Monday, April 30, 2012

Yard Project, Part 5

Yay! Mama is a happy girl now. I'm delighted with how this will finally turn out. I think. I might have a few small changes, we'll see. But for the most part this is the image I had in my head. I know that the more additions I make the more money it will end up costing me, but I'd rather have it done right than to wish it was different once the workers are gone.We decided to put in another wall behind the first one and terrace the bank. If they made the lower wall even with the top of the bank I would have to buy soil to back-fill behind it. There were so many rocks left that this seemed like the better idea.

I got a pathway that leads up to the existing path behind the porch:

Here's a view of that pathway from the house:

And another path that leads up to my LP Gas tank. (Smart idea -- because you KNOW that the gas delivery guy would step all over this wall, and probably my garden plants too,  if he didn't have steps to guide him.)

And we'll add another course of rocks on the lower wall before it's all finished.

They ran out of gravel and it was getting late, so they quit for the day. I'm sure that this will get finished tomorrow and they may even get started on the other side of the driveway.

I've pulled out all my gardening books so that I can try and decide what to plant in here. I don't have it all figured out yet, but I think I want a hydrangea at the top of the pathway to the back garden. I'm also thinking about dwarf mondo grass, and ajuga as ground covers. Oh... so many possibilities!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Yard Project, Part 4

I was away all day yesterday and when I got home the guys were all packed up and gone. This is what got done:

Looks great, doesn't it? Unfortunately, they didn't call or leave me a note, so I hope they don't think they're finished. Here's another view:

What I pictured in my mind was more level ground from the existing garden over to the wall. There's still a pretty steep slope. I think I need either a couple more courses of rock on the end away from the house, or a second wall behind it with some terracing. What do you think? I'll have to talk to the main rock guy and see what he has to say. After all, I have quite a bit of rock left:

See the timbers on the ground behind those rocks? That's phase two. I want a short rock curb in place of that wood, to match the other side of the driveway. I hope they'll be back on Monday...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Yard Project, Part 3

I thought for sure that today would be a washout, too. I woke to pouring rain and thunder and no workers were here. Then, about noon, the sun came out and they showed up to get a few hours' work in. Here's where we are today:

Yay! It's starting to look like a wall! Tomorrow I have to be at the gallery all day, and the weather is supposed to be nice, so I hope I'll come home in the evening to find a lot of progress. Keep watching!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Yard Project, Part 2

Yesterday was pretty much a bust, but they did manage to get all the materials here on site by the end of the day. They arrived with the trailer of gravel after fixing the flat tire, unloaded it, and went back to town for scree (rock dust) and other supplies.

The PVC is to replace an old, squashed corrugated drain pipe that runs under where the new garden bed will be and the board is to build a step on the other side of my porch. By the time all this was delivered, it was time to quit and looking like it might rain... or something... it had been windy and spitting snow all day. They were supposed to show up early this morning, but didn't arrive until almost 9:00 because it was still raining a little. It was too wet to set stones, so they worked on some prep - dug up the old drain pipe and dug the trench for the new one that will be tucked in behind the new wall. But it was too wet to do anything else. Darn. He said it would probably take about a day and a half, but I guess that meant once they finally got started. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and sunny, until afternoon thunderstorms. Here's what got accomplished today:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A New Yard Project

Yesterday I had almost 4 tons of rocks delivered. It was so much fun watching the delivery guy maneuver these giant pallets off the truck and into the exact spot I wanted them. He'd obviously done it many times before! These rocks are going to go here:

As a dry-stack retaining wall in place of the 6x6 timbers. The timbers were left over from having a roof put over the deck, so I could have a covered porch.  The wall will hold back the bank and allow me to have a level garden space behind it. Plus, it will look a lot better than the timbers. If we have any rock left over, there will be a matching edge on the other side of the driveway.

