the damage to the mowing company. I haven't heard from them yet for reimbursement.

The freeze in the Spring killed my pomelo. That had to come down. It also killed a main branch of my maple; that had to come out, too. Now, I'm praying my azaleas make it. I was sure they had died in the freeze; but they bloomed like gang busters about a week over the freeze. Since then they have struggled. The bloom may have overstressed them. Which means I'm probably going to get some effing letter from my HOA about replacing the azaleas. I'm so over living in an HOA community.

Set 8, 2022, 10:32 pm

Oh look, it's been a YEAR and a couple days since my last post! :facepalm:

Nothing new to report with the yard. Still fighting stupid bindweed that keeps trying to overtake the privet, the gardenia, the virburnum, the grass, the fence...

Pretty sure I will be taking down one of the oaks in my front yard. With two oaks (both have gall), my grass will not grow. Also, the oak closest to my driveway has caused a lot of shifting. Whatever idiot was on the HOA board when they decided TWO oaks were perfectly fine in these tiny yards should be sued. Oaks need a LOT of space. At least every one I've ever seen needs a lot of space.

Actually, I have no idea what will happen in my yard. I have foundation problems to deal with first. That will probably eat a huge chunk out of whatever budget I thought I might have. Things I foresee needing work over the next five years:


I think I've reached the "I hate owning a house" stage. Part of it is being single and having to make every single decision and every single call and every single chore and every single everything. There's no one to share that load. A friend (also single) and I have talked about the fatigue that comes with single-hood. Yes, I can talk through decisions with friends and family; but ultimately, I am the person responsible for making the "right" call. It's exhausting. It's a privilege; but it's exhausting.

Huh. Wonder if fixing the foundation means I'm going to lose the landscaping around the front of my house. Also wonder how I'm supposed to handle this with the HOA.

Set 27, 2022, 2:22 pm

It's most of the way through the year; but here are my other threads for 2022: - Sewing - Cooking - Reading

We had our first real cold front come in last night. Low 60s in the morning. High 80s in the afternoon. Really dry air. It's glorious.

Fev 18, 2023, 7:13 pm

Lo, it's Feb 2023 and my yard continues to thwart Death. I haven't lost my maple (yet). The bindweed is persistent. So is the sticky weed thing that my dog seems compelled to eat. I need to get a photo of it and see if anyone recognizes it.

I think my azaleas are toast after the most recent freeze. I'm not 100% sure because while I was working on the front yard today (no one faint), I was checking for dead wood on the azaleas and most of it seems green. I'm wondering if I should prune it back and hope for the best. If it really is alive, I don't want it putting effort into blooming. I want it to grow foliage again.

Today's work consisted of three hours of digging out landscape rock, realigning it around the trees and spreading 12 cubic feet of brown mulch. I did the tree closer to the driveway first. For some reason, the ring is bigger than the other tree. I got smarter with the second ring. While digging, I made sure to keep the rocks about where I pulled them. That meant placing them back in a circle was faster. Also, I stuck to using my shovel rather than the spade. Mostly because I realized fairly quickly that the rocks had gotten buried over the years and a shovel was going to be the only way to get them loose.

We are looking West when facing the front of my house. In the photo, North is to the right.

I'm hoping this is the year I get everything aligned and start prepping for sale. I expect that to take 2-3 years -- mainly for financial reasons. The plan currently:

Replace roof -- already have an insurance check
Correct lawn -- I want it back to thick and healthy and green
Fix foundation -- this will lead to work inside the house, too
Fix driveway -- hoping I can do that with the foundation, that would make my life easy though ridiculously expensive
Update landscaping in front and back

I keep waffling about the backyard. I have four crepe myrtles that have all suffered crepe murder -- so they do not grow naturally at all. I have the maple. I have one sago in a pot and one in the ground. I hate sago. The seeds are poisonous to dogs and they have sharp, stabby fronds. I also have virburnum, gardenia, agapanthus, and privet along the Western fence.

Previously, I have considered ripping everything out of the Western beds and planting a long line of hibiscus. Honestly, the only things I want ripped out are the virburnum, sago, and privet. Everything else can stay. The gardenia and agapanthus are pretty and hardy.

Now, I want to turn the backyard into a bird and pollinator garden. Mostly, I'm looking for low maintenance landscape that supports native species -- flora or fauna.

