Heavy Lifting

It was another busy day yesterday, although I was able to get more accomplished than expected. We've been planning for some time to create a bed for some peonies I have on order. You might recall we took out our neglected iris bed last spring. The plan was to plant peonies last fall, but then the order fell through when the merchant didn't deliver. It meant putting off planting until this year. In the meantime, we had some time to think about how to do this. The project started yesterday morning with a trip to our local Home Depot, or "Home Desperado," as we like to say.

Mike had already scoped out the location in the yard, measured the space, and priced the bricks. The only thing left to do was to start loading. We had to pick among them to weed out any that were broken, and then stoop down to reach the ones toward the back. It was not a back-friendly thing to do. We needed 56 bricks total, and between the two of us, we got 'er done.

When we'd collected them onto this cart, we headed to the front of the store to pay. The cashier told us to "Have a nice day!" I wondered aloud if, just looking at this, he thought we were going to have a nice day.

While we were waiting to pay, I walked around taking pictures of some of the blooming things in the garden section. Surrounded by all this beauty, one wouldn't expect this to be such a back-breaking beginning.

Oh, but we were only just getting started because all those bricks needed to be loaded into the bed of the truck. Mike took the high road, and I took the low road, and together we got them loaded in.

That was kind of the end of my effort. I was willing to help build the wall, but he said he was just going to do it. And let me just say...Fine. With. Me.

The neighbor was running a saw, and with Mike outside working, we decided to let the kitties outside. They have not been out of the house, except for camping trips, since the end of May. Oh my gosh...what a lot of fun they had, running around and acting like cats.

And they were extremely helpful. Sadie snoopervised the unloading of the bricks.

Smitty snoopervised the building of the wall.

Holy Moly, Sadie! This is going to be the biggest potty box EVER!!! I can't wait to dig my paws in there.

The bricks were, of course, staggered, and that meant cutting one of them in half. We had to purchase a special saw blade at Home Depot for this. These things are beyond my pay grade.

It was a big job, but he had it finished in a couple of hours. Now, it just needs dirt, and that will be on today's agenda. Mike says he'll do that too. He says he doesn't see me shoveling dirt. And again, that's just...Fine. With. Me.

Until the wall was finished, I didn't want to get too involved in a canning project, and so I worked on catching up with the Tiny Tuesday blocks. Two were released last week. The first was this Double Nine Patch.

It was set diagonally.

And when the wall was finished, there was plenty of time to get after my zucchini. I turned them into four pints of Zucchini Garden Pepper Relish. It's pretty easy to make, and I love it on sandwiches. I still have three jars left from last year, and so this should keep me in relish for some time.

There was still time left in the day, and so I did the second Tiny Tuesday block. This one is from Libby at Life on the Hill.

It was straight set.

Okay, and so those are caught up. The kitties came in after about an hour. They needed naps. They spent almost the entire hour on the run, and so they were, um, tired pups.

Sadie wanted to be let into the Clubhouse immediately where she could nap without people coming around wanting to take her picture.

As I said, today will be spent shoveling dirt and doing more canning. I'll be getting after the peaches today. I realized I don't have everything I need for the peach barbecue sauce, and so I'll focus on the chutney today. I haven't made peach chutney for a couple of years, and it's one of my favorites. If there's time, I might make some peach jam too. Tomorrow I'll head into town to run some errands, and I'll get the rest of what I need to make the barbecue sauce.

There are still a few things I'd like to accomplish in the sewing room before month's end. I need to make the August block for the Garden Sunshine quilt, and then I'd like to start sewing together the blocks for the Sundress quilt. I finished up the last of the embroidered dresses back in April...this one:

Now it's time to start sewing together the quilt top. I'll be making my first ever Dresden Plate blocks, and so it's a little intimidating. This morning I watched a YouTube video, and it didn't seem as hard as I thought. My friend Marei insists it's easy, and I think, yeah, well...maybe for you. So anyway...still lots on my plate (pun totally intended) for the remainder of the month. For now, I'll just focus on the Sunday morning blueberry oatmeal pancakes.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Julierose said...

