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Updating by request

Posted by shades_of_idaho (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 5, 14 at 23:25

There really is not a lot going on in our small house. We decided to get a new ductless heater in the back end of the house. It has a heat pump which required me to take down half of the out side kitty kennel to make room for the heat pump. It works great house is toasty warm and electric bill is about $100 less per month. AND in summer it has air conditioning in it. We have never had an air conditioiner before.

It has been a plus and will make our small house live larger because I was able to create a small patio in the space where the one half of the kitty kennel was. This area gets shade early in the afternoon so will be a cool space to sit. Our front porch is so hot in the summer being on the south west end of the house. I laid pavers and created a small flower bed around the two edges of the patio and added a fountain.

The only other thing I did get done was laying the tile base board for the new vinyl flooring we had put in last year. WOW last year seems so long ago. The last room was done in August while Joe was in the hospital. I had lots of added care for him for several months so every thing went on hold. He is doing well for now. I still need to do the tile base edge in the two closets. I am going to have extra tile left over so I might go ahead and do the master bath base with it too. I like the look and it is nice to keep the walls from scuffing with the vacuum and floor scrubber.

I did sort through and purge our loft in the shop. Another project that was started on two years ago and I hurt my ankle and could not climb the stairs for a long time then Joe got sick.

We have been in this house almost 6 years and both of us are still really loving how it lives for us. We were just talking about this the other day. In our almost 30 years together this is the longest we have lived in the same house.

OH I did bling the toilets. LOL Do not remember if I put these pictures up here or not. Kind of off topic.


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Wow! I wouldn't want to clean it, but that is spectacular. I wish you were here to do my next tile job. What adhesive did you use on the baseboard tile?

I'm glad to hear Joe is doing well now.


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Marti I just spray the mosaic with windex and wipe with paper towel. It is pretty smooth.

I just used silicone for the tile base board. Works great. I buy the clear at walmart it is window and door sealer. We found out in many manufactured homes the tile back splash edge in kitchens and baths are put on with hot glue. For crying out loud. Guess it would be more removable that way.

I imagine down the road should some one want to change the vinyl flooring the tile will create a problem. Not my problem as I do not plan on changing the flooring again. I REALLY am happy all the carpet is gone and only area rugs. Makes so much less dust in the house and the vinyl floors are so much easier to clean.


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shades - that is some hot pot! lol!

I wouldn't wanna clean it either tho. So much dust flows thru here. It isn't as bad as the old place but it's badder (?) than I thought it'd be here.

I 'm with you on doing what I want and letting any future owner worry about what they do to it.


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That is exactly my point of view too. What was Ricky Nelson's "Garden Party" song?

"Can't please every body, so.....gotta please myself." Or words to that effect. It sounds like we are all at that point in our lives.

Always love Shades of Bling!


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Thanks Steph and ML. I used a good sealer on the grout. With the carpets gone here we do not have nearly the dust we used to have.

I am all for doing what I want to this house. My hallway is going to be eye popping. Can't wait to get back to working on it. I have a small project to get done first. AND we are having company come to visit for a few days.

Steph read on the other post you are having hand and computer problems. So sorry. Hope you feel better soon.


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Shades- We have a heat pump and I don't know how you made it so far, without air conditioning! Of course, your home is much newer and the insulation has got to be far superior :)

I'm very happy about your shady patio...can't wait to see pictures of your small seating area and maybe some pots of flowers. Love the toilet bling, too!


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Oh MY, that is some tank! Chris, you love color so much, but I can see why you paint everything white. To you, if it stands still, it is a potential canvass, so to speak. ;-p I love your work, as always.

DH is in his music room playing trombone right now, really swinging. He just stopped to sing a chorus, and I don't recognize the song. Real 40's sound, though. "Nancy with the Laughing Face," he said. He just came out and sang it for me. It is nice to be married to Frank Sinatra!

So is the new sitting area now inside the kitties' area, or is their area smaller? Either way, the fountain will be nice, but I bet the kitties will like it better inside their play yard. I am glad to hear Joe is doing better too.

Sorry to hear you are having problems, Steph. I have been all over the internet sites having to do with my newly diagnosed, lifelong chronic illnesses. It is taking up all of my time. Lots to learn, but now everything is starting to make sense. Oh! and I was awarded my SS Disability about 10 days ago! Off I go to the appliances forum to learn about water softeners. First I want to read about ML's kitchen we have waited so long to start on. I will get back here soon.....hugs to all my pals!

(After a two hour wait to get internet back....) There is a robin out there singing at 12:02 am. Or I am having some very interesting tinnitus. It does get really loud at night, but never this melodious, before.


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LL the patio is not quite done. i need to paint but painting outside is too risky yet with freezing nights and sudden rainstorms. I will post a picture of the work in progress. I have a vision for the complete picture and it is far from there but this will give you an idea.

Nancy So sorry you are struggling with this lymphadema. Spelling wrong I am sure. It sounds painful. I get nutty when my feet and legs swell from a day spent standing.

The kitty kennel used to be a six by ten foot section joined to a four by ten foot section making overall length 20 foot. NOW it is the same six by ten foot and I added the four foot section onto the ten foot side of the six by ten so now it is ten by ten and the roof overhangs two foot on one end because the panels were six foot tall. This gives me an area to do the clothesline which I did put together and it works great. It is only 30 foot of line but that is enough if I use some clothes hangers. I did three loads of laundry yesterday and got them all dry. So the kitties have the same amount of room just different shape. There is a gate/door between the two sections so I can use it as two or open the door for one larger section.

And no the fountain is not in their kennel. I actually had one in there and it was too close to the bedroom window and made too much noise at night when we were trying to sleep.

LL we are not much for air conditioners. We might not even use it. BUT it is there if we need it. We rarely use the one in the car.

OH and the new kennel arrangement will make snow removal easier. I can pull it all to the clothes line end and toss it over the dog yard fence. No more double shoveling like I was doing.

I have not planted the fountain buckets yet. It is still too soon to plant the petunias and other annual flowers I plan on putting in them.


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The fountain end. i bought the pavers to fill in that last little bit at the end. Just have not gotten to it yet. I am also going to take the chair out of the kitty kennel when I find a ladder or some thing for them to climb on to replace it.

