My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ABC Wednesday: "Joyful"

Judging that examples of Sheridan's street art collection seem Justifiably popular (and are also Judicious blog subjects while life remains a Jumbled Joke of fence staining, landscape planning, unpacking, window treatment shopping, and the unceasing Job of cajoling a Jamboree of contractors), I bring you another, Just in time for J week! This sculpture, titled "Joyful," is an exuberantly Jolly and Jovial piece of art in front of our local YMCA...

Ah, to be a carefree Juvenile again!

Can't you Just feel her Joie de vivre?

by Angela Mia de la Vega
With gratitude to all YMCA Staff
for helping raise the children of Sheridan,
including ours: Chris, Brian* and Julie.
Roger and Fachon Wilson

*Brian was BW's pre-loader at UPS about 10 years ago!

Join me in enJoying more Joyful Jays at...

Since I never seem to have the time nor energy to email these days, here's an update for those of you who may be interested...

Last week our cedar backyard "privacy" fence was completed (well, almost - the gate still needs bracing and a sturdier latch, because dang, does it ever get windy here!), our custom stain color was approved by the HOA Landscaping Committee and we've been staining it almost every day since. I spent two full, LONG days staining it by myself while BW was at work, and BW and I have put in a day and a half together, so now we "only" have the inside back portion plus a couple of sections by the gate remaining but have had to quit while they've been hauling and spreading topsoil since Monday. The Bobcat operator hadn't been at it five minutes when he crunched three of the stained boards, which will now have to be replaced and restained (and that has been typical of this whole project, which is why it feels like it will never be finished!) By the way, I put "privacy" in sarcastic quotes, since the HOA rules dictate that any fence in our little row of six houses be a 5' tall cedar privacy fence, and I figure the person who came up with that rule must have been about 4'1" or a child. Because for most adults, a 5' fence does not privacy provide - but it does keep the dogs in and other critters (mostly) out, so though we'd never have chosen this fence style or material, we had no choice. We'd hoped to be able to apply about half the stain using a sprayer, but for various reasons that didn't work out - so it's all been grueling, tedious brush work. 

The topsoil smells suspiciously (and strongly) like cow manure (this area under development and the source of everyone's topsoil used to be a cattle ranch and feedlot, ack!), so the dogs consider it "edible landscaping" and seem quite thrilled with their back yard so far! ;-) Won't they be surprised when they also get their own 3' rock path around the entire inside perimeter of the fence, a yard of Tall Fescue, and a Fat Albert Blue Spruce and Greenspire Linden tree back there! (There will also be a flower bed beneath the breakfast nook and a Renaissance Bridalwreath Spirea in the backyard, but those will probably not get planted till next spring). Plans also call for a couple of varieties of Mockorange, pink peonies, upright rose bushes, Russian Sage, Spike Speedwell, a multi-stem Amur Maple and a Dwarf Burning Bush on the house's wide south side, and another flowerbed in front of the front porch. (If only the actual plants would show up looking like they do in the photos I shared, but I expect spindly sticks instead!) :-)

The post in the foreground with the measuring tape 
marks the future location of the Linden tree, 
while the one in the distance by the new fence 
will be the Fat Albert's new home.

Of course, all of this, down to the rocks and mulch we've chosen for some areas, is dependent on approval from the above-mentioned Landscape Committee, which we're hoping to receive soon as our landscaper intends to start work next week. (I haven't had to ask for so much permission since I was four!!) But anything will be better than our former "landscaping," when this is what passed for a flower garden...

and poor Josie, who loves to conceal herself behind foliage (the spirea we'll be planting is for her benefit as well as for us to enjoy!), had only this for a tree to hide behind! :-)

In my spare time (snort), I keep unpacking, urged on by our next door neighbor who is desperate for my empty boxes as she's packing up her dad's house that just sold. Since I wasn't as diligent as I should have been in labeling the contents, and used a lot of previously-labeled recycled boxes whose content lists bore no resemblance to this move's contents, I keep unpacking stuff I don't want or need while still trying to find things like my dragonfly plate! Thank goodness for the bonus room, where I can see I'll be spending many a winter's day sorting, organizing and repacking stuff for storage and a spring yard sale.

