Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Mailbox

This was my mailbox.
I always forget to take photos at the very start of a project, 
so this photo was taken just after I removed the offensive object from my house.
The Day of the Dead duct tape really adds a little somethin-somethin.
The tape was actually placed there to keep the mail man from
putting the mail in an open area in the back that
wasn't large enough to fit your hand into.
I really hated this mailbox.
This is the new improved mailbox that I just picked up
and installed myself.
(please look past the road grime staining the siding,
it won't come off so we're painting the house house in the future)
It's definitely more aesthetically pleasing, and
it's close enough to turn of the century style mailboxes to appease me.
I found similar mailboxes online for about $50,
which was why I was still living with the ugly plastic monstrosity.
This piece I found by accident while checking out
a turn of the century pie safe on a site online.
The store is called James and Jess House of Goods in Waynesboro, PA.
I learned this mailbox was only $21.
So I planned a short hike on the Appalachian Trail with a stop in Waynesboro to check out the store.
The mailbox is great.  Not an antique,
but I like it and it works.
The store is fantastic.
Full of odds and ends, some antique some not,
but all very cool.
Not only did I grab the mailbox, but I grabbed a rooster hook for the kitchen
and a small antique lantern that I have in mind for a project.
And I'm still thinking of the pie safe
that I'd like to use in the new bathroom as a cabinet for towels and such.
(but really there still aren't complete walls or a toilet in the bathroom so I'm not really ready for a piece like that).
So if you're around the area, 
I recommend checking out the store.
Even my mom and sister left with stuff.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Turkey Lurkey

This is Fernando the Black Spanish turkey.
I wasn't sure if he was going to be a tom,
but there's no question.
He's not Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner
or dinner at all.
He just spends his days hanging with his duck friends.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Make Way for Monarchs

Last year I started working on making my gardens
a monarch waystation
(you can read about that here).
I was little discouraged because I didn't really see many monarchs.
Actually, I didn't see any.
But I did see some swallowtails, 
so it was worth the work.
This year was entirely different.
I discovered that I have monarch caterpillars all over my milkweed.
And I also see 5-10 monarchs in the yard at any given time.
Hoping to eventually see a monarch chrysalis or 10
on the milkweed soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bathroom Magic

In addition to being visited by the Bathroom Fairy, 
we've also been visited by his counterpart: The Plumbing Fairy.
Here you can see the shower basin in place with the Plumbing fairy
my husband Big E working on the shower faucet hardware.
There aren't many photos to show, 
but we have checked toilet placement,
and added plumbing lines for sink, shower and toilet.
I'm happy to report that there are no leaks
as I was instrumental in helping with checking the lines.
It is important to make sure when checking water lines that you have a bucket handy
just in case you can't tell if the faucet hardware is turned to the "on" position.
Also, remember to empty said bucket after it fills with water
from the turned on shower
so the Bathroom Fairy your Dad doesn't find his bucket full of water.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

More Progress

After some setbacks in the bathroom,
we're once again back on track.
The shower basin we had ordered
turned out not to be what we needed.
So I went back to what I wanted originally- a 42"x42" square base,
and planned to move the toilet
(apparently you can't have your toilet and shower within a certain distance
which was causing design issues, but problem solved).
So the Bathroom Fairy showed up and built the partition wall for the shower stall.
The front (where the ladder is) will be a glass door,
and there will be glass on the top of the partition wall.
More has been done since these photos, 
and I will reveal that progress as I manage to catch up with posts.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Phyllis the Polish Crested

One of the new chickens is a Polish Crested.
She's basically crazy.
Because her feathers fall into her eyes, 
she can't see the best.
So if, say, you were crouched by the coop watching the chickens,
and this chicken came running over,
she'd suddenly freak out leaping and sqwaucking
because she didn't see you right away.
My mom named this particular chicken Phyllis Diller.
You might notice the resemblance. 
There's also the crazy factor.
Ms. Diller (the human) was known to be a little wacky.
I always loved Phyllis Diller, 
mostly because she was a guest on the greatest show that ever was:
The episode was titled: A Good Medium is Rare
and it's posted below if you'd like to watch.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mulching: Before and After

 I've been waiting over a year to be able to
share before and after photos of the yard.
Finally, I have a mostly finished product!
This is the view from our back door looking down to the back of the property.
And this is the same view now.
 And another view closer to the garage.
 This is of course the view from the beck of the property
looking back towards the house.
 And the same view now.
 Close up of the old lilac bush that was outside the back door.
It was rotted and not in great shape.
And now it's gone.
The large area in the photo that doesn't have plants
is the future site of the water garden I plan to put in.
There will be a waterfall in the back right corner of the house.
I'm hoping to be able to do that late summer/early fall
if I'm lucky.
Another wider view of the area.
This is a shot of the side of the house
and the lovely yews.

Another yew full frontal.
And here we are yew free.
This was a really big transformation.
We went from the yews to yew stumps 
to nasty grass and weeds 
to this.
A photo of the area on the side towards the back.
The room with all the windows is the laundry/mud room.
And here is the little garden now.
There was a garden there originally,
but it was full of weeds and mint.
Mint is the devil.
DO NOT plant mint directly into your garden!
Trust me.

Another view of the yews from the front of the house.
And the new view.
I'm thinking of planting a climbing vine on the rain spout.
A clematis would look good there,
and it would give the garden some height.
We don't have a front yard at all- the porch touches the sidewalk,
so I need to make sure the areas I have close by really pop.
Here we have some random shots of the new gardens.
We will eventually replace the old nasty wire fence
with a privacy fence.
The rest of the yard will be picket fencing.
I originally stuck my grandson's playhouse in the garden
to take up space.
I've decided to leave it there for now.
I had the idea to use containers 
and let him plant some annuals to have around his house.
The garden angel that was once my grandmother's.
Now that everything has been weeded and mulched, 
and all the plants have been planted,
it's time to make a list of what plants I'd like to add.
I have another hydrangea that was part of my wedding decor to transplant, 
and I'd like to get a lace cap hydrangea too.
Big E wants a rhododendron,
and I've saved room along the side of the house for that.
I need some more milkweed,
and I also want
rudbeckia (brown eyed Susan),  lavendar,
phlox, columbine, hollyhocks, and some coreopsis-
plus whatever else I happen across that I like.