Two Saturdays a month at the Alpha Ridge Landfill in Howard County they give away rain barrels. In addition to the barrels they give away compost bins and have composting demonstrations beginning at 9 a.m.
Charlie and I left the house around 8:15, stopped at Starbucks to use our free drink coupons, then on to Alpha Ridge Landfill. On the right immediately as you enter the gates the compost and rain barrel Master Gardeners were set up to pass out the goods. (Of course, I forgot to take my camera.)
Read the information packet and follow the directions provided with the rain barrel.
Maintain and properly site the rain barrel on your property in Howard County and research any community HOA covenants or rules concerning the use and placement of rain barrels.
Hold Howard County and its employees or contractors harmless from any and all costs, expenses, or damages that may be incurred as a result of the use and maintenance of the rain barrel.
This you must do by signing a written statment.
What you actually get is a free rain barrel that has been pre-drilled, written instructions for using it and a parts list that you must purchase from a hardware store.
We stopped by the hardware store on the way home and purchsed the items below.
When we got the barrel home I decided to paint it because if it remains white the light can filter through and promote algae growth. I found the following spray paints in my stash.
First I primed the whole barrel including the top with white spray paint.
Rain Barrel Primed with White Spray Paint
The I flipped the entire thing upside down, ran some painters’ tape around the barrel about one-third of the way up and sprayed the bottom dark green.
The I removed the painter’s tape and free-handed sprayed some of the lighter green around the barrel.
Then I flipped the barrel and completely sprayed the white parts the lighter green color. I finished up with light sprays of the darker green and a dark blue I had painted our outdoor table with last year.
Now the rain barrel is ready to be put together which will wait for another day. I really don’t know how some of you folks do an entire project in one day. It must be because you’re YOUNG (and I’m NOT!). You know who I mean!
Have you got a rain barrel? It reminds me of that old song:
“Ain’t got no rain barrel,
Ain’t got no cellar door,
But we’ll be jolly friends, forevermore.”
Well, I still ain’t got no cellar door but now I is got a rain barrel!
Many of the doors at the Glade won’t close. Especially in the little bedroom the upper closet doors
and the door to the room don’t close. (Also the door knob falls off when you try to open it.)
This is how the door looks when it’s closed. Ridiculous, huh?
I can see where the paint has been rubbed off the door frames in both cases
so my answer is to remove the part of the door that rubs the door frame and here’s the the tool that can “git ‘er done”. And it works left-handed or right-handed which is a blessing because Charlie is left-handed and I’m ambidextrous.
I’ve never been sure how to pronounce this tool. Is it “shore-form” or “surf-form”? I’ve always thought it was called “surf-form” because it was used to shape surfboards.
The business end looks a lot like a cheese grater.
Here’s the result of the surforming the closet doors (actually only the right side needed to be adjusted). Once the trim is painted where the paint had been worn away, they will actually look closed.
Another shot of the closet doors after planing them with the Surform.
I started to plane the top of the room door and did quite a bit but I was working above my shoulder level and my arms tired out so Charlie finished the job. (And he fixed the door knob!)
Tra-la, the bedroom door closes. Woohoo!
Have you got any nasty, won’t-close-all-the-way doors? Have you tried the Surform? It really beats trying to rehang a door in a doorway that may no longer be plumb.
Last week I was invited via email to Budeke’s (local paint store) Benjamin Moore Color Workshop on new spring colors. I had been to two similar workshops and had a great time.
They have food when you arrive.
The seminar is well-planned and presented by a pro from Benjamin Moore corporate.
They give you a gift bag with gifts and coupons when you leave.
The actual seminar was last night but before it began I was ready to purchase my paint for the little bedroom project. I bought a gallon of “Head Over Heels” with a $5 coupon from the last seminar and a free sample pint of “Meditation” for a special project that I have in mind. Both of these colors are from the Affinity Colors line which, by the way, fan deck ($25 retail) was included in the gift bag. The Affinity colors are special because any color of the 144 in the deck goes with any other color in the deck.
