Wednesday, April 27, 2016


We had a good rain this morning, so I thought it'd be a good time to get out and try to dig up the rest of the monkey grass in my front yard.

Let it be known from this day forward, that I officially hate monkey grass.  If you ever plant some, make sure you want it to stay there forever.  And I do mean f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  That stuff is tough, I tell ya.

Nevertheless, I persevered and got it done.

I'm going to have to get some dirt to fill in the canyons left by the roots.

Wal-mart has some bags of top soil for like $1.47 for 40 lbs.  I'll get some of that to fill it in.

I did find these bulbs in one little section of the grass.

I'm not sure if it's monkey grass or spider lilies.  I think I'm going to plant them in a container type thing and see what comes up.  If they're spider lilies, I'll put them in the yard.  If it's monkey grass, I'll toss them in the compost.  However, since the were only in one four or five inch wide section of the roots, I'm leaning toward spider lilies. 

The previous owner left some old tires out by the garbage can.  I was thinking of painting them and planting things in them.  That'll be a good place to put those bulbs -- at least until I see what they are.

Moving right along, I found one of my roses opened today.  

I apologize for the out of focus picture.  I took it on my phone and can't see the screen when I'm outside.  When more of them open, I"ll take a picture with my good camera.  This is just one small section of what we have to look forward to.

Finally, a bit of sad news...

Fair washcloth, we hardly knew ye...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekend Wrapup Part 2

Because yesterday's post was getting a bit long, and I didn't want it to become cumbersome, this is the second half of my weekend wrapup.

Lest you think I've done nothing but work outside, let me show you this.  When I painted my bathroom, I painted the switch plate and outlet cover in my contrast color.   However, those plates being metal, the paint had already started to flake off.  I few weeks ago, I found these wooden ones.  

I bought them, and brought them home, only to discover that I had lost my small paintbrush.  After spending several weeks looking for it, I broke down and bought a new set.  Really, it was cheaper to buy a whole set than one single paintbrush.  Eh, I have extras now.

Be that as it may, I have the plates painted and installed.    

The only thing is, the light switch plate doesn't lie flat against the wall, because the switches themselves kind of stick out.  Eventually, I'm going to get that fixed.  Eventually, I want to have the entire room remodeled.  I mean completely.  New tub, new vanity new drywall.  Everything.  That's going to come much later, though.  I don't have money for it now.

Saturday afternoon, when I was watering my front flower bed, I saw my neighbor Norma and her husband in their front yard.  Norma is the one I worked with for so long.  I thought to myself, "I'm going to be neighborly and walk down there and visit them."  That's what I did.

We got to chatting, and after it dries up really well, her husband (whose name is also James) is going to help me rebuild my patio.  The plan is to build a wooden frame, then move these leftover pieces into it.  We'll use Quickcrete to fill in the rest.

I'm not sure which I'm more looking forward to -- having my patio back or getting that pile of concrete out of my yard.   Speaking of my yard, this stuff has started coming up beside my shed. 

I don't know what it is.  Mrs. Newman says it's all different colors, so we'll just wait and see.  While we're on the subject of different colors, I put a few more squares in my sister's sock yarn blanket. 

I've still got a long, long way to go, though. 


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekend Wrapup

When it rains, it pours...

You know I have to cut that big tree down.  And you know about Cody's emergency room visit.  (If you don't, scroll back a few days.)

Friday, I got a text from Cody.  He needs $2400 to pay his school bills, or they won't let him graduate.  Sigh, if it's not one thing, it's another.  Beverly and James are going to pick up $1000 of that, but I've still got to come up with an extra $1400.  If it were just one of those things, it wouldn't be a problem.  But paying for all three is really going to leave me strapped.  Saturday, I went to work and begged my supervisor for all the overtime he can get me.  They are hiring summer temps, and I strongly suggested Cody apply.  He's living in a fantasy world if he thinks he can just waltz down to New Orleans and find an apartment with no money and no job.  And no, I'm going to pay for two months rent for him.  He's going to have to find a job, and fast.

After news like that, I needed to get my hands into some dirt.  I clawed up my front flower bed, and put my border down.

Yes, that is my tape measure in the corner.  I didn't want my bed to be a trapezoid.  I'm eventually going to extend it the entire front length of the house, but for now, I just dug up enough to plant what I'd already bought.

I got everything into the ground, then decided I was too tired to mulch it.  That would have to wait.

Saturday, after work and a quick trip to the store in which I could not resist the siren song of the garden center, I put the mulch down.

I only had one bag of mulch, but it was almost enough to get the whole bed done.  I just have this one tiny, little corner left unmulched.

