More Kentucky dirt in 2023

É uma continuação do tópico Fresh dirt in Kentucky 2022.

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More Kentucky dirt in 2023

Jan 1, 1:13 pm

Still obsessed with dirt. I will be taking a Soil Science course at the college beginning this month.

My yard has increased in beauty and utility, but there is still much to be done.

Daughters left for home around noon. They had such a rollicking good time last evening. Walking home from their party, Rose fell and couldn’t get herself back up. So she called her husband, who had already gone to bed, to come and rescue her. More giggles about it this morning, as well as showing of bruises and drinking of Alka-Seltzer.

Both groups headed home about an hour ago. I do like my peaceful home; but so glad it’s where we can all gather for parties and fun.

Taking down only some of the holiday decorations. Little Christmas is still to come. Those wise men did ask for directions, but still were a bit late.
Will switch to polar bears and snowmen on the display table and still keep some red and gold up around the windows. Santas have already been boxed up.

Happy 2023, we shall hope!

Jan 2, 7:12 am

>1 2wonderY: I'm here!

Taking a soil science class, intriguing. Maybe I can do something similar when I retire.

Jan 9, 6:14 pm

I’ve spent most of the last week just kicking back and reading.
Class starts Wednesday and I was able to access the readings and the videos in preparation.
I am also scheduled to start driving the van for Room In the Inn, the homeless shelter local program. I’ll be driving Wednesdays through March. Daily registration and meals is at a church mid-town; the Inn is a motel up another exit on the interstate. I got a lesson and a trial drive this evening.

Jan 12, 10:17 am

A few years back, most households were issued emergency notice radios in this community. Predominantly because of the Army nerve gas depot in the central part of the county.
It sits under a dresser in my bedroom. It woke up a bit ago and gave a tornado warning. We did get a huge amount of rain in just a short while, but no winds.
I need to remember to invite my new neighbor to use my basement in case of a real threat. They have only a crawlspace.

The storm seems to have passed now. I do note that the gutters on the carport still don’t work properly. I need to clear downspouts ( perhaps having to remove them first) and install debris shields on those gutters too.

I did my first van drive last evening. It’s a BIG van, just short of needing a special license. But I’m getting the hang of it, and even succeeded in backing it into its parking spot.
The RITI program seems very good. The homeless are treated as people, not clients or something more derogatory. I learned some names and chatted some with them.
The Motel 6 that provides the rooms is a decided step down from the facility that housed them last year, but that place is being converted to something else now.

I started class yesterday too. Other students I know greeted me warmly, and I met a couple of new people as well.

Jan 13, 3:44 pm

The house across the street, the one being renovated, had a fire - small, but the whole neighborhood was full of flashing light vehicles when I got back from class.

The fire chaplin came over and introduced himself. He grew up in this house. I invited him in and he told me some great stories. He’s my age. His parents were the second owners.
He got all choked up walking around the rooms and having that flood of memories.

The original furnace was coal fired.
The living room windows used to be a bay configuration.
It was his mom who used the 2nd bedroom as a dining room, cutting a door through from the kitchen.
He was standing in the kitchen during a storm, just a little tyke, when a bolt of lightning came through the window over the sink and hit the stove opposite. He says it went between his legs!
He decided to rototill a garden out back as a teen, and hit the gas line.
There were two big maples out front. The two in the back were just saplings.
He mowed the flats, but his dad mowed the slopes.
The upstairs bedroom is essentially unchanged except for the skylights and a coat of paint.
Oh, and the metal tower supporting the television antenna was just outside the north window. He admits to climbing out that way until caught.
And he grew up with the father of the last owner; the guy I bought from.

It was an enjoyable visit.
He’s looking forward to telling his mom about it.

Jan 16, 10:55 am

>5 2wonderY: how wonderful!

I used to stop by and gaze longingly at the house I was raised in, often taking a few photos to share with my sisters. One current owner came out and was belligerent until I explained that I'd lived there as a child. She didn't invite me in to see the changes.

Jan 19, 7:17 am

I dreamt that I invited Tim Spalding to stop by and visit. He did, and he brought donuts. He was charming, and he looked like Nathan Fillion!

Jan 19, 7:41 am

“It’s not hoarding if your shit is cool.”

Jan 21, 8:10 pm

>5 2wonderY: Several years ago, my mom and I drove around looking at all the houses we had lived in -- well, the ones in South Texas. It was weird recognizing the houses even though the outsides seemed to have changed. I have a really terrible memory for childhood things.

Jan 24, 3:02 pm

I should be reading my Soils assignments or working in the yard. It’s a beautiful sunny day, though still cold.

Instead I’m rummaging in my books, mostly in my bedroom. I’m still not satisfied with the arrangement of the collections. My authors are not all together.
I find I have two copies of The Virginian and three of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Cleaning one bookcase, it occurs to me I could fit a larger case on that wall. And there is one on offer at the mini-mall for just $50. Problem is, it won’t quite fit in my vehicle, being 48” wide and 48” tall. Both my previous vehicles would have accommodated it, but not the present one.

Jan 24, 3:04 pm

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

Jan 25, 1:13 pm

>10 2wonderY: oh, that stinks. Any neighborhood friends who might help you with it?

I've been doing a lot of outside work, and hauled home four 16' long 2x4s from the store. They stuck out a full 10' from the bed of our Tundra. The Lowe's employees were very helpful trying to secure them. I finally bought three cement blocks just to weigh down the ends so the boards wouldn't go flying. Not going to do that again.

My Honda Accord's backseat is big enough for pallets, as I found when I brought one home last week...

Jan 26, 2:27 pm

I’ve had a 6’ x 8” shelf board dallying in my kitchen for a year, waiting to be placed over the side windows. I finally decided to mount the brackets. The brackets came with screws and plastic anchors taped to them. I thought, being adjacent to the windows I would hit solid wood drilling holes. No! So the anchors were necessary. Only, two had disappeared, along with the matching screws. So I went rummaging in my screw collection and then my container of anchors. Aha! There were the originals😆. My system works! Strays get put in the logical spot and are found when needed.
The board fits nicely up there; but it still needs trimmed and painted. I put a few things on it just to get an idea of how useful it will be. Not deep enough for my large mixing bowls, but perfect for mediums and teapots and some plants.

Jan 26, 3:52 pm

>13 2wonderY: I enjoy adding shelves. I had a shelf board I bought at Lowe's but hadn't used for anything. I decided to place it on the wall behind my aquariums so I can keep the air pumps elevated above the water line (very important!). It's worked great there.

Jan 29, 4:47 pm

The second bedroom was getting quite cluttered with books and tablecloths and stuff going to daughters’ houses. ( fuzzi I have a whole box of your stuff.)

And I’ve never liked the twin bed not having a headboard. So inconvenient for guests. So I pulled in old bookcase up from the basement. It held spray paints and hardware stuff which I gad to box temporarily.
I washed it down and set it as a headboard, shelves facing out. Loaded up the shelves, made up the bed nicer, swept and put other stuff away.

Posted a video on Instagram:

Jan 30, 2:16 pm

>15 2wonderY: nice job.

If you want to ship the stuff to me I'd be happy to pay you the postage.

Fev 1, 8:58 am

A sigh as I glance out the window. Two sighs.
First, there is a layer of sleety snow on my driveway and sidewalks. Ugh. My back protests.
Second, my new neighbor to the east has abandoned a refrigerator at the curb. Why doesn’t she ask me? I’d give her a couple of phone numbers - ReStore and a used appliance dealer. She finally got her larger fridge inside, so I’m guessing this one still works, but it doesn’t look like it, as the doors have been removed.
This town doesn’t pick up this kind of discard. A chair she put out remained for months until I dealt with it.
Sadly, she is not a communicator. It’s been an effort to give her any information as she’s never outside. I have to watch and catch her between car and house door.

The streets are clear - asphalt versus concrete. Good, because I drive the RITI van tonight. Last week, the van was full full. I might need to do two trips tonight.

Fev 1, 9:03 am

>17 2wonderY: most appliance dealers take the old appliance when they deliver the new one.

She might have removed the doors due to concerns about children suffocating.

Fev 1, 9:08 am

When she moved in last year, her fridge sat outside on the patio because it was too big for its spot in the kitchen. I sympathized with her, as I’d had the same issue.

My mom had refrigerators that latched. They’re no longer made that way.

Fev 1, 9:11 am

>19 2wonderY: oops. I settled on another 18 cu ft refrigerator recently, as the spot for it in the kitchen can't handle anything bigger.

Fev 1, 10:18 am

As I thought, the snow on my drive and sidewalks is frozen in place and not moveable by broom or shovel. I nearly slid down the driveway if I hadn’t thrown myself onto the grass - and even that was slippery.
I did find my snow-melt and spread it thinly. The sun is out and will do its work if it can penetrate that solid white.

Fev 2, 8:27 am

Hurray! Someone came by and rescued the refrigerator.

Fev 2, 2:55 pm

>22 2wonderY: Oh, good! I was thinking you'd have to knock it over and turn it into a planter :)

Fev 2, 2:58 pm

>23 tardis: Belly laugh!!

It seems I can spend the entire day reading and messing about on the phone rather than doing anything constructive.

Fev 3, 10:59 am

>21 2wonderY: glad you're okay. We've stayed above freezing here, just.

Fev 3, 11:11 am

It's supposed to stay in the low 30s here, but WV is dropping into the 20s. Im going over this afternoon to check on things there.

Fev 3, 3:36 pm

>26 2wonderY: watch out for that black ice...

Fev 8, 9:23 am

My ceilings on the first floor have a skim coat of plaster and a sponge mop pattern. In my bedroom, there are several spots that have cracked and sagged. I finally got annoyed enough to do something about it.
Knifed some white glue onto the inside surface, covered it with parchment paper, a thick cork disk and a scrap of carpet to pad the 8 ft stud I braced to hold it in place for a day and night. It worked! It’s not perfect yet, but it’s no longer glaring. The other spots are less noticeable. But I will refine with injecting the glue and repeating.
Annoyingly, my rooms are a couple of inches less than 8 feet in height, and the stud wants to slip on the wood floor. But I braced it with something heavy.

Editado: Fev 9, 10:22 am

It’s a very blustery day. It’s trash and recycling day, and the bins are being knocked over and the lighter contents are being swept across the street and even into the air.

But I took a close look out in the garden, apparently dead. Hellebores and snowdrops are blooming and the daffodils are in full bud.
The pachysandra is blooming.

Fev 9, 7:32 pm

>29 2wonderY: I had three firsts today: first crocus, first daffodil, first camellia.

Editado: Fev 16, 10:17 am

Torrential rains this morning and I’m reminded of the remaining gutter improvements needed on the eastern side of the building.
I’m making the last repair to the cracks in the ceiling today and will be able to pull the bedroom back together. It’s a matter of the underlying seam tape losing its grip on the drywall.
My bed was misaligned last night from the compass points, and I suffered bad dreams.

Daughter and T are coming this weekend, so I should tidy today.

Fev 16, 5:13 pm

The city crew came by earlier to clear the storm drains of debris. I just went out and repeated the operation. Now I know why the drain at the end of the block is 20 feet long, with two smaller ones on the other side of the street. It’s barely keeping up, the water streams joining in the middle of the street when it’s raining hardest. And I’ve never seen the sediment coming off our hillside like it is today.

My basement sump pump is working hard. Here’s hoping it doesn’t quit like it did two years ago. I have lots more stuff on the basement floor this time.

Fev 16, 8:02 pm

Wandering around in here seeing what everyone is up to. *waves*

Fev 17, 9:19 am

The memories of water rushing into my basement two years ago prompted me to at least clear some of the cardboard boxes from the floor. There is a pile of empties that I use continuously for moving stuff from the other house. And some materials were able to be squeezed onto the shelves. I see the need for a couple more shelving units and some spring cleaning.
Thankfully, the pump continued to do its job.

Editado: Fev 17, 12:20 pm

From sunny 70°s on Tuesday to granular snow and fog today. My Spirea ‘Candy Corn’ is leafing out. Last year it kept getting hit early too, and I used fabric and glass cloches to protect them. This year it’s 5 gallon bucket time for each of them.

Also topped off my protective package for the fig sapling with some fabric.
We had class Wednesday in the college greenhouse and now I want a greenhouse!

Fev 18, 11:00 am

>33 MrsLee: Glad you wandered by!

It’s brilliant sun and blue blue skies today. But still too cold to remove the buckets.

Daughter Rose is talking about moving back here. For anyone who prays, I’d appreciate a few. This might mean a divorce. Sigh.

Fev 18, 11:55 pm

>36 2wonderY: Will remember Rose and all in my prayers tonight.

Fev 19, 10:09 am

Another sunny day, and warm enough to take the buckets off of the too eager Spirea ‘candy corn.’ They leaf out so early and got frost damaged several times last spring. They were small enough then for me to use cloches to save them from themselves. Next year, hoping they will be even larger.

I’m switching out the sofa covers from winter to spring green colors and putting away the red and gold decor.
I’ve cut forsythia wands to force them inside. I’ve planted grass seed in shallow bowls, and it’s tall enough already to need trimmed.

Editado: Fev 19, 9:55 pm

Documentary about the East Kentucky Flood of July 2022:

One of the ladies interviewed speaks of “post-traumatic growth.”

Fev 20, 4:25 am

Yikes! It’s forecast to be in the 50s and 60sF for the next couple of weeks. We are sure to get slammed with a freeze in March or April.

I got my seed starter trays ready yesterday, but I haven’t located the seeds I saved yet. I put them in a good spot though.

Fev 20, 2:20 pm

>36 2wonderY: I'm sorry. Will pray.

Editado: Fev 22, 8:04 am

Rose and T are here for a visit. T got up first, got dressed and went out to visit with Carmen (the dog) and the plants. I caught her stroking the peach tree, apologizing that I had yelled at it last year when it didn’t fruit. (I didn’t yell)

Now she’s out there protecting the tree from foxes… and helping Carmen bake her morning dog biscuits. You know, pre-heating the oven.

Editado: Fev 22, 9:10 am

My bird feeder, hanging from the front porch, has had little traffic this winter, though I’ve seen signs of activity. Today, they are back. A whole swarm of chickadees and a mourning dove. And there is a robin bathing in the curb puddle. Someone in town documented a white robin yesterday. Rose says it’s not albino. And it does have a faded pink breast.

The term is “ Leucistic”

Fev 22, 10:28 am

We have leucistic black-billed magpies here. Pale grey and white instead of black and white. We call them ghost magpies. I have only seen them when I'm without a camera or have my hands full.

Fev 22, 10:51 am

>43 2wonderY: I recall a leucistic robin at my feeders a number of years ago. It was fascinating.

Happy that T came for a visit and was SO helpful! I recall she was being a bit stubborn recently, is she being a little better behaved?

Editado: Fev 22, 11:11 am

There are apparently squirrels in parts of Vienna that have white patches. They showed them on television recently, and they are very cute. Apparently they don't survive as well as the normal red squirrels - easier for carnivores to see. One was being healed in a sanctuary, and they planned to release it near the other similar ones.

Fev 22, 11:10 am

>45 fuzzi: It comes and goes. Once she understands (daily, it seems) that nothing fun is going to happen until she’s obedient; then she relaxes and we have great times.

Fev 23, 7:27 am

>47 2wonderY: good to hear. My eldest granddaughter is very "strong-willed", her mom is doing a great job raising her.

Fev 23, 8:21 am

We had a further discussion about what stuff I could dispose. Turns out, I should keep all of the childrens books, but I could dispose some adult books. I have more pillows than necessary too.
She dragged a bin of plastic foods and another of dishes up to the remains of the playhouse and opened a restaurant. I’ve got a video where I’m paying in leaves. They each blow away as she counts them out. Hilarious

Fev 23, 11:18 am

Btw, I found this puzzle activity second hand at Goodwill, and brought it out to play with T.

It was a hit. She knows her letters and sounds, and is on the way to smoothing them into words. It felt like this activity was the key that fit in the lock.

Fev 24, 7:26 am

Unscheduled GI purge this morning. Several pounds lighter.


Fev 24, 7:57 am

Oh dear. Rest up. Drink lots of fluids.

Fev 25, 8:08 pm

>51 2wonderY: you have my sympathy.

Fev 25, 9:59 pm

Thanks! I’m all better. 24 hours. It’s odd how that is so precise.

Fev 26, 4:39 pm

The locally owned Montgomery Farm Supply Store closed during the Covid shutdown. They were the premium place to buy chicks and bulk seed.
I went looking for pea seed today. Tractor Supply had a rack of burpee packages. Disgusting. They had warming pens up, but no chicks.
The locally owned Ace Hardware does sell bulk seed, but choices are few. I got a pound of pea seed and will broadcast them on one of my mulched flat areas tomorrow.

I’ve started Zucchetta seeds and Spilanthes inside, just for fun.
I will also try growing Black Pearl Peppers from saved seed.

Mar 1, 10:36 am

I spent a chunk of yesterday out in the sunshine, raking, sowing, pulling a few weeds and moving some groundcover plants. I woke with a slightly achy back, but concentrated on the right kidney area. That’s the kidney that threw a stone in 1986; so I made a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow morning.
I’m too busy today to garden, but I’m moving plants from the basement greenhouse and pushing a few out the door to play nicely in the sun.

Mar 1, 11:14 am

>56 2wonderY: My fingers are crossed that it's just moving around more now that Spring is trying to get here and not a stone!

Mar 2, 10:13 am

Thanks. The PA seems to think that’s what it is. I do know the difference between the two kinds of pain. But it is fading and my pee was clean. Which is no guarantee, as the same thing happened prior to the stone which took two weeks of my life.
Anyway, my blood pressure was elevated, so now I need to monitor it for a couple of weeks. I also asked for a bone density screen. Lately, getting out of bed mornings, I have to stand there and shrug my frame back into line.

Hmmm. I have more pea seed and a couple of open beds out front.

Mar 2, 1:25 pm

The last owners of this house made lots of updates but they tended to buy off-brand. The sump pump fail was my first indication.

The faucets here are aggravating. The kitchen faucet sputters and sprays randomly without an aerator, and no way to add one. I finally shopped for a replacement. Not many choices here in town. I needed gooseneck, and found a Peerless model. The package was dismayingly light and yeah it’s mostly plastic.

I discovered this morning that none of the shutoff valves works entirely - even the main house shut off. I had to work with water dripping into my face. And the locknuts were overfastened. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get them loose. But I did, and it’s all back together with no leaks. But I plan to shop for a quality metal unit very soon.

Mar 4, 6:25 am

Daughters and two grands came visiting yesterday. Rose had a job interview in town. It’s only for a 6 month contract, but could become permanent.
Anne just came to hang out. And bring Olivia down. Livy will go to WV with me today to do some carpentry work this coming week.
Terrible winds here, with tornado warnings. At least two touched down in the western side of the state. The college campus lost a grand old tree.
I treated us to dinner at Noodles Nirvana. Giant bowls of savory goodness. Rice noodles. Deconstructed spring roll salad. Yum!
T brought her wife - a giant inflatable My Little Pony unicorn. Instead of beauty marks, they have “cutey marks” on their flanks.

During one of the sunny breaks in the weather, we toured the gardens and talked excitedly about all of our plans for new growth and what seeds we’ve already put in flats.
Anne is taking a botany class in Cinci this term and working in the greenhouse. She thinks she’s going to change her major.
And Rose’s husband sent pictures of the eastern red cedars falling all around their property. Garage and power line damage.

Editado: Mar 7, 12:10 pm

>55 2wonderY: I think I wound up buying the Burpee seeds.

There's a True Value Hardware about 30 miles east of me that is like a small town hardware (which it kind of is). They sell bulk seed but too far to go for a few dollars' worth of seeds.

Story on the news about someone who was first in line at Tractor Supply when they opened, bought 900 chicks, cleaned them out!

And someone else showed up at a post office, claiming to be from Tractor Supply, and took delivery of all the chicks.


>58 2wonderY: glad the stone wasn't anything major. I've had them myself, would rather go through childbirth without anesthesia again.

>59 2wonderY: I hate cheap fixes, do understand why some people do them.

Mar 9, 7:59 pm

Made a quick pass through Cinci to drop Olivia off. Daughter waved me away, telling me everyone in the house has terrible flu. So I came on home.
My neighbor to the west has outdone herself. She has lined her front property and driveway with scavenged block and logs. It looks cartoonishly awful. I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow.
It’s possible it will be moved to her projects in the backyard and she is just claiming the materials so no one else carries the stuff away. The house next to her just sold and all this material is being cleared from that property.
My front yard is looking good in comparison.
I brought daffies, a peony and some patches of winter aconite from WV. It was COLD this morning! I had to soak my painful hands after just doing that much digging.

Editado: Mar 10, 9:16 am

>62 2wonderY: do you have a paraffin bath? I bought one several years ago for its skin healing abilities and discovered that it also soothed the pain in my arthritic hands. Mine is very simple but big enough for a foot. Don't get the scented paraffin. I bought essential oils instead, and add a few drops just for the pleasant aroma.

Mar 10, 9:29 am

>63 fuzzi: It was strictly the cold that caused the pain. Thankfully I don’t have arthritis. My mom was terribly crippled by it.

Mar 10, 9:42 am

>64 2wonderY: the paraffin bath could also warm up your cold hands. I don't own paraffin stock, I just love how it works.

Mar 10, 9:52 am

When I left Berea last Saturday, daughter and T were staying till later, as they had a circus to go to in the afternoon. But as I was packing the car and getting ready to go, T was working on a leprechaun trap on the living room floor. I was so glad to find it still intact when I got home last evening, as I hadn’t taken a picture.
Here it is:

Does it look promising?

Mar 10, 10:55 am

But did it trap a leprechaun?

Mar 10, 11:00 am

>67 MarthaJeanne: Not yet. But it’s early. I’ll let you know if it does.

Editado: Mar 10, 11:15 am

What will you do with a leprechaun if you do trap it?

Jerry was trying to indicate the exact meaning of

John is searching for a unicorn

in a linguistics paper many years ago, but we never did get that figured out, even after several visits to the unicorn horns in Vienna's museums.

Editado: Mar 10, 5:06 pm

>69 MarthaJeanne: I’ve sent the question to the creator of the trap.

Did I mention that daughter, Rose, was hired for the job she interviewed for last week? “Quality engineer.”
We had a nice long phone conversation today. She will move in with me at the end of next week while she looks for an apartment. If nothing comes open, T will join us in May. Her husband may look for work back up here this year. If they are both employed they can shop for a home. Seems they want to keep their marriage intact. (Yay!). If only they can keep that thought uppermost, they may be able to make it work.
They both love the farm his parents still own, but it’s just not got employment opportunities, being a rural and backward part of the state.
So my mission is to clear the second floor bedroom. I use it as attic/junk/craft space as well as spare bedroom.
I can do this!

Mar 11, 3:53 am

BTW Separations of a few months can be poison even to an otherwise intact marriage, even when there are no viable options.

Mar 11, 6:01 am

>71 MarthaJeanne: Or it can be a breather that helps them appreciate each other more. This was my experience, at least.

Mar 11, 12:27 pm

Ooo, if I were a leprechaun I would definitely have a wander through that trap.

A few days before St. Patrick's Day, we would find leprechaun "eggs" in the yard. Green, glitter covered foam balls. We would put them in a basket with some pennies, then the morning of St. Patrick's Day the children would find tiny, green footprints all through the house (footprint stamp with green paint). In the basket were gold, foil wrapped chocolates, and maybe some special coins.

Mar 11, 5:44 pm

>66 2wonderY: love her imagination!

>70 2wonderY: wishing you, your daughter and her family a successful resolution.

>73 MrsLee: what a marvelous tradition!

Mar 19, 9:08 am

The temperatures are again hovering near 20F at night and all the color has drained from my yard.

This was two weeks ago:

The magenta weeping peach now has brown flowers. I’ve got the candy corn spireas under buckets and bins, but they look charred too. They at least will probably bounce back. They did last year.

Mar 19, 10:24 am

>76 2wonderY: good news!


Mar 19, 7:07 pm

>76 2wonderY: Love that!

Mar 20, 7:57 am

>70 2wonderY: I spent yesterday doing a final push to de-clutter the upstairs. I not only had paper piles and boxes of misc. to resolve, I emptied four large drawers and cleared dresser tops. I’ve resolved some of the piles, but some are now located in the downstairs bedrooms for further processing. I had just finished vacuuming when Rose arrived. She was surprised and pleased at what I had accomplished.
It will be a new learning opportunity for me. I haven’t shared house with anyone since she left for college 18 years ago.
We have different bathroom preferences and mine is tiny. I need to clear countertop space for a coffee machine.
I hope she can feel comfortable here, in particular sleeping okay on the twin bed that’s available. I know I couldn’t tolerate that for long.

