by irene bean

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A Solid Foundation



Not Trying to be Corny

This Little Light of Mine

We Were Once Young

Veni, Vedi, Vinca

U Tube Has a New Star

Packing a 3-Iron

Getting Personal

Welcome Again

Well... Come on in

Christmas Shopping

There's no Substitute

Dressed for Success

Cancun Can-Can

Holy Guacamole

Life can be Crazy

The New Dog

Hurricane Reenie

He Delivers

No Spilt Milk

Naked Fingers


Have Ya Heard the One About?

The Great Caper


Barney's P***S

My New Security System

Veni, Vidi, Vinca

I'm an odd duck - not to be confused with quack.

It's just that when I get an idea, or vision if you will, lodged in my head, I unravel an itsy-bitsy-tad-bit if plans go awry. Okay, I have a quiet meltdown, hence the cocktail of three BP meds each day.

Yup. Many of you have probably already guessed that I'm back to the mulch issue. Really. I tried really, really hard to ignore it, be upbeat, let my creative side *blossom*. I tried so hard to be a "brave little toaster" (sorry, I love that movie), but I didn't make it. There are good reasons, which I will try my level best to explain.

I called a landscape/nurseryman. An exceptionally fine gentleman drove up the mountain to meet with me, to assess my yard. His name is Jerry Sons - there is no apostrophe or ampersand - that's his last name.

He gave a manly gasp when he saw the lumpy mulch, which had been ingloriously dumped and unevenly spread around my beautiful home. He repeatedly lifted his cap off his head to wipe nonexistent sweat. It was shock he was trying to rid from his eyes. I was in deep ca-ca, literally. Let me explain.

I picked up a piece of limp plastic and asked, "What's this all about, Jerry?"

"Well, Miss Irene, that would be a piece of baby diaper, and you might want to go inside and wash your hands."

I dropped the offensive plastic while my heart *sank & shrieked*. "And what's that smell, Jerry?"

"Well, Miss Irene, that's chicken droppings and other *stuff* you're smelling."

I dashed indoors to Lysol my hands, pondering a call to Hazmat.

Jerry explained that the firm that delivered the mulch has been cited many times for unloading substandard mulch on unsuspecting homeowners. In fact, the EPA (I think that was the agency Jerry mentioned) has threatened to shut them down. *sigh*

This story has the makings for a shaggy dog tale, but I'll spare you.

Jerry Sons assessed my property at 11 a.m. Monday. By 5 p.m. Tuesday, he and his magnificent crew (including his son, Tim, and foreman, Indian, and eight installers) took Jerry's vision and created a beautiful yard to complement my beautiful home.

My yard went from "Diamond-Brokers-For-Less" to "Tiffany's" in a matter of nine grueling hours. The team was poetry in motion - a wonder to watch. Four or five trucks (I lost count) pulled up and the crew commenced installation, immediately. They've worked for Jerry for about ten years - tells ya a lot about Jerry, doesn't it? I scurried to my kitchen to bake a pan of brownies for them - it's how I am, I like to feed people.

Over 3,000 Vinca Vines (full plants, not little starts) were plugged into the new mulch, which was hauled up the mountain - four truckloads arrived throughout the day. Twenty-five Azalea bushes were strategically placed, decorative grass bushes were installed, plus two Elephant Ear bulbs (a gift from Carol) will pop up somewhere. :)

I'll be eating macaroni and cheese for the rest of my life...

But I love, love, love my new yard. After my trembling hands wrote the check, and the trucks pulled away, I strolled around my property and nearly swooned from pleasure.

The dogwoods, plums and redbuds are in bloom. I haven't experienced Spring for over twenty years. Joy, joy, joy! Some of my favorite trees are the volunteer dogwoods on my property. They are gangly - reaching for sunlight amidst the towering oaks. Unlike my *planned* yard, these rebel dogwoods seem to be there by some divine intervention, and are glorious. BTW, I know Spring is not supposed to be capitalized - I believe it's an honor all our seasons deserve. :)

As I walked up my front steps, I grabbed the empty plate with just a few remaining brownie crumbs. *smiles*


In other news: I overnighted two canvases for a show I've been invited to participate in at the Johnson Museum on Cornell campus. I ain't a fathead – I know I've been invited because of my splendid son, David, and his connections. The exposure will be great.

I also have a log of commissions I need to start working on next week.


Carol and I (with a huge assist from friend Amy) are fine-tuning the open house we are hosting this Saturday. We're expecting about forty-five people. Good thing I like to cook. Doing all my own stuff - again, with a huge assist.

I'm driving down the mountain tomorrow for final purchases for the party. I plan to stop at Sons Nursery, because Tim has gifted me with four beautiful hanging ferns for my front porch.


Easter weekend I fly to Cornell to visit David. I decided to forgo his graduation in order to spend *quality* time with him - just the two of us.


It's Wacky Wednesday! Carol and I have designated it a time each week to go out for a bite. We're doing Mexican tonight. Guess macaroni & cheese starts tomorrow. :)

Reenie here, signing off from the mountain. xoxo

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