In the front I want to remove the front bushes, lay a (decomposed granite? stepstones?) walkway that wraps from the driveway to the north gate of the fence, plant some bushes to disguise the walkway. This should help take up a chunk of lawn that won't/doesn't grow because of shade from the oaks.

I have a feeling I'm going to lose the crepe myrtle (which I actually like) on the Northeast corner of the house when the foundation gets repaired. That's the corner with the most sinkage. I'm actually assuming I'm going to lose all the plants right up against the house -- including the azaleas.

I'd like to have a plan in place for landscaping the front once the foundation/driveway is repaired. This way, no matter what happens to the plants during foundation work, I know what the follow up is. In fact, if the foundation people know they can remove the plants and beds to get to the area they need...all the better? I just hope they don't destroy my sprinkler system when they dig.

Fev 18, 2023, 8:02 pm

>14 lesmel: Are you approaching retirement? Where are you moving to?
I thing your house line is charming! But gosh, that sounds like a TON of work just to leave it.

Fev 18, 2023, 9:44 pm

>16 2wonderY: No where near retirement; but I work from home now. I have never planned to live in the coastal Texas area the rest of my life. In fact, I only planned to live in this area for two years, find a new job (or convince my directors to let me work from another city), and move. Here I am, 14 years later. Since I do work from home, my employer allows for working anywhere in the state. I'm hoping to take advantage of that.

Really, it makes a lot more sense to just make the yard "pretty" and leave off everything else in the yard. I keep thinking that my moving plans may not happen, so I also keep maintaining a wishlist for the yard.

I do need to fix the foundation unless I'm willing the sell the house "as is".

Fev 18, 2023, 11:54 pm

Your house is charming. Foundation issues sound scary. Home ownership seems like a dream, until it's reality and the buck stops with you to get things done, or more accurately, the buck never stays with you but seems to fly out everywhere.

Fev 22, 2023, 12:03 pm

I agree, that's a pretty house, and you've done a good job on the yard. Sorry about foundation work though, that sounds...intense.

Fev 25, 2023, 9:54 pm

Here's the weed that is trying to take over my yard.

It's like velcro if it touches you at all.

Fev 25, 2023, 10:14 pm

My HOA approved my mulch. Time to go purchase six more bags and hopefully drown the weeds in the front bed. I am debating digging up the landscape rock that lines the front bed. I did it for the tree rings. I could probably do it for the bed. Even though I'd rather be stabbed with a dull spoon.

When I go for mulch tomorrow, I need to look at downspout extender things. First, I have to count how many downspouts I have.

Still waiting for approval on my roof.

Fev 25, 2023, 10:28 pm

If the stems are square in profile, it’s Catchweed bedstraw. If not, it’s Carpetweed.

Fev 25, 2023, 11:24 pm

It could be sweet woodruff, which is also called bedstraw. I've got it in my shade garden. Has white flowers that produce little burrs that catch on things. My son's dog generally gets a bunch of them when he visits.

Fev 26, 2023, 12:21 am

And my book says it’s edible, but only if you’re very hungry.

Editado: Fev 26, 2023, 11:48 am

>20 lesmel: That stuff is plaguing me too at least it’s easy to pull up.

Fev 26, 2023, 4:09 pm

>22 2wonderY: Winner winner chicken dinner -- It's catchweed. I looked closely when I pulled some up today.

Fev 26, 2023, 4:20 pm

Mulch done. Two of the downspouts fixed. Three more to go; but I had to come in to shower and cool off. Luckily, I don't have to do much to get the other three extenders on.

Next weekend, I think I will weed the patio beds, lay down more cardboard, and possibly spread mulch in the beds this time. I might even buy some flowers for the various pots and half barrels I have. That means potting soil, too. Hmm.

Fev 26, 2023, 10:19 pm

>26 lesmel: Here we call it gooseweed. The only way I ever pretend to have a handle on it is when I catch it early, before it makes the burrs. It gives me a rash if I don't use gloves to pull it. I live beside a neglected park, and fight a losing battle every year. I was hoping that since geese supposedly ate it, the wild turkeys would eat it, but if they do it is not enough.

Mar 3, 2023, 8:26 am

The roofers come next week. I need to contact my yard guy about mowing before they get here. Also, I am on restricted activity because of my feet and ankles. All my plans to improve my patio beds went up on flames the second my podiatrist shot me up with cortisone and ordered me to only do light activity and stretch for two months.