Going to paint the picket gate and the fountain buckets the petunia purple. Later hope to add some more mosaic on the pavers. It is slippery so not too much of it.

The pavers got washed some by the rains but need a good scrubbing.


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Wow, Nancy showed up! Now that's more like it. Beginning to feel like home around here. I've thought about all you guys with this rough winter about to end. It just keeps hanging on. I got an email from a hosta nursery in Michigan which says my order will not ship as scheduled because the ground is still frozen! Thing about it, we don't have a soil freeze at ALL. Up your way, Nancy, a big expense is a foundation below the soil freeze line, which can be more than FOUR FEET....or it was that up in Massachusetts, and that means blasting rock and such to put the pipes for water and sewer and gas and such as that down where they'll be safe from freeze.

I'm going to put a picture here of my Back40, which is the location of my hosta garden, (mostly) in containers. They are already up and leafed out, looking really good. It is now a big part of my gardening. Many of my tropicals were killed by OUR freezes and long wet winter, even a few of the hosta rotted in the wet pots, but now the survivors are coming back strong. I just LOVE HOSTA, which I saw for the first time up in MA.
IMG_20130824_142714

and looking the other way....
Dogs13Jun015

The area is 25wide x 100 long.
Here is a picture of the way hosta are growing this spring
DSCN9610


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Shades, glad I read the email version of your post above about the fountain buckets. I am much impressed with your fountain ideas. The sound of water can mask a lot of other sounds in a city environment, so having one will be a big plus. I think of the buckets also as a way to stack/compact pots of hosta....(always thinking about making room for MORE HOSTA). It would work for me but not as a planter for you of anything but annuals due to your winter weather.

I cannot wait to see all that area come together as you envision it.


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Dear Chris ~ I just love your 'blinged' tank! You are going to enjoy your new patio and sitting there in the shade during the summer.

Glad to hear Joe is doing better.

FlowerLady

Here is a link that might be useful: FlowerLady's Musings


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Thank you for a glimpse of spring, ML! It is so overdue up here. The lake behind the hospital is still frozen! I was over at the old house the other day and my crocuses are up and blooming. They often were up on my husband's birthday in other years. March 5, that is!

In the upper peninsula of Michigan, which is not actually touching the rest of Michigan, but is above Green Bay Wisconsin and east of Duluth, Minnesota, the towns are having a real hard time with their water systems. That is because they are buried only 8 feet deep. The ground froze deeper than that this year. Some areas are having the water mains heaving and breaking. Others are asking residents to leave the water running in the house all the time because that is the only way to keep the whole darned pipe from freezing solid. And once water freezes, it gets larger. So pipes burst. Let's see how much it costs to replace the entire water system of a small town! None of this is thawing yet up there. I was there in the winter when we got 300" of snow in the Keewinaw Peninsula. But it was not this brutal cold! We still had ice build up on the shore of Lake Superior in June that year.

Gotta go get in the shower. Getting a Holter monitor this afternoon so the docs can see how wacky my heartbeat likes to get. It will be warm tomorrow. Maybe I will try to garden for them! Chris, the lymphedema (your spelling was quite close!) is doing great. I have spent most of the last year and a half sitting in a recliner with my legs up, and they are a good six inches smaller than they used to be. Now I have to get compression for my legs to get my blood pressure up, instead. Geeze, if it ain't one thing, its another! My teeth are getting loose, too. I have finally been diagnosed with the connective tissue disorder that I thought that I had ever since I first had the internet, back before Windows. Ehler's Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobile Type. It explains why I have loose joints and have needed physical therapy on my ankles feet, knees, hips, back, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and thumbs in the last 10 years. It also explains my digestive problems - the digestive tract is made up of connective tissue and people with my kind of EDS tend to have GERD bad and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as I do. And my very nearsighted eyes, my tender mouth tissues, my bad tooth enamel, my high palate, my crowded teeth, and all my aches and pains. Even my tinnitus. All EDS.

Then I learned that the lymphedema in my legs is caused by a Rare Adipose Disorder (a fat disorder) called Lipedema. Only it is not rare. Around 10% of women have it. If your legs suddenly started getting bigger in your teens or after a baby or after menopause, you may have it. It starts with legs. They lose their shape and become like columns. Then they get fat and get lobules and folds of fat. Butt gets big, thighs get huge. Upper arms may get big. No matter how much or how little you eat, the fat accumulates. If you do eat too much and get fatter, then the legs and hips and arms become even bigger. If you starve yourself, you can remain a size 2 or 3 on the top, and be a size 8 or 10 on the bottom with big round columns of elephant legs. I know a lady like this. She is middle aged and her mother still berates her for eating too much, saying she must, or she would not be fat on the bottom. She starves herself. It is supposed to be impossible to lose the fat from the lipedema areas. I have done so, but only on very low calorie liquid protein diets. It comes back as soon as I eat carbs again. This fatty/watery mix in the butt and thighs is what gives us lymphedema. Once you have lipolymphedema like I have, it is a downhill slide to total disability for most. The thing is, most of these women did not initially have eating problems. They may have developed overeating after the futility of trying to diet and the depression and humiliation of being fat. The very people who most accuse us - the doctors - are the ones who have most let us down. Lipedema is a different kind of fat. It does not look like normal fat under a microscope. It does not act like normal fat. It was discovered at the Mayo clinic in 1940, then forgotten. In Germany, doctors rediscovered this research some time ago and they have been treating women with lipedema with compression garments and most recently with a special kind of liposuction. There are two doctors there who use special cannulas and special solutions and very gently remove the lipedema fat. American women who can afford it are going there and getting it done. For 5000 euros, one of the ladies on the Facebook group I belong to went last year and now she has more normal looking calves. Just two weeks ago, a couple of NY plastic surgeons who plan to use these techniques on we fat lippy ladies went to Germany to be trained by the other doctor doing this surgery. There is one US doc already using these techniques, but he won't see us lippy ladies, he just does cosmetic surgery!

