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I'm not dead! (Although I should be.)

Okay, I'm going to have to call commenting amnesty, because I just don't know when I'll be able to sit and reply to 100+ comments, I'm so sorry. Don't take it as an insult, or anything like that, I'm not "privileging comments" over yours. I'm just, you know, a mother etc. etc. and don't have time. I appreciate every comment, every person that spoke up about themselves on Those Posts. So please let this be my "thank you for commenting!" comment. :)

I'm feeling reeeeeaaaaaaally stretched thin, like I've got way too much I'm doing and I'm not doing any of it well. Mostly that's because I'm doing too much and because it's the end of the school year, blah blah. Vacations are coming up, and that should go a long way to letting me feel like I can drop my shoulders. Oh, and I got a bee in my bonnet over finishing up some garden tasks, and y'all should know by now that I'm insane when it comes to my landscaping. Big pics under the cut!



When we bought our house there was only a huge swath of nasty common Bermuda (not the pretty, fine bladed type like Tifway - HEY-O I'M A PLANT NERD) and many pounds of thistles. Lovely? Not one blooming plant. Two mostly dead trees. That was it, on 1/2 acre bit o'land. o_0 I started digging holes and realized why nothing was growing. We have the worst soil known to man, and loads of garbage under the sod. (You moved the headstones but you left the bodies! And the beer cans! And the tarps! And good hell, why so many bricks? And is that a FULL beer can? Just sitting under the sod? REALLY?) Ugh. True fact: the type of soil I'm sitting on is what HIGHWAYS are made of. You know, where huge trucks drive over in lovely stability? Try digging in that some time. Now dig up 35 square YARDS of it. WHEE.

Back to my awesome garden. Lol. The land is very sloped, btw., because I live in Flash Flood land (see: highway for soil - where does the water go? Not down but in horizontal torrents!) This is what it started out as (once I dug out three sickly holly bushes) in the beginning:



Pretty sad and pathetic looking, huh? Those are three wee pine shrubs under the window (I want a 360 view - not just a street view, btw.) and my beloved weeping Japanese maple (the one cut in half by the roofers, sob) and the beginnings of a stacked stone wall. It's wonky, but that's because I didn't get my level out initially.




Later, I made the bones to a walkway to our back gate and put in a blue point juniper and some grasses (gulf muhly) and let it rest all winter.

Not that great looking, I know. But the key here is to get beds refilled with good soil and let them mellow for a bit. It's hard to be patient.



Here's the first spring. (The white blossoms against the wall are mock oranges, and HOLY CRAP do they smell delicious. It's almost overwhelming, like a combination of gardenia and honeysuckle. Mmmm.)







Well, I ended up pulling out the border by another good foot [that was when I hired those roving landscapers to finish digging up and hauling off the concrete-grass] and dug out a solid three feet to the right of the stone path. Which meant that I needed to take out all of the stones, try and control the slope a bit, then re-do the steps, make them wider, and make sure they were perfectly level.



(I want them to match the front walkway.)



Here's the front walk in transition from the spring blooms to summer blooms.


Here's a view of the new part looking to the front.



Still left to do (but probably not today): add more day lilies (the thick grassy looking plant on the left) to the new side of the border, see if anyone has any more bluebells to add to the new side as well, add a few more grasses to the left to make it match. You can't see now, but at the bottom are two gulf muhly grasses that will get huge and full with pink wisps floating above in fall, the grasses in the new section are smaller Mexican feather grass, and I love how they look with the slightest breeze.

I need to add another cubic yard of soil/mulch to the sides to help shore up the steps and wall. The slope is intense there, and I just don't want to haul off any more caliche soil, I'd rather go up than down. Also needed: the last two flagstones up against the house and more blue stones (Mexican river pebbles) to finish it out. One day I'll hire an electrician to put a grounded outdoor plug on that wall so I can put landscaping lights out there as well, but not today.

It's still a baby garden, and I'm impatient for it to look full and lush already. I still like how it's looking, though. And given that NO ONE ON MY BLOCK has anything remotely close to a flower garden, it's pretty impressive in person, if not in pictures. Mostly by association, lol.