I'm going to sneak in some weeding and what not. I'll figure out how to do as much as I can sitting down.

Mar 9, 2023, 3:35 pm

Yard got mowed before the roofers came. I have discovered the yard is in terrible shape. It's dead in some spots. Dying in others. Overrun with weeds all over. This is not shocking. Just mildly annoying.

The new roof is on and I am thrilled. Yesterday was a hellscape. I'm surprised I am not a gibbering idiot after the hours (12+) of hammering, stomping (ok, probably just walking), scraping noises.

Looks like they got most of the nails and screws. They broke one of my driveway slabs, one of my brand new downspout extenders (and then tried to cram the two pieces together like it wasn't broken), and ripped a hole in one of my screens. The screen is the only thing fixed so far. I have no idea what they are going to do about the driveway slab. It can't be patched without some effort. The slab can't be replaced without HOA approval and a significant effort (like cutting back a tree root). Maybe they will just pay me for the damage. The extender is a cheap fix. Go to HomeDepot and bring me my new extender. They are in the last aisle closest to the bathrooms about 2/3 down the way. 🤣

Mar 9, 2023, 7:47 pm

Wow! You got through that fast! A one day ordeal is top notch!

Mar 12, 2023, 5:43 pm

The weather has been weird this weekend. More reminiscent of semi-arid South Texas than subtropical Southeast Texas. That has to do with the amount of wind we have had all weekend. And now, we are supposed to have a fairly strong font that will keep us in the 70s all week before ANOTHER front that will drop us into the high 50s/low 60s for several days.

Mar 18, 2023, 1:55 pm

Now we have frigid temps and rain. I love Texas. It's so freakin' weird. We have another cold front on the horizon. If everything plays out like usual, we will have one more strong cold snap around Easter and promptly roll into Summer.

In yard news, one of my figs bit the dust and the other is suddenly sprouting bright green leaves. I'm thrilled. It probably won't produce any fruit; but maybe it will leaf out better this year.

There is oak tassel all over my property. It's a nightmare and a mess. Least favorite part of Spring.

Editado: Mar 18, 2023, 2:15 pm

Yep. Similarly, I live in Holly Hills. No telling how long the giant Hollys have been here. Their pollen is enough to clog my gutters. It piles so deep that the rain can’t penetrate. And then the sharp bladed leaves make the clean out painful too.

Editado: Abr 5, 2023, 12:37 pm

>12 lesmel: don't feel bad, I just realized I'd missed reading your thread in 2022.

With my dh now disabled I'm basically handling all the decisions as if I were single. And I occasionally see the bias with contractors because I'm a woman and can't possibly have a clue about what needs to be done. Riiiight.

I hate privet. It takes over the yard here, spreads and grows like a triffid. And I can't kill it.

>20 lesmel: we have this as well, but it rips up pretty easily.

The banes of my yard are privet, honeysuckle, Virginia Creeper, and poison ivy...and fire ants. They're all over the yard this year.

If I had your house and was planning on staying I'd make the gardens. But potential buyers might not want them. Every house I've lived in had beautiful flower gardens when I left, but were all lawn when I checked years later. Bummer.

>27 lesmel: cardboard is the way to smother weeds! I do that here in NC as well.

Set 7, 2023, 10:46 am

Anyone know what this is?

Set 7, 2023, 1:29 pm

no, but gosh, it's pretty!

Set 7, 2023, 1:32 pm

Are the feathery leaves associated with the flower?

Set 7, 2023, 2:13 pm

Looks like a legume...and a little bit like a mimosa.

Set 7, 2023, 4:43 pm

>38 2wonderY: As far as I can tell, yes, the feathery leaves are part of the plant.

Oh! Google Image search tells me it's probably:

Common name: Powderpuff
Latin name: Mimosa strigillosa Torr. & A. Gray
Family: Fabaceae
Life Cycle: Perennial
Type: Broadleaf
Description: Prostrate, low-spreading herbaceous perennial with pubescent stems. Leaves are twice-pinnately compound and can fold together at night, during rain, or when touched. Flowers are pink to purple in color and are often sweet-scented.

Other contenders: Mimosa pudica or Mimosa nuttallii

Set 8, 2023, 6:08 pm

>40 lesmel: Very cool.

Set 9, 2023, 8:24 pm

>40 lesmel: woo!

