Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring has sprung!

We had a rough week with subfreezing temps and a dusting of snow, but then it warmed up until it has been in the 70's and even low 80's this week. I am pulling plants out of the house and starting to dig in the ground. It's exciting to watch what comes up around here. Like this little surprise...
There are eight to ten of these sprouting in the back bed. I may have to get more. I didn't know daffodils would grow here.

 These are the Aggie Maroon Bluebonnets I planted this fall. They made it through winter. I can hardly wait to see them bloom!
 And the little bit of Autumn Joy sedum that I brought is sprouting. This is from the plant that I bought the spring after my first granddaughter, Autumn Joy, was born. I hope to get the rest of it soon.
 One of the Sago's I brought with me and planted seems to have had a malfunction in it's frost cover. It looks like it is still alive and will sprout when it gets warm enough. It's just going to be smaller for a while.
 I don't know what that strappy green plant is. It's sprouting out front. I guess I will have to wait and see. But you can see little bits of green on the ground there...that's bluebonnet sprouts. The bluebonnets are coming up everywhere. Watch this space for some spectacular pictures next month!
 Of course, I hit a plant store or two. There are two Yews, 3 Indigo Spires, Mexican Feather grass, 3 Chinese Fringes, 2 Euryops, 2 Asparagus ferns, and a Firecracker plant, which will go into my huge Mexican pot. And the wee pots in front right are tomatoes and jalapeno peppers. I am going to grow peppers for Kim.
 On this side you can see Gazanias, Gebera's, 3 Cordylines, a Joseph's Coat, a Carolina Jessamine, and a pot of flowers that I can't recall right now what they are. I nearly always get a pot of them each year. I also bought two hanging red geraniums.
 and this is either the apricot tree in bud, or one of the peach trees. The pear tree is looking similar.
 And I leave you with a pretty pansy face, dewey with today's drizzle, and a yellow skipper happily perched on it.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Snow in the Hills

It was iffy, off and on, and totally unknown as to what would happen last week. Somebody in south Texas was going to get snow...they just weren't sure who and how much. They said Houston could get a few inches. Houston got zip, except for ice. Now imagine tropical dwellers on ice. yeah, like that.
I woke up friday morning to a quarter of an inch of snow. It is a rare occurrence in this area. They shut down schools and most business....and I-35 through town. See...the snow had an ice layer underneath, and most of 35 through town is overpasses. They also shut down I-10 through San Antonio. What was really fun was that after a couple of days of subfreezing temperatures, my water froze. Somebody intelligently put the pvc pipe from the well to the house totally outside for about 2 feet. No cover or anything. I managed to thaw it out with an electric blanket and blankets on top of that. But this is what the water looked like for hours after it thawed.
Lovely. Also, since Father In Law's room is not finished...as in, no insulation, it was icy in there. For some reason his heat/ac unit wasn't putting out much heat. I got out two space heaters and got him warmed up in no time. Also put a fan between him and the house, blowing into the house, which exchanged warm air for cool....and dug up a very warm quilt. He was cozy.
So...on with snow pictures.
 Matt was able to smash the dry powdery stuff together for a tiny snowman on his truck hood.
 The backyard was a snowy wonderland.
 View out my bathroom window.
 At the road, looking up the drive toward the house.
 From the balcony, looking toward the road.
 The front yard from the balcony.
 Poor little froggy froze too. He usually spouts water. The pond froze over too, but the movement of the water from the pump and filter kept a section open for gasses to escape so the fish wouldn't be poisoned.
 The back of the house.
The front of the house. It wasn't much snow, I had almost a foot 3 years ago in Sonora, but it was just enough to satisfy a snow lover. It melted off the next day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More treehouse view

I decided that since I was doing treehouse views, I would show you how wonderful it is to sit on my upstairs balcony. Mind you, this is winter. I will have to post more pictures when spring green shows.

 From the balcony looking up the drive. Lovely curving drive to the road. I love driving home. You come around the curve and see the house through the trees. It never ceases to make my heart sigh with pleasure.
Sitting on a chair on a warm fall day. I even have a couple of plants out to get sun and warmth for the winter. You can see part of the front fence in the lower left. I love the rustic cedar branch fence. It needs to be straightened up a bit and rebuilt some, but certainly doesn't need to come down like my unimaginative hubby said. It already has a Carolina Jasmine planted by it to cover it in spring. I plan a few more summer flowering vines on it. But I will have a battle with the smilax and wild morning glory vines. The morning glory covered everything. I pulled tons of it up, but there is more to tear down and the seeds are everywhere. This may take a few years to win.

