August

Isaias came plowing through New England last week. We were without power for 9 hours but many others were out much longer. It took me several hours to pick up all the downed branches, but I didn’t have to worry about dealing with too much water because we only received about 1/16″ so I’ve been doing more watering than I’d like.

We’ve been enjoying lots of cherry tomatoes, but the big ones are ripening, and they are delicious. I have one regular sized plant that has one tomato on it. It’s kind of funny but also pretty darn strange.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a tomato hornworm that I’d given to the chickens, but this week I found this poor guy. I almost feel sorry for him, but I left him right where he was so nature could take care of him.

Braconid wasps live in and on hornworms if you’re lucky and eventually kill their hosts. If you want more detailed information, check them out here, but I’ll save you non-gardeners from the gory details.

Peaches are in too so I bought some at a local orchard, made some crisp and prepared the rest for the freezer. There is nothing like fresh peaches to make up for the heat and humidity.

My beautiful winter squash had to be pitched because the chipmunks decided to taste test them. Life isn’t simple and neither is gardening.

Before we leave the topic of gardening, if you’re looking to make any design changes, Smithsonian Gardens did a great webinar that is definitely worth checking out – Designing Gardens, Foliage First.

Last Friday, when we had a break in the hot and humid weather, a friend and I went to Prescott Park in Portsmouth which is just one town over. Lovely morning, good conversation, gorgeous landscape, and that early in the day we were pretty much by ourselves. All good things topped off with an exceptional iced coffee at our hometown coffee house. 😎

Besides beautiful plants, trees, and water features Prescott Park has wonderful water views including the World War I Memorial Bridge which has a vertical lift. So, it was pretty interesting to watch the bridge go up for a tiny sail boat and then a huge ship out of Nassau.

Seeing a good friend, fresh veggies and fruits, lovely landscaping, and water views made it a pretty nice week.

How’s your week starting out?

Stay well, stay safe, and stay away from Sturgis. 😷

————

“That’s where we are, trying to balance threat of spreading the plague with our deteriorating mental health. We’re still living, on a smaller, modified scale. The list of things we don’t do is long. As is the list of things we long to do. “

Best words I’ve read lately to put things in perspective from our blogging friend, Joey at Joeyfullystated.

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Thursday Doors

Last Friday, a friend and I visited Coppal House Farm’s Sunflower Festival about 11 miles away.

It was a very warm morning when we parked our cars in the lot, but there was already quite a crowd of various ages anxious to see the sunflowers. Almost everyone had face coverings and social distancing was observed.

On the way to the fields, we passed this garage. The wooden door is what caught my eye first, but then I was drawn in thinking about how they use that door, plus the small second floor windows, and the unique cupola.

What would you do with a garage this size?

Just thinking about it made my pulse quicken – vehicles, lawn equipment, workshop, potting area and garden supplies downstairs, quilting and crafting upstairs. I could be one happy woman with this building.

Does this building have historical significance? Not really, but it is part of a wonderful 78-acre farm that has been in existence since the 1740’s and is currently owned by John and Carol Hutton.

Today, Coppal House Farm offers a farm stand, sunflower festival, farm camp, corn maze, and horse-drawn sleigh rides pulled by their Belgian draft horses. The name ‘Coppal’ actually means horse in Gaelic.

What did we see besides this handsome building and farm animals? We saw sunflowers, lots and lots of sunflowers. Think sunflowers as far as you could see, all the pollinators you can imagine, and humans contorting for the perfect selfie.

I mentioned it was hot.

So, how hot was it? Well, the Belgian horses even needed a fan. Now, that’s hot. 😎

Today, like all Thursdays, these doors are linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors-August 6, 2020. Happy door gazing.

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Social media

As we enter the sixth month of living history here, it’s hard to avoid all the elephants in the room although I do give it my best shot.

I find myself watching less news, avoiding anyone who wants to talk politics, and refusing to get involved in a ‘heavy’ conversation – my mental status can’t take it. πŸ™‚

Do I care about the never ending list of issues affecting our country? Of course. Am I registered to vote? Yes, and I’ve requested an absentee ballot to stay away from the crowds.

My question today is whether or not the current situation has affected your social media usage.

I’m not whatΒ  you’d call a ‘big’ social media user.

Recently, I decided to delete my Twitter account. A couple of clicks and poof I was done with that.

