This Old House, Glaser Edition

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Newly Discovered Carriage BlockCarriage Block from Another Yard in Town
Steve, Tammy, and her father spent Saturday morning in the yard. Steve and Tammy's dad refined the edging and spent time killing the grass in the sidewalk cracks with Roundup and weed whacked a good portion of the yard. While edging the front yard, two interesting discoveries emerged. First, Steve and Tammy's dad uncovered bricks lining both sides of the front walkway and noticed brick underneath the sidewalk. At some point in the house's history, someone poured a thin layer of concrete over a brick walkway. Second, while edging, Steve and Tammy's dad found a "stone" lodged in the ground and began digging. Before long, they discovered what we suspect is the foundation to an old carriage block. Several homeowners in the area have preserved their carriage blocks, which helped passengers climb into horse-drawn carriages. As the house was built around 1908, the builders would have included that "modern" convenience.

The Enemy: Damn-boo RhizomeModern Trench WarfareTammy worked in the backyard on the damn-boo. She nearly finished emptying the root cellar, and the only thing left is to shovel out the remains of a plastic swimming pool. She is 99.9999% sure we have the invasive kind of bamboo that launches rhizomes, or runners, underground and will eventually take over a yard. Some enterprenuers actually make organic jewelry out of that stuff! While following rhizomes from here to eternity, Tammy wondered if the stuff was trying to dig a hole back to China. We have two weapons of damn-boo destruction: grunt work (pulling up all the rhizomes as far as they go) and chemical warfare (pouring a concentrated cocktail of Roundup down the throat of a cut stem). Both sound good to us!

Tammy's Little FriendWhile Tammy rested on the steps of the cookhouse, taking swigs from her Bubba Keg, Charlotte, a yellow garden spider, or Argiope aurantia for all you naturalists, cozied up to her. As these spiders eat the pests that plague us so while working in the yard, Tammy didn't mind the company. Had it been a snake, even a garden snake, she would have outpaced the bamboo in a race to China. Stay-tuned for any messages in the web, which had a zigzag (stabilimenta for all you geeks) much like Jacob's ladder.

After they headed home, Tammy's dad won the prize for the best discovery of the entire month. The lady who sold the house to the previous owner stopped to chat with her dad, who was finishing up in the yard. She still visits a neighbor down the street and noticed some changes happening to her old home. She was born and raised in the house, and her parents owned it for many years. She is willing to share with Steve and Tammy old photographs and stories about the house some day in the future. She was relieved to hear we plan to keep the cookhouse. Her family hired a lady named Mary to cook for them when Mary was only fourteen-years old. Mary lived in the cookhouse and cooked in the main house.


  • Good progress! Love the carriage block. Travis wants to plant bamboo but he wants to tell me all about the "good kind" and the "terrible kind." Guess you got the terrible kind, eh? ;-)

    By Blogger Maureen Reed, at 12:52 PM  

  • Yes, we have what is called "running" bamboo. Travis is referring to the "clumping" bamboo. He is right that the "clumping" bamboo is not as obnoxious as the kind we have, which I am positive are "runners."

    By Blogger The Glasers, at 10:35 PM  

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