Tree vandalism and miscellany

Well. We were so pleased to plant an oak tree to keep our little crabapple company, but someone evidently has a thing against trees.

sad oak tree

In the ground less than 48 hours. We will plant another.

May have posted the completed water tanks already, but I know the gutter board and gutter hadn’t been replaced and I really don’t want to forget how happy I am to see that finished – so it’s worth a double post.


We really would prefer to use half round from Corken Steel, but in the interest of time this will have to do for the backside. It still looks better than the “bendy-straw”, leaky gutter it replaced. And, the rotting boards. Loving this paint from Lowe’s Valspar historic collection – Lincoln Cottage Black. Not really black, but not dark green, goes on great and has a nice luster.

Marigolds are doing great in spite of the poor soil and dry conditions. Not the favorite French Marigolds, but still looking good. And, whatever it is that is planted in the back “rubble and dirt” garden is coming on strong. Might be round, yellow cucumbers. But, it might be something else. I should have marked them because I can’t remember.

marigolds  cucumbers


Also, mostly got the gate up – I think.


Been traveling this week so trying to pick up little bits of inspiration here and there, as follows:


Really want to naturalize as much of the yard as possible. These gardens are a great example – and good for jogging the memory about the possibilities. This is do-able. Just have to find a way to keep it from looking scraggly in the “between” seasons.

natural grasses echinacea

And then there’s this velvety black petunia. This petunia and black elephant ears and black mondo grass. They’re all a little disco-y. And, also – pink muhly grass. Would make a great Dr. Seuss landscape.

black petunia

Building Materials/Creative Re-Use

And this really great architectural artifacts store – you can tell this guy really loves the items he collects and has just parlayed it into a business. I wish I’d taken pictures of his car collection. This guy and the late Bob Cassilly of City Museum. So fun.

arch artifacts

Finally – there’s this. At the Francisco el stop. I’m going to do something like this mosaic carpet sidewalk. Somewhere. Sometime.

mosaic sidewalk


Enough about glass

This is the last post about windows and broken glass.

Recently I heard David Dafoe (Flavorman) speak about rehabbing property on 8th Street. He said people warned him about putting glass in – they told him it would just be broken. And, he ignored them and put in a (mostly) glass wall. (It’s a very cool space – the Distilled Spirits Epicenter). He said they’ve never had a window broken.

We did a lot of philosophizing trying to answer the question, “to reglaze or not to reglaze”. There is a ton of research out there about broken windows and social controls, etc. One of the best things i read in the process of learning is, “Fear is elevated as perception of disorder rises; creating a social pattern that tears the social fabric of a community, and leaves the residents feeling hopeless and disconnected.” Thus the reglazing.

We’ll paint the trim this weekend (hopefully).



Pretty much finished (finally) the structure for the water cubes on the back. Amanda Next Door (Louisville Lots of Food) will use these to water her orchard and other things. It’s starting to get really dry so this will be finished just in time. Now we need it to rain again. We have lots of roof surface so will putting another (or two) of these elsewhere.



Got permission from our neighbor to remove the falling fence in the back.


Pretty pleased that this is gone.


We have big (well, medium) plans for a cool fence (or screen) here. I kept driving past Niemco and seeing a stack of steel panels that reminded me of a Frank Lloyd Wright window. Turns out they’re blanks from the laser cutting/stamping they do for parts. They were sending them to recycling so we took them off their hands. They’ll make good fence panels and look kind of cool. Just have to figure out how to frame them.

They look kind of like this only bigger and more random in pattern:



They remind me of this:

FLW Windwo

Tomatillos and other things we planted (that I didn’t mark so can’t recall what they are) are coming in – now we need a little rain.




Creeping Charlie and Emo Rave Barrettes

School is out and the neighborhood boys are back. They’ve grown. They aren’t as chatty as they were last year. We hope they stick around.

Window progress – even though it is re-doing what was already done….and then undone.

new window frame


After removing the broken glass we decided to go ahead and rebuild the frame. Then we realized the original frame used lumber planed to a smaller size. The lumber we had for the rebuild was dimensional. Therefore the glass we had cut was too large for the new frame and would have to be re-cut. So Day 1 ended with this:

plywood nevilson

Looks like a plywood Nevelson. We set the glass back in the frame which means the window frame is now deep enough to set your tools or drink on while sitting on the stumps. We needed a place for visitors to sit – thus the stumps.

All six panes of glass are in now – two more than before they were broken. By the time they were in, it was too dark for a photo. Feels a bit like throwing down a gauntlet. So be it. Maybe we’ll build some shutters to cover them. But, maybe not.

Spent some time removing Creeping Charlie. I have always disliked Creeping Charlie. It smells when you mow it or pull it out of flowerbeds. But, after looking it up, I’m feeling a little more charitable toward it.



A member of the mint family, it was imported from Europe and southwest Asia. Some people use it in salads, but it is toxic to cattle and horses. And, also not good for dogs (or cats).

When you google it, most of what comes up is how to kill it. But, it was once valued as a medicinal herb used for eye inflammation and as a diuretic, astringent, tonic and gentle stimulant. Of greater interest, it…. “was one of the principal herbs used by the early Saxons to clarify their beers, before hops had been introduced….”

We won’t be growing it, but I won’t curse as much when I pull it out now. And, I still think it smells.

Found a little barrette while continuing digging out the foundation. It’s a cat with a fiddle. Looked it up to try to figure out how old it was. Someone on Etsy is selling a pair for $6.99 and used the keywords “club kid emo rave” for SEO. They’re described as a vintage item from the 1980’s. Makes me feel old.


Amanda with Lots of Food next door made us some jam from the mulberries (and some rhubarb and lemon). It looks lovely and I’m sure it won’t last long. She has planted all kinds of things on the lots next to us and is working very hard.



Finally – this made me laugh. We never noticed it before, but believe it’s been there a while. Little paw prints that increased into some frantic paw prints – I would guess groundhog or maybe raccoon. This part of the building used to have a rotted plywood wall. Apparently, a little animal jumped in and couldn’t get out. Our version of Portland Cave Paintings.

Cave Paintings


Wankers & Saints

To the wanker who threw bricks through our windows. That’s the Hydra of windows. I took a picture for you.

Thank you to our neighbors and friends down the street who noticed it and had it patched before we could even get there. I know you had better things to do than fix our problem – we are truly grateful.