Friday, May 13, 2011

Lawn Maintenance

You know, I look out at my lawn and I think of all the things I would love to do. In my mind I can see the rose bushes, full of lush flowers. I mentally walk past the the beds with huge hydrangeas and sweet smelling lilacs...

And as long as I don't open my eyes I am good.

If I was making lots of money then I would hire a lawn care service. I wouldn't bat an eye. There was a time in my life that I would have thought that was cheating, that I should take care of my lawn and my cleaning duties myself but that was when I was an energetic and know-it-all 30 year old.
Nope, given half a chance I would fill my yard with large muscled, sweaty men whose sole life's purpose was to make my yard look the way I want it to. I'd have picket fences and shady trees, glorious rose bushes and beds of all kinds of annual flowers.

And I would sit on the veranda (I have one of those but currently it is full of tools, barn boots, a couple of scooters, and a grill) and sip lemonade.

I wrote an article entitled, Should I Hire a Lawn Care Service?  to try to help people get an idea if that was something that they wanted or needed. While I was researching it I learned something.

I learned that I want to hire someone to do my lawn maintenance.

image: SXC

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time Warps and Flowering Shrubs

How did we get from April to May?

We have had some odd weather this spring and I have not gotten my garden in. This may seem like the two statements are related but they are not at all. Nope. I have been working and I have a hard time transitioning from one thing to another. This means that no matter how hard I try I can't seem to get out to the garden.

My roses are blooming beautifully. Flowering shrubs are favorites of mine because they really are usually pretty easy care once they are established. Many of them are difficult to grow in my area so I pretty much stick with roses.
However, despite the fact that I adore roses you can't eat them all the time. Sure, a few petals in a salad are great and you canmake rose hip jelly but as a general rule it is better to buy tomato plants, okra, and other good stuff.
And that is where I am floundering.
Time management skills do not come naturally to me.
So, have you planted your garden yet? Whatcha go growing?
image (c)2011 Marye Audet

Friday, April 22, 2011

Old House Restoration Is Not for the Faint Hearted

I love to look at the images in Victorian Homes because it proves that if you are dedicated enough, and/or have enough cash your ramshackle, falling apart, money pit can eventually turn into a swan. And I am glad to see that other people have done it.

Eventually I plan to be numbered among them. I think that it is easy to look at all of the big things that need to be done and become overwhelmed, leaving you unable to even start the smallest things. I know I get that way. This week I am going to take some time and make a new priority list and start working it, I think.

We had a ton of damage in the storms last week. I think the house caught the tail of a tornado because we lost siding as well as shingles, and we had a lot of damage to fences and such from falling tree branches. The boys have been working all week to clear, no easy task. I think we have a pile of brush out on the street that is at least 12 feet long and 4 feet tall...with a lot left to do.

The kids' swing set received a bit of damage and, of course, THAT needs to be a priority.The front fence was hit hard, too. I am kind of happy about that because I want to replace it anyway.

We were quite lucky. Many of our neighbors received much more damage. I am waiting for a call back from the insurance company to see if I can make a claim.
Well, of course I CAN but I have a (wait for it...) 10,000.00 deductible so I need to make sure that it is worth calling about, you know?

Out of the three chainsaws we used to have, the ex took the good one (no surprise there) and left the broken one and the one that doesn't work. Home Depot charges something like 150.00 a day for a chainsaw rental  right now (because of course everyone needs them).

Want an old house? Make sure you are up for the challenges. It can really wear you down. And when that happens? A cup of coffee, a cookie and....

Yep...Victorian Homes. Live Large! Live Vicariously!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gardening Bug

I love pretty gardens. You can't tell in the picture at the top but I have added a rose garden in front of the porch. I love the look. I love the smell when the roses are all in bloom and a breeze is blowing in the front windows but I hate the amount of work involved.

I just tend to feel like I am putting out fires, you know?

 Isn't it beautiful? Yeah, it's from my istock account. I don't really have that. But I would love to, wouldn't you?

Anyway, one of these days I want to have a front garden with winding pathways. I want an outdoor kitchen on the side of the house, with a huge patio and I want garden patios here and there along my winding pathways. And, most of all, I want a well muscled, tanned, male gardener to look after all of it for me, while I sit back and..umm... enjoy the view. Of all my flowers, of course, what did you think I meant?

