Friday, May 25, 2007

Cooking out

We're having a little cookout this weekend for some friends and I am so looking forward to breaking out the grill for the dozenth time this year!
Why is it that anything cooked on a grill magically tastes better than if it had been cooked another way? Case in point: hot dogs. I definitely can't stand them boiled. Pan fried they're pretty good. But grilled....MMMMMM! They get that crispy skin on the outside and have that awesome "grilled" flavor. Ohboy. Even bread tastes better grilled than, say, toasted.

I realize this post is completely random and quite pointless, but some days I'm just like that. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last night's planting

I planted 8 hostas, 2 foxgloves, some unidentified but cute groundcover, several dead nettle, and a couple of perennial phlox. Boy oh boy was I a sweaty mess. It was 87 degrees last night! Seems as though we went straight from winter to summer.

Our shade bed is going to be shaping up nicely this year, I think. And with my little winter-sown sproutlings we'll have a good bunch of plants for a sun bed too.

I love to garden. Hard work aside, it is so fulfilling and I enjoy the sensation of digging in the dirt, of nurturing, and of seeing the results of hard work. It just doesn't get any better!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Half-empty...or at least no longer STUFFED FULL

V and I made some decisions about the contents of the house. There are some items we may put up on eBay, but in the end it was just too exhausting to think of listing all of it, which is why I spent last Friday trying to supervise the folks from the local auction house who came to cart some items away. They were all very nice, and they were VERY efficient, but it's tough to keep an eye on four people at once. Each room had some things that went and some things that stayed, so I was trying to make sure everything ended up in the proper place. And I must have walked up and down our stairs a hundred times. Muh legs was tired.

Happily, the end result is that some of our rooms now resemble rooms again. The upstairs bedroom that had been relegated to storage for the past two years? We can walk through it! What a triumphant feeling that is. :) We're really hoping the auction does well and we can use some of the proceeds to fund part of our window project (whenever we manage to get them, that is).

Now we just need to get our butts in gear and get on eBay to list the stuff that didn't go local. Sigh. The "to-do" list never ends, does it?

Garden work = hard work

Even though I make new beds the lazy person's way (I think I posted about it before...maybe not), it's still really hard work. Our land has some spots that are downright dangerous to mow--so we plan to cover those spots with lovely garden beds. At our last house we left no blade of grass in front of the house and ended up with an awesome little cottage garden. Our plans here are for a rose garden, herb bed, and perennial bed.

So last night I spent about four hours laying cardboard, wetting the cardboard, laying newspaper over any lesser-covered spots, wetting that, and then covering the whole thing with about 5 inches of straw. The cardboard smothers the grass below and decomposes, as does the straw. Eventually we're left with lovely, weed-free dirt that plants just looooove. But all that stooping and lifting and stooping and lifting and hefting around of the hose wears a gal out!

Tonight we'll be planting a whole GOB of plants that our awesome neighbors gave us. She was dividing a lot of her hostas and some other perennials and just brought them over. We seriously lucked out with the whole neighbor thing, especially given our totally psycho neighbors at the last house. Country life is great!

Monday, May 21, 2007

"Sure we have a true divided light...but we call ours 'simulated divided light.'"

This post is not for the faint of heart when it comes to windows. V and I are looking into replacing the windows in the old gal--but before anybody goes nuts on me, let me tell you that the house already has craptacular aluminum replacement windows from the 1960s that are failing miserably. On a windy day the curtains actually move inside the house from the drafts. Yup, it's time to replace!

Enter true divided light wood sash inserts. We already know what we want. Easy, right? Wrong. I have called numerous window companies ranging from mom-and-pop shops to the big manufactureres. Our wish list is straightforward: we want true divided light wood windows in a 6/6 configuration. Beyond that we are negotiable.

I won't name names, but the first place I called said "True divided light wood sash inserts? Sure, we have those...only we call ours 'simulated divided light.'" I gently explained to her that, in my version of reality, "true" is not synonomous with "simulated." So she very enthusiastically explained how their "true divided light" has grilles on the inside and outside, with a spacer inside, "so you can see that they really are a true divided light, it's just that we call them simulated." And she was serious.

The second place I called told me I don't really want true divided light. Hmmm, really? And why not? "Well, because if something goes wrong you'll have to replace that pane of glass." OKKKKK, and what happens if something goes wrong with a simulated divided light window? I'd have to replace a much bigger pane of glass, correct? "Well, yes, but at that point you could just replace the whole window and it'd be much easier."

Holy crap.

I did actually find a few places who would quote me a true divided light wood sash insert in the configuration I want. We'll see where those estimates come in. I have a feeling I'm going to be afraid. Very afraid.