Sunday, April 29, 2012

Busy, Busy Day

Whew! I'm exhausted.  Today was a busy day.  Although it's been a while since I posted, that doesn't mean I've been sitting around drinking champagne and eating bon bons.  Well actually, I have, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working really hard too!  The gardening stuff has been challenging because - well - you may not know this, but I have an incredibly demanding, busy job.  I commute a couple of hours to work each day and I work long hours and sometimes I travel (this week I was out of town for three days).  Fortunately, the MOTH has been helping a lot with watering the seedlings.  Today I started the hardening off process.  I probably should have started sooner, but just haven't been around enough to do it.  I put the seedlings outside in indirect light for much of the day and returned them to their basement home at around 4pm.

I started my day pulling weeds.  But, not in my garden.  Over the past few weeks, I was somewhat dismayed to discover that the beautiful pristine paving stones that cover my driveway and walkway were being besmirched by ugly weeds growing up in the cracks.  So this morning I spent several hours pulling weeds from between the pavers.  Now it looks like this:

Pavers after weeding - I should have taken a before photo

Meanwhile, I've been wanting to organize the junk in the garage and set up a work station - both for gardening and household projects.  So, I searched around and found this work bench for about $120.00 (including shipping):

We spent several hours assembling it today.  Once we figured it out, it was very easy to assemble but the instructions were so confusing and impenetrable that it ended up taking much longer than it should have.  We also ended up with several pieces of extra hardware, the purpose of which we simply could not deduce.  Anyway, here is how it looked in the end:

But that's not all we did today.  Oh no!  I'm on an organizational kick, so I put up this little beauty right next to my workbench:

I actually had to go to Home Depot to buy a "stud finder" (insert joke here), so that I could attach it properly. By the way, yes, I did attach it myself.  I have never used a "stud finder" before, but it was easy to figure out.  Then I drilled holes into the studs - I used an old drill that belonged to my dad and the big level you can see in the photo.  I have never had anyone teach me how to do this stuff - I've basically just had to figure out on my own (mostly using Google and little bit of common sense God gave me).  It may not seem like a big deal to people who are used to building stuff, but I grew up in New York City and never had any need or desire to be "handy."  I guess what I'm saying is, if I can do this, anyone can!

But I digress.  Anyway, I'm very happy with how it turned out.  I think we could use some shelving for additional storage . . . next project.  Anyway ... here's the long shot:

We decided to add the old clock at the last minute.  This is one of those situations where you almost throw something out that you think you will never use again.  We used to have this clock in our old kitchen and almost threw it out when we moved.  We didn't, and now I have a clock in my garage so I can keep track of time when I working.

In addition to hardening off our seedlings, I also started some new seeds.  My previous attempts at Arugula were not very successful.  It was suggested to me by a fellow blogger (thank you Melissa) that I might try it again without using heat mats, since Arugula is a cool weather plant.  So I have planted some new Arugula seeds in pots.  I have also planted some Rosemary and Broccoli, since my previous efforts were also unsuccessful:

I also planted some Broccoli and Arugula outside as well.  We'll see which comes out better:

Arugula planted outside

Broccoli planted outside

The other thing that happened today, is that we finally got our new lawn mower.  As some of you know, we only moved into this house last August.  Before that, we lived in a rental and we did not mow our own lawn, so I have never owned a lawn mower.  We did mow our lawn once last fall, by borrowing our neighbor's lawn mower.  But, I decided it was finally time to get our own lawn mower.  We bought one on sale at Lowe's and it was delivered today:

We were hoping to have time to assemble it today, but with everything we had to do, we ran out of time.  So it is still sitting in the box in our garage.  I also bought a garden cart from, that still needs to be assembled:
Garden cart - still in parts

How it should look after assembly

Finally, I've been extremely disturbed about a little evergreen tree in the front of my house.  About a month ago it looked like this:

That's the tree on the left side of the house

In the past few weeks, the needles have turned brown and fallen off.  Now it looks like this:

So sad
Based on my on-line research, it seems as though it could either be a lack of water or insect damage.  We haven't had a lot of rainfall here lately, so it could be drought.  I have been trying to water it a lot more.  Today, when we went to Home Depot, I mentioned it to one of the women in the garden center.  She thought it might be insect damage.  She suggested a combination fertilizer and insecticide that she said should help.  I haven't tried it yet, but I guess we will see if it works.

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