What do I win?!

Set 10, 2023, 6:19 pm

Just saw a post from Jeff Vandermeer on Xitter that had a picture of that exact thing. He called it "Sunshine Mimosa" which fits with above. I think he's in Florida.

Set 13, 2023, 2:20 pm

>42 fuzzi: My undying awe. Plants are a mystery to me. lol

Set 13, 2023, 3:02 pm

I thought I'd post a yard/house update.

The roof is doing its job, though the roofers apparently hated my pipes? My second bath sink clogged a few weeks ago. Turns out a ton of roofing shingle crap ended up in the vent pipe while they were scraping the roof. Why in the world would they not cover those pipes while scraping??

My foundation is schedule for repair at the beginning of October. It will be less than the most expensive quote; but a LOT more work. There will be four piers inside the house, two piers inside my garage, and 14? piers along the north, east, and south sides of the house. The whole front half of the house is basically tipping down with a slightly bigger NE tilt.

The job does not cover any broken pipes, but will cover any "easy" or "simple" reconnections. There will be a plumber-led inspection of the pipes prior to the holes being refilled. The job also does not cover repairing any cracks in the walls -- no matter when the crack occurred. I totally understand that; but they are DEFINITELY missing out on a diversification or partnership. I mean, they already work with a very well-known plumbing company; why not find a well-respected contractor or independent inspector for interior damage? Charge me $150-300 to inspect the entire house and tell me what I 1) must fix, 2) should fix, 3) can ignore!

My sprinkler system lost a head again. I had the repair company out again. They found the head plus a leak, a dead valve, and a second that had broken (in the zone that wasn't even working b/c of the valve).

The front lawn is beginning to recover now that I'm watering daily. I really need to stop watering daily b/c we have voluntary water restrictions; but I also have foundation problems. I'm not going to hand water my foundation every day. Sorry. Nope.

The back lawn is a jungle. I'm letting the grass stay long in the hopes that it keeps the ground a little cooler and allows the fauna an escape from the heat. I am hunting for lawn donuts that protect sprinkler heads. I want the concrete ones. I can't find them at the local Lowes, Home Depot, or Ace Hardware. I'm running out of ideas. I'm going to call Tractor Supply. I might luck out with a local nursery or landscape supply?

I'll probably take lots of photos of the foundation process.

Set 13, 2023, 4:48 pm

>45 lesmel: Much sympathy! What is their estimate on time required for the foundation work? It sounds atrocious. My foundation dig was traumatic, but over pretty quickly. You would never know it happened now and it was just April.

Set 13, 2023, 4:54 pm

>45 lesmel: It should take three days from first shovel to final shovel. The part that worries me is seeing what the ultimate damage is. Will my flooring go back together without damage? What kind of work will my brick need? How long do I need to wait for the concrete to cure (where they are jackhammering through the foundation)? Also, there's the waiting for the house to "settle" as it were. I've been told I need to wait for a few weeks before I fix any cracks, flooring, etc.

Set 13, 2023, 7:12 pm

>44 lesmel: bwahaha!

Mimosa is invasive here, and the leaves of your mystery plant reminded me of the mimosa that keeps trying to get a foothold in my back yard. It's technically growing from the wooded lot next door.

Everything here is invasive...

>45 lesmel: oh my, I am not going to gripe about all the odds and ends projects that my home work's a biggie.

Editado: Set 13, 2023, 8:09 pm

HA! I am watching NOVA and they are showing an experiment with Mimosa pudica!! The episode is about slime mold.

Set 17, 2023, 11:41 am

My MUD (municipal utility district) issued voluntary water restrictions. I'm pretty sure I mentioned that already. I finally switched my system to the correct days -- Sun/Thu -- and extended the watering time to compensate (hopefully). Can 30 minutes per station twice a week compensate for 10 minutes per station seven days a week?

I need to consider buying some soaker hoses for the foundation. This is assuming I'd rather just water the foundation all Fall and Winter AND/OR if we continue to have a sustained drought and I'm going to let my grass wither.

Set 25, 2023, 1:15 pm

>50 lesmel: do you mulch? I find that my plants do better in the dry spells if they are mulched.

Set 25, 2023, 2:16 pm

>51 fuzzi: My front beds and trees are mulched. They are pathetically mulched right now (just barely enough to make the HOA leave me alone).

