April Recap . . . and a Continuation to May!

Spring blooms continue . . . rhododendrons!

If you are surprised that today is the first day of May (May!), join the club! April for us was jam-packed and flew by altogether too fast. Easter, Spring Break, dog sitting, boom, end of the month! Sadly, I am nowhere near done with what I needed to get accomplished in April. I have more things to do and say about my gardening and outdoor efforts. I still have plants sitting in my kitchen sink awaiting their permanent homes. I still have projects to try and tell you about.

I can’t control time, except in the context of this website, so I am going to grant myself a Ruly extension into May! I will continue on with the gardening efforts and we will weave in a few other fun things as well.

If you have noticed my hiccups in posting this month, I apologize. In addition to the special events calendar, I have another excuse . . .

We’re remodeling!

It’s “just” the master bathroom but this being my first ever major remodeling project it is taking a lot of my time and energy to organize all the logistics. Yes, it is an indulgence to get a brand new master bathroom but we’ve earned it, literally! We have been in our house for 9 years now and dutifully saving up to remodel (since our household policy is that remodeling expenses should be paid in cash). If you have been reading my blog since the beginning, you have seen all the ways we have tried to save money, from eating at home, to saving on holiday clothes for our children, to putting in the elbow grease to refinish old patio furniture, and scrub the playroom clean.

So, finally we have arrived at a reward point! Remodeling gets expensive very quickly so we still have to watch expenses and make sure we stay in our budget. We are really looking forward to the results. I am sure the remodeling process will cause further hiccups in my posting schedule in the future but please hang with me.

In April, I did make a little progress in the garden and shared the following posts:

I received some wonderful comments this month on these posts. My native plants status post earned a retweet from the grande dame of DC gardening, editor of Washington Gardener magazine (and one of the most generous Tweeters out there), Kathy Jentz

as well as from Martha of The Soil Toil, who has an amazing DC gardening blog

and Roland Park Native who promotes use of native plants in the Baltimore area and compiles a native plant daily from stories found on Twitter.

My “slate” patio makeover picked up several comments, including a kind comment from Alison Rice of “L is for Latte” (who is currently blogging about her house selling and moving adventures)

and diadia, my devoted reader who hilariously commented:

“Amazing & inspirational–only a chemist w/JD/MBA could detail this accomplishment. Where is the editor of Architectural Digest?”

And the best compliment of all. . . Behr Paint gave me a compliment when I shared the project on Twitter.

Sometimes in the blogging world, it is not about getting the most comments but the right ones. This month’s comments certainly gave me a big boost and I thank everyone for taking time to put your thoughts here.  I do read each and every comment.

On the lighter/personal side, I posted a few tidbits of our life:

The Easter dresses have been fun. I ended up making a third dress from the leftover fabric for my niece and we learned through extensive testing that a) this design is perfect for playing “horse.” and b) this quasi-outdoor fabric holds up tremendously well to a dip in the ocean.

We also took the dresses to the ballet this past weekend, paired with a ballet sweater for the chilly, rainy weather and the girls received many compliments.

The Easter dresses also worked well for a spring ballet with a ballet wrap top and silver sandals.

The ballet itself was an organizing marvel. It was a joint affair between the Richmond Symphony and the Richmond Ballet centered around the theme of the American West. The symphony members wore bandanas, plaid shirts, belt buckles and cowboy hats. They played music synonymous with Western culture and movies, including the William Tell overture. Interspersed with the music were wonderful dance pieces, including Agnes de Mille’s delightful “Rodeo” and a children’s piece involving students from the public school system. It was one of those moments where you just sit and feel lucky to witness such creativity and beauty.

Elsewhere on the web . .

Artist (and Ruly character creator) Angie Jordan, had an event with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra doing live illustration of Babar the elephant! So wish I could have seen this one!

It was Earth Day on Sunday, April 22nd and alas, I didn’t find the time to note the occasion. I did get pitched with several blog stories that sounded interesting and so I am passing them on:

  • Vegucated – A new documentary film called “Vegucated” debuted that profiles 3 people who take up the challenge to eat vegan for 6 weeks. While I am not vegan, it does sound interesting to learn more about what these people end up eating without meat, dairy or any animal products in their diet.
  • Precycling – Organizing expert Barry Dennis just published a new book on decluttering. He pitched organizing as an earth-friendly activity that counts as “precycling.” What is precyling? “That’s when you return precious resources to the earth by not buying the product in the first place.”
  • Irrigation – Consumer expert Andrea Woroch shared 22 tips on how to go green for Earth Day. One of them is particularly important for this month’s gardening theme: “7. Use an irrigation controller to manage watering. 20 to 50 percent of your water use goes toward the landscape, even more in certain areas of the country. Invest in a controller to schedule irrigation to reduce overwatering.” We all need to think carefully about water use when we are putting any plants in our garden. My personal strategy has been to just see what lives given the sunshine and water that we have available but I will have to water some of the newer plants I will be planting.
  • Little Green – Apartment Therapy also compiled several Etsy seller tiny container garden creations that would work in any space. Gardening meets art!

Hope you are also enjoying your garden and the outdoors at this time of year!