Friday, April 30, 2010

$$$$$

Payday! Please tell me I'm not the only one who runs out and buys plants on payday. Surely, surely, (don't call me Shirley) I am not alone in this madness. I was short on time today so I went to Shoal Creek Nursery. They had those teeny, tiny succulent babies for only $1.99. Ooo, I just love succulents. I am completely smitten by them. I've been eyeing this spot outside my fence line that needed a little something. A little decomposed granite, a little sand, a little soil, a little silver pony foot, a few succulents and, Voila!, cute, cute, cuteness. It's gonna be about 13 seconds before some child steps on it or some dog poops on it, but what the hell. It's the bees knees right now.

Look who's alive!!!!! Oh. mah. gawd. I just cannot believe it, y'all. When I was at SCN today I reeeeeally wanted to buy a Pride of Barbados, but ouchee wah wah...expensive. I had two, and one died in the freeze. Wait, that's giving it away. I had two, but the freeze killed them. But...but, then... I came home and starting placing things in the beds to see what went best where (is there anything in the world more fun than this?) and I found this little sucker alive and kickin'! I am just pleased as punch. I am so, so, so glad I didn't dig this up yet. I had decided to wait until payday so that I would have something new to put there. Yeehawww! I am one proud mama.

Have a good weekend! I'm hoping our chikkin coop will get finished so I can show you. Y'all send good chikken coop building vibes this way, OK?

Making Yart.

Oh, yesterday was one of those perfect days for me. 

The weather was lovely; not too hot, slightly overcast, nice breeze. 

My mother's helper, Monk the Magnificent, was here all day. (Dig that bitchin' name. He's named for Thelonius Monk...how cool is that?) I gotta tell ya...all mama's need a break, but homeschooling mamas really need a break. Monk is the answer to all our prayers. He comes over on Thursdays and plays all day long with FinnigantheCurious. Play, play, play, that's all they do. 

Garden, garden, garden, that's all I do. (Well, sometimes I clean, clean, clean, but I don't really like those days, and I certainly wouldn't bother writing about them!) 

Anyhoo, yesterday I got my art jones on and was a busy bee.


I have The Uglies running along both sides of my house . I have a plan for one side. The other side won't budge in my brain, but I'm working on it. The west side is actually not too bad. It's very shaded and kind of...oh, tropical-ish. I call it Memory Lane because it reminds me of where I'm from (Beaumont). It's all cool and shady and wet over there. 

Mr. Luetkenholter (the original owner) put in some ferns and monkey grass and whatnot. There's a crepe myrtle in there that hasn't been trimmed in 400 years (you can imagine how attractive it is). There's a nandina that I cannot bring myself to rip out because the wrens love, love, love it so. It's their secret hideout, plus it's right by our dining room windows and I love, love, love to watch them flitter and flirt about. 

So, what I'm saying is, this area has some potential. I've always known that I was going to turn it into a bird sanctuary, I just wasn't sure what that meant. I mean, it's already that...I just want to yart it up and put in some new plants, and make it looked loved instead of lonely...which is how it looks now.



Before I go any further...would someone please come over and replace that window trim with the new fancy window trim and paint it brown? 

That damn window has gone on to the "someday" list. 

Where was I? 

Oh, so one of the things that I've been planning for this space is to put in several bird feeders up on some posts. (For some reason we have lots of random posts around here.) 

I had the idee to make little altars out of bird feeders. 

My daddy loved birds and he always had a bird feeder at his apartments. (Such a dear thing he was.) 


I've been thinking this area would be wonderful as a memorial to him as well as a bird haven. 

 Look at this clever little thing I came up with:


Cheapo cedar feeders from Lowe's with a wabi-sabi paint job, some photographs, and some trinkets that belonged to my daddy. 

He loved little trinkets like this and I was always just fascinated with the stuff he had. He had a gazillion little Buddhas, and owls, and Catholic saints, and butterflies, and birds. 

I have them all now, and I am forever trying to find a space for them. 

Isn't this just cuteashell

 It looks hilarious when it's filled with seed. St. Francis' head just barely sticks out like he's enduring death by seed. (He would have liked that, I bet. Wasn't he into that hairshirt business?) 

 I had decided to paint them all a different color, but then I got two of them out there yesterday, and now I think they look kind of garish so I'm going to paint them the same color as the house. 

Maybe.




Here's the long shot from the other side:

I don't know what I'm going to plant in there yet. It barely gets any direct sun at all due to the overgrown trees right outside the fence...what the hell are they called?...oh, Arizona Ash. I love them. I know everybody else hates them. I love them. Those things were on death's door during the drought last summer. I mean, I was absolutely, positively sure they were going to simply fall over in the street. Now, after some good rain, they are just as lush and pretty as a peach again. 

Anyway, I'll figure it out and let you know when I get it done. 

 Can you see that precious little bird bath on the right? 

Miss Eleanor of Garden of E gave me that. I didn't even know her then. She put it up for grabs on our neighborhood garden club list serve and I got to snag it. 

