Saturday, June 29, 2019

Mandevilla potted, all's right with the world

Jan and Tom came to help me situate my pots. There is a landscaping supply across the street who fell down laughing and sold Tom enough gravel to half fill each pot. All he could carry. $1.98.

We filled the rest of each pot with the Pocano River stones from the Gutter Stream project at the last house, and then potting soil. My water lily sculpture went up alone at the back post. Tom secured the hooks to the uprights with tie wraps, and I was ready to pot up the manedvilla.

I bought my plants a tad late in the season to get untrained plants. These are rather large, and at some point in the season growers must add the trellis or deal with vines all over the greenhouse. My hands aren't strong enough anymore to untangle the trellis and remove it. I bought a red, a white and a pink mandevilla.

 Here are the inhabitants of the steps, waiting for me to get started. Hedghog is the leader of the pack this year, then Pig, Toad and Lamby. Poor Pig indeed lost a front leg. Brave fellow, he soldiers on.

Here are the mandevillas all potted, with the big pots full of things that will grow big over the summer. The only one I remember is sweet potato vine, and it's in there somewhere.

The pot on the first step has been growing since May, at the old house. I'll be pleased when the mandevillas look as good.

At the old house, the little front garden looks just fine. I have not seen a single humming bird there yet. That's scary.

For Kay, the last haircut. You are so much better at selfies than I am.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Another trip into town

Not much going on today. If I haven't said, Toby is a woos. The coward of the county. The doorbell sends him fleeing for the closest desk to be behind. I looked down the other day, when whoever was gone, and saw Toby.

He's emerging from under the credenza, behind the filing cabinet. Here also is the original stool, from an oak board off a truck seventy six years ago. Mighty fine footstool.

I went to town today, and looked, as ever, for the heron. There it is, in all the long grass. It's as if the heron grows wilder and wilder, too.

 Here are thistles, and perhaps milkweed in the picture below.

This is the corkscrew willow in my header picture. It's looking unkempt, too.

The four planters are tomorrow's project. I have concrete under this new deck, not dirt and grass to hold my shepherd's crook mandevilla holders.  My solution to that is the planters around the edges of the deck.

I'll fill them with some rocks and sand and those couple of bags of Pocono River stones left from my last garden, then some dirt to plant miscellaneous stuff in. Then my crooks with mandevillas, and it will officially be summer on my deck, and it's still June.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

What did you do?

I started my day with a long overdue haircut. My appointment was for ten, when the shop opens. The first stylist showed up at five after, and Melanie came in about ten after. This may just be me getting old, but is surely is indicative of millenials. They should simply make the appointment for "tenish", at my discretion.

But, I do like Melanie; she's cut my hair for at least ten years.  Today my generally twenty minute hair cut lasted half an hour or forty five minutes. We talked about what a working mother can do to occupy a child during the summer.

Mel's daughter is thirteen, and I'd guess Mel is pretty close to forty. She said its not like her childhood, where she got up, ate, and went out all day, riding her bike and hanging with friends. In her neighborhood, that does not happen. Children are inside, with their electronics.

I told her I would send her links to our NPS and Conservancy day camps. She already sent her daughter to several Y-Noah camps. Her daughter is very shy, but enjoyed the Y camps, especially the horseback camps. I told her perhaps sign her up and leave her for the week.

That her childhood was much like my daughters' childhood was a bit surprising. I wonder when this sea change swept over children and how parents currently cope. I know my older daughter's children have busy summers, but that isn't surprising. Both were raised to be free range.

After I had my ears lowered, to quote my dad, I went to play cards. Nancy and I almost took the day.  I stopped for flower pictures. I don't know the name of either.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The reveal

I wonder if any home has come together this fast! My friends Lynn and Jim, have my eternal gratitude, with thanks to Jan and Tom, too, and my new little home is ready to make me happy.

For me, much of comfort is happy old things displayed for my viewing pleasure. That said, here is my office wall, and many old friends still in view.

There is little remarkable about any kitchen of mine. Coffee pot, check. Toaster, check. Accessible cupboards, not really. However, for that I have the handy eight inch stool.

I was warned so often to be careful of the stool, that I will give it an explanation. Seventy six years ago my dad was walking home from the bus stop, and a packing crate board bounced from the back end of a truck. He picked it up, brought it home, and make that first stool for me, for my first Christmas.

