My mother began these diaries when she and my dad lived in their retirement home, a manufactured double wide on a 10,500 lot in Nisqually Pines near Yelm, Washington. A large clearing in the back of the lot held her vegetable garden. Bruce died in June 1995, as shared in the previous post.
1997 (age 73)
May 5-11: I was busy most every day in yard. 8 hours over 3 days to weed tam area [flower bed that once held juniper tams] and driveway. Cleaned up patio and spread two bags of bark. (I need more.) Worked with Don pricing stuff in [Dad’s] shop.
May 12: Moved boxes and boxes of my pots etc from garage to shed to make room for yard sale stuff. Weeded in patio flower bed.
May 13: Started weeding in lower driveway. Brought the begonia baskets that were nearly blooming out to the porch. Also brought the “window boxes” out. Moved the pots that were through blooming and made room for begonias on RR ties. [Stacked ties formed the edge of the patio.]
May 14: Brought the spring bulbs, dahlias etc from shop to porch, made labels, etc. Should be planted ASAP. Weeded more in lower driveway.
May 15: Started planting spring bulbs. Put 4 o’clocks in UDFB [Upper Driveway Flower Bed] along RR ties; lilies in front of white rhody; giant cannas in PRFG-W [Patio Right Flower Bed West??]. Pulled a lot of sweet woodruff in front to make room for dahlias. Planted crocosmia and something else in PRFB-W in front of giant cannas.
May 16: Don hung 17 baskets on front porch. We finished the rest of the big room—pricing items, etc. He brought me $280.00 from sale of misc books, jewelry, etc etc.
May 17: Basketball—The Sonics lost Game 7 at Houston so now I’ll start rooting for the Jazz with my favorite player Jeff Hornacek.
May 19: Robert’s birthday—Omaha Steaks. Drs appt and errands—dentist office, vets for Tabby’s Advantage, Tim’s for Rx and Gordon’s [Nursery].
May 20: ?-5:30 Dahlias were my #1 job for today but it was raining. It cleared up in early afternoon so I went out and got all the dahlias planted! Then I started pulling the bedraggled forget me nots, the yellow invasive plants and sweet woodruff. I am going to plant some seeds in front to see how they do.
May 21: 10:30-5:00 Don and I worked about 3 hours in the garage going through the NW corner sorting stuff for garage sale. When he left, I worked in front weeding out the sweet woodruff, etc. I think I have about 4 or 5 wheelbarrows to add to the compost pile.
May 22: In garage moved my garden stuff into empty NW corner. Moved boxes of priced stuff over to east wall. Planted the rest of sprouted upright begonias and one more basket. There are about a dozen of Dutch Garden begonias that haven’t sprouted. I’ll write to them about it.
May 23: Don 12:00-3:00. We sorted the rest of the boxes from garage shelves. I found some pink dishes that might match Skyler’s dishes and several pieces of colored glass to put on kitchen shelf over sink. Sorted through flower seeds for ones to direct seed.
May 24: After going to the store, I worked outside. I planted Freesia by the Hydrangea; caladiums in a container. In the front of the tam area [formerly juniper tams, now flowers, by the road], I planted 100+ anemones, Pulmonarias, and the new mums, also the yellow daylilies (Stella D’Oro) from Raintree last year. I came in at 5:00 shaking from exhaustion.
May 26: Don brought his friend Bill (with truck). Don took the treadmill and bike in exchange for his week’s work. He and Bill set up tables in garage.
May 27: For the rest of the week, Don and and I took stuff for sale from the house and shop and arranged them on the tables and shelves in the garage. We sure got a lot of stuff! I took a lot of dishes, etc from the hutch. We ended up with 10 or 12 “free boxes” of stuff not good enough to sell but good enough to offer free to anyone who can use it.
May 30: We are all set up for the Nisqually Pines garage sale and we are both tired. I hope the weather is nice.
