Tuesday, 25 March 2014

the naked painter - kitchen update

You've heard about the naked chef... let me introduce the naked painter.


Well... ok, not totally naked, but then again, Jamie Oliver wasn't totally naked either. If he was, I sure missed it.

See, on Sunday I finally gave in and painted a third coat on the one finished wall in the kitchen. It had been niggling at me for days... to do another coat, not to do another coat... I had to do it so I could sleep again.

When I decided to paint I was wearing a nice pair of track pants (ones without paint on them) and one of Wayne's Tshirts. Given the track pants are one of a fast dwindling supply of non-paint-enhanced clothing in my wardrobe, and the Tshirt didn't belong to me, I did what any lazy DIY-er in the grip of an urgent need to paint would do.

I stripped down to my undies and got on with it.

Wayne walked through while I was up on a ladder with a brush in my hand and said he liked my outfit.

Today I found splotches of China White on a pair of undies when I hung them on the line.

Eh. No one will see those anyway.

So, you may ask, other than prancing around on ladders semi naked while waving around brushes loaded with paint, how goes the kitchen renovation?

Well. The electrician and Aurora have both been and done their thing. The power meters have been moved to the new box, all wiring has been reconnected and all is well.

We can now get started again.

Handyman will be back this week to put in the new window... and the fun continues.


Monday, 24 March 2014

reaching new heights

I've been offline for a little bit but trust me, its not cause I've been flat out busy. 

I've been mildly busy and mainly lazy.

Having said that, I did do a few things when the inspiration hit me, usually at really inappropriate times.

I finally finished painting the first coat on the fascia at the front of the house. This is a job I do not enjoy. Its so high! I need to do another coat and maybe I'll tackle that today... Maybe I'll only tackle half of it today... Who knows?

I mainly did it yesterday cause I was sick of watching the potato vine grow into a heap on the ground and start to crawl under the deck.

Once I finished painting the first coat on the fascia I attached some wire (leftover dog fencing) to it on either side of a post and the downpipe. The idea is to hide the downpipe one day...

The potato vine is growing like a weed. Its already wrapped itself around one of Wayne's sculptures but I love the way its swirled around it.

It does need trimming though. I cut off all the bits that were growing out along the ground, pulled any long bits I could up onto the wire but I have a sneaky feeling I need to thin it out a whole lot more so that the upward growing vines get stronger...

I'm not a gardener. I never claimed to be good at it. One day I might show you my attempt to sculpt shapes into my box hedges...

Another little job I managed to do was put names on the new winter rugs for the big horses. I do this every year since all the rugs are the same colour and we need to be able to tell them apart without looking for size tags inside.

Other than that... I'm in limbo. Waiting for the electrician and the electricity company to come move the power so work can continue in the kitchen.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

why did I think this would be a good idea? - kitchen update

I think I'm heading for a nervous breakdown.

In fact, I think that when the renovation is over, I will have one.

I've earned it. I've worked hard for it. No one is going to stop me from having one if I want to.


I know the saying about renovation being up there along with death of a family member for stress factor or relationship breakdown, but I really didn't think it would be this hard.

I've renovated before. In my first house in Melbourne I lived with walls pulled down, tiles laid over holes in the floor, holes in the ceiling and no bathroom/toilet door for over a year. That renovation included extending the bathroom, moving the toilet from the laundry to the bathroom, knocking out 2 walls to create an open plan living room, moving two doors, repainting throughout, building a pergola, putting in air conditioning and polishing floorboards.

Simon and I broke up, but that wasn't a result of the renovation. We were heading that way before the renovations started.

They didn't help, mind you...

In Fentonbury I put dado rails in half the house, put in a new bathroom, refreshed the kitchen, added a grooming room by enclosing a porch, polished floorboards, repainted inside and out, ripped out carpet and put in vinyl, replaced a wood heater, and put up new fencing.

I lived through all of that without breaking down, stressing out or feeling like I was overwhelmed.

I have no idea why this is getting to me this time.

Maybe its the feeling of not being in control. Not  knowing where I am with things cause I'm reliant on others... and how nothing can be done without something else being done first.

I was told the electrician was on holidays for a week or two weeks. We finally heard from Aurora and now we have a date... they're coming on Monday morning sometime. At least I hope its Monday morning. As long as they come on Monday I'll be happy, no matter what time it is.