I'll fill it in when I get more mulch.

As I mentioned, I was unable to resist the siren song of the garden center.  I was kinda good, though, and only bought this one dianthus.

This afternoon, when I was out watering my bed, my neighbor came over to see what I had planted.  We got to chatting, and she gave me this other dianthus.

In the course of our conversation, I mentioned that I couldn't find an empty hanging basket to put my bellis in.  "I've got one," she said, and she gave me this one.

I hung it in my carport, where it can get some morning sun and afternoon shade.

Finally, she gave me a bunch of mint she had growing in her yard.  I put it right beside my back door, because she said it keeps mosquitoes away.

I put my white fencing around it to keep Rylea out.  I'm going to move those potted plants to the porch after I paint the baker's rack Beverly gave me before she left.  Now, I've got a little herb garden right outside my door.

I tried to paint it the other day, but all my spray paint had dried up.  I was going to buy some Saturday, but forgot it.  I may run by and get some tomorrow when I deposit Cody's college money.

Then try to figure out how I'm going to pay the tree guy.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day 2016

Genesis 1 

 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2  Now the earth was formless
and empty, darkness was over the surface of  the deep, and the Spirit of
 God was hovering over the waters.

 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
 6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

 9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

    11  Then God said, “Let
the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants  and trees on the land
that bear fruit with seed in it, according to  their various kinds.” And
 it was so. 12  The land
produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their  kinds and
trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.  And God
saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

 14  And God said, “Let there
 be lights in the vault of the sky to separate  the day from the night,
and let them serve as signs to mark sacred  times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16
  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the
 lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21
  So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing
with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to
their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw
that it was good. 22 God
blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the
 water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

 24  And God said, “Let the
land produce living creatures according to their  kinds: the livestock,
the creatures that move along the ground, and the  wild animals, each
according to its kind.” And it was so. 25
  God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock
according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the
ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
    26  Then God said, “Let
us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so  that they may rule
over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky,  over the livestock
and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

 27 So God created mankind in his own image,  in the image of God he created them;
   male and female he created them.

 28  God blessed them and
said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number;  fill the earth and
subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the  birds in the sky and
over every living creature that moves on the  ground.”

    29 Then God  said, “I
give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole  earth and
every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours  for food.
 30 And to all the  beasts of
 the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures  that move
 along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in  it—I give
every green plant for food.” And it was so.

    31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

And Away We Go!

Operation Monkey Grass has begun!

After a few delays -- like my having to work late today-- I finally started trying to root out the monkey grass.  That stuff is tough, I tell ya. 

I was trying to dig it out with the shovel, but kept hitting rocks.  The lady who lived here before put rocks in all her flower beds.  I imagine they are for drainage, but normally, you put more than an inch or two of soil on top of them.  After fruitlessly digging for a few moments, I remember that I'd planned on using the claw. 

I went to my shed and retrieved said claw, but even with it's help, this is as far as I've gotten.

Yep, this is all the monkey grass I managed to dig up.

I still have this much to go.

By this time, I was tired and drenched with sweat.  Forget it, I thought to myself.  I'll try again tomorrow.  I figure it'll be easier when I finally restring my weedeater and cut it close to the ground before trying to pry the roots out. 

After doing that, I walked around and checked on some of my other plants.  I'm not sure if you can see them, but my climbing rose is covered in buds.  

In a few days, it's going to explode in a riot of color.  Kind of like my dianthus has. 

And my other dianthus is about to. 

This is the first dianthus I bought.  Yes, I know I need to get some mulch around them. 

It's on the list. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Patriot Day

Concord Hymn
Ralph Waldo Emerson 
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
   And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
   Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
   Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
   We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
   When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
   To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
   The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Monday, April 18, 2016

I Can't Put My Arms Down

Or up.  Or anywhere else for that matter. 

I finally got the chance to get my new weedeater out and play with it.  I mowed the entire yard first, because it's supposed to start raining again.  I figured I'd better get the grass knocked down while I had a chance. 

Speaking of rain, my hometown still hasn't quite dried out from the last big flood a few weeks ago.  Now, it's flooding again. 

Anyway, while I was mowing, I realized that my yard had more weeds than actual grass.  I guess the next step will be to get some weed killer.  After mowing, I put my weedeater together and started trying to knock down that monkey grass.  That stuff is tuff, I tell ya.  I got about half of it on the East side of the house cut back and just a little bit by the front porch. 

Yesterday afternoon, the previous owner stopped by.  She was in the area, and came to visit with some of the neighbors, so she came on over to my house.  She was telling me how much she loved that monkey grass, and how beautiful she thought it was.  I didn't have the heart to tell her I was planning on digging it all up. 

