Monday, June 28, 2010

" A Little Hope, Faith and a Lot of Perseverance ! "

Well as you may or may not know, I have been working on a toad house for a toad that I had found in my yard a few weeks back.

Sadly I haven't seen "Mr. Toad" since right after I started this project.

I found the directions for the project online and since I had already started it, I decided that I would go ahead with it despite the absence of "Mr. Toad". I really liked the way that this finished product looked online, very natural, and thought that I would just forge ahead since I already had the supplies. 

It was a fairly simple project yet time consuming , sort of like a jig saw puzzle. An 8 inch clay pot, small rocks and glue was really all that was needed. I had to break part of the pot that was to be buried as to allow a toad to burrow. After that I wet sanded the sharp edges with a sanding block. After all we wouldn't want a little fellow or gal to get cut while burrowing!

You can only glue a few inches of rock at a time, so I would just sit and work on it here and there.

At first I was using a bit too much glue as I discovered that it didn't dry clear. After that though I got the hang of it rather quickly. It was fun to do. Quite relaxing really!

The following photo is what the area looked like before I started construction on " The Toad Hop Inn " project. 

This is the area where I kept seeing "Mr. Toad" a few weeks earlier. If you haven't read my posting about the toad earlier, I will tell you that I was so excited to see him. I love toads, frogs and lizards. This was the first toad that we had ever seen in our yard in the eleven years we have been living here. This was truly one of those times that I felt like a little girl again. That RARELY happens to me anymore. So when I no longer saw him, I was awfully, awfully disappointed.

But I didn't give up on the project. If nothing else it would just add a little more interest to the yard.

So yesterday, Sunday, I started to break ground. I must admit that I felt somewhat like a developer on a much smaller scale! Once I broke ground I was very careful as I dug. I couldn't help feeling that glimmer of hope of seeing "Mr. Toad" again although I was quite sure that he was gone.

When digging a hole for this toad house, you must loosen the dirt quite a bit. If a toad were to live inside, he would also need to burrow deep to escape enemies. Luckily for me the dirt was fairly loose and I also noticed a hole where I was digging, about the size of a toad. 

Once the hole was dug , gently of coarse, I put the toad house in place. As I was getting ready to fill the toad house half full with dirt, something caught my eye. Just to the left of me I spied a sweet and happy surprise!

Oh he was very hard to see. And I was so grateful that I was being very careful where I was placing the loose dirt! 

Now I know that this may sound silly to most of you but I must tell you that at that moment, I felt pure joy! Something else I don't feel much anymore.

So now I am even more into my construction project, being careful to try to make a toad friendly environment . I had read a few things online that helped me with deciding what was needed for the area.

Clay planter dishes filled with water and if possible a light that attracts bugs at night. Plenty of leafy shade plants for the toad to hide under. And absolutely no pesticides of any kind ! Here is the final result of my project.

The toad house itself is a bit hard to see. But that is the point after all!

So I guess perseverance can pay off. My little friend "Mr. Toad" is still around, at least for now. I will also tell you that being in my yard so much lately has really made me feel closer to my mom, I know that she would have enjoyed this project so much! 

Now we can all sleep well tonight knowing that there is one little toad that has some awesome digs ! No pun intended. 

Nighty night all!


Lynilu said...

What a great project! I love the little house, and I'm really glad you found Mr. Toad! Happy, happy!

Diana said...

Thanks Lyn, It was fun to do and it kept me busy during the "down" times!
Love Di ♥

Lois Evensen said...

That is all so darling! I am sure Mr. Toad will move into his new "digs" and be very, very happy! It is so great that he is still around after you thought he had left. :) Thank you for sharing this terrific project.

Diana said...

Well Lois, it just makes me feel good knowing that all the work didn't go to waste. I am hoping "Mr. Toad" will move in! Or should I say HOPPING! LOL!
Love Di ♥

Bernie said...

I am going to make up a story about you, the toad and the toad house and tell Olivia, she loves it when I tell her stories....good job my friend.....:-) Hugs

Teresa said...

Hi Di,
It is kind of like 'Build it and they will come'!!!! So glad your toad showed up and so glad that it filled you with joy! Perhaps I need a project to keep me on busy. The Toad House is really cool, and I had never heard of one before. Have fun...and I hope Mr. Toad is a Wise O'l Toad and moves in soon. Do you have a name for the toad?((((HUGS)))) TT

Lena said...

