Real summer begins

I can feel the cool days of spring coming to an end.  Each day, it gets hot a little earlier and the mosquitoes get a little more plague-like and the air feels a little more dry, and the time I can spend outside working on big projects gets a little shorter.  

We're making good progress on the greenhouse as we race to get that finished before it's too hot to work on it.  Here's a picture after the first coat of paint.  Rob and his sprayer are doing a fantastic job.  We're painting the greenhouse to match the house and hopefully, we'll be ready to replace the roof soon.  Then, we can paint the floor and after that has a chance to harden, I can start moving back in again.  

This is the before picture, after we'd washed everything down and caulked all the crevices.  Rob let me do the caulking.  I'm sure it was because it's only a greenhouse and doesn't matter, but still, it was enough that I got to really practice and learned to control the gun and get that fine line of caulk that just fills the space I'm trying to fill.  I confess to missing the bright green paint, but I'm sure I'll love the gray just as much when I get a few things back in there and it becomes a neutral background for my plants.  

Yesterday, we made plans for the shelving we'll put back in to hold plants.  Shelving has been a problem as long as I've had a greenhouse.  We kept trying to piece-meal it, using scraps and store-bought.  But, this time, it will be all customer shelving, designed to fit my needs and hold the things I need held.  I'm definitely looking forward to that.  

There were several new flowers this week.  I believe this one is called Peaches.  No questions about why, right?

And, we can't remember the name of this one.  I thought I knew what it was, but when I tried to look it up, I was definitely wrong.  

The plumbago put out its first flowers.  I just love the particular shade of blue that these flowers bloom.  I don't grow a lot of blue flowers.  I guess there aren't that many available, 

Last week, we found out that Syd didn't have any shorts that were appropriate for going out with 60 year old men to have dinner, so there was more clothes shopping.  I'm getting tired of that, but her clothes limited the places we could go as a family.  She bought two dresses.  Sydney is not a dress girl, so when she found dresses she was interested in, I jumped all over that bandwagon.  Yesterday, her boyfriend took her out for a nice lunch to celebrate her new job and she got to wear one of them.  Finding clothes that she likes and that fit her well is hard work, but the payoff is beautiful.

I want to leave you with a thought for the week.  

"Until a drag queen walks into a school and beats eight kids to death with a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, I think you're focusing on the wrong shit" ---Wanda Sykes

Drag queens are not the problem.  Trans kids are not the problem.  Uptight assholes that are afraid they'll enjoy sex ARE the problem.  It's only made worse by the fact they can buy a gun easier than a sex toy.  

Everybody have a great week!  Enjoy the season, wherever you are!  Unless you're in Florida, in which case You in danger, girl!  Run!



Construction work

This weekend, Rob worked on the greenhouse.  He's replacing a door with a window.  It's a very practical project.  I, on the other hand, spent my time trying to make a drawer work in a cabinet that's always been in the greenhouse.  All I needed to do was repair the drawer so it would function, but it ended up taking all my work time for the weekend.  Was it worth the whole weekend?  Probably not.  But it was a "must win" project.  I had some setbacks at work last week and I needed something to go right, and that dang drawer ended up being it!  

Syd seemed to enjoy her first week on the new job.  In my opinion, they're asking her to do more than they're paying her for.  Normally, I'd have a problem with that, but this is her chance to move from heavy labor/night shift jobs and break into a day job in an office.  I think she's going to be much happier with that, but only time will tell.  Everyone is not built for that kind of structure.  I'm just looking forward to her first paycheck when she can start kicking in on the groceries.  She seems to be trying to make up for time spent broke and eating Ramen by buying the most expensive things she can find in the grocery.  We decided not to say anything in the store yesterday, but we'll be sure to remind her how budgets work when she has money to spend.  She'll also be paying rent that we'll keep in a savings so she has it for deposits when she moves out.  Again, letting her know just how much (little) money she's going to have tp spend when she's on her own.  

I'm spending as much time as possible in the garden.  So much is in bloom.  These three pictures show the garden off well.  

From inside the garden, on the stone path, looking left.

And, looking right.

Further down, from outside the garden

Just a few months ago, that was all dirt and mulch and one rosebush.  I love perennial gardening.