I spoke to them, yes the electrician certainly needs to be there during or after so the power can be connected.

I'd left a message with the electrician. He never got back to me. I called him and no, he's not on holiday till next week... He'll come on Thursday to move the cables and set it up so that he doesn't have to be here with Aurora comes, just in case he can't be here.


Why are things so difficult...?

And why didn't he do that.. oh, like the 15th time he was here????

I just don't get it.

I give up.

When Wayne asked how long till the kitchen is ready to use I said, "Well... first we need Aurora to move the metre box. And the electrician to move the cables. The window needs to go in next. Then the walls need to be lined. Then the benchtop will go in. Then the sink will be put in and it and the dishwasher can be plumbed. Then we can  use the kitchen cause I can paint around a working kitchen. So lets say it takes 10 days for Aurora to do their thing. And another 2-3 days for Handyman to put in the window and do the walls... and if the bench is ready, he can put that in, another day there... and the plumbing, maybe another day (cause there's no such thing as quick and easy)... I think the kitchen will be ready to use sometime around Christmas."

Did I mention Wayne is allergic to change? Add renovation to that now.

You may remember I've already started removing carpet in the office. Floorbaords in there and the hallway match the kitchen so they're next on the list... when I recover from the kitchen.

That job doesn't worry me though, cause that job I can do myself - I can work at my own pace and won't be at anyone else's mercy.

With the added bonus of feeling like I'm finally organising, cleaning, tidying and actually doing something! You know. Getting somewhere. No longer living in limbo...

Well... on Monday morning I was woken by Wayne telling me I had a job to do.

One of the dogs had had diarhea in the office.

I'm sick of cleaning that carpet. I took out a stanley knife, cut the poohed part out and threw it away.


Its going anyway, right?

I'm so over this.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

if its not one thing... kitchen update

Things have been progressing... more or less... slowly... in our kitchen reno. 

'Cause you know everything that needs to be done can't be done until something else is done first. And that can't be done till something else is finished, and on it goes indefinitely.

During this last week Handyman came over and put up the last 2 boards to finish the first pine lined wall so I could paint it. 

The electrician came over and wired in the stove and put in a power points for the dishwasher and the range hood.

Together they worked out how the range hood would fit, where it would be attached to the wall, etc. 

Then I painted the wall. I finally settled on a colour. I decided to go with Dulux China White which is a dark creamy colour. Too dark and creamy I thought after putting a large swatch of it on the wall. But I needed a creamy white so in the end I bought a 4 litre tin of China White at 3/4 strength. It looks great, just a bit less yellowish but still a rich warm white.

So right now we have a finished floor, one finished wall, architraves sanded and prepped to paint, the stove wired and plumbed in for gas, powerpoints awaiting the dishwasher and rangehood.

The backsplash (a sheet of glass) can't go in behind the stove till the rangehood is in place.

The rangehood can't go up till we get the ducting for it sorted out. Of course the place that sells the rangehoods doesn't sell ducting. I found a place that does sell it but I can't buy it myself. I have to send Handyman to buy it cause what he told me I need to get and what the guys who sell the stuff told me I need to get differs. Wildly.

I don't want the stove working till the glass splashback is up. I don't want food splatters on my new paintwork. We can't put in the rangehood till ducting is sorted, as I said above. But even if I was happy to cook without the rangehood and splashback, I don't want to cook till I have a way to effectively (and easily) wash up. I refuse to try washing a frying pan in the bathroom sink.

We can't connect the dishwasher till the sink is in cause they need to be connected to the same water outlet. Or so I was told.

We can't put the sink in till the benchtop is put in.

Handyman is working on that. Its coming along but I don't have a delivery date on it yet... ugh.

The kicker? The electrician gave me the RFW (request for work) number for our job - the moving of the meter box - so I can call Aurora and hassle them to hurry them up. It was dated March 5, 2014.

Surely that can't be right!!! I was sure he told me he put the paperwork in weeks ago!

I know I've been texting him about once every two weeks and asking him on any progress every time I see him and he's always replied with 'no news yet'.... as if he'd put the paperwork in!

All I managed was 'That can't be right! This paperwork was put in way before that." to which he muttered something about being busy.

What I wanted to do was scream at him.

But wait. 

It gets worse!