I use Facebook solely to stay in touch with friends or family who use it otherwise I’d delete it in as they say in a New York minute.

Instagram I like. It’s simple and mostly positive. A photo, a short comment, and we’re good.

YouTube to me is where I go when I want to find out how to do something related to DIY, and Podcasts are what I listen to if I can’t read.

According to the net, there are 75+ social media sites we need to be aware of in 2020.

I couldn’t care less. I still prefer interacting with people and want to spend less time online not more.

How about you, more or less time online? What’s your favorite social media site?

Happy first Monday in August, and I’ll be back on Thursday with a door. Who knew I could come up with another door?

This morning it’s off to the computer store for some advice because I have issues. When the battery is dropping so fast you can watch it, and it is running so hot you can’t rest your hands, technical help is needed.

The humidity is already 82% so I’m thinking the rest of the day I’ll be inside. Isolation and wicked hot and humid weather aren’t a good combination, but it is what it is. 😎

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Thursday Doors

This is so exciting – I have doors, and they’re potties. πŸ™‚

Besides handsome wooden shoe forms to differentiate them, they also have gardening forks for ‘m’en and ‘w’omen. How cool is that?

Last Friday, my friend Sue and I visited Bedrock Gardens. This isn’t a botanical garden by any means, but it is a lovely garden that draws visitors from around New Hampshire and New England.

Bedrock Gardens was purchased in 1980 by Jill Nooney and Bob Munger. It was a 37 acre dairy farm that had been abandoned for 40 years. In 1987, Jill and Bob started clearing and making personal garden beds one by one.

Today, the gardens cover about 25 acres and include a 3/4 mile trail, tea house, ponds, sculptures, and many unique plantings and water features.

As you stroll the paths through the gardens, the one overriding thought that keeps reoccurring is that this was a personal garden for many years. It takes special people with unbelievably creative minds and strong backs to envision a personal garden like this.

Today, it has ‘Friends of Bedrock Garden’ as a governing body, is classified as a nonprofit, employs John Forti as Executive Director, and is open it to the public Tuesday through Friday, 10-4, and the 1st and 3rd weekends from June through October.

If living or traveling in the area, it is a wonderful way to spend 1-2 hours of your day immersed in nature at its finest and accented with a large dose of unbelievably creative art pieces.

Covid-19 checklist: Did we travel in separate cars? Yes. Did we wear masks? Yes. Did we distance ourselves from others? Yes. Did we use hand sanitizer? Yes. Did we do our part to keep all of us safe? Yes. Did we have a good time? Yes.   😎

As all Thursday Doors, this posted is linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors-July 30, 2020. Norm is our friend and neighbor to the north who knows all things about doors and those who appreciate them.

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Can’t pick just one

I tried to pick one adjective to describe this Monday but couldn’t do it because it’s just plain over the top hot today for New Hampshire. It’s going to hit an actual 96Β°F with a real feel of 106Β°F.

I’m headed outside early to pick a few raspberries and beans, check the tomatoes, dig some Yukon gold potatoes for dinner, and do some necessary watering. The raspberries are finally closing out the season, and that’s a good thing because I can barely open the freezer without a bag of them falling out. I guess I need to bake more, but it’s too hot. πŸ™‚

The heat may be excessive to us humans, but the flowers are doing just fine. Daylilies, hydrangea, and echinacea are still blooming, dahlias have started, and Queen Anne’s Lace is brightening up the roadsides.

To add to the gardening challenges of summer 2020, there is a black fungus plaguing lawns in this area. A MG friend in a neighboring town told me about how his lawn has been devoured by this so I did a little research because honestly I’d never heard of it before. It seems it’s highly prevalent in Maine as well. Here’s a link if lawn maintenance is of interest to you.

I’ll be back on Thursday because, wait for it – I went on a local gardening adventure with a NH/SC friend! It was over the top fun! We drove separate cars, wore our masks, and stayed away from other groups, but we had a great morning, and I actually caught two doors along with the gardens and the sculptures.

I worked a MG project last week and driving there about a mile from home I almost veered off the road staring at a raised garden. Wow – impressive. If we weren’t in the middle of the pandemic, I’d stop, knock on the door, and ask for permission to take some close up shots because this is pretty unique.

