Friday, May 28, 2010


(When I took the camera from the cool air inside to the warm, humid air outside, the lens fogged up.  I like the effect, so kept it.)

The green onions--and I've already harvested some.

The Bachelor's Buttons are getting long and leggy and the blooms are almost spent.  As I deadhead the dead stalks, look what's happening underneath.

I'm going to try my hand at lavender wands this weekend.
And Tandi?

Well, she's having a birthday.  She's six years old!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yard Sales

It was a nice day to go yard-sale shopping, though the weather man has been predicting rain all week long. Some of my plants had started to wilt, so I had to water them myself. So much for weather forecasters.

Anyway, I followed Dawn's advice, except I used Mapquest instead of Google. Next time, it'll be Google as Mapquest has absolutely no idea where things are around here. I plotted out about 6 yard sales I wanted to hit. The description for the first one looked very promising, and it was in a wealthier neighborhood, but up narrow winding roads with no place to park and a hike down a very steep driveway. I figured whatever they had, it wasn't worth bodily or mechanical injury, so I left. After that I only hit one planned stop--either the directions were wrong, or I got detoured--but I kept finding item after item that I liked.
First yard sale:

8 yards of 88" wide muslin, along with other lightweight fabric.  I don't know yet if they're cotton, because I haven't done the burn test, but I kind of liked them for other possibilities.

These will definitely be for re-usable grocery bags.  (I know, I keep planning to make them and haven't done it yet, but I will, I will.)

On the left is a ziploc baggie of scraps, and on the right is Halloween fabric in blue and black.  The lady's daughter used to work in the OR and the lady made caps for her.  I'm betting most of these are cotton. I got the whole lot--24 1/2 yards--for $8.00.  The muslin alone would have been worth that.

This next batch came from the one place I planned to go. It was in an older neighborhood, and the gentleman had some items of his own, and some from his deceased mother's place.  I am a sucker for Halloween and Christmas items, and this guy should look cute on the front porch, after I spiff him up a bit.

Next are some pre-made Christmas charm bracelets.  I own a charm bracelet that I've been adding to since I was a teenager, so I doubt I'd wear these.  I was thinking more about using the charms on wall-hangings.
Included are two small pins, also possibles for wall-hangings or stockings. Also, I have a soft spot for wooden apples, and couldn't pass these by.

Did I mention I collect milk glass?  I collect a particular pattern and these weren't it, but it's unusual, and at 25 cents each, I figured they were worth it.  When I came home, I researched this odd pattern and found out they list for $17.95 each.  A friend of mine is thinking of opening a thrift shop and she has been researching glassware.  I may put these in her shop to help her out.  If not, there's always eBay.

And because I lose track of time when I'm working out in the yard, I bought this clock from the same guy:

It's hard to see, but each number position on the dial has the name of an old big band tune; Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo-choo, etc.  And yep, it plays each one of them on their respective hours.  I don't know where I'm going to hang it, because if it's on the back porch it can't be heard in the front yard, but hey, it was too much fun to pass up.

The cost for this bundle?  $6.50. 

Last year I made up a shoebox for Samaritan's Purse Christmas collections, and thought I'd try to do some more this year.  Look what I found at another yard sale:
All of these are still sealed in the plastic, though I will open them to make sure they're all okay and not melted, and to wipe the boxes down.  They were $3.00 each, so I only bought 3.  Now I wish I'd gone back at the end of the day to see if they'd sold the others, and if they'd take less for them.  These should fit inside the shoeboxes just fine, and besides providing a whole LOT of crayons to use, the boxes themselves can be used to store other fun things when the crayons are gone.

And lastly, I stopped at a yard sale where the lady was about to close up.  She didn't have much left, and nothing that interested me, but she had a lovely yard and I complimented her on it. Seems she bought the house from a British horticulturist and doesn't even know the names of most of the plants and flowers growing there.  She'd dug up some extras and sold them, and only had a few little wilted items left, so she offered them to me, free of charge, because she didn't intend to replant them.  How could I turn that offer down?  If they don't live, I haven't lost anything but some time.

