It’s Soggy

It’s daylily season in my part of the world, and I must admit it brings a lot of smiles as I work in the garden beds. I’ve never counted how many I have or the varieties, but I’m guessing it would be too many for some. 🙂

We’ve been getting an inch or two of rain at a time, and the western part of the state is experiencing flooding and road cave ins. Drought? Floods? Mother Nature is on a tear.

Keeping myself busy while it rained, I decided to put wood treatment on the inside of the shed door and during that process a New England quilt block pattern came to mind for the top half. (Thank you, Joyce and Nancy, for the idea.)

Normally, one uses rulers and tape to make crisp, clean lines when making a barn quilt which this kinda is if you stretch the meaning a little. 🙂

I used both a ruler and tape but with the variance of the wood slats, I decided to keep it rustic looking and not worry about crisp lines.

I also only put one coat of paint on so it would look worn. Then I added some gel stain to the top and wiped that off. That part took a lot of work since the wood surface was definitely not smooth. Now, I have a quilt block that looks old to blend in with the shed.

As you can tell, it has been raining a lot, and I’m reaching for things to keep me occupied.

I’m still picking at least a pint of raspberries a day and made a really delicious raspberry custard pie last week so the eating is good around here.

I also went on a short road trip with a friend last week and found upholstery material for recovering my bench. That will be this week’s project in between the water works.

It’s sprinkling right now, and the humidity is 84%. Pulling weeds is going to be fun this morning. 🙂

Happy mid July, and I hope you are all well and keeping busy at your house.

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Not to go on a tirade this early in the morning, but in case WordPress is listening, I’m really curious about what’s with the fact that sometimes you want to correct a word, and it deletes the entire paragraph, or you can’t insert the cursor at all and you end up rekeying everything. I wonder if they care to know how annoying and time consuming that is. Now I’ll quietly go back up and reinsert my paragraph that just blew out.

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Rain and DIY

Last week we received almost 7″ of rain which certainly made a dent in our moisture deficit. We’ve gotten 1.5″ of rain this morning, it’s still raining, and showers are forecasted a couple of days this week. With a plus there is sometimes a minus, and in this case, the vegetables and fruits are struggling.

Black mold has covered some perennial plants while aphids are decimating others, and it’s hard to address because it keeps raining.

While it rained, we put in some hours in the barn shop and the garage. We built a very helpful work table on wheels for the garage last year and this year we added a drop down extension by using heavy duty shelf brackets. It’s the third drop-down table we’ve built, and each one provides good work capabilities.

We were trying to find heavy duty pressure treated lattice to put at the bottom of the garden shed to discourage folks from setting up house underneath it. With the lumber shortage, it was a challenge, but we found some.

When we cut it up into 11″ and 9″ pieces, we had wiggly wobbly pieces that were literally falling apart. We did some research on a pneumatic crown stapler, and we found a cost effective one at Harbor Freight. Usually, you get what you pay for, but in this case it was a good deal. We used it to stabilize all the pieces and to attach screen to the back.

I treated the lattice work with the same product, ECO Wood Treatment, the shed builder used so it would weather.

The shed is made of rough sawn cedar, and we found there were some gaps on the door. Although they weren’t real noticeable, they certainly would allow blowing snow in this winter. We covered the gaps with two inch strips of wood and used the stapler to attach them. I also treated the outside of the wood with ECO before attaching.

My husband has all kinds of tools to make certain angles, but my mind thinks like a quilter which requires a pattern.

He cut the plywood in the barn in 2″ strips which I took out to the shed with me.

I put pieces of duct tape over the gaps on the inside and because of the light showing through I could get the tape perfectly centered. I cut both ends with a utility knife, pulled the tape off and placed it on the 2″ strip. He then only had to cut the ends, and we were ready to attach. I know, I know, some of you are laughing, but all I can say is that it worked, and it was quick. 🙂

We’ve been picking about a pint of raspberries a day, the dahlias are starting to put forth a few blooms, and the daylilies and hydrangeas are going strong

While it’s raining this week, I think I need some fabric to reupholster a bench, and I have Linda Greenlaw’s, “Slipknot,” to pick up at the library. I just finished Paul Doiron’s, “Dead by Dawn” and James Patterson/David Ellis’, “The Red Book.”

What are you up to this week?

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Steamy

Happy Monday!

Hope your weather is a little more normal as we close out the month of June. We’re under our second heat advisory for the month. 96°F with real feel of 103°F today. 🥵

Last week, Master Gardeners had an invitation to visit a large wholesale perveyor of perennials here in NH. This time of year is not the ideal time to plant, but an opportunity to buy specialty plants at wholesale prices is like going to a candy store for gardeners.

Watering was done this morning before 8:30 a.m., and that will be the only gardening done today. We have a couple of errands, and the rest of the time will be inside with the A/C and ceiling fans running.

Short post on this hot day, but I’ll leave you with a few photos. Have a great week!

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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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