Editado: Mar 22, 7:50 am

We’re wrestling with the bed issue. Rose is proposing buying a queen mattress. Getting it up the closed in stairway with tight bends top and bottom is an issue. We could do a rolled mattress. I’m going to move the twin frames together today and lay the mattresses sideways. If nothing else, it will get the room ready for the larger mattress.

I’ve added a plastic drawer set in the bathroom, under the pedestal sink. Wow! Rose has a lot of personal care items. I’m a minimalist in this category. Better collected underneath than taking over all the rim of the sink.

I’ve pressed some spring flowers. Wow! I’ll share pictures later today. Pressed hellebores are magical!

Mar 22, 12:08 pm

>81 2wonderY: Lovely. I bought a rolled mattress from Amazon and was quite impressed with its comfort. It took all the strength husband and I had to move it. Very heavy, and even harder to handle once it was unrolled. Be sure you have it where you want it before you do that.

Mar 23, 8:51 am

I know. I’ve bought 3 mattresses online, all twin, all rolled. The first turned out to be very firm. Daughter helped me research and choose. Later, she chose a much more comfy twin for my dad’s sick bed. I wrestled that one from his Pittsburgh house to this house in KY and up the stairs. I probably had help for that and the other, moved from the ridgetop cabin early on when fitting up the attic bedroom. Yes, it must have been Olivia helping me. When I furnished the second downstairs bedroom, I bought another of the comfy mattresses.
So yesterday, the twins I combined upstairs had very different feels, but was judged by Rose to not be an issue, though she admitted this morning she staid on the comfy one thinking the other might slide.
I laid down on it this morning and agreed. So after she left for work, I wrestled the downstairs one up the stairs myself. I hate that these models don’t have handles. I had to wrap it with a truck tie-down to get the physics I needed. It’s now on the United bed frames and makes a world of difference.
Bringing the other one down is next but should be much simpler.

Editado: Mar 23, 8:59 am

I recall that the IKEA rolled mattresses took longer than I expected to get their full size. It also took a few days for their odour to neutralize. None of which is a problem if you haven't planned to buy today and sleep on it tonight.

Mar 23, 9:42 am

>80 2wonderY: can you just get it delivered? It would probably be worth the extra money.

Mar 23, 10:01 am

>85 fuzzi: It seems to be a non-issue now. I will combine the twins with a fitted king sheet. It may need just a bit of a tuck. But laying them horizontally instead of the regular way is a good alternative:

And I see you can bind them together with tie-down strapping around the perimeter. I laid down and it’s very comfortable. I may try it out for real this weekend when Rose goes home.

I’ll take pictures once it’s all back together.

Mar 23, 3:09 pm

Good gosh! It’s 76°F here today. Doors wide open and tasks done from the deck!
Gazing at all the yard work that needs done already.

Mar 24, 9:51 am

I promised attic bedroom pictures.

Before and after:

Mar 24, 1:37 pm

>88 2wonderY: Very nice!

Editado: Mar 25, 11:07 am

The sky has been washed clean and the sun makes it blaze blue. Bringing the plants up from the basement greenhouse today. And I may sweep and clean the back deck.

Tulips are blooming.

Mar 26, 2:54 pm

More sun today. Dragged the potted plants back outside. A few more cold nights are forecast, so I will be moving them twice a day.
And I hurt my back again.

No, not garden chores. New neighbors up from Alida were outside and waved and tried to have a conversation. I took them a bottle of blackberry cordial and we chatted. Their three year old wanted all my attention. So I tossed him around some. We will be good buddies, I can tell.

Mar 27, 8:08 am

I forgot to mention that my bee house is already active. Adults are coming to lay eggs? I need to learn more about this and also find a time to repair the failing carpentry and re-insert the bamboo rods. I will try to get pics and video too.

Mar 27, 8:22 am

>92 2wonderY: I look forward to that.

>88 2wonderY: thanks!

I leave my house/porch plants inside until the first week of April. They then stay there until November or the first frost.

Editado: Mar 27, 9:08 pm

A lovely evening. Anne drove down from Cincinnati to deliver a piece of play equipment for T. I made a good dinner for us and the three of us ate out on the deck. Good conversation and the only evidence of phones is when we were sharing our lists of books. It’s rare I get my girls all to myself.

Oh, and the hazelnut saplings are leafing out. So cute!!!

Mar 28, 3:17 pm

Mowed! I love how it looks just after.

I found two more places that soil is leaving around the front foundation. It’s now urgent to have a soils contractor out to take a look and diagnose the issue and plan remediation.
I called the city and got passed around from department to department. Someone from codes is supposed to call me back with a contractor suggestion.
I’m coming up blank doing a google search.

Mar 29, 4:21 pm

>95 2wonderY:. New theory and I stopped by the city utility office to see if it would fly. If my sewer line is broken and sucking soil, the city should at least be interested in diagnosing it and helping me find a contractor. They will come out in the next couple of days to examine and perhaps do a dye test or see whether their line has sediment.

Mar 30, 9:06 am

Well, the city guys came and looked and were less than helpful with diagnosis. But they did have a list of plumbers and noted the one they know has a camera to send down the sewer line. He will come this morning.

Mar 30, 12:01 pm

Plumber ran his camera all the way down to the city tie-in. Mix of clay and plastic segments, so repairs have been made in the past. But it was clear and free of any breaks or obstruction. There was one slender root that dripped water. Hmmm.

He will share pictures with his FIL who is a general contractor. The rusting lintel under the basement window at least needs addressed to prevent failure of the brick facade. Maybe excavation there will offer more answers.

Editado: Mar 30, 2:06 pm

Strolling the yard this bright and beautiful day. Finding signs of life where a quick look only tells of death. A lot of the $1 clearance perennials were planted so late in the fall. But a good many of them still have a few leaves that are alive. Small rhododendrons all well. Larger rhododendrons dead or dying.
Some spring ephemerals popping up.

Lilacs are in bud.

Mar 31, 7:27 am

If it’s not one thing….

I’ve got ants at the bathroom sink. They seem to be coming in through the wall behind the sink, though it’s not an outside wall. I will have to take the mirror down today.
What an unpleasant sight first thing in the morning.
I’ve got a citrus vinegar spray, but I will have to get the boric acid powder out.

Editado: Mar 31, 10:18 am

Windex does quite a job on ants.

We have a tablecloth - I think it was a wedding present - it changes from a black tree on a white background at one end to a white tree on a black background at the other, with all the various twigs in the middle. One morning it was covered in ants, and they were moving. I haven't been able to use it since. BTW, that was when we lived in an apartment three stories up.

Mar 31, 10:43 am

>101 MarthaJeanne: I was using citrus vinegar, but I will try window cleaner as well. At the moment, they are all feasting on sugar and boric:

Mar 31, 8:52 pm

>102 2wonderY: I usually spray them with whatever is at hand. Fabreeze, windex, vinegar, etc. It kills them, then I leave them there for a day or two as a warning to any other scouts. Seems to work.

Abr 1, 3:23 pm

We use Terro liquid when ants show up (twice a year). You put the bait on a cardboard square, and the ants drink it up and take it back to the nest. It takes a couple days but they stop coming once the nest is poisoned.

Editado: Abr 1, 9:09 pm

>104 fuzzi: Same thing, just more $$

They’re gone here now.

Abr 4, 11:36 am

The general contractor came out this morning to take a look at my disappearing soil. He recalls he was here maybe six years ago to fix a sewer drainage issue with the house connection. He advises we dig out the area and add positive drainage to the street. His ballpark number sounded reasonable, though he bills by the hour. We talked about adding attic ventilation too, above the upstairs roof. And possibly taking down the brick facade out front and replacing it with something else. But that has to meet the 30 year test. If it will last 30 more years, it will be someone else’s problem.

So I will be removing most of the plantings on that side of the house to allow for excavation.

Abr 4, 2:13 pm

Agh! My back has no resilience any more. I should probably just plan to take aspirin before I start my projects. Middle back these days rather than lower back, for some reason.
Shorts and sleeveless shirts today, in April!

Abr 5, 8:08 am

>107 2wonderY: sorry to hear it. My back is one thing that is holding up. My knees have never been good so I'm unable to squat.

I take baby aspirin when I overdo, and it seems to do as good a job at relieving muscle pain as NSAIDs.

>106 2wonderY: argh. My sympathies. I have banana trees that I need to move, not looking forward to the digging.

Editado: Abr 5, 10:44 am

I got the big rose bush out yesterday and it protested by tipping over onto my head. I got most of the other stuff replanted into the back yard. It’s already sultry today, headed to 81°

T will be here later!

Abr 5, 12:08 pm

How exciting! (T).

Up to 88 here today, whew. I'm still planning on planting my tomatoes and peppers tonight when I get home. It's supposed to rain the next two days, perfect weather for transplants to recover.

Abr 6, 7:51 am

Yes, we have drizzling rain here today. Changes play plans with T. She is up to my chest in height! She’s only 4 still!

I burned out a fledgling mound ant colony yesterday, but I missed a corner of it. I hope I got the queen, but will treat again.

Abr 12, 6:29 pm

I have asparagus!!! I should let it grow without harvesting this first year, yeah? I couldn’t resist. It’s so dang delicious!

Abr 13, 7:34 am

>112 2wonderY: I love asparagus. Maybe I should plant some...

Abr 13, 8:32 am

>113 fuzzi: You can find root clumps sold at the farm stores. These were pots of seeded asparagus sold last year at Ace Hardware. They seem more successful establishing than the other.

Abr 13, 10:57 am

New neighbor asked to borrow a ladder this afternoon. The one he wants was on the ridgetop. And I had a few boxes of stuff that needed to go out there.
I’ve been dreading the changes, but I went. Didn’t see anyone, but the new gate was open. Good. I hate messing with it.

Didn’t spend a lot of time, but did a quick look at my gardens. The apple trees are finally blooming and so are the cherries. The peaches too, but those trees look pretty ramshackle.
This is the season to get a clear view of things and the work is easier before all the brambles grow up.
The silence is still there to be cherished.

I plan to go back out in the next week and do some work.
Picked a couple stalks of asparagus out there and snacked.

Abr 13, 8:07 pm

Just got a text from grandson. He says wedding guests are asked to wear red and black. Isn’t that stretching a theme a bit too far?

Abr 13, 9:13 pm

>116 2wonderY: What is the theme?

Abr 13, 9:25 pm

Well, I thought they were just planning a simple yard/garden ceremony. But he mentioned a church in his text this time. I know it’s so tempting to keep adding elements every moment of preparation.😁

Abr 14, 2:32 am

My oldest son and his bride told me they wanted me in pastel pink. I don't wear pastel pink. But I found a really great dress in bright red.

Abr 14, 6:40 pm

I dropped off a clump of lily of the valley to neighbor up the hill yesterday. She reciprocated with two Roma tomato plants. I got to walk in her woodsy garden, which I hadn’t got to last spring. She has scads of everything, including lily of the valley.
But she wants to come walk my yard to see what holes she can fill. She has an acre and a half, facing south, away from town. Amazing how much more in bloom compared to my north facing slope.
Got permission to bring my daughter for a walk through and we did so this evening. Her gasp when we rounded the house was wonderful.
I’m happy with my hellebores, but hers are monsters!
Some spring ephemerals have survived and returned - jacobs ladder or Solomon’s seal and goatsbeard

Editado: Abr 15, 12:52 pm

Cherry tart sedum, cobweb hen and chick
From Connie.

Potting Shed -Appears two of my azaleas didn’t make it, so I got a larger Encore ‘Autumn Royalty’ deep pink.
Also one succulent for the slope - Hen & Chicks ‘Killer’ - nice open rosettes with a splash of red.
Lavender ‘Hidecote Blue’ because I want some.
Pineapple Sage - only one because I now know how easy it is to propagate. And yes, I have one that lived from last year.

The college greenhouses: two ‘Wisconsin 55’ tomato plants, ‘Red Flame’ Celosia, Blue Poppy ‘Hungarian’ a ‘Ping Tung Long’ eggplant and two veggies for their pretty leaves - Red Veined sorrel and ‘Boro’ red beet.

Oh, and a native Hazelnut sapling, from an independent seller in the college greenhouse parking lot. In other words, he doesn’t know the variety. But it won’t hurt to have a bit of diversity, esp. for just $12.

Editado: Abr 16, 12:17 pm

Worked HARD moving dirt, cleaning out the composter, sweeping the deck and, oh, putting some plants in the ground.
Putting hoses together is a priority tomorrow as I don’t want to stress the new babies.

I’ve removed carpet panel #4 from the slope by the deck. I will plant it with more succulents as I did #3.

Abr 16, 7:36 pm

Worked all day in the gardens and then dragged potted plants and seedlings back inside because temps will be in the high 30s for the next nights.

Thank goodness for the second bedroom and it’s door out to the deck.

Abr 17, 7:42 am

Reporting on the bulbs I bought in December and how they performed.

I got 18 Apricot Impression tulips, 6 Princess Irene tulips and 3 Tahiti daffodils.

The Apricot Impression tulips really brightened the front yard for nearly a month. The Princess Irenes are going to flower soon.
I wouldn’t normally buy daffodils, as I have great piles of them, but couldn’t resist Tahiti. They are late bloomers, just now at their peak, while the others are long gone. I will repeat this purchase next year.

Abr 17, 7:57 am

I'm reading, enjoying your journal.

We can't do tulips here unless as annuals, it doesn't get cold enough over the winter.

I'd need to research asparagus and what variety could handle our summers.

Last year I grew Roma tomatoes which my dad and husband loved. Hope they do well for you.

Abr 17, 9:34 am

I want to review what survived and what didn’t from last fall’s clearance sale purchases.
The list starts here:

Also, I think the two roses whose leaves were eaten late in the season have not survived. More later; I have a full day.

Abr 17, 3:59 pm

I walked up the street to meet with a neighbor about Earth Day activities this weekend.
Passed a guy working on a rock perched on the back of his truck. It was unaccountably wet, so I commented on his getting water from a stone. We chatted a minute. He’s a neighbor and is hauling rocks and plants for a pond he’s installing in his backyard. He gave me a few pond sedges for my pond.
Returning later, I noticed the sign on the door of the truck - Rock Castles Landscaping.

Ha! I might pay him for a consultation out back.

Abr 18, 8:43 am

Editado: Abr 19, 4:00 pm

My excavator stopped by today with his crew to line out the work starting next week. They will have a very small digger to go down to the foundation on the west side of the front porch and dig a narrow trench out to the street for drain line. They moved the concrete window well out of the way.
I removed more plants.
Bill and Blake are my crew.

811 guys will be out this week to mark water and sewer lines.

Abr 19, 5:22 pm

Katie, from up the hill dropped off a dozen foxgloves just now and left with a bucket of yellow loosestrife.

Abr 20, 8:17 am

My irises are beginning to throw up buds. Well, some clumps are, some aren’t. I warned these guys. I will be digging out the non-productive clumps. Some I will give a second chance on a front slope. Others will be passed on to other gardens.

Already took my aspirin this morning. I’ve got a wrenching muscle pain below my right ribs.

Can’t stop just now. I have more plants to move for the foundation dig. I’m disgusted with the design of the brickwork. It rests on a lintel 12 feet, supported only on the ends. No wonder it’s sagging.

Abr 20, 9:01 am

>131 2wonderY: I keep moving my irises. Some of them now are blooming, will be moving more non-bloomers to a brighter area.

Abr 20, 6:04 pm

>131 2wonderY: Sadly, my irises do not seem to be putting up much of a show this year. I don't know whether they are too crowded, lacked water last year, or what. Possibly all of the above.

Abr 21, 4:55 am

My big ones aren't ready to blossom yet, but the mini ones in the spring garden are lovely.

Abr 21, 5:28 am

>134 MarthaJeanne: Yes they are! And I can tell Jerry’s camera work. How is he feeling?

Editado: Abr 21, 5:57 am

Well drat! I’ve been misidentifying a volunteer in my WV yard and introducing it in my yard here. Not winter aconite, it’s lesser celandine. An invasive.
I’ve been enjoying the varieties of lawn plants at the top of the yard this week where I haven’t mowed, but where I’ve managed to almost eliminate the wintercreeper. Must keep an eye on the competition and the insects they serve.

Editado: Abr 22, 12:03 pm

I do a daily walk around to remove the dandelions. My campaign has been largely successful, despite my neighbors lack of appreciation. Alida revels in her large dandelions. Mine are no longer platter-sized, just little guys anymore.
The other spring weed I pull is Annual Fleabane. It grows mostly in the lawn and I don’t like it. It’s coarse. There is a seasonal progression to the plant. While it is growing it’s flower stem, which has a shepherd crook shape, the roots are nearly impossible to pull. Once the flowers are open, the plant loosens its grip and the entire plant can be pulled. Both weeds go in a bag to be disposed off-site because the flowers continue to develop to seed.

The Mouseear Chickweed gets pulled when it’s in the flower garden this time of year, just so I can see what is coming up under its enthusiasm. But the piles of mat-like debris just get added to the compost pile. It’s not a plant that could ever be bested, and I won’t try.

I definitely have my weed preferences.

Abr 22, 2:10 pm

Well, Linda was just here from the Berea Arts Council. She organizes the annual garden tour. Last year, after we so enjoyed the tour, I had left my name to possibly be on this year’s tour. After she contacted me, I realized just how many projects I had started last year and which are still a mess pile. So when I discovered I’d have excavation in my front yard, it was an easy excuse to bow out. But she wanted to see my place for a future year.

Lovely lady. She’s staggering around on knees that need replaced, but she walked up my slope part way. I volunteered to help with organizational tasks. Seems a good way to get to know some gardeners better. I gave her a small bottle of blackberry cordial.

Abr 23, 10:50 am

Golly, it’s cold out! Digging will start in earnest tomorrow, so I’m still removing plants from that bed.
We will have another freeze tonight and then nights in the 40s.

Today I am manning a table at an Earth Day event, trying to drum up interest for the Climate Action group. We lost 3 of the 5 steering members, and Joan and I are battling discouragement.

Abr 24, 7:19 am

>137 2wonderY: I don't generally pull weeds from my yard because they're all the green I have, ha!

I've been pulling assorted weeds and tossing them into the chicken yard. It's turning into a beautiful big compost pile and the chicks are doing the turning for me. They're 8 weeks old and already look like chickens!

Abr 24, 7:21 am

>133 MrsLee: my bearded irises are not blooming yet, my wording in >132 fuzzi: is misleading. The ones I moved bloomed the last two years, no buds yet.

However, my POND irises have been putting on a gorgeous yellow show for a couple weeks! They finally are coming into their own.

Abr 24, 10:18 am

Gary (the contractor) called me yesterday to say they’d be out today mid-morning. Not here yet; but it’s given me a chance to clear the entire bed, except for the lilac, which I will wait till I have to.
Also looking at the slope they must cut into to get to the curb. It has had carpet on it for two years, with me adding plants a bit at a time. The slope actually bulges some and I’m going to have them remove some of the bulge. It’s really good soil and should go back in the flower beds. It will also make it easier for me to build raised beds at the top edge, as I did on the eastern side. There used to be a retaining wall, and I found the remaining blocks that they will have to come through for the drain line.

At least it’s a pretty day. We had rain and freezing temps over the weekend.

Daughter dug up some paw paw saplings and brought them this morning. I should get them in dirt quickly.

Abr 24, 2:18 pm

Well, after mowing the front yard (last chance for a while) I laid down for a bit. Somebody dropped off a bobcat out front and left again. It’s a bit bigger than I had reckoned. Still no workers.

Abr 25, 8:50 am

I hate when contractors aren’t prepared. They started digging where we know the water line is. I suggested they turn off at the meter before they get there. Well, they don’t have the key to shut it off and had to go get it. On my dime.

Abr 25, 2:25 pm

Well good thing we shut the water off. They found the line and ripped it in two.

Abr 25, 6:52 pm

>145 2wonderY: *insert groan with eye roll here*

Abr 26, 7:47 am

>145 2wonderY: :facepalm:

It's so hard to find "good" (competent) help.

I assume they will cover the cost of the damages?

Abr 26, 8:49 am

I worked HARD yesterday, and woke with no pain this morning. Remarkable.
That front slope contains the best soil in my yard. So I did collect some and put it in some beds that needed soil. Alida is out there this morning with a wheelbarrow shoveling up the clay and shale stuff for projects in her back yard. She’s building ponds.
They’ve already removed three truckloads and will take away two more today.
There is a truck full of gravel out front ready to be thrown in the hole. The mechanics of it are puzzling. There’s not a lot of room and that slope to deal with. That bobcat is working very hard.

Abr 26, 9:23 am

They’ve started filling up the trench starting at the street. First gravel for drainage and then dirt on top. The operator (Bill) is pretty skillful. I might have to go rescue another of my spireas though.
They’ve gone to get more gravel and another smaller piece of equipment.

Abr 26, 11:48 am

I’m having to supplement the tools and supplies for these guys. Sadly, my concrete bolts are in WV. They keep drilling into the block and finding only voids. They need expanding bolts, but came with something that needs solid.
Shaking my head.

Abr 26, 12:15 pm

>150 2wonderY: that's not reassuring.

Editado: Abr 26, 4:17 pm

It’s mostly done now. The trenches are filled in and the drain lines are in place. They’ve gone for a load of good dirt (topsoil) to put in the last foot up. He has scraped the yard to an inch of its life. I need to put grass seed down.
Tomorrow they will cut trenches in the sidewalk and curb so the water will be released into the gutter rather than across the sidewalk.
And I can start putting the gardens back in. The plants are all sitting in 5 gallon buckets and other water holding containers. I seem to have just enough.

We managed with just what I had on hand, to incorporated the gutter drainage into the trench. So the downspouts from the back are tied into one, running along the ground to the front and then into the trench. The front drops right into the trench and empties a dozen feet from the house. Much better!

Abr 27, 11:20 am

We had to go through an old clay drain that was exposed just under the surface. Thankfully, when they cut it, it was full of dirt, not sewage. Bill says he has seen old sewer lines that close to the surface.

They are nearly done and the drainage greatly improved. I’ve started putting plants back in place.

Abr 27, 8:35 pm

>153 2wonderY: good news. Glad they were able to combine front and back drainage.

Editado: Abr 27, 10:46 pm

The entire west side of the front yard is bare dirt, including the slope. The excavator was all over, packing down what he wasn’t moving, and tearing up the grass on the east side too, leaving tracks. He managed to not quite disturb the peach and cherry trees, but I had to rescue other stuff.
I finally built that raised bed at the northwest corner of the house. It’s really basic, more a suggestion than a feature. But it keeps the postman from tramping through the flowerbeds. I got my favorite rose and the lilac back in place and half the rest of the specimens and restored some of the plantings at the bottom of the slope. It’s the great bare expanse in between that I’m concerned about. Carpets laid out again to help prevent erosion.

I’m going to a new to me greenhouse tomorrow, so I hope to bring back new treasures.
I will also dig lots of wild geranium at the ridgetop. I have beds crammed with them up there. It grows very densely and should work well on the slope.

Abr 28, 7:31 am

Thunderstorms predicted today. It rained just enough last night to make it impossible to work in the front yard.

Instead, I will bake cookies for the last soil science session. And afterwards, Joan and I will check out the plants at a greenhouse.

Sounds like a solid plan. I’m generally pain free today, though I worked like a drayman yesterday. I nearly fell asleep soaking in the tub last evening. I couldn’t live without a tub.

Next project is installing ventilation in the gables, above the attic ceiling. A very small space. Hmm. Might be better to put one through the roof.

Abr 28, 1:02 pm

Frost Kiss hellebore has variegated leaves. Katie will get seeds for us from the plants on campus.

Editado: Abr 28, 4:22 pm

The prices were excellent! Way out in the country and the proprietors are Amish. I heard another buyer trying to talk her down from her very low prices. Shame on him.

The light might be different out there. The blooms all had an extra radiance. My purchases are still in Joan’s car. I am curious whether they will look as good in town.

I dropped cookies off at the last soils class. They asked me what class I’m taking next term. Great bunch of young people.

Abr 28, 7:30 pm

>155 2wonderY: good that you got most of your plants back in the ground before the rains came.