So there is a lot to learn, support pages to talk on, and that is where I have been spending a lot of my time. I am also hoping to sell the house we moved out of in 2005 soon. We managed to get rid of the second mortgage on that house, so as soon as the young couple living there can get a steady income, that should be do-able. The husband has a Social Security Disability hearing this month, the wife is on unemployment and is putting more effort into finding a job. I can do a lot of fix-up while they are there, then once they are out, put it up for sale after getting painters in to repaint. So that will be keeping me busy for a while, and the garden over there is one of the big issues. I had a beautiful shade garden under the front maple tree. Early bulbs are followed by forget-me-nots and tulips, then allium and astilbe bloomed while the echinacea and rudbeckia worked to come into bloom. Well, the lady who was going to buy my house changed some things (including digging up my little Fothergilla bush!) and the people who have lived there ever since have let it all go to he7! They let the morning glories choke out my astilbe bed. Weeds and grass have taken over. I might just go over and dig everything up, bring the bulbs home to my garden, then cover it all in mulch. It is HARD to pull out grass from your allium beds. Especially when your heartbeat is varying between 45 and 145 within a minute, depending on whether you are bending over or standing straight.

So that is me! Once the house is sold, then I can start saving for the bathroom renovation. I have purchased the lights, medicine cabinets, and the train-rack towel holders. I have made a minor change or two to the design, so I will have to update my thread on that, soon.

Here is the garden at the old house, in better days.


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Banana trees from ML and a crepe myrtle from Flower Lady! Thanks for the reminders of my four years in the south. I was in Baton Rouge 1986 -1990, zone 9. I learned about Iris and spider lilies and Camelia trees and Gardenia bushes, nandina, and that you grow your pansies in the winter time.

ML, your back 40 is beautifully lush. I love the contrast of all the different colors of leaves. Is the dark leafed plant in the tree and hanging moss area next to the table and chairs a cast iron plant? An elephant ear plant? I wish I could remember. Its dark coloration is striking. I see your two dogs, with your doxie (Dolly?) near the hydrangea. My two dogs got their heart worm tests done Wednesday, both clear and back on the Heartguard for the summer. Little Lizzy is back to 11.7 lbs. I am a bad Dachshund mommy. I let her get up to 14 lbs. Both she and Toby are trim again.

Chris, your patio will be so nice, and I see that it is in the dog run area. Now that I am more awake, I see the fountain. I love these kind of fountains! It is going to be so nice back there! In the shad, plus the cooling sound and presence of running water, your kitties right nearby and the dog at your feet. Perfect.

Lavender Lass, I will go look for a thread about your house hunting. If you have not written anything for me to discover, can you give an update?


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' I want to read about ML's kitchen

we have waited so long to start on.'

gotta love this!


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All of you are too kind, and one reason I love the Smaller Homes Forum so much. It's a gentler place to be.

Nancy, thanks for your appreciation....and your observations of the time you spent in the south are spot on.

The dark green long strapping leaves are a giant peace lily. I also have a normal sized one, and then a variegated one of those. When they perk up for the spring, I'll show them again. But I do have aspidistra/cast iron. It is great for holding soil, it has dense roots, and is great for shady places so it grows nicely (as does liriope) on the ground beneath large oaks and large magnolia grandiflora, which both have roots like octopus above the ground and NO GRASS will live there.

I have both plain aspidistra and variegated varieties. I recently moved some to a spot more viewable where their white streaks will show in the garden. Let's see if I can find that picture. Did not, so I took another just now.
The green aspidistra is behind the newly moved variegated varieties, which I purchased several years ago from Plant Delights Nursery, and some other much older given to me by a friend from her garden. It takes a while to develop the white streaks. And beneath the "short fat fanny" Japanese maple are several more hosta pots. :)


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Thanks, ML for the reminders of southern gardening. Thank you for going out just to take a picture of your cast iron plants for me! Up here the peace lily is a house plant. DH and I bought a couple of them to donate to the church after they decorated the alter at our wedding 18 years ago. We haven't been back there in many years, I wonder what became of them. I remember liriope very well, I was on the first few days of the Optifast liquid protein diet when we widened our driveway a bit, and I moved some liriope. I found that I could do it only if I never rose from the head-down position! If I stood up, I would get light-headed enough to nearly faint! Even under the age of 30, I could not bend my knees to garden.

ML, what are those huge jardinares? Are they concrete? Unfired pottery? Or maybe just glazed the same color as that. They are huge! Do you set pots of plants on them? Are they rain barrels? They look hand thrown, since they are not the same size and shape, exactly.

Steph, by the time one of us finishes a project, to me it feels like I've been a part of it, especially when the projectee shares the early planning stages and we get to see the evolution!


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'Steph, by the time one of us finishes a project, to me it feels like I've been a part of it, especially when the projectee shares the early planning stages and we get to see the evolution!'

I know! I loved the 'we' in it! even when I was off the computer for so long I kept wondering how ML's remodel was going...and Marti's... how you were doing - and shades. A few times I thought about going to the library to use a computer there - but that'd take more energy than I've had lately. Didn't keep me from thinking of all of you tho!


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Nancy, you are right, it is a very personal sort of interest members of the forum take in projects, beginning to end. It is wonderful to be there start to finish.

Like Shades is one of the most productive people I have ever known. Always busy, numerous projects afoot which all wind up DONE, not like myself with so many ideas that die along the way. But, finally, some are coming to pass. This coming remodel is by far the most ambitious I've ever tackled. I really needed guidance to get the best out of the work. It took the help of Tim, the architect, keeping me on track, putting up with my fantasies and being practical. Lord, I am not very practical!

Steph, you are too kind. Coming back to this forum after a long absence, I just HAD to have something to show for it. Because all the dreams I shared with you hopefully led to a happy ending. We all love a happy ending. I've never been a perfectionist......more like an IDEALIST....which meant I hem-hawed around waiting waiting for the perfect time to begin, to build it just so, with the best of this or that. Then, I forget when it happened, but I had an epiphany.....I'd spend my life just dreaming and waiting, never accomplishing anything or tackling anything, because I really had no idea what PERFECT WAS. That's when I said I was going to do it and get it done and live with the consequences, whatever they were. Oh yeah, that was when I remodeled my kitchen at MoccasinLanding for $5,000. Then I went on to screen enclose the carport and put in nice long windows so I could see the bayou behind the house. and painted the floors in the family room, refinished the hardwood floors and added shutters inside instead of drapes or curtains. So you see, you can make your place cozy for yourself, which is what Smaller Homes Forum is all about, without it being a compulsion to achieve perfection. Not saying it is "MAKE DO" but ......it is making it live like you want to live. I remember the night I drank a lot of Scotch and took my new Sawzall to the wall covering up some brick, and got down to the studs before I realized I did not know if it was LOAD BEARING. It stopped me dead in my tracks for a while. But later on, I absolutely adored the brick painted white, one of my favorite looks for an interior wall to this day.

