Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh No....Not the Deck....

I noticed a little pile of sawdust under the deck this afternoon.

"Hmmmm that is odd."

Then I looked up. This is what I saw.

Bees!!!they have drilled holes in our new deck. Carpenter Bees.

Don't they know how hard Chris has worked on this deck! How dare they drill little nests there?!? Is the neighbors deck not good enough for them? Is the taste of new pressure treated wood better than older pressure treated wood? Probably, since it is chromated copper arsenate free, it is a little better for those pesky bees. Remember old treated lumber had arsenic. Yes, arsenic. So, the new pressure treated wood is a little better for us? Maybe, I don't know what is in it?

I guess I could google and tell you, but I've got supper on the stove and gotta go soon. If you are curious I am sure you will look for yourself.

I've seen them buzzing around for a couple of weeks now, and ignored them. I just didn't know they were drilling into the deck. Chris, who called every beekeeper in the state to save honey bees in an apartment complex he was working on, actually said... "Swat them down, and kill them." OK, so Honey Bees are endangered and vanishing. Carpenter Bee's are still thriving and making homes in people's decks.

Off to find wood filler... I know it is around somewhere.

I tried to take a pic of the bees, but here is a link.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Opossum Tree...

We have about 30 trees.

( If I counted correctly?)

The mature trees and the large yard helped us in making the decision to tackle the task of almost re-building the bungalow.

We have one tree, in the back, back yard that we knew had passed. He was a large tree that had seen his share of local history. The ends of his long branches had been shed long ago and the kudzu and privet grew around him.

Last fall we, Puppy, found this tree had residents, Opossums. A pair of red-eyed grey creatures called the dead tree home. Every evening after dark, we would walk down to the tree to look at the pair of opossums. Their eyes glowed in the the reflection of the flash light. They would become perfectly still.... playing 'possum.

Thus the dead tree became known as The Opossum Tree.
We don't think too much about names around here. Ya know, our dog's name is Puppy.

So fast forward 6 months...

We are doing the best to clean up the back yard, and the back, back yard. Picking up limbs, brush and various yard debris. Maybe in hopes of having a gathering of sorts, sometime before the weather becomes too warm.

I notice something under the Opossum Tree. I think it is a rock. A couple of days later, after the rain, I notice that it looks more like concrete. Odd, I think. A couple more days pass, and I remember to bring the broom down to the back, back yard. I brush away the leaf cover and uncover something very, very odd.

See, we are inching away at the kudzu jungle. Before you could not get with in 10 feet of this tree. But also look in the back... The kudzu is awake from its winter nap.

At first I think that it is another sidewalk. But when I dug around the other side of the tree all I found was earth. The pitch fork only hits dirt, not the clank of a rock or of concrete.

The slab is about 40 " wide, the center "aisle" is about 14" across. At about 28" inches deep, the tree begins to grow over the slab. I can't find any evidence of the slab on the other side of the tree.

Odd? A well? Maybe? I know our house is not on any of the Sanborn Fire maps or the old city directories.

Your thoughts?

Chris did warn me not to go plundering around there if he is not at home.

"If it is a well, you'll be sure to fall in." he said.

I agreed, I am a klutz.

The Opossum Tree is going to stay there for a while longer. It would be sad to have homeless opossums. So for now we still have 30 trees. But one day soon the 'possums will have to move. Their home is not going to stay there for long. A spring storm will probably toss The Opossum Tree to the ground.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sorry, I did not walk today.

I planned to walk. Really I did.

Then I remembered a Christmas present from Chris's Mom.

I unboxed it and set it up. Since our back yard is looking so much better.


I caught up on some reading.

See those are my walking shoes. My yard shoes are muddy.

I walked around in the yard and noticed some things.

Then the storm clouds rolled in.
We'll try again next week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Still working in the yard.

The bonfire is still burning in the far part of the back yard.
Chris keeps finding tree limbs to burn. I don't think the PO ever brought any of the limbs to the curb. Just placed them in a pile and the kudzu grew over them.

