Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sean Lennon, sound check

Sean Lennon and his beautiful lady were doing a soundcheck on an outdoor stage, near the East River... we just happened upon them, totally unexpected.

A small crowd had gathered to listen and watch.

New York. You never know what is around the corner.

By the East River

A group of tall ships and tugboats, berthed near the financial district on the East River.

We had delicious smoothies made from fresh fruit by an Egyptian engineer...

Dragon fighters!

This is the fire department in Manhattan's China Town. They fight dragons!

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty on a drizzly summer day

I spent the weekend with Jade, in New York. On Friday afternoon, we took the Staten Island ferry, across the water and past the Statue of Liberty. It's free!

The weather was warm, misty, drizzly...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thrift store finds: refinished!

Refinished: sanded, smoothed and given several coats of satin. Fixed the broken bits. Added new knobs (or as they call them here, new "pulls").

Love the wood grain. Really glad I didn't use the ebony stain on this one.
The knobs are from India, found at World Market. They cost more than the chest of drawers itself, but still less than plastic-fake-metal ones from the big home improvement stores. They are ceramic!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I was looking for an Asian-style shoe-bench to put on the deck between the master bedroom and the little bathroom, but everything new I saw was too expensive, to flimsy, and just not right. Then I found this coffee table in the thrift store... made in Indonesia, sturdy enough to sit on. And the bench pads were half-price at World Market this weekend.

So now there is no excuse for wearing shoes indoors.

More plantings. Hoping they'll survive 100 degrees C.

Pumpkins around the edge of the cutting garden--the gnarly, warty kind. Canteloupe plants potted-up into the big, red Dollar Store buckets (with drainage holes added). Four hangiing baskets--two the usual kind, and two spray-painted thrift-store bird cages--planted with nasturtiums and trailing lobelia. And a load of the baby echinacea, shasta daisies, foxgloves and red-hot pokers are now in the front garden. First perennials here from seed!

The four hydrangeas I put on the shady side of the house are now being blasted by early-morning sun, and today, a drying wind. And I suspect that the turkeys are starting to sample the baby tomatoes. This calls for a trip to Home Depot for some shade cloth and/or turkeyproof net.

Found wild cherries along the creek! The fat squirrel gave them away by sitting in full sight stuffing his face! Now we know where they are... and they are yellow-orange and delicious.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thrift store finds--progress on chest of drawers (or "dresser", if you prefer)

All sanded back to bare wood--lovely knotty pine. When I bought it, I thought I'd stain it ebony to match the one I have in my office... but after seeing the clean wood, I just want to leave it natural with a satin finish. And black drawer pulls.

It didn't take long at all: the old finish was shallow and had not deeply penetrated the wood.

Thrift store finds--before

Found these at my favourite, giant thrift store at the weekend.

A lamp base in filigree metal: pattern is very similar to a couple of other things that I have already.

An incredibly-comfortable wooden chair. Reminded me of something in my grandad Toon's kitchen. Cost 10$.

And a brown-stained pine chest-of-drawers for $35. I forgot to take a picture of it before I dismantled it, but these are the drawers:

All of the handles were broken or missing. The framework to hold the front of a couple of the drawers has come loose and will need fixing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Japanese garden: tiny steps

Hostas are emerging: these were tiny roots a couple of weeks ago. They are supposed to be almost white, but they are coming up green. I have no complaints.

Rocks gathered from around the property which I'll use in the Japanese garden. No it wasn't me who picked them up and carried them. That was a punishment.

Sunshine at last

Was at at last able to do some planting again last night. It has been cool, and very rainy, seems like for weeks... and now summer has arrived. Just like that.

One of the "grab bags" of plants included what I thought were three "hedge" roses. When I opened the bag yesterday, I found not three, but three bundles of three. So now the new cutting garden has a hedge of nine roses. They are but small, sprouting sticks right now. I must remember to keep them well-watered as the temperatures start to soar.

Cosmos growing...

... so are the tomatoes (these are yellow grape heirloom, yummy!)...

Lettuce and radish and carrot seedlings. One row of lettuce has not appeared--maybe the seeds were too old.

Peas. They may not produce much: planted too late, and the summer will be too hot, very soon.

And a courgette/zuchinni plant on the compost heap. Which is covered in plastic to help conserve water.

Paint. Chosen. Applied.

It's called "Lemongrass" from Behr. It's a very startling bright green when in the paint-pot, but dries to a (slightly) more subtle, new-leaf-new-grass green.

It's one one wall only: the rest of the room is Lunar Light.

Rainy weekends mean that more painting has been done. Dylan finished the painting in the living room for me. So now we have about half the house painted... still a lot to do. And I really must get around to putting in skirting/baseboards.

Blogger has lost it. Again.

Random, old postings--like the one just below, I only want to be in the garden--which disappeared several weeks ago, have reappeared (three versions of one!). New postings from cell phone are not arriving, but no error message to say that they don't work. And it won't let me post a comment on my own blog...

I just want to be in the garden

That's it. Nowhere else.
I have almost half-an-acre to play with, and this time it's all garden-able, one way or another. It's starting to show me what it wants to be... there's a Japanese garden, the vegetable patch, the mini-orchard (that part's already there), the rock garden, the meadow.... I can see it but you may just see weeds.

Just come back in a couple of years. OK?