>156 2wonderY: what type of ventilation are you planning?

>158 2wonderY: the workman is worthy of his hire. Some people unfortunately get into the flea market or yard sale mentality of "What's the lowest you'll take?"

Abr 29, 12:04 pm

>159 fuzzi: I was thinking a gable vent fan, but there doesn’t seem to be enough room above the attic ceiling. So probably through the roof fan, as in my other house. It makes so much difference. Might even replace the AC.

Abr 29, 12:31 pm

A full and interesting morning. I’m taking a break to lay on the heating pad because my back is spasming.

I gave all the cookies away yesterday, so I thought I’d bake another batch. But not enough chocolate chips left.
Dollar Tree first. No chips, but gladioli bulbs and a few flower seeds.
Farmers Market next to see what Connie has. Bumped into a neighbor, Jean, and told her about my trip to Crab Orchard. Her eyes lit up, so we might go out together. There was a heavenly smell wafting, and I tracked it down to a booth with a griddle. They’re making sausage and egg croissants. I usually don’t, but I did. Also came home with a loaf of focaccia bread. Connie had Wood Phlox, Wild Geranium and Columbines. But Jane had bought the last columbine. I substituted dianthus and have to go back next Saturday. Connie has more Candy Corn Spirea, in case mine don’t survive the bucket treatment this week.
Next the antique mall for a quick look at the tool booth. I picked up Alida’s shovel once this week and was appalled at its rickety condition. So I’m on the lookout for a replacement. This booth charges $5 to $7 for a shovel. No luck on that, but found a wood shelving unit to replace what I revived from the basement for books upstairs. Good. Tools and misc. hardware back up off the floor.
Next door to Ace Hardware, hoping they were selling asparagus in pots. I bought 2 pots of seeded asparagus last year. They came back like gangbusters. Much better than buying the roots. But no. Just bought nasturtium seed.

And finally down the row to the grocery store, where I did buy the chocolate chips. The cashier pointed out some gardening gloves she thought I’d like. She said a woman's hormones will kill tomato and bean plants at a certain time of the month. That’s what her mama told her. We exchange a few anecdotes about “the change of life” and hot flashes.

Not quite done. I passed the Berea Arts Council and was reminded today is their plant sale. Saw Linda there (see >138 2wonderY:) and she wants to invite me out to her gardens. Yay! A new friend! I came away with spider lilys, Siberian iris and a Sensitive Fern. Also some gorgeous botanical stationary.

A quick view of some of yesterday’s haul:

Abr 29, 7:18 pm

>161 2wonderY: lovely!

What's the daisy-like flower in the second photograph, below the dianthus?

Editado: Abr 29, 9:11 pm

>159 fuzzi: I must have given you a wrong impression. I’ve just started to put the plants back in the ground. Still loads of stuff waiting in buckets.
I picked at it this afternoon, switching from front yard to back and then reversing again. I’m making it up as I go.
Neighbor across the street, Melanie, came over to chat. I gave her daffodils and irises. She gave me a pot of oregano. She said my shirt looked picturesque. I hadn’t thought about it, but it does resemble a French garden smock.

Katie texted offering hellebores. Green flowered. Yes! She walked them down and carried home some iris and some blackberry cordial.

The southeast corner of the yard is changing rapidly. Both the eastern and SE neighbor are clearing brush and small trees. What I had planned as light shade will now be full sun!! And no longer private! I will have to come up with a quick growing privacy hedge.
I did see the SE neighbor and gave him a bottle of cordial too.

I got hellebore, woodland phlox, sensitive fern and the rest of the lily of the valley planted in the SW corner.

Editado: Abr 30, 9:59 am

It’s a seriously overcast morning. Not threatening rain, but depressing.
New neighbor, April, is having a brunch next Saturday. The invitation specifies “wear a hat.” She is delightful.

Well, I should at least put shoes on and do a morning tour. My dwarf Solomon’s Seal came back and has tiny white bell flowers. Goatsbeard is also coming up; and a plant I’ve forgotten the name is also blooming beautifully. Must recall. I got packs of labels at the Dollar Tree yesterday and plan on marking everything.

Oh, and found a mature red stinkhorn fungus yesterday. Look it up.

Editado: Maio 10, 7:47 am

>162 fuzzi: Possibly Osteospermum. I wasn’t doing a very good job of keeping track and making sure they all had tags.

I will be listing plants in this post, and will be editing it multiple times as I put stuff in the ground, etc.

The four dahlias are in the front east garden along the house. One is Figaro yellow. The others are Hypnotica Red 2019 (it glows), Rose Bicolor (wow! Peachy pink) and Icarus (yellow edged in red).

The petunias are in the large tub at the corner of the house and carport. ‘Flower Shower Mayan Sunset’ (pink with yellow center)

‘Dallas Red’ Lantana, both in the ground eaither side of the porch steps. The one in the ground grew better than the one in the pot last year.

Gladiolus ‘Pink Supreme’ from Dollar Tree and 18 mixed colors, planted along the front foundation. Last year’s are coming up too.

On the sedum slope:
Dunce Cap - Orostachys iwarenge
Orange Ice Plant - Lampranthus aureus

Editado: Abr 30, 8:12 pm

What a changeable day. Sun followed by blustery cold rain and back to sun for a short time. I picked at the gardening tasks. I even got two tomato plants in the ground.

I took a break to go see a high school production of Grease, but it was so bad I didn’t stay.
Took some antihistamine and a nap. Now I won’t be getting to sleep at a good time.
Made myself go back outside in the cold breeze and water the tomatoes. Cold for me, not the plants. Heat modulation is failing in this nearly 69 year old body.

Oh, met a neighbor. He was driving off, but, as I was putting in plants near the curb, stopped to introduce himself and ask about all the excavation. His name is Mike, and he’s a chiropractor. Good to know.

Abr 30, 8:44 pm

>166 2wonderY: good to know a chiropractor. I still visit my former employers about every six weeks. It keeps me in line, as does the outside work...I didn't need much tweaking this Spring.

>163 2wonderY: I have a similar issue. New neighbor to the west has cleared almost all the trees and shrubs on his side of our chainlink fence boundary. His back porch light must be LED, it's incredibly bright, I can see it all the way into my front yard! The big holly trees are gone, and I miss the buffer. Let me know what you plan for privacy. I was contemplating a few sections of 6' stockade panels, strategically placed, but would rather do a hedge.

Maio 1, 11:41 am

Canadian Hemlock? That might be overkill.

It’s another cool day, and I’m staying inside.
I’ve got to catch up on paperwork and follow up on a couple of commitments other than gardening.

But the first thing I did was a thorough dusting under my bed and cleaning the bedroom floor. I had lost an earring. I found it as well as another that I didn’t know I had lost.
I should follow through and clear piles.
But other daughter, Anne, is coming for a visit tomorrow. So I need to clear that bedroom too and plan something for supper.
The Arts Council lady has invited me out to her place to see her gardens, and timing it so Anne can go too. Linda’s place was on the garden tour last year, but we ran out of time and didn’t get there. So, a private tour. 😁

Editado: Maio 2, 10:28 am

fuzzi, a large box of books is residing in that bedroom with your name on it. Do you know yet when you are going to Chicago?

A good part of the other boxes in that bedroom are assigned to daughters and grands. So I should soon have a clearer floor.

Sunshine today, but temps not getting to 60F.

I’ve got Black Pearl peppers started from seed. They are SO SLOW. But I mixed up a light Miracle Gro and I think I saw growth overnight.

Maio 2, 12:33 pm

Editado: Maio 4, 7:43 am

Yesterday, Anne and I drove out to the end of the road to Linda’s place. She has no neighbors in sight and owns a shallow bowl of land that is largely meadow bordered by a creek and trees. She has a large, shallow pond that is still suffering from the dry weather last year, but it attracts herons and kingfishers. She has a raised koi pond with about 20 monsters (in size; I can’t speak for their temperaments.) And a small pond with circulating water in a built stream and waterfall.

There were two flowers that were stealing the show - Coral Charm peonies, which bloom earlier than the old fashioned peonies. She has lots of those too, still in tight bud. The other flower is Batik Iris. A deep purple with white patterning. Wow!
Extensive beds around her house and she builds more beds every year. She’s around my age and needs knee replacements; hopefully scheduled to miss the garden seasons.

I only came away with a hardy begonia and samples of an unidentified meadow flower. But I expect this to develop further. I volunteered to be a garden host for half the day of the tour.

We walked along the creek and discovered lots of spring ephemerals too.

We took a wrong turn going home and got lost in another county for a while.

Maio 4, 8:33 am

>171 2wonderY: wish I were there, sounds wonderful.

Maio 5, 2:46 pm

There is a tree removal service doing some cutting a block away, and today they are running branches through the chipper. I stopped and asked if anyone has asked for the chips yet. The answer was “No” so I gave them my address. They said it will be a day or so before they will dump it.

Meanwhile, I bagged up leaves not picked up by the city. I don’t know why they neglected this pile, but it’s old enough to have mulched underneath. Put them on the beds I’m re-establishing and wet them down so they stay.

New neighbor is having a garden party tomorrow and I offered silver cutlery and serving pieces. Alida is having a party in June and I will do the same. Gotta keep the standards high here.

Maio 6, 8:53 am

>173 2wonderY: score! (wood chips and leaves)

Maio 7, 11:13 am

Just taking a ramble through the yard this morning, digging dandelion and fleabane, I saw a newly planted butterfly bush quiver. Ran for the camera:

I re-dug the plant back in. The soil there is too loose for good mole digging. They are better off staying under the lawn.

And then I continued my walk, carrying bucket, shovel and phone. No pockets! Never again. I put the phone down a couple of times and forgot the last place. Took me half an hour to locate it again. And a storm is threatening.

Maio 7, 8:19 pm

hardy begonia (Begonia grandis)
Note to self: need to move my sample to a shadier part of the yard and mark it and refrain from disturbing it so it will establish a colony.

Maio 8, 9:11 am

>175 2wonderY: oh, wow! We have moles and shrews here but I've not seen them "at work" like that. I've read evidence that they eat fire ants as well as grubs and worms so I'm not upset when the ground's a bit "humpy" in the morning.

Maio 8, 9:14 am

>176 2wonderY: new one to me. I can think of a spot where I'd place them. The north side of the house is getting too shady for much more than hardy sedum, even the irises don't bloom there. Hmm.

Editado: Maio 8, 9:26 am

Oldest and youngest granddaughters are here for the week. We started with a tea party this morning (hot chocolate rather than tea is on the menu. Whipped cream and grated chocolate sprinkle).
T is learning polite distribution of the food; not to load her own plate so full that others have less choice.
She will be touring her summer camp today and O and I will take the old Mazda to my mechanic for some honest work checking.
I’m hoping we have time to go to the ridgetop and pick spearmint and bring the 3 story wooden play barn into town.

T’s first play last evening was lining up the ever growing dog pack (and a random cow) that live on my toy shelf. They have always been her favorite. She has a few at home too, but her parents don’t help her to keep them accessible and they get lost there.

Maio 8, 9:27 am

>179 2wonderY: I love reading about you and T. You're blessed that they can visit, even if sporadically.

Maio 8, 10:13 am

Plans are for her to be here with her mom most of the summer.

Editado: Maio 8, 4:51 pm

What an interesting day we are having!
Met my new neighbors on the ridgetop. They seem nice. Moved here from California.
Brought the barn into town and cleared space for it on the deck. Pics later. The tree servicing guy knocked at my door about the chips. My driveway is too steep, so they will be dumped on Alida’s drive and we will share. This guy remembers removing five huge trees from this backyard.

We knew a robin family is nesting in a corner of the deck eave. The parents fly away in a huff when we come outside. But we haven’t heard the chicks. We put the ladder up and Olivia took a picture. Crowded with fairly large 4 or 5 brood. They were all asleep. We counted beaks.

T has seen the little boy up the block and they’ve waved. I texted the mom to see whether we could get together. Now she is wrangling for a time when she can join us for a tea party. They are vegan, so our typical menu will need to be revised.

Olivia picked a good supply of spearmint on the ridgetop and we brewed her favorite beverage.

Huh, bright sun all day till just now when another storm is passing through.

Maio 9, 10:00 am

>183 2wonderY: I would be delighted, too!

So, Mr. T is the farmer? I pity the fools who mess with the animals...

Maio 9, 1:25 pm

He does look a bit like Mr. T! But he’s a WW wrestler.
T fixed that swinging stanchion today. I gave her a bit of telephone wire and she needed no further direction.

We invited the boy up the street for a tea party today. He’s just a year younger, but is a wild thing. This was his first visit to my yard and he was overstimulated. Luckily, he likes to hold my hand, so I helped him learn how to be safe and not plow straight through all barriers getting to his point of interest.

Editado: Maio 9, 3:55 pm

My back was spasming, so I thought I might as well mow the back yard. What with the excavation and re-planting going on in the front yard, the back was getting pretty wild.
So I took two aspirin and began. Darn!! I ran over my good hose. Professional rubber hose made by Craftsman more than three decades ago. Lifetime purchase…. almost.
But I did get the whole thing done. Now to go sit on the deck and appreciate the view.

Editado: Maio 9, 9:41 pm

>186 2wonderY: aw, sorry about your back, and the hose. I have been shopping for a new hose, the old ones aren't leaking but are at the point of kinking with every movement. AND the non-brass alloy connectors have fused themselves to the hose bibs. The only way to remove them is to saw them off, delicately.

I want to bury a section, too.

Maio 10, 12:05 pm

The chips were delivered this morning. We had to choose one spot; so since I share a driveway, we had Charlie dump in Alida’s drive. It takes up nearly all the space. So we are wheelbarrowing it to our respective uphill backyards.

It’s hot and sunny today.

Maio 11, 10:05 am

My goodness! The excitements!

Garter snake yesterday, raccoon this morning. Cat-sized cutie napping on one of my deck chairs. Did not want to be disturbed and very reluctantly moved to Alida’s yard. She would keep it, but several of us have small children, so it must go.
Not having any success phoning.
I did not need this complication.

Maio 11, 1:19 pm

T earlier today, telling me how rough her mom is:
“She took her sword and cut the refrigerator in half.”
I asked her how else you’re supposed to open the refrigerator?



Maio 12, 11:44 am

Livie must be a magnet for wildlife. Today we saw blue-tailed skink. Much too quick for the camera.

Editado: Maio 12, 4:30 pm

Note to self. Next maintenance on my Honda is CR axles at $250 each.
I had my mechanic diagnose and repair items on granddaughter’s Mazda. Very different list than the random mechanic in Cinci.

Maio 12, 6:42 pm

This year’s garden tour is Saturday, and I’m supposed to work half a day, but I haven’t heard from anyone.
I looked up the schedule. Seven sites this year. Better than the twenty or so last year.

List of Gardens
Mary Startzman
“Magical Secret Garden”

“Flowers, Food, & Foliage in Harmony”

Katie Heckman
“Rose Cottage”

Urban Farm
"Educational market garden"

Kent and Diana Gilbert
"Brother Sun, Sister Moon"

Glenda Shoopman
"Gifts from my grandmother"

Michael and Mary Jo Jenkins
"Perpetual flowers"

I want to see the last one in particular.

Editado: Maio 13, 12:19 pm

Met the new owner of the Potting Shed. (Andrea?). Rose and I went this morning and indulged ourselves. Happy plant day!

Alida and her neighbor on the other side, Dylan, were wheeling the last of the chips pile early this morning, so I joined them (before tea!) to help and to claim a few loads more for myself. We got her driveway all clean again.

Editado: Maio 13, 4:21 pm

Connie did have two beautiful specimens of Candy Corn Spirea for me today. I also bought a blue/purple Veronica ‘Royal Candles’. (The pink and white versions are very healthy returns in my back garden) and a deep reddish- pink Dianthus ‘Kahori Scarlet’ I’m starting a collection of dianthus in the first raised bed out front, next to the sidewalk stairs.

From the Potting Shed, I got a Chicago Hardy Fig. Hoping for better results this time. Rose got one too.
I indulged on a different Ninebark - ‘Amber Jubilee’ with lemon and red highlights on pale green leaves.
I got a few 3 packs of Portulaca, in vibrant deep pinks and peach salmon. (Happy Hour Deep Red and Happy Hour Orange) I’ve never been successful with these, but hey.
I told Rose I would only buy one rose bush this year; she said she’d buy it for me for Mother’s Day/birthday. I picked out ‘State of Grace’ grandiflora rose. Peachy yellow, and taller than my other roses. It fills a spot in the center of the east front foundation bed. The other two roses flanking it nearly died this winter and are slow to come back.
So I lied to Rose and bought a second rose - ‘Campfire’ which has a loose jezebel habit. Blooms start yellow and darken to pink.

Maio 13, 2:07 pm

>193 2wonderY: I love that each garden has a theme to focus on. Sounds like a great tour, and just the right amount of gardens. I can't imagine visiting 20 in one day. The senses would dull, or be overwhelmed.

Maio 13, 4:29 pm

I am learning to be patient. Some perennials take until mid-May to show that they are alive.

Crepe myrtle finally threw out a few leaves from the stem. Butterfly bush comes up from the roots. Leaving last year’s stems only marks where it lives. The oak leaf hydrangea is also throwing leaves up at the soil. But it was a terribly hard year with the transplant and drought.

There are others I need to note here, but I don’t have their names memorized yet.

Maio 13, 8:31 pm

>196 MrsLee: I overestimated the number of gardens last year. The total was 13, and I think we only missed seeing the three that were way out in the countryside. But yes, even 10 was too rushed.
But the range of gardens ran from a couple that were just two years old to one that’s been worked for 4 decades and has been featured in gardening magazines.
I did get my assignment this morning.😁

Maio 13, 11:24 pm

>195 2wonderY: 'Campfire' is a lovely rose - one of the hardy Canadian Artists series (named after a Tom Thompson painting). I had one but it seems to have died this winter due to having been dug up in September and not replanted until the end of October. Normally the roses in this series survives our winters quite well.

Maio 14, 9:41 am

>199 tardis: Great! Many of my purchased roses seem to have been hit particularly hard by the cold this year. That might change where I place it.

Happy Mothers Day my good friends!
This is the first day I am without children and grands for a while. I had a proper sleep-in till 9:30. I have been working very hard. Today I will try to get all plants in the ground and watered before it gets too hot.
Then I will drink iced tea on the deck swing.

Maio 14, 10:14 am

Are you paying attention to not putting roses into earth that has recently had roses? They put out chemicals that discourage other roses.

Maio 14, 10:45 am

>201 MarthaJeanne: Nope. My roses have to get along. But the dirt has been stirred up and replaced significantly this month.

It’s too late to work in the cool. The thermometer says 70°, but it’s soooo muggy and no clouds.

Maio 14, 6:08 pm

Loved seeing your wildlife videos and hearing about your gardening tasks.

Maio 15, 5:32 pm

The sawfly caterpillars are munching down on my favorite rose - the one that has already endured two transplants this month.

Looking for Spinosad

Maio 16, 3:39 pm

I’ve gotten most new plants in the ground. Not all. We are having severe thunderstorms coming through this afternoon. Gusting winds and the possibility of a tornado. The city sirens are going off periodically. So far, it seems pretty normal to me. I’m out surveying the water drainage off the house and property. Still needs work.

I’ve got east and west windows open for the cross breeze. Bedroom windowsill got drenched, but not the pile of papers on the floor beneath it.🤪

Maio 17, 9:42 am

Bone density scan this morning. I’ve shrunk 2.5 inches.
Auto check in wanted me to pay $350. Real check in says there is no patient charge for a screening.

I’d been having new back pain and fatigue and suggested this screening to my primary care person. Also, getting out of bed in the mornings, I had the sensation that I had to stand and wait for my skeleton to settle back into place before I could wak. Since that time in early spring, I’ve been powering through the yard work with the help of mild pain meds. And today I feel perfectly fine. I do have to abbreviate work sessions and lay down more often.

But I had a very elderly lady neighbor in WV who continued gardening using a wooden kitchen chair as a walker. (Back in the day before aluminum walkers were so prolific). Anyway, that’ll be me, I expect.

Editado: Maio 17, 6:06 pm

My peas are standing tall and blooming. I’ve eaten a few strawberries.
I’ve started putting veggies in the veggie garden, pulling aside the heavy straw I laid on. Did I tell you I rescued a bale from the side of the road? Another driver was chagrined that I beat them to it. Lots of seed heads in the straw. Will I regret it?
Zuchetta, beans, tomatoes, eggplant.

Walked up to town to the library and to pick up my ticket for the garden tour. I should do that walk more often to build some stamina.

Maio 18, 7:16 am

>207 2wonderY: you're active, that's important. My dad took a walk every day until 94, when cancer slowed him down.

I try to do my gardening after work as well as weekends, will continue to do so until the extreme heat/humidity finally arrives.

I've been experiencing lots of billing errors with medical facilities. Apparently much of the billing process is being done by newbies or by automated systems. I was sent to collections for a bill I'd paid six months previously. It took another four months to have it fixed.

Maio 18, 7:36 am

>208 fuzzi: That's nothing new. Add in the fact that Americans can't figure out that not everyone lives in the USA's. We had to fight a collection agency and its fees over a bill that the hospital had never sent us.

Maio 18, 7:05 pm

Action! Excitement! Adrenaline!

I was relaxing on the deck when that raccoon tried to join me. I tried to just stomp and yell to have it move on. Nope. I think it has found a way to get under the deck. Nope.
I picked up a board and swatted it. She didn’t like that, but kept turning back to me to argue the point. I followed her up along the fence until she found a spot where she wasn’t budging. I had time to go back to the deck and get a large plastic bin. Put it over her and put a couple of heavy rocks on top. She stayed quiet under there. I slipped a piece of sheet metal under so she couldn’t dig out.

Then I called for help. Two neighbors came and we borrowed a cat transport box and managed to scoop it into that with a shovel and a makeshift chute.
She’s now a resident of the next county over, on the other side of the Big Hill ridge.

Maio 18, 10:11 pm

>210 2wonderY: your raccoon hospitality is lacking... 🤣🤣🤣

Maio 18, 10:20 pm

>211 fuzzi: 👍

The lady with the cat box said now we need to go after the groundhog. Alida and I agree we can coexist peacefully with him.

Editado: Maio 18, 10:42 pm

>212 2wonderY: I can coexist with almost any animal, except bullfrogs. They eat all the other frogs. Last year I didn't hear any tree frogs chirping love songs at night. Later on, in the autumn, I found and removed FOUR HUGE bullfrogs from my ponds.

I know what happened to the tree frogs. 😢

The bullfrogs were relocated to a pond where students dump their unwanted goldfish. Seems appropriate.

Editado: Maio 19, 6:42 pm

I have peas!

Also mosquitoes. I dumped all of my water containers, including the pond. I needed to do that anyway to make improvements to its foundation. It looks like something had tried to dig a burrow underneath.

And I saw a seven-spot ladybug in my yard. That’s a native, so I am very glad.

I got a strong urge to buy a lilac, but the choices here are not particularly special, except a very tall white flowered specimen. I want a low grower for the front yard. I may go back and get a Korean lilac when they go on sale.

Since I found nothing at the Potting Shed, I broke my rule and shopped Walmart. (Yes, I know, I did this once before). But I didn’t go inside the store! List later.

I am slowly dragging more of the wood chips to cover the front yard west. I hadn’t decided to do that yet, and the reserve pile is on the back patio.

I’m thinning sedum and primrose on the back slope and will begin planting stuff on the front slope.

Oh! And the original fig, transplanted from daughter’s yard two years ago has leaves. It looked dead last year, but when I dug it out, it had a couple of buds at the base. So I tucked it back in and forgot about it. Slow to decide?

Maio 19, 7:24 pm

I’m wrong. The 7-spot was introduced in 1973, and has been replacing the native 9-spot. However, it’s not as obnoxious as the Asian ladybug.

Maio 20, 6:36 pm

What a lovely day!!!

It began with rain that continued past 1pm.
I had uncovered the bottom of the front slope last evening to place some sedum and primroses in dirt pockets, hoping to get them grabbing and holding that dirt. But anything other than a dampening mist would have eroded that strip into oblivion. So I covered it with a strip of cloth. Neighbors will just have to bear with the eyesore for a while yet.

But today was the Garden Tour. I had two free tickets. I gave them to neighbors and I toured almost all of the gardens before I had to report for volunteer duty at the last one.

Because it was so soggy, I had several of the gardens all to myself. And got to chat with the owners.