We got a text from Aurora saying they'd be doing our job in 7-10 days. Great news.

Till you learn that the electrician is away on a holiday and that once Aurora does their stuff we'll be without power till the electrician does his stuff.

I have no idea if he's away for one week or two. He didn't mention it. We heard it from Handyman. I sent a text letting him know we'd heard from Aurora and asking if he'd be back by then. 

No reply yet.

We need him here at the same time as Aurora or as soon as possible after. He'll have to climb into our ceiling and pull all the wire cables from the old box to the new one.

If he's away we'll be without power.

I'm not impressed with him right now, even if he does like Dwight Yoakam.


fry basket pendant light

Its about time I shared the other pendant light I told you about. I really did mean to post this sooner but you know what plans are like.

So... this is the newly enclosed end of the porch with its  plain little light and unfinished walls. Pretty boring.

This is what it looks like now. Still unfinished but so much more interesting.

First I got the biggest of the fry baskets I had waiting to be made into something. Its a great size for a nice big pendant light. Using my trusty grinder I cut off the handle. I then cut out a section on the bottom to fit the light through. These light extension things are ready to use ones I bought from a hardware store years ago and had in the shed. This one is longer than the one I used on the entry light.

Next I moved the position of the light fitting. I was really limited in that cause I could only move it as far as the wire would allow me. Then I could only hang the light fitting as far towards the centre of the space as the cord on the light extension would allow me.

I then had to find a way to actually hang the light in that spot. I was going to use a hook but I couldn't find one that suited the job. Do you remember the clamp things I found at the garage sale a few weeks ago? I used one of them to hold the light cord in place.

I love the way that looks. The rust in the basket gives the light an almost golden glow and I love the patterns it throws on the walls when the light is on.

Now, if I get around to buying cloth cord and the bits to make my own pendant light extension cords, I can make the cord longer and hang the light in the middle of the space. I will be doing that sooner or later so I can make the lights for the kitchen.

For now it'll do.


Featured at:

Beyond The Picket Fence

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Beyond The Picket Fence

Thursday, 13 March 2014

steamer pendant light

I've been swamped by things that need doing lately. So much so that creativity seems to have been left far, far behind.

This morning I opened up the door to the silver shed (where we keep mowing stuff, chicken feed in a large plastic bin, and where I store projects that have been finished to take to markets and projects waiting to be started...) and I was assailed by the putrid smell of mouse pee.

I had seen evidence of mice in there, what do you expect when you store grain, even in a bin with a lid? But today the smell was really strong. Sigh.

I have to start working on projects again soon, before the mice eat everything!

Anyway, I had promised I'd share the two pendant lights I'd made a couple of weeks ago when the creative urge got too strong to suppress.

This is the first one. I've hung this in the back entry/pantry. Actually its the only way anyone uses to enter the house. It is rather wierd, to enter through a pantry, but hey, in country homes no one ever uses the front door.

Especially if it means walking all the way around the house to access it.

I have friends who never even knew we had a front door!

But I digress. This light is made from a tip shop steamer and one of those ready to use light extension cords you can get at the hardware store. I had two of them and when I found them in the casita I thought "what the heck" and put them to use.

Since the holes are only at the bottom of the steamer there are no pretty patterns on the wall around this light. It directs light downwards. Its not ideal for the pantry area, but it'll do for now. It would be better over a table or a desk.

Obviously we use those low energy light globes everywhere.

I hate them.

They take ages to warm up to full strength and they're ugly. But what can you do? You can get other styles in low energy globes now so when it comes time to replace them I'll be looking for prettier alternatives.

Very rustic, huh?

The other light is prettier. Stay tuned.


Monday, 10 March 2014

cabinets are in - kitchen update

Yes! The cabinets are in. It feels like a huge step forward.

It is a huge step forward really. The cabinets are in place, the handles are on and its looking great.

For the drawers I picked antique style cup pulls like the ones on my old dressers. I bought them on ebay, from England. They were cheaper from there, even with postage.


On the cupboard doors I'm using these pumpkin style knobs I bought on ebay a long time ago. They're actually cream, not white, and they match the new stove perfectly.

And the floor is done. Today I really needed to actually finish something. You know that feeling? So many things are just not going well, not the way I planned, not smoothly... I just needed to feel I've achieved something.

