Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Here is a song to help anyone today who is having a hard time with life. With work, at home, with your health, with inner struggles, with wanting to give up and quit. Remember to not give up on anyone, especially on people you love, and even yourself. Remember to Stand today.
Turn up the volume and enjoy.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I'm going to be busy , like many of you tomorrow, preparing a large Thanksgiving feast for my family. I wanted to stop tonight, and show you my very neat vintage,Thanksgiving centerpiece I will use on my table tomorrow.
I'm not setting my table tonight, but I did make a flower arrangement from some flowers my husband and young son bought me today. Plus my vintage chalkware pilgrims and turkey.
I have been around antiques for decades, and have not seen any chalkware pilgrim statues before. I was thrilled to find these, and was drawn to them because of the Bibles in their hands.
Hers is small.
His looks like the large family Bible.
They are both 1940-50's time frame. Leaning towards late 40's.
Now Mr. Turkey is 1960's. I have some fragrant pine cones to put inside him tomorrow. My son has been sniffing the little pine cone bag many times. Smells like ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and holiday time.
I love the colors in the older vintage turkey planters.
Aren't they lovely flowers? I had enough leftover to do a small roses vase in the bath. It was my husband's idea to buy the flowers, while my young son picked them out. Good team.
I only arranged them.
These pilgrims look good from the front side and back. So perfect to have pilgrims at my table for Thanksgiving. I may use them for Christmas too.
I wish so much, for everyone to enjoy their families tomorrow. Know that you are blessed to have their very presence in front of you. Look in their eyes, listen to their stories, ask them about their hopes and dreams. Watch how the light shines on their hair, show interest in their life, respect their opinions, hug them with deep love. No one is perfect, but your loved ones are oftentimes doing their best, right at this moment in time. Be a blessing to them tomorrow, especially when you don't feel like it.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Well here we are now, me and my Hercules, extending my small brick accent center in my garden further out. I want to eventually have a brick pathway leading out of the garden center, but I have to have enough old clay bricks to do that. Which I don't.
My son helped dig up the monkey grass and lambs ears that I transplanted, and then collected the brick from around the house and brought it over. While Maxine did this...
Fought with an old plastic plant container, she took it around the yard, threw it up in the air, watched it drop and caught it and ran herself dizzy.
You can see here we are extending the brick I already have, you will need to shovel the dirt as level as you can.Use a flat-head shovel to prep your area. If you are like my husband, you would get a level out, have sand ready, do it EXACTLY perfect. Or you can do it like me. I believe it is called eye-balling how level something is, or as my husband would say half-as++##!!** not-perfect, if you get my drift. NO CURSING on my blog though!! I call it charming, just like they did in the 1800's in Charleston, South Carolina. That is where I see so many im-perfect brick garden accents.
What I do is dig up, with a trowel or my husband's spackling tool,( a straight edge mortar trowel,) the dirt to a level just above where the other brick is to meet. Bricks, rocks, pavers, etc., sink with time, so it needs to be a bit raised, maybe 1/2 ins. where it meets the other bricks. Smooth it straight to lay the brick.
Usually you have a pattern going, I started with this straight line of bricks, until I layed them all out and found out I had a basket-weave pattern, straight line in front of that,so I then wanted another basket-weave going behind me. Straight, basket-weave, straight, basket-weave ( about 2 feet each time). Dumb-bunny had to rip them up and start again. All the dirt in front of me has to be smoothed out, and then used to cover up the bricks as we go.
I like to tap( tap fairly hard) my bricks together , to tighten them up. I hit them at the top and sides.Everytime you lay one, you may have to add or take away dirt from the ground to level it. Keep tapping them to settle them.
And I have to deal with Maxine trying to kiss me while I am down here. The original center of this brick area, I laid out about 7 years ago.
I love the old clay bricks. The different colors are beautiful to me.
Here we are laying them out straight, my husband showed up and got to take some pictures of us. The bricks that I am holding,the one up top is concrete, the lower clay. Clay bricks are almost always larger than concrete. Lowes, Home Depot only sell concrete bricks that are supposed to resemble clay bricks. I discard the concrete, sometimes only use them where they cannot be seen in parts of my garden. Clay bricks are infinitely more charming.
I loved my son helping me.
We took the straight design out and the laid then in the basket-weave pattern, two side by side, and then two on top. The cracks here we will fill with sand and dirt.
I started this garden with a basketweave pattern, then plain straight lines, now basketweave again . I like to see mixed patterns, only two usually, in a brick pattern layout. Over and over, going about 3 feet apart with each pattern.
It is coming along, once you do this, get up and stretch and stomp on the bricks to settle them. I ran out of plain clay bricks, did not use the ones with the holes in them. I then bordered the brick with more brick on their sides. One day I want to keep them going to make a path out of my garden.
Now normally, I would get sand and swish it down with my hands into the cracks. I have no sand, I was not getting in the car to go get sand, and I only had my Hercules son for another 30 minutes. So we made do with leftover dirt from the yard. Always make do in life.
Just spill it, sprinkle it , as heavy as you like, all over the bricks.
Then you just rub it all over the bricks, and it falls into the cracks.
