Monday, August 22, 2011

What I did on my summer vacation

Early last week I worked in my basement and finally got my boxes unpacked. I even did some rework and changed a few things, including my hallway shelving. I will save that for another day. I also had all the furniture (chairs and lamps specifically) in my kitchen, which I finally managed to drag, push, or pull to the basement. Once again I can get to my kitchen table. It was just in time for two reasons: one was out of town company who ended up staying from Wednesday evening through Sunday morning, and one was because I had received the last envelope in the ABC (yahoo group) eighth anniversary swap. If you are in this swap and want to be totally surprised when you get your package, don't read any further.

I like to use my kitchen table to spread these packages out and was dreading having to use the living room floor because I did that once and it killed my back.

For this swap, I also had to use my counter top. I began by laying out a flat rate envelope under each package.

Next, I opened each package (which seems to take forever since I never open them prior to the completion of the swap) and laid

each package or group of swap items on top of the package sent to me.

It took forever to swap these beauties, and of course my friend (who also is camera shy) was awake before I finished. Here they are all swapped and you can just barely see her sundress in the background of the above photo. I wish I had her dress because I love the fabric. You can see the completed swap pieces are now sitting on top of the return envelopes. This is how I keep track of things. It works for me, but may not work for someone else.

Sadly, I still had to recount everything, stuff the envelopes, and add postage and an address label to each before we could sit and enjoy our coffee. It was already too hot to sit outside and enjoy our morning refreshments. Fortunately, the packages made it in that day's mail, because we decided to stay in except to visit my bank and grab a quick bite at a local family owned restaurant. My visitor, a dear friend from college, is from a much cooler climate.

One thing we did was tour the grounds early Thursday morning. Even my herbs are doing poorly. Some of the seeds I planted never sprouted, so there is mostly basil, dill, and sage. The "crop" that is doing best is the cantaloupe vine from seeds I threw in the garden this spring. I liked how the sun reflected off the camera lens in the above shot.

Even after the rain we got, which was more a flash flood, rather than a steady soaking, my front garden still looks starved for water. The only things still growing are vinca vines and lemon verbena. The hostas I love so dearly have gone to ground, so to speak and won't return till next spring. My rose bush is alive, but that's all I can say for it. Even my naked ladies didn't last for my friend's visit. I realize my front garden is pathetic this year, but

not nearly as unkempt as my next door neighbor's yard. I don't think they have mowed all summer and it shows. Too bad it's close to my property line because I can't even crop this mess out of any front garden background shots I take. And yes, those are all weeds. For those of you visiting for the first time, my house is the one showing the porch.

How does your neighbor's property shape up? Would you like to live next door to this? Now you know how I spent my summer vacation. Have a great beginning of the week, dear friends.

12 thoughtful remarks:

PeggyR said...

Sounds like you were really busy! I've been working on trying to organize the basement. It's all my husbands things and will have to post pictures soon!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I have a new neighbor on one side of me who keep his property spotless! It is frustrating when you do so much to make yours look good and the neighbor just lets theirs go.

Clare H said...

Fabulous to hear that your art rooms almost done! Cant wait to see what gems you come up with in their! My veg has done poorly this year too, quite disappointing, cabbage didn't do anything much but look at me pathetically all summer, cauliflower grew only small bushels so I did get a bit of that, courgettes or as you call them zucchini I only got 1 out of 12 plants. Beans did ok got enough for 2 people for 1 dinner. My mint plant has gone totally mental though, more mint than you can shake a stick at! My plum tree looks promising this year, it actually has plums on it as opposed to last year's nothing at all. Apples also doing well this year, they both wont be ready for a few more weeks though.

Sorry your neighbours garden sucks, bright side is, it makes yours look better than you think! LOL


Dandelion and Daisy said...

It has been so hot for you this year I don't know how plants survive! On the other hand it looks like you've gotten a handle on things and are now ready to receive your color swap pages. I'll get them in the mail this week!

Laura Tringali Holmes said...

Have you tried planting perennials that are native to your region? Most of my gardens are made of up drought-resistant native flowers and grasses, and many can even withstand road salt. So I get lots of bang for practically no work--I do deadhead spent blooms and thin out plants in the Spring, but that's about it. Love your house and your porch!

Doone said...

I am so glad you are finally almost back to how you were pre flood,
that swap looks like jolly hard work, definitely you are a very generous (with your time) hostess, and I will some day, maybe, show you my neighbours 'gardens' they make your neighbours weeds look positively wonderful...


elle said...

I can see that neighbours a 'country mile away' has its advantages. Stay cool! Fall is on its way.

Jo Murray said...

Must've been like Christmas!!! Looks like there's some great stuff there..... Nice house too.

~*~Patty S said...

that looks like a major undertaking with all of your swap envies E...kudos to you for taking that on!!!

July was brutal on lots of gardens...I know the heat and mosquitoes took the fun out of gardening for me

today I have the windows open = YIPPEE (that hasn't happened much of late!)
the humidity is low and the sky is blue and clear with some gorgeous white fluffy clouds...ahhh

stay cool my friend....the photo of the sun rays shining down remind me of a rainbow shower

Healing Woman said...

You've had a lot going on this summer, as usual. I got tired looking at those piles of swaps you organized. As far as the neighbor goes, there isn't much you can do about forcing them to mow their grass. Maybe someone can give them a hint to read your blog-of course that would stir up more than mown grass. LOL. Your garden doesn't look too bad given the intense heat you have had this summer!

Marilyn Rock said...

Swaps are a lot of work. When I've hosted them, I counted and recounted. You got things done in your basement; good for you! You've sure had a busy summer and a hot one to boot! We had a couple of doozie storms, here, yesterday and the reward was cooler air today! Cooling thoughts to you! Plants, here, look terrible due to the heat and then the pouring rains have beaten them down.xxoo

Gaby Bee said...

You are a busy bee, Elizabeth! I'm so happy to hear that your art rooms are almost done!
I've been working on trying to organize my work space, but my studio doesn't stay tidy for very long. Sometimes I think a gremlin lives in my home:)
Enjoy the summer days my friend! Hope you had the most wonderful Monday and wishing you a terrific Tuesday!

Thanks for your kind visit!

Hugs, Gaby