I'm a horrible land owner. The plants have to survive my neglect because I'm not babying anything. It's too hot 90% of the year; and my interests lie elsewhere. While I have lofty "goals" for my yard, it's really not going to happen unless someone (not me) suddenly takes an interest in my yard.

The only thing I really really REALLY want to happen is landscaping my front yard to reduce the amount of grass, add a path from my driveway to the side gate, and maybe start to convert my backyard to native plantings...again, in a bid to reduce the grass (with the added benefit of being a native species oasis).

Set 25, 2023, 2:32 pm

Sources of mulch:

Tree butchers - my daughter signed up for free drop-off, but it was a year before they called her, and she had sold the property. There was a guy taking a couple of trees down up the block, and I asked if I could have the chips. Amazed no one else had. He used to have a field where he’d compost and sell, but now he has to pay tipping fees, so he was glad too. It was rough mulch because his blades are old, but it was enough to cover half of my front yard.
Fall leaves - I’ve been scooping up yard waste bags in the fall for a dozen years. I gather enough to establish new beds and then cover them each year.

Walmart - the only time I go near the place is fall garden clearance. Bags of mulch were $1, and I got half a dozen for a new bed I just completed.

But you know all this. I’m with you filling space with anything but grass!

Out 3, 2023, 10:37 pm

Foundation work is underway. No. Wait. It isn't. No. Wait. It is...maybe. You may be scratching your head at this point. I don't blame you.

Soooooo, it started off ok! The crew was late arriving yesterday; but there were 6 men and they worked hard and fast...for two hours. And then they took lonche.* For like 1.5 hours. And then they broke off at 4:30. And then there was steady rain ALL FREAKING DAY today. They showed up late (again) after telling me they would come early. They worked barely 2 hours. There are 14 perimeter holes -- half of them are completely full of water. It's supposed to rain the exact same way tomorrow. They could have broken concrete in the house before leaving today; but didn't.

I get they can't work in the rain; but my jaw, back, and stomach are VERY UNHAPPY right now. Not to mention the hole I am apparently trying to wear into my tongue rubbing against my bottom teeth. I need to put my retainer in. That stops me from being able to rub my tongue raw.

While this project has been happening, I've noticed my fence is really in terrible shape. I am hoping it can limp along another year or two -- even as ugly as it is -- because I need to recover from this nightmare. I still have no clue if my existing flooring will come back together like it was pre-foundation damage. I need to find flooring and a contractor to fix the bedrooms and and anything else wrong in this money pit. There will also be painting of the entire interior. Oh and there's something wrong with my sprinkler system. AGAIN.

* Lonche as a word is really weird. It's supposed to be like afternoon tea -- light and simple -- but I think in Texas it's been...bastardized (Tex-Mexed?) because English "lunch" and Spanish "lonche" are similar spellings.

Out 4, 2023, 6:53 am

You poor dear! Do you have a friend who will feed you tea and chocolates and hold your hand through this?

Out 4, 2023, 11:10 pm

>55 2wonderY: If only!

Day three and they still aren't done. The whole outside of the house is a muddy wreck. It rained again today. Lighter rain; but still came down for a long while. Rain chances are even higher tomorrow. Supposedly, they are lifting the house tomorrow. I had two appointments tomorrow. I moved one. I'm going to have to call and move the other in the morning. Also need to call the first contractor to come out for an estimate on flooring, repairs, and painting. Ugh. I dislike having to make calls like this. I dislike the phone to start with. Cold calls are miserable torture.

Out 14, 2023, 9:11 pm

Foundation work finished a week ago yesterday. Hydrostatic test passed. I still have the independent engineering evaluation. That's this week.

In other news, I spent most of the afternoon working in my yard with my cousin. We trimmed crepe myrtle suckers, moved brick edging, weeded my southern patio bed, laid some paper, landscaping dirt, and mulch in a couple places. I have someone coming tomorrow to give me a quote on doing some prep in both the front and back.

The things on the quote...
Dig up stones in front
Remove two bushes in front
Remove monkey grass in front
Dig up bricks north bed, south bed -- backyard
Remove sagos
Remove weed thing behind sago
Grind pomelo stump?
Remove maple
Grind maple stump
Remove privet (light green)
Remove viburnum (dark green)
Remove CM (north bed)
Move all bricks and stones to area inside north gate

Out 30, 2023, 4:04 pm

The final engineering review passed. Sadly, the new roof has to be repaired. 1/4 of it has to be ripped off & reshingled. I am just alight with joy...not. It will cost me twice what I paid out of pocket when the roof was done back in FEBRUARY. I need to pull my stuff from storage. It will probably be the new year before I get to the flooring in the bedrooms. My garage will be my storage unit, instead.