Oh gee, I keep running on. And I have a lot to do here. My eyes keep trying to close too. But it is a gorgeous spring day, and perfect weather for enjoying outdoors--if I can bear the high pollen count!


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Nancy, I'm using two tall square terra cotta flower pots as plant stands now. They are too deep for any normal plants to grow in them, and the weight empty is all I can manage anyway. When I got them, I was looking for plant stands or plinths or columns, and these were on sale at my favorite local nursery. They always give me a good rate, since I show up when they have to pay the water bill! They were made in VietNam, and it seems that these were fired higher than average and have not sluffed off like some low fired do.
I use them upside down as display stands.

The round sided ceramic pots which are glazed did not do well this year, our wet winter put lots of moisture into the clay, and it expanded enough to pop off the outer glazing. I won't be making that mistake again. Ugly.


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OMG ML your Hosta are gorgeous!! mine are just poking out to let me know they survived the winter but not a lot of growth yet. I am so hopeful they will fill in between the ground buckets around the fountain. And if they fill in too much I can put the ground buckets some where else. LOL So loving how pretty your garden is.

Thanks for the kudos to getting things done. I do rather wander around some from start to finish but eventually things get the fork. As in Stick a fork in it it is done. LOL

After a fast trip to Boise yesterday with a couple of stops for Joe I got my glass buying fix. I came across the receipt from last trip and it was February 2012 so I was due for a fill up. NOW I am having to re-work things in my studio a bit to get it put away. Afraid to put too much weight in one spot. Glass is really heavy. I might have to move the library back into the master closet. LOL So oh goodie another re-arrange. some one shoot me for having so much crap. If I have to move those books I am purging within an inch of my life. I am so sick of having my things overwhelm me.

Off topic:
Too windy to work outside. I did take this video of todays cattle drive. Although we live in the city we live in the designated cattle drive route. I love spring seeing the little ones go out to the mountain range and then in the fall seeing those little babies half grown up. video takes a little bit to load.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cith Cattle drive


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LOL The library is MOVED. :^( Pared down to two shelves from three. This does not include the three shelves of art and craft books in my studio. Another 15 books headed to the thrift store. Time for a wine cooler and a nap.


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Yes, me too, Steph. Every time I see one of the kind of cabinet that ML was looking for to flank her window seat, I would think of her and wonder if it met her requirements! Stained glass and mountains and white painted furniture and being flooded out by raging rivers make me think of Chris. Horses and kitchen planning and country kitchens make me think of LL, I think of you when I think of hot, dusty weather or when I was helping a friend look for a used mobile home to buy. And Marti comes to mind when I think of her kitchen and wonder if she ever did put photos up!

Marti, where are the photos of the new dining room, the new courtyard, the newly restained kitchen cabinets with granite, and the brick you stained? I missed them if you ever posted them.

And MamaGoose, I think of her, too. Have we heard of her lately? WIsailorgirl (is that even close?) with the remodeled two storey with the great patio. FlowerLady is here. Jay is here. What ever happened to Scott? Was that his name? There was a guy with "sc" for South Carolina in his name. Phoggie is here.

Now it is Saturday night, I started this on Friday. I spent today finishing my Gnome Garden. I hot-glued stones I picked up on the shores of Michigan Great Lakes to the cement cottage I bought, planted succulents on the copper tray roof, planted two mounds of moss and two trees I bought for the Gnome's Garden, then decorated the Gnome Garden with a pond, two ducks, a rustic table and chairs I bought at the nursery, a bee hive I also bought there, poly clay mushrooms, a squirrel, and a victorian bath tub. I made the tub from a tiny fairy garden planter that I glued glass beads on to give legs to, then I took my gold leaf pen and painted all the raised scalloped edges and the Fleur-di-lis insignia on the tub gold. I gave the rest of them to my nieces for their fairy gardens last fall, but saved one for the gnomes even gruff old gnomes deserve a fancy bath sometimes! They have to take theirs outdoors, though.

I had a lot of blue and green shiny calcite from purchase of a box of stones that my half sister and I bought when we were making the fairy gardens for her kids and grandson. So I set the green ones on edge in the dirt and used them as a fence, separating the lush garden section near the Gnome house from the "orchard" area that is the working part of the property. I used the blue ones around the pond. I have three little gnome guys living there. I still might be rigging up some stiff wire to hold a T5 under counter fluorescent light above the house in order to give the light-loving plants enough light. I have the idea and the parts, I just have to make it happen. I may try for pictures tomorrow. Too dark now.

ML, you weren't staying away because you had no kitchen progress to show, were you? We love you even if you don't ever remodel your kitchen, you know.

Chris, that video of the cattle drive was a hoot! I watched it twice. I loved listening to them lowing as they walked. That cow looked so forlorn. I think she was asking you for a glass of water. You know, like how the locals line up for the marathon runners and the Tour de France, holding out fruit quarters to suck and cups of water? That's what she wanted. Just a repast before mosey'n on by. So the cattle just follow each other through town with a few cowboy/girls in attendance? I didn't see any herding dogs. There are a lot of out-of-work dogs, give them a job! Will a number of ranchers use the same route over several days, or was that one herd all you will see go by your house?

And ML is right, you do accomplish a lot. Marti is another who gets things done. Even Steph just keeps at it until she accomplishes her goals. Me, I am good at planning and at hiring things out!


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Nancy There will be a few more drives this season.

Your Gnome garden sounds cute. Pictures??

It sure would be fun if every one would come back. I was wondering if all of us finished our projects so nothing to discuss. I think it was Scott was the one with Sc before his name or maybe it was SD.

Do miss Mama goose.

I am not done putting my new glass away. Had to stop to feed us dinner. LOL Who knew??? Almost done with short rest. then back to it.


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I started this reply and something happened to it. I had no idea there were more replies to this thread since I last posted.

Shades of Bling, I love it!

Nancy, I follow everyone's projects like I'm there with them too, like your kitchen and library. It is so cool that your dh still comes out to serenade you! I am so sorry to hear about your health problems. I was hoping you were doing better but it sounds worse. But it also sounds like you are being proactive and keeping up on the latest treatments.