This is what Rob has done inside the greenhouse.  We had a French door at this end so it would let in a lot of light.  But, in the winter, when we needed more light, there's always been a greenhouse that blocked the door.  And, in the summer, that door had to stay open for the breeze, so the door itself was always in the way.  A window is going to be a much more practical idea and there will be shelves below it and shelves around it to hold gardening stuff.  

Next up is starting to paint.  We're going to paint to match the gray color of the house (Dorian Gray by Sherwin Williams) and the floor color is a dark charcoal.  After it's painted, we'll replace the roof with new corrugated plastic with a gray tint.  We cut down a tree last year and the greenhouse gets too hot and the gray roof should help shade some of that.  Rob has a new ventilation plan (no more ceiling fan) and new lights.  Taking out the fan makes more room for hanging baskets.  He's also replaced some bad siding and the floor is new...I wasn't careful enough about the trays I used under plants and one winter, I kind of let a spot start to rot.  Oops!  Now, it's plastic trays all the way.

I bought this cabinet many years ago and I like it.  But, the drawer runner had gotten broken and the drawer wouldn't function and got jammed when I'd try to open it, so I took the old runner out and built new runners.  When I put the drawer back in, I realized how off square it was (probably why the old runner broke), so I creatively took care of that and now, it works great!  But, it took me all weekend.  It's an old cabinet, but still very solid and I think it's going to be great with new coat of paint.  

So, that's our update for the week.  A little work, a little play, a little laughter, some good food and a little success.  That's what it's all about, right?  

Everybody have a great week!  Adversity is not all there is.  Sometimes you have to let fun, laughter, and success be what it's all about.  



That was fast

Last Monday, we re-worked Syd's resume.  On Tuesday, she started searching for a different kind of job.  Instead of things like unloading trucks, she looked for office work and customer service jobs.  Thursday, she had her first interview.  Friday, a followup interview, and today, she starts her first day of work.  That's much faster than we expected that to go.  On Saturday, we bought her a business casual wardrobe that will get her through two weeks, repeating pants only.  I almost got her into a dress, which for our 't-shirts and jeans' girl was quite the accomplishment.  It took longer to find her shoes, but we found shoes she liked after a while.  They're not particularly good shoes, so we need to keep looking, but we got her started.  

And, now we wait to see if she can transition from unloading trucks on an overnight shift to office work, 8-5.  It's going to be a challenge, but she's excited and I"m excited and Rob's excited and we'll be waiting to hear how it all went over dinner this evening.  Fingers crossed!!

It was a rainy weekend here, so no chances to work in the yard, and after all that shopping, Rob and I just wanted a nap Saturday afternoon.  Yesterday was still wet and drippy, so I was finally able to finish my shirt.  Yes, it has a 20.5" neck and I'm a size 17, but whatever.  When I really studied it yesterday, the neck hole in the yoke is too big.  I just need to re-draft that portion so the collar sits higher and that should take care of it.  But, it's a good enough shirt to wear around here to work in.  JoAnns has a striped fabric I'd like to try next.  

I'd never worked with plaids before and this is an "irregular" plaid in that the lines are wavy.  I thought I'd lined up the plaid lines, but after folding back the front plackets, the stripes were not even close.  Hey, you live and you learn, right?  I used the wonky plaid, thinking it wouldn't be too noticeable if I was a little off.  That was wrong, but I learned a lot about matching plaids that I'll take into the next one.  

My favorite part of gardening is watching it go from this

To this, in just a few months.  

There were more daylilies last week.

And, the oak leaf hydrangea is loving it's new place.  It's been all over the yard, but I think I've finally found a place it can be happy in.

And, this orange iris bloomed for the first time that I can remember.  This came from a friend a couple years ago and I planted it in a bed that was too shady, but after we had a tree removed last year, it's not too shady anymore.  Some of the daylilies she gave me are going to bloom this year too.  

And, this little guy did his best to threaten me the other day and send me back in the house.  Didn't work.  But, he let me get really close before he turned tail and ran.  I think his cheeks were full of birdseed but it didn't stop him barking at me.  

Here's today's statement of fact.

When every accredited medical organization in the country agrees that gender-affirming healthcare is safe, appropriate, and medically necessary, then barring patients from receiving it is state enforced medical experimentation. - anonymous

All because repube men are afraid they might flirt with a woman that has bigger equipment than them.  

Everybody have a great week!  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  It's feeling more and more like every person for themselves out there.  



