November 21, 2018

Zeit. Geist. Baby.

Time is a funny thing. It keeps going and going and it don’t stop for nothin’ or nobody.  It moves slowly and it moves fast. Looking back, it happened in the blink of an eye. Looking forward, it drags on forever.

My side hustle is a fitness studio. While there, I do a lot of counting. Down. I do a lot of counting down. Mostly from 45, 44, 43, 42, 41, 40. I am aware on the daily how long and slow 45 seconds can be. One's perception of time usually depends 100% on what you're doing and 100% on your mindset about what you're doing.

I started this here wee little bloggy spot to share our home-owning and home-improving adventures and a little about about our fair city TEN FUCKING YEARS AGO. Whoa. That's kind of crazy. Time is a funny thing.

I stopped posting regularly for two reasons. One, house projects slowed. Our ability to afford and find time for home improvement projects just did not keep pace with weekly posts about house related improvements. It started to make me sad that we weren't making progress because I didn't have 'post material'.

The second reason I stopped posting regularly is because my relationship with Holyoke changed. I'm not willing to say more about that. Yet.

But about 4 months ago, I felt thawed out enough to post again. We have completed MANY projects I can share with you. Also? I missed reading the sound of my own voice. Then I saw this: and then this and look! I was with the zeitgeist! I was actually so inside the zeitgeist, I was soaking in it!

The thing I love about blogging is connecting with you. I so so enjoy comments and feedback. Please know I welcome yours.

October 25, 2018

Will They Last?

A few weeks ago I twirled my mustache like an evil genius and decided which plants in the garden would die and which plants in the garden would come inside for the winter.
 And because I am a dumb evil genius, I only brought in the hardest plants to overwinter: ferns.
 Maiden hair ferns, specifically.
You know what? Do yourself a favor and let all plants die outside. Do not bring anything into your house over winter unless you have a sun room and the money to hire someone to water these high-maintenance flouncy floofs every other minute.

Indoor plants are a pain in the ass. They need more water than a hot dog on a hot day. And they like to be turned slightly every day. And they will only survive if placed near a south-facing window.
But aren't they purdy? Clearly they are the evil geniuses.

September 14, 2018

Our Worst One.

We elected our worst human to the most important position we have. Every day feels like slogging, grinding, tremulous balancing act between being informed and going crazy. The more informed I am, the crazier I feel. I'm madly searching for comfort, like a kitty clawing at a slipping table cloth, clinging to the thing that will keep me from falling onto the ground. But in that metaphor, being informed IS THE TABLE CLOTH. You see.

It's so depressing. Because there's so much work to do. (here are some things we can do.)

But the thing that's killing me a little is: life has always been this precious and things worth fighting for have always been worth fighting for. I just didn't realize it because we didn't have our worst human in the White House. So I've wasted a lot of time.
I'm a home body from way back. Early in our relationship, my husband asked if I thought our 11-year age difference would be a problem because I'd want to go out more than him. You know. Because he was older. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

"Nope." He looked at me incredulously.

"You'll see." I said.
I'm madly searching for comfort and home is a little bit of that comfort. Friends in my home. Pictures of travel and life experiences that I can see up on my walls. Soft sqhishy landing spots in my home. Thriving plants around my home. Even though it's not even CLOSE to the most important thing, it helps a little. What's helping you?

September 12, 2018

Garden Design Secret

Fall. It's a dangerous time of year for gardeners in New England. No, we're not afraid of the frost date. We're afraid of what we're going to spend on plants.
Wait, WHAT?

Yep (oh. I'm in New England. Maybe I should say 'yawp?)
In the fall, greenhouses are dying to get rid of their remaining perennials and they are generally always available at a sizable discount. The selection is not great, but the hunt is fun and the financial reward is worth it when you find groups of 3, 5, or 7 babies (always buy an odd number of plants. Don't buy singles, unless it's a large specimen). Everything in this post's images was 50% off.
Speaking of large specimens, in addition to perennials, dwarf evergreens and bush/shrubs are on sale too. Though early-blooming large plants, like lilacs or forsythias, are likely long gone, late-blooming beauties-like a hydrangea or evergreens-are happy to go in the ground in the fall if you can time it right.
Specific Tips for Successful Fall Planting
1. Find the largest pots for sale that you can afford (gallon size or larger is best) because they are less likely to be root bound. These poor babies have been siting in a pot since March or April. If they are root bound (roots go round and round the bottom of the pot) be sure to unwind the roots and separate them a little by hand or with a trowel. Otherwise the roots can choke the plant).
2. Get a slow release fertilizer (I love Osmocote) and a bag of composted cow manure (Moo Doo is my favorite brand) or other organic material and add a little to the base of every hole before you put your new plant in. Your new roots will be happier.
3. Timing is everything. Ever planted something and forgot to water it? It probably died, didn't it?  Keep an eye on the weather and try to plant when much rain is expected.

4. Timing is still everything. You need to plant far enough away from fall frost date that the roots have time to get happy before winter comes. But you have to plant far enough away from an hot summer so you don't have to water the shit out of your new plants. I like the last 2 weeks in September and the first week in October and I live in hardiness zone 6.