Behind the scenes

New England stone walls are especially handsome this time of year, and when I drove to the top of our downtown parking garage to catch some color I did chuckle that I also captured three white churches. One thing for sure when visiting New Hampshire is that you’ll get a healthy dose of beautiful small town white churches.

The colors are beautiful, mums are blooming, temperatures are cooling, and the to-do-list is long.

While gardeners don’t necessarily agree on fall cleanup, that is my choice because my perennial beds are in the direct line of fire from our John Deere snowblower. Whatever I leave in the beds is buried under feet of snow and is of no use to birds or other critters.

The work includes a lot of cleanup from my neighbors huge pine trees, pine cones and thatch, leaves have to be raked, the oak trees drop ridiculous amounts of acorns that have to be hauled in the lawn cart because they are so heavy, and then the deadheading of perennials begins.

There is also quite a bit of plastic fencing that goes up each year. I put one up between the neighbor with four oaks, around the blackberries, wild blueberries, and high bush blueberries.

Speaking of wild blueberries, we just bought them last week in the form of sod. A local landscape company had extra blueberry sod from a farm in Maine. So, we bought four pieces and put it in a bed to see how it will do. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Today I’m headed out to put in a morning of more clean up. This afternoon I have to read insurance booklets. Oh, how I hate medical insurance enrollment. It changes every year, there are too many choices to truly evaluate, and it hurts my head. πŸ™‚ I know I’m lucky to have insurance so I’ll grab a cup of coffee and some dessert because one always needs dessert in the face of adversity and read away.

When I’m done reading about insurance options, I can go back to my book which is a really good read, Robert Pobi’s Under Pressure. If you’re looking for a mystery, a really complex main character, and some snarky dialogue, this series could be of interest to you.

A friend sent this to me over the weekend. She knows me well.

How’s your week shaping up? Does it involve anything that doesn’t require a rake?

Stay well, stay safe, but have several laughs. It’s good for the soul.

I had a good laugh this morning when I looked out and saw the skunk ate my bait, the trap triggered, but he got away. Houdini the skunk is definitely getting the last laugh on me. πŸ™‚

About NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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68 Responses to Behind the scenes

  1. Murphy's Law says:

    Great shots from parking garage!!

    I thought I had a lot planned for this week until I read through your list of “to-do’s”. Makes me look like I’m standing still!

    That skunk is a piece of work. Maybe if you sit down and have a beer with him you could work out different living arrangements for him! He could move into the neighbor’s yard and enjoy her pine trees and endless supply of pine cones.
    Ginger

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I’m hoping, after a quick read of all that insurance stuff, I can just let everything auto-renew, Judy. I always hated open-enrollment at work, and it hasn’t gotten better in retirement. Maybe it’s Medicare’s real test of mental acuity. Forget counting backward by 7s, if you can figure this crap out, you’re good to go.

    I had the snow blower tuned-up and, for the first time, I had the leaf vacuum tuned. It now starts with one pull. I love using that to get the leaves out of the bushes where I blow the snow. Like you say, they don’t do anyone any good, and I’m trying to avoid dealing with the mess they turn into by April.

    I will be starting my garage reconfiguration project in earnest today. All inside work.

    I hope your week goes well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, work was bad and this gets as annoying. The printed materials come about three times a week, and I don’t think they ever heard of keeping it simple. πŸ™‚ You are going to be glad that you had both of those tuned up – way to go. I’m waiting to see what you do with the garage. My garage is full of gardening stuff that will go back into the barn soon and close to 200 bulbs drying out so they can be stored. It’s a little crowded and a little earthy smelling. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sheree says:

    Beautiful fall colours

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    New England stone walls and churches certainly are iconic – your lovely autumn shots affirm that! Have a good week, don’t work too hard. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Have a wonderful week with snow on MT Washington we will see fall do more than drop leaves πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. John Hric says:

    Love the pics. I hope the skunk did not make a stink when he escaped.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Joyce says:

