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Temptation Won

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In a previous post, I said I would not go to the annual sale at Pandora’s Box, a unique junk-antique-reproduction-and-plant store located in the tiny town of Frankston, Texas.  I was trying my best to be good and save my shekels so I can donate them to some poor needy hospital in east Texas.—Ha-ha! (That’s an inside joke.)

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My neighbor, however, put me in a double-Nelson, tossed me into her SUV, and forced me to go to this sale with her.  (Do you believe that?  Neither do I.)  She did, however, give me permission to say that she was my enabler, so of course I’m not completely at fault.

I told myself I was only looking and that I would not buy anything.  That changed to “Well, if I find something fairly cheap, I might buy it.”  And then there was “I’ll never see anything like this again.  It won’t be here next week and not at this price.  Get it.” So, I did.  I honestly didn’t spend that much, and the items purchased were all for the garden, which gives me a free pass, right?

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My neighbor liked, but didn’t buy, this wire plant stand.  Cost was $35.

I asked JB (short for Jo Beth) who works at Pandora’s if I could take photos of their stuff, and she said it wasn’t a problem.

JB, by the way, is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to plants.  I *believe* she used to work as a high-end landscape designer and also in a plant nursery. She is always extremely helpful and friendly.

It’s too early yet for Pandora’s plants to be in, so that means I will have to make another trip there.—Darned, that’s just so hard, right?

Anyway, you’re invited to come along and enjoy an impromptu look at Pandora’s Box.

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Scrumptious iron fencing above. Yum!

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Piggy for the yard, anyone?

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How about  a frog who plays the banjo?

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The photos I’ve taken don’t cover half of what this store sells. Photos that I didn’t take were of clawfoot bathtubs, antique doors & windows, concrete birdbaths, a wall of cute signs, concrete flower pots, antique porch posts, doorknobs, Victorian furniture, vintage wire fencing, old and reproduction hardware, rusted farm implements, taxidermy, lots of outdoor metal furniture, and many other items. Regardless of whether or not you make a purchase, Pandora’s Box is fun to walk through, and they always play all kinds of cool music.  The song playing when we went inside was Dog and the Butterfly by Heart.

Okay, follow me inside.

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Love the stained glass and red glassware.

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Unlike me, you’re only looking and not spending money. Good for you!

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The bust above reminded me a little of the ones my former neighbor in Austin, Texas purchased. I honor her creativity. (Remember, we’re all different, and I think that’s a good thing.)  The Austin neighbor went to a department store’s closing sale and brought home something like ten of these.

Her plan was to mount these butts as finials on top of the white limestone pillars in her fence.  She never got around to it though.  Can you imagine rounding the corner in an unfamiliar neighborhood to see 10 butts on top of limestone pillars?  The woman had guts to even think of this.

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See the baby buggy above? The neighbor who went with me said she thought it looked creepy–as in something you might see in a horror film.  Guess I’ve not seen enough horror movies.  I thought the buggy was kind of cute.  (Maybe she was thinking of this movie.  If so, I’m glad I missed it!)

I’ll end this post by telling you that the first time I visited Pandora’s Box I committed a huge faux pas.

The store has several “store” cats that wander the premises, both inside and out.  When I’d finished shopping, and went to the counter to check out, there was a cat lying on it.  This kitty looked a little moth-eaten, and it didn’t move.  I thought it was a stuffed fake cat. After all, the store sold other forms of taxidermy, and a friend of mine has a fake cat made out of rabbit fur that looked just like that kitty.

I asked, “Is that a fake cat?”  The owner gave me an odd look and answered, “No.”  I didn’t know she was the store owner or I would have shut up right then, but of course I didn’t because I HAD to stick my foot in my mouth.  I thought perhaps she might have been a new store clerk who didn’t know much.

I said, “Are you sure?”  With those three words, I put myself in the kitty litter box.

The irritated owner responded, “No, she is not a fake cat.  She’s just very old.”  I wished I could have disappeared at that moment and frankly, it took me a few months before I felt brave enough to venture back into the store again. Glad I did.

Please make me Beautiful

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Side view

This house is located fairly close to my home.  I see it almost on a daily basis whenever I walk my dogs. It sits on a corner lot.

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Until recently, it was on the market, and I think it was on the market for a long time (two years?).  It didn’t sell that I know of and eventually was taken off the market.  It’s a rental.

