I’ve Lost My Lease on My Rented Mule (and other stories)

Iris in bloom

I have mentioned it before, but when my husband was downsized, I gave him “the look” and told him I planned to work him like a rented mule until he had a new job.

True to form, I have done just that, before and after the eight-day vacation he took to San Francisco!

As soon as my dear husband and daughter returned from a glorious week in San Francisco, it was time to knuckle down. Especially since he had several possible employers nibbling at the hook!

While on vacation, sitting on a beach in SF no less, the hubs handled two phone interviews and then scheduled the 3rd interview for the day after he returned.

And, as of Wednesday, May 10th, my rented mule has returned to the IT world.

I came up with a list of “gotta do’s” and we set to work in the few days we had left. We got a lot accomplished. Come take a look!

First you lay down the tarp…

She Dreams of Pond

I have wanted a pond, a nice-sized one, since I began digging to China the first spring we were here. And that has created a small problem…a hole in the ground with a perimeter of broken brick does not easy mowing make.

And hold it in place with rocks…

So I bought some landscape fabric and got to work. By laying down the weed block and then piling on the mulch nice and thick, Dave will be able to mow right up to it easily. This will hold for a couple of seasons at most. Mulch breaks down and weeds eventually move in, but it will give us a break from the high weeds and define the space better.

With the mulch all in place…

If I have time, digging the pond out more (and removing all of the vegetation that has grown inside of it) would really make a difference. It’s hard to visualize from photos, they just don’t properly show the depth of the project!

I hope to have this pond up and running by next year sometime. This year if I’m really, really lucky (which definitely means next year!).

Why look, my $140 order of 100% DEAD plants came in from USA Nursery!

Mulch Boundaries

This free mulch is great for smothering grass and weeds. Especially if you put it on thick enough! This is allowing us to terraform our yard into something we will not only enjoy, but be able to garden in successfully. The creeping charlie plants have basically taken over what little grass there was and I look forward to smothering them under a foot of mulch.

Here in the front, the tight quarters meant for difficult maneuvers around plants, so adding mulch here was a top priority. As were the bases of all of our trees and bushes.

It’s looking better, and I want to do more, but the fence for the back of the property is a screaming priority. So for now, this mulch is all we are going to do. On to fence-building next!

I adore this columbine. It is so dark, almost black. It is GORGEOUS!

I Love Spring

Spring is hands down my favorite time of year. The birds sing happily, and there is a dizzying array of flowers to enjoy. Here is what is blooming in our yard right now…

Poppies getting ready to bloom!

Multiple lamb’s ear plants are thriving

Yellow flag water iris

In the foreground is a free plum tree we got from Anita B Gorman event the first year we were here. It is doing phenomenal! Next to it is a redbud determined to keep up.

Porch cat, a.k.a. Gray, is a kitty who has been coming around for months. He has finally trusted us enough to let us pet him. Strictly one or two short pets, otherwise you get the claws again!

An Art Project

And I’ve begun that art project I was describing a few posts back. The one that will be installed at The Cottage.

I’ve got a bunch of flat glass marbles on order, but if anyone has any to spare, please send them my way. I need all I can get!

For this project, I am painting the windows taken out of The Cottage with the same green as the outside paint.

After I have filled the open glass areas with flat glass marbles and attached them in place with E6000 glue, I will be mixing some epoxy and setting them in place behind a clear epoxy wall.

After that I will find some good outdoor chain, and attach it to the tops and bottoms of the windows and mount them in the open spaces above the porch handrail.

Stay tuned to see the finished product!

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