Monday, June 30, 2008

Not Until Autumn

I'm finished. Through. The outside projects around the house will have to wait until the next solstice draws near, as it is far too hot, and I too easily succumb to the effects of heat and humidity to make it all worthwhile.

The effort I put into the project over the past weekend has rendered me into an achy, moany, grouchy old poot. So, the decision for me is to only tackle regular outside duties: mowing, trimming and watering as needed. Period.

I am sure the decision will please the mate to no end, as we've finally begun the ominous job of staging and decorating the old Victorian that we call home.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ivy Be Gone!

I have had a love/hate relationship with the English Ivy growing about the fence that separates the front lawn from the pool area. Granted, it gives the needed privacy from the street, and it graciously covers the hideous chain-link fence with the white metal privacy sleevy inserts woven into it, but tends to have an invasive nature. Over time, the small strip of ground between the fence and the pool deck has become thickly woven with the gnarly shit, and frankly, I just got tired of trimming it back to the edge of the concrete.

So... I ripped it all out. Yesterday.

I had done a small area weeks prior, just to give a glimpse of how that might look. I liked it. It pleased me. But I didn't have the gumption nor the energy reserves to tackle the entire 50' stretch, especially since the area is in direct sun by 9:30 until 6:00. I knew it would be a project that would have to commence early on a weekend day, before the area succumbed to full sun.

Yesterday morning, I arose at 6:00 on the dot, and I began my dreaded task at 6:30, equipped with shears, rakes, shovels and a pot of darkly roasted coffee. My luck would have it that the early morning sun rose... then disappeared behind a heavy bank of clouds around 8:00. I'll take 90% humidity and overcast instead of 90% humidity and sunny, any freakin' day.

All told, the entire project to completion took about 12 hours. I think I burned at least 10,000 calories.... With the ivy gone from the strip of ground, the remaining ivy on the fence was given a 'high and tight'. (I had no idea I would haul so much of it away, and thank goodness the city will pick up at the curb.) I also removed two large holly bushes, and the two that remained, were given a bonsai-type treatment. (Who in the hell plants holly bushes by a pool, anyway? Please, would somebody tell me the logic in that?)With all of it now out of the way, I then proceeded to cover the area in hardwood mulch. Three miniature roses were planted, a large metal sculpture was set, protective reflecting orbs placed around the roses, and the palm trees on the far end of the pool were trimmed of their deadness.

Pictures to enjoy(clicken to embiggen)....

From our bedroom deck above.

The roses with their protective reflecting orbs and, well... rocks.

The palms, all trimmed and fresh. I wintered them in the sun porch, and they lived!


Joe and his late friend Gary bought the sculpture in Sandwich, IL. It was an original fixture in a bank in Dixon, IL. I saw the maker's mark on the bottom when I was moving it... but I've forgotten what it said.

I will eventually look at it again, but it won't be anytime soon. That fucker is heavy! So is the stone block it sits on. They don't really go together, but I married them, and I think they look right smart.


I remember. It's a Horvath. Gene Horvath (1927-1995). He was a well-known abstract metal sculptor in the upper Midwest, and there are many public works of his in Rockford and Rock Island, IL and Davenport and DesMoines, IA.

From the looks of his other work, I bet this one is very early. Guessing late 1950's.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Not Today, Please.

To see the positive side of a difficult situation is a quality I've been able to put into practice on most occasions. It is not a difficult task to bear a majority of the time, but I am only human, and today has proven to be a day in which I am not up to carrying the burden. I'm tired, and I reserve the right on this day, to roll around in my own self-pity. I don't allow myself to do such on most occasions, but today, yes. Poor, poor me.

No calls on the phone
No cards in the mail
No glimpses of my kids
No sticky melted ice cream kisses...
No Happy Father's Day wishes.

Just bear with me and I will get over this. I've had to deal with so much more. I just hope they know how much I love them...
And when they're grown, I hope they will want to still know me.


Well, I did finally receive that all important call. And even though it came at 9:30pm, it changed my mood tremendously. It was so nice to hear those sweet little voices.