Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ironing Board Storage Solved!

I figured out where I wanted to store my ironing board. While at Home Depot, I picked up the hooks I thought I'd need... I couldn't decide between two styles, and so brought both home... this is what I went with:
My ironing board is now tucked away on the inside of the door to the hall linen closet:
The iron is in there too, and I'm very happy with this solution. :)


Remember this:
It was windy today... so, even though I raked yesterday, there are now *more* leaves on the lawn than in this photo. That's fall for you...

Strange Spider

I found this bizarre spider on my door frame today:
(Thankfully *outside*!) It's body is about the size of my thumbnail. I've never seen this kind of spider before... anyone know what it is?

Oh, and I didn't get any more gardening done today (boo), but I did clean the shower and toilet, picked up stuff at Home Depot (peat moss plus other stuff) and went grocery shopping (yay), so it's not like I didn't accomplish anything today.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Garden Update, Part Two

I think I will arrange things in "before" and "after" groupings.

Decent garden shovel with broken handle, broken snow shovel with functional handle.

Functional garden shovel!

Tree with only a few leaves under it.

Leaves raked so I could add them to the compost bin! (Yes, I really want stuff for my compost bin!)

Before shots of garden I ended up working on:
(Pruned off the dying blossoms from the hydrangea to the left of the steps too, but forgot to take an "after" shot of that.)

Perennials waiting to be planted: peony that's been living in the bucket since... May? June? Too long, at any rate. Plus a hosta and something else from a neighbour that arrived in the last week. (But those are still waiting.)

Crud, this dirt is like *concrete*!!! And the environmentally-friendly peat moss substitute was one of the things the garden centre was out of, so I don't have any to add to this dirt while it's being dug anyway!
(Huh... looks like folks didn't rip up the old sidewalk before laying the paving stones.)
Compost from mom's in my wheelbarrow that was a housewarming present from my grandma:
I was going to spread it around to more than just this one spot, but I decided this one spot could really use this much and more, so in it all went. (If I'd had the peat-moss substitute, I might have used less... but then, I didn't manage to get much compost out of mom's bin before the uncomposted stuff started to collapse anyway.)

Yay, the peony is finally back in the ground!!! I put in one of the grasses I bought two weeks ago... it's probably too close to the peony, but I thought it might work anyway because of its height. The violets are probably too close too, but I figured they'd peek out from under the peony. I might move them later. We'll see.

I only put back two of the clumps of violets... the garden seems pretty overrun by them, so I decided to compost the rest. (I've decided this year with be an experimental year, to see what roots compost... I'll sift them out when I'm using the compost if they prove not to break down sufficiently.) Well, I did put a few of the smaller clumps of violets over in my "secret super-shady hideaway"... if they don't survive, it won't be a big loss. If they do survive, bonus.

The day-lily that *had* been where the peony was I was going to put in the back lane along the fence, but it turns out there's only an inch of dirt there, and then there's a paving stone. I stared at the stone for a bit before deciding that it could stay there, and I'd figure out what to do with the dirt on top of it. (Weeds can grow in that much, day-lilies can't.) So, for now, the day-lily is sitting under the evergreen, where it might get planted tomorrow. (Not a good way to transplant something, just leaving it sitting there pretty much bare-root, but there's way too many day-lilies in this garden, so if I lose one, I'm not that worried. I'm pretty sure there's at least two identical to this one still in the front garden.

Random photo:
Huh... there's a day-lily blooming!

House & Garden Update, etc.

Weird... the blogger posting interface has completely changed since last I posted... methinks I do not like this new interface!

Anyway, it's been a bit, so here's what's been going on.

Two weekends ago, Saturday, I went out and had a little retail therapy:
Among other things, I bought myself: a composter (yay), some solar garden lights (marked down that week for clearance... I can't remember if it was $30 or $40 for the ten pack), some plastic containers that fit the funny shelf in the front hall, a flower pot, stuff for the garden (although the place I went was sold out of much of what I wanted... dang!), and some perennials because they were on sale:
One even came with an extra, an interesting little lichen:
Of course, the garden isn't ready for them (especially since I couldn't get the stuff I wanted to amend the soil), so they've been sitting in their pots since then. :P

Sunday (two weeks ago) I went to Sheeples for Open Farm Day with a friend and some of her family:
Of course, we missed a turn, and ended up visiting a really pretty marsh area on the way there:
(I think I want to paint that.)

At the farm day, I finally finished spinning some singles that have been in progress for *ages*, and started two-plying them. I can't remember if it was that day or shortly thereafter I finished the plying:
(Plying is *much* faster!)

