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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a good one!

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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72 Responses to Lessons learned

  1. That auger looks pretty cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now I want to bake an apple pie!
    I’ve got most of my fall garden stuff done except the bulb planting, and now I think I might have to visit the hardware store for a new toy! The cold-frame is in place and I transplanted a few herbs to live there as long as the weather or the depth of the snow allows me to harvest. Parsley, thyme, rosemary, all of which I’ve grown in the frame deep into winter, and my experiment with rosemary. We’ll see how that and the winter goes.
    Still no frost or freeze, although we were close Saturday night, so my morning glories are still blooming! I finally pulled the cherry tomatoes out yesterday. They were still setting blossoms and had tiny little green tomatoes which had not changed much in the last week, so I picked them and perhaps the largest ones will ripen.
    Yesterday was 62, sunny, and beautiful. Today, 43 with a cold rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It smells really good in here. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you will post how your rosemary does because that will be interesting. My tomato plants were looking so bad, the tomatoes were falling off and landing on the ground. Our temps turned cold yesterday so we have the electric fireplaces going to take the chill off. It was 43 when I made coffee this morning.

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  3. Apple pie sounds good. I haven’t made a pie in years.

    I’m glad you found a new tool to make planting bulbs easier!

    I’m looking forward to next week’s images of the sewing projects you’re working on.

    The forecast here has been the same, cold, windy, and raining with maybe some snow today.
    Stay warm!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Snow, you say! I hope it is high in the mountains. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have had snow up on top of Mount Washington, and I’ve certainly seen trucks driving around with plows mounted on the front, but no snow ‘yet.’ ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • We had snow down here in the valley once, a week or so ago but, it didn’t stick. It’s probably snowing a lot right now in the mountains as it’s pouring here. I’ll have to wait until the rain clouds clear to see, but they said as low as 5000 feet could get snow so even the Pinenut Mts. should have some!

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  4. Murphyโ€™s Law says:

    That auger looks like it means business! Your knockout roses are a knockout! Same weather pattern here.

    Fogging glasses/wearing mask. I know you shop in Walmart. Get yourself a box of OptiPlus Anti-Fog Lens Wipes. 30 per box. Work like a charm. Can even get two days on one wiping. Scan #: 10164 60802. Something like $3.46 per pkg.

    Your sewing machine must be thrilled to be back in business. Your back must be thrilled not to be bending, lugging, digging and lugging in the garden.

    Enjoy some inside rainy day time.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • That auger made holes like a squirrel on steroids. I couldn’t believe it. Thanks for the tip on the wipes. So far, nothing has worked, but I’m always willing to try. The sewing machine is running so that’s a good sign. ๐Ÿ™‚ Outside rain – Inside warm and smelling like apples.

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  5. Joyce says:

    I can identify with each point youโ€™ve made! My husband and I are still sane and friendly because we each have our own interests besides doing things together. I quilt, he reads. He likes the History channel and sports. I like cable news and trashy evening showsโ€ฆ.like Bachelor in Paradise! ๐Ÿคฃ
    My doctor explained that vax resistance makes room for new variants to move in and keep the pandemic alive. Weโ€™ve both had our booster shots and not a sniffle between us.
    Iโ€™m down to reading only a few other blogs besides yours but they are the highlight of my day sometimesโ€ฆ.I love how, these days, anybody with something interesting to say can conjure up an audienceโ€ฆ.weโ€™re not restricted to reading what publishers choose for us. Bloggers communicate back, too, and in time, warm friendships develop. If we ever met, Iโ€™d feel like we could pick up where we left off on your last post!
    Itโ€™s cold and rainy here today. Iโ€™m going to bake. So glad I picked up Granny Smith apples for the apple crisp Iโ€™m going to make!
    I just hope for a pleasant Halloween night for the grandkids. The last few years have been cold, rainy, or snowy. The unseasonal warmth weโ€™ve enjoyed over the past month got my hopes up. Happy Halloween, Judyโ€ฆ..and all your readers whose comments I also enjoy every week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the hearty chuckle. We enjoy two TVs with different programming as well. We were really lucky, we got the booster with zero effect and got the flu shot with zero problem as well. I guess you can say we’re all protecting ourselves and our family and friends. We’ve done our part. ๐Ÿ™‚ Apple crisp sounds delicious with maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Yum. Our weather is not good, so I’ll hope it stays here, and your grands have a great trick or treat evening. If you ever decide to post some of your gorgeous hand quilting, make sure you let me know. I would love to see what you are working on. I have zero skills when it comes to that, but I sure do enjoy other people’s work. Happy Halloween to you, Joyce.