May 31: Garage sale today and tomorrow. Horrible day, cool and heavy rain but the people came in droves. We sold a lot of stuff. There are 70 Pines yard sales. People seemed intrigued by our “free” boxes, some taking one or two items and some the whole box.
[Continuing into June for narrative flow:]
June 1: We thought there wouldn’t be many people today but there were quite a few. We knocked prices down quite a bit. All the 3 or 4 cabinets (from old TV sets) sold right away. Still have 3 TVs plus the 2 “sold” to Skyler. It was colder today but less rain.
June 2: Paid Don $120 for his work Saturday and Sunday and all last week. Don traded me a garden cart for the Dremel Hobby Tool Kit.
June 4: I sorted stuff left over from the sale and put in 4 or 5 medium boxes for Skyler to go through to see what she might want. I called the man from Rainier Trading Post and he came over and took all the remaining “free” boxes plus the remaining books and magazines. I put the car back in the garage.
1998 (age 74)
May 1: Store day because I had to go to Tim’s to pick up a prescription. So I went on errands to hardware store, telephone to pay bill, to Gordon’s to get some more fuchsias amd I bought a 6 pack of tomato plants! Also to QFC. I received a back ordered box from Parks and my order from Bluestone Perennials. I did accomplish paying bills and the laundry.
May 2: 9:30-10:00 Finished planting tall dahlias in tam and UDFB. It was cool and cloudy. 12:30-3:00 Watched Sonics win the first round against the Timberwolves. They now must play the Lakers. 3:00 to 6:00 Weeded the tam “ditch” next to the road that was loaded with dandelions. I came in and fed Tabby, took a shower and had a bowl of Frosted Flakes for my dinner.
May 3: I actually did some plant work today. I started checking my violets after watching 3 basketball games. I cut back several plants (now I have about 50 leaves to root). I repotted 3 trays of violets. I even worked after the 11:00 news. I wasn’t sleepy so I potted till 1:00.
May 4: 11:00 to 5:45 Gray skies and cool. All that time spent potting the recent Spring Hill and Bluestone orders. I have 2 or 3 days of work getting dahlias and glads planted so I decided I’d better get the mums and dianthus into pots. It’s a good thing I did. The Spring Hill dianthus were really rootbound. They probably appreciate more room.
May 5: I worked planting the low dahlias in the tam area till 4:00. Too early to go in so I started weeding next to the raspberry row. Tall dandelions loaded with seed so I’ll see them all again. I left a huge pile of weeds to pick up tomorrow. I got another Spring Hill order so I’ll do more potting tomorrow. Then the glads are next to be planted.
May 6: Gray skies cool breeze. Another busy day. I took the white hose in the shop and watered all the tomatoes and begonias [under lights]. It worked pretty good. Also watered in greenhouse and strawberries. I potted the new mums and 10 butterfly plants. I shuffled trays around in shop and put the 2 trays of begonia seeds from house to under lights. I took out three trays of tomato plants to plant into milk jugs but did not get them done—too busy. [She cut the tops of plastic milk jugs and grew tomatoes in them in her greenhouse, with drainage holes, I assume.]
May 7: I planted the 100 “special offer” glad bulbs—all red and white. I planted some in patio bed in background and the rest in tam and pink rhody background. My back hurt by 3:00 so I left the rest of the glads for tomorrow. I got my stool and pulled weeds in the upper driveway along the road till 5:00.
May 8: 11:00-4:15 cool and gray I finished planting the rest of the glad bulbs all over till 2:00. I didn’t want to start anything new so I pulled weeds in the lower driveway until 4:15. Next is to plant 1997 dahlias and “pot” tulips in garden area—then the small bulbs into path and then tomatoes.
May 11: I just goofed around after sleeping late. The weather is cold, which would be good to plant but I didn’t feel like it.
May 12: Still cool and rainy so I started checking my violets. I reduced the width of the plants by removing the outer two rows of leaves.