It was 1943 and the only board he would have (no trip to Home Depot available). He designed the stool carefully. The legs not only are at an optimal angle, they are cantilevered into the top. My brother made hundreds of copies for children, grandchildren and friends of the family. The original is a footstool under my desk.

Jim, who was on and off the stool hundreds of times these last several days, and who weighs around two hundred pounds, I'd guess, pronounced it more than adequate.

Here is the same kitchen table with the same flower vase, and this week's flowers.

A piece of the living room, with the glass lamp from my BFF, Carol, and a watercolor by an artist from Michigan. 

I think I needn't point out, every room is awash in light!

The studio is far more organized; ready for my next project to go onto the loom. And the loom will always be ready now:

Hilary Cooper-Kenny's prayer flags are on the wall over the loom.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Five days later

Toby went to day care.
Load after load went out to the moving van.

 The last load has the water lily sculpture,
Toad, Pig and Lamb.
Toad seems to have lost a bit of leg.

Farewell to the little garden.
Some pink sedum beginning to bloom.

From one living room to another.

Dan the maintenance man hooking up washer and dryer.

Lynn and Jim.
She and Jim came Friday and Saturday and helped finalize furniture, condense cable cords, put things away.
The killer minutia.
They will be back Wednesday, to hang pictures.

Empty boxes.
As fast as I emptied them another neighbor took them to pack for a move.

No idea what day this is.
Stuff is everywhere.

Toby is home, and taking in the state of affairs.

My office is reassembled, and still no pleasing him.

Kitchen is done.
I need the stool to reach the second shelf of the lower cupboards.
The cupboards over the microwave and the refrigerator are empty.

The last of the boxes!

The studio. It will be sorted tomorrow or Wednesday.
Jan and Tom stopped on Sunday and helped me open out the loom.

The cat's demeanor says "At last! A chair I know,
in a state I remember!"

Life is so close to normal again.
Some pictures to hang.
Some tchotchkes to relocate.
I can get back to my life. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Teen age logic

There are more than a few lawn maintenance entrepreneurs here in the park, kids and adults both. A young fellow named David put up an availability notice by the mail boxes, with tear off strips of his name and phone. That has all the hallmarks of a mother behind it, but I took one nevertheless. My lawn mower is gone, and lord knows, I once was cited for a weed.

As luck would have it, I encountered David, trundling his lawn mower and shouldering his weed wacker between my house and my neighbors. A citeable offense, by the way. I asked him if he would be interested in weeding my garden.

Well, he didn't know. We went out front to take a look. One weed in particular has taken up residence. It grows tall, with long pointy leaves, green, and the centers have a mahogany hue. I pointed them out to him, and demonstrated how easily they came up from the very wet soil.

Well, he'd have to think about it. It would take a long time. I bit my tongue and told him if he got it done in an hour, I'd pay him fifteen dollars. If it took more, I'd pay him twenty. If he decided to do it, knock on my door to get paid.

He appeared the next day. I gave him a bucket and he set to work. I heard him empty the the bucket several times into the trash bin. At the end of an hour I went out. He had all the designated weeds pulled, and was attempting to eradicate the grass at the street. I told him it had been an hour, thanked him for a good job and gave him his pay.

David was in no hurry to move on. He told me his parents had a flower garden at the "other house". I could tell the idea of a flower garden at a trailer park was quite novel. He wanted to know my garden's destiny and I said we could only hope the next tenant cared for it. That left him perturbed.

"We drove by the other house once," he volunteered, "and they hadn't done anything. All my mom's flower gardens were just a mess." I told him things like that happen sometimes.

"I can move all this for you!" he volunteered, all at once.

That tugged, for a second. Then he said, with a sweep of his arm, he wouldn't want to move the stuff down there, pointing to two thirds of the plants. He pointed to the coral bells as OK, to move, and maybe the Stella d'Oro, but certainly not the sedum or the wooly thyme. That was the differentiation between easy and hard. 

I thanked him for his offer, and suggested he might offer the new tenants his weed pulling services. I understand an older couple is coming to see the unit in a couple of weeks.

