Blocks and Seeds

I decided I was moving forward, and I watched a variety of YouTube videos on how to use the block instead of the classic editor. The number one reason was that they are continuing to update it, and I decided it was now or never.

What have I learned from these videos besides how to insert a block and move the tool bar to the top instead of having it float over the top of each paragraph? This change was done so WP could compete with other companies like Elementor and draw those folks creating websites either as an employee or contractor and for individuals setting up Ecommerce sites. I’m pretty sure social bloggers like us didn’t make the list of customers they were trying to satisfy. 🙂

That being said, I used the new editor on my volunteer site to do a couple of posts, updated some pages, and even created a list of 60 members. I’m still flummoxed about quite a few things, but I’ll keep googling and reading Dan’s very explicit directions on NoFacilities. Thank you, Dan.

My seedlings are doing great and will probably need to be transplanted this coming week. My two grape vines have these tiny, tiny grape clusters on, and it is a hoot watching them grow. The eighteen asparagus plants from seeds are all doing well, and I wish you could smell the fragrance from these hyacinths. This week I’m hoping to pot up some dahlias and some canna lilies to give them a head start.

We have a new Master Gardener project restoring four raised-bed kitchen gardens at a 1700’s historic home. They do tours, special events, revolutionary reenactments including canon fire, and the gardens will add to the educational piece for the visitors. The upper garden at the county nursing home is ready for spring cleaning too.

Gardening season is here, let the planting begin!

Hope April is starting off well for you, and you had a nice Easter weekend with some decadent dessert. A spoonful of sugar makes the block editor go down. 🙂

Posted in New England | 48 Comments

WordPress

I didn’t post last week because there wasn’t a lot to report. I’m working on a fabric piece, my seedlings, asparagus, and grapes are doing well, I have even been able to do a ‘little’ spring cleanup outside, plus I have a new MG project. 😎

This week WordPress wiped out my classic editor option that I’ve been using. I know, others have already transitioned to the new block editor, and I applaud you for your efforts.

I pay WordPress $48 a year for this blog and $48 a year for the MG blog site. For that, instead of simply being able to write away and include photos, I have to adhere to this ‘new’ edition that was clearly created for those who have other goals besides just belonging to the blogging community.

As I type, little messages, editing blocks, and + signs pop up below and above what I’m typing. Hmm, I wonder what the purpose of that is except to annoy me.

Also, what possessed them to make adding photos such a challenge. I had a fourth photo to include but couldn’t get it to look right, and after way too much time decided to just forget it. WordPress, however, won’t let me forget that photo because I can’t get rid of the extra space. Grr.

While I’m railing on the WordPress engineers, maybe they could also explain why suddenly on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday I don’t receive NoFacilities posts but on Saturday I do. Three days I week I have to remember to go look Dan up, but on Saturday the post appears in my email. Hmm.

After a year of annoying things and organizations repeatedly telling me to be patient, the timing of this block change along with these little things popping up on the page are really aggravating. I have some other words that would fit better, but I’m sticking with the ‘G’ rating.

Can I produce a post in this editor? Sure. Do I want the extra drama required to do so? Now, that’s this morning’s burning question.

Have a great week! May your weather be spring like, birds chirping, sewing machine needle sharp, and a great book close by. 🙂

Posted in New England | 84 Comments

Grandparenting

This Monday morning the wind chill is well below zero after a couple of almost 60° days last week. The majority of the snow has melted, sap is running across the area, and my seedlings are doing well. All good things.

The best thing from this past week was a short visit with my grandson while we worked on a project together. Key words here are grandson, visit and project. 🙂

I didn’t need a pandemic to remind me that family is first. All the pandemic did was cause a huge hole in my heart from not being able to see and hug family.

During this past year my grandson grew to be the tallest in the family, his voice has deepened, and he’s gone from being a teenager to a young man. These days, I look up to him but am still flooded with so many good memories that I fight back tears as I hope all the best for him that life has to offer.

Grandchildren burrow their way into your heart with those little arms around the neck and running at you pell mell for a hug. Those feelings don’t change even when the person is almost 6′ tall.

I started blogging nine years ago and enjoyed sharing grandchildren adventures with my fellow ‘grandma bloggers.’ One of those lovely ladies is Lisa Carpenter, grandmother to six handsome boys. You can find Lisa posting regularly at Grandma’s Briefs.

Lisa recently wrote a book, “The First-Time Grandmother’s Journal.” It provides a wonderful opportunity to record your feelings as you embrace the best job in the world – grandparent.

She asked me to read and review it for her. I was thrilled. There was a challenge in the shipment of my copy, and it ended up that I received two copies.

Since I never want to let a good book not be utilized, if you’d like one of these copies for yourself or someone who is about to be a grandmother, just let me know in the comment section, and I’ll ship it off to you for your enjoyment.

Wishing you a safe, happy, and fun week. I’ll be finding my fun indoors tending my seedlings, reading, and starting a new fabric project. So, what are you up to this week as winter holds on?