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Front of house

When my handyman and his son saw it, they both said it was ugly, but where they see ugly, I see potential. I believe this to be the “Ugly Betty” of houses.

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My neighbor also sees potential.  Six months ago, we both looked at the outside of this house and said, “You know, it could be made to look pretty.”

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Side view – Someone else also likes plants. ~ Smile~

This post is a challenge to you. You get to pretend you are a landscape or garden designer with an unlimited budget.  You are also allowed to repaint and re-roof the house.  The house is currently painted dark grey.  How would you make this house look good, especially in regard to the landscaping?

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Trees in front of house by road

I have my own ideas. From my prospective, I think it could be made to look like a cottage in Ireland or England, but that’s all I’ll say.

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Backyard with two junky refrigerators and a satellite dish.  Ba!

I hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me what you’d do if you owned it.  This is a Cinderella house that could be transformed into a princess with the right fairy Godmother (Stockbroker?) and a sizeable bank account.

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Side driveway.

By the way, it may look tiny, but apparently, the house is 4,500 sq ft in size. It was built in 1912.

Post Script:

Since it’s been a couple of days since I posted this, I’ll tell you what I would do to make this home pretty (right or wrong):

  1.  Because this house look so much like a cottage in England, I would repaint the exterior tan, leaning slightly toward a warm hue.  All window trim, including the mullions and exterior molding, would be painted a very dark red, similar to the color it is now. The difference is that the paint would cover the entire window and not just the mullions. I would not paint the brick foundation.
  2. The porch would be painted one or two shades lighter than the tan on the house exterior to keep it from looking dark.
  3. Fascia and soffits would be painted dark brown.
  4. Except for the side of the house by the driveway, I would install a white picket fence with gates around the back, front & side of the property.  I might add just a hint of blue to the paint to catch the blue in any flowers I planted.–The paint would still be white though.
  5. I would install flagstone  walkways from the street or driveway to all porch door entrances (areas with stairs) and to the side door entrance (photo 1) and the flagstone would be a tan that compliments the house color.
  6. A pathway of either more flagstone or granite sand (much cheaper) would go around the perimeter of the house.  Between the house and this perimeter pathway, I would plant an abundance of flowers in a cottage garden style.
  7. I would also plant an abundance of flowers in a cottage garden style to either side of the picket fence (both 2 feet in front of and behind it).
  8. I would plant one or two small (10’to 12′ at maturity) trees that bloom in either pink or white (dogwoods?  plums?) in the interior of the yard to act as focal points. Under one of these small trees I would place a small bench.
  9. A terracotta urn would flank both sides of the steps to the main house entrance and would be planted with something that cascaded down the sides along with other taller plants with lots of color.
  10. Finally, I’d install a short rock wall (3 ft) in a color that compliments the flagstone and exterior of the house on the side of the house by the driveway.  The gate through this wall would be a white picket gate to compliment the fence.
  11. Not sure what color I’d use to paint the porch posts.
  12. I’d plant the refrigerators.  (No not really! They’d go immediately to the dump.)

Gardening that gives back

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I started out gardening for myself.–I think most of us do, unless you’re helping your spouse garden and you get hooked.  I still garden for myself.  It gives me a lot of pleasure and fulfillment even when plants die or my design looks ugly.

I attend a group that meets weekly.  Currently, we’re all reading and discussing the book, 9 Things You Simply MUST DO to SUCCEED in LOVE and LIFE, by Dr. Henry Cloud.

This post isn’t about that book but about the group’s discussion at one of our meetings and how it relates—for me—to gardening.

Recently, one meeting participant went into a lot of detail about the negativity in her childhood.  Her pain was still present and apparent to all of us, and several group members discussed “pulling the tooth” which is the title of one chapter in this book.  “Pulling the tooth” is synonymous with getting past the negativity or problem, whatever it may be, to move forward in life.

When she finished talking, I asked the group, “Well, what if you’ve already pulled the tooth?”  In other words, what if you’ve dealt with the negativity already?  I said I’d moved on from most of life’s bad stuff and was looking now to giving back and find meaning. I said I wanted to do whatever it was that my creator wants me to do, but didn’t know what that might be.  In other words, “Where do I find my current purpose? Where should I direct my energy so it’s not self-focused?”  I already do volunteer work, but still have more time than most people to do other things that don’t only benefit me.

Once again, one member came through with a good answer: Do what you enjoy.