 It is just the most adorable thing you've ever seen with a tiny fountain and a soft light for evening time. 

Thank you, Miss E. The wrens love it too.

And, last, but so not least, I finally got around to putting my first silhouette on the house. 

I. Love. Silhouettes. I have every intention of putting them all over the house.  


The mermaid was my first one, but she's now covered up by the BD fence, poor thing. 

Not to be deterred, I've been busy designing more! 

 Do stop and peek when you walk by as they will be showing up here and there. 

 Here's the one I just semi-finished (he still needs a touch-up, but you know how that goes...):


Could you faint? 

Could you just die

Up, up, and awayyyyyy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RIP


video

Good thing I got a video of Naranja as he (she?) is now dead. Clementine is doing fine as is Quesadilla. Not sure what happened to this one. We thought it was pregnant as it was kind of swollen and lethargic from the get-go. I was excited to think that we might have a bounty of goldfish. Alas, tis not true. Say a little goldfish prayer for him/her, would ya? Wish I already had me chikkins so they could have a little fishy tidbit. Course, I'm sure it won't be the last dead fishy we get.
And so it goes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rub a dub.

Grrrr...Blogger. I've been trying to post a video of our new goldfish for a week and it still won't post. Grrrr. I'm giving up and moving on. SO...
We got a new toy on Sunday...la la la. Something we should have gotten a long time ago. Well, actually, we were going to get it, but we decided instead to get this:

Big ass stock tank. The stock tank that was going to be a hot tub. That tank has been sitting in our yard for a couple of years and all we've managed to do is fill it up in the summer with cold water and then sit there freezing our asses off. The metal really, really holds the temperature of the water. Did I mention that I hate cold water? I hate cold water. I swam in Barton Springs once. I know, sacrilege. Whatever, I hate cold water. Jackdaddy was going to put in a tankless water heater, and we were gonna build a stone tower thing for the water to cascade out of, and we were gonna, and we were gonna, and we were gonna. So on Sunday we went and bought this!



We've had a hot bath in it almost every night since. The long, gloriously deep claw foot tub is truly the answer to the outdoor hot bath dream. There is just nothing like an outdoor bath or shower...truly. We still have to do a lot of fixing up of the area and the faucet stuff and all that jazz, but it is very functional as is. I'm working hard to keep Jackdaddy from too crazy with the refurbishing. I like it just the way it is...kinda rusty, kinda beat up, very wabi-sabi. Oooo I just love it! I felt sorry for the stock tank, but he went to a good home at my friend Stacy's house. She's going to turn him into a lovely planter for her hell strip. And for a total non sequitur...



LOOK HOW MANY PEACHES I HAVE THIS YEAR!!!! Oh. mah. gawd!!!! It was the freeze that did it. When we first bought this house I remember researching peach trees and reading that they did best when there was a hard freeze in the winter. Girl, this tree is absolutely groaning with the weight of all the peaches. I'm serious! We're having to prop branches up with big sticks and the peaches are still falling off. There are hundreds...literally! You talk about Suzy Homemaker...I'm gonna can peaches and make peach ice cream and peach cobbler and peach jelly and peach something or another. I went from two peaches last year to the mother load. Watch out Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker!




Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tick Tock, Bock, Bock.

The time for chikkins is drawing near. Jackdaddy, in true Jackdaddy fashion, constructed "this old thing" in a day. I ask for a plain ole' chikkin coop, and I get a Jackdaddy special. Course, by this time, I know that no matter what I ask for, if he's doing it, it will be some awesome creation. And, as if it wasn't lovely enough of him to build me a coop, he brought home some side-of-the-road finds! Be still my beating heart! There is no better man in the world to me than a man who picks up stuff from the side of the road. Look what he got for the coop:

I'm guessing this is part of an old highway sign regarding mileage or direction between Dallas and Austin. Ain't that coolio? We were sitting around having a post-chikkin coop building beer and talking about what to name the coop. The more beers you drink, the funnier the coop name ideas get. We had such a fun time with plays on words. I liked Coop de Grace. This would be even "funnier" if we planned on eating the chikkins, which we don't. Coop d'etat is pretty funny too considering that the chikkins will probably take over our lives and establish dominance like all the other supposedly dependent creatures around here. Then there was Coop Deville. The highway sign seems to support that idea, but I fear there are probably 687,998,980 Coop Devilles in the chikkin world already. Maybe here in Austin alone. As the coop started coming together, I just sort of lost interest in the funny name idea anyway. I'm just so enamored of that Dal-Aus sign that I might just put it up there and leave it at that. (Fat chance of that, says Jackdaddy. He knows I can' t leave a good thing alone when it comes to decorating.)


Another great score from the same roadside pile. These slat thingees will make a great roosting shelf. I'm told the roosting area needs ventilation so, these should be perfecto. Good, good man.


