Expiration date

I grew up poor in the city, my husband grew up poor in the country, we both had part-time jobs at a young age, but neither one of us walked up hill both ways to school. 🙂

As adults, it has served us well. We’re both resourceful because of it, but sometimes things just can’t be cost effectively fixed.

Last week, I used my serger with some old jeans fabric, and the thickness kicked the foot and bent the shaft it was attached to. I emailed the manufacturer, looked up how far an authorized dealer was, googled, checked YouTube, and on Saturday, I dropped it in the electronics box at recycling.

It was a week of reality, since our DR Trimmer didn’t come home from the repair shop either. The estimate was over half the price of a new one, and there are other parts ready to go.

We aren’t complaining because the serger was 10 years old, and the DR Trimmer was 25+.

Of course, it does make me wonder if I’m closing in on my expiration date. Hmm. 🙂

White I contemplate that, I can’t leave without a couple of photos.

My Asiatic lilies are blooming, and I ran across a NH female entrepreneur who is selling an interesting product – ‘Stink’N Cute Septic Vent Cover.’ You take your top piece off and snap her piece on. The cost is $85 plus shipping! Who knows, she may get ‘stinking’ rich’ based upon the number of these blue lollipops you see all over this area. 🙂

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Gardening Season

We’ve had really good gardening weather along with a couple of beneficial rains.

The flowers are looking good, and we’ve been eating fresh peas and enjoyed our first cucumber.

I also have a new gardening tool – Hoselink, a retractable hose reel.

It’s not something you pick up at your local box store, but for a person who gardens seven days a week, it sure is a handy option.

Instead of fighting with my previous rubber hose to unwind and then rewind, this is 82′ of hose that easily pulls out, self locks, and rewinds quickly and evenly.

The unit itself along with the nozzle swivel so you can easily move around your yard to water. So far, I love it.

We also visited a car dealer last week, which is one of my most unfavorite things to do but necessary periodically. Besides all the safety bells and whistles, what captured my attention?

There was no gear stick, just buttons. I looked around for George Jetson because I can remember my grandparents’ vehicles having these tall gear shifts with knobs on the top. Talk about a dinosaur moment.

Happy Wednesday, folks, and I hope each and every one of you is well and having a good week. Now, back to regular scheduled gardening. 😎

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North

We went on our first road trip. Along the way we admired the view of the mountains as we continued to climb to our destination in the northern part of the state. The White Mountains National Forest is a beautiful place for those of us who are fortunate to live here.

Visiting the family plot at the cemetery was one of our goals. My mother, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are buried and memorialized there. Visiting a cemetery is part of my generation.

When I was very young, I remember my grandfather loading up his lawn mower to visit family plots and mowing the law.

Things have changed through the years, but I still find comfort knowing my loved ones are resting together in a town that they called home.

We spent the night at a hotel which we had not done in over a year. It was kind of strange not knowing who had stayed there before or how they did the cleaning. With quite a few wipes, spray and sanitizer, everything was fine, and we enjoyed our short visit.

Wood fired pizza and Belgian beer outdoors at Schilling Beer Company made a great early dinner. Schilling had a huge tent erected with tables and then individual booths set up. It was pretty creative.

Besides the help wanted signs we are now use to seeing at every business, it was the topic of conversation.

We drove to Bath to visit the Brick Store that has been there since the 1790’s, but it’s closed with no opening date in sight because of not being able to hire any employees. Another gentleman who works for one of the largest employers in the area said they hadn’t been able to hire even one person in the last year.

How bad is the employment situation? Well, the State of NH is now offering $1,000 cash incentive to anyone who goes off unemployment and goes back to work. That tells the story.

Whenever we travel to the White Mountains, the Old Man of the Mountain comes to mind. Sad to say the five granite ledges making up the profile came down in 2003.

There is, however, a small granite stone replica that stands as a road marker from Sugar Hill to Lisbon.

It was created in 1930, and it still looks good surrounded by lilacs which are the NH state flower. Why do we stop there on every visit? The artist was my grandmother’s brother, my great uncle Carl.

I can also say with a smile on my face that I have a small replica that he made for my grandparents, and it sits in my entryway.

It was a good trip with one of the highlights being a stop to see some friends that we hadn’t seen for over a year.

Although the mask requirement has been lifted for those vaccinated, we still wore our masks as a precaution. We’ve adopted the old theory that ‘you can’t be too careful’ especially indoors.