I gave the floor a light sand with 240 sandpaper, cleaned it, and scooted around on my butt (twice) to give it two more coats of polyurethane. It looks great!

If I wasn't so tired right now I'd be jumping for joy.

Wayne is pleased I'm finished too. He was getting really annoyed at having to go out the living room door, walk around the porch, go in through the mud room to access the entry/pantry just to get to the fridge.

Next on the agenda? The electrician is coming to connect the stove and dishwasher. And we'll get the dishwasher plumbed in.

Of course, we can't get the sink put in till we have the new benchtop. Right now we only have a temporary MDF benchtop.

Another thing on my agenda is to kill the gas fitter. He installed the gas and put the pipes on the outside of the wall. It caused some grief to the guys fitting the kitchen cabinets, but they worked around it. The real problem is that the connection is also on the outside... which means that the already wide stove will stick out even more from the wall. Not to mention the gap behind it... what on earth will I do with a gap behind the stove?

I was so angry when I realised. I threatened to call the gas fitter to come back and fix it. Then Wayne told me they'd discussed it and decided it was better easier to do it this way.


That's the last time I don't look over a tradesman's shoulder when he's working for me.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

the first coat and sore knees - kitchen update

I have just spent the entire day shuffling along on my butt and knees sanding the kitchen floor.

Ok. Not the entire day but a bloody good portion of it.

I tore two #40 grit belts doing just one corner this morning, but they must have just been cheapies. I had to go into town to buy new ones and one of them lasted the rest of the floor. Mind you, they cost twice as much... After the #40 I went over it again with #120, then swept, vacuumed and wiped the dust off the floor before putting on the first coat of varnish cause the tin said 'make sure floor is clean and free of dust'.

I don't think this house will ever be free of dust. Ever again.

In fact, I think I'll be finding dust in things for the next 5 years.

I am not looking forward to cleaning up, but unfortunately that's what my life has become lately: Move things, clean, move things to somewhere else, clean again.

One day it will all be over. And it'll be totally worth it!

As you can see, the floor has plenty of 'character'. That's what we DIY renovators like to call things which are old, stained, imperfect.

The square 'patch' is very visible. There were stains and mucky stuff under the old cabinets but I didn't worry too much about them as they'll be covered by the new cabinets. Unfortunately there were a couple of stains which will be visible... No amount of sanding would get rid of them. Probably sump oil or something equally inexplicable.

After all, this is the house where I found sump oil in the garden when I went to plant my hydrangeas.

I can deal with that. Its just more character.

Tomorrow Handyman is coming over to patch the holes he put in the wall when he did the plumbing, I'll fill holes and hopefully do another coat.

At least that's the plan.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

the best laid plans - kitchen update

The day started off badly.

The car battery was flat cause someone, not naming names, but it starts with 'W' and ends in 'ayne', left the hazard lights on all night accidentally.

That was bummer #1.

Wayne put the car on the charger.

So we had to take Eduardo to work. That's the old grey truck held together by rust spots, dints and black plastic where a back window should be (also thanks to someone, I won't mention names, locking the keys in).

We were already in the city when I realized I'd left the work keys in the Beast (the newer, prettier, though only a little cleaner, truck).

That was bummer #2.

I realized I'd also left my wallet in the car.

That was bummer #3.

When I finished work I didn't have my car, my audio book and comfy seat and I didn't have money to go shopping.

That was bummer #4.

I called Wayne, told him he'd have to catch the bus cause I was going home to sand the floor. We could have dinner out when I picked him up from the bus stop. I booked at a local restaurant.

I made plans on the way... George said the kitchen cabinets are ready to put in this weekend (YAY!) so I needed to get the floor done. If I spent an hour on them tonight, then another hour on them tomorrow I should have most of the sanding done before Thursday.

On Thursday I have two dogs to groom in the morning, I could seal the floor, and even give it a second coat before picking up Wayne in the afternoon.

On Friday afternoon when Handyman arrived to patch all the holes in the plaster I could fill holes in the floor.

Then on Saturday or Sunday George would install the cabinets and I'd organise to have the plumbing and electrics connected after that.

I had such great plans... oh how naive I was...

I came home and the first thing I did was go start the car. I would let it run while I sanded.

The car wasn't having any of that. It was still flat as a tack.

That was bummer #5.

