Just Life


It was too dark to see much when the landscape crew finally left last night; Marc and I were delighted with what we saw in the yard this morning!
Except for that little bit of “seasonal color” (bright pink vinca) right by the steps and transplanted daylilies on the far left edge, everything else is shrubs: lorapetalum, nandina (gah, I hope we have the sterile variety!) and liriope.

They’re back today with more plants and a first load of stones.

I hope those are deer-resistant hostas ๐Ÿ™‚

Our house is perched on top of a hill and we have serious drainage issues along the sides and in the back. Fixing those issues is one of our goals (and obviously key to eliminating the mud puddle that has become our back yard). This is step one.They’re supposed to get this finished today and (of course) we have rain in the weekend forecast. I’m glad we’ll get to test it out before they do the same thing on the other side!

But before we get to the weekend, how about celebrating Friday!

Thinking about … how little my American history classes actually taught me about American history. I’m deep into (and completely enjoying in spite of the often difficult material) The Soul of America and read about Calvin Coolidge this morning (he became President in 1923, following the death of Warren Harding).

Taciturn and enigmatic, an embodiment of New England rectitude, frugality, and learning, President Coolidge was a more interesting man than either many of his contemporaries or most historians have thought him. (p. 130)

I went back to re-read and highlight that sentence after I read this excerpt from a speech he gave to the American Legion in Omaha, Nebraska in October 1925 (at the time, the nation was caught up in a KKK-revival – another bit of history my classes failed to teach):

If we are to have … that union of spirit which is the foundation of real national genius and national progress, we must all realize that there are true Americans who did not happen to be born in our section of the country, who do not attend our place of religious worship, who are not of our racial stock, or who are not proficient in our language. If we are to create on this continent a free Republic and an enlightened civilization that will be capable of reflecting the true greatness and glory of mankind, it will be necessary to regard these differences as accidental and unessential. We shall have to look beyond the outward manifestations of race and creed. Divine Providence has not bestowed upon any race a monopoly of patriotism and character. (p. 133)

It’s crazy to me that those words make complete sense today … almost 100 years later. Will we ever learn?!

Grateful forten days down and (hopefully only) ten more to go!

Inspired by … all the talented and generousย sewistsย who share their projects on Instagram. This morning’s happy little rabbit hole was the #grainlinehadley tag. I don’t think I saw any of y’all in that feed – have you made the top? Also, do you buy fabric on-line? I need some shopping recommendations!

Fun … I’m getting together with two girlfriends tomorrow – one virtually and one (hopefully) in person. There will be knitting. and talking about knitting. and maybe even some talking about sewing (and actual sewing).

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


  • Honore

    Only on Day 2 and your yard is looking quite grand! I hope too that your new plants are animal resistant and especially that your drainage issue is on the way to a solution…guess you’ll know in a bit!

    Yep, too bad folk don’t know American History…or anything about the origins of people…and that in this day we are sliding so quickly backwards…or maybe this country wasn’t ever really there!

    I know all about rabbit holes…they are addictive. Have fun tomorrow!

  • Kat

    Your yard is looking awesome! And, I know of no “deer-resistant” hostas… sorry. If you have deer… they will eat.

    I hope the stones help solve your water issue.

    And, I have not made a Hadley… maybe I need to?!

    Have an awesome weekend!

  • Bonny

    I hope the “work in the dark of night” landscapers come to my house and work their magic; it looks great! I’m with Kat; when you find out if your hosta are truly deer-resistant, please let me know the genus and species. My deer have never met a hosta they don’t love! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sara

    I learned about every single recession from 1776 to 1945 (why???????) in AP US History (and was able to regurgitate said information on the exam, although of course promptly forget it) but found myself googling “What was Russia up to in WWII” recently. They were one of the four major players!! (Side note: one of the classes I took in high school was Comparative Government, and we studied the governments of Russia and the UK. Seems so much more relevant 7 years later than it did then!)

    Documentaries have been my saving grace, especially for US History. There is a lot that is untold simply because of the White America-centric history books (I’m sure this is an even greater problem in the South).

    Recent recs: 13th (on Netflix, about the 13th Amendment and mass incarceration in America, almost entirely of communities of color); World War II: In Colour (also on Netflix, a truly exhaustive dive into World War II in all arenas, which prompted many a google search) (one day I will get through a Ken Burns documentary) (probably not this year)

  • Kym

    Your yard is looking good, Mary! It’s amazing . . . the kind of transformation some landscaping and a few plants can make! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have made the Hadley top. VERY nice and also very easy to play with . . . to make it your own. I have also bought fabric online. A lot of times, I can’t find quite what I’m looking for (in fiber content or color) locally (even though we do have a very nice, higher end fabric store) and have had good luck online.

  • Carole

    Your landscaping is looking great and I hope those stones do the trick for helping with the drainage issues. That quote is wonderful and you’re right, it’s sad that it’s still so relevant. I had an uncle named Calvin Coolidge Frazer!

  • Margene Smith

    If only we really were capable of learning from our leaders. We seem to have no understanding of what they are saying in the moment or memory of what was said in the past. I ask myself daily how we got to where we are. So sad. Your yard is coming together quickly and I hope they are able to solve the drainage problems you face. Your success with sewing has had me thinking of investigating this “new’ hobby, but I feel it is taking on one.more.thing I just can’t put time into. I am doing a little embroidery instead. Happy Weekend!

  • karen

    the gardens are looking so fantastic! Lovely ๐Ÿ™‚ and may your ten days fly by quickly and you get your ‘get out of free’ jail card from the GP.

  • Vera

    Fantastic quotes from that book Mary. Thanks for sharing. By now you are “under 10” and that’s a wonderful thing. Hope your weekend was great!

  • Patty

    I have learned so much about history as an adult! And yes, that quote…maybe we should tweet it? ๐Ÿ™‚ The sewing…so interested…retirement will be busy! Fingers crossed for that drainage fix!

  • Jean Marie

    The yard looks great! Mine is rather more on the unkempt side, between steep terrain, many oak trees, and a bunch of poison ivy out back on the steep part.

    You mentioned fabric, online…I will note that I mainly sew pants for my younger son (skinny, with long legs), for myself tops and some pants, and do a bit of quilting and sewing of bags. Mostly in cottons, or cotton lycra, and some rayons and linens. I am also a collector of static electricity, and try to avoid synthetic fabrics to avoid the really spectacular static discharges! That said…

    I have (with more care in recent years) used fabric.com at least for denim, cotton twill, and brussels linen. Some knits, if I recognize the name/manufacturer.

    Also on my list are Mood Fabrics, The Fabric Fairy, Nancy’s Notions, and (new to me in the past year or so) Cali Fabrics. An occasional piece from Denver Fabrics/Fashion Fabrics, Vogue Fabrics, plus a few others that haven’t stayed in my brain or sadly are closed.