My Treehouse

 I realized this morning that it feels like I live in a treehouse. When you go upstairs, you see the tops of trees. Above is the view of the backyard from the hall window. The gazebo needs new roofing. Maybe someone will get to that this spring.
 This is what it looks like from the front balcony door looking out toward the road.
 This is the front corner of my bedroom. No, not decorated yet, but look at that view when the blinds are opened!
And this is what I see at my desk in my studio room. I love being able to look out at trees and treetops. A lot of the trees are taller than the two story house. I paid my dues spending many decades in horrible near-treeless barren wastelands. Now I reap the rewards of living where I don't have to plant a tree. I will though. I am planning on some beautiful red Japanese Maples in a part of the understory.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tomorrow and Yesterdays

I have to get up and get going early tomorrow. Father-in-law and I need to leave town before 8am to make the closing at 11. We will meet Kim there, sign our lives away, then take possession of our new home. This whole thing has been very rough. Not just all of the work involved with buying a house, but the details of changing addresses, utilities and such after 20 years in one place, but also of packing up our lives single-handedly. I am so very thankful that Kim will be here next week to help. He has a lot of stuff to pack himself, go through, and help his dad pack.
I have been thinking of our 20 years here. Of the home I loved until it became no longer my solitude and escape. When the trash moved in and claimed our life, making it impossible to live here.
I will miss watching snow or rain fall on the distant landscape.
I will miss spring, watching everything come to life, blooming, and deer wandering in the bluebonnets.

I will look through pictures of my garden before the neighbor made it a dump/junk yard and hope that I can make my new yard bloom as well.


But I won't miss the dried up desolation of summer. The season that I battle to keep things alive. I will take a large portion of my plants with  me. Moving so late in the summer is good in that I can dig things up and they have a good chance of surviving. Heck, if I can make things grow in this little bit of clay over rock, I shouldn't have a problem transplanting to better ground.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Finishing the house tour

 This is the huge master suite that will be Aaron's apartment (Kim's dad). The open door on the right leads to a huge walk in closet. To the right of the picture is french doors to the deck.
 This is his bathroom. Very elegant. At the right is a very nice shower and the vanity is behind the wall.
 This is what sold us on the house. To the left of the bed, opposite the closet is this room. Sink, storage, set up for microwave, and on the left side is enough room to put him a refrigerator and apartment sized stove. WIN!! He lives with us, but separate in his own little apartment!! He is excited. I can hardly wait for him to see it.
 This is his own little porch deck. That is his door outside.
 This is what you see when you go through the front door. The stairs. To the left is the office and half bath. Not sure about the intense blue of the stairwell and the upstairs hallway. We'll see.
 This is in the living room looking toward the kitchen and the backdoor.
 And looking from the kitchen wall toward the living room. I do not like the green in the room. Will be repainting it first thing. It was originally the same color as the dining room.
 This is the office to the left of the stairs. Nice storage closet. I can see my desk in there and books lining the walls. The red will have to go...it's just that one wall and is a bit jarring.
 Sadly, this is the only spare room until Matt gets to move out. This will be my studio, but I am sure family will want me to make it a guest room. sigh. It's not very big. Closet is decent sized, but nothing like I need.
 This will be Matt's room. It's larger than the other room and I can't talk him out of it. There is another small room off of it. I already know he will want to paint it a different color.
 This is a view of Kim's and my bedroom. It is set up as a nursery right now. The living room color can wait, I have to paint over this pink! I love how the small tray ceiling is trimmed out with decorative wood! It has a bathroom off of it. Nothing to write home about.
And I leave you with a view of the front door. I am crazy about the decorative wood beams and that fab door! In less than a month from now, I will be living there, trying to figure out where to put my furniture. I can hardly wait!

More of the new house

 I thought I would show you more of the outside of the house before I show the rest of the inside. I love the outside. Above is looking at the back of the house. Nice large covered porch off the kitchen and dining room. The wood clad part on the right is the laundry room which leads to Kim's dad's private space. I love the rustic supports. That's Kim looking around.
 This is the view from the front porch balcony. You can see the large shady treed area and the covered carport in front of the garage. This is where you park when you drive up. From the carport, the drive circles back around to the front.
 This is at the side of the garage in the backyard. The cement pad has a drain. I suppose it's for washing your 4H animals. That covered fenced in area behind it....chicken coop! I can have chickens again!!  You can see some trees to the left of the pen...that is fruit trees. This yard is so set up for me.
 This is the front porch. It even has it's own swing.
 And here is the upper balcony porch. The door out to it is in the hallway, so you don't have to go through anyone's room to get to it.
 This lovely view is from the balcony to the front entrance. Too cute! It needs some finishing up. I love the cedar fence in front. Just decorative.
 This is looking from the garage to the back of the house. Swing set not included. You can see the covered deck that leads to the master suite that will be Aaron's.
And this is the garage. It is begging for a barn red paint job! The left part I suppose you could park a car in, but it has a decked out workshop that will be put to very good use. The right side is definitely large enough for a vehicle, but will be storage for now. There is a nice set of steps inside that lead up to the loft area...more great storage. Behind the garage is an open shed that is very large. It houses the chicken house and tons of storage area.