The second coming

of Sydney, that is.  Syd made some questionable life choices as young people do and has come back to get a bit of a reset on her life and get back on her feet for another go at conquering the world.  I had to do that once when I moved out of my parent's house and we told her when she was in high school and after that she could come back once.  I really thought it would be before she turned 25, but I guess she's a late bloomer.  And, we're going to do all that stuff she sneered at when she was in school, like learning to budget and finding a career and interviewing in a professional setting and how to dress for a job.  And most of all, learning to live with people that have expectations of her.  Like getting up in the morning and having a work schedule for her full time job of looking for a full time job until she has a full time job to do.  And going to bed early enough to be able to get up early enough to work.  

This is the way.  

Getting her moved and her stuff in storage took most of Saturday.  Fortunately, we had her boyfriend there to help, because I'm at the age where we hire a mover, not DIY it.  But, it meant not much else got done over the weekend.  I made a shirt from my updated pattern, which had a mistake at the neck, so I had to cut a larger collar stand, which meant I had to cut another collar, and I was hoping that would happen this weekend, but it did not.  And, I have a quilt that's only partially quilted that I've left out so it can mock me and hopefully motivate me to finish.  

The Patty LuPone concert was WONDERFUL!!  We had so much fun.  Just stepping outside our box and going something we'd never been was fun.  We were like tourists, asking questions of the ushers, even having one take our picture.

And, we were very close to the stage.  It was a small venue and everyone was close to the stage.  We'd like to go there again for more performances.  I don't do well in large crowds and being around 3k people is a lot different than some coliseum with 30k people.  

I took pics of the Austin skyline, which has changed so much since we moved here in the early 80's.  

And, there were flowers.  The orange daylilies went nuts!  I'm not sure what was different this year.  Maybe the cold winters.  

And, there was this beautiful yellow.  It had been in a pot for a while and hadn't bloomed.  When I updated this section of garden last year, I put this in and this is what it did.  It was a good choice.  

This is that section of garden looks good.

Work has been challenging.  We're all hands on deck, oars in hand, rowing together to steer the ship in a different direction.  I've been asked to do things I don't do often, so I've spent considerable time beating back the demon that whispers in my ear that 'I can't do that'.  That demon can kiss by butt because...well...I am doing it.  

I do want to leave with a statement.  

Only in America do women have fewer rights than guns
Books are more banned than guns
Cars are more regulated than guns
Drag shows are more policed than guns
Abortion pills are harder to get than guns
Welcome to the killing fields of America, courtesy of republican lawmakers.  

Everybody have a great week!  Celebrate yourself and beat back your personal demons.  And, vote every time the polls are open.  Even if you don't think you have a dog in the race, vote because you can.



Flower pics

 There's not much going on in the studio except work, but there are a lot of garden pics to share.  I'm putting together a shirt.  I found some inexpensive shirting to test my newly resized pattern on and it's coming out great...except the collar.  The neck opening in the pattern is too large, so the collar stand had to have a couple inches added to it, which meant the collar was very small.  I had to pick up an extra quarter yard of fabric this weekend to cut a new collar.  I'll also cut some extra parts of the  yoke and front to create a muslin and resize the pattern.  While it's not the fun part of shirt making, it is the fun part of pattern altering.  

The daylilies started to bloom this week.  With the Iris in bloom, it's quite the show in the sunny part of the garden.  

I also put together some pots.  This is the Japanese Maple I bought myself last week.  It's definitely the most expensive plant I ever bought, so it got the good flower pot.  This is the shadiest part of the yard now and there are several cobalt blue pots full of shade lovers over here that will be arranged around this tree.  

I also did this pot with a yellow broom and some sweet potato vines.  This should be really pretty soon.  The pot is red and about 2' tall, so this should make a striking specimen.  

And, this pot with a snake plant, some dusty miller cuttings and variegated vines.  This one is going to take longer to grow into itself, but it should be pretty when it gets there.  

Rob's birthday was Friday, so we spent the weekend celebrating him.  There were flowers and cake and Syd came for dinner and we had his favorite meal and there were gifts and lots of laughter.    

Sometimes the best birthday present is a childhood memory.  We both remember soldiers like these.  

Tonight, we're bouncing back to my birthday.  Rob gave me tickets to see Patty Lupone tonight.  We're both excited.  I don't remember the last time we did anything that didn't start til 8pm.  It should be a fun night and we've both taking tomorrow morning off to recover.  

Everybody have a great week!  Find something you love and make time to do it.