It’s only been a year and a month since I posted


I’m back in the yard, puttering around.  There have been a few changes inside the house since I last wrote, but maybe I’ll tell you about them later.  I just logged on today to make a little list of the plants in my herb garden.  Perhaps when I’m done mulching it, I’ll take pretty photos of my own and share them with an update of this post:

  • Sage
  • Pennyroyal – poisonous but supposedly deters fleas.  Therefore, welcome in my garden.
  • Bloody Dock – I love this plant’s leaves. Gorgeous.
  • English Thyme
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender – lots of it!
  • Rosemary
  • Bee Balm – beautiful flowers and I like the leaves in my ice water.
  • Lovage –  looking forward to subbing this for celery this year and using it in soups.
  • Toothache – I had never heard of this before I saw it at my favorite herb grower’s stand in the farmer’s market. Had to try it out.  I can already report that the leaves do indeed have an analgesic affect.
  • Borage – I want to grow this for its beautiful flowers.  Last year, unfortunately, I only planted one of these guys and Maverick peed on it and peed on it until he killed it.  This year I planted two and have rearranged things to give them a little protection from my dog’s attentions.
  • Catmint
  • Lemon Balm

My older dog seems to really like lying among the herbs – but he ignores the catmin. 


Hutch painted in RECORD time!


Hutch painted in RECORD time!

My darling realtor and friend gifted me this hutch that had outlived its welcome in her home. She also gave me sparkly doodads, which you might recognize as clear acrylic knobs. It is a little hard to tell in the picture, but the paint is actually a warm navy blue. The interior is (duh) PINK. And awesome. I doubted my plans to go navy and hot pink when I was at the hardware store, actually trying to pick a paint, but in the end, I remembered one of my DIY mantras: “Relax, it’s only paint.” I mean, if the pink turned out more Pepto than perfect, I could just prime and repaint. My friend C came over and helped me with the paint choices, sanding, and getting the first coat of navy blue paint on. She was a huge help and excellent company. She was also an excellent DJ, playing a live Buena Vista Social Club album. After C left, I touched up the navy and got to work on the four, count them, four coats of pink paint.

Ahoy there, mateys!

Please insert the usual excuses about my absence here. I’m terribly sorry to have been such a tease. Sadly, it won’t be the last time.

In the past four months I have:

Created one curtain for the living roomImage

Don’t mind the bookcase detritus on the window seat. There was room rearranging going on. If I only showed you perfect pictures, I wouldn’t show any pictures at all.  Curtain two is in progress. 🙂 I have cut and pinned panels for Craftopia, but that hasn’t been done yet.

I’ve welcomed several roommates to Elephant Culo, all of whom have been wonderful in their own ways. L has left for Chicago, J for Atlanta, but K is here until July. She has been a delight to live with – so laid back! – and has shared lots of Danish treats with me. I will really miss her when she goes back to Copenhagen in July, but something tells me she’ll be ready to get back home after a few weeks in the Carolina summer.  She’s staying in this room.  It’s not finished, of course, but it’s cozy.


The dogs have been doing a lot of work, supervising.


I’ve been quite busy in the garden, working on getting what passes for beds in the front yard blooming. We’ll get to weeding on another day. I have made a compost bin out of pallets and a pergola (well, the pergola is not quite finished, pics to follow eventually).


No picture, it seems, is complete if Goose isn’t in it. I had to go through a lot of shots to find the blurry awful low light one with Maverick, above, but I didn’t want him to feel left out.  Sibling rivalry and all, you know.  Lots of plans for this big old space, lots of work to do. K and I have enjoyed lighting a fire and relaxing in the spring evenings.


The photo is from a cell phone in low light, so that’s the quality explanation. You can see the ball fields in the background, and get an idea of why I am interested in planted a little bit of a hedge for privacy.  All in good time, right?  Ciao for now!

Talent: Discovered

I had the most unexpected surprise in my Facebook newsfeed on Christmas Day. It turns out I am excellent at posting pretty little things that other people buy for their loved ones.

Heart Locket ClosedHeart LocketExhibit 1: Sterling Silver Anatomically Correct Heart Locket. I’ve seen this one in person. Absolutely stunning, and heavy! Worth every penny of its $310 asking price.

fluevogExhibit 2: Fluevog Operettas Brightman shoes, $289. Yes, they are pricey, but they are built to last. A. purchased this for her wife, K., and I was told that it made A. immediately more attractive and cured K.’s flu! Beat that!

Free BatesAnd Exhibit 3: Free Bates,$20.99.  Proving that while my tastes may be high-brow, they are not exclusively high-end, a t-shirt from the popular PBS show, Downton Abbey.  S got this for her husband, P, who made a handsome model on Christmas morning.

I didn’t get any of these gifts, mind you. Not a one.  Not that I was expecting any! I did get gift cards to Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware, though, and those I will put to good use.  Let me know if you need help finding a gift though, because it would seem that I am your girl.

Nothing Scary…

My brother and his fiancee, who are nameless on here because I haven’t asked them if it’s OK to name them, wanted to see my house when they were down for Christmas.  I think the last time they were here was before I moved in and before ye olde stinky carpets were removed.  They were suitably impressed with the updates. 

Upstairs, my mom was eager to show off the tile work that was done when the master bath’s shower drain was replaced.  Matching tile is nigh impossible, but I think we found a great contrasting set of tiles to make the change look more like an upgrade than a repair. Mom agrees, and she was eager to show bro + main squeeze.  I was 99% sure that I had tidied up the bathroom before I left, but that 1% uncertainty was enough to have me asking my brother, who was the first into the tiny room, “There’s nothing scary in there, is there?”

He said, “No, not if by scary you don’t mean this 40 year old light fixture, the stock vanity that still has the manufacturer’s sticker on it, or this huge ugly mirror.”

Ha!  Don’t worry, he was impressed with the tile work. I must take pictures of the hideousness in that bathroom.  It is fairly low on the priority list, but he’s right, there are a real collection of dated and cheap things in there.  They will be easy to swap out, though, it’s just a matter of getting to them.  I might even take the mirror down early and just put up a nice HomeGoods decorator’s mirror instead. 

Right now, I’m saving to replace the carpet in the den (might not be too expensive after all), replace the six windows upstairs (bigger ticket project, and not a lot of fun as far as decor goes, really; hope to do this in 2013), and replace the six windows downstairs that aren’t bay/picture/sliding glass/in a door (hope to do this in 2014).  And maybe add in there changing the wood fireplace out for a gas fireplace.  I love the wood, but I’m learning that it’s actually pretty darn ineffective for heating your home.  I’d rather have a fireplace that will actually kick out some heat in a pinch, so maybe that’s a 2014 big ticket item, too.  And of course, in between there, there shall be much spray painting and hammering and suchlike.