You can do this as many times as you like, 2-6 times. The dirt just keeps settling into the cracks . Doing this over a period of weeks is good.
Then brush it off. Next step...
Then you water down all the excess dirt with your hose. You can do this as many times as you like. I only have done it once. Each time you add dirt and, and then water it down.It compacts your bricks into the ground.
Miss Spaz -kisser was lounging and looking regal watching us.
The fountain isn't centeered here, but I did move it later to center it. Still looking for new fountain.
So here we are, an uneven, but very charming brick center area. I suggest using only old bricks, no concrete ones, only clay ones. Oh, and hopefully you have a Hercules somewhere you can hire to help you...
Go make a brick accent for yourself. Go find you a Hercules/muscle-guy somewhere around. I was so very sore after that day, I had not worked in my garden for months. Wishing for a time when I was younger...enjoy your days folks.
Bless someone tonight,
Ps. I have been unable to leave comments on many blogs I read. I am unsure if something is wrong with Blogger, but wanted the writers of the blogs I read to know.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A few weeks ago, I finally got my Hercules, my oldest son, to help me in my garden. What I needed doing was moving two large pittosporum bushes, which grow to the size of large houses, I wanted them transplanted to my front yard.
What idiot( me), planted such cute bushes which kept growing and growing and growing, wait...there she is above posing with Hercules and Maxine, whose nozzola is peeking up at the bottom.
Maxine's main job was getting love every second we were out here. From Mom...
And from Mom's baby who turned into Hercules, my son can lift some heavy weights , so I wanted to harness some of that brawn in my garden. Okay, let me show you my problem...
Two large pittosporum bushes to the far left, that I prune and prune, and they happily keep getting larger while I sleep.
Look at my large wheelbarrow next to these crazy errant bushes ! It was time for action, and since my muscles/body has decided enough is enough with the heavy duty anything out here, I called in my big guns. I know he bench presses 300-350 lbs., so my shovel is in excellent, super-strong hands.
He looks real thrilled doesn't he ? We had a time trying to take a few pictures of ourselves before we started. Don't worry about him, I was going to throw some casholla his way afterwards. Ok, here we go, or here he goes as I was mainly directing.
Trying to transplant large buses is always an iffy project as you gardeners know. The larger they are, the bigger they fall so to speak. Deeper roots, more to damage. But, it was Fall, Fall is the best time and Winter too, to transplant, I think it was about 50 degrees, and yes, he is wearing shorts. Tough guys wear shorts when they are young. So he has to go all around the bush, go deep, and keep listening while Mom tells him to not dig up the plants around the bush.
Plus Maxine insisted on giving kisses while he was working.
Thank goodness he loves Maxine as she was as annoying as can be while he was working. She's a kisser. Ok, first bush out. My son is about 6 foot tall, so you can see this bush is large.
Here I have him out front, digging up a oleander that decided not to bloom this Summer. Charleston is full of oleanders, so of course I wanted some. This will be relegated to the back garden.
Always watch out for water pipes, shown above, and electrical lines, when you dig deep.One cut with your shovel and the plumber gets to come by and take a few hundred dollars to fix your wet mess. Just be cautious, especially men, as women don't strike the ground as hard when they dig ( to me),and work around the pipe. You can plant the bush here still.
This bush is large and heavy. I would have been a pancake underneath it if I tried to lift it. Which I did not.
I was helping some, and mainly trying to make sure all the roots were in the ground, and patting down the soil around it to eliminate air-pockets.
Then we stuck the hose in, turned it on low to water this large bush for an hour. I am still very aware that this may not work. But it's worth a shot , to try.
Then later, I stuck the hose, deeper into the ground, to saturate in further at a lower setting. I know all the experts say add compost or potting soil , to help. But I just stuck these big babies, or my son did, into the ground, and watered them silly.
Big guy digging large hole for second bush to come up front.
Maxine watching, looking for opportunity to kiss him.
Now he's back in my garden, going after the second mammoth bush.
This one he got more irritated with, as so much of my other plants had grown up and into the bush area. He had to dig up plants, and dig very deep around this one. Then he had to get his body on the ground and rock to rip/pull it out.
It was getting warmer, about 60 degrees , and he then got into the hole he was digging. He was starting to sweat,
which meant something inevitable would happen...
Maxine's kiss-alarm went off in her little brain, and she came in for the attack. Let me tell you, I do not like lots of dog kisses personally, but my son just laughed.
It is best to try not to ' rip' the bushes, of any plant, as it injuries the roots, but it was getting too difficult for him with the shovel. So I just watched him rock back and forth, get mad at the roots, and yank it out of the ground finally. Wait, I do remember coming in a few times to cut some large roots with the shovel tip to help.
He's got it out. Bush weighed 70+ pounds per my expert on weights who was carting it.
Now this one to the side front yard. Again, I am well aware this may not work,but many things in life are worth a shot that may not work. Plus..I got to spend time with my son.
Big plus for me.
This entry is way too long, so I will show you in the next one, about extending my brick center-piece in the garden area that we did the same day. Enjoy your own day, go find someone big to help you in your garden,
P.S. Two weeks almost since transplanting , and the bushes are doing fine, lots of watering, in the front~keep your fingers crossed !