Stay well, stay safe, tell us what you’re up to, and by all means try to stay cool. 😎

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Heat Advisory

It’s been hot for a couple of days with actual temps in the 90’s and real feel over 100. After doing my outside chores and picking raspberries first thing, I may be sticking inside with the A/C, but the flowers, veggies, fruits, and pollinators are happy out there.

What’s blooming? Daylilies, Hydrangeas, Phlox, Echinacea, and Black Eyed Susans are putting on a show, and I’m loving it.

With the beauties along comes some uglies too – it’s part of gardening and nature.

Instead of ‘a’ skunk, it appears I have two which means I probably have a family. They also apparently put out the welcome mat for a nice big groundhog to spend the weekend. 😦

The tomato hornworms have found my tomato plants, and blossom end rot has appeared on some of my squash. I wonder if all the new Covid-19 gardeners realize nothing including gardening is every easy all the time. πŸ™‚

I worked a MG project last week with a friend, and it was a thrill to trim trees, pull weeds, and chat even maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask part of the time.

Looking for something to watch tonight? I’m going to check out a virtual tour of the gardens of three Wisconsin Master Gardeners. Here’s a link, if that is something that might interest you. I’m desperate even with Comcast, Netflix and Prime. πŸ™‚

How’s life treating you? Stay well and stay safe.

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The beat goes on

Another Monday has rolled around, and I’m grateful to be here. Being a senior in this pandemic means one day tends to slip into another when there are no events on the calendar. It’s still strange looking at a blank calendar.

The daylilies are blooming, the tomatoes are starting to bear fruit, we’ve been enjoying cucumbers, and our raspberries are over producing this year. It’s a good think I bought a vacuum food sealer.

I’m painting furniture this week. Why? Well, I’m running out of projects, and it was down there on the list which I’m about to exhaust. πŸ™‚ You can visualize me in the garage, fan running to keep from expiring, with paint splattered clothes, two rolls of blue tape, multiple brushes, and five chairs and a quilt rack at various stages of being painted.

In March, the talking heads attempted to scare us with predictions of a resurgence of the virus in the fall. As they set up auditoriums, put up tents, brought in ships, things got bad, many loved ones were lost, and then the numbers started to even out a little. Could we have predicted we would see a drastic increase in pain and suffering as soon as the summer season started – yes, most of us could have. Sad to say we were right.

So, Marty at Snakes in the Grass, don’t put the coffee on quite yet, because I’m not planning to head to Florida anytime soon. πŸ™‚

On Saturday, we grabbed some take out and headed to a small local park to eat our lunch and watch the traffic on the water – exciting times. We pulled into a spot, and there was another senior couple sitting in their lawn chairs about 20-25′ away enjoying the view. She jumped out of her chair, turned to face us, and stared us down like she was daring us to walk into her space. As we rolled down the windows, I suppressed the laughter and an urge to say, ‘lady, calm down, we aren’t even getting out of our car.’ These are strange times we are living through right now because I still can’t get over the fact that someone would be afraid of us.

Then to top the week off, the AARP magazine arrived, and the cover shook me.

If that was Hawkeye Pierce smiling at me from the cover, that old woman looking at me from the mirror must really be me. Damn.

Stay well, stay safe, stay boring, but by all means share if you did something fun because I for one haven’t had an adventure in quite a while so I’d love to hear about yours. πŸ™‚

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Blinking cursor

If you blog, the blinking cursor is a reminder that trying to come up with something to write about during this pandemic is a real challenge. It’s a taunt. Hey, lady, can you come up with some words so I stop blinking. πŸ™‚

The most important thing that happened last week was that we got rain on several days, and we sure needed and appreciated every drop.

I did finish my pinwheel wall hanging for the porch. I saw some pinwheel blocks on Pinterest and decide to give it a try. It reminds me of my youth and simpler times.

I gardened, sewed, read two Joseph Finder books, but I found myself touching up trim paint for something to do. Yeah, I’ve gone through the usual list of things to do and am really reaching.

One thing we’re doing every day is picking raspberries.Β  We’re getting one to two pints per day. Good eating and freezing.

The hydrangea, hosta, day lilies, and even the Yukon Gold potatoes are all starting to bloom, and the pollinators appreciate that.

Any gardener who works with perennials knows that at certain times you have too many plants. When I have extra plants, I take them to the edge of the property and plant them.

