I hoard.

I've got it bad this year for anything I can possibly put in the dang dirt. My plant and flower budget is out the roof. But you know...whatever. I am hoarding, and I couldn't think of anything better than to hoard these lovely (mostly edible) plants.

I am learning a ton about bugs and roots and soils and sunshine. My veggie garden is in the process of mini-explosions of fun squashes, tomatillos(!!), tomatos, soybeans, potatoes, strawberries, blackberries and peppers of every shape and spice. I have packed in herbs like lavender and basil, and have been tucking in pretty butterfly perennials like no one's business. And lets not forget about the ridiculous amounts of succulents and cacti in every possible window I can fit 'em.

Sigh... If only I could do it full time.

Long Live King Benny

My poor baby Benny has recently been laid to rest where with dreams of tuna and sunshine and belly pets forever and ever. A mouse treat as a baby kitty is most likely the cause of his infection with Toxoplasmosis -- a kitty parasite that is usually okay for the feline but can sometimes take control a few years later and severely hurt the sweetest ones. Toxo got to Benny's spinal cord and disabled his ability to walk and carry on with the things cats love best. Like jumping on rooftops and finding retreat in comfy covers of a human bed. Ohhh how I'll miss a Benny hair in my mouth in the morning. Really, I will.

Benny carried on for four years and spread tons of love and giggles to my Wisconsin and Tennessee honeys. A miniature lion, he tricked even the "non-cat-lovers" into thinking cats could be really totally cool. He was a kool kat. Literally.

We placed him in the garden in a sunny spot where sunflowers will mark his true sunny self. Benny, you will be forever missed. Rest in peace sweetheart.

And a few moments of Benny I will never ever forget:

Welcome home Benny! Our first day. Redic hair shave job from previous owner. Love it.

Benny loves a bed. Any bed will do.

Sweet moments were shared on this deck with a cold brewski and my Benny.

Benny and Dan Taylor were best friends. He fancied Dan really good at belly rubbing. Oh, and he really liked to perch on rooftops.

What a lovely Christmas! With Benny's other fav belly rubber, Reggie.

What could be better than a camo-blanket, a Benny, and sunshine?!

A lovely doodle by mister Reggie, long before any hint of that nasty Toxo.

Benny had a super-fun New Years Eve with my sweet brother Collin. What a peach.

Garage Mahal

First of all -- SNOW!! In Nashville!!

Second of all -- GiganticSuperStudioShedThing : Garage Mahal!

I told y'all I was gonna do it. I'm doing it! My buddy Dan came for a few months to help get this thing started. We dug really really deep holes, broke rock, measured, measured, measured, cussed, hammered, drilled, cussed, measured. Then Reggie joined in on the fun and we continued to do more of the previous.

It's been a ton of work and has made me question what the hell I'm doing several times, but then I realize it's all good and well and though there have been a bit of oopsies, I'm just getting more and more excited to finish and use it already!

It's gigantic. It didn't look nearly this big on paper. Seriously, people ask me if I'm building a house. I also didn't account for the big slope in my yard. I'd planned the thing to be level with the ground...but looks like I'll have to re-route and add a porch to the front now!

Yet to be finished: Lots.
Paint current siding yellow like the house.
Put up corrugated tin under upper siding.
Tin Roof!
Install the doors and windows I found at my fav salvage yard.
Fix something I haven't accounted for yet.
Add porch/deck to front and side.

The process thusfar:

Meet Perky!

It's been a long time coming, but I still couldn't be more happy to introduce to you, my home's 4th 4-legged, Perky!

Perky came to me as a poor fella who had horrible allergies and needed more playtime than his old ma could handle. I intended to foster him for a bit until he could find a forever home. Turns out I had a little left over heart space for just ONE more dog (Lula Belle totally loved him too, it's not all my fault!). He stayed.

Though he has his quirks (we all do, right?), he has loved and helped me out so much! Lula is mostly deaf and I believe to be a bit slow mentally. Perky retrieves her for me and seems to care for her like a big bro when she needs a little help. Oh, and he loves to give kisses and hugs and pretend to be a lot smaller than he is...especially on laps. What a dude :)

We love you, Perky Bear!


So I promised an update when I can no longer rid myself of dirty hands/body (and with OFF mosquito spray always handy...) and here we are! Mid-Juneish has found me with more love than ever for all my blooms, cacti and succulents!

Now if only I could stop. I am obsessed. My succulents have multiplied themselves cutely in my big horse trough and my grasses (next to the trough) are slowly slowly filling out (they'll be tall and about 3' wide), I've found good temporary spaces for my cactus to greet me home, and I've been sawing my heart away on my herb planters!

Lots of learning for me. People said Nashville was full of clay dirt and bedrock to hinder a determined gardener...and they were spot on. At least in my yard. So, plenty of my ideas (take herb planters) have re-routed and been flipped around (literally). I have more plans to fill much of my yard with pretty rocks to home my cacti and put a stop to my crappy grass growth. Also on the list: expand fence! Within the month I'll have my whole backyard re-fenced off for more playtime for the pup and the shed (see previous post)!

Ahhhh this feels like home :) Click the pics for biggies

Spring Shedding

Spring is almost over and I've been dealing with my fair share of shedding (have 3 furries). I think it's about time I show them whats up and start my own shed!

My buddy handyman (and amazing designer) Michael Borum and I are getting ready to hammer and nail and screw our little hearts out on my first backyard adventure. I'm building a shed! Well...more of an outdoor hang area with an area to store my machines/tools/and other gnarly things that have accumulated in one of my 3 bedrooms. We're going salvage, baby. I've gotten so lucky to have an awesome salvage yard right behind my house, so we'll find as many beams + windows + doors + whatever we can get our hands on to keep costs low and keep it feelin right.

Check out my layout! The hang/studio area is in the front with cool slide-out barn doors to keep it open (and let critters in, of course) and the 3rd bedroom storage will make its way to the back. A West facing roof window will make sunset oh-so-perty :) You can come play if you'd like. Bring fancy beer + I'll bring the love.

Click the pic for a biggie.

My little bitty

I've been loving and dreaming of my own area to plant for years and years now. Finally(!) I get to start! Here are the beginnings... Lots 'o succulents, lavender, grasses and sunflowers are loving on the sun as much as I have been lately. I'll be sure to update when the flowers bloom big and when the dirt finds itself a new home under my fingernails forever and ever.

More Succulove Here