Heat Advisory

It’s been hot for a couple of days with actual temps in the 90’s and real feel over 100. After doing my outside chores and picking raspberries first thing, I may be sticking inside with the A/C, but the flowers, veggies, fruits, and pollinators are happy out there.

What’s blooming? Daylilies, Hydrangeas, Phlox, Echinacea, and Black Eyed Susans are putting on a show, and I’m loving it.

With the beauties along comes some uglies too – it’s part of gardening and nature.

Instead of ‘a’ skunk, it appears I have two which means I probably have a family. They also apparently put out the welcome mat for a nice big groundhog to spend the weekend. 😦

The tomato hornworms have found my tomato plants, and blossom end rot has appeared on some of my squash. I wonder if all the new Covid-19 gardeners realize nothing including gardening is every easy all the time. πŸ™‚

I worked a MG project last week with a friend, and it was a thrill to trim trees, pull weeds, and chat even maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask part of the time.

Looking for something to watch tonight? I’m going to check out a virtual tour of the gardens of three Wisconsin Master Gardeners. Here’s a link, if that is something that might interest you. I’m desperate even with Comcast, Netflix and Prime. πŸ™‚

How’s life treating you? Stay well and stay safe.

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

The beat goes on

Another Monday has rolled around, and I’m grateful to be here. Being a senior in this pandemic means one day tends to slip into another when there are no events on the calendar. It’s still strange looking at a blank calendar.

The daylilies are blooming, the tomatoes are starting to bear fruit, we’ve been enjoying cucumbers, and our raspberries are over producing this year. It’s a good think I bought a vacuum food sealer.

I’m painting furniture this week. Why? Well, I’m running out of projects, and it was down there on the list which I’m about to exhaust. πŸ™‚ You can visualize me in the garage, fan running to keep from expiring, with paint splattered clothes, two rolls of blue tape, multiple brushes, and five chairs and a quilt rack at various stages of being painted.

In March, the talking heads attempted to scare us with predictions of a resurgence of the virus in the fall. As they set up auditoriums, put up tents, brought in ships, things got bad, many loved ones were lost, and then the numbers started to even out a little. Could we have predicted we would see a drastic increase in pain and suffering as soon as the summer season started – yes, most of us could have. Sad to say we were right.

So, Marty at Snakes in the Grass, don’t put the coffee on quite yet, because I’m not planning to head to Florida anytime soon. πŸ™‚

On Saturday, we grabbed some take out and headed to a small local park to eat our lunch and watch the traffic on the water – exciting times. We pulled into a spot, and there was another senior couple sitting in their lawn chairs about 20-25′ away enjoying the view. She jumped out of her chair, turned to face us, and stared us down like she was daring us to walk into her space. As we rolled down the windows, I suppressed the laughter and an urge to say, ‘lady, calm down, we aren’t even getting out of our car.’ These are strange times we are living through right now because I still can’t get over the fact that someone would be afraid of us.

Then to top the week off, the AARP magazine arrived, and the cover shook me.

If that was Hawkeye Pierce smiling at me from the cover, that old woman looking at me from the mirror must really be me. Damn.

Stay well, stay safe, stay boring, but by all means share if you did something fun because I for one haven’t had an adventure in quite a while so I’d love to hear about yours. πŸ™‚

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 68 Comments

Blinking cursor

If you blog, the blinking cursor is a reminder that trying to come up with something to write about during this pandemic is a real challenge. It’s a taunt. Hey, lady, can you come up with some words so I stop blinking. πŸ™‚

The most important thing that happened last week was that we got rain on several days, and we sure needed and appreciated every drop.

I did finish my pinwheel wall hanging for the porch. I saw some pinwheel blocks on Pinterest and decide to give it a try. It reminds me of my youth and simpler times.

I gardened, sewed, read two Joseph Finder books, but I found myself touching up trim paint for something to do. Yeah, I’ve gone through the usual list of things to do and am really reaching.

One thing we’re doing every day is picking raspberries.Β  We’re getting one to two pints per day. Good eating and freezing.

The hydrangea, hosta, day lilies, and even the Yukon Gold potatoes are all starting to bloom, and the pollinators appreciate that.