Posted in Family, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

Sowing

Sowing seeds, buying plants, or both?  Both. 🙂

I’ve used a big five-shelf unit with lights that is perfect, but as I ‘mature’ dragging all of that down from the attic is a real challenge. So, the last few years, I’ve tried a few different things.

This year, I’m using a 4′ ft folding table, clear plastic self-adhesive on the table and carpet, and a pvc light hanger that my husband enhanced so it will hold two lights.

The light hanger is not glued together so we can take it apart and store easily. Here’s a DIY link for the light holder. The cover on top is a $4 emergency blanket that keeps the light and heat inside. The temps stay right around 75+ under the cover.

My brother-in-law convinced me I needed purple asparagus. Since I wanted to enjoy them as soon as I can, I decided to go for seeds versus bare roots because they will develop quicker.

The seeds were started on February 15th as suggested, and so far 22 of the 25 seeds have germinated. 88% germination rate – not bad Urban Farmer. 👏🏻

This week I’m going to start a couple of tomatoes, cucumbers, and a few flowers. I buy most of the flowers I want, but some aren’t available here such as Mexican Sunflowers, Sweet Peas, and Crocosmia Lucifer which the butterflies love.

Taking care of seeds is cathartic as I await the warmer weather so I can go outside and get going on spring chores.

My Walking Iris is still blooming as well as the last of three Amaryllis. Am I going to buy Amaryllis bulbs next year? You bet.

Do you garden? Veggies or flowers? Containers count. 🙂

Speaking of containers, if you like looking at ‘really’ amazing containers, check out Deborah Silver a landscaper in MI. She is way out of my league, but I sure do love to ooh and aah over her huge creations. She’s on Pinterest, Facebook, and has a blog. It’s always fun to look plus you can pick up an idea every once in a while.

Need to vent about technology this week, check out Dan’s post today. We may not fix anything, but it feels good to share our frustrations. 🙂

Happy second week in March, and stay well.

Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , | 68 Comments

Thank you!

As of last Friday, we have received both shots of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine as part of the first wave of the >65 age group. We only traveled 8 minutes from home, and we’ve had no negative reactions. Check that milestone off the list.

Thanks go out to our NH Governor Sununu for setting up the system which has not been without some bumps along the way, C&J Bus Service for donating their station which works perfectly for a mass distribution like this, and to the NH National Guard and local EMS folks who are doing a great job administering the vaccine.

Both our shots were delivered without getting out of our car. We opened the car door, pulled up our sleeves, and the shots were administered.

Almost 100,000 NH residents have received the vaccine which is 7.3% of the population, and the supply continues to increase each week.

Have you been able to receive your vaccine or get an appointment?

Life has not dramatically changed, but a huge load was lifted off our shoulders. We’re still wearing masks, social distancing, and doing more curbside pickups than shopping trips, but it alleviates the permeating fear.

We received a card with both shots listed including date, source, and lot info which have been stored with other important papers. Before I put them away, I made a reduced copy on my printer and laminated them. We now have them handy in our wallets if anyone wants to see them.

It’s been a long year, and 2021 will not be normal either, but this is a good time to stop and thank family members who have gone out of their way to check on seniors, to pick up a few groceries, grab a library book, take a pet to a vet, or drop off a dessert – thank you. It’s also a good time to thank friends, who have made an effort to call, text, or email to check in and make sure all is well. Hearing your voice and trading laughs means the world.

It’s also a perfect time to thank the blogging community for helping us keep our sanity during this isolation. Encouragement, positive messages, chuckles – I thank you for all them.

Now, we head into March, and I for one am thinking gardening and getting outside. I finished one spring time sewing project and am working on another.

Life is good this first day of March unless my friends who did travel to SC post too many photos of those cute turtles, beautiful camellias, and their smiling faces, and I sink into a deep depression. 🙂

Stay safe.

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 75 Comments

Winter

I know it’s shocking, but it’s still winter here. 🙂

Snow coming this afternoon, and we made a return trip to Alton Bay to check out the bobhouses before the fishing derby started this past weekend. We got a bonus – the planes were landing. I cannot tell you how much fun it is to watch planes land on the ice. So, here is a photo and a 12 second video you might enjoy.

They were setting up more bobhouses with trucks, cars, snowmobiles, and people on the ice.

I was wondering what kind of fish they were catching so I looked it up – Black Crappie, Cusk, Lake Trout, Pickerel, Rainbow Trout, White Perch, and Yellow Perch. The grand prize winner was a Rainbow Trout weighing in at 5.53 lbs. and 22.75″ long.

The ice fishing derby is sponsored by the Meredith NH Rotary Club with all proceeds going to local community projects.

Inside, my second Amaryllis is putting on a show, and I’m enjoying it.

I may make it to the sewing machine this week, if I can put my books down. I’ve been polishing off Brad Thor, Irene Hannon and several of James Grippando’s Jack Swyteck series pretty quickly lately.

If you have 1 hour and 24 minutes and are looking for something on Netflix, check out “Kiss the Ground.” It’s a thought provoking 2020 documentary about climate change and growing practices here in the US and around the globe. You’ll definitely come to appreciate carbon emissions and the difference between soil and dirt.