I cleaned up some leaf debris from the front yard. (Yes it is April, end of April, and we still had leaf debris in the front yard.) I used the leaves as mulch in the vege garden.

I am almost finished with the flower bed in the front to the left side of the sidewalk. Including digging up those stepping stones. The stones seem to be granite, not slate, as I had thought. I moved them and re-set them. One still wobbles. ( I had Weeble Wobbles, once.)

Oh, and last weekend we planted 7 small azalea plants in the front yard. I could not find the Stewartsonian color, but did find a orangy red. Not as vibrant as the other, but the plants were under $3 each. Then our neighbors planted some more azaleas, and sellected plants in the same color family. This should provide a nice show of color at the property line in a couple of years. On our side I made sure that I planted the plants about 3-4 feet off the property line, so when the plants grow they won't grow into their side. They planted right on the property line. I just don't quite understand that. Oh well.... I guess the same reason they always place their yard debris on our side, not theirs.

While working in the front yard, I have seen 3 wrecks. Two right in front of our house. I guess folks are trying to figure out where we are doing next. This town tends to be quite nosey. Pay attention to the car infront of you people of Townsville!

Til next time......

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hole in Tree and the Burning Man.

Images of the hole in the pear tree.

My guess is this was a clothes line, that the tree grew around.
(This makes me want a clothes line. I love the feel and smell of line dried sheets and towels.
As a child, at my grandmother's house we would run through the towels and sheets on the line. Such fun. )

Chris thinks this is a horse shoe.

and Do you remember those limbs in the back back yard?
They are gone.
Too bad we didn't have hot dogs or marshmallows.
Sorry the pic is blurry, I took it using the super zoom setting on the camera, at night, from the deck about 40 yards away.
Yes, he did call and get a permit.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Uncovered-Day 2

Front Yard

.....and a little more on the back yard.

While Chris works on the back part of the back yard, hacking away at dead privet, live privet and all sorts of vines and stuff.........

We have 2 lots, making an L shape. The front lot, where the house sits, and the back lot which is directly behind the front lot and behind our neighbor's lot. (Thus, the front part of the back yard and the back part of the back yard. ) No one except Puppy, has actually been to parts of this back lot in years. It is overgrown with privet and kudzu. Those giant limbs fell in a storm last fall, and yes, they are still there. Behind the house, both lots are completely fenced in with chain link. Pretty, No. Functional, Yes. Function over rules pretty for most things around here. Unless we win the lottery, and since we never buy tickets, um.....we're never gonna win. Oh, it does look much better than Fall of '06! Inch by inch we will re-claim this part of the yard.

.....I begin to edge around the concrete parking area between the new garden and the deck.

What did I find? More Bricks. Those great Plainville Bricks.

"I know exactly what I am going to do with these."

Remember the front flower bed. I edged with other found bricks.

There is an area to the left side of the house that could use a flower bed as well. This will make things all symmetrical.

See the picture up there to the right. It would be logical to have matching flower beds on both sides of the sidewalk in front of the house.

I begin to carefully dig, because this is where the new water line enters the house.
I keep hitting what I think is concrete. Slowly I dig a little more and a little over and discover there is a pattern to this "concrete".

"This couldn't be old sewage lines, or anything else."

I decide to gamble. Since we don't take chances on those lottery tickets.

I dig a little deeper with the shovel at one of the concrete spaces.

I find......

Old stepping stones. They look like large pieces of slate. About 6"-8" thick.

So now I need to dig up these stones move them over a bit, in order to have a space to line the new flower bed with the found bricks.
For this day. I stop. You see that strong afternoon sun at my back. Enough!

To be day this week. Maybe....

Monday, April 21, 2008

Uncovered-Day 1

Back Yard

Once a young girl spent hours and hours in front of PBS watching archaeologists unearth the ruins of ancient civilizations.

“Oh! Mama, that’s what I want to do when I grow up.” she would say.

(She would go on to say that she wanted to be a veterinarian, after watching Wild Kingdom and on to numerous other professions that seemed dreamy to a child.)