Well, I weed eated until I ran out of string.  You know how they put just a little bit on the spool when you buy the thing?  I used it all up.  I have some more, but by that time, my arms were too tired for me to fool with reloading the spool.  I put the weedeater up, came inside, and took a shower.  It still felt like my arms were vibrating. 

If it's not raining tomorrow, I'll come home and cut some more back.

It's a never ending job, yard work.  

Friday, April 15, 2016

One Of Those Days

As soon as I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to be one of those does not play well with others kind of days.  Fortunately for my coworkers, I recognized this before I left the house and managed to make it through the work day without beating anyone to death with a chair.

Then I had to go to Wal-mart.  Making it out of there without beating anyone to death with a chair was a miracle of truly epic proportions.

Be that as it may, today was payday.  Even better, it was the payday in which I get my perfect attendance bonus.  Whoopee!

With said perfect attendance bonus, I was able to buy the long anticipated weed eater.

I debated a while on whether to get a gas powered one or a lithium battery one, but in the end, the gas powered weedeater won.   Tomorrow, when I get home from work, I can begin Operation Monkey Grass.

The plan was to cut the grass down short with the weedeater, then use the shovel to dig up what was left.  Late last night, in a fit of insomnia, I thought to myself, "Dummy!  You have the greatest garden tool ever invented in the whole history of garden tools.  Use the claw!"

Brilliance!  I love clawing things.  It's therapeutic, in a twisted sort of way.

Since I was in the garden center guessed it.  Big marigolds.


and a few more clearance marigolds.

They still don't have any zinnias, though.  I'll just leave a space for them.  I guess I'd better get my bed started, then.  All these plants need a place to live.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Best Laid Plans

If you know me at all, you know that I absolutely love the Memphis Zoo.  They're in the process of building their hippos a new habitat, and it's about time.  All the other animals have these lovely, naturalistic habitats, while the hippos are still in concrete pools.  I keep up with these things.

I could have sworn I'd read on their website that the Hippo River would be opening in the middle of March, so I made plans to go about a month after it opened.  I figured the initial rush would be over by then.  I mentioned it to my friend Vanessa a few weeks ago, and she said, "Oh, I'd like to go with you."  I said, "Let's go and take the baby."  The baby being her grandson.

That is what we'd planned to do today.  However, a couple of days ago, when checked the website to see if they allowed strollers in the zoo, I saw that the hippo exhibit wasn't opening until April 29.  I'm not sure if it was delayed, or if I'd read the date wrong, or what.  I was disappointed, but still wanted to go with Vanessa and the baby.

When I got with her yesterday to confirm that we were still going, it turns out that she had also gotten the dates mixed up.  The baby had a doctor appointment today, so he couldn't go.  I said, "It works out for the best anyway, because the hippo exhibit isn't even open."

My other friend (yes, I have two), Christi mentioned that she wants to go also, so we're going to try to coordinate a time when all three of us can go after the hippo exhibit opens.

What did I do to assuage my disappointment?  I went on a spending spree.  Let me tell you, I spent a lot of money.    I'd been wanting to go to Lowe's for a while to get some plants for my yard.  I'd been looking for something called a Frost Proof Gardenia.  I'd researched them online, and they get to be about the size I'd wanted, and I love the smell of gardenias anyway.

Lo and behold, Lowe's had them!  But when I read the care instructions, it said they couldn't take full sun, so they wouldn't work where I'd wanted to put them.  The website I'd looked at said they were a full sun plant, but maybe that meant for farther North.  The tag on the actual plant said morning sun only.  No problem.  I could put them on the East side of my house.

If I put them there, I didn't need to worry about them growing so tall that they blocked my windows--the only window on that side of the house being the one in the laundry room. In that case, I could get these other kind of gardenias.  They grow taller, but have a longer blooming season.  Boom.

I came home, dropped off my plants, then went to Wal-Mart to get some more garden stuff.

I got some dirt and mulch, then wandered around the plants to see what they had.  I found these Vincas

and these pitiful looking marigolds marked down to half price.

They looked pretty bedraggled, and I think the recent bad weather got to them.  However, the leaves still look healthy, and I think I can perk them up.  They were only .91 for each six pack, so I can risk that amount of money.

I got four more of these, whatever they are.

One dark purple and three light lavender ones.

They're annuals, so they will go into the bed in my front yard.

These are the things I bought the other day.

I got the other two dianthus into the ground, but that's all I did today.

Yes, I'm going to mulch around these plants.  I just haven't done it yet.