The award winning garden was amazing in solitude.

Her large PINK mountain laurel was in full bloom. There was a climbing white rose as large as a medium tree and highly scented. Wow!
I told Mary that my daughters were so sad to miss her garden this year. She proffered an open invitation, “day or night.” Whether she’s there or not. !!! I told her I’d bring wine… no, better yet, blackberry cordial.

My phone was out of battery power, so I didn’t get any photos.

At another garden, the owner served high tea in the gazebo. China plates, silver, gorgeous cupcakes, the works! There were three ladies sheltering there and we chatted very comfortably.
I was invited back at several gardens to see blooms later in the season.

I’m looking at my yard, and it’s coming along, but it’s not ready for a tour. It’s a week or two behind on the bloom schedule. Right now, it’s mostly greens and some lingering irises.

I plan to take a video tour of it tomorrow as a record of how it stands at this point on the calendar.

Editado: Maio 21, 4:15 pm

Acquired just a few items on the tour.
Campanula “Cherry Bells”
“mystery lily” bulbs
Purple oxalis from the gardener I volunteered for. It is weedy, spreads where it’s not invited. And his beds are highly regulated. He had some interesting trees, especially, but I didn’t like his garden style at all. He used pine bark mulch everywhere with his specimens placed just so. He thinks lily of the valley is weedy, but he likes liriope. In fact he has a bed in the middle of his concrete driveway that is miniature liriope which he mows, understory for a hawthorn tree.

Editado: Maio 21, 4:27 pm

Cinci daughter came down to celebrate my birthday. Her middle daughter baked dark chocolate cupcakes filled with cherry chocolate ganache for me. !!!!
While we sat on the deck, Anne said she loves being in this peaceful spot, but was also rueing the missed sunny day working in her gardens. So I put her to work. 😁
We raked one side of the wasted level space beside the old playhouse. It was still infested with maple seedlings and lots and lots of creeping Charlie, as we found under the layer of leave mold I had laid down last fall. It’s too shady for vegetables, as I discovered last year, and it’s not yet a priority while I plant the slopes. It’s now a compost pile. I think I will put some seating up there just to try it out.

Then I mowed the back yard. It gets to be a faster job each time, it seems. And makes it look like paradise.

Rose is bringing T today for the summer. I won’t see much of her though as she will be going to all day summer camp. That’s okay. We’ll find time. I have a new bubble recipe. Add sugar?!

Maio 21, 9:17 pm

>216 2wonderY: sounds like a lovely day, indeed!

Editado: Maio 22, 11:12 am

I’m video documenting my yard for future reference. I’m segmenting it by slopes and levels. The first one is posted to Instagram and here is the narrative.

Top of the yard and the last rise. We are facing south. My backyard neighbor maintains shade and privacy with multiple deciduous and a pine tree. The wide view, standing on the east side, from west to east, bracketed by the maple trees.
To the east of the trampoline close up of oak leaf hydrangea, transplanted last year and thought it was dead. Nope. Under it is dwarf Solomon’s seal and behind is Nandina “Obsession.”
Along the fence is dead or nearly dead $1 clearance items, Indian hawthorn and distylium, up to the first large tree stump, planted with hydrangea and coral bells. This is the stump the woodpecker demolished in one day.
Insect damage to fence rail filled with foam. Must sand and paint.
Random daylilys and hostas up to the corner and raspberry plant. This is the corner recently exposed to sun and sight by neighbors clearing their fence line brush. Want to plant something there to screen.
Since there is more sun, planted pole bean seeds along the fence.

Azaleas clump, large one added last month, one dead, one nearly dead and the fourth is healthy but no flowers.
West fence line is my shade garden with hellebore, a volunteer eastern red cedar, a barely living mountain laurel, spotted dead nettle, lily of the valley, comfrey, dead (?) pawpaw stem, $1 rhododendrons, wood phlox, columbine, sensitive fern. Another hellebore, coral bells and Goatsbeard around the tree base. May plant a Pentas there.

Along the slope, ladder from playhouse is planted with sedums next to the blueberry patch with more $1 coral bells and Siberian iris. The carpet holds soil in place till something is planted. It has aged to a nice mossy color and texture.
Fringe Flower “Cerise Charm” and a lilac next to the trampoline.


Maio 22, 9:05 pm

>220 2wonderY: I did enjoy, thanks for the link!

Editado: Maio 23, 11:01 am

Second level, again starting on the west side. Along the fence line, I’ve transplanted old rose bushes and peonies from my last home. They are still getting settled in. There is a striped mallow that survived the winter, a clump of what I hope is butterflyweed, yellow loosestrife, bedstraw, a young chokeberry that I missed seeing bloom, but it’s got berries for the birds, a $1 distylium or Loropetalum (not sure what the difference is yet), and a young hazelnut which I plan to move to the front yard. And another hellebore at the base of the maple tree.

Turning east is the playhouse remains and the lovely flat space held by retaining wall. Planted below the wall is a peony, hydrangea, iris, naked ladies, blue eyed grass, a new Chicago Hardy fig, daylilies, daffodils, last year’s failed Brown Turkey fig, more iris and daffodils, an unhappy lilac, perennial pea vine, something unidentified yet, more daffodils and iris.
The east fence has a lilac under the maple canopy, then various hydrangeas, peonies, blue fall aster.
We’ve been slowly deconstructing the playhouse as it proved to be held together mostly by inertia. Youngest grand still loves to use the remaining structure as a store/restaurant. We’ve just added the seating. The concrete platform is 10x10, and we will build a pavilion or greenhouse (with storage for tools!!). I tried to grow veggies on that flat space last year, but it gets less sun than optimal. I might start planting along the edge, but it hasn’t gelled in my head yet.
Those large unused planters are old enameled washing machine drums. I don’t like the white, but I haven’t found a paint or method that will keep color on.

We got rid of one slide, but the green one is perfect set up on the edge of the trampoline.

the video:

Maio 23, 8:22 pm

I went to the next town to pick up special items not available here. Beautiful flowerpots at Ollie’s (as well as a raspberry colored bath towel (my color junkie heart could not pass it by.) I shopped plants at Lowes, but didn’t buy. Their selection always looks so sad. Rye bread at Meier grocery. Beer and fresh veg from Aldis.
When I pulled up into my carport, thankfully I was going very slow. I hit an obstruction and heard Carmen yelp; so I backed right away. Because of the slope, I can’t see the groundin front of me. She limped away and we examined her right away. Alida took her to the vet and they are keeping her overnight.
No visible bleeding, but possible chest bruising.

This had nearly happened a few weeks ago, but she’d been just barely visible.

Maio 23, 9:52 pm

>223 2wonderY: oh no!

Who is Carmen? Alida's dog?

Maio 24, 6:26 am

>224 fuzzi: Yes. Sorry. She’s such a part of life here, it didn’t occur to me that you all hadn’t met her. She’s a very old fuzzy collie type and she gently owns the immediate neighborhood.

Maio 24, 6:59 am

And the carport is such a nice shady place to lie when there isn't a car in there.

Maio 24, 7:22 am

>226 MarthaJeanne: Yes, and the concrete stays cool. Alida had guys working in her yard yesterday, which helped prompt her displacement. Though, as I mentioned, Carmen feels at home in the broader neighborhood. The neighbors on the other side of Alida moved in recently with a three year old boy who adores Carmen. She is now found sometimes napping on their front porch.

Maio 24, 8:32 am

>227 2wonderY: aw, how sweet.

I lost my feral Momma Cat a couple years ago when I backed up over her. She was old, deaf, and sleeping in the driveway. The slope is such that I didn't see her lying there, just past the rise. I was devastated (I'm tearing up just thinking about it).

Maio 24, 8:41 am

>228 fuzzi: Alida just told me Carmen didn’t make it through the night. We will bury her today along the fence line.

Maio 24, 8:42 am

>229 2wonderY: I'm so sorry!

Maio 24, 12:10 pm

>229 2wonderY: I am so very sorry for that outcome! *Hugs* for you and her owner.

Maio 27, 8:20 pm

A guy in a store in West Virginia told me today I have a beautiful yard. He meant the one in Kentucky. I shop his store for second hand action figures for the dollhouse, and we’ve exchanged Instagram names. The world is so odd anymore.

Editado: Maio 28, 8:47 am

The third level is the main vegetable strip. I’ve heavily mulched it for two years, but that straw bale might have been a mistake. I pulled it away to plant the tomatoes and the grass seed heads in contact with soil are sprouting en masse.

Pan from west to east.
Along the east fence line, Veronica “Royal Candles,” (resurrecting fig is there, but not caught by the camera), new hazelnut sapling, yellow loosestrife, butterfly bush “Miss Ruby” just coming up from the roots. Another huge tree stump too solid to plant yet, so it has an aquarium castle. Perennial bachelor buttons in front. (Why do mine grow so gnarly and distorted?). Various hydrangeas and peonies on the other side of the stump.

In the veggie strip, peas (my trellis attempt was a bust), tomatoes, zuchetta starts, eggplant.
I planted a gorgeous rhododendron to anchor the end last year, but I mishandled it and it appears dead. In front of it I planted my new favorite spirea “Amber Jubilee.” Another perennial bachelor buttons and iris.

On the west fence is a dead, but resurrecting peach tree. I moved it from the front yard last year because it failed to set fruit. Whatever is coming up from the rootstock is not the variety I wanted, but if it develops trunk and branches, I will try to graft on to it. Campanella “Cherry Bells” and several colors of bee balm, another butterfly bush and threadleaf coreopsis.
Pan back to the east.

Video link:

Jun 1, 11:15 am

I came back to somewhat dry conditions, though nothing urgent.

I brought a bag of pine needle duff for my blueberries. Except, there is quite a bit of bee activity right there. They are calm and not alarmed by my presence. Tentatively identified as furrow bees. Now I have to decide what to do. They supposedly like south facing slopes, but no one told this particular group.
Hmmm. Check with daughter.

Jun 2, 4:56 pm

Alida is having a garden party tomorrow. It’s a memorial for her goddaughter’s father.
I’ve donated table, chairs, tablecloths, glass and silverware to the cause. And I mowed her front yard today. I will mow mine this evening and we will look pretty snazzy.

It’s yard sale season. The 200 mile US Route 25 sale goes right through town. I admit I’ve stopped a couple of places but I haven’t brought home much. Mostly stuff for T and another teapot.

Editado: Jun 3, 4:12 pm

From Connie:
Veronica first love
Balmy lilac bee balm
Caradonna salvia
Creeping jenny

My Veronicas are blooming and the big clump is white, not pink, so I need more pink. I recall that I split the clump last fall and it’s growing two places. That’s great, but I wanted the punch of color.

I have three Monardas, but not this one, I think. Will add it to my west fence line.

The Salvia smells so good! It has tiny flowers but an intense purple color.

And the creeping Jenny is just a pot of ebullience waiting to be introduced.

It could be the Monarda I’m smelling. And it’s a dwarf, so placing it in the middle row, not the back.

Jun 3, 9:17 pm

Alida’s party is going on now in her yard. I was invited, but it’s a memorial for a deceased friend. So I’m just enjoying that she is having a gathering from this side of the fence. The only negative is that I can’t lounge on my bed, as the side window faces the gathering. So I’m upstairs on Rose’s bed.
A neighbor I hadn’t met before had a yard sale today. Sadly, she’s downsizing to move away. I liked her immediately. I bought two quilts from her for $3 each. They’re commercially made, but in my spring palette. So pretty.
When Rose and T were packing for the weekend, T said she’d like to live here forever.🥰
She and I picked peas Thursday and she directed how to prepare them for our supper.

Jun 3, 9:24 pm

>237 2wonderY: awww re: T's comment. You're giving her some wonderful memories.

Editado: Jun 4, 1:09 pm

Fourth tier, a sweep from west to east again. The previous owners had two active boys and they had set up raceways along the contours of the hill, lined with rock. I have consolidated these to have only two rows of rock - the first along the top of the veg strip and this one, planted with iris. Remember, I don’t weed eat, so mowing along the plant edge is wanted.
This strip is anchored at the east end with a young hydrangea. Interplanting with the irises is an ongoing project with two goals. One, to be dense enough to discourage grass and weeds; two, to provide an ongoing seasonal interest. Foxglove, blue-eyed grass, Veronica, thread-leaf coreopsis and pink anemone. The anemones were added last year and had a tough go of it; throwing one leaf out a day and it being knocked out by the heat. I tried to baby them and one plant was able to establish and live through the winter. Can’t wait for it to bloom!
The strip is anchored on the west with a pineapple sage which will grow to 2-3 feet tall and bloom scarlet in the fall.
At the top of the path, there is a mini-mauvette hydrangea. On the fence line, a huge clump of blue-eyed grass, garden phlox and a couple butterfly bushes.
The flat there at the top of the steep rise (you’ll see the rock garden there in the next video) is the only place I have to throw flower seeds. I’m still trying to exhaust the collection my dad had. That blue plastic mat is killing grass so I can extend that bed.

Stay tuned for video link:

Jun 4, 1:30 pm

>239 2wonderY: what's the grate-like item in the irises?

I love my wild violets, they're hosts for Fritillary butterflies.

Jun 4, 1:40 pm

>240 fuzzi: I think it’s just a stray pole that my neighbor thought I could use. Supposed to hold hanging plants and maybe a feeder. She puts some strange items over the fence. It’s her disposal method, I think.

I used to love violets too. In WV, I still do. Here, they choke out everything else.

Editado: Jun 7, 7:45 am

Still on the same level as before, but looking at what is planted on the south side, leading edge of the next slope. So, four-B.

Along the west walkway up to this level, a berm of rock with iris and an Easy Does It Rose. (swipe to see it in bloom.)

Turning east, a Winter Red holly and a Chastetree ‘Blue Diddley,’ which is a late spring starter leafing out from the lower branches.
Carpet creating new garden space with veg beds already in place. Tomatoes in front of a beautyberry bush. Hazelnut, some small perennials, a hollyhock. Two beds- asparagus doing great from seedlings last year. Second bed is struggling strawberries. Purple loosestrife behind that, promising to be good.
Beyond that to the fence is carpet phlox not winning out with creeping Charlie. Along the fence, some hosts and daylily.


Jun 7, 7:47 am

Oops. Sorry for the delay in adding the link.

It’s a rare rainy day today. I might get my pepper plants in the ground. And I probably have multiple other items that need the same.

Jun 8, 10:09 am

It’s become my task to wake and dress T for the day while her mom takes care of her own prep and puts together breakfast and lunches. I’ve discovered a magic pill to guarantee a smiling face when I wake her from a deep sleep. One chocolate chip followed by a tiny marshmallow.

Editado: Jun 8, 11:15 am

The fifth tier down from the back end of the yard levels off to meet the deck and house; but it is the most challenging so far and there is lots going on.

I present it to you by walking through the carport on the east side of the house, and give you a glimpse of the deck. That small mountain of wood mulch was left out front by a tree service and it will probably be carted back to the front yard to establish more gardens.
This slope is between 50° and 60° at the edges and almost impossible to stand on.
I’d like to build a short rubble wall along its bottom edge. You can see the collection of block and stone I’ve acquired.

Anyway, that slope was entirely grass - and nasty weedy grasses at that. I’ve tamed it with carpets - 5 panels; and worked from east to west.
I worked with what I had available, so the first panel was planted to pachysandra and a forsythia. The forsythia is about to be removed and replaced with hazelnut. I added 4 $1 Indian Hawthorns last fall. I thought they’d died as they’re supposed to be evergreen. New growth is struggling up through the dead leaves from the roots.
Neighbor gave me Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ not a favorite, but it grows nicely in an existing bed of gravel.

The second and third panels were last year’s challenge. The owner of the local garden center suggested succulents. I patchworked colors and patterns. Some are neat and orderly, others have gotten out of hand. The pink evening primrose is one of the (glorious) bullies, as are the yellow and Blue Spruce sedums. There are some shrubs planted. Winter Red Holly and the Southern Gentleman said to be necessary for berries on the females. An unknown shrub at the bottom edge (possibly a viburnum?). The fourth and fifth panels are in development.
The other Winter Red anchors the end of the last panel.

Then the path up to the other levels. Cornering that is a green enamel washing machine drum; one of the best salvage pieces ever. I’ve struggled with what to plant in it. Right now is contains Siberian iris and delphinium. Planted at its base are 2 colors of Spiderwort and leadwort plumbago. These will gradually replace the bully violets and creeping Charlie. That path edge is planted with Scilla and bleeding heart so far.
Then the rest of the tier was paved with flat rocks. I’ve been rearranging them and adding shade and rock garden specimens - hellebore, wild ginger, foam flower,tassel fern, coral bells. Lily of the valley on that steep edge along the fence.
I’ve upended the pond for cleaning and better foundation.
Chocolate ajuga ground cover at the deck corner and bleeding hearts and begonias along the fence.

Whew! Video:

Editado: Jun 8, 8:27 pm

I went to a performance at the local Arts Council this evening. Appalachian Shakespeare Company. Two people and they played with various plays and scenes.
I bought a can of wine - $9!!!
I got drunk. Daughter had to come get me.
Also, they called me onstage to act a part. I got a signboard and a script. So much fun. Somebody says she’s got pictures!

Editado: Jun 8, 8:49 pm

>245 2wonderY: I really like the succulents and the primroses. I had some of the latter, given to me by a fellow gardener. She called them Sundrops. They were white with a pink blush. At some point I lost the remaining ones, they're all gone now.

ETA: these are close to what I had:

Jun 10, 10:56 am

Saturday quick stop at the Farmers Market to see if Connie has anything I can use to fill in spaces.
I bought a Hydrangea “Zinfin Doll” medium size shrub, starting white and maturing to deep rose.

For Rose, I got a Coreopsis “Route 66” a bicolor.

Jun 11, 12:05 pm

Before we move to the front yard, take a breath and compare the transformation of the back yard in the last half dozen years.

Jun 11, 12:38 pm

Very interesting to see the transformation. That deck is a huge improvement. I occasionally look at Google street view of our front yard to see how it has changed, but Street View's earliest pic is 2009 and we've been here since 1984 and so it's all changes that I've made. Plus the most recent Google street view is 2014, and it's changed a lot since then. Even the house is a completely different colour. I must go back through my old photos and scan some of the earlier ones.

Jun 11, 4:36 pm

Yes, the family I bought from had done some updates inside too. Mostly paint, but it’s a huge job that I didn’t have to do. And the grays suit me perfectly as background for all the other colors I surround myself with. (#colorjunkie)

Jun 11, 4:48 pm

Since I just decanted last year’s blackberry cordial, the boxes of clean empty canning jars needed to be staged out on the ridgetop for picking season next month.
Having met my new nearest neighbors, I was hoping to see them again. So I went out there today with a broom, planning on cleaning the inside of the cabin. It had sprinkled, so mowing was not the plan. But then I thought, with the damp, it would be a good day to burn all of the trees and debris I’ve piled up since last year. That was an all day project, and bracketed with further rain threatening this evening. Perfect.

The neighbors did drive by and their daughter jumped out to meet me. She’s the reason Melody and Steve moved here from California. She and her husband, Curtis, bought property on the west side of the ridgetop. She’s a nurse at the local hospital. She’s just as bubbly as her mom. I like her.
Got a tour of the trailer they’re fixing up to live in. Thankfully, the trees have grown up enough that it’s not in my line of site.

I still have not met Curtis’ parents, Kurt and Michelle. I understand they still want to make me an offer.

Jun 12, 8:22 am

>249 2wonderY: it was an almost empty canvas for you to paint upon...

Jun 16, 5:19 pm

She’s reporting on “a shortage of poultry” and Tom objects:

Editado: Jun 17, 1:30 pm

Bloomin’ Bucks can be redeemed today. So I overindulged at the Potting Shed, with two more roses - ‘All the Rage’ delicate open flowers on a large shrub, and Oso Easy ‘Italian Ice’ almost a miniature with yellow flowers edged in pink. And a hibiscus Summerific ‘Evening Rose’ with entrancing leaves.

A look at the hibiscus foliage:

Stopped at Connie’s booth and found some new items. White Culver’s root, white ‘Miss Manners’ Obedient Plant (both natives), Summer Phlox ‘David’ (also white and fragrant), Yarrow ‘Saucy Seduction’ and Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ a tall variety.

She had a friend manning the booth with her, Carol Ann, who kept asking whether I had this that and the other in my gardens yet. She remembers me from the Arts Council plant sale. We exchanged phone numbers and she will bring me starts from her yard. She knows some about natives and pollinators.

This afternoon is a short vegetable garden tour of about 8 gardens.

I should be finishing alterations to a dress I plan to wear Monday to my grandson’s wedding in North Carolina.
At least I’ll have plenty of driving time to listen to all the audio suddenly stacked up on my Libby account.

Oh and I met a local midwife at the library this morning. We also exchanged phone numbers, as I’d like to become acquainted with that community.

Jun 17, 12:09 pm

And a shrub rose that I moved from WV but had little expectations for popped it’s head above ground and started blooming. ‘Betty Prior’ an old friend and a gift from that gardener who also gave me the yellow climbing rose. I will have to dig out my old journal to recall her name from 35 years ago.

Jun 17, 3:42 pm

>257 2wonderY: I love that. I've some day lilies that I was given 17 years ago, when we bought our house, but I can't recall the name of the patient who generously invited me to take some of her abundance.

Jun 17, 7:02 pm

>255 2wonderY: The game is afoot!

Editado: Jun 17, 9:28 pm

It’s firefly season!

I’m usually inside by this time, but I pushed to get the new plants into the ground and worked past dusk.
The neighborhood is alive with gatherings, campfires, grilling, firecrackers, kids on bikes. It has an old timey feel to it.

And today went a long way making this town feel like home. I saw multiple people I know from one circumstance in new settings. When I stopped at one of the veg gardens, my name was exclaimed from the carport. I know Dave from the Climate Action group, but their garden was listed in his wife’s name, who I hadn’t met yet.

It’s comical the lengths people go to protecting their blackberries from birds. I do not have that issue on the ridgetop.

Editado: Jun 19, 8:42 am

I drove 11 hours yesterday through the Smokey Mountains and the surprising length of North Carolina to the coastal region. Only the last hour was enjoyable. It took me back to college years when I worked along the coastal agriculture fields in Delaware picking peas for Green Giant. There is something relaxing about the flat sandy fields, the low slung buildings, the wide open skies and the pines.

Grandson is getting married today! I haven’t seen him for several years and haven’t yet met his bride.

Editado: Jun 19, 6:27 pm

Huh. We all scattered for rest late afternoon and I went out looking for aspirin. I brought food back to the suite and there’s nobody here.
I noted a consignment mall earlier in the day and stopped there looking for a shallow wooden bowl. I had everyone pick up bits of nature at the wedding site in a park and will put together a memory bowl for the newlyweds. Found the bowl and a whole lot more. We are staying a day longer than I had thought, so Anne and I will definitely stop and browse tomorrow.

Jun 20, 9:01 am

>261 2wonderY: I enjoy driving through the eastern parts of the state (Pine Barrens) and the mountainous west, but the midlands are just meh.

Drive through Croatan National Forest on the way back if you can.

Jun 20, 1:32 pm

fuzzi and I met up this morning at her workplace. Yes, poor thing is not retired yet. We exchanged gifts and I unloaded a box of old books on her.
It’s been umpty years since we’d gotten together. It was nice visiting in person and exchanging hugs.

Jun 20, 1:40 pm

I’m amused at the practices my older daughter has adopted from her ma. We coordinated who would bring the electric tea kettle and tea bags, but she also is carrying her own silverware, service towels, and bed pillows. Good thing! This suite is fine in most ways, but their pillows are awful!

Editado: Jun 22, 7:24 am

>264 2wonderY: I was so pleased that you made the extra effort to meet with me. And brought the books from KY to NC! And the special gift. ;)

Feel free to share our selfie if you like.

>265 2wonderY: I bring my own pillow on every overnight trip. In the last few years I started bringing my own coffee and coffee maker, too.

Jun 22, 7:32 am

I don't travel any more, but besides my pillow, for several years I took a travel mattress along as well. Sometimes getting it to the room was just too much hassle for a single night, but after waking up to my aches and pains, and having to deal with them all day, I made sure I had it the next night.

Jun 22, 7:39 am

>266 fuzzi: You haven’t sent pictures to me yet!

Jun 22, 7:44 am

>268 2wonderY: let me send them again.

Jun 22, 7:52 am

You find the best people on LibraryThing!