Huh?  Isn’t that being self-centered and self-focused, the exact opposite of what I think I should do?

This group member went on to say that if I did what I enjoy doing, my maker would figure out how to use it in whatever way was beneficial to all.

Now, I’m one of those people who, before accepting someone’s advice, likes to see if that person actually practices what he or she advises.  (You know the saying, “Does he practice what he preaches?”) And guess what?  This guy does.

He’s nuts about fishing and fishes at the coast in his spare time.  Whatever he catches, he cleans and stores in his freezer.  Last fall, he took out all of his fish and hosted a big fish fry, inviting a ton of people to come over to eat.  Everyone who went enjoyed the fish and the comradery.

How do I apply that to what I enjoy, which is gardening?

I have a few ideas, and they aren’t original to me.

Recently, a poster on Garden Rant mentioned how she and her husband placed a cart in front of their home with a sign that read, “Free Plants.”  She said she and her husband would take all of their extra plants and put them in the cart for people to take.  I thought this was a terrific idea, and I happen to have a small cart that sits outside unused.  The cart needs sprucing up (paint), but it would certainly work for this idea.  It was a curb-side find.

I know I’ll have extra plants (Turk’s caps, cherry laurels, purple heart or Tradescantia pallida, rose of Sharon, and so forth) so why not share?

And there are so many other ways gardening gives back even if I/we don’t intend for it to.  If I plant plants that bloom, they most likely give back to the pollinators.  Trees and shrubs provide shelter and nesting habitat for birds.  Planting trees can reduce carbon in the air.  Composting leaves and grass reduces waste in the landfill.  Last year, I planted a possum haw holly and when it eventually gets berries, the birds will eat them.  Even making something lovely to look at makes the world a better place and sometimes heals…So okay, I can give back in these ways.

In addition, I can take the plants no one claims from the cart to the garden club, and I’m willing to share anything with club members if it might help them in their gardening journey.  My goal is to be a walk-along garden pal with resources.  Then of course, I can share some of the 200 onions I’ve planted.

There’s probably more that gardening gives back that I’m not thinking of.  Feel free to chime in.

Just to be clear, I’m not telling you that you need to give back.—I’m not telling you to do anything.  My feeling is if you garden, you probably already give back anyway. Maybe you knew that? Until now, I hadn’t thought about it.

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Outdoor Projects

Don’t do as I do.  There, I said it.

My outdoor wooden furniture is in decrepit condition because I’ve not stained and sealed it from the elements, and over the last two years, there has been a lot of rain; torrential rain that killed 6 people here last year, in fact.

Since we’ve had very little winter weather to speak of (so far), I’ve been able to work outdoors quite a bit.  I’ve no idea why, but I seem to FINALLY be on fire to get tasks accomplished, and I’ve begun to tackle several different projects that sat for some time.

Do you have those too? Please let me know I’m not the only one who puts things off.

Here are photos of one of two matching chairs that have waited patiently for a little tender loving care.

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These two chairs were thrown away by someone five years ago.  Their cushions were nasty, and the bolts that held the chair legs on were quite loose, but the chairs had nice lines in my opinion.  I decided they were salvageable, and brought them home.  I tightened their bolts with an Allen wrench, then stained and sealed them. I also bought cushions and made cushion covers for them.  I haven’t touched them since.  Five years is a long time.

Fast forward to this week:  I glued one chair’s loose arm, put screws up through the end of each chair arm where the wood had come apart, sanded each piece lightly, deep cleaned the chairs, and then applied four coats of stain with polyurethane and one additional coat of polyurethane only.

Those poor chairs were so parched that the first coat of stain with satin polyurethane didn’t have any sheen at all. (I *thought* heard a sucking sound as I applied that first coat!)

The chairs look black, which is not what I expected using mission oak stain, but I like it anyway.  Next step is to find new shams to fit the cushions I have for them.  The previous shams (sewn by hand) were eaten by carpenter ants.  Seriously.  I didn’t know carpenter ants ate cotton material, but they do.

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It had just rained when this photo was taken.  The rain water is pooling nicely on top of the polyurethane.

The ultimate goals for these chairs is two-fold: To get at least two more seasons out of them and to create an inviting seating area around a chimenea.

I have potted plants (a crape myrtle & a small leaved privet) that go in this area, but currently they’re being sheltered with a large commune of other potted plants against the fence until the possibility of frost has passed (+/- March 25th).