The Stella's are beginning to bloom, and these pretty little bulbs:


Thursday, June 6, 2019

A bad beginning, interesting end

I kept a doctor appointment this morning, and returning to my car found a problem. I started it, and the dash board lit up like Times Square on New Year's Eve. When I put the car in gear, it jumped and bumped and clanked. 

I called AAA and we took a ride to the dealer. The red bullet (aka my car) resides there still. The truck driver had to lift me into the cab, and I should have taken him up on his offer to lift me down. I hurt my knee doing it myself. I found where I'd packed the brace, and it's back on.

A courtesy car brought me home, and this driver was so fascinated by a "real trailer park three miles away" he cheerfully stopped for my mail. Then we saw Dan. I flagged him down and learned my new house passed inspection. I waited and he brought me the keys. And then I came home.

I considered walking up to the new trailer, but my knee hurts. So, I waited for Cathy to come home and we drove up! So here you go, from one end to the other:

This is Toby's en-suite, in the studio. The loom goes on the wall on the left, the sewing table and work table go on the wall on the right, under the window.

The view from the living room. The kitchen table will to down by the second window. That's the back door there, and my neighbor disappearing down the laundry room hall to my bedroom.

Back to the kitchen. Not too big, but adequate. Enough room for the coffee pot and toaster!

More kitchen. There's a dishwasher at this end of the counter. The microwave actually is low enough to use safely. The pantry behind the door is adequate; twice as large as my current. There is a hot water tank on the left end, behind the refrigerator, and HVAC is on the right end.

The "hall" to my bedroom. The washer and dryer go in there on the right. They actually have an entire room here, that also accommodates the cat. He has as much room in his new en-suite, just a very different configuration. That's my bedroom, with the carpet.

And here is my en-suite (haha, guffaw) with walk in shower. The only deal breaker, and I guess Theresa heard that. My current bathroom has a medicine cupboard over the toilet. At least there is more room on the counter.

There you have it. I took pictures of both bedrooms, but brown carpet or whatever reason, they just looked muddy, and went to the trash can.

Wish me luck with the car.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Observations of note, or not

My unit will be inspected this week, hopefully Wednesday. The earliest moving date I could get is next week, Thursday the 13th. Everything is packed, or ten minutes from being packed. I did have to locate and unpack the can opener, but why did I have to unpack the space heater? It’s supposed to be forty overnight, again, and sixty tomorrow!

I decided to try shopping during the week, to avoid the weekend congestion at Kriegers. My one off attempt leads me to believe Monday is not the day. In a grocery store where two carts cannot pass in the aisle, why does a shopper, a man, stand immobile for long minutes, facing the cheese case. I do have nothing to do and all day to do it, so I did not interrupt his reverie. The woman who stocks the case did, however, and I got my cheddar.

A butter comparison is on! In the same case as the $9/pound Kerry Gold, I found domestic butter. Not national brands like Land ‘O Lakes, but a local dairy selling butter for $5.59/pound. There was local butter that would fit my butter dish, but I have a nice round dish I can use when it’s unpacked. I suspect Kerry Gold will win my taste test hands down. It’s the yellow stuff! I will be impartial, however, and report soon.

My days really are boring. Talk about nothing to do and all day to do it! I could be weaving, except literally everything is packed. I could be sewing, but…., you get it, I’m sure. My neighbor has become employed, so no more weekday afternoons and the only people watching the movie. I am not pleased with management being so un-forthcoming about the process, and where it stands.

Leon Redbone died last week. He left us! He was not old enough to be done living. My parents and my grandmother were fans of tin pan alley. Especially mom and my grandmother, and there was Leon and his music augmenting my folk and rock and roll.

There was a little music theater near here, The Carousel Dinner Club. I took mom there for Leon a couple of times. I recall us seeing Camelot, with Robert Goulet (we are the backwater, you know!). I also remember listening to George Carlin drop the F-bomb and the crowd of grandmothers exhaled in what literally was a hiss. No dummy he, he spun on his heel and delivered a show that left grandmothers rolling in the aisle.  

We collected quite a nice set of sundae glasses, included in the price of the ticket. Sometimes backwater counts! Jan used them as the center of veggie platters, to hold dip.

And in the garden, iris, pinks and those little gold buttons that grow from a bulb.