I spent most of the weekend clearing, cleaning, and reorganizing my garage (the little that is in there) in prep for turning it into a storage unit.
I've filed EMRs for both the landscaping and my roof. Nearly everything from >57 lesmel: is on hold. If it costs more than a couple $100, it can't be done. That isn't to say nothing is going to happen with the yards...just that anything that requires services or heavy equipment isn't going to happen. I am willing to put in some sweat equity -- like moving landscape rocks, trimming down/back the bushes, digging up a few of the green things, spreading mulch...

Out 30, 2023, 6:00 pm

>58 lesmel: Geez! You are being hit hard!! So sorry!

Out 31, 2023, 1:13 pm

>58 lesmel: what a nightmare. I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

Nov 1, 2023, 3:56 pm

Movers booked for next Tuesday. I'm hoping to keep my totes in on one side of the garage...closest to the house door. That way; I might be able to get to fabric. Although, really, who am I kidding. Sewing is like the second to last thing on my list of 5,000,00 other things to do/be doing.

Nov 2, 2023, 7:50 am

>61 lesmel: But if it calms you down and makes life bearable, then a sewing session is a good investment of time.

Nov 2, 2023, 8:44 am

>61 lesmel: it's available if you want/need it, a good investment of your time like MarthaJeanne said.

Nov 11, 2023, 1:03 am

I've whacked the ever-lovin' crap out of my western bed (again). This time, the viburnum just might have died off (yay freeze from two years ago). The privet is still going strong. I wish I had taken a before when the privets were monstrous.

How it started:

How it went:

Where it stands:

I still have viburnum trimmings to bundle and put out on Monday. Oddly, a service guy came by today and marked up my yard for the gas line. I have no idea why. That is the third time I've had someone flag and mark my gas line. The first two times, I knew it was for the foundation work.

I really need to work on the dumb sagos. I hate those plants with a passion.

Nov 12, 2023, 1:50 pm

>64 lesmel: I hate privets. They turn into trees here. And pop up everywhere. Grr.

Nov 12, 2023, 2:21 pm

>64 lesmel: and >65 fuzzi: The only good thing to be said for privet is that if you catch them somewhat early, they are easy to pull up. The birds love the berries, but of course that is why they come up everywhere.

Nov 15, 2023, 4:00 pm

The roofers woke me at 6AM. It was like insane squirrels on meth decided my roof was an excellent race track. It's now just about 3PM and they aren't done yet. Since sunset is 5:26PM today, they better top up on their squirrel meth or I'm going to end up with insane meth-head squirrels on my roof in the morning.

Nov 28, 2023, 8:58 am

The squirrels were done by the end of the day. Between my back and the holidays, I haven't been able to check the yard for stray nails and whatever else. I do have HOA approval to work on my front landscaping. I have until March to replant the yard. That should be interesting.

Nov 28, 2023, 2:09 pm

>68 lesmel: oh, approval...permission.

I'm so glad I live in an older non-HOA neighborhood. My former boss lives in a neighborhood with a strict HOA. With approval from the HOA she fenced in her backyard and planted what she darn well pleased, ha.

Jan 10, 4:40 pm

I have a feeling this thread will be mostly house stuff in 2024. I'm trying to find flooring for the two front rooms. I'm already exhausted by the options. Most of the companies don't make 3" wide planks any longer. That's making it hard to find anything that even comes close to matching.

This is my current flooring:

Two problems for matching (beyond the flooring no longer in production and it being older than dirt, apparently):
My floors are faded from age, sun, and use.
The planks for all of these options have a medium to high variation.

My options so far:

Bruce - Springdale - Toast 3" # EB520

Bruce - Springdale - Gunstock 3" # EB521

Bruce - Springdale - Mellow Brown 3" # EB525

Bruce - Springdale - Butterscotch 3" # EB526

Hartco - Beaumont - Caramel 3" # 422250EE

Hartco - Beaumont - Sienna 3" # 422270EE

Hartco - Beckford - Canyon 3" # BP421CALGEE

Jan 10, 5:26 pm

Your floor looks calm and peaceful. Most of those choices are super-busy with the graining.
I like Caramel #3 best.

