Monthly Archives: May 2022
A “yellow and red blob” is inching toward us on the weather map, bringing a brief cool-down and thunderstorms yet again tomorrow. It must be spring.
On this last day of May we have a morning full of errands. We’ll leave in about 45 minutes. I’m planning to try to get in another session of lopping things down this afternoon if it’s not too hot. My husband says he’ll spray me down with Deep Woods OFF! head to toe before I go out this time. Maybe it’ll help. My bites and welts from last time are getting smaller and aren’t itching.
The hacking down of things never ends around here. We really need to hire someone to attack the branches hanging down on both sides down into our driveway, but they are too expensive. We’ll hack at things a bit here and there as we can. We’re still waiting for the plumber to help us with a second line in the well house for irrigation in the front yard and the guy with the large truck load of chat to spread on the driveway. Money will be flying in all directions. :0(
I’m really getting itchy about getting up to my art room. I haven’t been up there in ages, but gradually, over the last few days, I have ideas rattling around in my head that I’d like to try. I even was painting a background with lots of texture and then adding some clay flowers to it in my dreams last night. :0)
I hope you were with the ones you love this past Memorial Day weekend. We are so lucky that we can remember those who paid the ultimate price to keep our country free while hugging those we love and treasuring what we have.
Enjoy your Tuesday.
I’m figuring out ways to sneak veggies into our diet without causing a revolt from my husband. Yesterday I fixed beef stew, going much lighter than normal on the stew beef and going much heavier on the veggies. He liked it. :0)
I can also make some casseroles, doing the same thing. I think it will also work well.
The veggies I’ve found so far from the Mediterranean people are too heavy on the veggies I KNOW will cause problems, so I’m staying away from them. I’ll keep looking.
I’ll work on this gradually, adding veggies every time I can without problems, adding good fruits daily, having main meal salads, etc.
“Sneaky” may become my middle name….
Life is hard these days. Harder, I think, in many ways, than it’s ever been. Not only are there differing opinions on almost everything, but the opinions quickly escalate into divisiveness, factions, name calling, and hate. There seems little we can DO about any of it.
I find my own personal reactions vacillate from being appalled at the actions of sick, hate-filled people, grieving about the innocent lives lost or forever changed, and frustrated that the problems are caused by problems so complex that they are almost impossible to solve. I’m numbed by the mindless spouting of rhetoric on all sides that hasn’t changed since I was a teenager. The actual problems are so much deeper that people are scared to really examine the causes or possible solutions.
I alternately listen to and read everything I can, then get depressed and avoid exposure to any more news than I HAVE to. I escape with reading, music, time outside in my yard and garden, time in my art room, time on the computer, etc. I get “huggy,” – worried that things will get much worse. I clean things. I re-organize things. I chop things down. Anything I CAN control.
What it boils down to, I guess, is each of us caring, doing something if we can, and coping with whatever is happening. The picture at the top says it better than I – “Life would be better if we wore more tutus…”
A somber day when we remember the men and women who have died fighting for our freedom. It’s a day to be with your family if you can, holding them close.
We will have a quiet day here in Arkansas. Our son is across the world from us. Hopefully we’ll chat a bit online. I spent time out in the yard yesterday, hacking things down. I made some progress, but was bitten and scratched. I reacted to the bites, so I have welts on my arms and legs. I’m feeling lazy today. I’ll take the day off from working outside today and let my poor old body try to calm down.
elfwing.livejournal.com – yegupets
This puppy is a genius – eating AND getting in exercise at the same time! I’m not sure what that yoga position is called, but I’m impressed :0) I’m going to make beef stew for our dinner tonight. Less stew beef, many more veggies. I’ll freeze the leftovers into individual serving containers and put them in the freezer.
I finished cleaning out and weeding the square foot garden yesterday. It took a total of three sessions and about 4 hours to get things cleaned out the way they should be, but I feel good that it looks like someone cares again. I’ll research summer crops and then see what is available locally. The tomatoes are doing fine so far, too.