May 13: DITTO I continued removing violet leaves and soon ran out of glasses to root them in so I tried a new way. I used two trays each with 8 of the 5″ pots each with 9 sections. I filled trays halfway with water and filled each section with my peat moss and vermiculite plant mix and then put 4 or 5 leaves into each section. 2 trays with 8 pots = 16 each pot with 9 sections = 288 each section with 5 (or more) = 720 leaves.
May 14: Errand day—Tims for a birthday card for Robert [her son in law, my spouse at the time], post office, and QFC.
May 15: Still cold and rainy so I worked in kitchen planting seeds.
May 16: Ditto—watched (listened to) two basketball games while I continued planting seeds. I have 10 flats in the Floralight and a couple on bathroom. Marianne Binetti wrote that it’s ok to bring fuchsia and begonia baskets out. So that’s my project for next week. [Mom was a great admirer of Marianne Binetti’s gardening column in the newspaper.]
May 18: Fairly warm—some sun. I moved the 4 petunia baskets (temporarily) and fuchsia baskets up to the front porch. I can hang the ones with rigid hangers—the hook can go over the rod instead of in the “S” hooks. But I can’t hang the baskets with the chains. Then I started potting tomatoes into various milk and bleach jugs. I got 25 done before I had to come in to watch basketball—the Jazz beat LA.
May 19: I decided to plant some of the petunia seeds concentrating on the basket petunias at about two and I got tired of sitting so I went out and started repotting tomatoes and pepper seedlings. Alan came over and was real interested and he planted some tomatoes and sieved the seed in the wheelbarrow. He said he would hang my baskets next week.
May 20: cool-rainy. I had the blahs today. I really didn’t want to go out but I did around 2:00. I potted some tomatoes and needed more room in the greenhouse so I dragged the “window box” begonias out. (Don’t ask me how I managed that.) I replaced the tubs of tulips with the begonia boxes. Then it started raining. I also moved several trays of tomatoes to the greenhouse to be repotted (maybe tomorrow).
May 21: I brought out all the baskets that are growing good. I managed to hang several of the baskets with rigid hangers. I worked again potting tomatoes.
May 22: 12:00-5:00 Worked all that time planting tomatoes. The greenhouse is jammed. I had to stop twice to sift compost and mushroom compost. All the black pots, milk jugs and bleach jugs are full. All the tomatoes are out of the shop finally. I started throwing some away but there are about 10 left of misc varieties that I’ll plant. Next job is to plant tulips in garden and replant begonias in the tubs.
May 23: Cool wet dreary—too lousy weather to go outside so I planted seeds—for several hours. I keep switching trays between heating mats on the card table and Floralight. The Jazz swept the Lakers.
May 25: Holiday. Planted more seeds. Also I put the remaining violet leaves back into jars and glasses. I needed the plant mix. Enough of the leaves had rotted that I was able to get them all into the jars. Some had started to root. I planted 55 packets of petunia seeds many of them 1995 and 1996. The Pacers beat the Bulls.
May 26: Store day—Puget Power, Tim’s for Rx and QFC. I had a baloney sandwich and ice cream for dinner. I planted some seeds in early evening.
May 27: Cool and rainy. I started about 10:30 to plant seeds and quit at 9:00 with time out for dinner. I have about 20 flats 3 deep in Floralight and on card table etc.
May 28: 12:30-5:00 beautiful day I started bringing trays of begonias and seedlings out of the shop and then took trays from the house into the shop. Then I sieved mushroom compost into the garden cart and sieved compost soil (mud) into wheelbarrow. Then I dumped the bulbs and soil from the tubs, etc, and washed them out so I can plant begonias and other flowers in them.
May 29: cool 12:30-4:30 It tried to rain but only a few drops so I stayed out. I planted sweet peas near a rose trellis. Planted some begonias in wooden tubs. These are the ’96 bulbs that I didn’t label so I don’t know if they are upright or cascade. I planted some of the “little” bulbs in bowls. I quit early because I was tired and I wanted to eat before basketball game.
May 30: I planted more seeds in house. I didn’t feel like going outside.