This year I tried to clean up/establish a garden in a controllable area. I cleaned up everything, but focused my attention on one spot - the newly sunny space along side the driveway/garage. Cleaned out the weeds, and I had put down mulch last year? year before? There was still reasonable mulch. I planted black-eyed susans, coneflowers, and bee-balm, and moved some volunteers from other parts of the yard. The chipmunks promptly made it their purpose in life to burrow directly under all my new plants. WTF? It has become a daily battle - I go out, collapse the burrows, re-plant my plants (with what is left of their roots) and I water them well ever day. Because we also have a drought going on. I'm really frustrated. I did it all right - I picked hardy plants that will do well there, got them in the ground, watered them assiduously... and I'm being undone by a rat with racing stripes. Infuriating.
The other qualified success is my foray into silk painting. I've never done it before, so of course I started with an eight foot long standard to fly off the peak of my tent. Yeah. Nothing like a little over-reach for the summer. It's... okay. If it were going to fly at eye level I'd be very unhappy. But it's going to be eleven feet up, so I'll live with it until I can do a better one. I need to see if the clear gutta will actually wash out as advertised, because otherwise it wasn't worth the effort. If it does, I need to figure out if my jar of clear gutta needs to be thinned, or if it just got weird because it's old. I should cut down the stretcher frame I built. When I laid it out, I thought I was going to be using half the width of the silk - 27". But instead, in order for the proportions to look right, it was 20" wide. You live, you learn. If the frame is narrower, I won't have to stretch as far, and my lines will be more even. Additionally, I'll have an easier time keeping a wet edge if I'm not stretching, and my final color block will look better. I also clearly need better brushes - the ones I have (which weren't intended for this) tended to "sproing" when loaded, and spatter dye where I didn't want it. So... I'm unhappy, but a little unreasonably so. Tomorrow I'll heat set the dye, and then wash out the excess pigment. Need to go back and review the directions to make sure I do that correctly.
The other accomplishment was pulling the trailer out - I got it out of its slot, turned it around, and backed it up the driveway to in front of the garage door in one try. Every year - I do it perfectly the first time, and when I try to put it back it's going to look like the Jeep is being driven on a spider monkey on adderol. We've got it chocked in good, and I took the sides off, sprayed it down with soap, scrubbed it with a broom, and rinsed it off. The deck is a completely different color now, and more to the point, clean enough for me to give it a fresh coat of paint. I need to get a wire brush and some Rustoleum for the metal frame, but we're going to Home Depot tomorrow for plywood anyway. The thing I need to figure out is what to do about the underside. Parking it off the driveway is suboptimal, so at least I need to be sure nothing is rusting/rotting. Not sure how to get to it. Dad said to flip it over on the driveway, but I'm really not sure how to do that. Gotta think about it. At the very least we'll pull the cotter pin and tip the bed up into "dump" position, and I'll see how much of the underside I can access like that. No fun. Necessary, but no fun.
Okay - off to the fireworks.