Any gardener who works with perennials knows that at certain times you have too many plants. When I have extra plants, I take them to the edge of the property and plant them.

They’re on their own out there, but in most cases they survive. When I was dumping some weeds I noticed this native day lily peeking up through a pine tree. I had to stop and admire its tenacity. You go girl!

Of course, traipsing around in the pucker brush trimming nasty thorny locust trees, dumping weeds, and pulling Virginia Creeper and Oriental Bittersweet does have its issues because now I’m dealing with some poison ivy on my leg. Oh well, a hazard of gardening.

This week is starting off with a trip this morning to the library to pick up a book. A real trip where I walk in one door, mask on, pick up my book, and exit through another door. Who knew a trip to the library could be such an event. After that, I do have to visit a big box store to replenish some supplies, and that I’m not looking forward to because a lot of folks will not be wearing masks.

So, off we go into the second week of July. You won’t find me at a bar, restaurant, movie theatre, or political rally, but I am working on getting a hair cut and a battery put in a computer. You will find me hanging around home still looking forward to the day I can hug my grandkids even if they are young adults and don’t need that hug near as much as I do. πŸ™‚

Stay well out there. ❀️

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Captivating

I wish. πŸ™‚

I not only would like a snappy title but wish I could start this post with recounting some really exciting or at least fun event from last week – nope. Everything is open here and the tourists have arrived, so we’re still hanging close to home except for those errands that have to be done because online isn’t an option.

Boring equals safe right now. πŸ™‚

Gardening in the morning, working on my windmill wall hanging in the afternoon which I should finish this week, reading a mystery and blogs in between.

The most exciting thing that has happened in the past week is that we received a little rain overnight and there’s hope for more. I’ll smile at every drop we get.

Some flowers are blooming. The lillies are beautiful, and I picked them up at Home Depot last summer for $1 a bag on a clearance rack.

The veggies are growing.

The berries, especially the raspberries, are turning red.

And, let’s not forget the insects even if the photos are less than acceptable. I cut the branches with the galls off the blueberry plant, the soldier beetle isn’t doing much damage, but that milkweed beetle can wipe out some of my butterfly plants. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen any so far this year, and there are definitely less bumble bees.

This fall, after gardening season comes to an end, it sure would make for a lively conversation to get together with some of the new 2020 gardeners and listen to their experiences with starting seeds, insects, watering, weeding, actual crop harvest versus expectation, and storage.

Hope you are all well and safe and keeping busy as we close out June and head into July. Who knew being boring was going to be a plus this year. 😎

Posted in Gardening, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Having a heat wave

High temps, humidity and no rain since, well, I can’t remember. It’s hot and dry here with watering restrictions starting to pop up in various areas.

The Asiatic Lilies are starting to bloom. Pretty aren’t they?

Gardening in this heat centers around keeping vegetables and containers watered and obvious weeds pulled because working for more than a couple of hours starts to feel like being part of a paving crew.

I normally don’t plug particular plants, but I want to mention one that I really enjoy because of the purple colored leaves that provide a small pop mixed amongst the green.

It’s the Penstemon Blackbeard. It has good manners, dark purple leaves with lovely tall small purple flowers. Check out the link if you want, and you’ll get a better photo and description. I bought three locally last year and have already successfully divided them.

Here’s a shot of the small flag wall hanging that I finished and hangs over our desk.

Right now I’m working on blocks that look like a child’s pinwheel for a porch wallhanging.

I also finished John Sandford’s, ‘Masked Prey,’ which was a good Lucas Davenport read. I can hope he’s working on a new Virgil Flowers adventure.

Now to the game camera which for $44 including batteries and SD card works quite well. It caught the culprit digging, but it sure was a shot I was hoping not to see.

A skunk is not a creature I really want to tackle. I’ve sent emails to a couple of local wildlife places and have been doing some research online to see if I can move him along. Dealing with a skunk is not as simple as that groundhog last year because of the spray. Phew. 🦨

This week, I need to get creative with some rebar, pvc pipes, and netting for my blueberries because I have some set on and am not willing to share with my many four legged and feathered friends.

