Monday, August 25, 2014

One for the road

Working Towards the Wedding

For the first time in weeks, it's quiet around here. The kid is in school and it's too hot to dig, build, mulch, power wash, prune, burn or chop anything down. As my Dad says, "we're polishing a turd over here", but I think it's a lovely and worthy turd.
My sister is getting married in THIS TURD!
So here I am at my desk, dealing with months' old speaking contracts and changing all my Visa card numbers on all my subscriptions and Amazon because I lost my card someplace in the yard and I don't even have time to look for it.

So, about 3 days a week I've been hurling myself at wedding prep, efficiently, says my Polar Loop. Then 2 days a week, Hazel and I kick summer's ass by draining every last drop of fun out of it.  Then, on the weekends we amp it up and do everything you can think of, as long as it's fun.
One of those things was a super impromptu trip to the Wisconsin Dells, where we rode the Ducks, fed some deer and then got the hell out of that soul sucking nightmare.
Then on the way home, we visted Dr. Evermor's Forevertron. It was the best thing I've ever seen in my life. Here are a zillion photos:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When the @#$% Hits the Fan: Gardening, Condensed

We have only lived in this house for a little over 2 years. As ambitious as I am about the landscaping, I understand that living someplace for 2 years with a 3 year old, mathematically, is like living here for less than 1 year.
I just can't get things done the way I used to, I could crank it out before baby. When we moved in here, I made a 5 year plan and I've been sticking to it. It's a large and wily property. I don't seek to remove all it's wildness, but it was a little neglected for a few years and I seek to reclaim a little order.

Well, the 5 year plan has just gone down the shitter. My little sister wants to get married in my back yard in 2 months. I need to get off the damn computer and go dig ditches, you guys. This is my first time sitting at my desk since they got engaged on the 4th of July.

It's not that the place is a mess, it's just that everything is my project and I work on it when time allows, when there's money for manure and the weather doesn't threaten me with bodily harm. I've said it repeatedly, I love gardening because it keeps me off the streets. I love long, drawn out projects. I'm in no hurry to finish, because when there's nothing left to do I'll probably kick the bucket. I'm a putterer, don't take away my putt!

So I've been working my aster off the 2 days a week that HayJay is in school. I'm never looking for perfection, just looking to put a cap on all these projects in limbo.
Well, I just got 3 yards of compost delivered so I need to go. I won't be a good blogger, or even a decent Facebooker until this is over. Instagram is your best bet if you start to miss me.
I'll try to pop in for some updates.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Weeding JACKPOT: Another One Hour Patio!

The Chicago weather has been perfect for weed growth and ice cream. It rains every day. It's so steamy outside that our windows are covered with condensation in the morning. It's New Orleans without the rum and beignets and gumbo and charm.

So, I promised myself that once we got a cool day, I'd go out and do some really aggressive weeding. And so I did... but I didn't expect to hit the jackpot.
I made a copper teepee here last year but it kept falling over. 

 This is an area I kept better control of last year, if only because we had less rain. I've been meaning to get out there for weeks, to the point where I've been photographing it to urge me on, but between the heat and the mosquitoes, I just really needed a cool day. And today was THE day.

THIS is why I garden. Heck, THIS is what I live for!

I pulled out a few chunks of reed canary grass and noticed flagstone underneath. I excitedly kept digging and pulling the poison ivy, creeping Charlie, buckthorn, goldenrod, Adenophora and more until I unearthed and entire forgotten patio!
The teepee was never really in the dang ground! It kept hitting flagstone before!
WHY is it that this stuff happens when my Polar Loop is charging? Because I'm pretty sure I just got my full day's activity out there. It took less than an hour and now I have a great place to put the bench my neighbor gave us. After I glitter it.