Thankful

The weather is going to be in the low 50’s on Thursday, and our daughter came up with a plan to share a meal in an area where we can have good cross ventilation. Let me just say one thing – life is good. πŸ™‚

I was lucky twice this month when I got to spend time with friends.

I had coffee and pastry one morning with a friend, and it was wonderful. Instead of our usual very busy coffee spot, we picked a quiet bakery/catering company with a large cafeteria style seating area. Most of the time, we were the only ones sitting in our area.

Last week, I enjoyed a Boston adventure with another friend. She’s a member of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and we went to see a quilt show, Fabric of a Nation American Quilt Stories. They have timed entry and everyone has to wear a mask.

It was a different type of quilt show than I usually attend in that most of the quilts told stories. There were several quilts like the first one pointing to different uses of fabric throughout the ages, but there were also a lot of others including messages about slavery, gun violence, and current gender and sexual differences.

We were able to have lunch there, and it happened to be a warm 60 degrees so about fifty people were in the outside courtyard enjoying their food and beverage. It was a fun day trip.

I’m also very thankful for the blogging community which has been a special source of friendship during this very challenging times. Take a bow, all of you. ❀️

As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US, I send wishes for each of you to have a nice Thanksgiving with safe travels, good conversation, delicious food, and most importantly a few well deserved hugs.

Thank you, Charles Schulz, for sharing Snoopy, Woodstock and their friends with us.

If traveling to New England, be safe and bring a mask because our Covid numbers are not good. That’s my public service announcement from me to you to keep us all safe and healthy. 😷

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Nature

I love nature and all it includes, well, except for raking leaves and shoveling snow. I suppose those two tasks have more to do with my age and a bad back than anything else.

I know, there are many folks who consider fall their favorite season. Truthfully, I’m more of a spring person, but while outside raking and composting, I content myself with enjoying the beauty of the outdoors.

Our property borders some wetlands and woods. During the summer, I can barely see past the edges, but once the leaves cascade down, it is a whole different world.

I have a path into the area where I put things to compost so this past weekend while dropping off leaves, I took the time to really look around.

Nature is not a place to visit, it is home.
~Gary Snyder

Sending you best wishes for a beautiful fall week as we head into the Thanksgiving Holiday. If you’re hitting the road, safe travels, stay well, and enjoy Mother Nature’s canvas along the way.

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Change

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou. I like that quote.

This Thanksgiving will be the second year without family. When I look back at a long line of Thanksgiving celebrations, it always included family. Many wonderful years, it included a garage cleared out for tables and chairs that was filled with happy, laughing people. It’s that kind of celebration.

Do you remember that song “Just the two us, we can make it if we try, just the two of us”? I keep letting that roll around in my head as we talk about our dinner plans. Turkey breast, dressing, mashed potatoes from our garden, broccoli cheese casserole a family favorite, cranberry sauce just the way my Mother-in-Law made it, and dessert – small portions, just the two of us. πŸ™‚

With three Covid vaccines and one flu shot, we’ve started the lists for heading south this winter. There are always multiple lists when you are going to be gone three months. This year will be the only year one special couple won’t be there. They have other obligations this year. Special friends are hard to find, you miss them when they’re not in their usual spot, and the winter experience will definitely be different.

I’ve been doing social media and website updates for six years now for my Master Gardener group. As of December, I’m handing it off and taking a break from daily checking and posting of Instagram and Facebook and two blog posts a week. It’s been fun, I’ve learned a lot, but it’s always good to mix things up.

Fall is getting ready to transition with multiple nights below freezing. My outside chores are finished. Last week, I planted up three containers with tulips and hyacinths. Although the shed seems to be pretty tight, I put makeshift covers on them to try and deter any winter visitors from snacking.

I also like holiday decorations and usually sneak them in prior to Thanksgiving. I know it’s early, but I can’t help myself. It’s a mental thing – it gives me a boost.

With the time change and the dark evenings, I pulled out some tiny LED fairy lights to put in a couple of carafes so we have a little sparkle.

Here’s hoping your week and your Thanksgiving plans are full of sparkle. ✨ Stay well.

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Lessons learned

The gardening chores are done, and the spring bulbs are planted. I bought a gardening auger from Aubuchon for under $20 that works with my battery drill to assist in bulb planting. I don’t know what took me so long to buy one because I can see it also working great when I put in annuals.

