My brother-in-law has a green thumb. The last time I went to visit, he had one geranium in a big pot and it had at least 20 flower heads on it. No exaggeration – for real. I asked him what his secret was and he said #1 he’s got a lot of time on his hands to water and #2 he uses an organic fertilizer called Bloom.
So I went looking around for it and came across SuperBloom which is a Scott’s product and made entirely of lab-created chemicals. BUT it’s doing wonders for the plant growth and flower bud count. The lovely hibiscus that I let freeze and wither to 4 short bare sticks over our 8-day winter in NE Florida not only recovered but is thriving and loaded with buds.
The Birds of paradise are another story. I don’t want to get overly excited but I think one of the them is sending up a flower shoot. Maybe not, though. The Birds are reacting strangely to the fertilizer. That same plant has now produced a Siamese leaf stem and both of them are sending up red spines instead of the customary white they’ve been making all along. Coincidence or Nuclear Power Plant Run-off effect?
That’s not going to stop me from using the stuff. I was raised in the age of Better Living Thru Chemistry and figure that by now my body composition is 50% toxic chemicals anyway. And I’m not going to eat the things for heaven’s sake.
In other garden news, I created a very satisfying diorama featuring a resin sea gull. Truth. I memorialized it on Instagram.
This week I noticed that the carefully arranged sea shells were scattered and turned over. I blamed the guy who loaded that bed with mulch – until I caught the dog in the act of licking them and trying to make off with an oyster shell. He bashed his way through the ornamental grass to do it and I told him no so he left. The next time I saw him there, he sneaked in from the side behind the grasses. Odd, because I scrubbed the oyster shells and let them dry in the sun for 3 weeks before I put them out, and the clam and scallop shells are from last year. How could they still be tasty?
My dog is good dog but still – he’s a dog. The lure of food in the wild is stronger than his desire to please me. He’s not going to win this one, though.
The race to have a guest room before the Christmas guests get here is on. Considering that it takes us an average of 5 weeks to get through a project, prospects look dim at the moment.
The room formerly known as “the little TV room” has been emptied out, stripped down and taped off and is ready for paint. I spent a long time looking for the perfect shade of cream to coat the walls of what I was planning to be a decor theme of “Quaint Cottage Style“. But when I looked at the accumulation of the things I’ve amassed so far, the theme has actually turned out to be “Looks Like It Came From Craigslist“. Which it did, more or less. Once I realized that, I was free to abandon the cream idea and go with Behr Country Linens for the wall color. (Look familiar?)
This room was the guest room before we bought the house.
Once we got here, we turned it into a den-like TV room. It was roomy and comfortable and it was where I was set up to do my needlepoint. But the former baby room next door was too small to be a comfortable guest room, so we had to rethink. We sold the big comfy sofa last week, jammed the remaining stuff into the baby room temporarily and here we are today:
Time is short and we aren’t 25 anymore so the going will be slow. We’re aiming for painted walls, cleaned carpeting and a place to sleep by the time the first guests arrive. The frills will have to come later.
Psych! I have plenty of frills all lined up and ready to be deployed. What do you think I’ve been doing all this time if not scouring Craigslist, the local Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace sites, second hand shops and antique centers? And by antique centers, I mean consignment shops where villains slop chalk paint onto good old wooden furniture. Here’s what I have so far:
an off-white federal style secretary. perfect as it is
a bamboo side chair which I was told came from a furniture sale at the nearby Ritz -Carlton resort. I believe it. It’s the most elegant thing in the room.
a badly damaged maple wood colonial night stand which I was planning to paint off-white but now I’m thinking metallic gold. Seriously.
a colonial head board. I want to tell you that it’s maple wood but it has a very plastic-y vibe to it. I don’t know.
an off-white wicker arm chair
a bridge lamp with a beaded shade.
a latex orchid in a marigold glass creamer.
a small braided rug basket to hold bottled water.
a small rectangular bamboo table in a dull gray. I might paint that metallic gold, too.
3 (or 5) vintage Modern Orchid plates as wall decor.
So that’s a start. I need a wall clock, some art work and maybe another lamp. Oh, did I mention that I’ll be using the Modern Orchid lamp in that room?