In other news, I wore a racer back sports bra and a spaghetti strap tank while working out there, and evidently didn't get sunscreen in the middle of my back where my shoulder blades are. So now I have a sunburn that looks like a butterfly. PRETTY. Um, when I go shopping later for a sun dress for a wedding this weekend (the one where my MiL informed the groom's mother that I just might be late, because I'm an idiot that can't find my butt with both hands? GAH.) I'll look for one with a higher back, I suppose. NOT PRETTY.

In other, other news, I don't know how I felt about last night's House. I know that I love me some Hugh Laurie, though, and his dirty scruffy sad face does things to me. Also continually hot from season to season: Chuck's Zachary Levi and good lord, I want to wear him like man pants. Tall, lithe and nerdy? YES PLEASE. That is my kryptonite. And the conclusion of The Pacific had me realize just what is wrong with the Baby Boomers: they were raised by dads with PTSD. NO WONDER, GUYS. NO WONDER. (Yes, evidently I missed the whole point of The Wonder Years, shut up, I was only there for Olivia D'Abo and her adorable over bite.)

Here, have some tacky weddings. (Clowns? REALLY? Clowns. You are going to regret that when you're older, trust me. Even the waltzing screaming clown of Cirque du Soleil is looking askance, chica. EVEN THAT GUY.)

[ETA GOOD LORD] Holy shit, you guys it is WHY APOSTROPHE ALL. Y'ALL. Not YA'LL. What the hell is that?! YOU + ALL - OU = Y'ALL. Quit screwing up the words of my people. (Would you spell it do'nt? Then you're an idiot.) Also: tump, cattywhompus, and kitty-cornered. Also acceptable: catty-cornered. Y'ALL!!!!!!!! Jesus. And again, there is definitely no "a" in definitely. Two i's bookended by two e's. NO A.

Comments

( 85 comments — Leave a comment )
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anonymous_sibyl
May. 18th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Your garden is gorgeous!
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you!
chantal87
May. 18th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Pretty pretty garden. I do indeed have a bit of plant envy.

Oh, I totally dug last night's House. I love his scruffy ass and I love Cuddy too. I'm so sappy lately.
I am begining to find myself annoying. :-)
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
MILD HOUSE SPOILERS.
If you saw my bruises and sore body, you might not be so envious. Oh, and I was so filthy yesterday after spreading compost, mulch, etc. that my dog wouldn't even sit with me until I showered.

Those last 5 minutes had me filled with a little fanservice, I won't lie. But then, I saw the kissing and kinda made some moaning noises. LOL. Ungh, Hugh Laurie you are hot. (crazy smart, musically gifted, and FUNNY? Lord help me.)
minstrel666
May. 18th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
Like I have said before: your house. Do want. Too bad that because of my chosen profession it will take me years before I can afford even a small apartment in Spain.

Sigh, I should have just gritted my teeth and become a surgeon.

Anyways, what is the soil type? Dwarf Fortress has lately renewed my interest in geology.
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
Well, Texas is a pretty inexpensive state to live in here in the US. :)

You can still join the mafia/organized crime outfit. I hear they make good money, although the life expectancy isn't much.

The soil is caliche.
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halfmoon_mollie
May. 18th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Beautiful house, beautiful garden. And your MIL is an idiot.

And I so agree with you about Zachary Levi. He's probably young enough to be my son...
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU.

He's young enough to be my lover. Lol.
flaming_muse
May. 18th, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, it is so pretty. I am very impressed!
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! *flexes biceps*
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
I STILL NEED A HANDLER, ARE YOU AVAILABLE FOR THE JOB?

Ooooh, I like that. Maybe I can duplicate the burn on my sternum for matchy-matchy good times?!

Agreed on the serial killers liking clowns because who the hell likes clowns!??! The best "Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy" is the following: I don't know where my fear of clowns began. Maybe it has something to do with me being a child and going to the circus and a clown killed my dad." LOL.