It’s cold and rainy so it’s good that I’m inside with hot coffee and an apple pie baking in the oven that smells amazing. Why apple pie again? Well, apples are in season right now, and that last pie with Macoun apples was darn good. πŸ™‚

If you want a little family apple trivia, here it is. Back before the Kennedys, there were the Rockefellers. When I was a child and staying with my grandparents for school holidays, we would visit my grandmother’s sister and family during apple season. Her husband worked on one of the Rockefeller estates and was actively involved in the apple harvest including picking, storing, and managing. I can still see and smell the barns full of wooden boxes of apples. It’s something you don’t forget. πŸ™‚

While the pie is baking, let’s chat.

We’re now into a year and seven months of this world-wide Covid pandemic. So, what are a couple of things you’ve learned during this period of time?

For me:

  • My husband and I survived a lot of isolation quite well thanks in part to not losing our sense of humor and our local library keeping us supplied with good reading materials.
  • Help isn’t coming so figuring out new apps and pickup options made things a lot easier.
  • The blogging community of bloggers and readers provided a wonderful, positive connection with good people across the world.
  • Acceptance that only about 57% of the US population would choose to receive the Covid vaccine which would allow this pandemic to continue. Reality bites.
  • I’ve spent a lot of time online with social media and have decided it’s time to probably pare that down like I’ve already done with the news because they can both affect my mojo.
  • Wearing a mask really isn’t that big a deal except that my glasses still fog up.
  • When enjoying fresh apple pie, hit the treadmill twice.

The forecast is for continued cold, rain, and wind here which will bring the leaves down but also give the plants a good watering as we head into the colder months. I’m thinking positive.

I’ll be sewing. I finished two small bags and am working on a beach themed throw. Photos next week. πŸ™‚

Have a good one!

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Fall Checklist

I am almost done, almost. A few more hours of cutting back, and gardening season is over. Well, except for all those bulbs that need to be planted and a ‘few’ weeds that need to be dug up. πŸ™‚

Most of the furniture, containers, and garden decorations have been put away, shrubs and plants have been moved, tubers cleaned and stored, some fertilizer applied.

A senior gardener’s mind is never really prepared for gardening season to be over, but the body sure is ready to move inside so the back, knees, and hands can have a break.

Happy Fall!

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Coffee & Color

I like good coffee. I mean I really like good coffee. β˜•οΈ We enjoy Peet’s at home, and our coffee machine can grind beans, and it makes good coffee.

Sometimes we’re out and about and want to grab a quick iced coffee and stop at a local Dunkin. The challenge these days is that it has to close mid afternoon because of lack of staff.

I spent many years in Human Resources doing, well, what HR people do – recruit and retain. That’s a real problem in NH right now because unemployment is under 3% and businesses are having to close early because of lack of staff. Other stores nearby are having to close at 6 p.m. instead of 9 p.m., and almost all of our stores and restaurants are confronted with staffing issues.

Low unemployment rates are challenging, but when it affects being able to grab a coffee, it becomes serious. πŸ™‚

Over the weekend, I picked up some delicious Macoun apples at a local apple farm and some fresh eggs from a farmer friend. As soon as I hit the publish button on this, I’ll be in the kitchen making an apple crumb pie. Nothing smells better than apple pie baking on a cool fall day. I may also need to have another cup of coffee to go with that first slice later on today. πŸ™‚

Once the pie is safely out of the oven, I’ve got some perennials to divide, cut back others, and move some around. Moving around is what we gardeners do best as we strive to get it just right.

I have a half a dozen Knockout Roses in a variety of colors, and they love the cooler fall weather and really put on a show this time of year.

We are enjoying fall color in our immediate area. I know it is more intense north of us, but it’s still looking pretty good down here in the southern part of the state.

Happy mid October! Stay well, enjoy the cool temps, and by all means stop and smell the roses. πŸ™‚

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The Big Return

In New England, what goes out in the spring must be returned in the fall. At least that is the routine if you want to enjoy those blooms again and use those items the following year and not have to repaint or repair them.

Besides furniture, the biggest return this year are tubers. So far, I have three large boxes all dug, cleaned, and stored. I have another box of cannas drying, and then I need to start on the dahlias. They have been providing nutrients for the bees so I’ve been postponing their dig.

There are always gardening debates about cleaning up yard debris in the fall or the spring. It gets pretty heated online. I’m a fall clean-up person for the simple reason that once the snow packs all the plant material down for several months, the cleanup in the spring is way too much for me.

So, I’ve started cutting back perennials by taking down all that are finished for the season. Plants that are still providing pollen, I leave until they are done. With as many beds as I have, it’s definitely not something that can be done in one day or even one week.

