Monday, April 28, 2014

Rock n' Rollin in Austin TX

The other day I told a friend of mine that hubby had bought me a Rock...  She immediately asked what jewelry store he got it at and how many carats.  I told her she would just have to come over and see it, being the expert she is about jewelry. She is a collector of fine jewelry and has the diamonds on every finger and her arm to prove it.  When she arrived she came in laughing, as she has known me long enough to know I don't really care about diamonds.  When she saw my rock she really cracked up.  Here is my Rock. It is a 3/4 Ton Honeycomb Limestone.  It has a bonus of some little verbena growing in some of the crevices.  You can see the tire tracks from the fork lift that delivered it.
We started the landscaping on the side yard that had been torn up from last years sewer fiasco and then the foundation repair following that.  We should have gotten it done sooner this spring, but with work and all the travel and family stuff, we just couldn't find the time.  So we get started on the day it hits 90 degrees here and then yesterday it got up to 95. I worked in the early morning hours, but hubby worked all day. We have a lot more to do, but will work on it in segments.
Here's a bit of our progress so far.
After rototilling the entire area, and putting paver stones along the driveway to widen it just a bit.
Delivery of supplies along with my Rock

The tools that I myself used to bust up every bit of the ton of sandstone. Then I carried the pieces to the yard and built a border around the walkway that hubby built, and also around the tree.  I was not as sore as I thought I would be after day one.  But after day two of doing this, it hit me, and I could hardly walk. A couple of hot mineral bath soaks helped a lot. My knees and hips are still very sore, from the bending and placing the stones though. Hubby took a video of me busting rocks, as proof that this actually happened.  I am a designer and supervisor, I am not a hard labor kind of gal, so I guess we actually do need proof of my part in this endeavor.
Liriope grass planted and hubby working on drip emitters for where the Asian Jasmine will be planted. This is next to the house beside the path.

Workers are taking a little break.  On the last day, I was so tired, I would carry one stone, then rest.  Then carry two stones, then rest and have a coffee, another stone, another coffee and rest.
Where we are for now. Walkway finished, stones outlining under the oak tree. Under the tree will all be Asian Jasmine. The part that still shows as dirt will be filled in with a few more specimen plants, yucca, a row of sedge grass. Maybe a few succulents.  The rest will be 1" river rock, shown here.
All the plants will be on drip irrigation. Hubby had to practically redo our entire sprinkler system.  We will have eliminated a lot of turf that had to be watered, so we are happy about that.
 As you can tell by the photo, we share this side yard with a neighbor.  The tree is actually planted on his property, but reaches way over ours as well.   We decided to do the project together for a cohesive look.  I think it is going to look great when all completed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Creeping Out into the Night

When the skies are clear, if I go up the stairs to bed at a certain time, I can see the moon out my bedroom window.  Last night the full moon was bright and gorgeous at 9:30 when I toddled off to bed.  I kept waking up, wondering, is it time yet?  Hubby had set the alarm so we could get up and see the eclipse, but I was already awake when the alarm went off.  We crept out into the front yard, around 2:00 a.m. and the moon was directly overhead.  By then there was a large sliver yet showing.  It was 44 degrees and very breezy. We huddled together and watched and waited.  The sky was so dark and clear.  It was mesmerizing to watch as slowly the sliver became smaller until the moon glowed red.  The Blood Moon.  We commented on how we really must get some Astro- binoculars.  Watching Cosmos has really renewed our interest in the night sky. We are both hooked on that show. Also the wonderful host, Neil deGrasse Tyson.  He is so amazing to listen to.

When we first moved here over 20 years ago, and there were only tiny new trees, and no houses built behind us...Hubby would take the telescope out back and we'd have star parties.  All the kidlets that have since grown and gone away would come over and he'd let them all look at the stars and planets. He'd pretend to be Carl Sagan and answer all their questions.  Ha Ha.  Now the city lights have gotten closer every year and the trees taller, and if one wants to look at the stars they have to head farther and farther out of town. I miss going out in the desert when we lived both in California and Nevada and seeing everything in the sky so brightly.  In one of our California locations, we lived on Starlight Lane.  That has always been one of my favorite of our many addresses.

Crept back in the house and went back to sleep around 3:00 a.m.  Very cozy and happy that it was a clear night and we got to actually see this time.  So often it is cloudy here and we miss these extraordinary sky events.