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  6. Angela says:

    I think you’re spot on about the pandemic lessons, Judy. I haven’t planted bulbs here though when spring comes, I’m always full of regret. I love your planting “hack”, and the mention of Aubuchon Hardware makes me smile. It’s one of those “now you’re backing your happy place” markers for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! I’ve only been planting bulbs every year for the last few. Before that, I’d think the same thing come spring. I’m sure you’re familiar with how the big box stores declare gardening over and get rid of everything, well, that is what happened. I got lucky with our small, local home-town Aubuchon. Then I told a gardening friend how well it worked, and she asked if I’d pick one up for her. Got it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Donna says:

    Apple pie sounds wonderful. I have four in the freezer to enjoy later on. Isolation is a challenge, but we have been exploring roads nearby. Lived here all my life and finding roads I have never been on. Finding interesting places and things in our adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You, my friend, are the Queen of delicious apple pies! Isolation has been a huge challenge. We’ve done the same thing with back roads, and we’ve seen some nice fall scenery. I saw where Lincoln had some snow. Getting ready to be time for you to head south before long, and we’re planning on not being far behind you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for including the picture of the auger. I like the look of that thing. I like your list of lessons learned. The past 19 months have been a time of reflection and self assessment, that’s for sure. I’m glad that most of my family and friends have weathered the Covid storm quite well. It’s different from what I thought retirement would be, but it hasn’t been that bad. Apple pie baking in the oven sounds good. I have to watch how much pie (and ice cream) I eat, but on a cold day in autumn, I think we can push the limit.

    I hope you have a great week, Judy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not the most adept person with the drill, but after my husband gave me a lesson, I was astonished at how well it worked. I could drill the holes as fast I could drop the bulbs in. It’s 24″ long, and it is sturdy. It’s good when family and friends have weathered this storm. You’d only have to give up a couple of those delicious lunches to balance out the apple pie. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Definitely a good week to catch our breath after the flurry of autumn chores. Now all the inside chores that I’ve ignored all summer are clamoring for attention… it never ends, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Thanks for the tip about the bulb augur. Might have to get me one of those!
    I might have to wander into the kitchen to bake something… peanut butter chocolate chip cookies seem like a good idea, hehe. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true – I’m already looking for some new porch window treatments. ๐Ÿ™‚ The auger works like a champ, and the big box stores had already gotten rid of a lot of their gardening supplies. Cookies? I love cookies, and always make a good sized batch so I can use an ice cream scoop to set aside some dough in the freezer to pull out and bake at another time. Have a good week too, Eliza.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love a women with power tools who knows how to use them! That bulb augur looks like a great help. Are we only at 57% as a country? Fortunately, it’s better in my state but we are still careful. I don’t have too much problem with fogging. I wonder if it’s the shape of the mask, or the glasses, or nose? I am looking forward to seeing pictures of your sewing projects! Stay warm and enjoy your pie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a barn with numerous gas powered tools that never start. Battery operated tools start every time – I am in love with them. ๐Ÿ™‚ 57% was what I found online. About a week and a half ago there was a huge weekend celebration up north. Today they announced, they’ve gone back to a town-wide mask mandate. It reminds me of that very old saying about the horse and the barn door.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I made an apple pie with NC and NY apples about a week ago. Itโ€™s long gone and I already want another one!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It boggles the mind how so many people are behaving during this pandemic. Still, we adapt, employing the methods you outlined in your post. When things will return to normal, we don’t know. Thank God for libraries, streaming services, the patio, masks, and vaccines.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ally Bean says:

    Well said. I like your list. I agree with all of your items, especially the idea of paring down on social media and the news. So often during these last 19 months I’ve felt like I was living my life through screens, instead of doing things. I enjoy blogging, but less is more for me now.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Nancy says:

    Apple Pie sounds amazing! And the new auger sounds like a game changer! And now let the sewing begin! I know you are never boredโ€ฆ cause thatโ€™s me too.
    Enjoy the rest of your October!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oddment says:

    Thank you for this. Barns filled with boxes filled with apples? I can only try to imagine what that was like. Apple pie in the oven? Such good air for thinking about lessons learned. Your Knock-Out rose is exactly that — what a beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This time of year sure works with apples and cinnamon. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve never had good luck with fussy roses, but the Knock-Outs struggle with the oppressive heat and come into their own when the temps cool down. It’s kind of funny to look out at beds cleared of perennials, but the Knock-Outs are blooming away. They certainly get to be the fall garden stars.