Hope you are all well and enjoying warm weather if not all the outings you had planned. Our library building opens up today with a variety of restrictions or you can continue to pick up holds curbside and a lot of other companies are opening up at 50% occupancy.

We’re not hurrying out to join crowds of people, but we sure are heading to recycling each week with a lot more cardboard than usual.

Take care, stay well, and I hope you are enjoying good weather so you can be outside. 😎

Posted in Gardening, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Enjoying June

The weather has been great for gardening or just enjoying nature. It’s going to start heating up towards the end of the week so I’m off this morning for another load of wood chips to help retain moisture around the plants.

As a follow up, the carpenter bee trap is working, and the game camera captures very clear photos. I’ve caught the backside of an animal twice, and I’m working on identifying the hole-digging visitor.

The veggies are growing well, the flowers are blooming, the solar bubbler is working, and our raspberries are loaded. We’ve had an enormous amount of pollen which you can see on a couple of the flowers here.

Anyone who is considering raised beds might want to take 10 minutes and watch this video. Ron Christie who created the video was a former UNH Cooperative Extension employee until his veggies became so popular with local restaurants that he went into that business full time and even bought a bigger farm.

If you admire a really organized and good looking vegetable garden, then by all means check out this post from a fellow blogger up north in the state of Washington. Now, they have a Garden with a capital ‘G’.

Or, if you’re looking for gardening inspiration and information from the comfort of your favorite chair, I saw that Berkshire Botanical is offering some pretty interesting online classes.

I finished a small flag wall hanging, planning to rebind another one, and have the material to start a new one for the porch. Gardening in the morning, sewing in the afternoon, and reading in between keeps me from going totally nuts. By the way, our library actually opens its doors today to 20 people at a time. Now, if the local computer store would only reopen so we can get a new battery installed in one of our laptops.

What are you doing during these very challenging and changing times to keep sane?

Stay well and be safe this week. 😎

Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 65 Comments

Flower Power

Ever heard the saying, vegetables feed the body and flowers feed the soul?

Purple Columbine, Clematis, Cranesbill Geranium, Peony, Orange Columbine, Iris

Everywhere I look something is blooming, and I’m smiling.

We’ve had summer-like weather and just a few sprinkles although we could use some measurable rain. It’s dry.

I’ve been giving my Craftsmen battery powered tools a workout, and I still love them. No priming, no filling, just slap that battery in and get to work. πŸ™‚

While I’m promoting tools I love, here’s one that you might want to make note of if you have a lot of indoor plants.

This package costs $9.99 and provides twelve sticky traps. You just insert one into a plant, and the small insects are attracted to the yellow color, get stuck, and you toss it.

I’ve had some fun and some not so fun wildlife encounters recently. The guy digging under the barn is still digging. Trapping hasn’t worked so far, and I’ve filled the tunnel with rocks, soil, chicken wire, and with bigger rocks – he just tunnels right through. A game camera was ordered and is due to arrive this week so maybe I can determine what type of opponent I’m dealing with, but I’m thinking groundhog. I’ve also been fighting the Carpenter Bees that are tunneling into the wood of the barn. Trying to walk or work in the area is tough with them helicoptering all around you so my husband built me a DIY trap. It’s working based upon the dead bees I see in the jar.

On the bright side we have baby ducks, and I had an up close and personal toad visit. The ducks are cute as can be, but watch out for Mom because she’s not wanting visitors so getting a decent photo is out of the question. When I was potting up a container of annuals, I filled it with potting mix, and set the annuals on the container. When I took the six pack of annuals off the pot, there was this toad who seemed to be posing for me. He and I exchanged a few greetings, and then I found him a nice new place to reside under a spirea bush for safe keeping.

The sewing machine has hummed a little while I worked on a small flag wall hanging. I had hoped to have it done by today’s post, but I got derailed reading a Craig Johnson Longmire book that I suddenly realized I hadn’t read.

Now, before I say have a great week, I’m wondering if anyone has a positive review for a washer/dryer combo. My dryer is going fast so we’re looking at new units. If you have an opinion, I’m listening.

Happy second week in June, stay well and be safe. 😎

 

Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Welcome June

Sunshine and good weather have arrived along with two more weeks of stay at home here in NH. After 78 days, staying at home is starting to feel kind of routine. It’s not normal because nothing is normal, but it doesn’t feel quite as strange.