The thing is, at this house... in this place... by this creek...I am always having to consider the potential of a major flood taking out all of my hard work. It could happen. It HAS happened. More than once.

I think raised beds are the key to it but I am not sure how to put them in with the available time I have. I'd love to have a cutting garden, an herb garden, and of vegetable garden. I'd like to have paver pathways meandering from on to another and benches here and there to stop, rest, and watch the birds.

I get how to make raised beds, and paver pathways, and everything. It isn't that I don't know how to do it .. it is a time thing.
These ready made frames make it easier, but the cost is higher. :/ Decisions decisions...right?

Maybe someday?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I have totally blown off this blog for far too long!

Sadly, not much about the house has changed since my last post. I am still trying to work restoration here but it has been slow going. Just to catch you up before we move on .....
I was divorced in 2009 (yes, it has been that long since I wrote her..sad, isn't it?) After 30 years of marriage and 8 kids it was quite a shock but thanks to my relationship with Christ, and some very supportive kids and finding out who my friends actually were ... well, I landed on my feet. I met someone else very quickly and have now remarried. I am writing more as well, which has left little time  for  restoration and small farming/gardening. My ex gave my horses away and I had to get rid of the goats after the divorce because I was working so much I couldn't keep up with the dairying. I do still have the chickens.
Now, the house.
Believe it or not I paid three of the kids $10 each to clean out the front garden so that my heirloom roses could actually bloom. They had been covered with poison ivy and some kind of green vine. Now the garden looks bare but the roses are blooming up a storm!

I have been looking for some perennials to put in there because I need something low care. Low care is kind of an oxymoron in Texas unless you are talking about cactus but I digress...Anyway, I happened to read a blog post on perennials for shade  and it got me thinking about what I could put in there with the roses.
I am not sure how shady it actually is, the garden in north facing but it is butted up against our veranda. I am thinking that Dianthus would work well and  be entirely appropriate for the age of the house. So now I am sitting here, when I should be working, searching  for new ideas for my shade loving perennial flowers.
It is prime gardening time in Texas. What are you able to do in your garden? Anything yet?

Hey, I have missed you...I hope you 've missed me, too and will be following my adventures with the money pit....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It has been a long time.
My birthday came and went. Marc got me a bar of Greene and Black organic chocolate..mmm...
I have been writing lots at Kettle and Cup and Baking Delights, while still keeping up here and with Apron Strings & Simmering Things.

Not doing so good at that, huh?

In any case, in my wanderings, I have come across The Simple Woman Blog..and love the concept. I felt that way once, that I could achieve that, and I hope I will feel that way again..Simplicity. Like a really good vanilla custard simplicity is elusive and more complex than one would think.
In any case she has this meme and it is good for getting thoughts started...If you would like to participate click here...

FOR TODAY April 29, 2008...

Outside My Window...
The sun is shining and there is a slight breeze.

I am thinking...
of how to wrestle my life back and take joy in the journey despite what is happening now

I am thankful for...
Marc, that the green beans are up and that the cucumbers and okra are following

From the kitchen...
French Country style roast chicken today with garlic roasted baby purple potatoes

I am wearing...
jeans and a red top, with a grey sweater

I am creating...
Memories, stability, and roots..a legacy

I am going...
for coffee with Marc in a few minutes

I am reading...
Lots of blogs right now, but other than Bible, no books.

I am hoping...
We are almost finished with this season we are in

I am hearing...
The kids playing

Around the house...
Messy..but better

One of my favorite things...
Coffee or tea in on my porch

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Love to Know editor training, more organizing..maybe a little spinning

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

For everything there is a season....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Matt spent the afternoon finishing up the tilling...We had rain forcast and I wanted to get the green beans, okra, cilantro, basil, and cucumbers in. I still need to put in the dill, the corn, the squash...
I was able to get them all in the ground so hopefully I am closer to gardening nirvana.

I am going to forgo a fall garden this year in the hopes of preparing for a raised bed, permanent planting next year. I saw one in the new issue of Mother Earth News that I have pegged for my front yard...SOMEDAY.
I realize that all it takes is planning ahead but this year..well there was no way. Besides, I am clinging to a small hope that everything will sell and we will be on a bigger place in the country next year..If not, I will have the garden.
I am kicking around the idea of selling all the goats. I need the money, and I think I have someone that would buy them all. Sigh. I feel that it is going backwards sort of..but maybe I need to step back to step forward.