Remember that little $35. chimney pot I bought at auction three months ago? Maybe you didn’t read that post.  Here it is again:

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Until a week ago, I’d done nothing with it.  The goal with the chimney pot was to use it as a focal point planter.  The chimney pot, however, was broken as you can see if you look at it’s top.  Last week, I fixed it.  This week, I’ve started painting it.  ($9 gallon of exterior satin mismatched Sherwin Williams paint.–What a deal!)

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Photo above: Hardware cloth was attached to interior of pot using Gorilla glue.  Additional hardware cloth was glued onto the pot’s lip to give the mortar something to grab on to.

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Nope, it’s not perfect. Neither am I. I could have spent a fourth day making it perfect, but didn’t.

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Painting in progress.  Needs one more coat. Not quite as red as it appears in this photo.

I’ve got a slew of other projects to tackle (3 more chairs to stain & seal and a pathway to finish), but I’m motivated!  How about you?

What Old Lady Gardeners Do at Night

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Coral Vine in this yard.  Early fall.

I debated long and hard as to whether I should post this because it’s embarrassing…

My sweet neighbor came over to see me.  She came over to talk about gardening, which of course is one of my favorite subjects.

She talked about putting in a raised vegetable garden, the ornamental plants she thinks she might purchase including some pretty cool roses, and what to do with a bare area in her yard where run off travels when it rains.

And then we switched gears to discuss the totally disrespectful person who keeps driving by her home late at night playing music with a deep bass. The bass makes her windows vibrate.

I told her that person was very inconsiderate.  I *think* she mentioned wanting to get their license plate number, but that may have come out in a previous conversation about the same subject.  She mentioned they drove by again three days ago just when she was trying to sleep.  She’s gone outside to try to see their car, but misses it every time.

I was on board with my neighbor’s annoyance toward this insensitive clout’s behavior.  I envisioned this person being a young 20-something male blaring his car stereo, driving fast, and looking to score.  Isn’t that what comes to mind?

Unrelated to my neighbor’s problem, I’ve committed myself to making a gardener dancing video at the request of a Garden Rant post  and I’ve decided to dance my own slower version of the Can Can perhaps wearing a plastic pot of flowers on my head.

Of course, anyone who has read a little of this blog knows I recently had surgery and that the cost was of my hospital stay was astronomical.  I don’t know yet what portion of that bill I’ll have to pay, but one figure quoted was 30K.

So, late at night, while most of you “normal” people are sleeping, I get bored. I’ve been listening to the theme music from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly as I ruminated about my hospital bill.

In a crazy moment a few nights ago, I decided to pretend I was Blondie (Clint Eastwood) fighting against the hospital for 30K in gold.  I put on my cowboy-like hat, a fake moustache (yes, really), and picked up my grabber (a necessity when you’ve had a hip replacement) and my leg lifter.

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Grabber, above.

The grabber became my rifle as I pointed and snapped it at the hospital account statement, and I swung my leg lifter like a lasso to the music.  I imagined I had a cigar in my mouth, and I made mean faces in the mirror, then stomped around the room like a tough gunslinger.  I was having a blast with my music cranked to the hilt.  Next, I decided to dance the Can-Can.  (It’s hard.)  I got out my mother’s large feather hat, put it on, then thought about how I could not only dance the Can-Can for a gardening video but could dance in front of the hospital in protest to their bill with a sign that reads: “I Can-Can-Not pay you 30K” tied to my butt, which I would wag at anyone watching. (Would I actually do this? Probably not.)

And the truth is I’ve played the loud music dancing around with the grabber and the leg lifter and also dancing to the tune of the Can-Can, not once but twice, late at night.  (This is what SOME non-Facebook users do in their spare time after dark.)

I had a great time entertaining myself–laughing while dancing–and as you might imagine, I worked up a sweat and was exhausted when I turned the music off.  (Dancing is a good form of exercise that prepares gardeners for lifting heavy flower pots.)  Anyway, it was about 10:45 pm the second time I did this three nights ago.

So back to my poor neighbor…She told me this awful person drove by at about 10:45 pm……and, yes, it took me about 5 minutes–I’m slow–to realize that the awful loud obnoxious noisy person…was me, and I’m not male and I’m not in my 20’s.  What a stereotype!

I apologized to my neighbor.  She was gracious.