Work was supposed to start this morning, but they blew a tire on the trailer that was bringing gravel and scree. They said I'd be lucky to have the materials delivered today. Hopefully, tomorrow they'll get started. I'm already dreaming of creeping phlox spilling over the edge and beautiful moss growing in the cracks. More pictures later.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Foto 4/20, Miscellaneous

I love Johnny-Jump-Ups (Violas). They may be my favorite spring flower. I buy new ones each year, but the ones from previous years live up to their name by re-seeding themselves and coming up everywhere. Mostly in my veggie bed:

So before I got sick I turned over the veggie bed and dug out the Johnny-Jump-Ups and put them in pots for the porch. It's always fun to see how they cross-pollenate from one year to the next. The ones in the first photo are a combination of some all purple ones with some nearly white ones from last year.

I'm definitely on the mend, but I'm taking it slowly so that I don't over do and knock myself out again. I worked a half day at the Boone gallery on Tuesday to ease myself back in to it, and went to a Chiropractor appointment yesterday. That felt good, as my back was hurting from all the sitting and laying around I've been doing. But I'm still tired and needing a nap every afternoon. I just hope this is still a need for healing and not habitual laziness!

Yesterday I finally got back into my studio for a couple of hours. Nothing major, but my goal was to make one piece and I made two. Remember my brainstorm back in February about stockpiling work and firing it with student work each week of class? Well, I didn't take into consideration that my class would be cancelled for lack of interest. (That is such a disappointment in so many ways. I spent a lot of time and money buying supplies and getting things ready and now I'm not sure I even want to teach it any more. I guess, since I have all the stuff, I'll give it one more shot. Then that's probably the last one.) So, I fired one kiln load before I got sick, and those pieces are still sitting around waiting to be finished. The second kiln load was to be things that had glass imbedded, but I had only made a couple of pieces for that firing. The two I made today can go in that batch, so I might fire the kiln over the weekend. The third batch will be copper, but that will be awhile. I'll post pictures of some finished things later.

Well, I think it's time for my nap, so I'll cut this off for now. I'm SO glad to be feeling more normal! I mean, more normal for me... and we can guess how "normal" that is!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Foto 4/13

I'm still healing, but I took a short walk around the yard today to see what damage last night's hard freeze did. Some of the flowers on this quince are still looking good, some are not. I love the color of this one and I don't see it very often. I see lots of red and white quince, but not this salmon color. Unfortunately, this bush has to be surrounded by hardware cloth, as the deer think it's a yummy salad I've planted just for them. Not much else has come up through the mulch, but the hostas that ventured forth are mush today. All the crocosmia leaves are brown, too. Maybe these things will recover. We'll just have to hope for a big rally on both their part and mine.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weak and Weary

I've never had anything that's kicked my butt as bad as pneumonia. I can't walk the length of my house without having to stop and rest. For the first week, two long naps every day were a minimum because I needed to catch up for not sleeping at night. Every time I'd start to drift off to sleep I would start a choking, gagging cough, as if that was punishment for trying to sleep. The prescription cough medicine with codeine is only good for four hours. I can tell I'm getting better now because I slept for a solid three hour chunk last night, then another two hours after that. I still have laryngitis but I can hear some tiny squeaks of my real voice in there behind all the croaking. Other little maladies that I've had along with this are: pinkeye (from the same bacteria that causes the pneumonia), diarrhea and a yeast infection from the antibiotics, (this is my last day on the horse pills) and my back hurts from laying and sitting around so much. It's this tiredness down to my bones that is something that I've never dealt with before.

I do have to say thanks to all the people who have brought me food, done chores for me and who keep calling to check on me. Unfortunately, there are still things that I have to for myself. No one else can pay the bills, for example. It's taken me all day to write this post and I'm afraid that's all I can handle for now. I'll be back when I can.

Friday, April 6, 2012

What the heck happened to me?

So it wasn't allergies. I've had pneumonia for a week and I still feel awful. Stay tuned, I'll be back eventually.