I called roadside assist. I sanded till he arrived. About 15 minutes worth. He started the car up and recommended I take a long drive. I did. I drove for 40 minutes or so. There goes my sanding time.

That was bummer #6.

I got home, turned the car around, stopped outside the gate ready to go out for dinner, then thought "hmm, better test it" and ...


It was still flat.

That was bummer #7.

I rolled it down the drive, threw it into second gear...


I rolled a bit further, tried again...


That was bummer #8.

I stopped just before the gate and called roadside assist again. "I need a new battery".

The wait would be 45min or so. I called the restaurant and cancelled our reservation.

That was bummer #9.

So much for planning. I don't know why I bother. I almost always get more done when I fly by the seat of my pants anyway!

The guy arrived to change the battery. $186 with the member discount, money I was not planning to spend on a battery.

That was bummer #10.

The restaurant hadn't given away our table so we managed to have dinner after all.

The opposite of bummer:


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

up a ladder without a paddle - kitchen update

This last weekend saw a first for me - I painted the fascia on the front of the house at an altitude that had me ducking low flying planes.

Ok, ok, I exaggerate. I started painting the fascia... However, it was high. I've always been the ladder girl when it comes to painting - I'd never use one of those extension sticks with a roller. No way. It gives me a crook neck. I use a ladder and put all the strain on my leg muscles.

They are the strongest muscles in the body for good reason. They have to lug me around all day!

So, when doing any painting I'm always the one who gets the job cutting in around the ceiling. And painting the ceiling by climbing up, rolling a bit, getting down, loading up the roller, moving over a tad, climbing up, rolling a bit, getting down... you get the picture.

Its my version of a step class.

Well, this last Sunday had me doing the extreme version of that sport. And cause the only place the ladder could rest was on the aforementioned fascia (the one I was painting), and since there were more steps involved, it was a lot more climbing and a lot less brushing.

I had planned* to have all the white bits on the front of the house railing done. I did all the posts, porch side and garden side, and the inside of the fascia... and then it got hot.

I may have mentioned that I don't do well in the heat? No?

I'm stubborn. I said I'd do it, I'd planned to do it, so by golly gosh I was going to do it!

I lugged out the ladder (with some help from my brawny half), fought with it to get it level and steady, then gamely climbed up the 323 steps and started painting. I painted about a foot, climbed down, wrestled the ladder over a foot and repeated.

About halfway across the front of the house my calf muscles started to shake.

I would have pushed myself to finish, but the highest bits were yet to come, and ... did I mention it was hot?

I was about to make the decision to quit for the day when the decision was made for me... I stepped back from the ladder and right into the bucket of paint.

I now have a few white patches of grass and one white boot.

My failure to finish aside, other things did get done.

The gasfitter came and installed the gas lines. Here's a pretty photo of our gas connection. We opted to go with smaller gas bottles we own and can fill as needed rather than pay rent on larger ones. You may not notice, but the gasfitter fitted the lines on the unfinished part of the porch enclosure. Handyman was not pleased.

Speaking of Handyman, he did a great job on making a slab for the gas bottles to sit on. And Barney promptly immortalised himself in the fresh concrete.

This is what that area used to look like - the end of the porch was pretty (now enclosed), but the ground sloped down in that spot and there was a broken concrete path that lead into the wall, and gravel. A mess basically. Having the slab there gives us a level area not only for the gas bottles but for my collection of junk decorative garden art.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen a big hole appeared in the floor. This is where the floor dipped by almost an inch towards the wall. Handyman lifted the boards and raised up the joists to level out the floor, then he and Wayne moved the plumbing to the other wall where the sink and dishwasher are to be located.

It made total sense to use that huge hole to move pipes than to squeeze through a tiny door at the far end of the house and have to crawl under the house, dodging spiders all the way to the kitchen. It was a door direct to the spot they needed to get to. It would've been silly not to take advantage of it.

Neither Wayne nor Handyman were too upset about not becoming better acquainted with the arachnids under the floor.
So, plumbing moved. Gas fitted. Electrics almost done (will they ever be finished? I'm not sure.) Pine lining started. Floor work started.

Started. There's still one piece of masonite to be removed. All nails have been removed or punched in on the rest of the floor and I've started sanding with the belt sander.

That may seem extreme considering I can hire a floor sander, but here's the thinking...

