Wednesday, March 23, 2011

stepping right along

My yard has been/is a step-by-step process.  Now that the planting beds are in, David put a ramp in for me coming off the patio into the yard.  I really like the ease of getting around with it...and Elise does too.  I think all of the grandkids will like it, but she's been able to see and use it daily.

Yesterday I had a load of dirt delivered, suitable for gardening.  For the $7 a yard difference between the compost mix and fill dirt, it was very much worth it.  It looks nice and rich and fertile, and hopefully will accomodate my green thumb.  Before I ordered it, I looked around and found pictures to get an idea of how much dirt was in 4 yards.  I settled on 3.5 yards, and it worked out well.  Here's a picture of it with just a couple of wheelbarrow loads already pulled off.   The young man on top of it doing the hard part is Joshua.  Couldn't have done it without him.
I did a rough estimate of how much dirt I'd need, and came up with 9 yards.  I'm sure glad I didn't order that much, because 1) this was plenty of dirt to handle in one day, and 2) I don't think I'm going to need anymore!  Needless to say, my calculations were a bit off. 

So here's where I am so far:

Next, figure out a "floor plan" of what plants I want and where I want them.  And I'm waiting till April to get some sod brought in. 

Shifting gears a bit, a recent Friday night pj party on the HGTV quilting/sewing forum was to make a carrying case for an IPad.  I didn't have the need for that, but it could be used for a purse as well, so I thought I'd give it a try.   It required a square piece, size optional, depending on what you were doing.  Seems like the IPad case called for about a 23" square, but I had this 20" block made up already, and went with it.  (leftover squares from this project)  I simply joined this to a backing with batting in between, and put a binding on it.

Here's the almost finished project, just needing buttons for closures on the 2 outer pockets.  You'll see two buttons to the side of the purse.  I'll use the red on one side, and the black on the other.  Not bad for using my stash and not having to purchase anything.  :)  That's a good thing.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

old ways or new?

I don't know about you, but I've noticed some things aren't as easy to do as they used to be.  Take whistling for example.  Not that I ever whistled a whole lot, but I used to manage to get out something recognizable.  I'm blaming muscles that have gone south, because my pucker isn't what it used to be. 
I tried whistling a tune for Elise the other day, and it wouldn't come out.   Don't know of anything to do about it, except maybe practice and see if that helps tone some mouth muscles.

For some situations though, there is help, and it's a smart person to recognize a need and take advantage of whatever assistance is out there.  And yes, I do consider myself smart!  I bought this handy little grabber a few weeks ago.  I don't expect to use it constantly, but there have been a couple of occasions where it's done the reaching instead of me.  Just this morning I dropped a gadget behind the sewing machine cabinet.  Rather than move the whole cabinet so I could get to the gadget, I reached for my handy dandy grabber, and had the little thing back in my hand in the blink of an eye.  Not even two shakes of a lamb's tail.  My kids have given me a bit of teasing about it, but I guess they figure that's their job.  The grandkids like using it too.

Anyhow, on to other things.

I decided I wanted to grill a steak tonite, partly because it gave me an excuse to use my charcoal chimney for the first time.  You've probably seen them.  Rather than put the charcoals in the Weber grill and soak them in lighter fluid, causing a big "whoosh" of flames, you stuff a bit of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney, and put the charcoals in top.  Light the papers, and about 15 or 20 minutes later the charcoals are ready to spread and start cooking.  No lighter fluid, no singed hair from the huge flame. 

I don't know that there would have been enough charcoal from one chimney to cook for a lot of people, but for singles or small gatherings, it should do fine.  I probably should have planned this a bit better and thrown on a chicken breast or two, maybe even a pork chop, instead of my lone steak, but se le vie.  (I may be smart, but didn't take any French classes to know how to spell that.)  Ah well.

In a very short time, dinner was served.  Mmmm.  Lot of food there, but there was enough left over to cover another meal, so it's all good.

Hope to have pictures next week of dirt in my planting beds.  It's scheduled for Tuesday...assuming I can verify I have someone to spread it.  I talked to a fellow in the neighborhood the other day, thinking possibly they had a landscaping/lawn mowing business, which it turns out he doesn't, but he does have a son about 22 who needs some work.  Hope I can talk to Junior tomorrow to make sure he's agreeable to doing it, if not I'll be scrambling to find someone else.

Have a good week everyone.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

another step in the process

I've got the best son and son-in-law.  Since the patio is now covered and painted, the next step is planters.  The boys came over this morning, and by noon things were close to completion.

I've wanted planting areas for quite awhile, but everything has been step by step.  Have the patio put in, then the pergola, then the painting.  Now the planters!  I'll be calling about having some dirt brought in to fill them, then next will be a couple of pallets of grass for the yard.

Thanks Robert and David.  Thanks to you, my yard is closer to completion.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

getting a jump on spring

After a cold winter, at least for those of us in Texas, things have been a bit warmer and I've had a bit of spring fever.  Anxious to enjoy an afternoon outdoors, I had the family over yesterday for some hamburgers.

David did the cooking... and we really didn't drive him crazy, as it looks.  He just likes to make faces.  He also  brought some jalapeno poppers for an appetizer.  Didn't get a chance to get a picture of them before they were all gone. 
He wasn't working the whole time.
Nolene and Joe were able to make it, 
along with their granddaughter Lisa.
It was a treat to see Lisa, since she lives in Abilene.  She's visiting for a few days over spring break.

John was here by himself until Bonnie finished a golf tournament she was in,
then she came when she was finished, just in time to eat a hamburger.  She made her famous macaroni and cheese, as requested by Robert.
Robert and Angela were here too.  It's the start of spring break for both Angela and David, and I'm sure they're appreciating the time off.
Tammy and Jimmy made it over from Denton. The little guy in front of Tammy is her grandson AJ.  Sweet little guy, he's about 6 or 7 weeks older than Elise.

Here's Rhett, Ashlynn, and Elise.

Let's see, when are we getting together again?