Lookie there now! Isn't that looking just sooo fabulous? So convenient to have that super duper Jackdaddy fence back there that he could work from. Saved mucho time and hole digging. Hole digging is to Jack what weeding is to me. Ugh.


Tin roof going on. La tee dah. We're putting a green roof on top of this. I'm really excited about the green roof. I'd LOVE to have one on our house someday. I just love the idea of reducing our impervious cover footprint, so to speak. Plus, they're just so cool. I might do grass or maybe sedums, not sure yet. That's gonna be fun trying to figure it all out. Here's some more information on green roofs if you're interested:
http://www.wildflower.org/greenroof/

I'll keep you posted on our progress. Then comes the fun part - getting the chikkins. FinnigantheCurious says he's naming his chikkin Bob. He has been completely obsessed with watching YouTube videos of Mike the headless chicken. I thought for sure he was going to name his Mike. Somehow he came up with Bob instead. Go figure. He said he doesn't care if it's a lady chikkin or not. He claims he's just going to pretend like it's a boy. That strikes me as funny. Funnier than a headless chicken anyway.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

All Qs and no As.

I'm sure you're not surprised to learn that I have a plant in my yard that I have no idea what it is. And if that's not silly enough for you, get this, I was the one who bought and planted it! Hoohaw...some gardener I am. Every now and then when I am with Jackdaddy at one of the BBS, I find myself being sucked into the garden area (I'll do anything to avoid being in the lumber area for more than 13 seconds). Now, I am not totally opposed to shopping for plants there, but I try not to go too overboard. This funky guy was in the miscellaneous cacti
area, and I just felt like he needed a home. Y'all have any idea what it is?
I hope he's one of those things that has a "trunk" with a big shock of Mohawk hair on top. You think he might be one?


When we bought this house, there was an old rose garden right in the middle of the backyard. I suppose it was a good spot originally, but you know how stuff grows. What was probably a brand new Catalpa tree then, is now about 50 feet tall (and ragged as hell), and the roses were suffering from way too much shade. Now, I hate to admit it, but I am not really a rose girl. (If you are a rose fan, you might wanna cover your ears for the next bit of news.) Being that I was a brand new gardener (unlike now, har, har) I just dug them all up, dug some new holes, and stuck them in there. I even left them sitting around for a few days while I got around to digging the new holes. Lordy, Lordy. No good soil, no compost, no mulch, no food, no nothing - just stuck 'em in there. And guess what? They grow so fast I have to chop them down to the nubs every Valentine's Day or they'll just take over the beds. I swear! They did great. I've grown to like them very much for this reason, among others. Pretty on the outside and tough on the inside - my kinda gals. I've decided I'd like to know what kind they are. Anybody know what this one is? Sweet and small and soooo fragrant.


Now, I do suppose it's time to give up on plants that are not showing signs of recovery from the freeze, right? My dilemma is this - I have so many weeds coming up that I'm not sure if the plants are coming back or if there are just weeds in the area. Like this...do you think this is my Esperanza (Yellow Bell) coming back or just a weed? The stalks are all dead, but when I dig down and make a little scratch, it looks like there is green down there. AK, what to do? Kill and regret or be patient? I must admit I am leaning towards homicide rather than patience. I hate to wait. Poop on patience, I say.


I found this poor thing on the side of the road. Another woman, in a cute Subaru with cool bumper stickers, checked him out first and decided to pass. (Cuter and smarter, I presume.) I pulled in right behind her and scooped him up. He was (and should be) an indoor plant and all his roots were just coagulated into one big ball. I put him right next to the outdoor shower in a spot that gets good, filtered sun, and I bet he'll do OK.
I feel the slippery slope under my feet getting more and more slippery. The one that starts with, "No plants that need covering in the winter shall live in my yard." Then I got that damn Fairy Duster that I just could not say no to, and now this guy. I said pretty much the same damn thing about pets and now we've got a new kitty and chikkins on the way. I'm a pushover. (As if you didn't know that already.) Uh, anyway, what was I saying? Oh, do you think this is a Cane Yucca? I like him. I hope he makes it. Course, as always, no sweat if he doesn't. That's the way it goes at the wabi-sabi house.

The chikkin coop is going up! Hoohaw...can't wait to show you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The aftermath.


Hiding and finding eggs at night (all night!) inside is just as much fun, if not more, than hiding and finding eggs outside. Who knew? I predict there will be more hiding and finding of eggs tomorrow.
Happy spring.
Happy Easter.
Happy everything!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Like butta.

We made butter! Made it...us! Isn't it beautiful? We took a field trip out to Pioneer Farms and the ladies told me how. It's soooo hard, you should probably not try it, but I'll tell you anyway just for kicks. Get some cream, pour it in a glass jar, put the lid on, shakeshakeshake. That's it! I just think that is so crazy, man. Shake the cream, make the butter. Creamy, sweet yellow butter. The word that comes to mind is - slather. Well, that and cellulite, but who wants to think of that? Not I, and hopefully not you either.