She grew and learned just what was involved in these professions. In high school biology she had to dissect a pig. Euhhh…Gag me with a spoon.” That axed out vet. She also really liked showers, nice shoes, big hair, and eyeliner which totally ruled out archaeology.

Then there was this weekend.

The Weekend of the Big Dig.

Here is where we started.

Big ol' mess. Sorta a sidewalk, a pile of odd rocks, weeds, and just a total wreck. Chris uncovered the bottom of the birdbath last summer.

"What a great spot for a vege garden?" We thought and agreed.

We began to dig, and dig ,and dig. A pitch fork works well to break up the earth. ( Unless you have a plow, or a tiller, or a mule. )

We cleared the sidewalk with a flat shovel....

We made rows....

We unearthed steps......

We filled in the Mini-Cooper sized crater (hole from a long ago fallen tree) with some of the left over dirt.


We found that the rocks surrounded the sidewalk in a sorta semi-circle.

I am not sure why they couldn't make it all even,
like a true half circle or half oval.
Not wop-sided. Oh well....

(view from the deck)

See in the back, they are set in concrete. Meaning...they stay for now.
Here you go, a close up.

(rocks set in concrete)

We planted some tomatoes, eggplant, and squash on the right side.

The left side still needs some work. Last year, that side of the yard was completely covered by Kudzu.

That is newspaper in between the rows. It works very well keeping moisture in and weeds out. We will mulch over it.

That girl, was very glad, that she had a nice subway tiled shower and plenty of advil after such a long day.

She needed both equally as bad.

Stay tuned for Day 2- front yard.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Walk: Part 16

Who is smiling now?

On our walks, don't forget to look up.

There are plenty of details to see,
and they show up well,
with blue skies behind them.

Hope you have had a delightful Sunday. We've been working on the Kudzu Jungle ,the front yard, and a vege garden. I'll send (not seen) you pics and updates next week.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two of a kind.......

Yard Sale find...

and they are signed.......

Whiter than Terrace ?

Finn Holton ? Holten maybe.

Both are signed the same way.

No other markings.
Ideas? Anyone?
I googled, nothing....notta...

Two Chairs = $5 total
Yes that is $2.50 each. I paid for them with change.

They are well made, just very dirty fabric.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oh...all those books...

There are books behind glass.

Books stacked in closets, Books stacked in boxes, and books stacked in boxes in closets.

So they can be kept free of construction dust.

There are Books that teach..

and books that share....

And remind you of places you have been.

There are old books of strangers...

With lovely letterpress...

and wonderful detail.

More books that tell stories...
some of which you may believe....

There are books about Presidents, by Presidents and on Presidents.

Books who think "they complete you"....

and you must be an

to have more books like them.

And then there are those books that you don't understand why they are there....
or why you still hang on to them?

Yes, we have a lot of books. Some good, some bad, some classic, some not. My dad had many books. My sister has many books. Books run in our family. I am not sure what to do with all the books at this house. We had more boxes of books than anything when we moved. (Well, maybe there were several boxes of dishes and glassware.) Our last house had two built in book cases. This house doesn't have kitchen cabinets--- yet. (cabinet shells only) So for now, many of the books will stay tucked away.

A couple of weeks ago Sandy invited me to a book tag. Here is the book I am reading. Thought I would love it. I don't. But I always force myself to finish. I like historical fiction.

pg 123.
5th sentence.

"Loyal friends waiting for each other before trying to dig up and share pots of gold? Treasure maps readily available in missing men's tents? Did she think I believed it? And Macy, I must stress that I didnt tell her anything of my suspicions."

Sorry Sandy, I am slow.

*In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends, but they are imprisoned by an enchanter in these paper and leathern boxes; and though they know us, and have been waiting two, ten, or twenty centuries for us,—some of them,—and are eager to give us a sign and unbosom themselves, it is the law of their limbo that they must not speak until spoken to; and as the enchanter has dressed them, like battalions of infantry, in coat and jacket of one cut, by the thousand and ten thousand, your chance of hitting on the right one is to be computed by the arithmetical rule of Permutation and Combination,—not a choice out of three caskets, but out of half a million caskets, all alike.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Really that was in one of my books.