I wish I could say I/we are people who get things done, but it seems that we start a project and get it well underway and then move on to something else. We still haven't finished the kitchen. We were working on it again after the dining room when a pipe/tubing burst and flooded half the house. It took months to get insurance and repairs done.

Then we had a neighborhood peeper and decided it was time to put up the fence we had taken down when we built the dining room. Peeper was parking across the street looking in the French doors of the dining room that only had bamboo shades which are practically transparent. So we put the fence around the courtyard and backyard.


We did finish that except for staining. Today we built shutters and I started staining them and the fence.

I thought I had shown pictures, but here are more. This is the dining room right after the ceiling was finished. I'd take a photo now but the room is a disaster.

This is the outside, showing part of the French doors. The bricklayer messed up when he was laying the brick. We had piles of yellow, red, brown, and white and he did fine on the side with the French door, mostly yellow, with some of the red and brown sprinkled in and rarely a white one. But when he came back the next day, he must have forgotten the plan and started laying them one yellow, one red, one brown, one white and it looked horrible. So I got masonry stain and stained every brick on the house, one by one.

I didn't think to take a before picture of the checkerboard look, but here it is after I stained it:
 photo PatioFrDriv.jpg

After that, we did the ceiling in the living room (before the new floor was installed)

And a couple of weeks ago we had the house painted
 photo 00AHouse4_zpsad0979ef.jpg

I think that brings me up to date.

ML, I hope you are better than me about taking pictures along your remodeling journey.


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Wow, I didn't know about the living room, Marti. I like the color you chose for the house, too. It is soft and nice. I can't even tell where you stained the bricks. Did you do just in the courtyard area, or did you stain the whole house? I hope you did not have to do the whole house. Wow. It is looking so nice.

You have had more than your share of setbacks, Marti! The goof up with the bricks, then the flood. Did it ruin your new floors? Did insurance pay to have someone else do the repair work, so you and your DH did not have to redo work? How discouraging. Then to have to deal with a peeper. Staining that fence is going to be a lot of work, up and down, and some way overhead on ladders. Are you spraying, rolling, or brushing?

I still have that one cupboard door to sand and stain and poly. Then there is some trim around the island to sand and stain and poly, the back of the island to stain and poly, and I have to figure out a footrest for the island. Jim says just get a brass rail footrest. I want a wooden thing with more support, more like a kneeler from a church. I have very heavy legs and I need to rest them and move them a lot and push off the foot rest to scoot me back when I slide down in my chair.

Then there is the trim painting in the halls. From the front door frame and the french door frame, the baseboard through the foyer, down the main hall to the four door frames at the end of the hall and the base board down the skinny hall to the kitchen, the half bath, the basement stairwell, a few feet of baseboard in the kitchen, then the baseboard for the entire perimeter of the family room. I also need to paint the walls in the halls and paint the front door.

And I never posted finished pictures of the library with books and shelves and books in it. It never got organized and clean! I still have some pictures to hang, too. The two french doors really need to be stripped and stained and finished, too.


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What a great catch-up of what's been going in each others' lives.

Chris ~ The cattle drive had me laughing right out loud at the cows bellowing as they moved along. It made me feel like I was right there.

ML ~ Your statement ** you can make your place cozy for yourself, which is what Smaller Homes Forum is all about, without it being a compulsion to achieve perfection. Not saying it is "MAKE DO" but ......it is making it live like you want to live ** was great and oh so encouraging. Plus reading about all of the work you have done inspired me to carry on even alone as I am now. Thank you.

Nancy ~ I'd like to see pics of your gnome garden. It sounds like you've got projects I'd like to see too.

Seeing what all of you are working on inspires and encourages me to keep going.

Marti ~ You and I have been keeping up through our blogs and I have certainly enjoyed reading about and seeing all of your projects. Your home is really lovely.

Your statement ** I wish I could say I/we are people who get things done, but it seems that we start a project and get it well underway and then move on to something else. ** really describes how my husband and I were.

We have finished LOTS of projects through the years, but there are also some not finished and now I need help from others to do them. My husbands brother has been wonderful in helping me with things. I want to do some things myself, so need to learn new things, and go for it.

It is so good to be back here again.

I hope we see Mama Goose back in here too. I can certainly relate to her loss and wish her well.

Hope you all have a lovely Easter week ~ FlowerLady

The photo I am sharing is of my kitchen/scullery area, with Miss Tork. My little cottage is about 700 sq. ft.

Here is a link that might be useful: FlowerLady's Musings


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FL, thank you for posting that photo. I had forgotten about your ceiling; it's teriffic! I so wish we had done that in the dining room instead of painting it white. It's so dramatic.

What browser are y'all using to see the video? When I click on it, it disappears.

Nancy, it did ruin our new floors, which really weren't new any more. They were four years old. Insurance didn't pay for all of it, but we had someone else lay it. We replaced the baseboard, and I have yet to fill the holes, caulk and paint it.


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Marti it takes a minute to load. I use chrome. your house updates are wonderful Marti. Love the living room ceiling. And your fence is fantastic!!!! I would love that little private space. Makes me rethink my small patio. I do have one extra 10 foot panel I could use for this kind of privacy. Humm going to think on that one, I looked from the highway and you really can not see into my new patio. But the cozy feel would be nice.

So good to see your posting Flowerlady. Many of my projects are put off due to the weather. This is another terrible windy day so I am going to work some more in my studio instead of the yard.


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Oh I loved that! I laughed when the cow and calf stopped to look at you. Do the cattle ever walk through the yards? How or why do they stay in the road?

We used to have a neighbor who had about 45 acres and longhorn cattle on it. The cattle were always getting out and getting into our yard (and all the other neighbor's yards). Kind of unnerving to be out in the backyard and have a cow with 5 foot horns come around the corner of the house.


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Marti there are riders helping them to stay in line. Mostly the cows know where they are going so they just travel along. Cows are weird if one turns off others will quickly follow. This is why I told the cow to move on. They know the words. As far as our yard we are all gravel along the front so no real temptation for them to come this way. Before I put my head board fence up they used to try to get in there. I would go out there to be a human fence. It does not take much to turn them back. That one cow turned towards me because she saw me on the front porch. LOL Probably thought I was bringing her food.

