Thursday, December 30, 2010

In the aftermath.

The blizzard of 0'10 wreaked little havoc in my life. Aside from being one of three employees to show up on Sunday morning at 7am, nothing special happened. There's still some snow on the ground. I've got to spend the afternoon splitting wood. It's 30 degrees and overcast. I was even able to sort of straighten the trellis that collapsed. I'll figure out a permanent fix in the spring.

Across the street, Larry's snow isn't melting quickly. He passed away in October.

In the basement, pansies and violas are being evaluated for termination. I'll probably plant a few in the perennial bed for some early spring color. Maybe some out by the driveway. But that's next week.

I'll be leaving the house in the hands of a sitter. I've got a plumbing issue to attend to today. And firewood that needs to be split. Gardening will have to wait. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I'm officially on vacation from work. It started at 4:58pm when I hit the clock and didn't look back. Well, I did pick up 58 nearly dead hanging baskets of pansies. I'll use the soil next week to start wintersowing. Yep. It's that time of year again.

I'll reuse a lot of the soda bottles I kept from last year. My goal is to keep my sowing to a minimum. I have set a limit of 50 containers for all my perennials and annuals. I don't think I have any shrub seeds this year. I know I don't have any tree seeds. My vegetables will be in a class all their own and will not count towards the 50 containers. I cheat. Get over it.

I'm looking forward to it. I've neglected the yard for a while now in terms of adding to it. I know I planted a lot of cheap clearance perennials in the fall. And I moved some things about during the summer. But I haven't really been adding to the garden as a whole. I need to make it more cohesive. So I'll be sowing seeds to do that.

I collected from the perennial bed by the driveway all summer. What grows there will eventually be found in other parts of the yard using different combinations. Echinacea and Rudbeckia figure heavy into my plans. I moved a lot of things this past fall, mostly new seedlings that had emerged when it finally started raining again.

Right now, it's winter. There's 80 more days til spring. I'm in the planning stages. There are daffs already sending up foliage. The crocuses aren't even blooming yet. We've got a ways to go. I'm ready for it. It's going to be gorgeous in June. It always is.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Time

Random images from Christmas Eve until this afternoon. I lost a trellis.

It's 30 degrees and still snowing. The temperature tonight will fall into the upper teens. It's gonna be slicker than owl **** out there in the morning. I don't go in til 3.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two years.

I've been blogging here for only two years. Even I'm amazed to look back over the three and a half years I've lived here. The changes are incredible. I barely remember some days when I moved wheelbarrows of rock across the yard to edge another new bed. But the proof is out there.

Yesterday saw the last sunset of Fall. It's now officially winter. The days will start getting longer, but the coldest months still lie ahead. January can be vicious. February is brutal. By March, we've gotten some snow and 70 degree days are just around the corner. So there's Christmas and New Year's, President's Day, and Valentine's Day. Then there's my birthday. And it's Spring. 89 days. I can do this.

It appears some plants don't understand the concept of 14 degrees. This passionvine is not supposed to be cold hardy. It's still green.

It's 34 degrees.

Until next time, take care. Stay warm. I'm going to take a bit of a break.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Last year, I posted about the giant trees in the backyard. This winter, one of them will be keeping me warm. Here's what it used to look like. The tall, straight one came down this morning.

I've got enough wood to last through the end of January. If it's not as cold as it has been in December, it might last into February. And I should have a little more summer sunlight on the potager.

It's 41 degrees. We were supposed to hit the upper 40s today. It's windy too. I think I'll save the rest of the wood splitting til tomorrow. I need a nap if I'm to stay up and watch the eclipse tonight. We're almost at the turning point. Just a few more hours.

Friday, December 17, 2010


That's the best description for the weather today. It's 45 degrees and warm in the sun. I'm not even wearing a jacket today, just two long sleeves and jeans with thermals. Tomorrow, a 30% chance of snow. Again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Day

I'm off work again today. I think I'll stay inside and clean house. It snowed overnight.

Freezing rain is currently falling. The temperature is 30 degrees. The high today should reach the low 40s. Tomorrow, maybe 50. Back to our normal weather, only 6 days from winter.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I slept in this morning.

I made it almost to 9am. I did get up about 6 and remember to pull the trash receptacle to the curb. I forgot to do that last night. I was rattled after work. Rushed. When I finally got up, I rebuilt the fire in the basement, made coffee, and checked the online temperature. I'm afraid. I'm thankful I don't have to work today.

