Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spring is Springing Up!

On Monday, my "Sunday," I got to cut down a tree, I got to see another tree cut down (and now I want a chainsaw of my very own) and I got to clear away branches and logs and leaves.  The tree that was removed from the front yard was hiding the view of spring making her way into my yard.

A Feast of Snowdrops

Getting up close & personal with the Snowdrops

Possibly a Hyacinth - not certain

Again, not certain if it is Hyacinth or not...

I guess that in a matter of a week or two, I should know!
I have a couple more days of work and then am off for a week's vacation (yes, in February!) and plans for this particular week will include trying to spend some time outside in the front and back yards cleaning up the flower beds.  

I'm also hopeful that I can build a new composter - a gorgeous big one, using lumber pallets and stucco wire... My brother and his wife gave me an amazing book at Christmas - one of gardening through the entire year - and there is an amazing project in there for building a HUGE compost bin system using lumber pallets.  I did some asking around & found out that Slegg Lumber will give old ones away and Dad has volunteered to give me some old stucco wire with which to line the bin system. Pictures will DEFINITELY be posted, if I manage to get this puppy off the ground!

These projects will really depend on the weather... So please cross your fingers that Wednesday through the following Monday will provide me with a few great (sunny and warm-ish) days with which to do some outside work.

With love across the waters,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More New Amazing Crap Found

On Monday I was able to spend a great portion of the day outside enjoying both sunshine and physical exertion. As mentioned: trees were cut down, logs were dragged around, and stuff got taken apart.

More Ugly Crap (yes, it really does deserve to be capitalized) was found.

Crap skeined from the front garden bed...

Yes.  It really IS Strawberry Shortcake and a Santa Mouse.

The Leprosy Dolphins will live in infamy.
But what are they DOING??

With love across the waters,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Some Before and After Shots...

I'm a Lumberjack and I'm OK
I sleep all night and I work all day.
I cut down trees, I wear high heels
Suspenders and a Bra.
(OK - this is where I modify the song.)
I am a pretty girlie, just like my dear mama!

Monday was a lumberjack day for me.  I had the last tree cut down in the front yard and I cut down another one in the back yard.

Monday was glorious outside - a day where, when blessed to be off, one naturally gravitates outside. Lucky for me, it was also a day where my friend the tree faller (and yes, he's the one I have a terrible crush on) came over with his chainsaw and chopped down the final front yard tree, and then used said chainsaw to cut a HUGE stump down to ground.  So... you may recall - when I bought the house, the front looked like this:

And then, in October, my folks came up for a day - I had already cut down the small fir touching the house - and my Dad helped me pull all of the wisteria off off the front of the house... it then looked like this:

Now, after Monday's efforts, the front of my home is wide open and looks like this:

The big pile of branches in front of the house is all that remains of the tree that was removed.

In addition to cutting down the tree (which was growing up into both power and telephone lines and actually HAD to come down, my friend the faller also helped level out a stump - a BIG stump - that was actually hidden by the tree that was taken out.  My best guess is that it was once a HUGE maple tree -  the stump was cut into two pieces - two BIG pieces - which I ended up rolling over & stacking up beside my front door - this is about 3 feet high, by the way.

The stump (again, I *think* it may be maple) looked like it is spalted - so my dad has said he'll take the stump pieces and see what he can save & turn, here's a shot of what spalting does to raw wood:

After cutting down of stuff was done, my friend headed off (incidentally, to buck up firewood for me) and I got to work piling up other stuff:

Then, into the back yard.

When I bought the house, the back yard looked like this.  This picture is taken standing on the patio facing the back fence - note the metal arbour:

The Sumac on both sides were taken out in October when Dad came up.  Bearing in mind that the trees and shrubs still there are all without leaves for the winter, but this is what it looks like now:

The yard does look very bare and open right now, but once the trees start to bush out with leaves again, my privacy will come back and the yard will be absolutely gorgeous!  An added bonus, now that the other evergreen is gone, is that the pond's full prettiness is exposed. I'm thinking a couple of water lilies and some goldfish (to eat the mosquito larvae) will be perfect back there.

Finally we come to the piles. Stuff to be hauled away to the dump, and piles of branches and other pieces of various trees and shrubbery - all to be hauled out into the bush to be allowed to rot gently back into the earth. I had considered hiring a chipper, but am told that the branches are too curvy for that - so off to rot in the forests it is.

With love across the waters,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Small Change - BIG difference...

About two weeks ago the ugly old blue horizontal blinds in my bedroom gave up the ghost in style.  The metal contraption that controls the ability to pull the blind up and down (by way of the string) popped right out of its little hole and the blind flopped down against the wall like an ugly blue dead fish.

I have Made Do with it for a couple of weeks while trying to decide what would be the best looking and (more importantly) cheapest way to go.  Drapes? This would require a curtain rod being installed. Another plastic horizontal blind, but maybe white this time? This would require the removal of the blue plastic one's hardware.

All I knew to this point was that whatever I put in would NOT be blue.

Home Depot run happened yesterday - to pick up some things and check out options. I elected to go with curtains - and found some lovely suede-like ones that block out about 95% of the light when closed. A simple curtain rod topped off the purchase and, oh yes, I got a stud finder that tells me where the centre of the stud is and also identifies metal AND electrical stuff... so I won't accidentally drill into wiring.

Without further ado, here's my updated bedroom.  Yes, I do still need to get down the last of the wallpaper, patch and then primer and THEN paint - but the difference already is amazing.

SO much brighter without the nasty blue blinds!

Also moved a mirror - yeah, I don't need 2 in there...

And also moved my bracelet / necklace rack my Dad made me... 
Maybe not a Feng Shui change, per-se, but a very much needed change and, now done, the room is closer to the "positive space" energy I want.

Next up...? Today's projects included replacing the bathtub grout (GROSS!!!) and cutting down trees! Want to guess which was more fun?

With love across the waters,