Thursday, June 25, 2009

Highlights of the last two weeks

I made even more strawberry jam.And it's a good thing too - it's pretty much all assigned away. I gave some to my neighbors the El's and Sippio's. I hope they like it. I gave some to Ron (our budding chef at HSP). He took it home last year and sat down at the table with his two boys to taste it, and they cleaned out the jar. This year, apparently it was rationed and eaten with vanilla ice cream.

Yes - I am moving in. Unbelievable how much stuff I have. Mostly how many books I have. The shelves have their first coat of polyurethane on them and will get the second coat tomorrow. The weather is playing hell with us too. It's raining so much nothing wants to dry. It rained all last week. I'm not kidding. It was supposed to rain and thunderstorm all week this week, but so far we've avoided it. Tomorrow we are supposed to pay for it though. Thunderstorm warnings are severe. That basically means floods. Ugh. Hopefully not in the basement of HSP like last time.

But back to moving in...
Thankfully Katie and Mary came by two weekends ago and help move stuff. Thank goodness for them. First they helped get the bedroom situated. And it really took three brains to get this together. First we tackled the rug:

Then we tackled the wardrobe: Both of these are from my grandmother. And, (she said sheepishly), I didn't finish the wall behind the wardrobe. This is the wall that Jeff the Contractor put up. It's still purple drywall with a bit of spackle and primer on it. I just couldn't get to it. Someday I will pull the wardrobe out and repaint the wall - but now it is just too darn late. No one can see it - and only you know about it. I will have to address the ceiling sooner - but that's not so bad.
It's really nice having the rug in the bedroom now. I wasn't sure it if would fit or go with anything, but it's actually quite nice.
Katie and Mary - god bless'em - also helped with a ton of other stuff including the three cases of type that I have. Katie called a manly friend of hers who was all about schlepping heavy drawers of type down to my basement, while Mary and I took the cabinets apart so that we could get them down there. I had every intention of putting them back together again asap - but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe this weekend??? yeah - don't hold your breath!

I've also been dealing with the books.
Lots and lots and lots of books. The shelves are barely going to help. The inset bookshelves I want to put in the living room are going to have to happen sooner rather than later. Maybe if I let Leah at it with a sledge hammer the wall will be down lickety-split....
In the mean time - Jacques is fascinated by how much stuff is coming out of the boxes. I've been having a great time going through some of my favorite children's books. Mary and Susan V. came over on Tuesday for fresh strawberry daiquiris and children's books. It was a wonderful evening. Good books, good conversation...what more do you need?

And the garden - oh the garden! It's just exploding and needs a daily dose of management. I come home from work, put on grubbies, give the dogs a treat, chat with Miss Mary (Mrs. El) and then get to work weeding, yanking, watering, and looking at my garden.
I finally got something manageable for my hose:
I put in the bricks and propped the thingy on top of them. It works really well! I don't have to fight with that hose anymore. Fantastic.
I've also been growing seedlings:
Here we have sunflowers, oriental poppies, and johnny jump-ups. I planted all of them the other day and I really hope they flourish! I still have dill and parsley to plant somewhere. Then I've got to get some of my flower seedlings started. It's amazing how well things work when you start seedlings in these egg crates. I think I yanked up a bunch of things that were not actually weeds - now I know what the real thing looks like - and I won't yank 'em up.

The nasturtiums are doin' dandy. I've got a couple of different types of flowers working here - but I really love the nasturtiums. I know they are a weed, but they are so pretty and self sufficient. I'm waiting until I have a lot of them, then I can pick some and put them in a salad or something.

This past weekend, I attacked the jungle:
There is this part of my yard, behind the pine tree, next to Mr. El's yard that is useless. It's just overgrown with poke weed, other weeds, something with thorns, something that shoots runners everywhere, and something that looks like it was a bush that was planted there but that never gets flowers. I can't be bothered with a plant that doesn't flower. It's got to do something other than create oxygen.
I ripped up a bunch of weeds, dug up some, cut some off. Cut the big ugly one out (which created a lot of light), raked everything and basically cleared some space.
There area ton of bugs and earthworms, but I'm not sure where to put my tomatoes. So I planted one plant here. It will get morning sun and late afternoon sun. I also planted some sun flowers. There is a sad little rose growing here as well. I've just left it alone.
And lastly I planted the other two tomatoes by the wall/fence on the left hand side. They get a lot of sun during the day there. I also planted the red flowering plant Beth (one of my students) gave me at the end of the semester. It is already growing up the fence. I think I'll need to take a couple of whacks at whatever is growing over the top of the fence. It's attracting a lot of bees but it's not doing anything pretty, nor does it bear any fruit.

And finally . . . my raspberries:
Yes, I've had my first few raspberries (about 10) from my bushes. I'm really looking forward to the first proper crop. And I'm really looking forward to my first batch of jam.

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