Jun 22, 1:40 pm

>270 2wonderY: What fun!

Editado: Jun 23, 7:57 am

>270 2wonderY: agreed!

Has it been SIX years?

Jun 25, 12:11 pm

I’m glad you dug that up. We haven’t changed a bit!

It turned into a rainy day. I was going to work on the hole I’m digging on the west edge of the front yard. I want to extend the garden along the perimeter, starting with a woody hydrangea. But the soil is compacted clay. It missed being replaced earlier this season. I’m afraid the plant will be completely rootbound unless I do major digging around it and down the slope. It’s slow going. And I’m collecting better soils from other spots in the yard to improve what I remove.

Jun 27, 10:09 am

I managed to dig beyond the compacted clay, so I decided to add the new hibiscus next to the hydrangea. It really wilted! It did not like being messed with. Even after a torrential rainstorm Sunday night, it stayed wilted. I covered it from the sun yesterday and watered it some more, and talked gently to it. It appears somewhat recovered this morning.

T is at her other grandma’s this week, so it’s a good time to put a ladder up again and add more gutter screening. This is the east side of the deck and then it runs into the south side of the carport, and drains underground to the street. It’s constantly backed up with maple seeds clumping at the joints and downspout wire cage.

Editado: Jun 27, 4:00 pm

Done. There may be some fiddly adjustments, but it’s essentially complete.

I should bring the ladder to the front (north) side of the carport for a look-see at that gutter. It’s the only roofline now without gutter guards.

Jun 27, 7:25 pm

Note to self: seed snapdragons early, 6 to 8 weeks before last frost.

Potomac lavender
Bridal pink
Potomac apple blossom

Editado: Jun 28, 3:39 pm

I went to Lowe’s to get supplies for my next two projects. As a reward for my diligence, I brought home a Crape Myrtle “Bellini Grape” which promised to stay 4 feet tall. Great purple bloom! And an Irish Moss, because I’d like to try to establish it up in the shadier top slope. It was only a few dollars.
I looked at their perennial ferns. Most of them have a winter hardiness listed for a more southern climate.

I also brought recyclables to the county drop-off. They don’t take glass, but they do take more items than I expected. Their signage and bins are very specific. That’s great. I will need to establish a new organization system.
I will continue to haul glass to WV as long as I go there.

Jun 28, 3:52 pm

Oh, ferns! I'm so many zones colder than you are - you should probably shop at our garden centres LOL. I've planted so many lovely Japanese painted ferns (including one called 'Godzilla') and they never survive the winter. On the other hand, ostrich fern is completely dependable (indeed, a bit spready!) and I have a toothed wood fern that always comes back, although it hasn't spread.

Editado: Jun 29, 8:31 am

>278 tardis: They did have a Japanese Painted Fern and I considered it. But I have so many darker leaved plants now, I was hoping for just soothing green. There are a couple of volunteer ferns and I just moved a small specimen (tassel fern) out of continuous sunshine and it seems to appreciate the move.

Jun 28, 7:44 pm

>279 2wonderY: I have some small volunteer ferns, no idea what variety.

Jun 29, 12:27 pm

First project of the day - refurbish a planter:

Second project requires a pipe clamp. Where’s my pipe clamp?!?!?! The only place it should be is in the basement. Not finding it. So secondary second project is doing some basement cleaning. I’ve found the vodka for the blackberry processing next month. And I have a small pile of discards. But no pipe wrench yet.

Editado: Jun 29, 3:31 pm

I went out to pay bills. Appears the interstate is closed. All traffic is being routed through town and up Rt. 25, a two lane road. Trucks!

I stopped at the mini mall, stalls of second hand stuff. One stall is where I shop for tools. Sure enough, they had a smaller version of a pipe wrench (on a rod) for $6. It will do the job.

Now that the raccoon is gone, I see that a cat is scooting under the deck. Well, damn! I’m gonna have to block off all entries with wire mesh. Moving that closer to the top of the list.

The current task is assembling the 20 foot long, 12 inch tall step wall that will be installed in the middle of the east front slope. It’s a step down from the wood beds that I anchored towards the top of the slope and have been filling with soil and plants. I will be uprooting two clumps of peonies that I planted first year. I miscalculated their location and now they are in the way. I will split the roots and spread them along this elevation behind the new wall.

Jun 29, 5:43 pm

…and as I finish up for the day, putting the tools away, I see a bit of the pipe clamp behind stuff piled onto the workbench.

Jun 30, 7:23 am

The radio alarm and the community-wide alarm went off twice at about 3:25 am warning of a severe storm until 3:45 am. We got lots of thunder and lightning, but no wind. It’s the wind that is so destructive.
Monday morning, Rose couldn’t drive in from the farm because of all the trees downed by wind.
Still no wind here at daylight, but the rain is torrential. It tests my gutter work from earlier this week. All good. Flowing nicely with no overflow.
It’s rains like this that point out areas that still need work. The deck is drenched. The gutter at the front west end of the house still spills under when volume is high. I’m pretty sure it’s because the roofers cut the metal panels marginally too short whenever the roof was converted to metal from shingle. I tried adding length when I put gutter guards up there last year. Not entirely successfully, I guess.

Too early to go inspect any soil erosion on the west front slope, but I did cover that vulnerable strip last evening.

The hibiscus is marginally less unhappy. I don’t think it will drop leaves.

Jun 30, 1:58 pm

The hibiscus looks entirely recovered. Yay!

I’m in process digging up the peonies and clearing the strip that will receive the barrier wall. Very steep and somehow squishy. Have the moles made it all the way down to the sidewalk? There are remnants of the block retaining wall at both ends and this will sit in a trench just behind that block; anchoring it. At 4 foot intervals, I will drive cedar boards into the soil and screw them to the barrier. And possibly metal poles behind the barrier.

This should help catch the soil that still wants to leach from the boxes and roll downhill.


Editado: Jul 1, 1:11 pm

Another Saturday, another trip to the Farmers Market to see what Connie has. Stopped first at the booth with the griddle and the heavenly odor of sausage and egg biscuits.

Connie had another Obedient Plant, this one white tinged with lavender. It will go in the west front foundation garden, which is still looking sparse.

I was looking for a Garden Phlox in a shade to cool the Tahiti Phlox. I did find a mellower pink.
She had “Full Moon” Coreopsis, already 3 feet tall at least. It will go along the west fence line in the back yard.
And a modest Liatrus or Blazing Star. I haven’t placed it yet.
We’re getting a soaking rain again, so had to quit.

I had a couple of bags of discards for the Goodwill store. And must take a turn inside. Huh! I had just noticed yesterday that one of my fake woven cane deck chairs is dropping plastic parts again. Goodwill had a replacement in perfect condition for $30. Good deal. And I find it matches another one I bought second hand, except for the color.👍. Also a pair of Bombas socks still in the package. $2. Now I will discover what all the fuss is.

Editado: Jul 2, 10:06 am


The soil my contractor brought in (from a local soil dealer) has got bindweed seed polluting it. Second sprout found. Not happy!

Jul 2, 12:08 pm

>287 2wonderY: Ugh. That is all over my yard. It sneaks into all my climbing things. Grapes, morning glory, trumpet vine. Such a pain.

Editado: Jul 2, 5:13 pm


Today I cleared out the deck cavity where the hot tub used to be. It has just been storage space for scaffold, wood and lawn mower. It’s where I saw a cat disappear last week and where I thought that raccoon was trying to nest. Yes. I scraped out a large leaf and straw nest adjacent. Thankfully, no baby remains or scat. Taking periodic cool breaks inside, as it’s getting hot and muggy. Tomorrow I will cut and staple chicken wire to cover the 2” to 3” space open below the floor joists. There are perhaps two spots on the perimeter that will get the same treatment.

It’s been a lazy relaxing day.
The beebalms and phloxes and something else out front are all making it smell wonderful.

The new obedient plant blooms have turned lilac colored entirely. I learned the difference between the color tones lilac versus lavender - lilac has pink undertones and lavender has blue.

Jul 3, 6:45 pm

I think I got the under-deck barrier in just in time. Laying out on the swing, there is an odor of cat excrement hanging in the air. I hope the cat is not under the deck now, because there is no good exit.

I sorted the lumber and gave the back side of the dresser a coat of paint. It was unpainted plywood and the back faces west, visible from the swings. It’s a dusky deep pink. I will mount plant shelves and small tools on that surface now.

Jul 4, 8:45 pm

Editado: Jul 5, 4:54 am

I finally identified a volunteer in the back gardens. Tall, up to 6 feet stems and insignificant foliage, topped with small purple clusters.
Verbena bonariensis, the purpletop vervain, clustertop vervain, Argentinian vervain, tall verbena or pretty verbena.
The bees and butterflies like it and I do too.

Jul 5, 12:16 pm

A trip up to the ridgetop to exchange materials. Left the vodka. Brought back metal panels for the climbing rose that wants supports. Dug some plants to distribute here. Purple coneflower and chicory among them. I know. It’s not the best season.

Surveyed the blackberries. This is an off year for production, at least along the edges. Haven’t plunged into the thickets yet. I may go back up this evening with a bucket.
It’s hot out.

Editado: Jul 6, 12:11 pm

Busied myself finding spots for plants. Trying to grow the vision; especially on the west side of the front yard where I’ve laid down mulch. It’s a signal of commitment, but no idea where it’s going. I do need some raised beds.

Paused with relief when a shower came by.

Jul 6, 12:59 pm

>294 2wonderY: why did you leave the vodka?

Jul 6, 1:02 pm

Because I process the berries as soon as I pick them.

Jul 6, 1:03 pm

Jul 6, 6:39 pm

>297 2wonderY: Oh. I thought maybe it was an offering to the garden faeries. ;)

Jul 7, 4:08 pm

I’ve been laundromat hopping since the local one closed. The one I’ve been going to has just one working washer of the size I like to use. So I tried the other one in the next town over today. New and lots of beautiful working machines. But they don’t offer hot water wash. And the dryers don’t really work. So I came home with damp clothes and I’ve got them laid out and hanging from line and surfaces. They’re drying quickly, but I might have to invest in my own machines. I hate that. I very much believe in collective services. And what do people do who have neither their own machines nor transportation?

While I was up there, I got a couple of buckets of crushed glass from the county recycling depot. I have the materials to install a good foundation for my steel trough pond. Lined and leveled the bricks, poured the glass (and sand) in the between. It’s still too shady and gets rapidly polluted with leaves, but there it is. No other good choices here.
Since I’m not raising any wildlife in it this year, I will cover it with a screen. I do want to add a fountain feature too.

Stopped at Aldis and impulse bought a nest swing. Will hang it from the maple tree for T. The trampoline is sorta out of commission. It’s foundations need work too.

Aldis is selling “Everything Sourdough” bread. The lady next to me had a loaf and it smelled so good! Similar to focaccia. That’s my meal today.

My backyard is full of delicate white butterflies. tardis identified them as cabbage whites. I’m not raising brassicas, but duly noted for future years.

Editado: Jul 8, 3:58 pm

Today Connie had:
Sweet Summer “Queen” garden phlox. It’s a good middle pink, not outstanding, but a good contrast color. It grows 18” tall.
“Jacob Cline” beebalm, a nice clear red. It gets 3 to 4 feet tall. I’m gonna start it along the east fence where purple predominates.
Heliopsis “Summer Sun” is a native. It also gets 3 to 4 feet tall. Haven’t placed it yet.

Got the swing assembled and hung. Then it rained, so I couldn’t enjoy it yet. I will need to move at least one plant to keep it from getting scuffed around.

New neighbor was out mowing this morning, so I stopped and welcomed her and we exchanged a bit of our stories. She’s had Roto-Rooter digging up her yard this week because of a failed sump pump, so we commiserated. She’s about my age and likes to garden.

Editado: Jul 9, 11:35 am

I have peaches!

I hadn’t bothered to look on the ridgetop because no one got peaches this year. But as I was picking blackberries along the driveway, I saw a fruit laying there. It was covered in dust so I had to split it to see what it is. Was able to pick up one from under the tree and shake a few more down. They smell amazing but will try to save them to share with T this evening.

If I recall correctly, August is normal picking time. The blackberries seem further along than normal as well, though there are fewer canes too. Won’t get much of a crop this year. Shade is becoming the issue.

It was great rambling around looking for berries, forging through the briars and overgrowth. It was cool and overcast and the foliage was still wet. Came out after three hours soaked.
The heated seat feature in my vehicle was welcome on my back afterward.

Editado: Jul 9, 2:11 pm

I’m reviewing last year's thread for information. I ran across this entry
that documents the very start of planting of panel 3 at >245 2wonderY:

As I’ve mentioned, I’m working on a similar slope west front. But because of the major disturbances this year, I have to leave the carpet in place or the whole thing will wash into the street. I trimmed the bottom and introduced some of the same plants, covering that strip with light fabric to keep raindrops off it. Yesterday I hitched the carpet up a few inches more to allow these plants to cover more ground. They seem very happy with the assignment.

Jul 9, 4:39 pm

>303 2wonderY: just a heads up: one of my panels of carpet now has a yellowjacket nest under it. I was stung, once, while mowing on Friday. On Saturday my dh noticed the stream of hornets entering and exiting along one edge. The more I read about yellowjackets the more I think I need an exterminator. Poison doesn't get down to the queen, so they come and vacuum up the little darlings. 👍👍👍

Anyway, be aware.

Jul 10, 5:04 am

I think I have a volunteer mimosa on the front slope. Rose thinks it’s a sensitive plant. Reminding myself to post a picture on iNaturalist.

Editado: Jul 10, 12:22 pm

Another morning in the briars. I was only able to finish filling that second quart jar. I am startled at how quickly the ecology has changed. Many fewer canes where they’ve been abundant and reliable for a decade. That may be a signal to me.

I shook down one more peach. There is one still way in the top of the tree. Rose says it’s the best peach she’s ever tasted. I will buy her a couple of saplings next spring.
I’m going to try to make peach ice cream today. I never have, but I picked up a maker second hand a couple of years ago, with this expectation.

Plumber is coming to my house tomorrow morning. I need a new thermocouple for the hot water heater. The pilot will not remain on. I should clean the basement today somewhat.

Editado: Jul 10, 1:20 pm

>306 2wonderY: "I’m going to try to make peach ice cream today." Ohh! I love peach ice cream. Can I have some? Pretty, pretty please!

Several decades ago we were on a tour at Ben & Jerry's. They were making peach ice cream, but of course it gets stored for several days before it can be sold. (So it is properly cold and stays cold.) Anyway, Jerry went off afterwards to get us ice cream cones, and I was supervising the boys, who still had lots of questions for our guide.

Jerry came back with the boys' cones but had to report that there was no peach for sale. Of course after smelling peach ice cream for the past hour, I wasn't really interested in any other flavour. The guide heard all of this, and told me, "Wait here!" He was back quickly with a pint of the newly made, and quite soft peach ice cream. It turns out that employees, at least then, could have a pint of ice cream a day. And after a while, they don't actually want to eat that much ice cream. We kept passing that pint around in the car to try to eat it all before it melted. It was good!

Jul 10, 7:09 pm

>307 MarthaJeanne: I will try to save some for you, but you’d better hurry!

The machine failed me. I expected it to work; it was still in its original packaging after all. But the motor was sluggish without any load and refused to stir in the mixture at all. But I used the scraper successfully by hand until we had good solid creaminess. It’s in the freezer now, but the tastes and licks are heavenly.

Rose made up a cheesy angel hair dish with garden veg thrown in. Peppers, tomatoes and chunky cucumber. It was the fresh cucumber that raised it to another level.
The tomatoes are an orange plum variety. That is the quintessential garden memory from childhood, plucking and eating them warm from the sun. I was thrilled to finally find them. And they are producing like crazy.

Editado: Jul 11, 6:57 am

>305 2wonderY: Daughter is correct. Partridge pea.
It’s a native! And it’s blooming.

Jul 11, 8:48 am

>309 2wonderY: we have those EVERYWHERE. I'm constantly pulling them up or my gardens would be all partridge pea. Good thing is they're not hard to remove unless you wait too long.

Editado: Jul 11, 10:47 am

>310 fuzzi: I can live with that kind of weed.

I went hot water heater shopping this morning. My tank, dated 2007, hasn’t been staying lit. Plumber says the electronic component is expensive to replace and it’s just simpler to replace the whole thing.
I asked him for price quotes on a few other plumbing chores on my wishlist.

Jul 11, 11:37 am

>311 2wonderY: I like the idea of a hot water on-demand heater.

Jul 11, 12:02 pm

>312 fuzzi: They have advantages, but they don't cope well with having water drawn from two taps. If you are showering upstairs, and someone wants hot water in the kitchen, it can get cold, fast.

It also depends on where the heater is, and how well it is ventilated. In a small bathroom without a window, you and the heater both want the same oxygen.

Jul 12, 8:25 am

I too like the concept of hot water on demand; but I’m not ready at this moment to do the research on it. I may ask the plumber if he has experience with it. The heater is staying lit for now. I’ve got a list of other plumbing chores he will give a quote on, so I will see him again soon anyway; even if the hwh doesn’t get replaced right now.

As I mentioned above, I dug two clumps of peonies from the front slope to make way for a retaining wall. They’ve been sitting in 4 5gallon buckets of water. And they are not happy. I’m still working on the wall and also need to scrounge soil to fill behind it. So I decided to plant them variously in the back yard for now.
Well. On that bare flat area next to the playhouse…. I’m digging out random cinder blocks buried behind the current block retaining wall.
On the level spot above the rock garden slope, I hit an ant nest. The big black ones that swarm and bite when disturbed. I did the gasoline fire trick last evening. This morning, I’m digging into gravel. Sheesh!
Oh well, they’re in the ground again. They’ve already gone through their growing season and should be fine.

I’ve also been on the ladder clearing tree duff from on top of the gutter guards and I may move the ladder around and try to cut some branches of the neighbor’s elm tree that are trying to come into the bedroom window upstairs. They’re also scraping against the siding and the roof overhang. Sigh.

Editado: Jul 12, 11:08 am

I’ve got one more branch to cut way up high. Going to wait until the sun moves and is not straight in my eyes.

The view out my living room side windows has opened up considerably. I wouldn’t mind shrubbery there, but Alida’s side wall is mostly chimney. The four feet I have from house to property line is too narrow for plantings, as access to the AC is this path.

I’m keeping the branches that hang to the front; it helps keep the streetlight from shining in my bedroom window.

Editado: Jul 14, 7:49 pm

>314 2wonderY: well, my choice was made for me water heater from 2006 stopped heating last night, and apparently it was leaking as well. That's a pretty long life. My wonderful plumber, Tim, said he'd come by about three, then called back as he had a cancellation, was at my house shortly after 9.

There was no time to install a new on-demand system, so I have a nice new Ruud (tank), my plumber has some income, and my bank account is unhappy. Oh well.

Editado: Jul 18, 7:54 am

I got back from WV yesterday afternoon and tried to put some plants in the ground. The ground was rock hard dry! Even the mole tunnels in the lawn. It’s not that we’ve suffered from lack of rain. In fact we just had a storm pass through this night. Hoping that makes a difference.

I was surprised by a show of gladiolus along the top of the first slope, mixed in with iris clusters. I don’t recall doing that, but now patting myself on the back.

Daughter is a kitchen slob. She’s worked in a nice restaurant, but I guess she relies on someone following behind to clean up.
She knows we have a mild ant problem. Yet she leaves food and dirty dishes out. There were ants swarming the kitchen table when I got home because of breakfast debris. She does know how to clean. She even did an okay job of cleaning the stove area after cooking bacon (except for the not readily visible undersides).
This morning I flipped a loose lid that held apples and tomatoes and fruit flies! Come on!

Jul 18, 11:05 am

>317 2wonderY: no one has my standards, though my son is close.

Jul 20, 10:14 pm

I really hate road trips anymore. But the destination sometimes makes it worth it. Tomorrow is T’s 5th birthday and her mom is taking us to the Cincinnati Aquarium which is actually in Covington, KY. I came up today to stay at other daughter's house. She recently had family antiques dumped on her by an aunt-in-law. It was all piled in the living room. I helped her decide what to keep and where to put it. We shifted furniture like mad and got a good deal sorted. There is one tall oak closet still in pieces, but we think we know now how to assemble it. Clever slotted construction and a crown piece to hold it all together.
Some of the pieces I didn’t recognize. I think Aunt Deb snuck a few extras in.

Hobbling around now with a sore back. I wish I’d thought to bring my heating pad.

Editado: Jul 21, 7:45 am

Well, I’m up and all my chores are done. Even walked the dog. This household are slug-a-beds. I might have to start weeding the flowerbeds out front.

Jul 21, 7:40 pm

We had a nice time at the aquarium after T h finished her her now traditional meltdown.

Yesterday Anne and two of the kids and I did a thorough scrub and clean of the kitchen. This evening, her husband and the third child decided to clean out and “organize” the pantry. Three hours later, there are two huge jumbles of food and canned goods sprawled on the middle of the floor and husband is resting. He’s a very good cook; but he really sucks at organization and clean up.

Jul 23, 8:44 am

Anne and I made plans for more projects in a couple of weeks when the teens are off to summer camp. Meanwhile, I borrowed a large sledge to use on my front slope garden project and took several bags of well composted weeds home to fill behind the new retaining wall.

I bought the cedar lumber last week for two raised beds out front. Having to improvise a flat surface in order to align the corners correctly to fasten the boards.
It’s going to be another hot one today.

Editado: Jul 24, 8:13 am

Renewed ant attack this morning. Rose screeched to me as if it was my fault. There was a solid line from the outside wall to the trash receptacle. Carried the whole bin outside and investigated.
I thought I’d been clear about trash disposal. Compost bin for all organics, rinse and recycle containers to proper bins, and the open trash bin is only for non-organics that don’t recycle. I’m not even going to list all of the edible and ant attractive items I found throughout the bag. But I took pictures to share with Rose this evening.
And now that we’ve shown the ants a good time, we’re going to have to be even stricter.

Jul 24, 8:31 am

Editado: Jul 24, 10:03 am

We have a tablecloth with black and white branches meeting in the middle. It was a wedding present. Somewhat hard to look at anyway as your eyes keep trying to reassess it. Then one day it was swarmed with black ants. Since then it always just moves when I try to look at it.

BTW we lived on the third floor at the time. European count, so fourth floor American. No idea how they all got up there.

Jul 24, 10:13 am

>325 MarthaJeanne: I think I’d dispose of that tablecloth; it remains creepy after all this time.

Ants don’t seem perturbed by gravity. I’m sprinkling the hvac vent inside with boric acid, but they won’t necessarily track through it as invited.

Jul 24, 2:02 pm

>325 MarthaJeanne: I work on the third floor, we get ants up here too.

Jul 25, 6:49 am

I’ve assembled the two cedar raised beds. They are merely four boards, but they are hefty. I will spend this morning trying to level the site a bit. It rises and humps. I don’t have the right shaped hoe for channeling.

It’s overcast, so rain might interrupt my toil.

Jul 26, 11:50 am

On the east slope out front, soil still disappears, sifting down through the cracks between boards. I’m trying to slow that down. I wish I’d realized it would happen as I was building the upper retaining wall of stacked 4x4 lumber. I will have to continue piecemeal fixes and continue adding soil in the top beds.

For the lower retaining wall, I’ve lined the back with old pieces of aluminum siding, trying to embed the bottoms into the soil a bit. And then wedging slightly rotted boards behind that. I knew that playhouse wood would come in handy! Filling that bed behind the wood wall with well rotted weeds from Cincinnati.
(Did I mention daughter had piles of last year’s bagged weeds in the garage where the bag bottoms had rotted out? Rather than empty and re-bag them, we managed to shimmy most of them into new brown yard waste bags. And rather than count on them getting them to the curb, I took them with me.)

It’s not quite soil, but it goes a long way to filling that spot properly.

Neighbor toddler came over to help. He’s got lots of enthusiasm. He doesn’t listen to his parents yet; and I hope they realize I don’t mind his play at all.

Sitting on the back deck listening to the small doves that have decided to move into the eaves.

Saw young ones in the garden this morning:

Jul 27, 9:34 am

>329 2wonderY: can't like it there, but I can here. It made me think of fawns.

I try to repurpose lots of stuff most people would consider to be junk. I do need to find more carpet for killing honeysuckle and poison ivy, and WISTERIA. Virginia Creeper is a nuisance but can be ripped out fairly easily, not so the others.

