Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So Much to Do

There is so much that needs to be done here that it is mind boggling. Of course it doesn’t take a whole lot to get me boggled. Oh well.

My co-workers and I had to work through the holiday weekend due to orders needing to ship before the end of this month. So, I am in the process of deciding whether to take one or two days off at the end of this week to get caught up in the house and garden. I think two days off plus the weekend will give me a start on taming things down.

May has been wet here. As a result of all the rain everything has gone wild with growing. The grass is almost tall enough to be cut for hay, all the shrubs need pruned and the weeds are on a rampage of growth such as I’ve never seen.

The tomato seeds I started in pots need transplanted. The other seeds are still in their packets, wondering where is the gardener that promised them a chance the grow.

Better late than never I guess. They will be planted this weekend.

Wish me luck – I’m going to need it.

Be Blessed.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


We survived the tearing out of the kitchen and dining room floor (down to the floor joists) and remodeling of the kitchen with only a few extra gray hairs and less stress than I had thought. It was stressful though and is something I hope and pray never to undertake again.


The water damage was bad, Really bad. We even had mold growing on the sheetrock near the floor. So, that had to be torn out too.

We hauled off 2880 pounds of rubble to the landfill.


Then my son (I love you, son) laid a ceramic floor, installed new cabinets and finished it all off with a ceramic tile counter top and backsplash. The open design gave us much more room and greatly increased my husband’s ability to move around and access the kitchen when I’m away.



I love everything about it. I’ve lived here and dealt with the tiny galley kitchen for 22 years. (My son who did the work was only 11 years old when we moved in.) An open floor plan kitchen was always a dream. If not for the water leak it would still be only a dream.

My son turned a disaster into a dream come true for me and his step-dad. We are enjoying each and every day in the new kitchen.

Monday, May 7, 2012


I’m beginning to think that if I make it through 2012 sane I will have accomplished a miracle.

It began with a car breakdown. It continued with the demise of my dryer. The last element of surprise was a water leak under the dishwasher that went undetected for weeks.

Throw a few terminally ill cats into the mix. Oh, and don’t forget increased demands for additional work hours from my employer.

Drip, Drip, Drip

The water leak ended up doing severe damage to my kitchen and dining room floors. I have them tentatively scheduled for repair late this week. The upside to this disaster is that we are going to go ahead and remodel the kitchen/dining room.

I’ve dreamed of doing this remodel for years. I just kept putting it off till later. The elimination of a very small galley kitchen into a more spacious open design will be a blessing to my husband who has difficulty maneuvering his wheelchair in the current small space. The additional storage will cut down on clutter and make preparing meals much easier for me.

It’s the disruption I dread. This is no small undertaking. It will be the biggest adventure yet at Shady Hollow.

Oh, my contractor? Why, its my youngest son. He is a brick/rock mason and does other construction as well, so we know we are in good hands. I’ll have a good showpiece of his masonry skills in the ceramic tile floor and countertop he is going to install for me.

I thank God I have a son who is able and willing to help us out. It’s a true blessing.

Maybe, just maybe I will stay sane this year.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Woodpecker Luncheon

Crumbs from left over biscuits…. pennies.

Placing crumbs on deck railing….. zero.

Watching the woodpecker luncheon…. priceless.






Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blackberry Winter

Blackberry Winter is the last cold spell of the season. It arrives when the blackberry vines are in bloom, hence the name. (Dogwood Winter is a bit earlier, while the native dogwoods bloom.)

Tonight a strong north wind is blowing and a bit higher up on the mountain a light dusting of snow is expected. The blackberry vines are in full bloom. Tomorrow night the tender plants will need protection and the houseplants will need brought back inside.

Further north a huge winter storm is beating down on the northeastern states. I feel for those folks. I’m glad I don’t live that far north.

My order of seeds from Parks Seed Company: Black-eyed Susan Vines and hibiscus in various colors, Cherokee Purple Tomato, okra, and various peppers arrived yesterday.  After this cold spell I’ll be playing in the dirt with a passion.

This afternoon I took some pictures of what’s blooming now:


The clematis is beautiful. It was moved to this location about 4 years ago and has finally regained its former glory. My new “baby” clematis is still getting used to its location, but has blessed us with some blooms.


My iris are blooming, even the white one (she went on strike last year).


The Weigelia I rooted about 7 years ago is blooming. A pretty pink, but someday I want a red one.


Hopefully nothing will be nipped too badly over the next few nights. I’ll let you know if it does.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Last Saturday I began cleaning up the yard and checking out my flower pot stash. Two contractor size trash bags later the front yard was neat and clean. A little later the pots ready for occupancy.

Sunday was spent preparing and filing taxes. I’m sure the Infernal Revenue Service was glad to get our hard earned cash. After all, those GSA agents have another conference to attend and need the money.

There’s a lot more work to do in the gardens this year. They are neglected and overgrown. Even in a slightly out of control state, however, they are blooming and beautiful.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Time Keeps On Passing. . .

This little blog has been in existence for three years. Can you imagine!?

Oh, I know I have been a slacker over the past year, but I did post some articles. Nothing major mind you, but I posted something.

So, Happy Birthday, little blog. Congratulations to me for not totally giving up.

Right now, its getting late and I have to take my car to the shop in the morning. That will surely be worthy of a post. What my frame of mind will be when I write it is unknown at the moment.

Wish me luck…. on the blog…. and the car.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Short Thoughts on Leap Day

February 29th was my Grandmother Cantrell’s birthday. She crossed the Veil many years ago as an old lady.

I can remember well her tales of how many years old she was (by counting her birthdays) which seemed weird to my child-self then, considering her advanced age.

I always think of her when her birthday rolls around. She is still younger than me now… as she was then…if you count birthdays.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hot Wheels Grandpa

My husband’s new wheelchair arrived today. It was delivered just before I headed off to work which let him give it a good checking out while I was away.

This chair has spoke wheels and pneumatic tires which enable hubby to be a speed demon while enjoying a smooth-as-silk ride inside the house and out. Its lighter in weight than his original chair which will make loading and unloading easier on me. By the way, you can get a full sized wheelchair into the truck of a P. T. Crusier.

Since getting this new chair is the equivalent to getting a new car for my hubby, he spent the time between my arrival home from work until bedtime expounding all the features and improvements over the old chair.  (It has lots of chrome, too.) This chair can also be accessorized with such goodies as cup holders, attachable trays for working on crafts or to hold a laptop, and other real cool things for an aging amputee.

We both think its pretty cool.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hurray for Mild Winters

This mild winter has been fantastic. If this is “global warming” I say bring it on. I could really start liking it.

This time last year we had snow on the ground and cold temperatures. So far this year we’ve only had one dusting of snow. The daffodils are up, crocuses and flowering quince are in bloom, and signs of life renewing abound. My biggest worry is that we might get a late winter smack-down and kill everything that has so eagerly gotten a jump on Spring.

I spent yesterday afternoon scrubbing the deck in an attempt to dislodge the green mold that had flourished there for the past few months. The deck faces north and lack of sun, damp conditions, and warm weather all contributed to the icky green mold. When damp it would become extremely slick and I feared a fall.

By nightfall we were receiving a steady rain which finished rinsing the deck. Maybe all the chlorine bleach in my cleaning water will discourage regrowth for awhile.

I’m planning my garden for this year. I can’t wait to get back to digging in the dirt. Maybe I will be able to lose a few pounds once I get back to gardening and the endless trips up and down our hillside. (One can hope anyway.)