There were a couple of solid green hostas, and some kind of fuzzy plant that sports small fuschia flowers.  She said it really spreads, so I'll have to pick a spot that is self-limiting.

This is supposed to be either a white or bluish-purple wild iris:
And this is part of a lenten rose, she thinks.  It's pretty sad-looking, but maybe it'll survive.

I think I easily got $23.50 worth of pleasure and use from today's rounds, don't you?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some fabric to wash!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring doings

Thank goodness for spring--we thought it would never get here!  The winter seemed so long, but all is  warm and mostly sunny and  the grass has been cut 4 times already. Don't mean to rub it in for all of you who can't plant til after Mother's Day! I've spent a small fortune between Lowe's and the local nursery, but don't tell Jack. 8^)  Last year's perennials have caught on and are doing great!

Remember the dying oak and two juniper bushes I lost last fall? Well, I had the stump ground and once I cleared out all the wood chips, I mixed in some garden soil and compost and planted a couple of yellow rose bushes.  I still need to edge it and mulch it, and I plan to add a couple of chives since they are supposed to keep aphids away, but the bushes already have lots of buds on them and I check them every day to see if any have opened yet!

Last year I planted 3 Sweet Williams, but two were eaten by slugs.  The third one I placed in a different bed, and there it is to the left of the birdbath--doing its biennial blooming. See the daylilies in the background?  I dug boo-koodles of them up and planted them in another part of the yard, and it looks like I never touched this bunch. Just outside the right of the picture are a couple of white impatiens, waiting to be planted on my next offday.

The Japanese maple you see in the middle (Crimson Queen)  has lived for the last two years in a pot bought at the truck market.  Obviously it's a hardy little thing--as is her stepsister, Bloodgood, who is still in a pot awaiting her transplant at the end of the house. The hostas were orphans I transplanted here and they have shown their appreciation for their new home by billowing out.  I am in need of some taller plants here, so bought a couple of purple phlox to poke in the ground this weekend. .

And the bachelor buttons went crazy on me!  It sends out runners  and has grown so large, I may have to dig up parts to move around or give away before it creeps up the sidewalk and into the house.

I planted two kinds of lavender last year--English and French--and I can't remember which is which, but one of them has tiny buds just about to open.  And the Dusty Miller, which should be just an annual, has come back, too. I bought a small 3-pack of dianthus to put at the end, but they're so cute, I may have to buy some for the rosebed, too.

As if all this weren't enough, I decided to plant some sunflower seeds, and they were so eager to meet the sun, they germinated 3 days earlier than the packages said they would. There are 3 different kinds, and heaven knows where I'm going to transplant them, but I couldn't resist.

In this pot, I planted the root ends of some green onions. They emerged in a hurry and another one has poked its head up since I took this picture.  I usually buy a single bunch at the store, but rarely use them all before they turn slimy in the bottom of the refrigerator. This way, I can cut off what I need and let them grow until I need more.

Oh, and Coleus, how I love thee!  Some of these will be repotted for a shady spot on the front porch, and the others will be planted just to the right of these steps, where they'll get only about an hour of sun a day.  They're obviously very happy there, as they are all about to outgrow their pots. I succumbed to temptation and bought a package of coleus seeds, as well, but they've yet to poke their reluctant little heads above the soil. It's a shame they're only annuals.

In addition, the house has been power-washed, lots of weeding has been done (though you can't tell it), the hammock frame is up and waiting for me to get to the laundromat to wash and dry the pillow and mat in some  heavy-duty machines.  The screened in back porch is all cleaned up and vacuumed and Tandi and I have already put it to good use. 

It's a large yard, and although I've done a lot of work this spring,  I'm not showing you the bare patches, the weedy area at the end, the empty spots where trees used to be, or the dying spruces in the backyard. Not yet, anyway. And the only thing in last year's lasagna garden right now is wood chips from the fallen trees, though that's where the newly seeded coleus will live--should they decide to come out and taste the fresh air.

But I figure in about 5 years the yard will be just like I want it. 

Oh, who am I  kidding?