My #1 goal has been to get a haircut. Since I accomplished that this past weekend, the calendar is back to zero.

We’ve been outside most mornings. Beds have been weeded, chips have been shoveled, trimming has been done, flowers and veggies planted. Vegetables include lettuce, carrots, beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, and corn.

We’re still using our stock tanks and a couple of raised beds for veggies. I also saw this interesting blog post about using window wells for container gardening which I thought was a hoot. Again, this is why I love blogs because I learn something all the time.

The blueberries, raspberries and blackberries all have flowers. I still have a to-do-list for the week, but things are looking pretty good.

My flowers are starting to come into their own including Clematis, Allium, Jack in the Pulpit and Irises. I had way more to include, but it got ridiculous even for me.

Are you gardening this year? Veggies? Flowers? Raised beds or in the ground?

Stay well and be safe this week.

If you’re wondering if I finished this post on May 31st before the June 1st deadline for the new WordPress Editor change, you would be right. πŸ™‚

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

Flying the flag

It’s Memorial Day here in the US.

This day has always meant different things to different people ranging from remembering those who served in our Armed Forces to the symbol of the start of the summer season and a long three-day weekend.

I could handle those opposing thoughts, but now it seems it has also taken on a political meaning, and the flag is only flown by individuals who follow certain political beliefs.

Politics over the past several years has left me mentally exhausted. I choose normally to not partake in political conversations, but I’m making this one exception.

This flag does not belong to one particular political party or point of view. It belongs toΒ us – we the people.

The flag flies at my home on Memorial Day because I remember and honor my husband, his brothers, my uncles, our friends, and every member of your family who left the comfort of their home to serve in our Armed Forces.

In my opinion, Memorial Day is all about one simple thing – remembering those who sacrificed on our behalf. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Memorial Day 2020 has taken on additional meaning because of all the front line and essential workers who have sacrificed on our behalf during this invisible war against Covid-19. Thank you to each and every one of you who have worked through this crisis as most of us have sheltered safely in place.

Stay well this week, friends.

Posted in Family, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Safe Shopping

Remember the days when you saw ‘safe’ used as an adjective it was probably describing ‘sex’? Now, we’re using it to explain shopping experiences. πŸ™‚

Lowes opened at 8 a.m. yesterday, and we were there at 9:15 a.m. for a curbside pickup. I went to lawn and garden for potting soil. Insert your favorite expletive here.

It was like the Saturday of Memorial or Labor Day and fewer people had face coverings. What the heck, is the virus gone and no one told me? Not only was I trying to maneuver around way too many people, but it was kind of scary to not have other people taking recommended safety precautions.

I wanted out of there, but that’s when I realized the checkout lane was backed up into the covered area that stores fencing. There were 17 people that I could count in front of me with two checkers.

Never was I so glad to finally escape to the parking lot where what did I see but a line of shoppers waiting to get in. Good luck.

I have to wonder if this less than fun shopping experience played a part in the success of our first online Master Gardener plant sale over the weekend.

We overwintered about 450 plants at a MG’s house, and we needed to move them out of his side yard.

I set up a rather simple page with a poster linked to a PDF spreadsheet on the MG WordPress site.

I sent emails out to MGs and 202 previous customers around 1 p.m. on Friday and by 9 p.m. we were sold out.

We pulled the orders at his house, and folks drove up in the driveway, handed a check/cash out the window, and the plants were put in their trunk. Next plant sale, I’d like the entire committee back instead of two of us pulling it off. πŸ™‚

Everyone wore masks, and speaking of masks, does anyone else have the issue of their glasses fogging up. I’ve had suggestions to push it under my glasses or clean my glasses with glass cleaner – did both, it doesn’t make a difference. I’ll keep wearing my mask, but I sure can’t imagine what it’s going to feel like mid-summer.

Last week’s highlight was scoring a 24-pack of toilet paper, but today I have a Library book ready for curbside pickup!

Life is good today – gardening and a library book. Ah, a small fleeting sense of normalcy.

Best wishes that your Monday is a good one too. Stay well, shop less, garden more. 😎

Posted in Gardening, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 80 Comments