Editado: Jul 27, 9:43 am

I cut down a wisteria vine when we moved in here. It was starting to grow into the roof. The neighbour said she got horrible headaches when it blossomed so instead of just cutting it lower, I cut it at the ground.

It's been over 15 years of pulling any stem that comes up. But this year there haven't been any. It really is possible to kill it.

Jul 27, 9:45 am

>331 MarthaJeanne: the problem is that the empty lot next to my house is woods and full of wisteria. I cut off the vines at the property line, but t's sending shoots 20 feet underground that are popping up in my raised beds gardens. I just keep pulling, pulling, pulling.

Editado: Jul 27, 10:08 am

>332 fuzzi: If one root could send up shoots for 15 years... What it does is starts growing the shoot just below the ground level, then all of a sudden the shoot shoots out and there is a 30-40 cm tall stem with leaves at the top. pulling is usually gets quite a bit of root, too.

I actually have concrete things in the ground meant for stabilizing slopes. They are big at the top with a large area full of dirt, but a very small hole in the bottom. The wisteria found those holes.

I think you havea long term problem.

Jul 27, 12:09 pm

>333 MarthaJeanne: I know I do, but I'll just keep pulling. We are in USDA zone 8a, lots of warm and wet weather. If I move north I would have to fight something else, like snow and ice.

Jul 28, 12:33 pm

Wouldn’t you know it! There’s a possum on and under my deck. I saw it waddling across to the edge and it took shelter in the only gap I had not filled with chicken wire. Damn! I was tempted to grab it by its scaly tail; but thought better of it. Now what? When can I assume it’s not under there and fix the gap?

Jul 28, 12:46 pm

This is officially what I’m going for in my yard:

Editado: Jul 28, 5:22 pm

>336 2wonderY: nibbled vegetables?

>335 2wonderY: can you borrow a live trap?

Jul 28, 10:05 pm

Fortunately, I was lounging on the deck at nightfall, with the fireflies flickering everywhere, and I saw a creature ambling up the hill. Yep, that’s him/her. I had one last rusty piece of chicken wire that just barely stretched across that gap with the help of a pile of bricks and blocks. It was full dark by the time I was satisfied. I will make it pretty and permanent tomorrow.

Editado: Jul 28, 10:11 pm

>337 fuzzi: I don’t mind sharing in a reasonable manner. I’ve never seen rabbits in this neighborhood yet, but all the others and then some. The birds and insects especially are thriving. I’d love to have a couple of ducks!
But it’s more the rolling lines of green I’m paying attention to. I’m learning to mix flowers, shrubs and vegetables in a pleasing pattern.

Editado: Jul 28, 10:37 pm

Tomato report.

Three varieties planted:
Wisconsin 55 from the college greenhouse. Have not produced many fruit. They are small and I’m not impressed.
Yellow plum tomatoes producing scads of thumb sized fruit. They are for snacking. They are best warm from the sun.
Romas donated from neighbor Katie. Wow! All the fruit you could want. Meaty enough to be sliced for sandwiches, but best chopped for cooking.

Oh, and I have half a dozen volunteers in the front yard. I have no idea what kind they are, still small. But they don’t mind being transplanted into a new bed.

Jul 29, 8:39 am

That possum came back and knocked some potted plants over to express its frustration. 😁

Editado: Jul 29, 9:29 am

It started out overcast, and the temp is 78F, so I thought I could get some heavy garden chores done. The humidity is killing though.
But I dumped what I thought was seasoned kitchen compost into the front trench and it is raw, stinking up the whole neighborhood. Gotta dig some dirt to cover it quickly.

Thankfully, four buckets were enough.
Cuz now the sun is blazing too.

Jul 29, 1:33 pm

>341 2wonderY: Why you are not allowing it to make good use of a perfect abode is beyond its Ken.: )

Jul 29, 3:23 pm

Perhaps I should construct vermin abodes. I don’t have a problem with that, if I have control. I recall two incidents at the WV house with skunks.
Once they nested under the playhouse. We pursuaded them to vacate by flooding them out and then raising the floor. They do like enclosed low spaces, so they didn’t come back.
Another time, they found a way into the house foundation. Not under; inside. I had no choice but to block the entrance and live with the carcass smell for a short while.

I’m so relieved that these recent encounters have been resolved so simply.

Note that I have no quarrel with the snakes, skinks, moles, woodpeckers, frogs and a groundhog that co-inhabit the property.

Jul 29, 8:49 pm

>344 2wonderY: it's when they are impolite that they are asked to leave?

I don't mind rabbits, but back in June I had rabbits eat my bush bean sprouts. I used some leftover hardware cloth to make a barrier, to discourage nibbling. It worked.

How's the ant situation? We got them this evening, by the stove. I'm not surprised, we usually get small ants in the house twice a year, Spring and late Summer. The fire ants have been awful, but they're outside.

Jul 29, 10:34 pm

The ants come and go in the kitchen, mostly around the sink. Every few days they will swarm on the boric acid/sugar and then disappear for several days. It’s just a reminder to clean up after myself; don’t leave dirty dishes.

Jul 30, 7:53 am

Was out front doing my morning clipping, gathering Japanese beetles, inspection tour. New neighbor walking her dog stopped to chat. She bought the cute cottage on the court at such a good price this spring. (We talked drainage problems). Her name is Vicky and she has a white Dalmatian shaped dog who is deaf but also new and playful. She indicated her torn shorts front and back. She just moved here to work at EKU from Texas and before that, New York.
She says her mom and grandmom were gardeners, but she’s not. But she found an old garden plat of her yard and has identified some remnants.

Jul 30, 5:11 pm

The weather can’t decide what it wants. I’d like to mow, but we’ve had several short showers come through alternating with blue skies. So instead, I’ve begun arranging block and rock along the base of the first slope behind the deck. It’s going to be simpler than I imagined because I’m just stacking materials, not mortaring. In one spot, the sedum ground cover has already flopped over what was piled there, and it looks fine.
Taking a couple of aspirin. Some of those stones are massive.

Jul 31, 9:08 am

>348 2wonderY: don't hurt yourself! I picked up a bale of straw this weekend and had some muscles complaining later that evening. I'm not 30 anymore.

Editado: Ago 1, 10:31 pm

My basement stays cool most of the year, and probably contributes to the overall comfort of the house. As of today, that is gone , possibly till fall.
I’m setting the AC to turn on at 74F instead of 75F. I’ve never had to pay attention to a thermostat before and I’m amazed the difference between one degree and the next.

I was lazy today, but I did clean the kitchen table enough to find the Lowe’s receipt I’d been looking for.

Well, and I did finish the mowing.

Ago 1, 11:11 pm


“Roots So Deep (you can see the devil down there)” is a 4-part documentary series all about inventive farmers and maverick scientists building a path to solving climate change with hooves, heart and soil.

Ago 2, 4:16 pm

I really need to get to the store and stock up on iron pills because my stamina has taken a dive. Trenching the front yard to install those raised bed frames. The area not only humps, but it also slopes mildly in two directions. I want them to appear somewhat level. And my level is warped. Either that or my vision is skewed. Having to still dig on the lower side to install boards to lift the low edge; and ditch the upper side so it doesn’t sit proud.

I’ve decided to install three on that side. It’s not quite long enough for four boxes butt to butt. So there will be a couple of foot gaps where I can plant specimens yet to be determined.

Sweating like mad.

Ago 2, 4:19 pm

Don't underestimate the advantages of being able to go between the beds.

Ago 2, 5:14 pm


Editado: Ago 5, 10:20 am

Rainy and overcast today. A perfect day to scavenge the Walmart garden center. Trina has the unwritten authority to sell plants for $1.

I bought 5 Bloomstruck hydrangeas, 3 artemesia, 1 ‘Passion for Red’ daylily, 1 ‘Ruby’ loropetalum, and 2 Dragon Breath celosia.

I will probably return shortly and do it again.😁

Got more of the same and bags of topsoil and compost which were $1 apiece as well. Trina came out to help me load and I passed her a bottle of blackberry cordial. She tried to say no, but I insisted. She says blackberries are her favorites.

Editado: Ago 5, 10:21 am

I worked through the drizzle and got all the hydrangeas in:

I need more artemesia.

Also, I bumped into Michelle at the Walmart garden center. She’s the previous owner of the Potting Shed who recommended my sedum slope.

She’s retired and has been working hard on a three year old yard just like me. She was browsing for bargains too. We had a nice chat.

Ago 4, 10:07 am

Alida has been conferring with me about matters along the fence line. She is going to remove the privet - Yay! She asked about an infestation of caterpillars and I was able to ID them as yellow-necked Datana genus, a threat to fruit trees. We took them out this morning with my kerosene method.

She gave me permission to take down her Poke volunteers. They are setting berries, so gotta work quick.

The female mail deliverer stopped to admire my front yard and chat. We talked about her yard and it’s poor prospects and I gave her some general advice. She seemed inspired.
Going to buy that third raised bed wood today.

Ago 5, 7:46 am

>352 2wonderY: just an FYI: there's evidence that iron deficiency is linked to copper deficiency. You might not need more iron, but copper.

I don't have a link, but a PDF, so I'm copying the summary here:

Iron and copper are highly interdependent and need to be considered together. Low ferritin is rarely indicative of low iron. In most cases, it’s a sign that copper insufficiency is preventing proper iron recycling

Copper deficiency will down-regulate several genes, including aldose reductase-1 (which plays a crucial role in glucose and fructose metabolism), glutathione peroxidase (a master antioxidant enzyme), mitochondrial aconitase (involved in iron metabolism in the
mitochondria) and transferrin (which mediates the transport of iron)

Iron deficiency virtually doesn't exist outside of acute blood loss that is unrelated to menstruation. Unless you have a history of acute blood loss, you are likely dealing with iron recycling dysfunction due to copper deficiency

The best way to lower excessive iron is to donate blood. Most adult men and postmenopausal women have high iron and could benefit from regular blood donation, as high iron is extremely toxic and destroys health

To raise your copper level, you could use a copper bisglycinate supplement, or foods like grass fed beef liver, bee pollen and whole food vitamin C

Ago 5, 7:56 am

>358 fuzzi: Thanks! That’s interesting. Will follow up.

Editado: Ago 5, 1:03 pm

I shouldn’t have waited two days to return to Walmart. Trina isn’t there today, but also most of what I want is gone.

Farmers Market to see what Connie has today. She had two varieties of anise hyssop!! ‘Pink Pop’ and ‘Blue Fortune.’ It’s a good thing I’m creating more garden beds out front.
Also another butterflyweed and I will try this one out front too. The one in the backyard is still timid.
And Giant Blue Lobelia, a native.

Also grabbed up a half dozen ears of Peaches and Cream corn. Yum!

I met a woman there named Amy. She’s a gardener too, but we talked about the shirt she was wearing. She had dyed it with leaf patterns, using real leaves. It was gorgeous. She described using the “dirty pot” method. Must look that up and find an old aluminum pot.

Editado: Ago 6, 9:41 am

Compliment from neighbor, Alida, this morning: “All of a sudden you have an elegant garden.”

I’ve got the boards for a third raised bed and hoping to assemble it this morning before it get too hot.

I am so enjoying this neighborhood. Alida’s neighbors came out to make pleasantries with us this morning and toddler, Regalo, had to fist bump each of us.

I took new neighbor, Wilma, with me to the Urban Garden earlier this week to pick up the cedar. I can tell she’s a good fit. She’s very visual and appreciates architecture. And she knows plants, so will probably be gardening next year too. She’s got more shade.

I need to plan a get together soon on my deck.

Ago 6, 11:09 am

>361 2wonderY: It does sound as if you have settled right in there. We are on speaking terms with several of our neighbors, but we don't visit often. None of them garden. They hire mow and blow services. Several of them are renting and we never see them at all.

Ago 6, 3:50 pm

>361 2wonderY: I, too, am glad that you're settling in with the neighbors. Most of my neighbors are like me, work all day, and some are gone on weekends. This summer I've walked around offering my excess tomatoes, and have only had one neighbor refuse them, though politely.

Ago 7, 7:39 am

Morning inspection.
The pink anemone might bloom today.
I had transplanted a chicory from the ridgetop. They are so independent and don’t like rich soil, I’ve never been successful. The plant blackened within a few days… but I see new leaves coming up.

Ago 8, 8:18 am

>364 2wonderY: here's hoping for your chicory!

Ago 8, 11:18 am

I went to the ridgetop today to try to load a table to take to Cinci. What’s that game you try to fit a shape into a space? Tetris? Didn’t work, so looking for a plan B.

But! I haven’t mowed out there all season and was rewarded today to find multiple ladies’ tresses:

I dug several for transplant and distribution. It’s been half a dozen years since I saw one specimen just as I mowed it down. 😵‍💫. I’ve been on the August lookout ever since.

Ago 12, 3:54 pm

Before I left Cincinnati today, I chopped more along the fence line and I left my favorite loppers so they can cut the debris into smaller pieces.

Also, the two younger grands (teens, though) returned from a week at camp. Six days without electronic devices! They had a blast! I got to hear some of the stories.

I did not finish one task I had hoped to accomplish. Anne inherited an old oak clothes cupboard, much like the one in the Aslan tales. It was delivered in pieces. It was manufactured to be disassembled for moves; much like the stacking barrister bookcase. We put most of it together last time, but it needs a stiffener/straightener on the back panel before we can fit the crown. I found the wood and cut it, but still uncertain as to the fastening method. Next time…

I came home to a yard full of birds and the groundhog prancing about in the daylight. I’ll have to see if he availed himself of the rest of my tomatoes.

I stopped at a little visited (pricey) garden lot. I did find something entirely new and interesting. Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’ Brass Buttons. I’m not sure where the brass buttons come in, but it’s a ferny looking groundcover in green and purply-black. Fascinating.

Ago 12, 4:31 pm

>367 2wonderY: My husband and I bought a wardrobe like that when we were first married. We almost divorced putting it together. ;)

Ago 12, 5:29 pm

>368 MrsLee: This daughter seems to attract them. She admired a three door model once in an antique store. The owner practically gave it to her AND delivered it for free. I think it’s a French officer’s wardrobe. It’s fitted with a commode seat in one of the compartments. And the mirror has mica flecks in it.

Ago 13, 11:41 am

>369 2wonderY: One thing we noticed, ours was too narrow for modern hangers. We ended up using it for blanket and board game storage, but that first year, when we lived in a converted garage that was essentially one rather small room, it was helpful.

Ago 13, 3:44 pm

Yes, this one is not deep enough for a clothes pole. She will probably fit it with shelving inside; as it will replace a dresser or two in the master bedroom. Come to think on it, it might be me modifying it. I’m like the granddad who comes with tools ready.

Editado: Ago 15, 8:12 am

Some of my flowers have changed color!

The most striking change is the plant a neighbor dug out of her patch of pink Japanese anemone. I babied that start last year, watering daily, erecting shade over it. It produced one leaf each day that was burnt and withered by evening , last year was brutal. So I was delighted that the roots prospered and it came back healthy this year. It formed buds several weeks ago and I’ve been checking daily. It’s white!! How can that be? I walked over to Cait’s yard and hers are still pink!

The spiderworts seem different today. The regular variety is blue today, not purple; and the magentas are purple! Very odd.

Well, perhaps the spiderworts was just a result of early morning light. They’ve settled back down to normal.

My newest Encore azalea is blooming!

Ago 15, 8:45 am

Pink / blue is a common colour change due to soil ph. And some flowers change while they are blossoming, which is fun. Our climbing rose has each blossom 'mature' from pink to yellow, which makes for a lovely picture.

But the changes you are seeing sound weird.

Editado: Ago 15, 9:31 am

I walked over to Cait’s yard to confirm that her massive bed is pink. It is, but then I noticed an outside row of white buds versus the dark pink buds in the rest of the bed. Yes, that’s the corner where she dug mine. Id never noticed the white flowers before. I’ll have to try to catch her outside and ask if that was deliberate and May I please have a pink from the other side.

It’s been too wet to work outside, but today is sunny and going to be hot. I’m rolling that last piece of carpet back on the front slope and adding a layer of wood mulch under it. I don’t have plants to put in there this season, so it will remain covered. But the pink evening primrose has been enthusiastically filling in at the bottom.

I’d like to finish placing the raised beds this week and fill them for fall veggie crops.

As I returned from my walk, I saw another lady walking past my front yard. She was obviously enjoying the colors and the plants on display. I’m no longer the neighborhood eyesore.

Ago 15, 10:37 am

>373 MarthaJeanne: Oh yes! I’ve had several roses that do that and I love them. ‘Joseph’s Coat’ was a long time ago, and it wasn’t happy with me, but WOW!
I’ve got ‘Campfire’ this year and it works similarly.

Ago 15, 2:09 pm

Toddler, Regalo (R in future remarks) and his dad moseyed over to visit while I was working on the front slope. I think dad is perhaps at burnt out stage, as R is high energy and doesn’t acknowledge “No.”
R took my hand and we checked out all the colors, materials and objects in the front yard. I invited them to try the nest swing out back. R discovered the barn and the pirate ship and played happily with them for a bit. They went home with tomatoes.

I’m deep weeding that slope removing mostly wood violets; having to dig inches down to collect the knobby and seed filled root clusters. In another week those seed pods will have ripened and burst.

Working in blocs of ten minutes or so, as my back is not happy today.

Ago 16, 3:00 pm

>376 2wonderY: watch your back and the heat, too. I did a slash project in my backyard that was overdue, for two hours last Saturday, and I had no oomph for the rest of the weekend.

I'm waiting for October and cool down.

Editado: Ago 17, 1:32 pm

The day is sunny and mild and I’ve got my energy and my back back. So I’m big time weeding. I’ve got three yard bags full and will start a fourth today. Next Thursday is yard waste pick up.
I’ve also been working a weed and veg pile for compost. I turned it today and it has turned to lovely soil.
The stuff that goes off property is what would survive and thrive in my little pile.

I may mow some of the back yard, but it still needs to dry just a bit more.

On this morning’s walk, I rescued a beautiful plant that was volunteering in a crack between curb and street. Garlic chives. The white flower clusters emerge from a white sheath. A late summer bloom.

Ago 18, 1:05 pm

Second day in a row that I feel good enough to work pretty much continuously.

I am planning a garden party soon, so I thought I’d better clean up the patio area adjacent to the deck. It has been a place to accumulate stone, wood, potting soil and now wood chip mulch from the drop off in May.
I’ve also been laying out my weed hauls there to dry in the sun before bagging them. Dry weeds are just a lot lighter, eh?

I emptied the composter given to me by a neighbor. It’s a small rotary bin, and all it produces is slime and insects. I moved the contents to my pile up the hill which has been much more successful.

I set up a real potting station rather than the makeshift set up. I’m moving stone and 6x6 lumber to the rubble wall I’m building and starting to box in the above ground pond.

Still lots of random stuff, but much more cohesive looking and not a trip hazard.

Editado: Ago 18, 6:47 pm

I’m cleaning the inside of the tool shed, too. Look what I found!:

My photo of the ladies tresses, posted about up in >366 2wonderY:

Editado: Ago 19, 11:53 am

I knew I was sweeping the deck in the wrong order. Today I climbed onto the deck roof and cleared the gutter guards of the accumulation of leaves, maple seeds and misc. debris. Yes, even with the guards on, because of the wonky roof design and the amount of debris, some stuff doesn’t automatically get washed away. But it’s a matter of minutes rather than hours.
Another gorgeous day, cool enough for long sleeves first thing, but now a golden morning. Off to visit Connie at the Farmers Market.

Where I spent a whole $20 on four specimens. Thyme, just the regular kind. I’ve never had good luck with it, but it might like my front yard.
Another Giant Blue Lobelia, because the color is so great and I need it in the back yard too.
Cardinal flower, a native. The bloom looks very much like pineapple sage, but is tall and leggy. Must find the right spot for it to thrive.
Ajuga “Chocolate Chip” which is a smaller leaf and more compact plant than the other that I’ve got by the same name.

Adding some of these to crowd out the wood violets.

Ago 19, 6:47 pm

Yesterday, working on the patio, I stacked block at the rear and capped it. I will stage potted herbs there next year. Behind it is an almost vertical rise. I’ve addressed it with hostas along the fence line and a scrap piece of plywood to kill the grass. Above that, plugs of pachysandra; but mostly left to wood violets and creeping Charlie, which I’m weeding out now.
So I lifted that piece of plywood, expecting to see just slugs; which is what has been there before. Instead, it’s the rooftop of Moley’s house!
Now what do I do?!

Ago 19, 7:53 pm

>382 2wonderY: Moley is good. Let him stay.

Ago 19, 9:01 pm

Yes, of course. But I think I will replace the plywood with something more aesthetically pleasing.

Ago 21, 9:49 am

Here is me collecting Violets from my garden beds:

Editado: Ago 21, 3:12 pm

If you want to see my Moley solution, the second photo is it for today, at least.

Editado: Ago 21, 2:45 pm

>386 2wonderY: looks good.
Mole stood a moment rigid, while his uplifted nose, quivering slightly, felt the air.

Then a short, quick run forward— a fault— a check— a try back; and then a slow, steady, confident advance.

The Rat, much excited, kept close to his heels as the Mole, with something of the air of a sleep-walker, crossed a dry ditch, scrambled through a hedge, and nosed his way over a field open and trackless and bare in the faint starlight.

Suddenly, without giving warning, he dived; but the Rat was on the alert, and promptly followed him down the tunnel to which his unerring nose had faithfully led him.

It was close and airless, and the earthy smell was strong, and it seemed a long time to Rat ere the passage ended and he could stand erect and stretch and shake himself. The Mole struck a match, and by its light the Rat saw that they were standing in an open space, neatly swept and sanded underfoot, and directly facing them was Mole's little front door, with 'Mole End' painted, in Gothic lettering, over the bell-pull at the side.

Mole reached down a lantern from a nail on the wail and lit it, and the Rat, looking round him, saw that they were in a sort of fore-court. A garden-seat stood on one side of the door, and on the other a roller; for the Mole, who was a tidy animal when at home, could not stand having his ground kicked up by other animals into little runs that ended in earth-heaps. On the walls hung wire baskets with ferns in them, alternating with brackets carrying plaster statuary— Garibaldi, and the infant Samuel, and Queen Victoria, and other heroes of modern Italy. Down on one side of the forecourt ran a skittle-alley, with benches along it and little wooden tables marked with rings that hinted at beer- mugs. In the middle was a small round pond containing gold-fish and surrounded by a cockle-shell border. Out of the centre of the pond rose a fanciful erection clothed in more cockle-shells and topped by a large silvered glass ball that reflected everything all wrong and had a very pleasing effect.

Ago 21, 3:43 pm

>386 2wonderY: Very nice.

Ago 22, 11:31 am

My morning tour revealed a small frog and a green grasshopper, as well as two flashy roses:

I chose this hot morning to dig the front yard up. There is a hump in the middle that needs leveled down some, and I need soil to fill the raised beds. I worked and sweated till about 11. Peaches and Cream corn on the cob for lunch. (I learned a handy way to remove the husk and all the silks in one motion. Thanks Instagram!)

I’ve been wanting to have a neighborhood gathering for a lot of new neighbors to meet. Looking at the weather forecast, I’m thinking Sunday or Monday evening. I wish I had someone to co-plan with me.
Tomorrow is the first day of class, so I should check where and when I need to go.

Also gonna spend the afternoon at the library getting some emails out.
The city has requested we conserve electricity because of the heat index and AC load.
I’ve become used to the temps, partly from working outside, but also having to sit on the deck for phone service. I should get a 5G phone. I’m still using one with LTE reception; whatever that means.

Editado: Ago 23, 11:49 am

Worked some more on the raised beds while it was cooler. Added the bagged soils and compost I got from Walmart.
Then I went to Walmart to see whether they had more. All sold out, except for pine and cypress mulches at $1 a bag. Which should I get? I will cover the east flower beds.
They had a beach bicycle marked way down. I was tempted, but I rode it around the garden center and the proportions weren’t quite right. Just a little bit too short in the frame and thus harder to steer.

I stopped at T-Mobile to get a new SIM card. It didn’t help with reception in my house.🤨. But I did make a new friend. The tech guy was quite an interesting person. We talked books, music, UFOs, Tesla, philosophy and spirituality. He wrote down his personal number for me and said he’s my personal phone guy.

I saw another mole in the rock garden. A tiny one. It was able to squeeze through a drainage hole in a piece of mostly buried corrugated pipe. I wish I knew if that pipe was still functional. I hate that it’s visible in the garden. But perhaps I just need to revise my concept of it and put a tiny mailbox out front of the access hole.

