Monday, February 11, 2008

Lovely Weekend

This weekend was great! The weather was phoenominal and what I'd been longing for. I had a lovely afternoon with some friends on Saturday and I spent plenty of time playing video games and enjoying the weather. I did manage to get the dining room rug shampooed on Friday afternoon, and got the dining room set up that evening. We are lacking in chairs still, which I think I'll shop for after payday. We also have to install a new light fixture - yet to be purchased. And the entry way requires some touch ups and the door painted. But other then that I can say Finite ~ at least in regards to the living/dining areas. (I won't mention my dirty little secret, which is the mantle, which needs painting but I don't plan on doing it *any* time soon so shhhh don't tell).

Please don't mind my scummy old rugs and my white trash slipcovers. :D Those will do for now. It's quite comfortable in there, which is exactly our style. And I'm in love with the stained glass. There's DH...busy making plans to ride his motorcycle. Fun Fun. I suggested that since we at long last had a dining room table, that we should make use of it to do a puzzle. He loved the idea of course and went and bought a thousand piece puzzle Saturday night. We sat down and got started and then I remembered - "oh yeah, I hate puzzles". I simply don't have the patience for them. I gave up quickly and haven't returned to it. He, on the other hand, has the darned thing like a third complete. Heh.

The lovely weather didn't allow for painting (which is why the entry way still has stuff left to do). Instead it beckoned me outside for some yard work. I've thought extensively about the layout of the backyard, to the point of drawing a to-scale map of what I want. I was careful to consider DH's tastes. He likes clean, straight edges, gravel - very very tidy. I prefer a cottage garden ambience. So I tried to design something that would appeal to both our senses and I think the plan is good. When I actually got him out there and was drawing things out in the dirt he got a notion of the plan and seemed excited and pleased.

Part of the plan involves straightening the edge of the bed that runs along the back of the yard. It's quite crooked, too wide and is of varying materials. We calculated that it needs to be about 3' out from the posts of the fence to allow a nice large bed and to allow the raised beds that we want to put in the middle to be more spacious. Before yesterday- the bed size ranged from 4-6 feet depending on where you were in the yard. The below picture kind of can see the wavy line on the left is the metal edging, and the line on the right is where I've marked the location for the new edging. I do plan on using circles poking out in a couple spots so as not to disturb the roots of the lilac trees (which are budding!)

This effort will make the border nice and even all the way down. Half the back and all of the front is edged with what I call "granny brick". It's that brick stuff that has a scalloped top edge. Well DH doesn't like it and wants it gone gone gone from the front yard, to which I agree. However, I don't dislike it the way he does. I find it old fashioned but servicable and I figure we can recycle the bits in the back yard and most of what is in the front yard and use it as the border back there. It will save a good deal of expense, not to mention waste of some perfectly good materials. About half the back already has it, though it does need to be moved back a foot to allow for the new dimensions - which I set to doing yesterday. Tough work, though the timing was perfect and the soil was neither too damp nor too dry.

I'm glad to say the soil seems very rich, if a bit clay-ish in spots. I did a little planting in the bed by the patio as well. I've been kicking myself for not planting spring bulbs over the winter so I cheated and bought some tulip sprouts at Target and planted them so that they'll poke up through the Nasturtium that already stood. (Granny loved Nasturtium btw - the whole yard is crawling with it. I pulled out quite a bit but left quite a bit as well. I'm rather partial to it) I also planted some dormant mums which will flower in the fall, a large iris-ish plant (i forget the proper name of this shrub, but it's flowers remind me of irises and it's terribly hardy), and sprinkled a good many butterflygarden seeds which I bought in Ireland. I'll probably add a few other things eventually to this bed, but it's a good start. I'd like it to be evergreen and having something that flowers during every season. I also indulged in some daisies for pots. I *love* daisies!

That's pretty much my weekend. This is a rather long post, but I think Monday's are good long posting days. I actually have a couple of other things to note. I finished Sophie's blanket other then pulling in the ends and doing a quick border. I even went and bought (*groan*) yarn for my next project. Yeah yeah. I know.

I also read quite a bit. I'm reading Children of Hurin, which is a posthumous publication by Tolkien - edited by his son. Reviews when it came out last year cited it as "readable", which if you've read Tolkien's non-LOTR works you'll know what that means. I didn't find it as readable as I'd have liked to begin with. The story is set 6500 years before the tales of Frodo and Bilbo and the language is OLD - more akin to the Silmarilion then the LOTR for sure. And the names of peoples and places all ran together. I stuck with it though, and after a few chapters I started getting used to the cadence and stylings of the old speech and now I do, in fact, find it very readable. The main character is complicated, easy to both like and hate - and boy does he have a rough time of it! I'm about half done. But so far I would recommend it, if you have the patience to settle into it.

I've lingered long enough. I may get stuck with Jury Duty (I find out Wednesday or Thursday) so I should get extra caught up at work just in case. Keep your fingers crossed for dismissal!


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