Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cleaning the 'water feature'

Hi there Mary,

I have spent this week, since Monday, working on the 'pond' in my backyard. On Monday I cleaned out the eight inches of vile smelling muck that 3 years of total indifference had deposited in it. My was that a job. I started with the wet vac but ended up in it, tossing the muck out with my hands as it was too thick to vacuum. Think of a really thick black milkshake. Yes, that's right. Yuck!

Once I had most of it out I ran the hose in there and thinned the remainder enough that I could use the wet vac again.
I had to move quite a few rocks out of the pond in order to vacuum. It seems something tossed them in last winter. Probably while trying to catch all my missing goldfish. Those fish and their descedents had been in there since Christy helped me buy them when she was seven...(is that 18 years?). I blame the creature at the top of the previous post. Or maybe her and some friends.
Once it was empty I rearranged all the rocks and, hardest of all, created a "level" spot to put my 'bubbling urn'. I chose this one because I liked the way the glaze oozed down the urn sides. Just like I hope the water will if I am ever finished with this idea of mine.

Everyday since then has been an attempt to get the urn ready and in the pond.

On Tuesday I bought a carbide drill for drilling a hole in the square base I wanted the urn to stand on. It is just to the right of the urn in the above picture. I also called Flair Fountains in Minneapolis to ask them questions about how to plug the hole in the urn enough to just allow the water tube through it.
On Wednesday I drilled the base and used silicone glue to block the holes in the urn and to attach the plug and the drilled base to the urn. I thought I was being really smart to postition the urn over an open space on the porch so it wouldn't push the water tube out of postion.

This morning I was all ready to place the urn, but when I took it off the porch I saw I had miscalculated my positioning and the water tube had been pushed up into the urn and siliconed in place.
Dammit to hell.
So after trying to get it in place for about fifteen minutes Jim asked why we didn't pull out the plug and try again. Nope the plug wouldn't move. Then Jim suggested we pull out the water tube. YES!!!. So I cut another tube and we recemented it in place and now I am waiting for it to cure (24 hours) before we try to place it again tomorrow morning.
I am really excited to see how this works.
I have some pretty plants to place in the quack grass around the pond. They are actually hardy to zone three so they may last if the woodchuck, rabbit and deer don't eat them first.
So now I am waiting for tomorrow to put the 'bubbling urn' in place and see if it works.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Visiting Jeni and the Parents

Hi there Mary,
I expect you have started back to school already and not even posted once. Bad sister! I am going to post late, but you know what they say about late. It is better than NEVER!
OK enough with the nagging already. It has been six days since I returned so I figured the pictures had aged well in the camera and it was time to release them.
The first picture was from before I went to Mpls. There is this huge racoon, probably a mother about to give birth and it has been showing up and eating the sunflower seeds I put out for the birds. I had to take a picture.

Next are two pictures of my sewing machine 'museum'.

I had been thinking this spring of doing a little reorganizing so I could have a more normal living room. Normal meant only one or two sewing machines in it instead of 5. So what happened is the landing at the top of the stairs has become my museum and I have four of the sewing machines with cabinets lined up there. I also have some of the machines without cabinets tucked under the others. Or, I will once I get someone strong to move them for me. That should make seven machines up at the top of the stairs, two in the living room, two in the library, and one in the spare bedroom and one actually in the quilting room. I also have two at Faye's Henhouse for emergencies I guess.

Isn't that the cutest apron you ever saw?

I picked it up at the same sale as the new Featherweight shown in the photo's below it. E was the only one it really fit so she got to be the model. It will be staying at Mom's as a 'bib'. Mom has two aprons for that now and they work really well if she remembers to put them on.

This is my brand new 1951 Featherweight.

Let's see. I went down to Minneapolis to visit Jeni before she had to leave to go back to Canada. I planned on being there over the weekend so we could go to rummage sales. Jeni has a talent for rummage sales. The very first morning she had me up early (for me) and the first thing she said was "Do you know what a featherweight is?"
Well a loyal sewing machine collector has to answer yes to that question and then of course I wanted to know why. Evidently there was a Featherweight machine mentioned in the newspaper advertisements for estate sales. It started that morning and Jeni said we could go there first. It was up on 74th and York so it wasn't far. We got there just about the time it opened and went in to look. Yup. A Featherweight. Now those of you who don't collect sewing machines might think that one featherweight machine is enough for a person. Wrong. It was just a fine machine. All the parts and accessories were there. A nice case and even a zigzag foot still in the box.
Of course I bought it.
I was leaving with it about 45 minutes after the sale started and another Featherweight Fanatic came in. First words out of her mouth were "Where is the Featherweight?" The sales lady pointed at me. :-)
My friend 'Treadle'Annie says I got a 'deal'.

Next is a picture of Mom and her new haircut.

Jeni and I took Mom and Dad to the Great Clips on France on Sunday for their haircuts. Dad paid.
The last photo is one of the corner junipers that Jeni put in the front yard. There are four of them.

One at each front corner and one on each side of the iron railings. They are just so beautiful with their gold tips. I want some too. They are not supposed to get very high, but they are supposed to spread and creep out to about 3 to 4 feet. I suppose Jon will feel obliged to 'trim' them.
Now if google will let me drag these photo's around I will put them in the body of the post and if it won't they will all stay at the top.
Nope, no movement today. Maybe another day I can edit it and put the photo's where I want them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Book A Day

Hi Mary
OK so I am a little self absorbed. Anyway I was checking on google to see if I could be located by any disturbed person who wanted to find me and this popped up. This lady is reading a book a day for all of 2009. Her first blog entry is December 31, 2008 and it states her purpose. The first day is January 1 and she chose The Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I had fun reading this blog. Here is the link if you are curious.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Birds in the Garden

Just a video of some of the Orioles, American Goldfinch and warblers who infested our garden so far this Spring. There was a fall-out of warblers the day I took this and I think most of them are Magnolia or Yellow-Rumped Warblers. They were rather hungry as were the Baltimore and Orchard Orioles.