Last week flew by with the distraction of a foggy mind and some sort of sinus unhappiness. Midweek my dad let me know our rescheduled trip to the mountains would need to be rescheduled again due to a doctors appointment he had forgotten. I think i was disappointed, but i decided to keep the day off as i was feeling run down.
One lunch Christine and i went to walk outside in the front woods we've cleared back from the future driveway. A dog came trotting up the driveway, barked at us, and then Christine reported he eventually made it back across the road and headed down the private road  across our driveway. Thursday afternoon i saw the dog trotting up our driveway again: this time, he was much more friendly. We checked the collar and saw he belonged to the only neighbors we've met in person: a couple who live all the way at the end of that private road. We walked the dog C home, the spaniel-looking mutt trotting ahead of us and waiting for us to catch up. It was very pleasant to take a walk down the gravel road: it makes trail blazing a bit higher on my priority list. No one was home, but the dog seemed to stay put. We called and left a message. The next day our neighbor called back: she and i had a delightful chat for about 15 minutes.
Instead of waking for a 5 am trip to the mountains on Friday, i slept in. When we woke, i proposed we go into Pittsboro for breakfast at Virlie's Grill and then take a look at the local antique fair. I already have a standard breakfast: egg biscuit and hashbrowns, my day's indulgence with wheat flour. We have had a list of furniture desires, and we found some solutions at the fair. For me, i've needed something on my side of the bed. Instead of a bedside table, we found a slat front "Governor Winthrop" desk that is more than perfect: additional drawers are convenient for a number of purposes, and the desk top allows plenty of room for my morning tea tray. I doubt we got a bargain (from poking around online), but they are happy solutions. And real furniture!
It took far more of the day than i expected, and the rest was spent in some basic house cleaning. Christine went out in the late afternoon and i did some yard work, changing at 5:30 for a visit from my folks. I showed off the furniture and, most meaningfully, the yard. We went out for dinner and i was home just about the time Christine was back from dinner with her brother-in-law and his daughter.
I woke at 3:30 am on Saturday, thinking about the yard. Happy thoughts: where to plant what, what to tackle next. But i couldn't manage to quiet the thoughts to go back to sleep, so i got up and did some tidying and unpacking, and some reading. The moonlight is wonderful.
Eventually Christine woke, and we had a pleasant breakfast before i prepared for a day of yard work and she prepared for a friend/client meeting. I worked on the path around the porch and deck, transplanting violets, Heuchera americana (Alumroot), and some other attractive ground-covering plant. I am guessing the alumroot is wild, but given the proximity to the house, it might have been an intentional planting.
The other plant is primarily at the south west corner of the screened in porch. It is reminiscent of Ajuga reptans (bugle weed, carpet bugle), but the veining and coloration isn't quite right. Ajuga has deep veins in shiny leaves, in an opposite pattern. Many varieties have darker venation. This plant has softer leaves, shallower veins, a more deltoid shape (still with little lobes further down the petiole). Most distinctively the veins are palmate and strikingly pale.
They were transplanted to a "shady" garden outside our bedroom window. I hope it will be shady next summer, but i have cut back a number of saplings and cleared out the honeysuckle and Japanese knotweed. I've only left a small redbud in the area i consider the flowerbed, and a dogwood does reach over the area a bit. It may be much more sunny though, than it has been. There are three moss covered rocks that act as focal points as well as the huge stump from a tulip poplar tree. (The rest of the tree still needs to be removed -- the previous owners cut down trees and left the logs and branches in the woods.) I planted the 15 yellow daffodil bulbs in this area too, did what i could to encourage moss growth, and hope that it becomes a verdant little area.
After all day outside, i cleaned up and dressed up. Christine and i were guests of a "table captain" at the Equality NC Gala. Conversation was impossible, but that was a plus for me as i was feeling shy. The program was very good - lots of NC House Bill 2 politics and politicians. Lovely to see such a large community of LGBTQ supporting NC politicians! The past mayor of Houston spoke and it was fairly inspiring. The program ran long though, so that was exhausting. I drank a bit more than i usually do, mainly as an analgesic. Oh, did i ache from the yard work. People watching was fun, although pretty sedate.
Sunday i couldn't bring myself to go to Meeting. We had a fairly quiet day, the highlight of which was going to the nearby mill town of Bynum to a native plant seed swap. I had nothing to swap, but the organizer was happy to send me home with seeds, and i was thrilled to get seeds of plants i've wanted for a while. (Pawpaw! Waxmyrtle! Buttonbush!) I'm trying to figure out how i am going to start the seeds. I am clear that i am NOT going to put the seeds straight in the ground: it's all too wild. I have some vermiculite and now i'm trying to decide if i just want to start a wide and shallow plastic container with them all in the flat or if i want to make little paper pots. I'm leaning away from the pots because of the long time to germination: i can transplant the sprouts to pots in the spring, i think.
Yesterday i managed to finally get soil samples together. I have to get them to the state soon: In November there's a charge.
There was shooting in the large woodlot next door yesterday. I worry it's going to be hard on Christine hearing hunting going on: deer and turkey season start in a month. She's sensitive to sounds like that, sounds she has no control over. Being well isolated has reduced her stress compared to living in a dense suburban situation in California: i hate to think how she's going to be affected by the shooting.
Looks like lovely weather through the week.
 AKA Neighborhood public road. I think it means that the state doesn't maintain it. http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_136/Article_4.pdf