Pool of Dreaming

So, it’s 2022. Is that swimming pool finished? Of course not, but as the daylight grows stronger, it gets closer and closer.

At least it LOOKS done.

Today the intrepid pool guys braved biting winds and chilly temps to finally finish with the landscaping. They had a wheelbarrow and a bucket, but filled in all the gaps at last.

It really looks complete now. The Pool of Dreams looks like a dream oasis in a desert with all the natural rock.

So, what’s missing?

In addition to the rocks, the guys labeled all the valves, installed the thing that will eventually dispense salt, and got us our remote control.

They also tried to do work on the fire pit, but their drill wasn’t long enough. And that’s what’s left: the hot stuff. I was happy to hear that we are on the list at the propane company to get hooked up. I’m dreaming of a hot tub in winter!

Bonus work.

Lee took advantage of the fence being open so the pool truck could get in to bring dirt in to smooth out behind the pool. Progress!

So, between working hard and getting stuff done, things are good, except my favorite ring fell apart! When I woke up this morning, the beautiful inlay was gone. I’m sad about that. Maybe I’ll find it one day.

Meanwhile, Over at the Cul-de-sac

The HOA promised us new plants in our Bobcat Lair cul-de-sac, and yesterday they got to work on it. When I left in the morning, there was just spray paint all over the place, but when I got back from work, there was evidence of change.

Hey, I haven’t peed on these yet.

It’s sort of funny, though. Because we only have certain plants we can use, the new plants look just like most of the other plants in the neighborhood, so they blend right in. Only if you knew sotol has replaced yucca would you really notice.

Oh, you just wish that pink stuff was flowers. Nope. Deer would eat them.
Continue reading “Meanwhile, Over at the Cul-de-sac”

Something’s Happening Here

Back in mid-April, I participated in the exciting Landscape Committee of my Homeowner Association, where we helped decide on some improvements to the rather unattractive plantings near the Bobcat Lair house. Then nothing happened. For weeks.

A memory of the view outside the neighbor house where the meeting was.

Last week we got a note from The Portal (that’s the communications hub of the HOA that people either love or hate) saying that something had happened to the landscaper, but the project would happen soon.

It’s happening!

When I went out for my morning Vlassic walk yesterday, some orange lines had appeared on the ugliest of the beds, the one right next to my house with the underground utility and phone line boxes on it. Ooh!

I thought there were only two, but no, there are three ugly boxes next to my house. I think they are going to build a little enclosure for them.
Continue reading “Something’s Happening Here”

Taking a Break

I’m taking a little blogging break, because I’m doing so many other things right now. Here are some things.

The Austin job is full to the brim with tasks. And random new ones keep popping up. Job security, I guess, but, gee, if someone wants you to do something that you thought was their area, a direct request would help. I’m whining.

Here, this rose should make me feel better.

Luckily I visited my kind therapist/shaman person who listens to me and helps me plan how to deal with my challenges. One of these days I’ll share my big one, but it’s not time yet. Just remember that no matter how cheerful people may act, they may be hiding heartbreak.

Continue reading “Taking a Break”

Projects and More Projects

There’s not much to share today, because I’ve been mainly preparing for things.

Last night I spent most of the night at a neighbor’s house participating in the HOA landscaping committee, which I and the other member not on the board were repeatedly reminded has NO power and makes NO decisions. I’m pretty sure the other woman and I were put on the committee to placate us after running for the board and losing or something.

This is the view of Cat Creek from the landscaping committee chair’s house.

It’s okay, though, because these folks had great wine and really nice Italian furniture. We actually did come up with a list of plants to humbly suggest that the board adopt as options for landscaping. They need to be drought tolerant and things deer don’t love.

One of the plants the chair of the committee just loved was one I wasn’t familiar with, though I’d heard of it. When I saw this lovely flowering tree at work, I thought it might be that, but no, it’s an orchid tree native to just this area. Very pretty, and it’s leaves are cool.

I like these leaves.

Another Project

Next Saturday is the Master Naturalist chapter’s big event of the year, our Earth Day event. They said they wanted exhibits, so I volunteered to do one on the dangers of balloons and plastic bags to livestock and wild animals.

I’ve ended up doing a lot of research and learning interesting things, so I also developed a presentation on the topic, with a pretty good slideshow, I think. I used it as the basis for my poster display.

I’d say it’s at least up to middle school standards.

Making the display was fun, because I got to use my collage supplies. Yay.

I’d hoped to present my information to a chapter meeting, but though I thought they said they were looking for speakers, when I wrote to volunteer, I was told they’re all full. Oh well. Maybe someone else would enjoy it.

Or maybe I’ll write it up here. That will wait until I have more energy.

Dreary? But Beauty Awaits!

These plants give the neighbor privacy and me a nice view. The variety of shapes and textures makes this one of the loveliest flower beds in the neighborhood, to me.

While I’m working on a longer post, which may be a series of posts, I thought I’d share what struck me as I went out to the car to go to work this morning: you don’t have to go far to be in awe of natural beauty. I just looked across the street and saw the neighbor’s tangle of overgrown plants practically glowing in the gray, rainy light. I love how he has managed to convince the landscapers to keep the greenery so high and full.

Wet and lovely ball moss in bloom.

Then, I literally turned around and saw little jewels. The ball moss in the crepe myrtle was shining and shimmering against the dark bark and dark cedars behind it. It probably would have glistened more if the sun were out, but I was quite charmed by what I did see, so I tried to capture it in pictures.

A perfect rose in my favorite shade of pink, surrounded by unnaturally pink friends.

I guess Anita was up to the same thing inside the house, because she took this photo of how beautifully the roses have opened up in our cheerful post-Christmas flower arrangement. That bouquet has definitely helped cheer up the Bobcat Lair during the dreariness of 2019 so far (I hear it will clear up this afternoon).

Bonus moody photo of the ball moss.

As an aside, I love how the grocery store advertises the fact that there is a straw bow around each of these arrangements. They are “hand tied!” Woo! I’m pretty sure the other arrangements are “hand taped” to hold the plastic on them, too. I guess you take what you can get to differentiate flowers and charge a dollar more.

Katie Zapfel

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