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  16. Apple pie again! Oh boy, how I wish I could jump on my magic carpet and pop over to share a piece with you. I retired mid-pandemic and it didn’t take long to realise I could easily entertain myself all day every day without the need to leave home. Mr ET potters in his vege garden and tinkers in his shed all day and I sew and crochet, write and read blogs and books. I bake and find new recipes to try online and from my recipe books. And I have been working to refresh and update my rose and flower garden. And of course, when we can, we visit our darling baby grandson who is about to turn one. Keep sewing, gardening and baking pies Judy. I hope you stay safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If we lived in the neighborhood together, I think we could have some good conversations while puttering around or enjoying a recipe. Those grands grow up fast. Mine are young adults now, but I remember those special #1 birthdays. I hope you get to enjoy it with him. Our Covid numbers are really high here right now, so we’re staying close to home as much as possible. I like to bake so it is a good thing I have a treadmill with a book stand for reading while walking. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lavinia Ross says:

    The pandemic has forced us all to be more resourceful, and enjoy our own company more. I have had to scale back on the news, too. It is too depressing.

    We have been vaccinated and had the booster shot too. This pandemic will be here for a while yet. Stay safe and well, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of the pandemic lessons has been to find that place where I can enjoy each day the best I can, and for me it certainly helps to stay away from as much negativity as I can. Boosters here too! We have a couple of counties that have had to go back to mandatory mask wearing because the numbers have gotten so high. I wish we could see the light at the end of this tunnel, but I don’t think we’re there yet. Take care and enjoy those animals because even though their upkeep involves hard work I know they bring you great joy.

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  18. That knockout rose really is and your apple pie sounds delicious. I really miss the variety of apples we had in Ohio and Illinois. Our daughter in California and her husband went apple picking over the weekend and I was hoping the spot was nearby so we could go next week when I visit. Alas, it’s not.

    What have I learned during the pandemic? To be thankful for e-books!! That wearing a mask is a small inconvenience in the scheme of life. That there are many people behaving badly and it only seems to be getting worse. Scary. That it’s a good thing we moved to Arizona to help take care of my parents just as the pandemic started so that they didn’t have to go out. That nature keeps me sane. That Zoom is a wonderful blessing. The writing cards and letters can bless people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is interesting how apple varieties change from area to area. Yes, e-books are wonderful. I really like the return process, but I wish they had more of the newer books. I can only imagine how much your parents have appreciated you being there, and for sure nature keeps many of us sane. Zoom has met a lot of needs, and the written word never gets old. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Our library gets lots of new books but often there’s an enormous wait! I can only put 8 books on hold so I have to make hard choices. Sometimes I find it easier to get the real books because so many people are getting e-books. It’s also interesting because lots of the new e-books are only new as e-books, so maybe the first books in a series.

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      • I love my library. It’s definitely the best use of my tax dollars. I put books on hold too and prefer that, and our e-books are older too.

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  19. germac4 says:

    I can almost smell that apple pie…. what a great way to end some gardening time! I agree with all you say about coping with this pandemic. We have slowed down a little which is no bad thing. I read more now, and we are watching more good streaming movies. I listen to a lot of podcasts, especially when I’m cooking. I was really surprised by the rejection of vaccines in so many countries all over the world. My mother was a nurse in the wilds of Africa, and a vaccine was considered a miracle, and I think of it as such, but there you have it!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. pbmgarden says:

    Judy, I can almost smell that pie and enjoyed reading about your family’s apple history. I’m also disappointed with the vaccination rate, it’s hard to understand. We’ve tripled up. Have fun with your sewing projects. My daughter just bought an new machine and is having loads of fun teaching herself to sew. Keep smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’ve learned to cook quite a few new things since this pandemic started. Definitely thank goodness for books and video games. Also, shout out to programs like Zoom and FaceTime to be able to see loved ones faces while having conversations but not getting to see each other in person for months. I am really glad that I own my home when something like this went down. I’ve never enjoyed yardwork more the change of pace. (Of course everything is so crazy now, I can barely find the time for winter prep.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right in that I think we all cooked more than normal. We got some take out and fast food but didn’t eat ‘in’ any restaurants because it wasn’t worth the risk. I’d never heard of Zoom before this. ๐Ÿ™‚ Being outside sure allowed a way to vent the frustration of being confined, but I can imagine with work and school that fall prep falls way down on the list. Hope school is going well.