One of the volunteer projects I worked on last week involved six high school girls. I don’t normally garden with teens so it was interesting. I learned a lot. They definitely dress differently, are willing to work, ask good questions, cliques are alive and well, and their attention span is minute except when it involves their phone. We’ll be back at it this week to finish up the project. I applaud their efforts to learn about nature and where their food comes from, and the dedication involved in maintaining a public garden.

As I look at last week which involved a lot of hard work, none of it really matters. My perspective changed with a quick call from a friend whose loved one is dealing with a medical emergency. One minute my mind was focused on a long to-do-list, and the next all I could think about was praying for a successful recovery.

Life’s a journey with a lot of ups and downs. I hope your journey goes well this week.

Take care, stay well, and enjoy the moment like we did when we saw this rainbow.

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Fall is here

Have you ever wanted to blog but as you stare at the blinking cursor, you can’t think of something interesting or thought provoking? I’m on week two of that feeling, but here I am anyway. πŸ™‚

I’ve been working on my fall to-do-list including digging up bulbs, cleaning, and packing them away for the winter. I still have the dahlias once they call it quits. Right now, they are keeping all the bees happy.

We added a second cultivator wheel to the garden.

It came with rusted spokes so after cleaning it, I painted it a bright barn red. The center was a nice old fashioned farm green which I left as is, and then we picked up a base in the tree section of the recycling center.

Farm garden art – I like it. πŸ™‚

Wooden supports for the berries have been taken out and new metal supports are being installed. We’re hoping the metal will require less maintenance and last longer.

Containers of annuals are getting cleared out as the flowers expire from putting on a show all summer.

There are a couple of prominent colors right now in the garden – red dahlias and orange marigolds and both are covered in very happy bees.The other color is pink – hydrangeas, chrysanthemums and kale lined with pink, and numerous sedums.

I’m also working on doing fall cleanup at the rest home, and helping clear and replant two plots at a local river walk park. That’s where I’ll be this morning working with another MG, community volunteers, and a local high school horticulture class.

As gardening comes to a close, I’ve actually sat at the sewing machine working on a couple of patterns. Nothing really to show, but with fall and winter heading this way, the thread must come out.

I finished reading the latest Longmire book by Craig Johnson, “Daughter of the Morning Star.” It was a good read along with some staggering stats on the number of Native American women who go missing each year. I also finished “City Problems” by Ed Runyon who is a new author for me. It was a good gritty mystery with a complicated main character. It is a series, so I’ll be looking forward to the second one.

It seems like some bloggers are on their regular schedule while others are posting less or not at all. Activities have certainly been curtailed since early 2020. Are we mentally tired and bored from this pandemic that seems to never end? Hmm.

Have a good week!

Posted in New England | 65 Comments

Dinosaur

“…a person…that is outdated or has become obsolete because of failure to adapt to changing circumstances.”

I really don’t like the idea of being obsolete so I do a lot of googling to try and understand new thinking including a lot of words thrown around that I definitely have to look up.

Having spent years in Human Resources, and being responsible for some of those atrocious emails announcing ‘involuntary resignation to pursue other interests’ I find titles interesting.

They use to be simple – assistant, manager, director, etc. Recently I received emails signed “Chief Experience and Equity Officer” and “Public Engagement Program Manager.” I spent a minute chuckling and then thought – customer service.

I like things that are simple and comfortable including clothes. I had a t-shirt bought on a vacation that I wore periodically to sleep in, but when I pulled it out over the weekend I realized it had to go because it was even too ratty to sleep in, but it got me to thinking how old was it – 29 years. Who has a t-shirt that is 29 years old? What’s your oldest piece of clothing? After I stopped laughing, I thought about why I’d kept it so long, and it was simple. It was 100% cotton, soft, and in a simple square shape that made it comfortable.

No gardening to start the week off because it is raining. I have a long list of fall chores I’m working on, and while I’m working a few folks stop by.

If you’d like some watermelon with your lunch, come quick because this is the last Sugar Baby of the season. Will we plant them next year? Yes. Not only have they been fun to grow and delicious to eat, but the chickens love when I visit with the rind.

Since it’s raining, I think I’ll make some blackberry pie bars with a quart of blackberries fresh from the garden. A person has to keep busy, right? πŸ™‚

Before you go, let me say thanks for stopping by because I look forward to your visit.

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Silent Sunday

Happy Sunday from my garden to yours. 😎 Have a fun, safe Labor Day.
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