Trivia question of the day – how long does it take for a greeting card to go from New Hampshire to Michigan? 33 days. Pony Express might be faster. 🙂

Have a good week and stay well.

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 76 Comments

Vaccine and Winter

The second Amaryllis is getting ready to bloom, and the Walking Iris has bloomed twice with many more to come.

It may be white outside, but it’s colorful inside.

We got our first vaccine shot last week. Our local site is a drive through with plenty of space and manned by the National Guard. It went smoothly, was painless, and we were certainly glad to put a check next to that box.

Getting the second shot scheduled was not quite as painless, but I won’t bore you with the online struggles. The state learned a valuable lesson from a senior uprising. Was I one of those making noise of not being able to make the second appointment sooner than April? What do you think? Starting today, people will get their second shot date with the first one. That’s a better move for all concerned.

The snow has been falling and falling. Spring may be 39 days away, but no one has reminded Mother Nature of that. One side benefit is I really do think we’ve made up for our drought last year.

We took a ride just a little north on Friday to see if there were any bobhouses out on Lake Winnepesaukee. Sure enough there were, but a blizzard broke out while we were there, and the photos are not great.

I always find it interesting that there are people and houses out on the ice when you can actually see open water like in the first photo on the left. You also may be able to see what looks like the snow having been plowed off the ice, and that is exactly what it is because as soon as they get a solid 14″ of ice, a runway will open for light planes to land.

Do they occasionally fall through the ice? Sure. This past weekend three snowmobiles with six people went in the water at Lake Winnepesaukee. The people got out on their own or were pulled to safety by others. Ages ranged from 5 years to 45. No further comment needed. 🙂

Hope you had a good week – enjoyed the last football game, had a great book to read, good food to eat, and maybe most of all got an appointment for the vaccine. 🙂

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 65 Comments

Short and sweet

Hello February!

January brought us only 4″ of snow while you are about to dump a foot plus today. It’s okay because no matter what happens in the next couple of weeks, it’s still only 47 days until spring. 😎

It’s also been cold. How cold you might ask, well, single digits and a couple of below zero days.

The heating oil and propane companies must be rubbing their hands together as everyone’s meters drop like a rock.

Those that like ice fishing are happy, happy.

I saw the first one out on the ice last week. Brave folks. Hope the fishing is good.

I’ve been inside reading and sewing, and I finished a landscape wall hanging.

Short is 137 words, and sweet is a whoopie pie I just pulled out of the freezer to go with afternoon coffee. 🙂

Stay well.

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 65 Comments

Inside or Outside

Inside. 🙂

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , | 45 Comments

Past and present

It was an interesting week balancing between the past and the present.

I received an email from a NH researcher through the historical society where my grandparents lived. She had taken on a huge project to learn about almost 2,000 American soldiers killed in WWII and buried in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium. Along with those brave citizens, she also agreed to find the personal story behind 29 Americans buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery.

As she was pulling these 29 stories together, she found that my Uncle Allen who is buried in Luxembourg was a NH classmate of her great uncle who is buried in Belgium. She wanted to find out more about my uncle and volunteered to also send information to the Manilla American Cemetery where my Uncle John is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing containing 36,286 names.

Four brothers pre WWII – one would be deemed medically ineligible, three would serve, and two would make the ultimate sacrifice. A family, like so many others, changed forever.

I went through all my photos and papers and assembled what I thought was meaningful and sent them on to her.

I’ll be honest, it was very emotional to think that the time spent assembling family photos, diplomas, medals, and other things would find their way to a personal file to remain with them.

Gone but not forgotten is so important as we the keepers of the family history all age. It was so worthwhile to think they won’t just be a cross or a name but will now have a story with family photos highlighting their lives before WWII with them forever.

On the present front, Friday the 300,000 1B group of NH folks were eligible to register interest in receiving the vaccine, and 170,000 did just that. It took us about 30 minutes to do so, we received an email acknowledging the entry, and were told that we would then receive info on booking an appointment sometime in the future but to be patient.

Imagine our shock when we got online the following morning at 6 a.m. and found that we had the emails to register for the vaccine.

While at least two other states that I know of are only requiring name, date of birth, and address, NH is using the CDC online system. It is considerably more involved and required the state sending a separate email that provided info line by line on how to complete the form which certainly helped.

I’m happy to say, we are now both set up to receive the first shot on February 3. We drove by the site yesterday, and it appears to be a drive through with marked lanes and the appointments scheduled for every ten minutes. Fingers crossed that the appointments are not cancelled which is happening because of supply.

Again, a myriad of feelings that just maybe we can stop fearing contracting the virus although continue to follow all the safety guidelines. I raise my coffee cup in the hope that we and everyone else who is interested can get the vaccine.

As a prelude to spring, I’ve been enjoying the Amaryllis blooming on our porch.

What can I say except these beauties which are 7″ across have certainly brought many smiles as I sit out there in the sunshine reading.

I hope you have a good week, we all deserve many good weeks.

Stay well. ❤️

Posted in Family, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 76 Comments