Ago 23, 1:44 pm

>390 2wonderY: I've used cypress mulch, it works pretty well.

"... perhaps I just need to revise my concept of it and put a tiny mailbox out front of the access hole"

Bwahaha! Love it. Put up a sign with "Mole End".

Ago 24, 7:59 am

I’m hosting my first neighborhood get together on Sunday, a mix of new and longtime neighbors, as there are lots of new faces. So I’m sitting out front to catch the two dog walkers to give them their invitations.

My class starts this morning and I need to go early because I don’t know the room number and it’s possible it is in another building altogether.

Hydrangea flowers age so interestingly. Limelight stays white for a long time. Most of the whites fade to rose. But my Mini Mauvette changes to green! They dried out last year and I didn’t see that.

Editado: Ago 24, 4:16 pm

A neighbor discarded 20+ tomato cages out to the curb. Most are in very good condition. I scarped them up quickly, before Alida saw them.

My class is Appalachian Plants and People. The professor has just published Sown in the Stars. I’ve seen the book, and it is gorgeous. (The photographer is Meg Wilson who was daughter’s wedding photographer.)

We may touch on the subject, but that’s not the main focus. Dr. Hall seems much better organized than other teachers I’ve had recently. And there will be a lot of work. First assignment is a 4 page essay due in 2 weeks.

I will probably establish a thread for my notes.

Ago 26, 4:04 pm

I’ve been working steady, but not hard today (since dawn) trying to see what I can get done for the party. At 3, I could no longer move.
Cautionary for tomorrow. Do as little as possible to be in shape for guests at 4.
Guess I’m not gonna mow the grass…

Ago 27, 12:56 pm

Well POO! Tell the clouds they are only 20% chance of rain today. Good thing I’ve cleaned the inside of the house too, so we can hang inside.

Ago 27, 6:57 pm

>395 2wonderY: Too bad! A neighborhood garden party sounds lovely, but I'm sure they will appreciate it wherever it occurs.

Editado: Ago 27, 7:41 pm

It was a good gathering. For not knowing each other (mix of new and old neighbors) the chatter was remarkable as soon as they were in the door. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a pleasant meet.
We all agree we will do it again soon.

And it was nice to have them indoors to admire my books. Several readers in the group.

Ago 28, 6:52 am

I had bought a cardinal flower last Saturday and the bloom stalks broke during transport. So I had put them in water on the deck table. A hummingbird is visiting the blooms.
I haven’t planted it yet, because of the heat. I need to consider a spot closer to the deck than I had planned. They like partial shade, so I will be paying close attention today when the sun returns.

Ago 28, 3:39 pm

>297 2wonderY: Bonus! New book friends. :)

Editado: Ago 29, 8:44 am

My neighbor gave me a bowl of plums from their tree. They are just like the deep purple, thicker-skinned plums I knew in childhood; also from a neighbor’s tree! I don’t really like commercial plums because they are thin skinned and puffy. These are smaller and have delicious firm flesh.

Meanwhile, my plum tomatoes continue to produce. They are indeterminate growers. Just like the volunteer cherry tomatoes that are now taking over the bed along the driveway. Grow, baby, grow!

I’m finally hearing from a few HS classmates. I’m trying to put together short biographies. They must not think their lives are worth talking about, as I have had to prod to get anything interesting. I mean, what are we supposed to say to one another at the reunion unless we are primed?

As I’m inspecting for carpenter bee holes in my deck posts, I recall that Alida texted me that her niece saw two raccoons disappear under my deck last evening. Yeah. They found another entry point. I stacked materials along that edge last night in the dark. It hasn’t been disturbed yet, and I don’t hear any rustling. Everything else is chicken wire stapled. I hope they aren’t under there. I guess I’ll know by the odor in a few days.

Ago 29, 3:37 pm

>400 2wonderY: my plum tomatoes have also been very prolific this year. The beefsteak types did okay.

Ago 30, 3:58 am

The “blue moon” was lonely. It peeked in my window at 3AM and poked me in the eye. I went outside and had some fun with the night sky:

Ago 30, 9:00 am

>402 2wonderY: Yep, I'm pretty sure that's a planet on picture 3. The fifth picture is you moving your camera. I've done that, LOTS of times!

I saw a nifty idea online, and am using it: store your plum tomatoes in an open egg carton! Unless they're really big they fit pretty well. It's keeping mine from touching each other, which I want to avoid as that is how rot spreads.

Set 1, 11:32 am

Great news. The stems that broke off the cardinal plant are rooting in the bottle I used as a vase. Yay! I love reproducing plants.

Set 2, 12:23 pm

>400 2wonderY: Presence of dead raccoons is confirmed. I’m surprised that they didn’t even attempt to escape. No digging, no pushing materials away from their entry point (and yes, it was purposely light enough and not anchored so they could have), no scrabbling along any of the places I had stapled chicken wire.

Moved some seating to the carport for the duration of the stink. The deck is just barely higher than it’s floor joists and removal is not possible.

Set 2, 8:26 pm

>405 2wonderY: Sounds like maybe they were sick to begin with?

Set 2, 8:28 pm

>406 MrsLee: that's what I'm thinking. They died after three days?

Set 3, 10:19 am

And I might be mistaken. Daughter thought she smelled it Thursday, and I didn’t till yesterday, but mildly. But there is no odor today yet.

Connie sold me two Veronicas (speedwell), ‘Lavender Lightsaber’ and ‘Sunny Border Blue.’
Also a lavender plant, which I’ve had no luck with in recent years. This one is x intermedia Sensational! ‘Tesseract.’
And another sedum, because it has hexagonal leaves and I still have bare slope spaces. Sedum sieboldi ‘Dragon.’

Editado: Set 6, 11:20 am

I have been holding one plant from that Walmart purchase a month ago, as I thought I was going to plant it where a tomato plant was still producing. But I decided to put it on the highest back slope near the blueberries today.
It’s so hot and dry that I had to chisel out a hole, even though I’ve been watering that spot. I compensated by adding lots of compost and covering the soil with leaf mulch. (I still have 3 bags of last year’s leaves!)

I’m walking the neighborhood in the mornings, to stretch those night tight muscles. And still hoping to catch Cait out and beg a pink anemone from her. Instead I met another gardener up at the top of the subdivision. Mike, I think he said; married to Charlena, who I met three years ago but haven’t seen since.
He showed me Sunchokes. Anne is enamored of this plant and plans to introduce to her Cinci yard.

Hot and dry here, as in most of the rest of the world. But I caught some pretty sky this morning.

Deck is still slightly stinky; it hasn’t worsened or improved.

Set 7, 9:29 am

Mowed the entire yard yesterday in just more than an hour. Trying to determine if I’ve got Japanese stilt grass or Leersia virginica, Virginia cutgrass, at the top along the fence line. Differences are subtle.

Had to knock down a lot of mole tunnels. Sorry guys. Dig a little deeper, please.

I ate my first homegrown fig! One plant produced two fruit. Tastes a lot like those plums neighbor gave me last week.

Oops! Better get to class.

Set 7, 2:06 pm

>410 2wonderY: I've been noticing more mole tunnels, hope they're eating fire ants.

Set 8, 6:20 pm

Noting that at this time of year and at 6pm, my entire front yard* is shaded by Alida’s magnolia tree, as the sun veers back SW.

*not counting the front slope and the beds at the edge of the slope.

That means I could bring chairs out there and be comfortable.

For class this afternoon, we hiked the west trail of the pinnacles, and it was a good pace. I hurt in several places. Taking aspirin now.

Editado: Set 9, 2:42 pm

I got four groundcover plants from Connie this morning and decided it is time to start planting the west slope out front. So I rolled up the protective carpet on both sides and dug pockets.
I planted two sedums:
Sedum kamtschaticum - which looks a whole lot like pachysandra, yellow flowers just coming on now.
Sedum “Cherry Tart”, named for its bloom color. The leaves are not outstanding, but I thought would be a satisfying contrast to other plants.

Ajuga reptans “Black Scallop” has spatulate leaves that are larger than typical for the species. They are purple and green with a nice frilled edge. It should tolerate the sun in that location. It’s a very fresh and vigorous looking plant.

Isotoma fluviatilis aka Blue Star Creeper. A mounding tiny green leaf plant with small Star shaped flowers.

I will thin some mounds of other stuff from the back slope as well.
I’m also adding small stone ledges to place occasional potted plants.

Moved the discarded carpet to the east side onto the last of the grassy slope there. As I create bare ground there, I will be adding wild flowers. Already added blue mist flower and garlic chives.

Set 10, 6:25 pm

I had intended to use today to complete the high school reunion bio project. But instead, I cleaned my carport. Boy, do I have a lot of plant pots! Not the pretty ones, the ones that need recycled.

I sowed a cover crop mix in my new raised beds. The county Conservation District is distributing bags of seed at the library.
Picked at the front slope and watered some beds. It has cooled down and was overcast but doesn’t look like rain. I’d like my new plants to go into winter as healthy as they can be.

Editado: Set 11, 10:53 am

City utilities were on the street this morning. They detected a water line leak and pretty much knew where to dig.

They have a marvelous new rig that obviates the shovel. It has a wand that sprays pressurized water to remove soil and a huge vacuum hose to suck it all up. The utility workers love it at $750,000.

Set 11, 1:08 pm

Doesn't your inner 5-year-old just adore watching the big equipment work? I know mine does :)

Set 11, 1:13 pm

>416 tardis: I elbowed in real close and took pictures for 4 year old Regalo, who was at pre-school and missed all the excitement.

Set 11, 1:17 pm

>416 tardis: I love watching trains and construction trucks, too.

>414 2wonderY: what ground cover are you planting?

Set 11, 2:57 pm

>418 fuzzi: You mean cover crop?

Austrian winter pea, crimson clover (I might regret that one), Turnip, Oats. I added old lettuce and carrot seeds that haven't sprouted for me elsewhere.

Set 11, 3:44 pm

I spent a chunk of the day at the library finishing the reunion biography project. Someone sent me theirs early this morning, giving a 40% response. Not bad. I made up silly stories and excuses for the rest of them, so everybody has a page.
I emailed it to everyone. I gave them 24 hours to send corrections before I take it to the printer.

Set 11, 8:49 pm

>419 2wonderY: yes, exactly! Sort of...

I've had carpet on half the front slope for 18 months, was thinking of planting something, whether cover crop or ground cover.

Editado: Set 11, 8:56 pm

Oh, well I’m planning a sedum patchwork like I did in the backyard. Right now there’s several inches of mulch on the slope and I’m digging through it to place pockets of this and that.

Editado: Set 12, 3:05 pm

Most of the houses in my neighborhood are modest, rectangular 2BRs from the 50s. And on the steep side, the lots are very narrow. (Recall I have no side yards.) Over time, those without a room upstairs were generally upgraded with a room added to the rear.

My neighbors two houses down have discovered that their back addition doesn’t have a proper foundation. There’s a crew over there now digging it out to install one. I hear shovels working and I see the boys carting 5 gallon buckets of dirt around to their trailer on the street. They are putting the buckets on their heads! I did see one of them using a wheelbarrow, but he was slower than the others.

It’s good for them that it has cooled to the mid-70s. It the first day that smells a bit like fall.

Set 13, 9:41 am

Took my morning constitutional walk around the neighborhood. I got a close-up look at the dig. They are removing part of the hillside up against the addition before even digging under the perimeter of the structure. They will install a retaining wall there.
There are slope challenges in this neighborhood that are amazing. A few days ago, I saw a backyard that is flat, but is at least 20 feet below grade and lined entirely with a block retaining wall. !!! And there is a road immediately adjacent to it.

Further up my hill, I met a friendly neighbor, Leisha, and her dog, Millie, a corgie. Leisha just listed and sold the house just a few doors down from me.

And at the end of her block is a turn-around with a few trees planted in the grass circle. One of them is a plum tree and it is loaded! These are bite-sized and a bit plumper and rounder than my neighbor’s tree. But equally delicious. I will stop back with a basket later. Should I take enough to make some cordial?

Set 13, 8:30 pm

I walked up around the hill heading to the plum tree carrying a basket. A lady on her porch offered me sweet peppers😊. I need to catch her name again.

Set 14, 7:31 am

Suddenly sweater weather. 49°F this morning. Long sleeves aren’t enough.

Set 14, 12:05 pm

Update on neighbor’s foundation project. The boys are now hauling bags of concrete up the hill to the back of the house, one bag at a time.

And I just got a text that informs me I will be a great grandma in March.

Set 14, 1:12 pm

>427 2wonderY: how exciting (being a great grandma, that is)!

Editado: Set 19, 8:03 am

Just noting here some garden gifts from my high school friend’s garden.
She gave me gooseneck loosestrife, and seed for cup flower. I so admired the post-bloom grace of her Crocosmia (orange, not red), she dug some for me. She says I need to expect these plants to take over some geography.

I always loved visiting her house as her dad was an avid gardener and had a greenhouse. Marianne inherited the property and it is a slice of heaven.

She also pulled out a Spear Head Spade to dig the plants and now I lust after one for myself.

Set 19, 7:21 am

Sleep! I slept a good solid chunk last night. Driving back home yesterday my brain kept wanting to run a sleep cycle. So I had to stop every hour and let it. It would take only a few minutes, but it was annoying.

I’m down to packing almost junky stuff out of the old house. It might be time to quit.

I have a few things to plant today, both from my friend and from the WV yard.
I have a beautiful and large peegee hydrangea in WV

I took a bunch of clippings and I will try various ways to root them.

Set 19, 2:18 pm

>430 2wonderY: what are you going to do once you get everything out of the house, put it on the market?

Set 19, 2:24 pm

>431 fuzzi: it’s a serious fixer-upper. It won’t pass inspection for a regular mortgage, so it would need an investment buyer. A few people have expressed interest, but I’m having difficulty coming up with a fair market price.

Set 19, 3:58 pm

Aldis has Jaffa Cakes from Germany. Must load up on the orange filled!

Set 19, 4:11 pm

I like Messino from Bahlsen. Yes, the orange flavoured ones, and dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. The only other ones I have liked were the lemon-rosemary ones they had a few summers ago. Was it this year or last year they had some mango ones that were just plain disgusting.

Set 19, 4:15 pm

Set 19, 4:36 pm

>434 MarthaJeanne: Milk chocolate? Ew!

Set 19, 4:44 pm

>436 2wonderY: I know, but apparently people buy them. Not me.

Set 20, 8:34 am

I took my morning walk to the southern side of the subdivision, just the next block up the hill. I want to show how abruptly the city limits end there.

That row of houses has a spectacular view of the next ridge.

The plum tree still has some fruit worth picking, but higher up in the tree. Lots of shriveled fruit on the low branches.

The guy with the golf green front yard seems to be having some mole challenges to his perfect lawn😂

Set 21, 8:08 pm

Yikes! It’s already dark at 8pm!!!

Set 23, 2:29 pm

I went to the Farmers Market wanting to drop $20, but Connie didn’t have much new, so I bought a couple of duplicates.

Hoary skullcap is a new one and is a native. It’s blooming now and needs dappled sun.
Veronica “Lavender Lightsaber” might be a variety I haven’t bought before, but I do have several others.
Same with Monarda “Fire Marshall.”

The Sedum “Cherry Tart” I bought two weeks ago is doing well on the front slope, so I bought another to put somewhere in the back yard; probably the rock garden.

Set 23, 7:37 pm

>440 2wonderY: are you adding markers next to all your acquisitions?

Editado: Set 23, 8:37 pm

>441 fuzzi: I tried that this year. But the “permanent” markers and not really that anymore. Connie says the Amish greenhouse out her way sells better markers and I will try to get some in the spring.
I am keeping track here to some degree.

Set 24, 4:11 pm

>442 2wonderY: I saw a master gardener video in which he cut aluminum cans into strips. When he wrote on each strip it was as if he'd engraved the words, doesn't wash off.

I used wooden Popsicle sticks one year. The Sharpie permanent marker did not wear off, but the stick rotted at the soil level after a couple months...lasted long enough I think.

Editado: Set 24, 4:57 pm

A lady I met earlier this year finally brought some plants from her gardens, as we had discussed in May(?)
She thought it was Monday and was braced for a dentist appointment.
She brought
Blue flax
Coreopsis (lance leaf)
Lamb’s ear
An iris

She promises more, after it rains.
I gave her a purple New England aster.

Set 27, 7:03 am

We’ve got rain! It’s been a couple of months, I think.

Editado: Set 27, 7:13 pm

I am grateful for the rain, but it is hampering the tasks I’ve lined out. Plants still need to go in the ground, but now it’s too wet.
I worked on class assignments this morning, but internet only works on the back deck, and my rainproofing is not complete.

So I ran (drove, really) up to the next town and did big Aldis shopping. Stocked up on canned goods, dried beans, and Jaffa cakes.

Rose sent me a Facebook page announcing the closing of my favorite restaurant here in town; and I’m seriously bummed about that. We plan to go eat there as often as possible in the next few weeks. But they say call first because they are expecting the surge as well as losing staff and running short of supplies.

I bought a box of Strawberry Jaffa cakes, just to make sure I wasn’t missing out. They are just okay. The strawberry flavor is there, but it’s not a taste meld with the dark chocolate as does the orange jam.

Set 28, 9:24 am

>446 2wonderY: love Aldi's! I've not tried the Jaffa cakes but I really like the belVita crunchy bars.

Set 29, 1:23 pm

Have I mentioned that daughter, Rose’s employment future is still up in the air? The plant here has extended her temp contract a couple of months, but has not offered a permanent position yet.
She’s been house searching on the assumption; but also still job hunting. She just had a phone interview for a job that would require a 2 month stay at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. She says the interview went very well. I just wanted to boast about it, even if they don’t offer her the position. It’s the most good excitement we’ve had all year.

Set 29, 6:19 pm

Two vigorous workouts today. Moved a carful of random stuff from one place to another this morning.
This afternoon, we hiked into the forest on the hunt for American chestnut trees. We found three, but we had help from the forester.

So I stopped for pad Thai rice noodles as a treat. I limped home and collapsed with my bowl and a glass of white wine. I will sleep well tonight!

Oh, and I’ve got one more slice of pear & ginger cake that Rose brought home from the college farm store.

Yum, yum, yum!

Set 30, 1:27 am

Pear and Ginger cake is good. I have to bake my own.

Set 30, 5:14 am

I was going to hold off telling you I’ve sold the ridgetop property; but much of the next month is going to be devoted to closing shop up there.
The family that bought the surrounding property met my price. And with all of their activities out there, my solitude and peace are no more. I’ve barely gone out there this year.
And I wasn’t doing justice to it.

I will look for a few acres elsewhere to play with.


I found some rose labels from the gardens up there. Some didn’t make it, like the Cinco de Mayo. But I’ve got a replacement here in town.
I’ve already moved what I can now identify as ‘Mary Rose’ a David Austin variety aka Rosa ‘Ausmary.’ It’s the one with the distinctive old rose fragrance. It hasn’t bloomed much this year, but has grown considerably.
There is one rose left out there which I will dig up soon. It’s either ‘Oh My!’ Floribunda or ‘Dee-lish’ tea rose.

There are a few other plants I will still be moving. I will try to dig the orange tree that I started from seed. And some asparagus and irises.

It’s kind of a relief. I haven’t felt right about the dear place for an entire year. Time to move on.

Set 30, 7:03 am

>451 2wonderY: I feel a little sad, I followed your ridgetop journey from early on, recall your pond issues, the roofing, stuff like that.

But I'm looking forward to reading about your future plans.

I have another friend who just sold his house due to similar problems, but in the NC mountains. New neighborhood activities at his previous home had ruined his quiet enjoyment. He has since bought an 80 acre property in KY.

Set 30, 1:53 pm

>451 2wonderY: Congratulations and commiserations :) It can be hard to move on, but you seem so busy in town that I'm sure being able to focus on that property without the other looming in the background will be nice. When you decide to buy another property you can take your time finding just the right one.

Out 1, 11:29 am

It’s a gorgeous day! Mild and sunny. The crickets are the dominant sound in my yard.
I should be planting random stuff. I’ll go get shoes on.

I’ve been sorting stuff inside - clothes, papers, etc. I even found the little squeeze tin of machine oil and silenced two squawking hinges.

Yeah, time to play outside.

Editado: Out 5, 6:50 am

I called all the storage unit places this morning and I might get one tomorrow (cross fingers).

I’m bringing small shelving units in to town to finish filling wall space in the basement.
And several boxes of stuff that I’m pretty sure can go to goodwill. (I dropped off a boxful there this morning and got more to go after I let daughter turn it down.

I dug up an herb that I introduced behind the cabin years ago. I don’t recall what it is, except that it’s medicinal. It has grown to a circle 3 feet wide, and it did not want to divide. It was easiest to pull the whole thing up in one wad.
Identified by Michelle at The Potting Shed as Epimedium, probably x rubrum with the red stems.

Harvested jewelweed to make salve. I will plant the roots with the suggestion that they stay awhile.

Out 3, 9:15 am

Very late season to be collecting jewelweed. It was mostly stem by volume, which is okay, but more challenging to process.
I pickled some in vodka and I ran the rest through my blender. Added a shot of vodka there too as a preservative and an aid to liquifying. It turned rusty red. I wasn’t expecting that. I will stir in Cera-Ve skin care product and maybe some honey.

Got up bright and early and started cleaning my bedroom. I will bring a small set of drawers down today and replace the random piles and messiness that has accumulated on one wall.
I did manage to rent a 10x10 unit this morning, so I’ll give Olivia a call as well as round up a truck.

Out 6, 9:16 pm

It’s leaf season! Collected 7 huge bags of maple leaves. That’s what fits in my car. I will go back for another load early tomorrow.
An Hispanic family was taking a stroll and the 10 kids offered to help me. They did the last two bags and enjoyed the fun.

Came home to T! We’re all going to Cincinnati tomorrow for a birthday weekend. She and I hung out while her parents went out to dinner. Just like old times. Tea party is still top of the list.

Out 7, 2:22 am

Flynn is Rose’s very old dog. He’s been aging fast and has heart and breathing conditions. He faded enough earlier this week that Rose went home to have him put to sleep. But he rallied with more medications.
In theory, he can’t manage stairs. Rose carried him up when they went to bed upstairs. But he somehow made it down quietly and finally settled on the rug next to my bed. Oh, the noises! He’s a good dog.

Editado: Out 7, 10:04 pm

Second to my birthday weekend last year, today has been a wonderful family and friends get-together. Grandchild, Ellie, turned 16, and instead of a destination party for the nuclear family, she asked for a simple extended family gathering. So it was mostly friends of her parents. And me and Rose and her family.

Great mellow conversation groups. The big cousins spent all day with T, mostly on the trampoline. When the kids decided that the net and net supports should come off, as they were no longer offering safety, they organized the task and welcomed my hand and suggestions. I love doing meaningful projects with my grands.

Anne’s two childhood girlfriends are now close enough to drive over for the day. When Sasha addressed me by my first name today, it was the first time she ever had. It’s been that long since I’ve seen her.
We all just melted into the best companionship gestalt.
Warm fuzzies!

And it’s always Callum who makes sure I have what I need for a comfortable sleep.

I only had one project to complete this trip. The antique clothes cupboard has been only partially assembled in the middle of the living room. Today, with five sets of hands, we managed to shift and persuade all the loose parts to align to drop the cap on and lock it into place. Yay, us! Now I can create a rigid back panel that won’t fall into 8 or more separate boards when it’s disassembled.
The cabinet will live in that room for the present, but along a wall instead of blocking the fireplace.
And all the Halloween decor is up. All very whimsical pieces.

Oh, we do have another project. Anne bought a Honeycrisp apple tree, waiting till it was only $10. It needs to go in the ground tomorrow.

Out 8, 9:47 pm

Callum was my worker on all projects today. We had to go to Home Depot for some hardware and we stopped at Aldis and got a couple of pumpkin rolls, one for their household, one for me.

We got the cabinet stabilized and moved it into place.
We planted the apple tree and drove a couple of pipes beside it to support it. We used some old computer cable to tie it up.
We repaired an annoying bent oven door panel. It’s now no longer dangerous to reach into the corner cupboard next to it.
I tried to make sure he got to use the power tools and enjoy the sense of accomplishment.

Back home, and I am glad to add a wool blanket on top of the quilt tonight.

