Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Newnan Mass-A-Cree

Remember Arlo Guthrie's hilarious classic song "Alice's Restuarant"? He refers to the Alice's Restaurant mass-a-cree. Well, this is the tale of the Newnan Mass-a cree.

I'm usually a peaceful sort of gal. But, this week I massacred a bunch of wasps and boxwood. The boxwood was put in by the house's builder, no doubt because it was the cheapest thing he could buy by the boxcar load.

This boxwood was horribly overgrown when we bought the house four years ago. But, I was working hideous hours and never had time to prune it. So, it became even more overgrown.

Boxwood grows BIG. Why on earth it is ever chosen for foundation plants, I will never understand.

So, one afternoon last week, I went out to prune the boxwood. Only problem was that the local wasps had selected our boxwood for their summer vacation home. Hmmm....I'm really afraid of wasps.

So, I grabbed a can of wasp spray and one of my mother's old canes. I'd whack the boxwood, wasps would fly out, and I'd spray them. I went up and down the whole front of the house, whacking and spraying. After a few hours, most of the wasps seemed to be gone.

I grabbed my teeny tiny wheelbarrow and lopping shears. After cutting one tenth of the first shrub away, my wheelbarrow was full. What was I thinking? So, I just started tossing them on the lawn.

Two hours later, the boxwoods were all cut down to stumps. I almost felt sorry for the few wasps who returned home to find their home all chopped down.

Now the boxwood have been hauled to an out of the way spot, awaiting the chipper.

The boxwood will look pretty ugly for a few weeks, then they'll sprout back out. By fall we'll decide if we want to completely remove them and replace them with something more interesting, or if we'll try to keep them pruned to a decent size.

The boxwood in front of the porch had grown almost as tall as the porch railing. Cutting them back revealed yet another of the builder's lattice to cover the front of the opening under the porch.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ebay is Not for Neat-nicks

Have you ever run across something you no longer need and thought to yourself..."I could sell that on eBay". Many people make lots of money on eBay (I'm not one of them!).

Some of you may know that I've been selling stuff on eBay. I thought it would be a nice little way to supplement my retirement income. What I did not know is that it would TAKE OVER MY LIFE!

I don't have items listed all the time, but when I do they can be found at:

These days most of the items I list are for a friend. This is the collection of his wife, who was my dear friend...mostly Disney and Coca-Cola collectibles.

This week I had 24 items listed. 12 of them sold. Most of these items were larger than the standard little USPS Priority Mail boxes. Some of them had rather odd dimensions and required digging deep for boxes...trying many to see if they would work.

I forage for shipping supplies wherever I can, because I HATE to have to buy shipping supplies. The post office will supply Priority Mail shipping boxes, but they don't come in all the sizes I need. Which means I usually have a lot of box and packing material clutter. As it happens, I have just received a nice donation of shipping supplies, including a gigantic bag of foam peanuts...which takes up as much space as a recliner!

I used to have a cute little office. A desk, bookshelves, a nice closet with all my weaving well I remember the good old pre-eBay days!

This is what my nice office looks like this evening, after a marathon eBay packing session:

That red table cloth is what I use as a backdrop for many of my photos of eBay-bound items.
The floor model Ott Lite lets me take photos without flash, minimizing glare. The boxes under the table (yes, there IS a table under all that stuff) are full of items that need to be listed on eBay...someday...

I used to have a dining room. For a few short months it was my weaving and summer sewing room. (The real sewing room is next to the attic and really hot in the summer.) Now the poor former dining room is the eBay packing material and eBay item staging facility. It's where I keep the items I'm selling for a friend...while they're waiting to be listed on eBay.

This is what my formerly cute little room now looks like. If you look really hard you can find the BIG 48" LeClerc loom and a Canadian Production spinning wheel with a big 30" drive wheel!

I'm taking a two week break from eBay and am going to try to clean up this mess!

The moral of the story is....before you decide to embark on an eBay voyage, ask yourself if you can live with the mess that's bound to sneak on board.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lunacy in the Garden

I suffered a nasty sunburn while gardening last weekend, and have since been hiding indoors. Today I was back in the garden to see what surprises it had in store for me.

This silly flamingo basket holder has been with me for quite a few years. This year it migrated from the patio to the flower border! It holds a Wave Petunia. I hope the frame will eventually be covered in pink flowers. The idea tickles my funnybone!

The oakleaf hydrangea (the tiny flower buds were shown in a previous post) now has big clusters of flower buds. Soon there will be white flowers. The white flowers will gradually turn to pink and will remain on the shrub all summer.