I really am SO sorry!  It won’t happen again.

 

 

Trellises

I like trellises in the garden.  Maybe that’s because I like vines.

I use the term “trellis” loosely to include anything that can hold a vine upright.  Guess that definition could include trees, right?

I have one arbor and one trellis that I purchased.  (Sorry, didn’t photograph either for this post.)  As with most garden “structures” when you buy these things, they aren’t cheap.

Since moving here two years ago, I’ve begun to make my own trellises and have generally been pleased.  Some are uglier than others (especially those in the veggie patch), but they all serve their purpose.  Most of my homemade trellises were made from stuff on-hand or found items.

Why am I showing them to you?  Because they might spark some trellis-making on your end.  Most are simple, and most were pretty inexpensive to create.

I tried my hand at growing cucumbers on this trellis (below) made from baby bed springs and steel posts. Someone threw out the baby bed, and I picked up its springs.  While the cucumbers weren’t a success, I still like this trellis, which I sprayed with a variety of paints left over from other projects.

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Baby Bed Trellis

The tee-pee or “green bean” trellis below was created from left-over metal poles (electrical conduit? plumbing pipes?) discarded in the yard at this house.  The paint I used was also left-over from painting a chair and table.  The bottle caps were all found when I was walking my dogs last summer.  (Lots of people drink wine/wine coolers around here!) The bottle on top contained Sangria that I drank.)—Not sure how much I like the bottle  as a finial.   Note – I didn’t have the strength to pound the center pole into the ground completely, which is why it sticks up as far as it does.   I used this trellis to grow rattlesnake beans.  Looked good with the beans on it. Cost – completely free.

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Green Bean Trellis

I’ve not grown anything on the trellis below yet.  The roof-turbine-vent-thingy was a throw-away from someone’s remodel found at the street curb.  Even though it looked like a throw-away, I asked the homeowner if I could have it before I grabbed it. It sits on an old upside-down galvanized bucket, which in turn sits on a upside-down clay pot. The finial on top ($6.00) was one I purchased for my old house and never used.  All of the metal poles, except two (2 for $10), were left-overs found in the backyard of this house.  The chain is new ($10).  I admit, this trellis needs a little tweaking.  Maybe I’ll use it to grow cantaloupes or a grape vine?

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Chain-chain-chain Trellis

The “water-works” trellis (below) is made from a $4.00 purchase of ironwork from the dump store outside of Austin, Texas. (You read that correctly.  I purchased the ironwork at the city dump.) I didn’t do anything with this piece of ironwork till I moved here.  I already had the water sprayers.  I started collecting them when they were relatively cheap ($3 to $5/each).  The two faucets were originally from the bathroom sink at my former house.–One of them broke and couldn’t be fixed, but I didn’t throw them out.  Bought the round colorful valve handles for $1. each and there’s a stretch of left-over plumber’s tape in there somewhere.  Last year, I grew Scarlett runner beans on this trellis.  This year, the hope is the sweet pea seeds and the small clematis I planted will cover it.

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Water Trellis

This wire netting (shown below), purchased at Pandora’s Box (antique-plant-junk store), totaled $12.  Not sure what the netting’s true purpose was.  I hung cheap mirrors from the Dollar Store all over it, plus a stenciled hand mirror that was losing its reflection.  I’m using this trellis to grow a red honeysuckle. The original goal was to have only the mirrors peak through the vine to create the illusion that you could see through the fence.

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Wire Netting Trellis

This small piece of loop wire fencing below was thrown away during a “bulk item throw-away” day.  Very simple trellis.  I’m growing another red honeysuckle on it.

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Loop Wire Fencing Trellis

Purchased this piece of iron fencing below for $10. at an estate sale.  I spray-painted it black.  This one has a native honeysuckle growing on it.  (Long story as to why I have so many honeysuckles.)

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Iron Fence Trellis

That’s it.  Some of these are more utilitarian than artful, but considering how much a store-bought trellis costs along with the fact that I had fun making these, and that once a vine covers a trellis you don’t see it much, I think these are a success.  If nothing else, they are unique.

I encourage you to have fun and make your own trellises. If you do, send me a photo!

Why the Dog Can’t Sleep (Deranged Gardener Alert)

As the trite old saying goes, “You want the good news or the bad news?”

Let’s start with the good stuff…

The garden catalogues are arriving…Breck’s, Wayside Gardens, and Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Special Edition.  I’m drooling.  Wouldn’t you?  Look at these photos?