Jan 10, 8:48 pm

>71 2wonderY: Agreed. Although looking at the graining would never have occurred to me unless they were side-by-side. I was looking at tone.

Jan 10, 9:42 pm

I'm not sure how "peaceful" my current flooring is. I find the grain appealing, though. Here are some samples against my floors.

Here is how different the flooring can look. These are the same samples -- Bruce, Springdale, Mellow Brown:

Jan 11, 8:44 am

>73 lesmel: I like the one in the last photo (with the animal paw!) the best. It seems to match better than the others.

Jan 11, 10:11 am

>73 lesmel: That’s great that you can bring samples home. I like the color of the second one in the first photo, but what is up with the texture?

Jan 11, 2:26 pm

>75 2wonderY: That's what they call "hand scraped" -- it's supposed to resemble when real hardwood planks are hand planed. Personally, I hate the look on anything other than real wood planks.

I've picked my flooring -- Hartco, Beaumont, Sienna. Now I just need to call the stores back and find out if they can order the flooring and a quote with installation.

Jan 28, 3:39 pm

Color palette I'm considering:

Not all the colors; but definitely intense teal and framboise.

Focus wall color for my office:

Jan 28, 3:55 pm

>77 lesmel: I love that people are putting color on their walls again. I've been doing it for years, to the chagrin of my "only use neutral whites on the walls" family.

I have forest green in one bathroom, and a green similar to yours, but with a little black in it to bring the tone down a bit, in my other bathroom. Burnt pumpkin in the apartment living area, gold in the kitchen, butter yellow in one bedroom and what I call Siamise cat brown in my bedroom.

Editado: Jan 28, 4:39 pm

>78 MrsLee: Let me see if I can find my mother's house interior. She used about 5 colors. It would drive me crazy to live in my mom's house for more than a couple months. 1 or 2 colors, yes...5, no.

Jan 28, 4:44 pm

>79 lesmel: Three colors from Mom's wall colors:

Jan 28, 6:59 pm

>80 lesmel: I like it! I haven't ever used more than one color and a neutral, so I guess I'm kinda tame! lol

Editado: Jan 29, 11:16 am

>78 MrsLee: here's hoping realtors and flippers will stop with the HGTV gray walls and floors, everywhere. Ick.

We need to paint, but it's on the less urgent end of the TO DO lists.

>80 lesmel: love it!

Jan 29, 3:24 pm

>80 lesmel: I kinda wish I were in your mom's kitchen eating all those goodies, too.

Editado: Jan 31, 3:35 pm

Anyone want to be my virtual assistant for the day and get quotes and order flooring/install?

I hate this process. I called all three stores. The one store I really considered going with, the guy annoys me b/c he makes me feel like I'm too stupid to breathe and how flooring is installed should be obvious and just look at your existing flooring. And by the way, this is a special order and you only need 285 SQFT. And maybe you should consider something that is in stock?

Jan 31, 3:41 pm

>84 lesmel: I hope that’s not the manager. I’d ask for another sales person, if possible.

Jan 31, 3:56 pm

Or call the manager and say that you are not buying from them because of the insulting manner of the salesman.

Jan 31, 4:37 pm

>85 2wonderY: & >86 MarthaJeanne: I am pretty sure he is the owner. I know he's knowledgeable; but his "bedside" manner leaves a lot to be desired.

Fev 9, 3:48 pm

It is painting weekend this weekend. My plan is to get at least the guest room completely painted. I need to vacuum the rooms. There is so much dust and crap from the foundation work. I'm not going to get it perfectly clean; but I don't want stray bits in my new paint. I still can't pick the colors for the office. Yes, the grey and lime; but do I want a third color? Do I want to do something "funky" with the paint -- like diagonals or 2/3 - 1/3.

I have spent an inordinate amount of time looking at the Sherwin-Williams visualizer and can't decide.

This is currently winning:

I'm considering it on two of the four walls. Possibly offset instead of middle.

Fev 9, 6:32 pm

This is probably going to be the winner. I think I'm going to offset the grey to make it more color block-y (like this). This is the north wall:

The wall to the left of this pattern (west wall) will be green -- it has the door to the room plus the double door closet. The wall to the right (east wall) will be grey and has the window. The wall behind the photo (south wall) will be grey. I will hang the double star quilt on the south wall.