So today I can finally begin this long overdue project.
Are you getting started today? What’s the project?
When I first moved to the Glade, as a housewarming gift, my friend gave me two red maple seedlings about three feet tall from her own yard along with her gardener to plant them.
That was thirteen years ago and here they are in early spring. One in the west yard as you approach the house
and one in the back yard beyond the vegetable garden.
Japanese Red Maple under large Oak
When I went out this morning I had the opportunity to reshoot the Japanese red maple in the west yard. This tree is a little lopsided because two years ago a storm cracked the trunk in two. Instead of pruning a very large piece off we tied the tree together with rope like a giant spider web. It is still healing but has really come back very nicely. In fall these trees are fire-engine red. Don’t you love the way the branches swoop down to the ground? I do; Charlie hates it (but he’s the one who mows so they’re in his way).
The Japanese red maple (and green variety as well) throw off a lot of seedlings. Last year we dug up a few of these seedlings and potted them. Each seedling is unique in color, leaf type and habit.
I especially like the one with the lacy leaf.
Following is a rather lengthy, not-so-well-known poem by Robert Frost called Maple which is not about a tree but a girl. So thought provoking. Enjoy.
by Robert Frost
Her teacher’s certainty it must be Mabel
Made Maple first take notice of her name.
She asked her father and he told her, “Maple—
Maple is right.”
“But teacher told the school
There’s no such name.”
“Teachers don’t know as much
As fathers about children, you tell teacher.
You tell her that it’s M-A-P-L-E.
You ask her if she knows a maple tree.
Well, you were named after a maple tree.
Your mother named you. You and she just saw
Each other in passing in the room upstairs,
One coming this way into life, and one
Going the other out of life—you know?
So you can’t have much recollection of her.
She had been having a long look at you.
She put her finger in your cheek so hard
It must have made your dimple there, and said,
‘Maple.’ I said it too: ‘Yes, for her name.’
She nodded. So we’re sure there’s no mistake.
I don’t know what she wanted it to mean,
But it seems like some word she left to bid you
Be a good girl—be like a maple tree.
How like a maple tree’s for us to guess.
Or for a little girl to guess sometime.
Not now—at least I shouldn’t try too hard now.
By and by I will tell you all I know
About the different trees, and something, too,
About your mother that perhaps may help.”
Dangerous self-arousing words to sow.
Luckily all she wanted of her name then
Was to rebuke her teacher with it next day,
And give the teacher a scare as from her father.
Anything further had been wasted on her,
Or so he tried to think to avoid blame.
She would forget it. She all but forgot it.
What he sowed with her slept so long a sleep,
And came so near death in the dark of years,
That when it woke and came to life again
The flower was different from the parent seed.
It came back vaguely at the glass one day,
As she stood saying her name over aloud,
Striking it gently across her lowered eyes
To make it go well with the way she looked.
What was it about her name? Its strangeness lay
In having too much meaning. Other names,
As Lesley, Carol, Irma, Marjorie,
Signified nothing. Rose could have a meaning,
But hadn’t as it went. (She knew a Rose.)
This difference from other names it was
Made people notice it—and notice her.
(They either noticed it, or got it wrong.)
Her problem was to find out what it asked
In dress or manner of the girl who bore it.
If she could form some notion of her mother—
What she had thought was lovely, and what good.
This was her mother’s childhood home;
The house one story high in front, three stories
On the end it presented to the road.
(The arrangement made a pleasant sunny cellar.)
Her mother’s bedroom was her father’s still,
Where she could watch her mother’s picture fading.
Once she found for a bookmark in the Bible
A maple leaf she thought must have been laid
In wait for her there. She read every word
Of the two pages it was pressed between,
As if it was her mother speaking to her.
But forgot to put the leaf back in closing
And lost the place never to read again.
She was sure, though, there had been nothing in it.
So she looked for herself, as everyone
Looks for himself, more or less outwardly.