Hope this finds you all well on this Monday in June but maybe not quite as hot as we are. Who knew New England could experience 90+ degree days with real feel of 100+ the first part of June. With this wicked heat, gardening is done very early and errands, reading and sewing take up the rest of the day. Stay well and stay cool.

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In my garden

on a Wordless Wednesday. 😎 Happy June gardening.

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Memorial Day

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Memorial Holiday

The Memorial Holiday and start of the tourist season is a mere four days away. Busy times in this little state as people escape the past year and head to the lakes and mountains.

We’re headed north tomorrow for a stop at the cemetery to pay respects, pick up some maple syrup products at a local sugaring farm, and stop for a long overdue visit with friends we haven’t seen in a year.

The Master Gardener plant sale was yesterday. We set out close to 1,000 plants and had a very productive day.

It was, however, hot, and I mean hot especially with a mask on because that particular town is not doing away with their face covering requirement until today. What a difference 24 hours makes. 😷

There were wonderful conversations with Master Gardeners I hadn’t seen in two years and with fellow residents with interesting gardening questions. Chipmunks were a big topic because of the damage they are doing to vegetable gardens this year, but there are never easy answers to gardening with chipmunks.

There certainly was a smile on my face to load those fifty tomato plants I’d been nurturing for the past three months. They sold well and made good money so that was a good thing.

My garden is doing well, but the heat and wind certainly make watering a challenge. Here are a couple of plants that I’m enjoying as we get close to the start of June.

Take care, stay well, and I wish you all some lovely days outside with nature. 😎

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May

This month gets my gardening engine revving up. The weather is warm enough to be outside, it rains frequently and keeps the plants watered, and everything is green and colorful.

I picked the last of the daffodills yesterday and have been enjoying them inside.

They smell wonderful, and I’m certainly encouraged to plant more this fall.

I can’t grow tulips because the squirrels and chipmunks eat them like snack food so I’ve learned to embrace the color yellow.

The grapes, asparagus, potatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, peas, and chard have all been planted.

Our last frost date this year is supposedly May 15. That is a couple of weeks earlier than usual, and some of our growing zones have changed around here. The neighboring town of Portsmouth has actually moved from Zone 5b to Zone 6.

I played it careful though and put large plastic juice bottles with the bottoms cut out and the tops off over the tender plants for a few days.

My friend, Sue, and I spent a busy morning Friday working at the County Nursing Home garden. This is one corner of the garden.

We divided perennials, planted some additional ones, weeded, and planted containers and window boxes.

Our highlight of the morning? A resident watched us for quite a while from the window and gave us a big wave. That one wave made all the loading, unloading, and hard work worth it.

I hope all the Mothers and those that mother had a wonderful Mother’s Day and had an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.

We enjoyed some delicious whoopie pies made by the younger generation using the recipe of the older generation. Great grandma Sweet would be proud.

Some holidays have deeper meanings than others. Mother’s and Father’s Days provide a time for reflection. There are thoughts of first steps, first day of school, learning to ride a bicycle, dance classes, swim lessons, sporting events, weddings, and those much anticipated and beloved grandchildren. Good times, good memories.

Take care this week, and have a good one whether you’re relaxing or working inside or out.

Life is short and gets shorter with each year or so it seems. Stop to smell the roses or in this case check out the Bleeding Hearts. Happy Monday, friends.

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Gardening

It’s gardening season, that’s for sure.

Photo Credit: Assn. Rollinsford Culture & History

Last Saturday, I worked at a Master Gardener project with my friend, Sue, where we were trying to bring back four small kitchen gardens at the Colonel Paul Wentworth House.

The previous Wednesday morning I spent time with a skilled MG identifying and labeling some of the plants already there, and Thursday I traveled to a MG friend’s 400 acre property to dig additional plants.

On Saturday, there were seven of us. We could have used a few more, but not everyone wants to work that hard especially on a weekend.

We used shovels and forks to dig out the weeds, and if I never see another Rose Campion plant it will be okay because I think I personally must have adiosed a hundred of them. 🙂

We left the beds in much better shape than we found them, but their committees still need to decide on final plants, mulch or no mulch, and covering or no covering for the pathways between the beds.

What happens while they decide these things at monthly committee meetings? Mother Nature reaches out and attempts to take those beds back if they’re not careful.

Working on a new MG project is always exciting, at least for a gardening nerd, but I also have to walk away and know that short of showing up every week to weed and water, we have to hope that their volunteers will maintain it.