Last Saturday I was working overtime, so no gardening got done, but I did get out last Sunday. Dad was over too, and hauled away a bunch of his junk. Again, I forgot to take "before" photos. Here's the "after" of one of the piles he was working on:
(Those who know the state of the back yard before will know how impressive that photo is.) I was going to work on getting my perennials planted last weekend, but, somehow, things never quite turn out how I plan. When dad said he wasn't going to take the axle because the raspberry canes were drooping over it, I went to work on (again!) tying up the raspberries. I also inspected and cut out any stems that looked to be infected with the raspberry borer (did I remember to post about that? I figured out why I kept finding the canes broken: raspberry cane borers!) and burned them in my dad's stove:
Of course, before I could burn them in the stove, I had to shovel out all the ashes that were in it. I put them where the pines are, to balance the pH:
(I still need to dig the ashes in, they're just sitting on top for now. Of course, burning green stuff produces *lots* of smoke, so I was well smoked by the end, and mom came over to see if my house was on fire.

I ran out of string before finishing with all the canes:
(I had more upstairs... I was using leftover bits of kitchen cotton, but I didn't feel like taking my shoes off to go get more right then. I did tie them up that night after dinner, though, since they're right under a streetlight. (Of course, I found one more infected cane doing that, but I didn't want to start the fire going again, so I just put that one in the trash.)

I also got my composter put together:
Yay! Then I looked at how empty it was, and on Wednesday I was coveting all the yard waste my neighbours had put out for trash pickup. (However, today I started doing some yard clean-up, and my composter doesn't look *nearly* so empty... in fact, I suspect it's not all going to fit before I'm finished!)

So, that brings us to today. The bosses decided against overtime today (yay!), so I slept *late*, then washed my mango tree (it still has lingering spider mites, *sigh*), then went out into the garden. I took lots of "before" photos, in case I ended up working on not quite what I planned. Of course, what I *did* do took forever, so there wasn't much light for *after* photos!

Hmmm... looks like it's already a long post, and the next bit is also long, so I guess I'll do the rest as a "part two".

Friday, September 14, 2012


The coneflowers in the garden have strange, mutant mini-flowers sprouting out of the flowers:
How bizarre! Have you ever seen that?

Is oregano a Winnipeg-hardy perennial? This looks like oregano and smells herby:
Of course, it could be self-seeded. It would be nice to know for sure... I'd love to make use of it if I could identify it for sure. (I'm planning to go to Sage Garden Herbs tomorrow... maybe they'll be able to identify it if I bring a sprig?)

This is one crappy-quality basket:
Something that's going to survive for a million years in a landfill should at least start out with more than one seasons worth of use! Sheesh.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Good Day!

Today was a good day. :) At work, I figured out how to do something that's had me stumped for a little bit, and it's before the deadline for the initial prototype, so that's even better. Then, tonight was the first night back at the art club for fall. :) I decided to start a silk painting design I've had percolating in the back of my head for a while:
Screen shot 2012-09-10 at 9.11.13 PM
(I do the outlines on the computer, where I can fiddle with the curves to my heart's content.) Can you tell what it is? If you can't, do you want me to tell you, or do you want to keep guessing while it progresses?

I hope you had a good day too!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

I Rock.

Yes, I am once again inordinately pleased with myself. With some plywood scraps, my uncle's workshop, and a few of my own tools, I converted this:
into this:
Much better! (I also moved some of the small items to the baking cupboard.)

A place for everything, and everything in its place. Now I can *find* things in this drawer!

I may or may not cover the plywood with drawer liner... it's clean looking (unlike the wood drawers at the apartment), so I'm not in a rush.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Back Yard

Some might look at this yard, and think "that's a lot of junk," or "look at all the work that needs doing."
I look at it and see progress.
1. Dad hauled a whole bunch of junk away today.
2. I pulled some weeds, helped dad with some heavier stuff, shovelled and swept dirt off the patio, and sifted crap out of the pine needles. (I asked dad to leave that basket for a bit, so I could use it to sift.)
3. A neighbour showed up with a hosta, which I could plop in the newly-cleared ground! Granted, not in good dirt, and it's big enough that I could divide it... but I figured I'd stick it there for now, and maybe move half of it later when other parts of the garden are ready and have better dirt. I won't be buying dirt, but I'll be digging and amending what's here. The hosta is pretty much planted in pine needles right now... I need to add compost, ashes, and something to hold moisture. The more clayey areas will need compost and something organic... peat moss, or equivalent. (I seem to remember seeing someone offering bales of coconut husks that can replace peat moss, given that peat moss harvests aren't very environmentally sustainable, or something.)

Also, the back gate now opens and closes easily:
Dad would probably say this is the wrong way to fix it (he was blaming frost heaving, I think, but, given that it's the garage side that's taller, unless "heaving" = "sinking", I don't think that's it... at any rate, I'm *not* resetting the height of the garage!) I need to go back in daylight to see if I can get some of the screws in tighter (there's a gap between the gate and the wood) or something, plus I need to paint it... but it's *soooooo* nice to be able to open the gate without having to lift the dang thing!!!

Big Spider

Thankfully outside, not inside. (And lucky for it, I'd need to haul out the extension ladder to clean that window... it's on the stairway to the second floor.)

Seen In The Village

IMG_6330 copy
Dog in sidecar, wearing goggles. Just another lunch hour in the village.