MANNEQUINS ARE THE DEVILS AVATARS.
(Deleted comment)
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turnonmyheels
May. 18th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
... Southrenese y'all aren't doin' it right

Lovely pictures btw. Good luck finding a lovely sunburn covering dress.

*mwah*
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
HI BB. And thanks!

Oh my god, I keep seeing "ya'll" everywhere and WHY ARE PEOPLE DOING THAT?!

secondalto
May. 18th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Garden, yours, WANT. *sigh* Sadly flowers make me sneeze, so unless I'm medicated to the gills, I couldn't sit out and enjoy them.

Agree with the assessment of Zach. I began watching Chuck cause of Adam Baldwin, stayed for him and Zach. Mmmmmmmmm.
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks! And I'm SO SAD that you are sniffly around plants, that's the worst thing I've ever heard.

Seriously. He's DELICIOUS. And I'm a big fan of Baldwin's, too. He's a manly man, rawr.
zyrya
May. 18th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
I read somewhere that some people write ya'll because they're doing a YA + ALL thing. In which case, I would think y'all would still work and would bring much needed consistency and harmony.

"Y'all" makes me go weak at the knees. I'm having a semi-flirtation sort of relationship with a Texan at the moment, and he doesn't sound remotely Texan but brings it on randomly so I can swoon.

Your garden makes me swoon. I want to take pics of mine, but mine's done by professionals so I don't have any feeling of accomplishment (that caliche soil! holy cows! your shoulder muscles must be caliche after working with it!). And also I don't know how to download pics from my phone.

*massages your shoulders*
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
Wait, I do not understand. WTF is "YA?"

Mmm, lemme tell you, we raise some hot men here. KNow where else the men are redonk to listen to? Mississippi or the Carolinas. it's that old school drawl of hot sex. Get your Texan to call you "darlin'" or "sweetpea." WEAK IN THE KNEES. :D

Oh, pish and tosh, I want to see your garden! I love gardens, regardless of who digs them. Can you email pics from your phone? That's how I transfer them, because I'm usually pretty dumb about other ways.

OoooOooooh, I could use a massage. I have a 2 hour massage scheduled on Thursday, so I have to be done with digging/stone hauling by then.
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ruthless1
May. 18th, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
DUDE! You are a miracle worker. Seriously. I am so impressed! You could also do some guerrilla gardening in your own yard too and hide some nice herbs in there. I used to live at a place that had all sorts of herbs tucked in between the flagstones. It was wonderful.
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Oh I have LOADS of herbs, what? Rosemary shrubs that are getting on 5 feet, parsley, basil a'plenty, sage, thyme out the yin-yang, chives, tumeric, cilantro... Loads of veggies, too, they're just on the other side of the house. The side you're looking at in these pics is the North side, so it's almost complete shade with the exception of morning sun and afternoon sun on the steps.

Check the "gardening" tag up there if you want to see some of the other beds. :D
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chase_acow
May. 18th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
You have such a pretty yard! I'm totally jealous. Hi, by the way, I'm one of the new folks lurking around.

When I saw your ETA, I had to go back and upload the "y'all" icon I found years ago. : ) It's always been 'catty-cornered' to me, I laughed the first time some yank was down here and said kitty-cornered -> it sounded so weird.
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Your icon is a thing of excellence.
Hello! And thank you very much!

I've always said "catty-cornered" as well as "catty whompus" but some folks (I think Arkansas? That area?) say "kitty." Eh.

But there is NO EXCUSE for "Ya'll." That's in the same boat as definiAtely - WRONG WRONG WRONG. :D
Re: Your icon is a thing of excellence. - chase_acow - May. 18th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(Deleted comment)
brunettepet
May. 18th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, the garden is looking so purty! Your hard work is certainly paying off! Our soil sucks and it's so hard to work and there are ginormous boulders just inches under the thin, thin clay-y top soil. I suck at gardening and it's so difficult it's easy to get discouraged. You're an inspiration.

I've given up on House, but I am right there with you on Zachary Levi. That boy makes me happy.

