Nostalgia

It’s that time of year when we think of loved ones and celebrations, and the memories and smiles just bubble up.

Holiday decorating with our daughter and then our grandchildren sleeping over on Thanksgiving so we could decorate the next day – every single one is a warm memory. There is also that favorite relative you loved catching up with, delicious food items that certain people always made, or just the feeling that the holidays bring.

Our holiday dinner wouldn’t be complete without cranberry jello. I know, I know – jello? Well, this was my mother-in-law’s recipe which included fresh cranberries and apple. I make it every year, and we smile with every delicious spoonful.

Remember that old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words? I grouped some special items together this morning for a photo that holds many tales. A wall hanging I like, old glass bulbs from family trees long ago, Snoopy and Woodstock that my grandkids loved to hear play music, a small tree in a new basket made by my daughter, two angel ornaments both from dearly loved friends, and a Santa that I made in a class with my daughter when she was younger. One grouping that evokes so many wonderful memories.

What comes to mind for you when someone says nostalgia this time of year?

Best wishes to you and yours whether it is a gathering of one or twenty one and whether you’re eating turkey and dressing or take out. πŸ™‚


P.S. For cold hearty gardeners, if you have heard about or are interested in learning about winter sowing of seeds, there is a webinar coming up on December 1. Here is the link.

If looking for hand-made baskets or other unique items for the home this holiday, my daughter’s online shop is at 1840 Farm. She and my granddaughter create lovely one-of-a-kind items to be treasured for years to come.

Any time of the year, if you are looking for the very best long-armed quilter I’ve ever known, head over to Seashell Quilting Longarm Studio. You will not only walk away with a lovely finished product, but you will thoroughly enjoy the experience.

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November

This past weekend, we changed our clocks back one hour.

If you want to read a well written post about the topic, drop over to my friend Jon’s, Antilandscaper blog about Time Zone Funk.

I love that post, but I’d prefer they not change the time twice a year.

Tomorrow we vote, and the ads stop, the mail goes back to nothing but bills, the TV starts selling us Christmas stuff, and the texts and phone calls stop.

Thank goodness, it seems like we’ve been on the political band wagon for way too long.

Janis, at Retirementally Challenged, wrote a historical post on how we earned the right to vote. It is a good refresher on how hard our ancestors worked to earn this right for all of us.

Friday is Veterans Day here in the United States, I send a sincere thank you to every person who has served and for all of their families who supported them during their service.

Freedom is not free, and Veterans Day is a good time to reflect on that.

Our temperatures have been running in the 70’s which is beyond strange for November in New England. Killington Ski Resort in Vermont, about two hours west, is hosting an alpine World Cup in 20 days. They’re hoping for cooler temps so they can fire up more than 100 snow guns to get the slopes ready. Fingers crossed for them.

I’ve been taking advantage of this warmer weather and finishing up a couple more garden projects and, of course, raking a few leaves. Our property backs up to some wetlands. During the summer months, I can barely see in there because of the large trees. Now, that the leaves have fallen off the big trees, the understory is interesting to observe.

There is an interesting photo Zoom class, Snap it and App it, sponsored by University of Delaware MGs. You don’t need to be a MG to sign up for it. It looks like a good learning opportunity so I signed up.

Happy November!

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Fall Color

New England winter is white or brown, spring is green, summer is a colorful array, and fall, well, fall is gold, orange, and red. It’s a beautiful thing.

We received 3 1/2″ of rain last week in about a 36 hour period. A lot of those leaves are now on the ground awaiting cleanup. The topic of cleaning up leaves in the fall has become as divisive as politics. There will be no preaching here except to say we clean the leaves off the lawn areas but leave them on the gardens.

The canna and dahlia bulbs have been dug, cleaned, and stored for the winter. The daffodil bulbs are being planted this morning along with the final deadheading of the sedums. Deadheading in the fall is another topic that can get a lot of press. I’m not a fan of beds of mushy plant material that has to be raked out in the spring after sitting under feet of snow, but everyone to their own gardening choices.

Who knew gardening could be such a hot topic on social media with folks taking sides and getting quite vocal about choices. Gardening is a hobby and as such I think everyone should just do it their way.

I read a lot, and I’m grateful for my local library. Recently, I had several holds become available, and I was in reading heaven.

Here’s hoping you have a great week whether you are reading a good book, working in your garden, or enjoying another hobby.

I’ll be either outside or at the sewing machine – both good places for me. πŸ™‚

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Fall

The calendar tells us fall has arrived. I could have told everyone that by the 42Β°F reading when I make coffee in the morning or the chili that was in the crockpot yesterday. πŸ™‚

We received 3″ of rain last week, and it was certainly appreciated. We’re still in drought status, but every drop helps.

I’ve been working outside every morning. Fall chores are not like spring ones when you’re anticipating the new summer season. These chores are cleanup and put away because the snow is going to fly.

