Friday, June 28, 2019

Juggling Patios

We enter our fenced yard through a gate that opens onto Patio B.  (Ian has named our patios A through C.)  It's on the north of our house and where I sit in the mornings drinking coffee next to the hosta shade garden.  It's morning shade only.
This deck runs all along the west side of our house.  This small lawn is the only manicured grass we have and perfect for games of Corn Hole.
Our bedroom opens onto the deck on the south side of the house and this is about as far as we got when we looked at the house to buy.  We were in a hurry, fell in love with the yard even though it was overgrown and realized this was the best house we could get for our money.  We went back inside and made an offer.
And if I had continued along on this walk it would have led me to the side gate and front of the house.
If I would have continued I would have realized that the house came with a hot tub.  It wasn't included in the listing so I didn't look for one, didn't expect one.  It's been used a couple dozen times at the most and certainly not in the last three years, yet Ian has kept it clean and maintained.  This past winter was really cold so it had to run a lot to keep it heated.  I hated to hear it running, knowing it would show up on our electric bill.

About a month ago I was having coffee with two of my neighbors, Cinda and Clover.  (I posted a picture of Clover's house in my last blog - it's where the deer hang out because she provides them water.)  I mentioned that I was so tired of heating that hot tub, even though I know it's a good one.  We have the purchase receipt - almost $9,000 for purchase and installation.  Clover said wistfully that they sure missed having one.  Half in jest, I said you want a hot tub?  You can have mine!  And that's where it all began.
Which led up to yesterday, moving day.  Ian drained it last week and Matt came over to remove the panels so they wouldn't get scratched.  How do you move a hot tub?  With that skinny four-wheeled cart and a lot of guys.
They tipped it up on the sturdy cart and wheeled it around the house, out the RV gate, down our long gravel driveway, down the street to it's new home, just two properties away.  Oh, and the RV pad complete with hook-ups was also missing from the listing.  How lucky we were that the sellars didn't have a professional agent or this house night not even have been on the market!
Without the hot tub it becomes a large patio that will be shaded by our house in the afternoons.  Our yard doesn't have a lot of shade so I'm really looking forward to enjoying this.
This is now Patio D.  It's going to need a little attention before it's ready for a party but it's going to be ready for afternoon reading today!
Patio C is on the other side of those overgrown junipers.  Did I mention that the yard is badly overgrown????
Patio C is all flagstone, which is where we had the table and chairs.  We've done quite a bit of work here pulling grass from between the pavers but there's still a lot more to do.  It gets a small area of shade in a certain part of the afternoon but you have to time it just right.  I'm thrilled to have Patio D and Clover's family is thrilled to have the hot tub.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


I'm released to return to my normal activities and am so glad to be able to walk again.  The days are beautiful and summer has remained cool and spring-like.  I am starting with a figure eight pattern around our neighborhood so that I'd never be too far from home in case I needed to cut my walk short.  That takes me by Clover's house twice.  She keeps water out for the deer and they love her.
She sent me this picture the other day.  It's the mama deer who has been hanging around our immediate area.  She stashes her twins away and then forages in the mornings while it's still cool.  Clover was watering her hanging plants and mama came right up to her, scared Clover half to death.  The deer bucket was dry and she was asking Clover to fill it.  That was a first!
I ordered this play mat for Delaney and guess who thought it was for her!  Silly kitty.
Delaney likes it too and has already figured out how to grab the rings on one of the hanging toys.  We've learned that as tempting as it is to let her fall asleep on the mat, it's not a good idea.
She was miserable one morning last week.  Her tummy hurt and her exploding diapers used up all her clothes so that I had to run a quick load of laundry.  I think every nursing mother learns the hard way that what they eat is what their baby eats.  Matt assured me that there would be "no more enchiladas."  I told him I had done it to him with corned beef and cabbage.
The cool weather has kept a lot of my flower garden from flowering but not this double peony.  It's my first one and next year I'll have a peony cage to support the heavy heads.  Both of these plants are firsts for me.  The one on the right is Husker Penstamon (red strain).  I love the delicate flowers and I love the red foliage.  Plus it's attracting pollinators.
Sunday morning we drove down to Klammath Falls which is roughly halfway between Reno and Bend to pick up our granddaughter Alexia.  She's been comfortable staying with us since she was four-years-old and is now 14, soon to be 15 in August.  She'll be with us for a month this summer.
Mondays are the days I spend at the High Desert Museum as a living history interpreter and this is Alexia's third year to do it with me.  Miss Emily and she went out to the garden to collect rhubarb.
It was pie day and this one was made by Hazel with Miss Emily assisting.  It was an unusually cool day and the heat from the wood stove was most welcome.  The aroma of baking pie drew in visitors like a magnet.
Alexia pronounced it delicious, and I would have to agree!

The day after tomorrow I'll have both of my granddaughters here, another first.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Yay for me!!

We're starting to settle into a routine with Delaney.  Julia still plans to just work two days a week.  Newborn care runs about $300 a day and she doesn't make that much a day.  She's happy to not be working full time right now and I'm thrilled to have Delaney two days a week.  I was reading to her and tried to catch the moment with this selfie.
As of last Monday I'm back at the High Desert Museum as a living history interpreter, wearing my Birkenstock sandals.  Since they're not period appropriate I'm seated in a rocking chair with my skirt covering my feet, and I'm either knitting on a pair of socks or drop spindling.  On occasions I have to get up to help direct visitors and so far no one seems to have noticed my toes.
Staci is a new seasonal worker so Emily showed her how to bake a rhubarb pie in the wood cookstore using fresh rhubarb from the garden.  It was a great success and Staci was very proud.
This doe has been hanging around our yard, obviously pregnant and only getting bigger.  I took this picture as I was backing out of the garage, on my way to HDM.  She is alone these days and the neighbors are keeping an eye on her.  We seriously have each others phone numbers and text for updates.
Clover who lives two houses away texted Ian and me on Sunday morning to let us know that the twins had been born at Sandy's house, right in between us.
Once born they go to ground and just don't move.  Mom was eating grass and really quite trusting of us, given that the babies were between her and our little cluster of neighbors.  Ian is a morning person and saw her bring them into our yard about 5:00 Monday morning.  The three of them are still here and we are leary of provoking any kind of protective response from her.  We went through that last year and once is enough.
I'm not able to do much yard work other than bend over and pull weeds so it's wonderful to see my hard work from past years.  This is my first attempt at irises.  I was given about a dozen rhizomes which I planted last year.  Six of them are award winning, a gift from Petey, Ian's friend from college and now my friend. His cousin's husband raised them for show and had written the name of the iris on the dried flag.   This one is Wicked Cool, which it is indeed.
 I've been having my morning coffee on the patio, enjoying the plants as they grow and come together.  It's starting to look like I meant it to look like this.  Granddaughter Alexia and I created a little fairy garden and she'll be here next month to see how fabulous it looks now.
It's been two months exactly since my surgery and today was also my first appointment with my surgeon.  I have a lot of healing to go but he's given me exercises and told me to get back to doing the things I like to do.  I've done a lot of knitting and reading but it's summer and I want to enjoy all three months of it.  I celebrated my good report at my favorite nursery with two plants for my shade garden and two for my sedum garden.  I've always wanted to be able to grow an astilbe and am concerned that it might be too big for the area where it will go.  I had planned on another hosta but my good visit made me adventurous and I went for it. I'm excited to get back to yard work, and while it's still cool will take my first walk in the morning in my Teva sandals - I'm still too swollen for a shoe.  Yay for me!!