I am definitely a catty-cornered kitten!

Shrek wedding! Flinstones wedding! Aren't the big white dress and tuxedo costume-y enough, people?!

stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!! And seriously, the only way to garden in that white clay is to dig it out and build up with new soil. If it's gumbo (black) clay, that's full of good stuff, you just have to loosen it with loads of organic material. (My current fave is at Home Depot, their "soil builder" bags that are 2.50 a bag. Good stuff and easy to haul. Compost and mulch all together in a 40 pound bag.)

I still like the medical mysteries, plus I'm a Hugh Laurie fan from the "Fry and Laurie" days, so I have to tune in to keep my fan badge. But Zachary Levi. Holy cuteness.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. I couldn't have said it more succinctly or cleverly than that!
ladycyndra
May. 18th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Y'ALL!!!! Thats how I've always said it. Anyway, very nice garden! I do not have a green thumb and the house we live in, we're renting so I don't have to worry about making the grass look pretty! Theres a lawn service that comes and does it for the houses in the area. Yay for renting! But things break more BOO!!!

Just a curious question. Do you live in the same city as me? You don't have to answer here. You can look at my LJ info and then say yes or no.

I COMMAND IT! *shot*
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
That's THE ONLY way to spell it! So see? You've been doing something right all along. Lol.

And thank you very much! And oh, no. I'm in North Texas, although I looooooove San Antone. Even if there is no basement in the Alamo.
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copykween
May. 18th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
Hahah at the Gigantor-breast dress. I'd seen that pic before, but it doesn't really get old, does it? And the clown wedding looked kind of like a blast. Except for the whole....clown MAKE UP. *shudders* Pennywise does not approve!

Oh yeah, Zachary Levi is niiiiice. AND he can SING! Not sure if you've seen it, but he recently did a duet with Katherine McFee and it sounded pretty good. http://www.vevo.com/watch/playlist/must-love-kats/144885#0
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
Yeesh to the clown makeup on the BRIDE. IDK, I'm kinda in favor of looking pretty and not like a serial killer on The Big Day.

Whoa whoa whoa, WHAT?!?!!? Dude, thanks for the link, off to listen now! <3
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julia_here
May. 18th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
The moles have overthrown all my dry laid brick borders (anyone who wonders why they're not mortared has never tried weeding quack grass stolons out of mortared walls) and I trip over random bricks every time I try to do anything in the up-hill beds. I need to find that locking-end recycled plastic tongue-and-groove they sell to make raised beds, I guess: not perfectly lovely, but since there's four feet of drop between the pasture fence and the house, I have to use something.

About us boomers: not just our fathers, but pretty much any man we came in contact with as children could have PTSD in greater or lesser degree; my father drove fuel trucks off ships onto the beaches of Normandy in late June 1944, and up into Germany through the Bulge, which was scary enough, but his younger brother, my crazy drunken randomly abusive uncle, was one of four men to come off an island in the South Pacific (he was 18 at the time). My fifth grade history and math teacher had head trauma, to boot; he crashed a jet in Korea; sort of an early adopter of military injuries. Our dear neighbor had ptsd of the hypervigilant protective sort plus some sort of gut injury which put him in the hospital for months at a time and repeatedly freaked out the entire neighborhood over his impending death (he finally died at 90).

Another thing you can't underestimate was the degree to which growing up in the depression gave the "Greatest Generation" all sorts of weired issues, especially about food and about material possessions. Clothing, god, the issues my parents had about clothes for my sister and me, especially damaging school clothes or shoes.

Julia, of course my parents were extreme cases (utter poverty, great big families), but even my inlaws, who were from much better family economic conditions, used "in the depression" as a cudgel for such things.
stoney321
May. 18th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the people here with mortared brick walls.... UGH. That's a lot of work to change up (and let's face it, I'm going to change my garden beds every few years.)

Oh, I'm all over the Depression instilling craziness in a generation, see: my in laws. My grandfather was another one, but then, he was born in 1892, so he had all sorts of other things happening, too.
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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