I've been reading some of the articles on the tiny house blog I posted a few days ago. I found one that used shipping containers to make an apartment of sorts. I thought I'd give my hand a try at the same idea. A few cups of coffee later, I've got a plan. I've already been thinking in elevation as well. I'll probably save that for tomorrow, while it's snowing.

I've got firewood to chop. Yes, I am using the ax. This is good oak. It splits easily.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Almost freezing.

It's 30 degrees. Last night it got down in the mid teens. We were aiming for 14. I don't think it went that low. Thursday, slushy rain with ice and snow likely. Glad I'm off with no plans to go anywhere.

Euphorbia "Blackbird" stands proud. The yellow striped Yucca seems to be taking it in stride too.

The cabbage are laid out flat. They might not recover. The broccoli looks like toast.

Aucuba cuttings rooted last fall have me worried.

Autumn Fire Sedum will look nice with some snow on the dried flowers.

Miscanthus Cosmopolitan.

Tonight, 12 degrees. I get off work at 11pm.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Great Snow of December 2010

It snowed last night.

It's 27 degrees. Pansies across the state are living up to their name.

The high today will reach 36. Tonight, 16. Tomorrow night, 12.

I don't know if all this snow will melt by this evening.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rainy Sunday

It started yesterday. It was a drizzle here and there with some sleet mixed in. Overnight, we climbed in to the 40s. By the time the sun sets today, it'll be below freezing. We won't see the upper 30s again until the middle part of the week. My toes are numb. I'm cold.

It's 45 degrees and raining.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The day off.

I'm about to head south to the little town I grew up in. My dad knows of some trees we can cut up that have been pushed over by pine loggers. They're oaks and maples, mostly. Hopefully, I'll come home this evening with enough wood to last the rest of the winter. And if not, I've got two trees in the backyard in my sights.

It's 21 degrees. 100 days til spring. Or so.

4:23pm - I didn't get as much wood as I had hoped. Someone else has already been picking through the piles. We got there too late. But the drive was nice.

Just an hour and 15 minutes south of me, the landscape is flat and covered with pine trees. The Sandhills of South Carolina.

The dirt road I grew up on.

I got about 2 weeks worth of wood. I guess I'll be taking out a couple elms in the back. No one cares about them. And they should burn okay. Wish I had a red oak back there like last year. It's 48 degrees. Balmy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Warmer today.

Gonna be warmer tomorrow too. It's already 36 degrees.

I spent the morning finishing off the pile of wood in the driveway. I'm heading to my parents' tomorrow to cut some more. The cycle continues.

Frozen roses still hold color around the back of the house.

The perennial bed has gone to sleep, finally.

Or maybe not. Nature perseveres.

Things look so different than just a few weeks ago.

What once was a Halloween costume is now part of my daily attire. And yes, I do go to Wal-Mart dressed this way.

It's been a great morning.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Looking forward to Saturday.

That's when the overnight temperatures return to normal. It's only for a couple of nights, but a high of 53 on Saturday sounds a lot better than 37 today. It's 18 degrees. Tonight's going to be brutal working in the cold.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Micro Home Market

The Micro Home Market

This might be my next housing adventure.

The weatherbug is frozen

It's actually 23 degrees with 14mph winds. Gusts are in the 20mph range. We'll top out at about 40 today, maybe. That's 18 degrees below normal.

Monday, December 6, 2010

25 degrees

A high today of 38. Low tonight around 15. Rinse and repeat for the next 3-4 days.

At least I'm working the midshift today and tomorrow. Wednesday night will be cold closing the garden center until 11pm.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Light.

It plays.

Sunny is golden.

The nandinas are ripe.

I wish I could sleep the winter through.

It snowed.

For all of about 15 minutes. I was at work. It was pretty. Then it turned to sleet, rain, and finally just cold and misty. Overnight, we may or may not have gotten any precipitation. It's 30 degrees and I'm still in my pajamas.

If it weren't Sunday, I'd cuss:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Twenty seven and One hundred and eight.

It's still below freezing. At 6:30am, it was 27 degrees. Seems fitting given the circumstances. The grass is covered with frost. The trees are bare. It might as well be winter.

The collards will have more flavor now.

The pineapple sage will be black by noon.

It's 30 degrees. Time to break out the thermals.