The herd traveled by for over half an hour. LOL this morning Joe commented they maybe should have waited until after today to run the cows through the park considering there is a big easter egg hunt this morning. ROFLMAO. I guess this is Easter today right?? Or is it next week?


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Not today. The first full moon after the Vernal Equinox and the first sunday after that, is Easter. So the full moon is April 14, and Easter Sunday, first Sunday after, means April 20. Next Sunday.

And Nancy, you are the memory keeper. Plus, you are the cheerleader urging us onward. Thank you for that.

I wasn't staying away so much because I made no progress. I just got aggravated at myself for NOT getting anywhere. It is hard sometimes to stay focused. Heaven knows, it is harder every year it seems.

Loved the cow video. The way that cow stopped and looked at Chris, seemed she was saying, "You talking to me?" They were sure a vocal bunch of ladies. I love cows. I was wondering who would clean up the cow patties from the road, did not realize they were going to have a stop at the park where the Easter egg hunt happens. That is really a potential calamity with all the new shoes and outfits.
Oh boy.....


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And then there was Florida.......the one who built a house and barn in the Carolinas, lost track of him.


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ML that Florida one is Jay. He is now MushCreek. He is still building and there is a current thread with his pictures. Great house. so fun to see all his planning come to life and the talent he has to be able to build this house all by himself.

I did google to see about Easter and it is next week. As far as the cow pies we pray for rain and a good down pour. LOL Mostly the car and truck tires have removed most of the mess.


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LOL ML. I thought the cow was looking at Chris as if to say, "hey look, the paparazzi is out here" but she probably was looking for something to eat.


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Thanks, Chris, for Jay's new ID on GardenWeb. I'll look for his updates. I have some major catching up to do, what with the nice set of photos from Marti too. The patio is just what I thought your house needed, Marti, and that fence gives the sense of enclosure you need. You have a LARGE PROPERTY!
I guess you decided to stay put? Changing the house color and looks like a nice flower bed along the driveway helps anchor the house to the ground. I must read further, but it looks charming.


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Thank you ML. We haven't decided what to do yet. We would like to be in town so it's easier to check on mil every day, but so far we haven't found a place we would like to buy, and renting would be a bit of a problem with our need for a shop. So we're finishing the house and looking.


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Lorraine, you remind me of mama goose many times. Both of you have that can do spirit and have done so much after losing your husbands. I saw a post from mama goose somewhere recently, but can't remember which forum.


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I'm so not a go-getter/doer these days. I'm more likely to put 'change light bulb' on a list for Jed...ok, IF it's above my head and I'd need to get on the step stool to do it. I figure it'd hurt a lot more if I fell off that stool than if I just walked in the dark... I move on to other lights - the other hall, stove fan light etc...

liked seeing 'your' cows shades! couldn't hear them tho. my computer tells me my speakers are unplugged. They aren't. I checked. even tried different speakers..
today it is telling me it doesnt want to type out all of the keys my fingers push on. it will decide which to actually show up in the text box... wonderful.

I also iss I die and mg. not crrctin his line of typng . hope yu can read it.


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Chris, do I have to belong to Flicker to see the video?? All I got was an ad.......T in Iowa


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Lov, I'll give you the link again, it is still there on Flickr. And No, you don't need to be a member, although I am too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shades cattle drive video


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All I get is a scrolling add page inviting me to sign in or join.


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Nope. That didn't work either.

Here is a link that might be useful: this is what I get


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That is odd . Adam is my Nephew.

My guess would be to try to dump your cookies and try again. It is not that big of a deal if you miss it. Just fun to think we live in the city on the official stock drive road.


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I got it from the link you sent privately. I wish we had range cattle here. Everything is confinement. EVERYTHING! (except my chickens)


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Glad it worked for you. now if they would just contain the skunks. GGGRRRRR on the front porch the other night.


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I've got one in the machine shed. I've taken a shot at it twice. Missed twice. I haven't fired that shot gun for a couple of years so now I can't remember if it shoots high or low. I'm thinking high. So anyway, as soon as it warms up more I'm going to do some target practice. I lock the cat food up at night just in case it thinks I'm supplying a free lunch. Skunks, raccoons, possums, oh, my! There is wilderness very near me. They should go there and live.


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Is that one of the "porch kitties"?


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That is a SMELL CAT!!! = Skunk. Not invited. I also put the cat food up at night. I do not want to invite these guys.


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I grew up in the country for the middle 10 years of my youth and grew to like the smell of not too fresh skunk, at a distance. It is a bit lemony.

We don't get them here in this suburb, but do get an occasional possum. After getting in a few battles with them with the dogs, learned not to fear the hissing and the teeth. Wikipedia taught me how beneficial they are and I would rather have them, now, than mice.

Have fun hunting, lov! I assume you don't try to shoot it too close to your shed? It is so cold and rainy here that sitting in wait for a critter sounds miserable!

Chris, I had a medium sized dog in Baton Rouge who lived in a city yard. She chased squirrels to the trees in our big shady city lot. Then I was divorced and moved back to Michigan and rented a farmhouse on a rural highway next to a dirt road. She and I would go for walks on that road, do a 4 mile country "block." She was a hoot, chasing the rabbits in the ditch then running to the nearest tree and looking up to see where they went! I kept her on a 20 ft leash just because I did not have total recall and because I did not want any disaster situations to develop. I was very happy for that resolve the day we started out on our walk and saw a momma cat crossing the road up ahead of us. Jessie was going NUTS. Then we saw all the little babies behind her, tails all held straight up in the air, crossing the road behind her. Each little black "kitty"with its white stripe!


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LOL Nancy we have had that here too. A mama and two babies last year.

Our male dog has several barks. People bark, kitty bark, some one drove up bark and now he has decided he does not like the doves landing in our back yard he can not get to. Nutty little guy.

So glad you had that leash.


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Well I finally finished my little patio except for a little painting on things. I swear the days I get time to paint the weather is not cooperating. I just hung the two windows on the kennel. The back ground is filled in but does not show until you click on close up at link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Close UP of flower windows


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Chris, I love your windows! I have some window-hanging stained and textured glass decorations made from depression glass plates. A local stained glass lady used to make them. (Last I knew, she was selling her supplies and tools.) I use them to help hide the view into my bathroom.

