APRIL Project- Do You Clean Up Good? Part One…

My yard “cleans up good.”

I hd never heard that phrase until my early 20s when a neighbor paid me the compliment. I may not recall what special event The Boyfriend/Husband was taking me out for that evening, but the “You clean up good, kid!” I remember like it was yesterday.

Yeah, I'm hanging my head.
Yeah, I’m hanging my head.

This is the sorry state of affairs that I am working with. Just this very day I am learning that this desiccated disaster is not entirely my fault. It seems that The Husband had turned of the water… for the last three weeks! Now, April has been a rotten month for me so far, but usually my entryway doesn’t fall apart to this extent. I’m glad to know that I had help in this mess.

Leslie knows her stuff.
Leslie knows her stuff.

To help prettify my window boxes, the dead alyssum, pansies and geraniums are headed to the compost pile and being replaced with less thirsty flowers.They aren’t natives or succulents, but with help from Leslie at Walter Anderson Nursery I learned that succulents wouldn’t take the heat and the local plants that would, get way too big. Trust your Garden Center Gurus. They know all.

Here are the replacements (you can click on the small photos to see their detail and names):

Nasturtium
Nasturtium
IMG_6211
Asteriscus
IMG_6210
Mecardonia
IMG_6209
Euphorbia
IMG_6208
Portulaca

And here is the lovely finished project. Sorry kitty lovers, but both cats had jumped down from the window by the time I took this photo:

IMG_6235

If I remember, I’ll post an update in a month or so when these little guys fill in more. In the meantime, this is what gets replaced tomorrow: IMG_6199

New Things Daily. Really. Or At Least Attempted…

On Monday, I had intended to give an update on the Book of the Month. Even though the plan derailed, my train of thought is powered by a compulsive desire to see those little calendar dates all filled in, each and every day.

Look at that empty spot... just taunting me.
Look at that empty spot… just taunting me.

Monday was Migraine day. Sometimes after a migraine ceases you feel physically lighter, floating or at least as if a weight has literally been lifted off of your head. Sometimes you feel as though pressure has been released… or that the vacuum chamber that you are stuck in has finally unlocked and your entire being is returning to normal.

Weird, I know. It feels cathartic to just explain what the pain feels like to me. I wonder if by being able to put words to the extreme discomfort that I am conquering it in a way? Psychologists, doctors, med students, and Psychiatrists, feel free to chime in. Seriously.

So, Monday I didn’t even lift my book. I didn’t even lift my body off of the couch most of the day.

But- here is the book update about my new read this month:

Need a good laugh? Go get this book. Bill Bryson’s “The Lost Continent.” Warning: you have to have thick skin to read this book, because he busts on just about everyone across the country. Overall I am loving this book, lots of laugh-out-loud moments!

And, later today I will move this post on over to Monday. Where it belongs. Out, damned blank spot! Out, I say!

…I wonder if Lady Macbeth had migraines?

April Read: Bill Bryson’s “The Lost Continent”

I first read Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” about 15 years ago on the heels of finishing his “English: The Mother Tongue.” I loved his humor, perspective and narrative, and “Walk in the Woods” adventures through misadventures along the Appalachian Trail had me completely hooked on his books. The guy is funny; in my opinion, he’s kind of a cross between Dave Barry and Garrison Keillor. If you don’t know who either of these two examples are, you n00b- stop what you are doing and click those links. Go ahead, use my links, you lazy butt, and spend the time you just saved reading up on them… I’ll wait…

Two by Bryson... on the only uncluttered flat surface in my home right now.
Two by Bryson… on the only uncluttered flat surface in my home right now.

This month I’ll finally read “The Lost Continent.” I’ve had this title on my shelf for several years, never letting my dad borrow it because I have meant to get to it, but never did. Yeah, it’s a theme in my life lately, hence, This Blog.

I’m hoping that it can hold a candle to “A Walk in the Woods,” and want to pick up “Neither Here Nor There,” “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” and “Shakespeare: The World as a Stage” next.

And maybe the rest of his writings as well… there’s about twenty in this lineup.

And Dad? You can borrow it at the end of April.

*If you really are unfamiliar with Garrison Keillor and Dave Barry, spend some time tripping through the web following links, and laugh the whole way. You’ll thank me.

APRIL Project- Stop being *Those* Neighbors…

you know who they are. Their lawn could use a trim. They have some bushes that are half dead. And are they ever going to do something about that spot with weeds? Yeah… that’s us.

Smart people who can maintain their yard...
Smart people who can maintain their yard…

I have four spots in the front and back yard that need work that I keep saying I will do something about-

  1. Put another citrus tree in a pot in my backyard- do the work myself this time instead of making The Husband do it all
  2. Find a water-wise plant and rocks for the front of our walk
  3. Also, more water-wise plants for my window boxes instead of committing plant abuse and killing off a bunch of flowers again 
  4. Plant the cactus The B-I-L has so generously offered to share from his plant many times- fresh nopales in my future!
Potted tree- fine.
Potted tree- fine.

I don’t know why our citrus trees are dying slow deaths. Yes I do. I don’t fertilize them, the snails are eating up the new leaves. and then there is the entire North American population of Whiteflies living on one little Meyer Lemon tree/bush in my backyard, struggling to overcome these pests.

It isn't arborcide if your tree has blossoms, I tell you!
Unpotted tree… It isn’t arborcide if your tree has blossoms, I tell you!

Hopefully, by the end of the month I’ll have gotten out there and made our incredibly nice neighbors proud, and turn over the job of being THOSE neighbors to someone else.