Happy 87 to Nana/Momma/Edith!

We wished Mom a happy 87th birthday last weekend in Louisville, where we started off the night at The Irish Rover restaurant...to get us in the proper mood for The Celtic Woman concert at the Louisville Palace Theatre. Despite a bit of a problem with all the steps in the old refurbed Palace (just ask us where Row AA is!), the usher was able to work it out so that Mom could enjoy the show from a choice seat in the wheelchair section of the Orchestra level...and as her "companion," I got to share the choiceness with her! We ended the evening at Maredith's for cake and presents...the best part, right?

Thomas headed off to Chicago to work for the week, while Mom, the dogs, and I were Maredith's houseguests. It was so nice to be with her for an extended visit! Then, after Thomas returned on Thursday, we took advantage of the excellent weekend weather to get started on the backyard project du jour: building some lattice-work "screens" to create badly-needed privacy for Maredith's patio area. (Yes, Thomas has had to build some version of these lattice screens in Tennesse...twice; in Ohio; in MO; and now in KY. The joke in our family is that as soon as he builds with lattice, we'll have to move. Ha?) In the photo to the left, you can see Thomas with the power auger (a great idea to rent one from Home Depot!), being ably assisted by Maredith (with the post-hole digger...her very own, I might add!), and of course, Gus, the project supervisor. Woo-woo!

Thomas removed the railings from the deck, and that really opened up the space tremendously. I joined in the fun by treating, sanding, and staining the deck...which was in need of lots of TLC due to years of neglect. Then, I primed and painted the wood that went into making the screens. Eventually there will be two "side wings," one to join the one they finished before we had to leave on Sunday. In the photo on the right, you see the first panel going into place. One down, seven more to go!

Also, while Maredith and Thomas (and Gus) worked on setting the posts, I grabbed a shovel and set about working on the landscaping in the front yard. When Maredith bought her house, one of the first things she did was remove the hodge-podge of plantings that made the front look ragged and neglected. The house is a traditional red brick with white trim, and Maredith decided right away to change the flesh-colored (???) shutters to a Federal Blue (see the photo). The previous owners had planted one of every kind of bush you can think of...you had to look hard to see anything that matched! Plus, the bushes were planted too close to the house in the first place, and they were badly overgrown and poorly trimmed. Not anymore! As of Sunday afternoon, Maredith now has 5 dwarf Burfordii hollies (Ilex B. Nana) in front of the windows, to match the giant holly on the corner of the house, under the side bedroom window (she left that one in place); 7 gorgeous evergreen boxwoods in front of the front walkway, to give some depth and definition to the entrance; and 4 burning bushes, that were jumping out of the confines of their pots...maybe they will grow quickly and hide a (necessary, but not-so-lovely) chainlink fence on the side of the front yard. Maredith had already put out beautiful multi-colored pansies, which are coming back nicely after the cold snap, and they are now joined by blue Georgia Speedwell and phlox, along with several transplanted irises and daylillies (we'll all be surprised by their colors, as I'm not sure what came from where in our yard here in MO). To say we had a busy weekend sounds like an understatement!

Although it's still a WIP in Louisville, we'll shift our focus to our own backyard project (remember the bridge and the new waterfall?) this weekend. And, possibly get a start on the garden...surely we've seen the last of the cold weather for this area until October or November??? I'm eager to get some tomatoes growing...or, I won't be able to harvest one on July 4th!!


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