Monday, September 1, 2014

SMART September - or begin as you mean to go on...

in which our plucky heroine starts out the month with another visit from my mighty Blue Cedar House pals! Their visit involved quite a bit of actual, well, labor. And plenty of good delicious shared meals, pleasant chat, several useful visits to Mr Plywood, the farmers market across the street, Ikea, and even a side trip to 50 Licks for the best ice cream on the planet...

The carport was mostly a sad drift of dead leaves, junk, old lumber, and debris yesterday; they cleared it all out, stacked the useful bits, and removed the detritus... it is filled with potential now, ready to become an outdoor room for cooking and drying laundry under cover from the sun and rain (once the many bags of yard debris that are just out of the photo go away)

Herb triangle is weeded and mulched; the little brick walls are restacked. The lovage, thyme, and savory are quite happy. I think this might be a good spot for a small rosemary. And, apparently my rhubarb has once again entirely given up on life.  I really would like to establish a strong healthy rhubarb plant, as it is a favorite of mine. Anyone out there have success with it? I am beginning to think it needs a different richer soil, or something...

A beautiful river of mulch! The front yard of Acorn Cottage has not looked this nice ever, and not this tidy since I moved in... The happy plants have room to breathe (and maybe acquire some new friends at some point; more hardy fuschia maybe?)

Mr Robertson knows his way around a toolbox...

A new set of shelves will be added along one wall of the SCA closet - four foot long and only eight inches deep. The back and side edges will be supported by these wooden cleats.
The shelves are supported on the front edge with built up legs, and stabilised with additional 1 x 2 along the front edges
The completed shelves store various cans of housepaint, until the rooms here are all not-white. Can you tell that I am quite fond of the Metro Paint recycled house paint? The upper shelf will hold some of my SCA gear, and as (over time) there is less need for paint storage the space will be useful to store more eventing supplies and equipment in a tidy and accessible way

Not visible yet is the good beginning made on my sewing SCA clothing for the Robertson family. The muslins for the basic tunic for him, and basic gown for her, were both fitted and basted, which will allow me to create various additional garments from those patterns. I still need to cut and sew the muslin for their daughter. Now when the appropriate fabrics become available, a veritable sewing whirlwind can commence.

September SMART goal challenge
1 tunic muslin for B carport cleared yardwaste bin
2 gown muslin for M shelves in SCA closet 5 yardwaste bags
3 * herb planter improved funky red dresser
4 * housefront plantings
mulched and weeded
old baby stroller
from garden shed
5 * * ----------
6 * * ----------
7 * ---------- ----------
8 * ---------- ----------
9 * ---------- ----------
10 * ---------- ----------
11 * ---------- ----------

Not every exchange needs happen in the world of commerce, sometimes we just help each other out... that is the world I want to live in, where heart and hands both are part of the equation, and friends help friends to mutual benefit. Today I am grateful for the learning in my hands and mind, the skills, that now as I slide down the path to becoming an elder, not only bring me great satisfaction, but also allow me a path to share with others in a way that brings needful assistance with things that are difficult.
may this gratitude contradict despair...


  1. Alison,

    I too love rhubarb. I used to have a plant, but for some reason got rid of it. Anyway - the one thing I recall is that I didn't harvest any of the stalks the first year - it helps the plant get established.

    The cottage is coming along nicely - you must be very pleased!

  2. I am quite chuffed at how progress is continuing, there is so much more to do, but each effort furthers the desired state of function and beauty. I now need to get moving on all the sewing in exchange for the help!

    I have tried several different times to grow rhubarb, in different spots around the yard. I have been trying to read up about it, and my best guess is that it needs more rich soil, so adding compost will help, and it needs more water than I usually give my yard, (which is to say mostly none in the summer, because very costly) If I can find another nice rhubarb start with red stems, I am going to try again, and give it extra special care. I have two fig trees in big tubs that also get special care, because fresh figs are a treat.

  3. What lovely friends, and how great that you can sew for them and they can help you with their skills - brilliant. Those a re fabulous shelves and I can see that your master plan of getting eveything sorted out is coming to fruition.

    The place I am currently waiting to opurchase has a carport off the kitchen and I am really looking forward to drying my laundry there I have to say!

    1. Ruthie - I am so looking forward to hearing that you are finally in your new home... and I am also glad to hear that my idea about drying laundry under the carport seems sensible to you, as a number of my friends think I am crazy to consider it, saying that without sunshine the laundry will never dry.

  4. The car port at my soon-to-be-home has a clear plastic corrugated roof and is open at both ends. So I guess the sun sort of shines in and the wind can blow through, but you are protected from the worst of the rain coming directly down. (I will send you a link)

    1. Your new-home-to-be looks delightful. My carport has a metal roof, but is open on both ends and one side. There should be plenty of days this winter when the rain is not blowing in there...