Saturday, April 23, 2022

Heavy lifting, but not by me

While I can do all sorts of things now that I have a new shoulder (even things the surgeon would frown upon), my upper body strength is still lagging a bit. My SO to the rescue. He did the bulk of the work in removing the castle block from around the redbud trees and the concrete blocks used for raised beds. I drove the mower which towed it all out to the end of the driveway, where he unloaded it as well.

I posted on the HOA FB page and like magic, it all disappeared. So now I am rethinking the rainbow shed; maybe someone would want that? I'll give it a try.

No progress on the front of the house. I'm getting a bit anxious about that, as it needs to be finished before the landscape installers do their thing. The weather has not been cooperating, but maybe this week?

While I decided against the EGO trimmer, at least for now, my SO is looking for a new electric mower (his is 20 years old) and is leaning toward an EGO. (Thank you for your comment, flurrious!) He's like me, has that make-do attitude which results in more-work. It's time to retire that idea.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Sounds of spring (weekend edition)

We are having a lovely weekend, if a bit cool, with threat of frost tonight. So my neighbors are out with their various power tools and such. I too decided it was time to mow and trim the front yard, but I'm leaving the back for another day.

Speaking of trimming, I stopped at Lowes to take a look at the EGO trimmers. I hate, HATE, HATE loading the string on my electric trimmer. The EGO ones load automatically. They are also battery powered, so I wouldn't have to wrestle with the extension cord anymore. However, they seem kind of heavy to me. Also, now that the raised beds are gone, I won't have that much to trim. So I postponed that purchase.

Last weekend, my SO helped me disassemble the "rainbow" shed. This shed is a perfect example of my yardening karma. I thought it would be a good playhouse for my granddaughter, but, you know, spiders. Then I spray painted it rainbow colors; the cans said the paint would stick to ANY surface, but it did not stick to that shed. I did store lawn furniture and some pots in it over the winter, but otherwise, it went unused. Because of the flaky paint, no one else would want it, so it will probably end up at the dump. (That piece of plywood was under the floor. It too will be going to the dump.) At least there were no animal burrows under it.

My SO and I also cleaned out the "big" shed. There wasn't much to throw away, just a lot or rearranging. The few remaining vegetable gardening doodads, like the grow bags, went to my neighbor across the street. Then we cleaned gutters: he wrangled the ladder while I did the climbing.

During the week, I cleaned up the beds on the south side of the house a bit. My plan is to move the perennials from the bed by the fence to the new wildflower corner, but I am beginning to think it would just be easier to get new plants. For decades I scrimped and saved so I could retire, which results in this mentality of making do even though making do is sometimes a lot of work. Also, I'm concerned about reintroducing weeds like creeping Charlie into that area after it is treated by the landscapers. Today I potted a clump of rhubarb, which left me with an aching back.

Meanwhile, I continue to spend my children's inheritance at Wild Birds Unlimited. This time I came home with a new finch feeder. Even with a coupon, it was a bit expensive, but it is supposed to be easy to clean and antimicrobial. Right now the house finches are sticking with safflower seed and the sock nyger feeder.

As you can see, the daffodils are blooming. Buds are swelling on most of the flowering trees like the serviceberry and redbud. I just hope tonight's low temps don't damage them.

Saturday, April 09, 2022

April (snow) showers

The past week has been wet and next week is also supposed to be soggy and today it was actually *snowing*, but tomorrow should be nice (she typed hopefully). Maybe we will be able to actually do something out in the yard.

Between showers, the contractors worked on the front of the house. There was *more* rot underneath the rotting siding, so that is fixed. Painting will have to wait until things warm up a bit. I'm a little anxious about getting this project done before the landscaping starts.

I learned something new about blue jays this past week: they can immitate red-tailed hawks. Today I think I saw a purple finch at the bird bath, but he took off before I could get a pic; this photo is from the Missouri Department of Conservation. A goldfinch is the best I could do. (Sorry for the poor photo quality.)

I did manage to clean the deck on a dry day. My SO then helped me move potted plants from the garage to the backyard. Everything looks like it survived the winter: two clematis, two butterfly bushes, a potful of penstemon, and English thyme. And I repotted two houseplants, a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Saturday, April 02, 2022

Delayed spring

Not much springlike is happening around here yet. A few days ago I saw some forsythia starting to bloom. In my own yard, the tommies have come and gone, there are a few croci, and the hyacinth are partway there. It's just too cold!

I did manage to get the flower box on the front porch emptied, just in the nick of time. The contractors will be here this week, to fix the siding on the bump out and the porch, plus hang new shutters. There may be some painting as well. I think the trellis is attached to the flower box, so we may have to finagle something there. The trellis keeps the summer sun from baking the front door.