What a beautiful bed for the peonies this will be...lots of work for sure...
I love those embroidered dresses--just so pretty..will be looking forward to seeing how you set them up..hugs, Julierose

Cathy Smith said...

To me, it's the Home Despot!


Yep--I can see the huge smile on those kitty faces at being outside for an hour--I think you made their day!!!
the stone wall looks really lovely--hubby did a nice job!!
Cute and tiny--tiny Tuesday blocks--
luv, di

Sally Trude said...

I think you'll find dresden plates easy because you know how to set in circles and the wedges from the plate makes that especially easy.

gpc said...

So many pretty projects. And may I say, there is nothing sweeter than a man who just can't picture us shoveling or doing hard labor. Bless them all.

quiltzyx said...

Y'all did a great job on the stack stone planter wall. Yes, it IS y'all since you helped with the picking & loading. What color Peonies are you getting? They are going to look wonderful in their new home!
Very nice blooms in the garden department too.
How fun for Smitty & Sadie to have the chance to snoopervise & run around outside for an hour - I don't' know how Smitty stays sooo white out there!

Katie said...

The peony bed looks great! Worth the effort of lugging all those bricks around. The canned goodies all sound so good - growing up we had home canned peaches and tomatoes and pears, but nothing fancy like you do and it all had me curious. The little blocks are looking good and the kitties look very pleased with their short stretch of outside freedom.

Sandra W said...

I was especially interested in your stone wall. It looks simple and elegant. I think I've mentioned before that our summer cottage is on a cliff and that last year we had a lot of erosion and had to do a lot of work to restore it and to keep our cottage from disappearing. $$$$ As a result we gained more table land and we now need some sort of barrier to ensure that no one falls off the cliff. I'm thinking that Mike's wall might be the answer.
You're lucky you have that truck, as the weight of those bricks would probably wreck the suspension in a regular car.
BTW I am constantly told, as a non-gardener, that it is not dirt. It is soil. ha ha.

piecefulwendy said...

Blueberry oatmeal pancakes -- I'll be right there, they sound yummy! That relish looks incredible, so I'll try some of that too (but not with the pancakes, thank you). So glad the kids got to go outside for a bit! The peonies are going to look great in that bed! You won't have any problem with the dresdens. I'd say you two got more than your usual workout with those cement blocks!

Dots said...

Your brick layer did a great job on the peonies bed. That will be pretty. Loved seeing the cats out with you. I bet they enjoyed it. I do like the Dresden Plates. I will be interested to see your project. Sundresses will look great. Great post.

QuiltGranma said...

Yes, your brick layer did a WONDERFUL job. If it was me though, I would be concerned about the dirt fill up against that "ol" fence and maybe want to put something back there so it doesn't rot out and fall through the bottom of the fence. Like treated outdoor plywood against the base of the fence... as long as it doesn't have any poisons that would hurt the plants. So glad the kids (kitties) got a chance to be outside again, eat his grass, play, explore, etc.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

The new peony bed looks great! I'm so glad the kitties got that time outside, too. Your Tiny Tuesday blocks look great, and I love the embroidered sundress! I'll enjoy seeing how those blocks go together.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Pretty BLUE blocks for the RSC!! The cats look like the had a good time outside. Looking forward to seeing your garden project complete!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

Barbara, what a great post! I enjoyed reading it very much. I work a lot in our garden so I'm keen on the garden news. Mike's wall is great and a learning experience in the bargain. YOu two make a great team perhaps thanks to those cute snoopervisers.
Your blocks are lovely too!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

When we moved into this house, we added 96 feet of retaining wall with those bricks. Very tiring to do that (had to level the ground and add lime gravel before we could bring in the stones. Glad you had a much shorter area to cover.