Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pirates, Paint, and Produce

Our neighbors' fabulous pirate fort
You aren't supposed to want something that belongs to someone else. It's a tenet of society and religion. Thou shalt not covet. Sometimes, though, it's really hard! I mentioned in my last post that our neighbors asked me to care for their garden while they're away. Their yard is just fabulous, and I'm so jealous I can hardly stand it!

Inside the fort
The neighbors are into gardening and the man is really into building. He made this fabulous pirate fort, like something out of Disney World, for their grandkids. It has a loft with a cannon, a jail with iron shackles and barred windows, a kitchen, an armory, and signs with bone lettering.

Signs with bone lettering
My kids were just loving the fort until we all got stung by yellow jackets right near it. Now I'm having trouble convincing them to go outside at all! This morning I went over and sprayed wasp and hornet spray all around the fort and path. So far no one has had a terrible reaction to the stings. I have a history of such, so I'm watching myself carefully.

I'm not sure how our neighbors ended up with as much land as they have. Their yard goes behind other people's houses, and it's all landscaped with paths that open into garden rooms. There are ponds and waterfalls and fire pits and a dry creek. They get full sun in part of their yard and they've planted a huge organic vegetable garden. In just one day I harvested an enormous amount from our two gardens.

Produce from our two gardens

Theirs reminds me of the garden at our old house, although ours was never this nice looking. I have to keep reminding myself we would have moved away from that garden even if we hadn't come here. I would be starting all over again no matter what. I do wish we had more sun in this yard. Unless we take down some really huge pine trees we're never going to have the yields we used to get.

I'm glad to have a chance to get out in the sun this week, because last week it was cold and rainy nearly all week. In fact, this past July was the coldest here in 70 years. I like the cool weather, but the lack of sun is tough on me. I have a lot of trouble keeping my vitamin D up and over the past few weeks I've been gaining weight like crazy, despite lots of physical work, and feeling despair and hopelessness, all signs I need lots more sun and fish!

Our neighbors' vegetable garden

I am still in the process of making this house a home for us. Even after almost two years, I'm not there yet. We've made some big progress recently through painting the interior. I didn't change the creamy paint color except to substitute the original flat builder's paint with satin finish that's much easier to clean. In the kitchen I'm using semi-gloss in the same shade. The color is Satin Weave by Olympic.

Wall and sideboard in Satin Weave paint by Olympic

I'd picked out a bluish gray for the house we were building and my husband was surprised I didn't want to use that or more colors in the various rooms here. I didn't think the gray I'd chosen for the dark woods and wrought iron finishes in the other house would work as well in this golden house. I also don't want to get really invested in a decor scheme, since I know if my husband's company decides to move him again we will have to leave this house and I don't want to get attached. I've just had enough of giving up on things I really loved and I don't feel like going through it again. Besides, with the light paint and the turquoise and navy touches in the furnishings I have a classic sort of blue and white vibe going on and I'm liking it. I was reading a magazine article the other day about the "Chic New Neutrals" for decorating and all the pictures featured rooms painted this exact color. So evidently I'm right on trend!

Creamy wall paint with blue accents

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