It’s also been pretty much a sprint to finish them because we have a new septic system and field going in. If you haven’t done that, it is quite an experience.

There is always a star during certain times, and in the fall the Autumn Joy Sedum shines brightly.

I still have dahlias and zinnias blooming in one tank, but most everything else is done for the season. I have packed away most of the canna bulbs and moved everything that needed a new home.

I went on a field trip this past weekend. One of the more interesting aspects was winter sowing of seeds. If you have any interest in that, let me know, and I’ll pass along what I learned.

This morning, I’m headed out to do fall clean up at a small MG project. It will be my last visit because I’m handing that project off. There comes a time when you’ve been there, done that, and it’s time for something new.

I do a little sewing each afternoon, and I just finished this wall hanging for my sister-in-law’s birthday.

Now, on to a new project.

I’m always reading and Craig Johnson’s latest Longmire book, “Hell and Back,” was a huge disappointment to the point I didn’t finish it. I guess if you don’t mind some of the characters being in 2022 and others being in the 1800’s and them trying to find each other, you might like it.

Faye Kellerman’s most recent book, “The Hunt,” should have had two ratings. ‘G’ for the Decker portion and ‘X’ for the the Donatti section. I’m pretty open minded, but portions of this was downright degrading.

These are just my humble opinions because Goodreads is giving “Hell and Back” a 4.09 and “The Hunt” a 3.87 rating.

Hope you are having good fall weather, feeling well, have a good book and project, and have a great week!

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Nature

I haven’t participated in a photo challenge in a long time, but how could I pass up Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge when the topic is ‘Nature.’ Thanks, Dan, for the reminder.

A lot of people are perfectly happy being indoors with clean fingernails. I’m probably at my best prowling around outside checking out plants and pollinators.

My interest in gardening goes back to my grandparents’ farm where he was responsible for a huge garden which fed them all year, and she took care of the flowers and processed the garden harvest.

In between, there were many years I wouldn’t have been considered a gardener at all because of the heat, wind and humidity of the Midwest where we lived plus working full time. After we moved to NH, I decided to take the Master Gardener course, picked up a shovel, and have had unpolished nails ever since.

People spend a lot of money on counseling for various issues, but I must admit being out in nature, hearing the birds and the crickets and watching plants grow is balm for my soul. Many people get that same feeling taking a walk, riding a bike, boating or skiing down a mountain.

The common theme is ‘outside.’ I love being outside in nature.

Going South for the winter means different things to retirees, but to me it means I can be outside with family and friends during the cold months of the Northeast. It’s a good thing.

This morning I’m headed out to check another item off my fall to-do-list – moving some plants. This sounds like a bad joke, but it was so hot and dry here this summer that daylilies didn’t bloom as well as usual and their leaves turned brown. Those of you who garden know that daylilies are tough, but even they felt the effects of this past summer. I’m replacing them with Autumn Joy Sedum that will handle drought conditions better and are lovely this time of year.

Happy Monday, and if you’re outside be sure to check out Mother Nature’s early fall displays. No one does it better.

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Golden Years

2020 and 2021 paved a new way for those ‘Golden Years’ to be interpreted, and I think I can safely say they were challenging. 2022 was supposed to be much better, but since life is a journey we are still dealing with some of the same issues plus a few new ones thrown in.

This year also dealt us, like many others, a medical challenge. One thing we learned – don’t stop looking for a solution after the first doctor tells you to basically go home because you are in your senior years and have other medical issues.

I worked in Human Resources for many years and lived with the term ‘age discrimination’ bantered about, responded to and documented numerous complaints, and sat in several court rooms as the company representative. I’m sorry to say, ‘I usually know it when I see it.’

As we age, there is a certain amount of age discrimination encountered in our daily living and that can include a few in the medical community. Do not accept it and make your concerns known to the appropriate people with documented facts. Then move on because with a little research you can find other cutting edge people in the field who will provide options.

None of us are living forever, but we do want the best quality of life that we can enjoy. With that thought always foremost in your mind, talk to family, friends, and check reviews for doctors who may be able to assist you in reaching that goal.

Since we are talking about the medical community, there is also another part of that group worthy of note which is their billing department.

Sometimes there is an unexpected issue that finds its way to you that includes what those in the medical billing community refer to as a ‘surprise billing.’ Yes, that is the real term. We just had that wonderful experience as well, and I can tell you that if you persevere with documentation and they can’t explain their ‘surprise bill’ item by item to you or your insurance company, they end up having to write it off.

Some times, these Golden Years are hard work. πŸ™‚

In between, I’m still gardening, sewing and enjoying the cooler fall weather. Mother Nature is gifting us with some much needed rain today. I know the tourists aren’t happy since it is a long holiday weekend, but those of us who live here with our current drought situation sure are. β˜”οΈ

* If you ever wondered where the term ‘Golden Years’ came from, it appears to have originated in 1959 in a Sun City retirement advertising campaign.