And her self-seeking, fitful though it was,
May still have been what led her on to read,
And think a little, and get some city schooling.
She learned shorthand, whatever shorthand may
Have had to do with it–she sometimes wondered.
So, till she found herself in a strange place
For the name Maple to have brought her to,
Taking dictation on a paper pad
And, in the pauses when she raised her eyes,
Watching out of a nineteenth story window
An airship laboring with unshiplike motion
And a vague all-disturbing roar above the river
Beyond the highest city built with hands.
Someone was saying in such natural tones
She almost wrote the words down on her knee,
“Do you know you remind me of a tree–
A maple tree?””Because my name is Maple?”
“Isn’t it Mabel? I thought it was Mabel.”
“No doubt you’ve heard the office call me Mabel.
I have to let them call me what they like.”
They were both stirred that he should have divined
Without the name her personal mystery.
It made it seem as if there must be something
She must have missed herself. So they were married,
And took the fancy home with them to live by.
They went on pilgrimage once to her father’s
(The house one story high in front, three stories
On the side it presented to the road)
To see if there was not some special tree
She might have overlooked. They could find none,
Not so much as a single tree for shade,
Let alone grove of trees for sugar orchard.
She told him of the bookmark maple leaf
In the big Bible, and all she remembered
of the place marked with it—”Wave offering,
Something about wave offering, it said.”
“You’ve never asked your father outright, have you?”
“I have, and been put off sometime, I think.”
(This was her faded memory of the way
Once long ago her father had put himself off.)
“Because no telling but it may have been
Something between your father and your mother
Not meant for us at all.”
“Not meant for me?
Where would the fairness be in giving me
A name to carry for life and never know
The secret of?”
“And then it may have been
Something a father couldn’t tell a daughter
As well as could a mother. And again
It may have been their one lapse into fancy
‘Twould be too bad to make him sorry for
By bringing it up to him when he was too old.
Your father feels us round him with our questing,
And holds us off unnecessarily,
As if he didn’t know what little thing
Might lead us on to a discovery.
It was as personal as be could be
About the way he saw it was with you
To say your mother, bad she lived, would be
As far again as from being born to bearing.”
“Just one look more with what you say in mind,
And I give up”; which last look came to nothing.
But though they now gave up the search forever,
They clung to what one had seen in the other
By inspiration. It proved there was something.
They kept their thoughts away from when the maples
Stood uniform in buckets, and the steam
Of sap and snow rolled off the sugarhouse.
When they made her related to the maples,
It was the tree the autumn fire ran through
And swept of leathern leaves, but left the bark
Unscorched, unblackened, even, by any smoke.
They always took their holidays in autumn.
Once they came on a maple in a glade,
Standing alone with smooth arms lifted up,
And every leaf of foliage she’d worn
Laid scarlet and pale pink about her feet.
But its age kept them from considering this one.
Twenty-five years ago at Maple’s naming
It hardly could have been a two-leaved seedling
The next cow might have licked up out at pasture.
Could it have been another maple like it?
They hovered for a moment near discovery,
Figurative enough to see the symbol,
But lacking faith in anything to mean
The same at different times to different people.
Perhaps a filial diffidence partly kept them
From thinking it could be a thing so bridal.
And anyway it came too late for Maple.
She used her hands to cover up her eyes.
“We would not see the secret if we could now:
We are not looking for it any more.”
Thus had a name with meaning, given in death,
Made a girl’s marriage, and ruled in her life.
No matter that the meaning was not clear.
A name with meaning could bring up a child,
Taking the child out of the parents’ hands.
Better a meaningless name, I should say,
As leaving more to nature and happy chance.
Name children some names and see what you do.
Have a beautiful day. (I won’t go so far as to say “hug a tree.”)
Finally, I love this shower. I might want something like this in my future downstairs bathroom, but an outdoor shower in this color, with this rustic tile, and the well-draining floor, and a couple of tree stumps. Oooooh. Yes, please.