This week I’m back to regularly scheduled home gardening and a trip to the nursing home with Sue to plant some additional perennials. This will be a much lighter week, and that’s okay because we’ll also have time to stop for coffee.

Hope your gardening efforts are going well. I planted our 42″ tall grape vines yesterday but enclosed them in pop up tomato accelerators and row cover material for a few days to get them acclimated to the outdoors. They had truly outgrown their spot in front of the window on the porch and needed to be in the ground. Three more weeks, and I get to take the flats of tomatoes to our MG plant sale. I must admit I’m looking forward to moving all gardening efforts outside and reclaiming our porch for relaxing. 🙂

Have a great first week in May!

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Photography and Fabric

There are so many exceptional photographers in our blogging community, I’d have to insert a list block, and then I’d still probably forget one.

The amazing photography that we are allowed to view is truly right up there on the list of reasons we follow and read blogs. I applaud each and every one of you, and thank you sincerely for sharing your photography skills.

A while back, I was reading Travels and Trifles, and one photo just made me stop and linger because not only was it a stunning shot, but I was envisioning fabric for the various pieces.

Tina Schell’s photo is a 10+, and my fabric piece doesn’t even come close, but I had fun with the project.

I’ve never made my own pattern before so the first thing I did was have a large black and white poster made. I put tracing paper on top of that and drew all the lines. Then I cut the poster up into pieces so I could estimate how large the fabric pieces needed to be.

I live in a wonderful part of the country, but nice quilt stores are not in abundance here so I had to work with what I had or could buy so I embellished with some netting to adjust the shades of a couple of pieces.

Award winning? No, but it was an enjoyable project that kept me busy for several weeks so I thank Tina for letting me admire and imitate her photography.

Next project? Cutting some drapes down, and that won’t be near as interesting.

Lilacs starting to bloom

Gardening is keeping me pretty busy between home projects and MG projects.

Yesterday, we had to replace a pressure treated fence post that had rotted, and I started on an edging project.

We also received delivery and installation of a ramp to go with our shed. That shed not only looks good, but works well.

This morning, I’m off to pot up plants for the MG plant sale, and one day this week I hope to go with a friend to our local nursing home and install some more perennials for their enjoyment.

How’s your week looking? Working on an indoor or outdoor project of your own?

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Nor’easter

A Nor’easter blew in, and it brought me a shed. 🙂

We have been talking about getting a small garden shed for a couple of years, and found this 8′ x 8′ one made by a young man in Casco, Maine. It was pretty amazing that we got the call that it was ready for delivery weeks early, and that it arrived in the dark the evening before the Nor’easter arrived.

Those of you who enjoy DIY would have pulled up a chair to watch this young man with only a head lamp for light get that shed off a trailer, use two jacks, and several round pipes and posts, to roll it around and get it situated. It was 37° degrees, but we watched the entire show in pure amazement.

As we age, keeping tools close at hand becomes important so we can continue gardening. I go get a shovel, ten minutes later I realize I also need a rake, and so it goes. This way, I will have my tools closer to my work areas.

The shed has been treated to turn gray over the next year or so which will match our barn, and it’s definitely not going to be a beautifully decorated ‘she’ shed like Nancy’s over at Two Trails One Road. This one is a ‘we’ and a ‘working’ shed. My husband enjoys working with me on the fruits and veggies, and I take care of the flowers.

I installed a 1/2″ rubber interlocking floor system yesterday, and from that experience I can say that the shed is square and well built. It was also nice to pay a hard working young man versus a large box store. This week we’ll have some fun putting up peg board and magnets to hold the tools that are currently in our garage.

My seedlings are doing well. The photo on the left is three of my four trays of tomatoes. They are pretty tall considering we’ve got several weeks left before they are hardened off. The Mexican Sunflowers, Japanese cucumbers, and Zinnias are looking good too.

The grapes, asparagus, sweet peas, and cosmos are in good form while the Crocosmia Lucifer, Dahlia, and Cannas are potted up to give them a head start.

Snow may have fallen a few days ago and is again in the forecast for later this week, but gardening season is here. This afternoon, I’m headed off to join some other Master Gardeners to dig, divide, and pot up plants for our 20th plant sale next month. Last week a friend and I cleaned up a garden at our local nursing home, and in a couple of weeks we will head over to join a team to spring clean the four small 1700’s kitchen gardens.

Hands in the dirt – it’s a good thing!

Hope you have spring weather with no ‘white stuff’ in the forecast. Enjoy a good week.

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