Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The heat goes on....

I wish I could report something new and improved going on, but I really can't. Even the weather is same ole, same ole. Hot and humid. Really hot. Crotch-pot cooking kinda hot!

But work continues around the property even if the weather tries to beat me down. Time to finish the backyard. I re-worked the areas up against the porch as my very first project this year. Back when there was rain and cool temperatures. At least I think it was this year! Seems so long ago.

Anyway, I have been on a buying spree, snapping up clearance-priced shrubs all around town. Of course, every time I think I MUST have enough to fill in the landscaping holes, I find it isn't near enough! *Sigh*

At last count, I had about 20 hydrangeas, 18 azaleas, 6 pieris and 40 hostas in my "nursery." Anyone want to help me plant? Anyone?? *Tap, Tap* Is this thing on??

I started digging in plants and quickly found that the ground was hard as concrete! And a 50 (mmmble) year old woman swinging a pickaxe in 95 degree heat isn't a pretty sight, let me tell you! But Stud Muffin came to the rescue. Not by using the pickaxe for me, but with a great idea to deep water the area the night before so that the water perks down and softens up the dirt without being a soggy mess! Thanks Studly!

Stud Muffin the dog whisperer! Or maybe Nick is giving him mouth-to-mouth. I'm not sure.

Slowly (very slowly) the shrubs go in and the weed barrier gets put down.

Just today, I got the mulch spread in the first section. I must say I feel quite satisfied, considering how ding-dang hard it was to get this far!

What a beautiful, mulch-moving tractor! I couldn't do it without you!

I have about 4 times as long as this section still to do, so I guess I will be gainfully employed with my shovel and pitchfork for a while longer.

The vegetable garden looks ratty and weedy but is still producing like crazy. Our daily routine involves checking on the tomatoes and other veggies first thing in the morning with the dogs and then doing it again after dinner. Nick just wants to know who has been in his yard, but Sassy loves to eat the tomato hornworms I find on the plants! Personally, I could never get into eating anything that has lime green innards. She's is also hoping for a fresh tomato or cucumber to go with her worms!

At last night's veggie check, I realized that I desperately needed to harvest cucumbers and bell peppers. Check it out!

You can't tell from this picture, but this is a huge bowl! Probably holds two gallons if I filled it with water. I better get out my pickling recipes soon and get prepared to can some of these up.

Sadly, the orchard is completely bare of any kind fruit. The *&%^@#$ squirrels have eaten or wrecked every apple and pear on every tree! Wish I liked roast squirrel. I'd be sure to get some well-fed ones, plus they could roast outside in the heat!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ta Da!

Things are starting to return to normal.

First of all, I FINALLY finished mulching along the driveway! I know!! The applause from you all is deafening! No, no! Oh stop, it wasn't all that impressive! Okay, so it WAS considering the sweltering weather we've been having.

Continuing around from the actual driveway,

I crawled around under the jumbo shrubs screening the car-wash area, spreading mulch, scaring frogs and dis-entangling my hair from the branches. Bald spots on my head won't be shown!

Eventually, the loads of mulch met up with the generator area. Whew!

And it's a good thing, too, because the poor mulch pile is just a little grease-spot of it's former self. Time to order more!

Can I just say that this particular project area seemed to take a couple of lifetimes to finish? Seriously! But I am very happy with how it looks and am ready to start tackling the rest of the backyard. I have weeds to whack, and dead plants to remove, before I can start digging in the new plants from my little private nursery.

I hope the plants will like their new home in the ground. They seem to have really taken to living under the tree and being watered by me. Each and every day. No matter how hot it is! Not that I'm complaining.

In other news, Courtney's car is finally repaired!

From this:

To this:

And since Courtney had my car for an additional week before she could retrieve hers, I spent the time detailing her Toyota Four-Wheel-Pig-Pen so she would no longer leave dust clouds behind when she drives. Highway Patrol was starting to complain about the car pile-ups in her blinding wake.

So I washed the exterior and I scrubbed the floor mats and interior. I polished windows and vacuumed the trunk. All the while, Stud Muffin was wondering who I was and what had happened to his wife!

And guess who is happy??

We both were so happy, we celebrated by eating at Red Robin and enjoying the free appetizer I got be signing up for their rewards card.

The only bad news in all of this? My car now looks like a Four-Wheel-Pig-Pen and I need to wash and scrub and vacuum and polish my own car. No matter how hot it is!