    I’ve only been to Boston, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard, but never in the fall, so these views are appreciated by me. It’s what I picture when New England comes to mind. The pretty steepled churches and stone walls are things I remember from my visits.
    Oh holy kamoly on the insurance choice nightmare! That was on my list to start today, but instead I’ll sneak over to play with a grandson and let hubby get started first!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh, your part of New Hampshire looks beautiful!
    We’re doing the insurance thing too. He-Man’s last day of work is today! He’s retiring earlier than we thought he would, but the company offered retirement packages to thousands of employees and He-Man took it. He’s old enough now to get Medicare, but I am not so I’m looking for private insurance. It’s not fun!

    A nasty head-cold has kept me in for nearly two weeks, but I am hoping to get out this week and find some fall colors here.

    I hope you get the skunk! No doubt it’ll be back if it liked the bait.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Congrats on He-Man’s retirement. I hope he enjoys this new chapter in life. πŸ™‚ Trying to make sense of and make a wise decision out of all the insurance options is a huge deal. Take care of the cold because if you go out in public they’ll call 911 if you cough. πŸ™‚ That skunk has taken me down so many roads in my attempt to move him on out, it is hilarious.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Those pictures are lovely. Nice to get photos from a height. Yesterday, I raked the driveway, something I must do regularly at our home in the woods. Today, I’ll be raking the pine spills from the back yard. Somehow, I don’t mind it. Nature’s gym. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

  10. My step-daughter is returning home today after spending the weekend nearby so I’m hoping to make the entire day work free even though she’s leaving at noon. I have the pond to winterize and I dread doing it although it’s not a big or bad job. Maybe because it’s a the reminder that winter is coming. Your color is ahead of us. We are just starting to see peeks of red leaves here and there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Work-free is a good thing some days, and a visit is definitely one of them. Yes, fall chores tug at those of us who enjoy the outdoors because it definitely reminds us of the inside months ahead. It’s especially tough this year. Stay well and enjoy your fall color as it unfolds. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Good morning to all, the insurance nightmare has me smiling. When we turn 65, I set up with Blue Cross and have remained with them and now we are on a program called is Special needs. It covers everything from drugs to a caregiver. Not much going on with my plants. Huckleberries are probably ripe in the forest but the fire damage is high. The smoke has been with since west coast fires. At times has so thick couldn’t far. This morning is almost clear of smoke. We still not had a killing frost. Have a fun and relaxing week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the insurance comment. I looked it up because I was not familiar with it. We haven’t had a killing frost yet but have come really close. Hope the air stays clear of smoke for you. Those fires are unbelievable from what I’ve seen on the news. I hope they are able to contain them with a little help from some rain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • A new fire started yesterday in Central Idaho as it is a forested area they may let it burned until snow falls. All my life there have been fires and that is that is something I am afraid of.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Ally Bean says:

    I once read an academic study that concluded that the smarter the woman the less clean her house. I’ve applied the principle in reverse; that is, by allowing the house to not be so clean, I hope to become smarter. Not sure if this is working for me, but I’m sticking with it. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Oddment says:

    As always, I have to rest just from reading about all you do! Those photos are wonderful, and I do love the spires among the trees and towns — they certainly speak of history. I had a serious gardener’s slip-up last night, allowing myself to be too distracted by other things and not paying attention to those two little words “patchy frost.” So I was out before dawn this morning in robe and bedhead on an ice-coated deck, moving potted things. I think they’re OK. Close call! Between befuddled gardeners and sneaky skunks, night life is lively! So sorry to hear you have to spend time with insurance — good thing dessert is brain food!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I keep looking at my perennials and telling myself there is still a tiny bit of color so I shouldn’t cut them back…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Karen says:

    Your and Murphy’s Law’s comments gave me a real chuckle about the skunk. πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

  16. germac4 says:

    I had my first smile of the morning reading about your skunk…perhaps skunks and cockatoos could work together on annoying gardeners.
    Lovely photos of your part of the world, I love the church steeples, and the surrounding autumn trees…we always had it on our bucket list to get to your part of the world, but who knows if that will ever happen now.
    Absolutely agree with your quote, I’ll be in the garden anytime!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I love the pictures of the coming fall colors… your town looks so peaceful. I’ll start reading those brochures pretty soon myself as I get ready to join the ranks of boomers on Medicare. Fortunately, my husband went before me so I can benefit from his research.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Joanne Sisco says:

    So much to do! I haven’t even begun to think about all the work that needs to be done outdoors. We have been finalizing all the plans to start a bathroom renovation at the end of the month. Now I’m busy clearing out all the drawers and cabinets. Gah! It’s shocking how stuff starts to accumulate, and embarrassing to find exactly how long ago much of this stuff actually expired.
    As exhausting as all this prep work is, sometimes I think we need to move or renovate every 5-10 years just to force us to deal with the accumulated stuff of life 😏
    I have visions of cleaning up the yard when it’s punishingly cold … although long range forecasts have been promising a mild fall. Fingers crossed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is hilarious what one can find at a time like getting ready for a renovation. I’m always like, who put that there, but the answer is usually me. πŸ™‚ Hope it goes on schedule and turns out just the way you imagine. You’re busy indoors and outdoors this year which has probably been good therapy as you shelter at home. One thing about chores, outdoors or inside, they wait for you. πŸ™‚

      Like

  19. Nancy says:

    Good Afternoon Judy!
    Those photos are fabulous from the garage. The color you are seeing daily is
    gorgeous. But with that color comes work… this I remember.

    Your Skunk gave me a giggle… we never did catch the groundhog back in Pennsylvania… he got the last laugh several times as well.

    My yard work is done …for now… here in AZ. But I need to give the birds their daily water, feed the finches and hummingbirds and then head out for my morning walk. I pretty much do this daily.

    As for insurance… I need to do this soon as well. I hate doing it! I put it off forever… but if I have dessert like you… it may be something I can look forward too. Hmmmmm.. I’m off to dream about what dessert will be made for this very special day!
    Happy Week to you… Stay safe!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just the mere mention of hummingbirds had me smiling so thank you. This fall insurance enrollment every year just seems way too much like being back at work and being assigned a special project. I worked on it for a couple of hours yesterday and this morning we have a webinar. Ugh – like I said, too much like being back at work. πŸ™‚ I made lemon bars and must admit they did help some. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  20. With a garden your size, that cleaning up must be a lot of work. I’ve never heard of blueberries in sod, but it sounds an easy way to roll them out and hopefully you’ll be rewarded next year. And thanks for sharing the fall colors. I won’t be getting those here except via blogs, so keep on posting. πŸ™‚

    This week looks much like every other week: grocery shop for my parents, do household things/meal things, blog. I miss having friends around and with Covid, no chance of making new ones for some time. Yes, I’m a bit whiny today, but I’ll get over it. I always do. πŸ™‚

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    • This has been a tough seven months, so you earned a little whine time. I’ve had three good friends move in the past year, and they are sorely missed so I can imagine how you miss your friends. I did the hardware store yesterday and the grocery list is starting to accumulate. But, it’s not the same because you’re watching to see if people have masks, if you’re following the right arrows, and if they’re respecting social distancing. I’d like to just go to the store and shop not be on a trot to see how fast I can get in and out. There, I whined right along with you. πŸ™‚ Happy Wednesday and know how much your parents appreciate your presence every single day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know they do, Judy, and I’m glad we can be here for them. As wonderful as family is, they’re not the same as friends you get together with for a beer and chat. It’s fine. As the song says, I will survive. πŸ™‚ And speaking of shopping, I found out a few days ago that minute tapioca, which I use in crockpot recipes, is nowhere to be found. Evidently people use it to thicken pie fillings. πŸ™‚ Today I started with a walk and do have a few items to get at the stores, but I don’t mind Trader Joe’s and I’ll be going to Total Wine for some beer for my dad’s birthday. Dangerous! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are right – conversations with family is definitely different than with friends. πŸ™‚ I use 3 T of tapioca for fruit pies, but I’ve never used it in crockpot recipes so please tell me why you do – thickening?