The patio and the cattery are looking very nice.

I got to bottle-feed a 3 week old kitten today. My plumber rescued her from the remains of a coyote or dog bloodbath, all of the rest of her family is dead. She is a pretty gray girl with an "M" starting to show on her forehead. I picked up the food and bottles for him when I found how late he was working (he called to say he would be back with a part at 7:00 pm!)

I had a plumber in because the basement flooded. Something blocked my sump and it shorted out. We have had a lot of rain here, and we had 9" high in the center of the basement. By the time it is over I will have spent a week on this problem! Tomorrow I hope to get to plant my flowers and a few veggies in the back yard! I'll take pictures.


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OH So sorry about the basement flooding problems. YUCK. Seems there is always some thing to give us grief.

The little kitten sounds cute. so the plumber is going to raise and keep it? It took me such a long time to get Abby off the bottle. She just refused to eat real food. Now she is all grown up.


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Love all the updates and photos, and a cow video to boot!

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your stories and pictures. It has been most enjoyable!


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I have good news to share. We have a contract to sell the house we moved out of in 2005!

My Father-in-law came to live with us the morning his wife died. We loved having him and he was a joy to be with, but we needed a second bathroom with an 86 year-old around. Plus he was fiercely independent and insisted on doing his own laundry, so a first floor laundry also became more important. So we decided to look for a new place, then bought one in three week's time. We ended up moving Thanksgiving Weekend 2005, then paid old neighbors and friends to do various jobs to get the old house ready to sell. I put it up for sale March 1 2006 by owner. I had no luck, so we had a realtor take over by May or June. It was another 15 months before we had a contract to sell the house, and it was a rent-to-own situation with a nurse I knew at work. She had gone through a bankruptcy caused by a husband's drug use and loss of his business. She needed a two-year rent-to-own contract. Since we were in the middle of the housing crash, prices continued to fall, and she ended up walking away from her deposit on our house and buying another house in the neighborhood for far less. We then put a young couple in our house. The girl had been a caregiver for DF-inL when he lost his eyesight and then had cancer treatments and became bedbound and weak following radiation treatment. She had moved back to Florida and Dad was not doing well with her replacement. When we heard that she had no luck with employment there and had been robbed, as well, I offered to bring her back and gave her a low rent if she would return to care for dad. She did and made his last few months happy ones. After he died, things became rough for her employment and for her husband. They could not pay rent and barely could pay their water bills, then the husband was injured on the job. So they stayed in our house for four years total, paying rent for about one of those years. We wanted people we could trust in the house, because we did not want to be landlords and were going to sell as soon as we could manage to do so.

This spring, we were able to work out a deal with our Credit Union to end the Home Equity Line of Credit (second mortgage) on the house because we had paid it down from about $42,000 to $23,000. They simply refinanced DH's car to get some of the money we needed to pay it off and gave us a signature loan to take care of the rest of it. This made it possible to put the house up for sale! But first, I had to get the caregiver and her husband out of it. That took a couple of months to accomplish, and I still have to arrange to get some of their furniture to a friend's house.

Then I had to get a handyman to fix up a few things that needed to be done to make it look nicer. We finally got it into the Multiple Listing Service on July 1. It was shown once on the 1st, three times on the third, and once on the 5th. The guy who saw it on the 5th made an offer. We were asking $109,900. He offered $105,000 with $3000 cash back at closing. So we are selling it for $102,000. We printed the contract, signed it, and sent it back, so if the inspections go well, if the mortgage goes well, our house is sold!


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Nancy, I am so pleased for you. What a drain on your emotions and resources it has been all these years. Congratulations, and hope for the contract to be finalized soon.

Meanwhile, our river property where the house was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina still is not sold. We took it off the market for a couple of months to let the listing reset as new. Business in Mobile is picking up, and Airbus is getting a lot of people employed so home sales may pick up. This is compounded by the problem of no insurance south of I-10 except self insured through the state. Quite a deterrent to building a home on the water.

And our renovation is on hold waiting for word from the contractor and architect. I don't know what the hold up is, I am not happy about it. We are not getting any younger and I am tired of the whole process. I might decide to take the money and run.....to travel all over while we still can, if they won't do the house. But of course, that is a low priority I'd rather have my dream come true of building with an architect's help.

After midnight? you gotta be kidding. I must go to bed. Working with mulch and pine bark tomorrow, and moving water sprinklers all over the yard, it is so dry here.


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nancy - so happy for you that the other house has sold! hope it all goes thru and is final.

ml - been wondering about your reno/kit etc. hope that gets under way soon for you. and us - lol!

so little to report from here. got my clothesline up. no washer tho. washing things in a bin out back. wish I had one of those old wringer things (old time washers). that'd help a lot! things are heavy with all the water in 'em.
still haven't gotten my pics from camera to computer. need to work on that little (ha!) project soon.


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Adding a stroll down in the lower yard. Happy Hollyhocks growing along the dogs yard fence.

Not much else going on. I am struggling to keep up in the heat having to work late into the night to try to keep the yard up the best I can. Hands are a mess. Typing with three fingers. The rest are split and sore from psoriasis.

Hope you are all staying cool.

C

Here is a link that might be useful: Strolling the lower yard.


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My hollyhocks are the prettiest they've been for a couple of years. It's been WET here and cool. Garden is growing but not setting fruit. Too cold, I think. I'm not complaining. After paying to heat last winter and paying to stay cool last summer it's a welcome relief not to be thinking about the light bill all the time. I could use my hands for 80 grit sandpaper.

I'm at war with wildlife. Had a mamma skunk and 7 babies that had to be removed from the machine shed. Now I have ground squirrels digging tunnels all over the yard and pasture. I don't have any hope of getting them to move on. I did shoot one last week but I felt so bad about it, I haven't shot any more.

Here is a link that might be useful: ground squirrel


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Well I do have something new to add.

We cut down a 25-30 foot tall old rotten pine stump in the back yard. I had saved it to let woodpeckers build nests in it, and vines to climb it. All that happened, and then it rotted. So I have these 2 foot tall about 36 inch diameter sections moved around in my garden as plant stands and bird bath stands. I really like using natural things that way.

Being moved into position. About 8 of them total. maybe more. I forget.
Stump parts being used.

and now recently
Tree rounds become plant stands.