How does it all sound? Like random Craiglist ads? I think it’s all going to come together very nicely.
I’m taking a break from this blog for a while and writing at a new location with a singular focus on needlepoint. I wasn’t going to say anything here but WordPress outed me. It’s not easy to see which blog you are writing from when working on an iPad and this is the second time I posted something here instead of at the other one.
Many of you have figured out that I’m gone to another place and some have asked for the new location. Since the cat is out of the bag, I’ll tell you.
But be prepared: it really is focused on needlepoint. So if you are not interested in an ongoing chronical of stitch rip out restitch or the more thrilling I made a mistake I’ll just put a new stitch right over the old one , you won’t find much to interest you.
Famous Bloggers I notice that all of the more famous bloggers do this:
shamelessly pilfer material
eventually reveal themselves to be mentally unbalanced
I have my beefs with some of them but wth? They would be just as unbalanced and pitiable if they were not famous, so I choose to keep my opinions to myself.
Blogging Daily I used to do that. And it was good. There was a whole community of commenters that engaged with me and with each other. I still have great commenters but not so many. I was looking at a few old posts and I consistently drew 12-30 comments on each. That’s what makes blogging worthwhile – the feedback*. Can’t remember why I slowed down. I’m going to try and post here a little more often than I’ve been doing lately. What follows is quality examples of what you can expect.
Morning Prayer Dear Lord, Please give me the strength to stop buying vintage needlepoint pillow kits from eBay. Also the devil put before me the search term “vintage tapestry cushion kits” and now I need extra strength to avoid British eBay too because that’s where the good stuff is.
Cabbage Steaks With Sour Cream Hey, guys – I’m dieting again. For two weeks. It’s my own food plan called Mostly Aktins and No Gin Mostly Aktins and Less Gin. But do you know that gin has no carbs? And do you know that a shot of gin is only 73 calories? And do you know that “a shot”= 25ml? Who is that for, 25mls – Grandma on her 100th birthday?
Temptation I have given up the world of blogging about Gross Democrat Women (because they make me sick) but man, how much temptation can a person take? Hillary’s coughing, a crystal encrusted MOO** and now enormous first daughter Malaria heading for that all-American distillery of knowledge, Harvard University. That last one is killing me . I envision a series called “Malaria Hits Harvard” perhaps written in the style of New England Journal of Medicine articles for all my medically-oriented readers. And a sub category called “Sausage Party; Teen Ho Down in the White House”. I could work up enthusiasm for that.
*Even from the pre-BLM era thugs who commented to insult me because I pointed out the truth about world Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom™ Michelle Obama.
**Who could use a little Mostly Atkins and Less Gin herself these days.
I was gone for 6 days last week during which time my DVR dutifully recorded every episode of my all time favorite show, Judge Judy. I’m very sad to report that I am going to have to stop watching JJ until this current farce is over – that show is loaded with ads for both Hillary! and Bernie. I must say there’s one where Hillary looks less bulky in trim black leather and Bernie doesn’t seem so hulking and bent as he does in still shots. Even so, these ads are loathsome reminders of the state of things and interrupt my peaceful escape from reality.
In other news, the chalk paint epidemic worsens. If we can’t unite around the concept of a presidential candidate that is not a criminal or dangerous dreamer, at least we can all agree that the unconscionable desecration of decent wood furniture must be stopped.
And while we’re at it, let’s not forget to screw up vintage Thomasville accent chairs.
On the plus side, I’m especially enjoying the lovely spring day here – more so in light of the 12″ of snow that fell on Denver right after I flew out. The power is back on now. (I suspect the basement carpenters.) And I got the best haircut of my life last week.
So on balance, happy to be back home.
postscript: I forgot to report that I tripped over the edge of the plastic mat underneath my desk chair and crashed down onto the corner of a lidless plastic storage bin that shattered on impact. Now I have 2 cuts on my face, a sore eye bone and a throbbing headache. Plus I got poked in the boob/pit. This episode throws off the balance and the kvetch side dominates.
postscript 2: BUT I won an eBay auction for a delightful vintage Erhman needlepoint kit in an Ikat pattern. Thus balance is restored.