We're still waiting for: a metal book rack to arrive for our cookbooks so we can free up a much-needed pantry shelf, our return address labels that allegedly shipped from Colorado Springs nearly 2 weeks ago, and 10 window treatment samples so we can get our window coverings show on the road. The corbels are up on the front of the house (and look great!), except for the front porch which will have a different corbel style, and due to a builder oversight we're still waiting for the corbels for the back of the house. We're also still waiting for the capstone for the front porch stone bench, and the grids for our garage door windows (supposed to show up next week, but since we've been told that about twice a month since JUNE, you will forgive our skepticism!) Inside the house, much has been taken care of but there are still several things in need of repair, replacement, adjustment, and/or completion, including the tile backsplash in our kitchen. Our garage is a disaster with no hope of parking a car in it in the near future - it's been the fence-stain mixing and clean up area, plus all the house primer and paint along with the backsplash tile we bought is stored out there along with several large cartons shipped by our kitchen cabinet manufacturer that contain replacement drawer fronts in the wrong style and some 96" long trim pieces that no one ordered or needs. Those are all going back to Home Depot today while I run errands!

Which I need to get ready to go do, along with walking the dogs, doing laundry, marinating tofu - because regular life doesn't stop no matter how persuasively I might beg. 

Those of you who are waiting for email replies and/or reciprocal blog visits, thank you for bearing with me and please keep doing so for a while yet! This new home construction process takes far longer and requires way more patience than I possess, but one day it will be more or less finished - and then the cleaning, yard work and regular maintenance can begin! (Why didn't we just buy a yurt?!)

Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friends and blog readers! :-)


  1. Ye gads !! I'm exhausted.
    In our last city house I got sick to death of choosing colours even down to the mortar. We had a linden too...gorgeous trees which remind me of England.
    Jane x

  2. Such a beautiful smile!

    Juice in Jars
    Your comment always brings me joy, so leave me one when you can, thanks.

    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

  3. Very joyful statue..What an expression from the artist here.

  4. Buying an old house is starting to seem easy compared to building a new one.

  5. I really like your joyful statue. She looks very joyful.

  6. What an incredible statue - the title is perfect it is full of joy.

  7. you have captured a lot of joy
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  8. Full of joy is how childhood should be remembered♫ Nice statue, and wow.. you've been busy!

  9. Thank you mega heaps for the update in frustration. I hope it passes very quickly and allows you to start rebuilding your lives and finding a little Joy for yourselves.

    I may be Jaded, but I wouldn't be a Juvenile again for anyone. Way too much anxt. I would Jeopardise my soul for their flexibility though. Those comments not withstanding, the statue Joyful filled me with Jubilation.

  10. That lovely statue really does exude joy!

  11. This was a two-fer!

    I loved "joyful" and am really glad you photographed her from so many angles. I love how she is joyful from the tips of her toes to the tips of her fingers. This expesses joy that encomapasses every fiber of her body. I love it!

    I love, love love the photo of Jose behind her "tree". I do hope the landscaping moves quickly because that is just so sad (funny too). Funny because it conveys such a strong need that rather than give it up as a lost cause, she found this pathetic substitute as better than nothing when most critters would say it really wasn't any better than nothing!!

    Thanks for all the updates. Some of the details were new and of course I enjoy all your photos.

  12. Josie looks so cool ;-). Hope you get stuff done before the snow flies!! Loved the statue!! xoxo

  13. Love that statue, the expression and sense of movement are great. I do not envy you all that fence painting (and sod's law a cat would get stuck to it if I tried it anyway), but can't wait to see the garden when it's planted up - although the lone sunflower does give it a certain modern art minimalist appeal.

    Tell Josie that's a pretty poor twig concealment she has going on there :O)))

    Good luck with sorting all the stuff out, our garage is still a disaster and we've been living here for three and a half years!

  14. Well, well, well, we just made a major move across the country also and I am still unpacking boxes! I hope you find everything you need. I am surprised that in a state that so values personal independence that Wyoming even has HOA's! I don't like them and their bossy ways one bit! I hope it all works out for you!

  15. Oh, I meant to say that I LOVE that sculpture! I just got lost in the rest of the narrative!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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