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We have been hot hot hot. We are putting the new air conditioner to the test. It is a heat pump type and also heater. Our electric bill is lower than it has ever been. Seems to use about as much electricity as a fan. Just looked and we have been running the air conditioner for about 16 hours a day and our electric bill so far for the month is $24.54. Estimated to be about $65.00 for the month. This unit cost a lot but I believe it is going to pay for itself in a couple of years.

I have been having to water almost daily. I rarely get caught up. by the time I get around the yard I have it drying up where I started.

Sorry about your hands. I grease mine up and wear gloves ,sometimes two layers when I am out in the yard. Still they are bad. Stress.

I agree this is the best year for them. Anyone need seed I have about a 5 gallon bucket full of them. Colors are mixed.


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OH ML They look wonderful!!! LOL We were posting at the same time. so I did not comment on your post earlier.

Your yard is so gorgeous. I do have one Hosta getting ready to bloom. I will try for a picture.

Time for me to get outside and start in on my evening chores. I just can not work in this heat. Still 97 but the sun has almost gone down behind the hill. It is slightly overcast.


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Wow Chris, those holiyhocks are spectacular! I had one self seed from somewhere at my old house once, but otherwise have no experience with them. They make a wonderful border. How long do yours bloom? Are those the seeds you are willing to share? I'd love to try some.

I was watering my little patio garden this morning and took some photos, thinking I would post them here for you Smaller Homers to share. How appropriate, as it is Garden Day here! We have had a nice summer, not too hot yet. I think we have had one 90-ish day. Early next week we are going down to the 60s again due to a typhoon in Japan, I hear. I hope you get that cool wave, too, Chris. We still are getting rainy days, too, so grass is green and the plants are happy. I have tried to hire help for my in-ground front garden but they kept having crises and canceling. I may try another person soon, once I get a couple of other things done and can turn my attention there. I want to expand the bed because my evergreen is expanding and overflowing the bed and I want to un-crowd what is there. I tend to pile everything on top of each other and with a majorly red Japanese Maple anchoring one end, it should probably look more sparse and less all-mushed-together. I envy those gardeners who know when to stop!

ML, your garden is so peaceful and welcoming. I like the addition of the logs giving more height in different places. Yours hostas look very happy. Do you use mulch between plants, or do you just weed a lot?

First, here is what I picked this morning. When you go to the link below, there are lots of pictures with captions if you keep hitting "next" .

Here is a link that might be useful: Container garden on Patio 7-11-2014


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Sure Nancy I will be happy to share seeds. They are mixed so no idea what colors will turn up for you. Send me your address.

I think if you plant the seeds now they will bloom for you next year. I am going to try this along the side of our house. And I am NOT one of those gardeners that knows when to stop. LOL I plant lots of things them let the plants do their own thing. May the best plants wind. Some times I have to pull some out if they are smothering the favorites.


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Chris, do you think those seed would grow this far south? Could I perhaps try a few of them? I've never had hollyhocks, and I saw them in Ireland for the first time. Gorgeous things. Stately.

I don't know when to stop either. I mean, why should I?
:)

Also, what paint color is the lavender chair? It is same on the metal bedsteads. I was hoping to do the old pirogue boat some color besides hot pink this year. And lavender seems to fit well with green and gold hosta.....Maybe spray the chair too. But a color like YOURS and not real purple.


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Lov, I can see why you can't keep shooting those ground squirrels! They are so cute. Sorry about your skunk tenants. I have some bees living under the chunks of old sidewalk that are used to make the border for the front garden bed at the house I am selling. I thought I should try to remove them so that the new owner does not kill them, but the bee keeper I contacted apparently was not interested in a hive of wild bees that were not swarming. They are very nice bees, I was sitting right in front of their doorway, blocking their entrance and wondered why there were so many bees around, so decided to move. Then I saw where they went and thought how nice it was of them not to give me hell, and for waiting so nicely for me to get the message to move!

Chris, that heat pump is a wonderful investment for the near-retired to consider. Those utility bills sound like heaven for anybody on a fixed income. (I just got my second guvmint check! Luckily, DH is still going strong and even trying a new career.)

Steph, we have great hope that we have a good buyer. The inspection is Monday. I am still trying to get the renters to get their last bit of furniture out before the inspection. As for your wringer, have you got a salad spinner? If not, try asking for this for christmas.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Laundry POD


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Be hap[y to send you seed Barbara. I think they grow everywhere. Just remember they can be invasive. Remember that bank was only dirt a few years ago and now look at it. I will get them in the mail to you Monday.

Just showed Joe your pictures here. He said it was Beautiful. He can appreciate a pretty yard he is just clueless in making one that way.


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Lavender pirogue, ML you made me giggle! Chris, the address is coming as soon as I finish this post.


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Oh! I forgot to mention that Jim, our favorite builder, is coming Wednesday to make me a small platform porch coming out of the sliding glass door of the Family Room. He is using the scrap composite lumber from my front porch from several years ago, when DH's Dad first became blind and disabled. We had Jim install a porch level with the front door and a ramp down to the driveway level (only about a foot) that made it really easy to use a wheelchair for Dad. Jim chose to do it in the middle of winter, under a tent he heated with propane in order to dig the footings. He had to order about 6 more boards to finish my back porch. It will be 6' x 4' with two steps down. I can only do about 4" steps comfortably. It is treacherous to walk out the sliding glass door now for both me and for Lizzy, the Mini Dachshund. I have wanted this porch for years! Jim has been working on a commercial building the past year or so.


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" I am struggling to keep up in the heat having to work late into the night to try to keep the yard up the best I can."

same here shades! until recent yrs I've loved the heat... not now. of course, we're into the 100s now. humidity is up (for us) at around 12-15%.

I have to do outside stuff in the evening - about 6.30 - 7.30 or so. short window there. when the sun goes down behind the mtn to my west it isn't as bad.

I have to be up and moving early to go to the store - or wait til 6.30 or so. In the evening it has to be a quick trip 'cause I don't drive after dark these days. Actually, either time has to be quick. in the a.m. it gets awfully hot by 11 a.m. Yesterday I went out about 9.30 am and got home at 11.11 am - and I was really feeling it that last mile or so. (no a/c in my car)
thankfully, we only have about 3 more months of this!


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