Say a prayer for me. I've never done much painting. I'll will have to wait to pick up the paint; but I may go to Home Depot or Lowes to get some tools (sander, pole, frame and cover, brushes, etc).

Any tips welcome!

Fev 9, 8:06 pm

>89 lesmel: My only tip is that prep work is everything. Clean well, fill the holes, sand, clean/wash the walls scrubbing them, wipe clean, tape around trim etc. It is the most painful part of painting, but makes the difference between a lovely finish and a not so great one.

I really like the second photo. Especially with a quilt on one of the walls to compliment it. Looking forward to seeing it when you are finished!

Fev 12, 11:41 am

First coat was on the wall on Saturday night. I pretty much hated it and considered going to Home Depot for the strongest primer I could find.

Trusting the process, though. We made it to the second coat. It's going to need a third coat. I'm going have to take extra time to feather out the edging and make sure the paint is as even between the edge and the middle as I can get it.

In the meantime, here's the design wall with the first coat. I'll be painting green, grey, and purple (in that order). Purple in the lower right. Grey on the left.

Here's the start of the guest room -- first coat of the main color.

Fev 13, 12:25 am

Looking good! I have always needed three coats of any dark paint to make it look even and lush. It always looks better the next day after it is completely dry, too.

Fev 13, 10:35 am

The green is done! Here's the view from the hallway:

The window wall:

The design wall:

The third coat really made a difference. I also worked really slowly and carefully to get enough paint on the roller and not a ton on the edger. I'm sort of dreading the guest room because there is sooooo much wall surface to get right; but I know to be patient and three coats might have to happen.

Fev 13, 10:43 am

I love the guest room color. It looks like suede.

Fev 13, 3:37 pm

>93 lesmel: Such a rich and vibrant POP of color! Love it.

Fev 16, 6:14 pm

>93 lesmel: looking good!

So you decided not to do gray for the window wall?

Fev 16, 8:09 pm

>96 fuzzi: Yep. I decided I liked the green on the window wall and I'd already painted a swatch on that wall.

Fev 16, 8:12 pm


I have painted that streak TWICE on the first coat and STILL cannot get it to cover. I have this dread that I'm going to have to prime the wall before I can get that covered. I'll know more in the morning when I paint the second coat.

Fev 17, 1:17 am


Fev 17, 8:19 am

>97 lesmel: I like the green better, too.
>98 lesmel: what made the streak?

Fev 17, 12:18 pm

>100 fuzzi: More than likely, there is a seam (meaning tape) right there.

Fev 17, 3:40 pm

Second (and final) coat of Dovetail:

I really love how the grey has balanced the green. I have to wait a couple days to tape the last section of the design wall. I also have some touching up to do on the window wall. I have dark green to paint in the other room. I'm trying to decide if I want to paint either today. There's plenty of time; but it's cold and dreary and I have a warm, snoring puppy next to me.

Fev 17, 7:01 pm

>102 lesmel: I love how that turned out!

Fev 19, 10:10 am

>102 lesmel: looks really good!

Fev 19, 7:21 pm

North Room done!

Fev 21, 10:15 am

Office (South Room) done!

Fev 21, 11:48 am

Terrific job! I hope we get a chance to see the rooms when you have them all put together, as well.

I decided in October of 2018 that I had painted my last room. That was my bedroom. I also sanded and refinished the hardwood floor, which may have had something to do with my resolution of never doing that again. I painted it inspired by my Siamese cat, brown and cream. I love it to this day, which is good, because I'm not repainting!

Fev 21, 2:04 pm

>107 MrsLee: I think I would love a cat inspired color scheme. I'll probably post photos once I get the flooring in and again once the furniture back in place.

Ontem, 11:54 am

Finally got most of the western bed cleaned up. I still have the northern bed to disassemble and clean up. It's March. I have less than 31 days to get the front landscaping in order. This means:

  • pulling the landscape stone
  • pulling the dying monkey(?) grass tufts
  • pulling the remaining bushes
  • laying a lot of cardboard
  • dumping and spreading a LOT of mulch
  • relaying landscape stone
  • moving the potted sago to the front

    I am trying to decide if I file a second EMR so that I can get approval for pulling the bushes and planting new things. I have a few days to make a decision about the front. Then the hard work starts.
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