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  22. Brenda says:

    My grandparents and uncle ran a commercial orchard when I was growing up and I can still remember the smell of the apples–crates upon crates of them–when I’d go into the dim cold storage room. I’ve been debating making an apple pie and wrestling with the deliciousness vs. extra pounds equation. George doesn’t like apple pie, so I would have to belly up to the table and tackle the whole thing. I think your post tipped the scales for deliciousness and a pie is in the offing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes – crates upon crates of them. It was an amazing sight for sure.Thankfully, I have someone to share that pie with or I’d be on the treadmill all day. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s tough when the family is down to two, and one doesn’t like something. My better half doesn’t like pumpkin, and I love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  23. I really like your list, especially that you and your husband managed so well during the shutdown and the later quasi-shutdowns. Keeping busy, enjoying (and accepting) what we have around us, really did make the experience that much more enriching. I think it’s fair to say we’ve all learned a thing or two this past year about what really matters. Enjoy that pie! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • You used two really appropriate words – enjoying and accepting. I think once we accepted that staying home was safer, we enjoyed being there more. I’d share the pie if we were closer. ๐Ÿ™‚ Are you working on that follow up visit post? Surely something funny or snarky happened that you can share. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  24. Marilyn says:

    I cut my knockout roses back this weekend. I didnโ€™t want to be out in the cold doing it next month. I hope I didnโ€™t hurt them. Iโ€™ve cut back everything else plus planted a few bulbs.

    You pie sounds delicious. I usually make applesauce this time of year but havenโ€™t been to an orchard to get apples. Just lazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Knockouts are tough. Even if they didn’t like being cut back, all you’ll have to do is a little trimming in the spring. We’re lucky that we live just a couple of miles from an orchard and can just swing in and grab a bag already picked. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  25. BERNADETTE says:

    Well, I wish I could come over and have a piece of that pie and discuss your post. I agree with all of your bullet points. What parts of social media are you thinking of scaling back?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I’d certainly put the coffee on and cut you a piece of that pie so we could have a good conversation. ๐Ÿ™‚ I closed my Twitter account a couple of years back, and stopped posting this page to Facebook. I like Instagram because the people I follow are not ranting about anything. On my personal Facebook, I’ve started unfollowing folks that are either ranting about something or posting what I refer to as fake news. I want to simply what I see and read online. I always feel guilty unfollowing someone, but if it isn’t something that adds to my daily experience, I’m getting rid of it. Life is too short. Hope life is treating you well and the sun is shining. We have sunshine for the first time in several days. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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  26. Karen says:

    The auger sounds like a wonderful tool and should help take some of the stress off getting all your bulbs planted. Sounds like you might be experiencing some bad weather, hope all is well.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Tina Schell says:

    Loved your lessons learned and agree with all of them! I predicted a higher divorce rate during covid but haven’t seen anything about that. We learn very quickly how important it is to like as well as love your spouse! Enjoy the pie – my husband is killing me with his fabulous chocolate chip cookies. I fear triple rather than double workouts are in order LOL.

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  28. Annie says:

    I’m late reading this but your list is OH SO TRUE. I’m snacking on an apple at this very moment. Love the Rockefeller connection! Isn’t it amazing how those childhood smells and memories remain vivid? I know I’m a changed person because of the pandemic. I, too, find myself avoiding news and picking up books. Last week a neighbor stopped by as we sat on our deck. We happily welcomed her and caught up on happenings…. until I mentioned we just got the booster. She volunteered that she was not vaccinated and will not be in the future because of all the negatives she’s read about it killing people. That’s when our visit was cut short. I was just stunned!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m still enjoying my last purchase of Macouns, one at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is downright fascinating about the vaccine. We are planning to head south for the winter, and already know that one good friend has chosen not to receive the vaccine. The wife did, the husband didn’t. It’s going to be challenging, but we will be avoiding being around him which is a shame. After so long, it is such a pleasure to catch up with folks, but not when they are so susceptible to spreading Covid. Stay well.

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  29. bikerchick57 says:

    Judy, I am in agreement that there is much to keep me sane during a pandemic…family, friends, TV, blogging buddies and a needy cat. I only wish that more people would accept the vaccine and continue to wear masks indoors. We could whip this thing if only…

    It’s snowing here this morning, so hello to the first real sign of winter.

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