 

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What could stop me, right?  I’m physically ready to garden-hardy (Used to be party-hardy, but I’ve grown up. How did that happen?)  It’s time to clean up the backyard and order plants! The credit card is raring to go.  It’s paid off.

I’ve already started planting a few verbena and salvia seeds (winter sowing) which, when ready, will get transplanted once the chance of frost is past.

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The remodeling contractor is coming through (thank goodness) to finish the bathroom.  It’s only been since November 17th that I’ve been without a working bathtub or shower.  However, rather than dwell on the negative, I will dwell on the fact that he’s finishing it. Ya!!!!

Let me know what you think. (Not done yet but getting closer.)

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And then there’s the very bad news…

Thunder and lightning!….Very, very frightening!  ZAP!!  I was struck by lightning.

Remember that little bitty hip replacement I had 7 weeks ago?

Prior to that surgery, I did my homework.  I investigated two doctors and three hospitals.

1. The orthopedist I decided not to use didn’t discuss the x-rays he took nor did he offer a diagnosis for what my problem was. Believe it or not, we discussed growing squash, summer versus winter varieties. (Nice guy, but he needed to talk about my hip.)  He also told me he performed 250 hip replacements a year. I learned this wasn’t exactly true.  My insurance, however, loved the hospital where this orthopedist practiced.

2. Another hospital I checked into told me I’d have to file my own insurance.  Nope.

3. I decided to use the orthopedist (with a great reputation) who did 400-600 hip surgeries a year and who graduated from an orthopedic residency at the Mayo Clinic.  He did discuss my x-ray and showed me what was wrong.

I asked for and received an estimate of cost from the hospital I finally selected where the great orthopedist practiced: $1,000 for my out-of-pocket hospital cost.  This was doable. The hospital said they negotiated with my insurance.  (I have this estimate on record.)

The great orthopedist’s staff called me and said my out-of-pocket hospital cost might even be reduced to $200.  Even better.

I’ve received tons of bills, and I’ve paid most of these.

I’d not, however, receive the hospital’s bill so I called my insurance and was assured, not once but twice, that my cost would be only $200.00.  Great.  And when I didn’t get that bill for 2 more weeks, I called again.

This time I was told the bill was —— wait for it——–

$107,359.25         GULP!          BONK!

I just fell on my head. That’s as much as I paid for the house I live in.

Next, I was told I would probably owe $30,000.  WHAT?!

When I called the hospital, they conveniently couldn’t remember the out-of-pocket estimate they’d provided.  “We don’t show that,” they said. As mentioned, I have it on record.

So I must wait and wait and wait, (have listened to this song repeatedly) until I get the final adjusted bill. I check for the mail six times a day. Will it be $200 or $1,000 or $30,000?  Can I go back to “These are the good ‘ol days”?

Believe me, if it’s 30K, I will make a big stink.  (I’ll see if I can get them to lower the bill, and if not, they’re in for a smelly situation.)

Music above is how I’m feeling.  There’s gonna’ be a fight!!!!

You probably think this is NOT garden-related, but it is.

Aside from the BIG STINK I’ll make, I thought of sending the hospital’s billing office one of these as a gift for all of their help.

Problem is Corpse Flowers aren’t easy to grow and don’t bloom often.  Darned.

Then I looked at this site.  One of these?  #8  or #10?

Oh wait, maybe I could send them a potted poison ivy?  Cheap, effective, and actually a very pretty plant, and I’m good at growing plants from seed.

I envision this scenario in my mind’s eye:

Hi!  Is this the Business Office?  Oh, good.  I’m delivering from Gail’s Flower Shoppe. One of your patients wanted to thank you for your help with her bill by sending you a potted plant.  Gotta’ go!  (Place it on the counter wearing gloves)  Bye!

Okay, I’m not that evil, but YES, I’m pissed, and a pissed gardener can think up evil things.

So, NO, I won’t be ordering plants from the catalogues above.  Whine.  I planned (past tense) to go to the annual sale at Pandora’s Box, but that’s out too.—I wanted a second arbor. I need to keep my eyes away from the local auction this Saturday.

I didn’t get to sleep until 4 am this morning because of worry and the poor dog, Elly, decided she couldn’t sleep with me tossing and turning.–She jumped off the bed and onto a chair.  See the look on her face?

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