Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, January 1, 2018

Posted by on January 1, 2018


Very unseasonably cold.


None, but that’s a good thing. We had a freezing week.



So this is Christmas…

Before the cooking and gathering began, I managed to lay the remaining back pinestraw and put in pansies at the Garden House.

We had a fun Christmas. We did it differently this year asking our kids to choose one or all up to a dollar limit for: to read, to wear, to eat, need, and want. No. 1 wanted it all in cash. No two did put down anything, choosing to ignore the policy change. Instead, we told her we would pay for the attorney and court cost for the ticket she received. Number three choose a gift for half of the maximum amount, and wanted nothing else. We also gave gift cards to Bud’s boyfriend, Nate, and our house guest, Abigail.


David and the kids left for Indiana. My mission, to have a little R & R by cleaning, and finishing putting the garden down for the winter. The biggest thing left with regards to the garden is the get a few more loads of composted leaf mulch from the City of Raleigh. Since they were closed yesterday and today, I will work with the one I have on the truck and do inside work.

Once my family left, it was slow to get started. I knew doing a deep cleaning of each room was going to be a chore. I didn’t know how much so until I began.

The dining room was where I started. Looking around, there were more pictures on these walls than the other rooms, and there was a chandelier, part crystal, part metal. The crystal part looked like milk glass. Clearly it needed a good scrubing. It shocked me that it took three hours to finish! One room. Sure there are a lot of pics, but still! I took the curtains down and decided not to put them back up. We had them hung there since we moved in 20 years ago. They had faded over time, and needed to be refreshed. My cheap side said, it was refreshing enough to have more light that the old drapes blocked. And it’s true; plus the room looks a lot bigger.

Keeping my Dad’s wisdom always in the forefront, I always do the hardest work first. I knew the dining room would be intense. Next, I worked on getting the desk out of the old office/guest room into his room. I remember just how hard it was to get in the room in the first place. David had to help me then, but today I was on my own. The table base weighted a ton! Well, maybe not all of the 2,000 pounds, but a good 200 pounds a least!

It took a while, but it’s in there. All the furniture has been moved to the center of the room. I told Aster if he cleaned up his room, I’d paint it. It’s needed a new paint job for a very long time. At one time, his room was Lily’s baby room. The room was painted a terra-cotta finish with Winnie the Pooh bed linen. When Aster moved in (when Lily was two and began sharing a room with Lara Rose,) I painted his room baby blue. Over the years, I plastered maps of continents over the walls to pay homage to my son’s initials, MAP, Michael Aster Philbrook.

Even to this day, he likes the maps, but he did want new paint, pointing out to be sure I don’t mess with his maps.

The rug in his room was shot. I liked it a lot; a braided rectangle rug in various shades of blue, green, and gray. I didn’t want to buy a new one and knew it was too far gone to have cleaned, so I flipped it over. It was still new underneath, and it looks great!

I wasn’t ready to paint, but I did prepare to do so. Everything was pulled out. He had stuff EVERYWHERE. You see, we don’t have a garage to store sports stuff in so, he has it all in his room–baseball, hiking, fishing, camping, hammocks, did I mention fishing?

I do need to talk to him about handling his fishing gear. As I was moving one of his poles from the closet, I got barbed. I knew what happened immediately even though I did see it. The hook was in my cheek! I tugged a little to see how deep it was. I didn’t move. At this point I was a little worried; so worried I walked with the pole to find my iPhone to see if I could get a picture. The good news? As I was walking to the phone, the hook released me.


Today I tackled the Reading Room. You might know this as a formal living room, but this is the room where I read in, so hence the name. I will say this, we use every room in the house, and The Reading Room is my favorite.

Everything came off the walls and the furniture moved to the middle of the room. I then washed the walls, pictures, furniture, and floors, just like I did in the Dining Room. However, in this case, I didn’t put everything back as it was. It seemed to me this was an opportunity to move things around. I did. What surprised me the most was how much bigger the room was, and my favorite place to sit is now closer to the window. Better to see my words by!


This day was dedicated to painting Aster’s room. Finally. It too two coats, and it looks great. It took all day! So glad it’s done.


Finished the trim in Aster’s room.

Rebecca, our kid’s math mentor, and now a family friend stopped by for lunch. It was relaxing and nice.

Lara Rose and Nate stopped by to get the Buick windshield fixed.

I did a little errand running and after Christmas shopping.

My last day home alone. I binged watch The Crown. Truly, I had no idea what this was about. Even though I heard about it, I still thought it was some kind of take off and not of what really went on. Actually, I was shocked it is a true account of what went on. From historical records and news clips, the history is reenacted in The Crown. The series is a little slow at times, but the tidbits about royal life come alive in the series making it all so fascinating.

Talked to Mike. He and his family had a good Christmas. Everytime we talk, he asks me if I’ve seen the Ken Burns Vietnam series. He knows I bought it, but seriously didn’t have any time to watch it. Over this break, I made a point to begin. Alas, I couldn’t get the DVD to work, then I noticed I bought BlueRay. Ugh. I returned it to Costco, and even though it was opened, there were no questions asked. I like that!

I told Mike this story, and he suggested Walmart. Double ugh. However, I went, and found Volume two. So by piecemeal, I will put this series together. I’m debating waiting to have the two parts together or just starting with Volume Two. I haven’t decided yet.


I thought I was doing radio this morning, but I never heard from Mike Raley. Instead, I worked on the mulching of Helen’s Haven, the Bee Better Teaching Garden. Even though the weather was average, and the only one for the near future, I had no energy. I did manage to get the load off the truck, but lost all energy to get another two loads. (Two b/c it’s buy one get one free, but you have to get both in the same day.)k Instead, I ran a few errands, then binged watched The Crown.

I am so tired. I told my kids that I need 2018 to be very different. Five days of cleaning, with no help then or in the future, I only ask that they clean up after themselves, and keep their personal items in their rooms, their personal space.


My family is back. Abigail is back, and I’m …

In the news this week, Russian tankers fueled North Korea ships.


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