They’re on their own out there, but in most cases they survive. When I was dumping some weeds I noticed this native day lily peeking up through a pine tree. I had to stop and admire its tenacity. You go girl!

Of course, traipsing around in the pucker brush trimming nasty thorny locust trees, dumping weeds, and pulling Virginia Creeper and Oriental Bittersweet does have its issues because now I’m dealing with some poison ivy on my leg. Oh well, a hazard of gardening.

This week is starting off with a trip this morning to the library to pick up a book. A real trip where I walk in one door, mask on, pick up my book, and exit through another door. Who knew a trip to the library could be such an event. After that, I do have to visit a big box store to replenish some supplies, and that I’m not looking forward to because a lot of folks will not be wearing masks.

So, off we go into the second week of July. You won’t find me at a bar, restaurant, movie theatre, or political rally, but I am working on getting a hair cut and a battery put in a computer. You will find me hanging around home still looking forward to the day I can hug my grandkids even if they are young adults and don’t need that hug near as much as I do. πŸ™‚

Stay well out there. ❀️

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Captivating

I wish. πŸ™‚

I not only would like a snappy title but wish I could start this post with recounting some really exciting or at least fun event from last week – nope. Everything is open here and the tourists have arrived, so we’re still hanging close to home except for those errands that have to be done because online isn’t an option.

Boring equals safe right now. πŸ™‚

Gardening in the morning, working on my windmill wall hanging in the afternoon which I should finish this week, reading a mystery and blogs in between.

The most exciting thing that has happened in the past week is that we received a little rain overnight and there’s hope for more. I’ll smile at every drop we get.

Some flowers are blooming. The lillies are beautiful, and I picked them up at Home Depot last summer for $1 a bag on a clearance rack.

The veggies are growing.

The berries, especially the raspberries, are turning red.

And, let’s not forget the insects even if the photos are less than acceptable. I cut the branches with the galls off the blueberry plant, the soldier beetle isn’t doing much damage, but that milkweed beetle can wipe out some of my butterfly plants. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen any so far this year, and there are definitely less bumble bees.

This fall, after gardening season comes to an end, it sure would make for a lively conversation to get together with some of the new 2020 gardeners and listen to their experiences with starting seeds, insects, watering, weeding, actual crop harvest versus expectation, and storage.

Hope you are all well and safe and keeping busy as we close out June and head into July. Who knew being boring was going to be a plus this year. 😎

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Having a heat wave

High temps, humidity and no rain since, well, I can’t remember. It’s hot and dry here with watering restrictions starting to pop up in various areas.

The Asiatic Lilies are starting to bloom. Pretty aren’t they?

Gardening in this heat centers around keeping vegetables and containers watered and obvious weeds pulled because working for more than a couple of hours starts to feel like being part of a paving crew.

I normally don’t plug particular plants, but I want to mention one that I really enjoy because of the purple colored leaves that provide a small pop mixed amongst the green.

It’s the Penstemon Blackbeard. It has good manners, dark purple leaves with lovely tall small purple flowers. Check out the link if you want, and you’ll get a better photo and description. I bought three locally last year and have already successfully divided them.

Here’s a shot of the small flag wall hanging that I finished and hangs over our desk.

Right now I’m working on blocks that look like a child’s pinwheel for a porch wallhanging.

I also finished John Sandford’s, ‘Masked Prey,’ which was a good Lucas Davenport read. I can hope he’s working on a new Virgil Flowers adventure.

Now to the game camera which for $44 including batteries and SD card works quite well. It caught the culprit digging, but it sure was a shot I was hoping not to see.

A skunk is not a creature I really want to tackle. I’ve sent emails to a couple of local wildlife places and have been doing some research online to see if I can move him along. Dealing with a skunk is not as simple as that groundhog last year because of the spray. Phew. 🦨

This week, I need to get creative with some rebar, pvc pipes, and netting for my blueberries because I have some set on and am not willing to share with my many four legged and feathered friends.

Hope you are all well and enjoying warm weather if not all the outings you had planned. Our library building opens up today with a variety of restrictions or you can continue to pick up holds curbside and a lot of other companies are opening up at 50% occupancy.

We’re not hurrying out to join crowds of people, but we sure are heading to recycling each week with a lot more cardboard than usual.

Take care, stay well, and I hope you are enjoying good weather so you can be outside. 😎

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