Making Over the Boyfriend’s Yard

My intention is to make over the boyfriends yard and repaint the inside of his house this summer.  While I have gone ahead and chosen some paint for the interior, the exterior of his house is a melange of greys and greens, with a blue-green trim on the house (yikes!), random bushes cut into oddly shaped rectangles, red wood chips (yikes agan) and a lawn thats struggling to stay green through the heat of the day.  What makes it harder still is that the side of his house doesn’t get any sun, due to the GIANT TREES planted without forethought.  A huge cottonwood is on one corner, butting up against the eaves and the fence and on the front corner (street-corner) an impossibly huge evergreen sits, with obnoxious ivy pooling around it.

I was thinking about putting in hydrangeas or maybe dahlias.  I loved going to the farmers market on the weekends in Washington and ooking at all the different dahlias.  They were always so beautiful, with all their concentric petals and rioteous colors.  Sigh.  I miss them.

 or the hydrangeas… 

Please note, neither of these pictures actually belong to me, I stole them from the interwebs :).

Really, the whole purpose of this particular blog post is to help me remember what I want to do with the yard.  I want to do a ground cover, was thinking maybe irish moss, creeping heath or creeping phlox.  Then there was alyssum, always trying to take over my mom’s front yard, growing up between the bricks on the walkway.  I”ve got my work cut out for me.  Still need to remove this years plants, digging out all these really big bushes and cutting out the larger roots, then need to put in some good soil or compost.

But first, will buy paint for the kitchen this week, fulfilling my promise of painting the kitchen in exchange for him driving up to Washington to helo me move my stuff out of storage.  And I can cover up that ugly Ivy decal shit in the kitchen, yay!


February Lady Sweater (who wants a kitten?)

Everyone in the San Joaquin valley is sitting inside with the ac on. The reason for this? Over 600 lightening strikes courtesy of spring showers have sparked a ridiculous number of fires in the Sacramento/Valley area. The air is hazy, smoky smelling like a campfire that you’ve been sitting next to all day. The light filters through in a delicate orange, tinting everything with a muted gold tone. Because of the smoke, the sunlight has been filtered greatly and the temperature has gone from 105 degrees down to the low 80’s and high 70’s.

I’ve joined the craze on and cast on for the February Lady Sweater using the extra yarn from my Wicked, pictures of that are still pending.

February Lady Sweater

I have to say, even though there isn’t a lot of sweater so far, the arm holes are separated and i think it’s looking pretty good. Speaking of looking pretty good…dang, with my head cut off and that particular angle I look pretty damn good. I’ll have to thank the gym and summer break for that (and definitely the camera angle, excellent job, yay me!).

Now, for the kitteh. I found him the day before graduation, while taking the trash out. He was huddled up in a corner by someone’s door crying. I picked him up, so bony, such unhealthy skin, and whoa! his tail is broken. I didn’t know what to do, asked the maintenance man, asked the office, ended up putting him on my balcony in a big dog carrier while I tore down the dance decorations and put up the promotion decorations. i came home and fed him some more, watered him some more, cried over his tail, and called my friend, who agreed to take him to the vet.

Dead tail

We picked him up 2 days later, more than half his tail will need to be removed, it was like a twig. I’m hoping that my friend’s boyfriend will keep him. He’s a sweet kitten and if I had more than a studio apartment I would keep him. Darby wanted to play with him soooo bad. He liked to knead, so the vet’s office named him “Cornelius Bread” I will call him “Cornbread” if I see him again.

Hi Cornbread!

“Hi Cornbread!” He will have less tail than you see in the pic. Everything past that is a dead bony twig thing.


My goal list for the summer was short.  I wanted to either go to Hawaii or to Yosemite.  Seeing as how my list was made in December when gas was 2.00 to 2.50 a gallon either of those things were possible.  Now, 6 months later with a huge jump in the price of airfare and the amount of money I spend monthly on gas, Hawaii did not seem like a viable option.  So, off to Yosemite it was!

stanislaus national forest

I made reservations back in March for a campsite in Hodgdon Meadows, on the outside of Yosemite Valley.  The campsite is reservation only but when you arrive they give you a site based off of whats available.  The problem with this (and possibly my own lack of planning) was that the campsite did not come with a topographical map.  So while it’s cool that our campsite is only 1000 feet from the bathroom, its 1000 feet at a 45 degree grade.  While the campsite is 200 feet from the car, its 200 feet down at another 45 degree slope. 

I really did not know what to expect from Yosemite.  I hear people say “Half Dome” and “El Capitain” but giving me words does not make up for being able to actually see these giant granite slabs rearing up from the earth.  Listening to someone talk about Yosemite falls does not compare to standing under it’s mist and being blown around the the wind created by the sheer magnitude of water falling on to huge granite boulders.  The valley is breathtaking. there is very little build up, no increase in beauty until you drive into the valley and it opens up like a flower before you.

Yosemite Valley

I don’t think I was the most pleasant person to go with.  I was on a PMS bender, quietly being moody and impatient and annoyed with all my bugbites and having to drag the cooler out of the bear cage each time I wanted a bottle of water.  The boyfriend took it in stride as far as I can tell.  I got some sketching done on out open air tour (22.50 per person for 2 hours, bet totally worth it) and then wouldn’t bring my sketchbook with me because I was tired of carrying it.  Stupid of me really, because since we were riding our bikes and boyfriend seems remarkable patient it would have been an ideal sketch time. 

Saturday was Worldwide knit in public day and I didn’t knit!  I’m a shame to the knitting lifestyle!  Really, we had gotten back from Yosemite and were driving to the coast to visit some friends and go to the beach and I didn’t pack my knitting. I should have gone to my knitting group Saturday of all days but what I did get to do was a lot of fun and well worth it.

As far as the Wicked goes, I’ve finished one long sleeve, tried it on and have decided it looks awful.  Truly, one fat purple sleeve making my already large arms look like an awful purple sausage.  The debate currently is do I want to rip out the whole sleeve and do a graduated series of decreases to make it smaller at the end while still keeping the cute little cabled rib a the bottom or rip out the whole damn thing and make it a 3/4 sleeve…or maybe a half sleeve…not a short sleeve though, doesn’t make sense to have a nice cuddly sweater and then short little sleeves. 

Campfire Hat

I went camping last weekend.

Here is what I did while camping. Duh duh de dah!

It’s pretty cool, I think. I made it out of wool and it’s a good thing I did. The weather was in the 30’s at night and mid 60’s during the day…if you were in the sunlight. Please note, that’s not my head in the picture. That’s Liz, who got to take the hat home, although I didn’t mention that she needed to handwash it, so I’m hoping I don’t hear about it turning it to a bowl the next time I see her.

Today was my last day with kids in the classroom. Tomorrow I will be cleaning out my room and signing paperwork so that I can check out for the summer. I finally got a sort of promissory note from the school district, saying that I’ll be teaching art somewhere in the district and that I will be full time, but no real contract yet. My friend is hoping to get a job closer to the bay and has offered me her position at her school, which is a much rougher school, but she has a REAL classroom with a sink and storage and everything plus an administration that will suspend kids home if you write them up.

Since I don’t have kids tomorrow, I pulled out “Wicked” and continued working on her, now am half-way through a sleeve and am hoping to be done in the next 2 weeks. I look like a giant purple blob in it and am thinking that when I lose weight this summer I may add a band across the empire to make my waist appear smaller. Right now I just look pregnant. Seriously, I lost 10 pounds over 3 months and put it all back on last month. Grr.