Anyone for a picnic? The picnic table in the woods is now almost completely hidden by foliage.

And lastly, the reason for the title of this post....
Luna-cy! After working in the garden all afternoon, I found this lovely creature on a window shutter on my front porch. I rarely see the Luna Moth, and it is always a treat.

The photo quality isn't so good. It was nearly dark, and I had to take the photo with a flash.

Monday, April 27, 2009

105 Degrees in APRIL???

The last few days I've been out working in the new shrub/flower border in the back yard. We started this 4 years ago when we moved here, but decided last year that it needed to be much deeper. So, last summer we installed a rock border and started trying to kill the extremely invasive and much hated bermuda grass.

I can only work in this area for the few hours a day that it is shaded, so the work goes very slowly. At this rate, my perennials will be in the ground by Christmas.

When the sun drove me to the shaded patio this afternoon, I decided to take a thermometer to the border and see just how hot is was in the direct sun. I couldn't believe it! No wonder I was feeling faint digging those holes! 105.4 degrees after the thermometer had been there only a few minutes. Ignore the 9% humidity that shows in this photo...the temperature part works, but the humidity gauge has never worked.

The thermometer on the ground should be positioned just about the same way the sun was hitting my back while I was working out there. I see a nice cold drink in my very near future!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Native Azaleas

The shrubs I thought might be Native Azalea ARE! I'm finding more and more of these lovely shrubs in the woods. The ones deep in shade don't bloom very well, but those at the edge of the woods bloom nicely. These aren't the nice tame little azalea bushes you buy at the garden center. These will grow into sprawling tree size shrubs. They don't bloom for long, but they are so lovely for a few weeks.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Garden Ornaments from Recycled Solar Lights

The 3 year old solar lights were dead.

New rechargable batteries cost more than new lights.

Instead of sending them to the landfill, I made garden ornaments from the old lights.

We're calling them "Fairy Bells".

This is the original light.

I removed and discarded the top, which had the workings for the light.

Then, I removed the base that fits into the post, and turned it around.

Then I turned the glass globe upside down, and reattached the post. The post fits over the stake.

And now we have "Fairy Bells" in the garden.
The only part I had to discard was the round flat top part that held the batteries and solar panel.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Walk in the Garden

Okay, so the title is a bit pretentious. Actually, I stumbled around the yard with my camera.

It's time for our annual April freeze. Summer bulbs, shrubs and perennials are raising their hopeful little heads, only to be smacked down again by Old Man Winter...Mother Nature's cantankerous worser half. Every year I go out and cover everything in the hope that I can keep it from freezing...every year I fail. Most things recover...some don't. Winter ain't over til it's over....which ain't guaranteed until May 1 here in Metro Atlanta.

I wanted to check on some shrubs that I hoped were native azalea. A few weeks ago I cleaned a bunch of Mother Nature's uglies off of a bank that leads down into the woods behind the house...blackberries, honeysuckle, zillions of ugly little birch trees. Honeysuckle had engulfed several shrubs that looked suspiciously like Native Azalea. After weeks of rain, I notice now that they have big fat buds, that certainly look like native azalea.

This photo is of a bud on a plant that I know to be a Native Azalea. It sure looks like a more developed version of the photo above.

There are a couple of plants that I've not yet identified. Be ye friend, or be ye foe? If you know what they are, please speak up. Otherwise, I'll be pouring over books trying to ID them. Notice the bloom spike at the top.

Growing at the base of this plant is another unknown. It sort of looks like Virginia Creeper, though I've never seen that growing on our property.

The ferns new fronds are beginning to emerge.

The oakleaf hydrangea thinks it's already summer, foolish thing! If you look closely, you can see the little flower buds emerging.

The hopeful hosta are already almost a foot tall. I want to tell them 'go back, go back'. Every year they come up early and are turned into hosta-cicles by an April freeze.

And we end our garden tour with my favorite non-plant
item in the garden...the bottle tree. I've almost consumed enough blue-bottled wine to fill it with blue bottles.
Y'all come back now, ya hear?
Maybe I'll offer you some of that blue-bottled wine.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

So, this is a blog...

Friends have encouraged me to start a blog. Does anyone care what I have to say?

I finally painted a few plain white ceramic objects, which have been on my work table since last August. The frog's purpose is to hold a pan scrubber, and is for my mother's kitchen. The Soap and Lotion bottles are for my bathroom, and will match the border I painted. The mugs are for my mother, who is a fan of Keeping Up Appearances, wherein the heroine cherishes her cups with the "hand painted periwinkles". Here's a photo of the afternoon's work.