Out 9, 6:59 pm

Olivia is here for a few days. We staged some of the big items today, ready for the truck tomorrow. We filled both vehicles with stuff and distributed to various destinations.

I’m battling back pain.

Out 10, 4:33 pm

Well, we did the bulk of the move. Concentrated on large and bulky and heavy stuff today. We might go back in the morning for an extension ladder and some lumber.
This evening, my goal is to get the better mattress off the truck and onto my bed.

Out 11, 9:15 am

Ah!! The older mattress is obviously a better quality, though nearly identical in surface indicators. Cheaper construction materials, I assume. Anyway, the one I put in storage will be T’s, and her young back will never know the difference.
Rose and Nathan are considering making an offer on a house in town. It’s not officially on the market yet, but we know the owner.

I woke refreshed at 5am and shifted some materials in the basement to make a space for the other cabinet. It’s an old IKEA unit and pretty heavy. It takes two to move it. Liv and I will do another trip today with just our vehicles before she goes back to Cinci. The rental truck was returned to the dealer safely.

Out 11, 1:43 pm

Done by 1. A good day’s work. Liv is taking the newer galvanized water trough back with her to plant spearmint. We talked hugelkulture to fill it with little expense. And then it occurs to me that I have more washtubs that Anne can use in the same way. Their immediate back yard is all pavement and then it drops off to very shady wilderness.

There are still multiple trips needed to clear the cabin and shed, but I can largely handle it alone.
Finding forgotten treasures and it’s sparking new project ideas. We could get serious with a garden shed in this yard. I have a collection of old windows to use.

Out 12, 6:32 am

>456 2wonderY: after my dad passed away I found an unopened bottle of vodka in his RV. We don't drink so I just put it with some of his stuff I have stored. It didn't occur to me that I could use it as you've described here...hmm...

>457 2wonderY: glad to hear Flynn is still managing. Cleo has trouble with stairs, vet said she has DJD and arthritis, but with Ultram and chondroitin she's improved some. I believe that as long as they're relatively happy and comfortable why not let them enjoy their twilight years?

I enjoyed reading about all your busy-ness!

Out 12, 10:32 am

>465 fuzzi: I use vodka to make vanilla extract. I put two or three vanilla Ben's in a bottle and put it in the back of the cupboard for a year or two. The BEST vanilla.

When I managed at the hotel, there were occasions when guests left either partial bottles of vodka, or bags of marijuana. The older housekeeping staff put the marijuana in the vodka bottles and after steeping several months, used it to rub on their aching joints. They said it worked like a charm.

Out 14, 9:16 am

The entire week has left me fatigued, especially with the mountain hike and dig yesterday

But I have plants to get in the ground still and potted plants to carry to my basement greenhouse.
But a nice rainstorm just blew in.
So I guess it’s tackling the piles inside today.

Out 14, 8:52 pm

I went to my first big social function this evening. It was the annual RITI fundraising dinner. I went by my lonesome, and expected to feel odd man out. But neighbor/gardener, Katie, invited me to her table immediately and then I invited neighbor/gardener, Joan, to join us. I met several other neighbors for the first time as well.
It really is a small town. I knew a few others too. Joan is asking everyone if they’d like to run for city council. We do need more progressive representation in order to become more sustainable and successful.

Out 15, 2:27 pm

Daughter, Rose, has been off last week and spent it at the farm with hubby, T, Flynn-dog and kitty. She’s back to work this week, but is staying with friends. So I have the house to myself again.
Gives me a chance to clean out the refrigerator and do some sorting in the upstairs bedroom. I’ve been squeezing through the narrow hole I made between studs to reach the eaves. It finally occurred to me that I didn’t have to, at least on the side where access is at the back of a closet. It took me two minutes to cut and knock out a stud and some drywall. And then a hour or so to clean it up nice.

I’m working on organizing closets and under-bed storage and also stabbing at basement projects too. It’s been a productive day.

Out 17, 7:33 am

>469 2wonderY: good for you!

My concern would have been that electrical outlet. Not every house has the electrical conduit where it's supposed to be!

Out 17, 10:29 am

I’m sitting here in high dudgeon. Rose had two packages mailed here last week, birthday presents for her sister. They were both small, and one has disappeared. Grrrr. I’ve got to find it!
Anne is coming down today or tomorrow. Dang it!

Out 19, 9:09 am

Blue sky and ribbons of pink clouds this morning, and a flock of raptors lazily silhouetted against it.

A walk in the gardens yesterday show there is still much to enjoy.

And my new raised beds? Full of cover crop:

Out 19, 6:33 pm

We’re beginning to get serious fall color here.

After class, I spent the afternoon working at the cabin. There is still some valuable wood to haul in, but I have to cut it to 8 foot lengths first. So I started that, but mostly sorted hardware products. I’m leaving piles of plumbing and electric parts. I don’t need them.

I dug a few plants. Pink New England aster goes to Cait, as promised. I broke a shovel digging asparagus. It’s probably not recommended; but hey, I babied these and I’ve never been able to harvest. Lots of roots! Remember to bring another shovel! The digging fork isn’t enough. Same with peonies. Pulled up armfuls of wild geranium though.

Lots of nails and screws to sort. Thankfully, I have a system!!

Editado: Out 19, 6:41 pm


Teacher gave me a ziplock bag of ginseng seed. The grower from last Friday’s lab gave her some to distribute. It’s from cultivated ginseng grown in Wisconsin. Now I’ve gotta figure where to plant!!

Out 19, 8:15 pm

I’ve been struggling with phone reception at my house. The T-Mobile people want to blame it on my metal roof. I’ve been having to go sit on the back deck (also with a metal roof!) to get service. That’s okay when the weather is nice, but…
And I’m too cheap to enroll in Wi-Fi.
But Alida recently got wi-fi and she shared her password with me. Yay!
There is one spot now where I have consistent service. Thankfully, it’s on the couch. Oddly, it doesn’t extend to the bedroom, even though both are adjacent to Alida’s house. Ah well. The couch isn’t bed, but it’s still cozy.

Out 20, 1:29 pm

I took a bribe (small bottle of blackberry cordial) to the storage rental place today, hoping for a bigger unit. The flirty architect (shared space, shared business) had just stepped in and his eyes lit up. That’s a good sign.

Out 21, 3:04 pm

Two bulky items found homes today. Olivia and I had put an 8ft piece of countertop in storage. After rearranging the basement, I decided it would work down there. Neighbor helped me retrieve it and put it in place. It fit her van. Then we took her van to the ridgetop and we tied an extension ladder to the top and I let her scavenge lumber and brick. She keeps the ladder, but I have borrow privileges. Win, win.

I’m going back down to the basement and admire my new work surface. Sewing station!

Out 21, 5:29 pm

My philosophy: work till you can’t move anymore.

The day was so gorgeous, I found my shovel and planted stuff.
I’d say I’m running out of room, but it’s more that I’m running out of room for what I’ve got.
Mostly anxious to get the asparagus roots in the ground. The spot I chose has nice spongy loam. I think I’m going to need more space though.

Out 22, 5:15 pm

Another gorgeous day. It would have been fine for more ridgetop work, but I decided I didn’t want two labor days (three, counting Friday) in a row. So what did I do? I rooted through the basement making order again. I organized and rearranged shelves, eliminating some stuff and finding treasure. I was able to remove multiple boxes that had been filled and stashed Willy-nilly.
I’m nearly as tired as if I’d gone with plan A.

Out 22, 5:26 pm

>479 2wonderY: but it FEELS good, I bet.

Out 22, 7:24 pm

>480 fuzzi: It does. I keep sneaking back down and picking at it.

Out 24, 8:07 pm

Got some fresh air today and finished putting up Halloween decorations:

Out 25, 8:20 am

>482 2wonderY: nice job. I love your ravens!

Out 25, 10:21 pm

>483 fuzzi: Thanks! I found them in NC after visiting you. I should have gotten a few more.

I checked back with Sandy about the rental unit. She showed me a unit packed very full that’s been abandoned. I negotiated 4 free months with Tony to empty the unit. Alida came with me and took a few things.
I spent the bulk of the day digging in and made several trips to Goodwill. Also sorting because things like dirty laundry just need dumped.
But I found two quilts! One is commercially made in fall colors, mostly sage and cinnamon. The other is a 1930s “flower garden.” The owner was a smoker and both have a few burn holes along an edge. But they can be patched!

I’ve worked continuously till about 10. I’m exhausted!

There is some hefty furniture not worth saving. I plan to disassemble and put them in the rather small dumpster on site. There’s also a cannonball bed, but I haven’t seen rails yet.

Out 26, 8:02 am

>484 2wonderY: exhausting, but my kind of job. We did a missions trip once and everyone was assigned an area like the kitchen or garden in which to assist. After the first day someone noticed me doing some organizing of a messy section off the kitchen and I got assigned a garage filled with stuff that had been stored nilly-willy. I thoroughly enjoyed getting it into order. I'm weird like that, ha!

Out 26, 5:02 pm

>482 2wonderY: Nice decorations, but I sure feel bad for the witch!

Out 26, 8:21 pm

My daughter just shocked the heck out of me. I’ve told you she’s house hunting. One of the grandest old homes is on the market and she says her husband suggested we three buy it together and all live there.

It’s worth exploring, but I wouldn’t live with them until I am unable to live on my own. At least another 20 years.

I’m amazed they think it might work.

I will help financially and get some privileges and benefits. It’s 2 and a half acres and needs NEEDS gardens!

On the storage unit front, I managed to clear the floor enough to bring the recliner down from its perch and then into my vehicle all by myself.
I have found takers for the couch and the window AC unit. I’ve tossed the drawers on a perfectly ugly dresser and will attack it with power saw tomorrow.
My house is crowded with accumulation and sorting, despite my best intentions.
I have a laundry basket full of PII documents to do something with.

But I will be able to resume my clearance work on the ridgetop this weekend.

We had a fun day in class today. We processed acorns we collected a few weeks ago. I brought my hand crank sausage grinder and it was the perfect tool to make acorn meal.

Out 28, 11:28 am

We went to inspect the house Rose wants. It’s a beautiful house, but so expensive! Nathan would need to find a good job.

Still waiting on the guy who’s gonna pick up the couch. That’s the main item that still needs gone. Then I can fill the space with my junk.

Cool and rainy today. More leaves collected from down the street and I finally met those neighbors. Connie and John. They know my house as “the one with all the flowers.”

Out 29, 5:41 am

Goodwill is also a main recreation for me. It’s fun to browse for treasures. I see they are quick to process donations from the back room. I came home with three items: one Christmas gift for a grand (an old print of her favorite state, WV), a gift for the little boy up the street (a small teapot to add to the cups I’ve set aside for him) and a cereal bowl that completes a set I have.

Too exhausted to do much more yesterday.
But I’m up early waiting for the sun to catch up. Cait has promised to bring me a pink Japanese anemone today. And I will go finish digging up my asparagus patch later.

Out 29, 4:36 pm

I’d been enjoying the last of the roses as I passed by. I cut the last few and Dang! I should have been spraying. Those rose sawfly worms are all over and eaten most of the leaves.
I’ve been super busy….

Here’s the last bouquet

Out 30, 5:04 am

I missed a good work window. I stayed home hoping to catch Cait when she dropped off the anemone. She might have good info for my research paper. But she snuck over late in the day and left it without me seeing her.
But I did manage to poke at piles in the kitchen and living room enough that both are now presentable again.

It’s now forecast rain and freezing temps this week. I need to go to WV and tend to that house briefly. I have too many projects at present.

Out 30, 2:23 pm

I took a bigger shovel with me today and managed to dig a clump of peonies and the rest of the asparagus clump where I broke the other shovel. There is another clump of asparagus and I started on that one too, but decided to finish it another day. I came home wet and muddy and a little chilled.
Cocoa time.

Out 31, 3:12 pm

It was freezing this morning and stayed so until after noon. Bright sunlight, so that helps.
After class, I got most of the plants in the ground and tidied up the front. As I said, I’m moving trick or treat out to the sidewalk to keep the kiddies safer. I will move my serving table out there at the proper time.

Out 31, 8:35 pm

The last item in the storage unit that needed to go was a cannonball bedstead. And it wouldn’t fit in my car. We took Alida’s van instead and took it to Goodwill. While we were at the storage place, another renter was cleaning out his unit and started offering stuff free. Alida made out like a bandit. She got a very nice bicycle, an industrial sized fan, a ramp for loading stuff into vehicles (could a used that item last month!) and fifty tennis balls. She says the tennis balls are a sign she’s gonna get a puppy.

Well, Trick or Treat is done for another year. At about 7:45, I started taking down the decorations and closed up shop at exactly 8pm. It was a cold evening!!

Nov 1, 8:32 am

>494 2wonderY: my parents had a cannonball bedstead. My sister has it now, I wasn't able to keep it myself unfortunately.

It's feeling damp and cold here, first freeze tonight!

Editado: Nov 1, 5:15 pm

It was cold here this morning so I bundled and went out to the ridgetop. Brought a rug in that I decided was too dirty to use inside or donate; so I found another slope out back where I don’t want to mow. It’s low on the priority list, but I might as well start.

Dropping lumber at the storage unit, I had one last bit of trash from sorting that I felt justified in tossing in their dumpster. !!!Holy heck!!! Someone had filled it with a bunch of lawn equipment and two items I decided to rescue. An old hand cultivator and an antique oak hall coat rack. Hate to see those items go to the landfill. I’ll sell the coat rack.

Turned sunny and I should get a few plants in the ground, but I’m resting my back first. Where’s the aspirin?

Fleece was not the right choice of outerwear. Picking all the tickseeds off.

Nov 7, 8:12 am

Well I just realized that I missed the window for taking cuttings of pineapple sage. Drat! It’s so hard to find in the spring.

We’ve got pleasant weather here again and I might get some gardening done.
Emails from two neighbors:
One inviting me to harvest leaves in front of her house. Another announcing dahlia tubers available from her yard.

I’m still dragging a bit and will probably skip class today, but I do have to go vote.

Rose went home last evening to vote today, but also it’s time to put old dog Flynn to sleep. Mourning.

Nov 7, 10:08 am

>497 2wonderY: so sorry about Flynn.

Editado: Nov 9, 7:10 am

Busy day ahead. A neighbor is having cataract surgery today and I’m transport support. Then I should gather some honeysuckle vine for class, where we will make a basket.
Daughter Anne and grand are coming for the weekend, and T is supposed to stay too, if she will. Rose and Nathan are hoping for a weekend alone. At the moment, we haven’t got the cachet, and T is feeling clingy. But either way, I need to clear the second bedroom.

The local Family Dollar is closing, and I’ve been once to buy some favorite items. I will go once again to do some stock-up at 30% off.

I got a carload from the ridgetop yesterday, and the buyers are back from California. The lady (can’t recall her name) stopped to chat. I like her. I gave her a short rundown on trees and plants and she seemed interested.

Anne will cart some stuff back to Cinci from my growing piles.

BTW, I’m 3 for 3 supplying Rose with items she has asked about. She needed burlap sacks for a family event at work. She needed a costume for that same event. Yesterday she broke the glass cap on a bale wire mason jar. I told her I probably had a replacement and I knew which basement cabinet to search and found it.

Nov 10, 9:57 am

The chickadees have re-discovered the feeder outside the living room window.😁

Nov 10, 6:23 pm

>500 2wonderY: yippee!

My feeders have been quiet for the last couple weeks, until today. After lunch the chickadees showed up. Then the temperatures dropped and a chilly rain rolled in.


Nov 11, 10:14 am

My 14 year old grand, Callum, came prepared with a holiday activity box for him and Theia. cocoa mugs, matching bakers aprons, cookie cut-outs and fancy sprinkles.
While they’ve been inseparable yesterday, T is too flighty this morning in the kitchen. Sigh. Callum is such a good cousin. He’s under appreciated.

Nov 11, 12:49 pm

>502 2wonderY: What a great boy! She may remember that gesture and day while never remembering her exact role in it. My older cousins mostly ignored me, but the few who were kind have always held a special place in my heart.

Editado: Nov 13, 6:47 am

Having a house full is lots of fun. But it’s a relief too when they pack up and go. I drank one beer with supper and went to bed at 6:30. Appears I needed just 10 hours, because I was up at 4:30 again. Beds are made and residual tidying is done, clearing the day for larger adventures.

Rose and Nathan continue to look for housing and are preparing to enroll T in school up here. They will stay here with me until….

Nov 13, 3:27 pm

A trip to the ridgetop this morning. Brought back a green floral wool rug from the living room that I like a whole lot more than what I put down here. So I switched them out. The floral has one or two mouse nibbles, but otherwise is in good shape. The solid plum wool rug I bought three years ago is not the rich color I had envisioned. It always looks dusty. It will replace the piece of junk rug upstairs. But it’s much too heavy to do it myself. Will have to wait for Rose to have time to help.

I dropped off a small bag at Goodwill. I found a credit card in the parking lot. I turned it in to the Goodwill manager I trust, but I also looked up the name and left messages on the phones I found associated.

Nov 13, 4:13 pm

>506 2wonderY: Good decision!

Nov 13, 4:52 pm

>507 MrsLee: If I had known I’d be emptying the cabin, I wouldn’t have spent $900 for the plum rug. At the time, there didn’t seem to be wool rugs available for less. The floral cost me $60 at a ReStore.

Nov 13, 7:59 pm

Nov 14, 8:33 am

I saw the squirrels who live in the maple tree out back come down the west fence line to the front corner of the house. They’ve never done that before. Must have heard about the bird feeder on the front porch.

I brought it inside for the day. It’s not for them.

Nov 14, 10:07 am

Nov 15, 10:45 am

I’m nearly done moving carpets around. There was another huge wool rug (powder blue and formal style) in the cabin. I decided to replace the discard in the attic. When I bought the house, the sellers left a rug and I moved it upstairs. Viscose and cotton. Soft, but stained. It did the job; but this is an upgrade.
I pulled the viscose down the stairs and out the door yesterday. Alida will use it in her back yard.
Today I pulled this significantly heavier rug out of my vehicle and through the house and up the narrow stairs all by myself.
It was really a two person job, but I wrapped it in bungees to keep it together and then used belts around it to give me something to grip. Painful step, one at a time, straining. The rolled carpet was not gonna bend at the top of the stairs, so I opened the window on that wall and pushed the rug part way through so I could lift the other end over the railing.

Then I disassembled the king bed, which is really two twins, so I could lay out the carpet underneath.
I noted that the twin frames are different makes, one with wheels and one without.
I knew it would bug me. So I switched frames with the bed in the second bedroom downstairs.
Now the two upstairs match and can be fastened together better as a king frame.

I’m pretty sore, but the day is just starting. Gonna do another collection at the cabin. And I’ve also got plants from the woods to get in the ground here.

Nov 15, 1:54 pm

>512 2wonderY: you made me laugh at the part about pushing the rug out the window, pure genius!

Mismatched frames would bug me also.

You can soak later. :)

Nov 17, 7:30 am

The living room is still neat enough to take a picture this morning. You will see several of the fabric items I found at Goodwill:

Nov 17, 8:22 am

I opened the crawlspace of the cabin. There’s several huge piles of both fiberglass and rigid foam insulation. Alida took the fiberglass for her construction projects.
I found a half barrel of Christmas Creche scenery I must have stashed there a decade ago. So glad to recover it. It includes a stone bridge and the stream that runs beneath it.

Nov 17, 8:38 am

>514 2wonderY: I like how you grouped the pictures on the wall.

It looks very comfortable!

Nov 17, 10:26 am

>514 2wonderY: That is a peaceful room. I could sit and read there, or enjoy a nice cup of tea. :)

Nov 17, 10:31 am

Yesterday was the official yard waste pick up day, but they only came by my block and picked up bags. So I expected to see leaf piles up a block today. Nope. So I went across town where there are always leaves and I scored 10 paper bags of leaves. They were not packed down, so I was just able to squeeze all of them into the car. I’ve spread most of them already on the west side of the front yard and I’m finally getting around to making fenced piles around my three fig saplings.
There was a small loose pile, and I will go rakes those up as well. Getting to the end of leaf season.

And I have a re-supply of paper yard waste bags.

Nov 17, 10:40 am

I wish I could have you both over for a tea party!

Don’t trip over the rug I replaced. It’s become a burden, sorta, as I spent $900 on it and am reluctant to give it away.
Daughter says she’ll help me list it on Facebook Marketplace soon. She doesn’t want it.

Nov 18, 10:01 am

How to correctly produce “plant based meats”:

Nov 18, 11:45 am

Nov 19, 12:44 pm

>520 2wonderY: No additives needed!

Nov 21, 8:39 am

I found a taker for the rug. New neighbor around the corner still has empty rooms. I consider this an investment in a new friendship. She’s a reader and a woodworker and aspires to gardening as well.
She brought me fresh peanut butter cookies. I gave her a daikon radish out of my winter cover crop.
Her dog, Sam, a rescued dalmation, has grown confident with newcomers already. Expect a white spot on your clothes after he has leaned into a greeting.

Property closing is tomorrow, so two quick trips for misc items and a final sweep up today. Digging spearmint to put in a pot.

Nov 21, 2:55 pm

I went out in the drenching rain, in proper gear, I thought.

But I was trekking from the shed and from various places in the yard, and the rain soaked through. Unloaded that carload, changed and warmed up, and nodding off waiting for Vickie to come for the carpet.
Alida and I will do one more trip, either today or tomorrow.

Nov 21, 5:23 pm

>523 2wonderY: sounds like a good match!

Nov 22, 3:11 pm

The end of an era for me. I signed the deed selling the ridgetop this morning. Sigh. Painful but also a relief.

Nov 22, 3:45 pm

>526 2wonderY: I'm sorry. I've been following your ridgetop journal for a long time.

Nov 23, 8:18 am

Happy Thanksgiving my LT friends!

I’m by myself today, but I don’t mind. I have so many piles of stuff I pulled out of the cabin to deal with. Must get them in some order. The car hasn’t been unloaded from yesterday.
I have another rug rolled up in my entry and nowhere to put it. I also pulled another perfectly good rug from the dumpster at the storage place. I hate to see things like this go to landfill. When Rose and Nathan do buy a home (an offer has been made) they will need floor covers, right?
Well, off to tackle piles!

Ontem, 4:49 pm

There were two Rubbermaid bins left in the attic of the West Virginia house. I hadn’t disturbed them because they were keeping a fiberglass batt from falling entirely out of place. I remembered to bring the stapler this last trip and fastened it more permanently. So I could see what was in the bins.
One is a collection of cotton flannel. The other contained two wool army blankets and an ancient cotton blanket. I believe one of the army blankets was my husband’s. Too ugly for everyday use, but saved for the eventuality of lining a quilt.

I’ve inventoried my wool blankets, about the time I was moving my household in 2020. So add two. I consider them riches. My parents house was a cold and drafty white elephant. My winter memories involve being uncomfortable much of the season. My first purchase in college was a dawn jacket. I value wool!

Hoje, 8:47 am

>529 2wonderY: Army blankets are ugly, but ... WOOL. When I cleaned out my dad's RV I found one, in pretty good shape. I folded it and placed it in a tote for future use.

My mother was raised in a house without heat in the upstairs bedrooms. Her first paycheck purchase after high school was a down comforter. As a child I loved snuggling in her bed as it was so toasty warm. After 50 years the comforter needed a new cover so I think my eldest sister took it after our mother's passing, to make it usable again.

P.S. I like your idea of using an Army blanket to line a quilt.

Hoje, 9:07 am

>530 fuzzi: Oh yeah! I’d forgotten that we girls were in the unheated attic with the door at the bottom of the stairs closed. We spooned a lot in the winter months.

Hoje, 10:04 am

>529 2wonderY: Another use for wool blankets, if they are not usable as blankets, is to make potholders out of them. Two to three layers of wool, covered by cotton, and quilted, make very good potholders.

Hoje, 11:18 am

Back in boarding school in India, our dorms had no heating. There was sometimes a fire in the common room, and usually in the dorm mother's sitting room in the colder months. India, yes, but over 7,000 feet up. In January there would often be frost along the lake in the mornings. I would usually go and read on top of my bed for an hour before 'lights out', and the, at the last minute change into my flannel nightgown and jump into the nice warm bed I had heated up with my body heat.

Hoje, 2:06 pm

>531 2wonderY: oh, yes! Both the original staircase and the addition staircase that led upstairs to the bedrooms had doors at the bottom.

There were grates in the floor, though, that you could "dial" open and see the downstairs kitchen, or dining room below.

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