        Like

      • Yes, it thickens the liquid a bit so it’s between liquid and gravy, although a bit more on the liquid side.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Dawn says:

    The Autumn colors of New Hampshire look so lovely, Judy! While mowing the lawn last week, I saw one red Maple leaf resting in the grass. We are usually very busy raking at the end of October here. I have lots of insurance info to read, too! This week I will be staining and painting our front porch stairs and deadheading a few more perennials. We ordered a new snowblower last week so we will be ready for what’s coming next! Take care and enjoy these beautiful Autumn days, my friend! πŸ’—

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have thought about you almost every morning for the past couple of weeks as I deadhead perennials AND get rid of some of them. I haul them to the edge of the property, wish them well, and have a chuckle that you would laugh at me downsizing. I even dug up one shrub that I really like, cut it into two and replanted both. I’m trying. πŸ™‚ Yesterday, I was at Lowes, and a gentleman our age was heading out with a new snowblower and was so happy to be prepared for the upcoming winter. Happy staining and painting. πŸ™‚

      Like

  22. That skunk must think he’s on easy street at your place, with treats laid on. πŸ™‚ Our week has been very nice, with a baby shower for the new grandbaby last Saturday and three family birthdays during the week. We’re on grandbaby countdown now, with just a few weeks to go.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Maywyn says:

    Beautiful landscape photos. Acorns seem to be abundant this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I’m enjoying your fall colors. Your to do list makes me tired just thinking about it. I love the saying your friend sent! I have nothing earth shattering to do this week. Thanks for the book recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are two of those books with this being the second one. The character is flawed and intense but very interesting. There is also a lot of snarky, sarcastic dialogue which I love. The number of mysteries in this second edition was also too many to count. I found it a really good read and couldn’t put it down. It’s a pretty long book, but I had it finished in about 36 hours. Now, I’m back to reading ‘words’ on a page. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  25. mitzybricker says:

    Smarty skunk! You have plenty of clean up. Your gardens looks all cleaned, neat and tidy. I have a saying for my house, Judy (yours made me laugh!).
    If you want to see me, come anytime. If you want to see my house, make an appointment. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Autumn is what I miss most from living in CT for 30 years and being raised in the Hudson Valley. Your photos were a lovely reminder! I dont appreciate mysteries like some. But isnt it wonderful to have more time to read what we like?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes, I have to smile at ‘small world’ instances. I grew up in the Hudson Valley area except for summers when I spent them with my grandparents in NH. πŸ™‚ It is nice that when you’re reading a book you enjoy that you can decide to just sit and read. Mysteries aren’t for everyone that is for sure, and it is proven by the large libraries we all have and the amazing array of books available on numerous sites. Read on, and thank you for the smile.

      Like

  27. Never heard of wild blueberry sod! Sounds wonderful. I’m thinking of splitting my cleanup this year between fall and spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d never heard of it either but am excited to see what it does. I even put a plastic fence over it so the deer won’t be enticed to try it out. Cleanup is not a fun part of gardening, and this year my cleanup has been severely impacted by my neighbor’s pine trees that have been dumping hundreds of pine cones and mulch on my yard. I find myself out there putting in a couple of hours every other day removing carts full of them. Worst year for them in the 15 I’ve lived here.

      Like

  28. bikerchick57 says:

    Judy, I hope you had a lovely week. The colors in NE are fabulous! I am a bit envious of you, being able to work in your garden, even though it’s clean-up time. Hard work, yes, but it’s an opportunity to feel the earth and your landscape before the white stuff arrives. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

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