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The most fabulous office chair, ever

About a year or so back we bought a couple of old chairs from Habitat for Humanity. One of them was a wooden-based office chair, very sturdy, but badly in need of re-upholstering…

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It’s funny, when people would come over we’d proudly point out the mustard-yellow-cracked-vinyl-with-stuffing-showing behemoth, and they’d have these puzzled, ‘trying to be tactful’ looks on their faces. And then we’d have them sit in it. And they’d understand. It’s the most comfortable chair ever.

Thanks to the fabric we found for it, and a trip to a little upholstery shop in Waynesville, it’s looks now match it’s comfort:

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Such a happy, happy chair!

The new house gets a ‘thumbs up’ from our African Violets

Or would that be ‘petals up?’

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This is the first time the pink one has flowered since we rescued it from a Lowes’ clearance rack back in 2006, and the purple one we think is preparing to climb out of its pot and attempt world domination. We have a third one that we got the same time as the pink that is still struggling, but we think it needs to be repotted.

May 18 flooding

As I write this, we are miraculously on a second full day without rain. Of course, it’s also so cold that the night before last we had to cover all the plants but I guess that was the trade-off. Saturday we had so much rain the road in front of our house flooded:

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Click the picture above for more images. Does it present a sad commentary on our social life, or lack thereof, that we spent Saturday evening taking pictures of a puddle outside our house? 😉

Turn your back for one second and…

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This is one reason we have so many grey hairs.

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We also, in the course of the day yesterday, had to pull Winter out of a tree, found her on top of the lawnmower when it was stopped for a moment to untangle the cord, and had to take back Lindsy’s beef tendon chew stick that she had stolen and chewed.

Big Ketchup – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

A few years ago a friend I used to email back and forth with would use the word ‘ketchup’ for ‘catch up’ after a long email silence and for some reason that stuck in my mind this morning…also as I think of it, I realize ‘a few years ago’ was actually more like 10 or 12 years ago, because I knew her from the old AOL Rats 2 message board. Yes, I actually did have an AOL account once, way back when it was at version 2.5 of the software-based AOL. Before that I had one of the old CompuServe accounts where the username was just an impossible to remember number. And I can still remember exactly what a 2400 baud modem sounds like when connecting (I remember watching some really silly movie, I think it might have been ‘The Net’, where they were supposedly hacking into some secret government data base that was all graphical and high speed and they used that tone as a sound effect). But anyway, I have lapsed into some sort of geek reminiscing and digressed wildly here…

Back to the topic at hand, which is “gee, it’s been awful quiet on this blog this month” and my attempt to catch up. The short explanation is “moving, settling, and gardening” and there should be some pictures up soon of the latest on the latter topic, except we’ve also been having some computer problems that I need to fix first. So here’s the less visual version, for now.

The Good

We’re mostly settled in, though we still need to get a table and a bookcase or two and reorganize the kitchen. We love the house, as I think I have already said a time or twelve, and we’ve got the yard all fenced securely so the animals can enjoy it — and have been! Most of our seedlings came up and last week we got the few things we didn’t already have growing from seed from the WNC herb festival. I built and planted three raised beds — a 4′ x 10′ one out in the backyard for the vegetables, and two mini 2′ x 4′ beds alongside the patio for culinary herbs.

We also got our elephant ear bulbs in the ground, split the poor rootbound asparagus fern into three plants and repotted them, and planted five pretty white New Guinea impatiens (Joy got them as a single potted plant from her boss) in our front flowerbed. We discovered we had two azalea bushes in the backyard – pink and purple, and the ‘hedges’ on the NW side of the house were actually a row of magenta azaleas. The little variegated bush in front of the house is flowering, another bush in the back has beautiful pink flowers, and everything is lush and green and vibrant. Ah, spring.

The Bad

Our next door neighbors have been less of a problem than we had anticipated, in that they aren’t really noisy and are civil enough, but their horde of unneutered cats and ever-growing trash pile behind their shed are eventually going to require action. The first time I see a rat, I am SO calling the health department. As far as the cats go, they are all really sweet cats and we’re hoping that maybe we can approach them tactfully at some point and offer to help with spaying and neutering.

Right now one of the white ones is ready-to-burst pregnant, and covered in flea dirt. We get to see this close up because she also likes to hang out at our house. The neighbors’ evil Chihuahua mix — and every other dog in the neighborhood — craps on our front lawn, since they can no longer do it on our back lawn with the fence up. I forsee another fencing project in the future.

The rain, which we really do need, is getting a bit excessive; mushrooms are popping up everywhere, the garden beds are soggy, and slugs are feasting upon our wee herbs. We even had tornado warnings a few days ago! Luckily no damage here. As I am writing this, I suddenly realized that I am now sitting in darkness so apparently another deluge is about to hit.

Lastly under bad, I’ll briefly mention our ongoing ant war, which we were hoping to escape after leaving that last house. Apparently there are no shortage of little black ants in Hendersonville, too – though at least with it being our own house, there are things we can do to mitigate it somewhat, mostly in the form of caulking every little crack where they get in. I am well into a second tube of caulking, having done along most of the baseboard and window areas in the laundry & utility rooms. We’re really trying to avoid calling an exterminator but we’re getting pretty fed up with the ants. Last year when our landlord sent a guy out, he came and doused the outer perimeter of the house and the basement with fipronyl, which killed every bee and spider in the immediate vicinity (and who knows how many other beneficials) and did nothing to the ant population.

The Ugly

Originally I was going to mention all the bruises from moving under this category, but they have all faded — even that strange one I somehow got on one thigh that was 1″ wide and about 6″ long. We can file in this category, for now, the azalea ‘hedge’ was cropped into a ridiculous square shape, apparently late last year so that it didn’t flower or make leaves on top at all. We’re going to figure out how to trim it back into a more organic shape once it’s done flowering for this year, so that it has time to make buds for next year.

We were going to just replace the living room carpet with wood flooring, but since we can’t afford to do it right now we are going to have to get it cleaned; it’s disgusting and we’d be ashamed to have anyone visit the way it looks (and smells, now that the humidity is so high) right now. Also under ‘ugly’ is the giant pile of trimmed brush we need to dispose of. We were going to rent a wood chipper but a safer solution might be to wait until we’ve got a firepit built or bought and use it for fuel for that.

Also under ugly, I feel compelled to announce that we have discovered that we are the proud owners of a hydrangea bush and it’s mini-me version beside it. Personally, I have nothing against hydrangeas, but Joy loathes them and that might have been a deal breaker if they had been identifiable when we first looked at this house 😉 I think she might have been attacked by a renegade hydrangea bush as a child or something, to have such an animosity. It’s way too soon to tell what color it is… if they are white, they might have a chance of staying but otherwise there may be a freecycle posting in their future. I read once that the color of a hydrangea flower is dependent on the Ph of the soil, so I am looking at it more as a science experiment than an affront to my sensibilities, personally.

Well, anyway there you have it – most of what we’ve been up to for the past month or so. As soon as we can get the computer back in a more reliable state I have a bunch of pictures to upload, and if the sun will ever come out I can take some more!