I was going to try to get my annual bed put together, but the people that lived here before had a thing for monkey grass.  It's all around the front,

and along the side of the house.

I tried to dig it out, but that stuff is tough.  I have a plan, though.  I'm going to get a weedeater (which I'd been planning on doing anyway) and cut it close to the ground.  Then I'm going to put some of that rubber or plastic weed barrier stuff and try to smother what's left.  I can just leave that weed barrier down permanently, since it will be behind what I want to plant.  It'll have the added bonus of keeping weeds out of my beds.

Yes, those are bones in that grass.  They're deer bones, and a gift from the dog next door.  I have the crazy idea of making a wind chime out of them, but that might spook the neighbors.

I'm still working on the new house.  This is today's addition:

It's the little touches that make a house a home.

And finally, the last thing I bought on my spending spree:

I'd been wanting one for a while.  And I do mean a while.  When I was a kid, my daddy's hatchet was one of my favorite toys.  Now that I have one of my own, I feel whole again.

What can I say?  It's the Viking blood in me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

And So It Was

This is how I came to be back on 10 hour shifts.

I got to work yesterday morning, and went through my usual morning routine.  I filled my cooler with ice, then my water cup.  I clocked in, and went to my work station.  I dropped my lunch box and tool bag off, then went up stairs and printed off schedules for our line.  I filled out the quality board -- refraining from putting peon as my job title this time.  Then I got my schedule and started figuring out which orders were completed, which were still in progress, and which were ready to be started.

In the process of doing all this, I discovered that some vitally important parts for our next order were missing.  I looked all over for them.  I went to tubing and asked my parts stager Brenda if she'd seen them.  "Are you sure they aren't over there?" she asked.

"No, I'm not sure of anything because I haven't had my coffee yet," was my reply.

Brenda began also to look for these vitally important parts.  I tell you, we looked all over that plant.  I even went and looked in the scrap bin out where they haul our trash and stuff off.   The vitally important parts were nowhere to be found.  Eventually, we came to the conclusion that the vitally important parts would have to be remade.

By this time, the coils were on the line, waiting for these vitally important parts.  As tubing began rushing these vitally important parts to me, and I began putting them together and brazing them up, Group Leader Theresa turned to me with a sigh, and said, "I'm going to see if I can have you start coming in at 5."  I didn't argue with her.

Thus, I am back on 10 hour shifts.

Today after work, I had to run in and get more milk.  Since I can't seem to go to the store without wandering through the garden center, that's where I ended up.

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem.


Houston, we have a problem.

Monday, April 11, 2016

When It Rains

When it rains, it pours, and I'm not talking about the weather.

Cody sent me a text last night.  He'd had this big paper due Friday, and had stressed himself out over it to the point he'd made himself sick -- sick enough he felt he need to go to the ER.  He's doing better, but that's another big bill I just didn't need right now.   I'm going to contact the hospital and see if I can pay it over time.  Most hospitals will let you make payments, so that's a help.  My group leader put me back on 10 hour shifts, so that'll help, too.  My child had better find a job -- and quickly -- too.

What else did I accomplish over the weekend?  Well, I got the last of my daffodils moved to their permanent home.  The bed got full, and I had a few left, so I planted them in a line beside my ditch.  I got my dianthus planted, too.  I'm going to go back and get a few more of those, maybe tomorrow.  It rained all day today, so I didn't do anything after work.

In knitting news, I finished this hat.

Since the yarn I used was thinner than what the pattern calls for -- it's still worsted weight, but Cascade 220 is on the thinner side of worsted -- I used a smaller needle and cast on a few more stitches.  Good news, I found my needle sizing thing, so I don't have to guess what size those needles are next time.

Since I'm not the kind of person who can go without having a project OTN, I cast on another hat right away.

This one is going to be a plain vanilla stockinette stitch hat.  I'm not sure what the yarn is.  It's some that was in that huge box my mother in law sent me.  That photo isn't exactly true.  It's a dark burgundy in real life.

I bought this cabinet shortly after moving into this house.  It's been sitting in the box ever since.  I wasn't going to put it up until after I'd redone this bathroom.  However, between having to replace the plumbing, cut down the tree, and paying my son's hospital bill, it doesn't look like I'll be doing a whole lot of remodeling anytime soon.  With that in mind, I got it out yesterday and put it together, and hung it.

Yes, those walls really are that hideous green.  The first thing I said when I walked into this room was, "Well, I'm definitely going to paint in here."  I don't know what color yet.  I hadn't really planned for the master bedroom and bath yet.

For now, since I'm back to getting up at 3:30 AM, I'd better hit the hay.


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