1. I can't lift a floor sander by myself. Sure, I have Wayne to do the heavy lifting, but he won't be here when I'm doing it. Or shall I say, when I plan on doing it...*

2. I rather like the 'unprofessional' finish. I like character and imperfections. I want the floor to look old - not brand new and slickly polished.

3. I have nothing better to do than crawl around on my hands and knees sanding the floor.

4. I'm insane.

So, the plan is to have the floor sanded and give it one coat (or two) before Sunday.

That's the plan...

More on that later!


*Plans - those things which are made only to be messed up. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

a quick shot of power tools

I mentioned that the other day I got distracted from pulling nails out of the kitchen floor by the fact that I could finally reach my power tools.

Hello circular saw! Hey there jigsaw! Nice to see you again grinder! I sure have missed you guys!

So, while I was there admiring them, patting them, etc, I remembered that I'd promised Wayne I'd put a lid on the box he stores chaff in for the horses. Its a raised garden bed box made of pallet wood that we got (in pieces) from the Men's Shed in New Norfolk. That's a community based place where men can go and bond over power tools, as well as learn new skills.

Anyway, Wayne had put this together, lining it better so it would hold the chaff, but he'd never put a lid on it. Up till recently we'd been using pieces of leftover flooring as a lid and moving them out of the way to reach in.

I'd been hit on the head by a falling 'lid' a few times...

It was time for a proper lid.

I'd gotten some pieces of laminate flooring from a friend and one piece was almost the right size. Using that and a piece of old timber I'd found, I created a proper lid. I attached the bit of timber to the end to give the lid something to hinge off, then trimmed the lid to the right size.

Since the flooring is that click together stuff, I had to reinforce it with bits of pine that came out of the kitchen. I glued and screwed those into the back to give the lid strength.

Then I used some gorgeous big old hinges I'd picked up from a tip shop. (I tell you, my tip shop finds always come in handy!).

The flooring and the timber slat were different thicknesses, so to make the hinges fit properly I had to pack it up a bit. For this I used some of the masonite we've been pulling off the kitchen floor.

Waste not, want not!

Lastly, I found an old handle among my collection of junk, and voila! A working lid. Not perfectly finished, but hay (pun intended!), the horses don't mind.

No more head bashing cause now when you open it, the piece of timber on the end allows the lid to sit back against the wall with the right lean so it won't slam back down.


Saturday, 1 March 2014

look what i found

I got a great email the other day from Laure,l from The North End Loft, telling me she had featured my tin crown in her Friday Finds post. Thank you Laurel!


It got me thinking. Lots of bloggers do 'finds' type of posts once a week and its a great way to share things with your friends and followers. Maybe I should do it...

Then again I'm a 'fair weather' blogger. Sometimes I post a lot, other times I disappear for weeks and my friends have been known to phone E.T. to intercede on my behalf in case if I've been abducted.

Its all very well to have time to do everything I try to cram into my day, then I have to find time to blog. And most of the time I'm just too tired at the end of the day to answer emails, let alone be creative and blog.

I think I will join the 'finds' club, but make it a random thing... you know, more like a surprise than a reliable weekly thing.

So, in the spirit of sharing interesting things I've seen, been inspired by or found... here is the best idea for displaying art. I found it while browsing The North End Loft. Laurel made up boards with pegs and clips up different art according to the room and the mood. Isn't it brilliant?

I think I'm going to make some of these for myself. There is only so much wall space in this house and there is just so much I'd like to display. Changeable displays are a wonderful idea.

Here are some great finds from a garage sale up the road a week ago. I love this old fashioned bike light...  it'll make a great something one day. And those clamps. I have ideas for those already, but you'll see how one has already come in handy in an upcoming post. 

I also found these two old scales to add to my collection. (Anything over 3 is a collection and I now have 4 of the hanging type and 5 of the table type scales). This first is wonderfully chippy with that lovely old fashioned green on the back.

The other has a lovely patina of rust and green. They're both hanging on the side of the house for the time being, replacing the plants I had in hanging baskets.

Most of the plants I had in pots have gone into the ground now. The garden is looking wonderful. Most of the plants I put in have grown and the place is starting to look like someone loves it. If I continue in this vein my garden will soon look like a little old lady lives here.

- You know. The older the you get the more into gardening you are... the best cottage gardens usually belong to little old ladies who've been gardening for 30 years.