Friday, November 20, 2009

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Time Flies!

I can't believe spring is here. Now all we need is some consistantly springy weather. I shouldn't complain, though; there have been some lovely days and the weather is gradually geting warmer.

Things are slowly progressing in the house - the soygel works slowly but is really melting the paint off the fireplace brick. (note to self: take pictures) I tried some on my lower front windows and it peeled the ugly stuff right off. I am coming ot the realization, however, that no matter what one uses to strip paint the stripping part is tedious and nasty. Ah well, a little at a time. The great thing about the soygel is that is does not make me feel sick.

A friend who has a silent paint remover has offered to give me a demo when she starts stripping the paint from her porch. Even my beloved soygel drips more than I would like and it'll be interesting to see a painstripper that uses heat and not goo. The horrible heat gun I had a few years ago doesn't count. :P

The garden has been laid out and folks have started planting. The best part? I didn't have to do any of it. :) I did buy some herb seeds and I'm going to plant them in the front beds against the porch but it's going ot be small and manageable. (she says with great conviction) The heavy duty gardening will be left to the community gardeners. (note to self: take pictures)

There were some concerns over my Black Walnut tree and its poisonous to veggies nature but I found some websites that have lists of plants that will co-exist nicely with Black Walnut trees. Trees=bliss.

Here are some links with info about Black Walnut trees:

Ain't Google grand?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Community garden, part the second

The gracious Mr. Mark Powell met one of my neighbors at my house last weekish to have a gander at my yard. My next door neighbor, a retired man who mowed my lawn all last summer when I was too sick to do it, came out and joined the conversation. I'm guessing that the sight of two strangers, one long haired, set off his neighborly concern alarm. The upshot is that he donated the use of his plow to the cause and a few days later I had a big plowed and tilled area in my back yard.

I went over to thank him a couple of days ago and he said that my gardening buddies impressed him enough that he was happy to lend them the plow. Apparently he was right in there plowing with my other neighbor with whom he seems to have bonded.

This never would have happened in my old neighborhood in Jersey.

Mark dropped off a set of rules for the gardeners and a lease for me. I suppose the next step is to figure out who wants a spot and how many we're going to create in the yard.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

busy, busy, busy...

It's been a scurrying sort of week as I try to clean my house, get back to work, and have a social life. A friend pointed out today that I've spent all of my time here in Roanoke either taking care of my terminally ill mom or being in cancer treatment. Despite all of that I still love this area and am really jazzed that I'll be able to finally see it as a well rested healthy person. :)

I finally bought a quart of Soygel and tried it on my painted fireplace. It works the way they said it would and the smell is really minimal. It does have a plastic-y smell that I wouldn't want to dab behind my ears but it's bearable and doesn't permeate the house. It does require quite a few hours to work, but work it does. It lifts the paint right off the surface and is stupidly easy to remove with a plastic putty knife.

Starting the paint removal process on my fireplace has solved a mystery for me: why did the house flippers paint over the brick in the first place? The paint is so thin that I assumed it was only one layer. Alas, there's a layer of deep red paint under the white. It's a horrible color and is being a real bear to remove. The white paint is lifting off nicely. The red paint isn't. I'm guessing that it's being difficult because it's right on top of that nice porous brick. I'm removing paint from a small area right now so if the red paint doesn't come off well I may just paint over it all in a nicer color. Cross your fingers for me.

Friday, February 29, 2008

It's over, done, kaput...

One week ago today I finished radiation but more importantly, my entire 8 1/2 months of cancer treatment. :) I've been mostly sleeping this week, in between going back to work half time.

A small group of friends, including the uber fabulous chicken men, showed up and surprised me at the last treatment. Another friend, who is a cancer survivor, came with flowers. The radiation staff gave me a certificate. How cool is that?

My wonderful boyfriend took us out for breakfast afterward.

It's great to feel my energy slowly come back.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yet another blog...

I've started another blog. It's intended to be a listing of sites/resources I've found with regard to historic designations and home owner politics in Roanoke. Here is the link:

Community Gardens

I attended our neighborhood association meeting last night and heard a terrific presentation from a guy named Mark Powell who has started some community gardens in Roanoke. What a neat dude! I was so impressed with his attitude and committment to the cause that I volunteered my back yard for use as a community garden this year. The part that convinced me this was a Good Idea was the fact that all the gardens his organization plants are organic. Perfect!

I thought that having a community garden in my yard would be a wonderful life affirming thing. What better way to get my strength back from my cancer treatment? And make new friends to boot!

One of my neighbors is already talking to me about planting in my yard. Bring on the seeds!