** The two notices below are not because my writing is copyright worthy or multiple sites are standing in line to reblog my posts especially since I took the reblog button off as an option. It’s just one site that continues to reblog my posts. Yes, they give me credit, but I’d really like them to stop. My blog, my conversation, my friends.

Copyright Β© 2022 NewEnglandGardenAndThread.Wordpress.com – All rights reserved.
Please do not reblog. Thank you.

Please do not reblog NewEnglandGardenAndThread posts. Thank you.

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August

I’ve been busy gardening through the 100Β°F days right up to our current absolutely wonderful range of low 80’s with a nighttime drop to mid 50’s. It reminds us of what New England temperatures use to be and why people enjoyed living here during the summer.

I took a break from working outside and went on a tour of the historic gardens at Strawbery Banke last week with a friend and my Master Gardener group on the final day of the oppressive heat. It went well over 100Β°F, and it was sweltering. The tour was great, the company was fun, lunch at Gino’s Chowder House was delicious, but I sure did appreciate the A/C after I got home.

Weeks of temperatures going over 90 have taken a toll on plants. I’ve had to pull out several of my vegetable plants and my blackberry harvest is being impacted by the high heat. A blackberry or raspberry is made up of a series of drupelets, those small circles that make up the berry itself. The berries that are in the center of the plant are perfect, while the berries on the outside may have one or more drupelets turn white. As a home gardener, I can just cut those out but for those farmers hoping to sell their crop, it can be devastating.

I’ve also had to dig up dark leafed plants and move them to a shadier spot in order to save them. On the plus side, the phlox and brown eyed susans are loving the heat. Did I mention we’re also in drought status, so watering is a challenge.

On Thursday, we went to New Castle with a friend to watch the parade of tall ships as they made their way into Portsmouth. The weather was overcast but nice and cool, and where else can you sit and enjoy the view of the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, Fort Constitution, Whaleback Lighthouse, and the Wood Island Life Saving Station except right there where the Piscataqua River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

To top the week off, our refrigerator decided it would be a good time to leak, cause water damage, and then gasp its final breath. Thanks to younger members of the family helping, the leak was halted, the food is in multiple coolers, and a new appliance arrives tomorrow. I can’t say I want to repeat any of this experience any time soon.

This morning I’m headed to Maine to pick up a donation to the Master Gardeners of 100 tomato cages. I’m looking forward to seeing the garden that could utilize that many.

Hope the weather in your area is back to a more normal range and that you’re having a good August.

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Garden adventure

On Saturday, a friend and I went on a garden tour in what I’d call a rural/bedroom community. Their population is around 10,000.

We saw a variety of beautiful gardens, traveled dirt roads, hiked through the woods between a couple of gardens, and bought fresh peaches on our way home. It was a good day!

Instead of showing you plants, I’m going to share some other things we saw. Hope one or two bring a smile. πŸ™‚

Happy Monday and first day of August!

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Solace in the garden

”When the world wearies and society does not satisfy….
there is always the garden.” 
by Minnie Aumonier*

During these past couple of years, I’ve found a lot of solace in my garden.

We have been seeing some wicked hot temps, high humidity, and drought. There is a chance we may get some much needed rain today in the state, I just don’t know if we’ll get lucky and get some here that will make an appreciable difference.

Regardless of the temperature, I can always look out the windows and smile. Hope you have a good week that involves plenty of smiles.

*Thanks to our blogging friend, Gerrie, at Canberra’s Green Spaces for first using the quote.

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Daylily season

The daylilies are blooming, and I always enjoy them. The blooms last for one day, which in this hectic world we live in, reminds me to stop and enjoy them because their beauty is fleeting. These are the ones blooming right now. Others have gone by and some are yet to come.

We are in a drought, and that definitely impacts everything in the landscape. Our blueberries are not ripening and the tomato plants are not doing well at all. I may have to buy tomatoes this year. Now, that’s a gardening travesty. πŸ™‚

Look what I saw when I looked up from pruning a tree last week. The paper wasps are back. These guys sting.

I’ve ordered an extension battery chain saw. It should arrive this week, and I’ll cut the branch off back at the base and hope to relocate it off to the edges of the property.

Why even try to move it? I don’t want to get stung while working out there, and I’m seeing very few pollinators so I don’t want to unnecessarily kill those that are around.

On Friday, we closed out the week with a lovely picnic and afternoon sitting by the water with a friend. We talked and laughed for a couple of hours. It is always good for the soul to just have an old-fashioned conversation without a phone involved.

Gardening, reading, sewing, and a little DIY are on my agenda this week. I’m moving a little slower right now because yesterday I dropped an iron cultivator wheel on my foot. Based upon my experience, if at all possible, avoid doing that. πŸ™‚

Hope you have a wonderful week!

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