Oh Di!!! I love this project!!! And I'm so happy your Mr. Toad is still around!!!

Warmest hugs!!

Diana said...

You know Bernie, I never thought of it that way. It does make a good story doesn't it? I was just telling what happened. But it could very well be a tale! Love Di ♥

Diana said...

Hi Teresa,
I have just been calling him Mr. Toad.
It has been a good project. Honestly I don't know what would happen with me if I didn't have something to do. I can always find something, I don't like being idle. Love Di ♥

Diana said...

Hi Lena,
I wondered what had happened to you. I figured that you have been very busy. Thank you for your kind comment. I am very happy to see Mr. Toad again! Love Di ♥

Rae said...

Very creative. I think I need to try making one of them. Our backyard is home to 6 or more toads. Every summer we encounter them. Yesterday one of them made their way into our garage. I had to catch him and deliver him safely back to another spot before the he got trapped behind the door. Luckily he didn't put up much of a fight trying to elude me.

Wanda said...

I feel like I have read a Fairy Tale, Diana. Your Toad House is beautiful and you have attached so much love and meaningful thought to it, glad it reminds you of your mother and happy he returned. I love the setting and all you provided for Mr. Toad.

It puts my Toad Houses to shame! :)


Rinkly Rimes said...

I'm sure your little toad is very sweet and appealing but here in Oz we have Cane Toads, which are huge, ugly and poisonous, and no-one cares about their domestic arrangements!

Eileen said...

Good job, Di! This is adorable! And you picked the perfect spot for him, right near where he feels at home and I love the backdrop with the painted shovel, and making sure the big leaf provides him some camouflage. And the 'Toad Hop Inn' sign! Perfect!
Very cute, Di. Enjoy!
Love to you, E

Anvilcloud said...

Your project makes me smile in a good way. Who painted the shovel? I have never seen that done before.

Maria said...

O My!
Diana... I just L*O*V*E this project

you are sooo CUTE ! ! !

What a super idea... and what a tender heart you have ♥

I'm sure he appreciates it ... and will definitely stick around to enjoy his new digs!

~Hope you're having a sweet week~

Maria said...

Hi Diana!
oh ... the Barbie and Midge pictured in my post weren't my originals... Mine disappeared somewhere along my childhood timeline!

The Barbie I had (as a child) was the American Girl Barbie with the page-boy hair -1965-... I just LOVED her... but now she is soooo expensive. {In great shape that Barbie is in the hundreds}
I also had a Skipper doll that probably had the same fate as my Barbie and Midge!

I got really nostalgic a few years back and shopped on ebay for the memory of it all ♥

I found Midge on ebay. She is missing her pinky so I got her for around $10. The brunette I bought has the same face as my original, just not the same hair. She is in great shape and I think I paid around $35. I love ebay!

{Just a lil' something about my love for dolls ♥}

Diana said...

Hi Rae,
The project was fun but it does take awhile. You have to let some of the stones set before adding more or they fall off! Sounds like you could use one! Love Di ♥

Connie said...

Love the toad house and the story of "your toad" enjoyed reading a few of your posts. nice blog

Barb said...

Oh Di! I hate to say I told you so, but... I was so glad to see his little toad face peeking out of the burrow! Your Inn is delightful - I can't help closing with "We'll be letting the light on for you..."

Terrie said...

I absolutely love this idea. Unfortunately, there are no toads wehre I live but still, I think it would be so fun to copy your idea and put one in my newly planted garden and how clever is that painted shovel? That's amazing. Did you paint that yourself? I don't have the talent to paint but I sure love it. I think I will just have to find someone to paint one for me!

Tranquility Speaks said...

Oh my Gosh! That is so very sweet, cute and caring of you! I really love your Toad Hop Inn! SO SO love all the efforts you took into building this. That toad in your yard is blessed and he/she will soon bless you with many of his or her own now that she/ he has such a wonderful retreat :)

Graceful Moments said...

I am so thankful that Mr.Toad surprised you and filled your heart with such joy! It does seem the little things, later in life, that give us the greatest joy. Love, Vicki