If you look really carefully, above the lowermost leaves on the bottom left of the plant, you can see a small green tomato!
And finally, this has nothing whatsoever with my ‘garden,’ but I’m delighted to see that all three elephant ear plants are now coming up. You have to look carefully at the center of the planter, but you can see the first sprout of a leaf breaking through now.
Today’s project will be attacking things with my loppers. I’ll be clearing up areas that are giving my husband trouble on the riding mower, and then trying to cut down weed trees around our burn barrel between the house and the shop. It’s supposed to get to the 90s today (50s two days ago) with strong sun, so I’ll have to be careful.
Have a wonderful Sunday!
The main raised bed square foot garden consists of six 4’x4′ boxes we built, put on iron supports and filled with Mel’s Mix. They are my chest height, so my gardening ‘work’ is the easiest possible. I can walk up to the tables, plant, weed, and harvest – all without bending over double over and over or having to get down on my hands and knees.
Pulling out spent plants and weeding in the sun, however, is still a lot of work for me. That’s what I’ve been doing today – trying to make up for neglecting it for the past week while it’s been raining every day.
What I found today is that I needed to pull out a lot of plants. Even though the Mel’s Mix stays soft, the plants really get their roots down in it and it’s difficult to me to pull them out. Then I try to save as much of the Mel’s Mix as possible, then dispose of them (composting what I can.) The weeds have overridden my sweet garden in a week’s time. I now have 5 of the 6 boxes cleaned out and weeded, but have one left. I’m in resting and drinking water again before I try to go back out and finish the job.
I also harvested some lettuce that I’m going to take to our hairdresser Tuesday morning. I’ll also fill bags for my Lunch Bunch friends, and a couple of other people as I use what I can before the lettuce bolts.
I’ll have to think about whether I want to try to grow some other warm weather crops, besides the zucchini, such as yellow crook neck squash, etc. Maybe when I’ve had a chance to catch my breath a bit I’ll do some research in what is available now.
I’ve always loved the idea of growing herbs, but never really have. I’m not much of a cook, but the idea of snipping off a bit of fresh herbs to flavor our dinner has always appealed. The reality of it is that when I buy some fresh herbs at the store, I use a bit and the rest goes bad in the fridge. :0( I’m going to see what else I can grow that I will actually use and can freeze.
Meanwhile, we can look forward to what I hope will be a great tomato crop, giving us a wealth of ripe tomatoes for ourselves and to share with our friends.
In a nutshell, the zucchini seems to be doing all right, and the onions are fine. The lettuce hasn’t bolted yet, but will soon. Everything else must go. I just came in from spending an hour pulling out plants and weeding. I harvested one lettuce plant and pulled the rest out. I have about half of the garden done now. I’m resting and drinking lots of water. I plan to go out and hopefully finish with another hour or so after lunch.
Yesterday I got the tomato plants pruned, tied up, weeded, fed, and watered. The plants had really grown. I THINK I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I watch the video over and over, trying to be sure I’m following his directions carefully. Some of the pruning is simply FEEL, when things are becoming too dense between two plants. I noticed two small green tomatoes while I was working yesterday. Fingers crossed.
This morning I’ll go out and see what’s happening with my sadly neglected garden. It’s certainly gotten enough, if not TOO much, water, with our automatic irrigating plus all the rain. I really don’t know what I’ll find. The last time I was out there, before the week of rain, I staked my zucchini plants for the first time ever. Usually they grow all over the elevated square boxes we use for the garden, spilling over the sides and hanging down to the ground, smothering anything else in the box. Since they are a warm weather plant, it isn’t really a problem, but the idea of staking them, like tomato plants, was completely new to me.
I’m hoping that this is the way my plants will look as the zucchini grow. The directions said to prune everything beneath the lowest zucchini on each plant, cleaning things out so the plant could get lots of oxygen. I’ll try to get some pics, assuming I have anything out there alive after a week of not being out there. I don’t know whether my lettuce has bolted in the heat, etc. I’ll head out there as soon as I finish here and see what I can do.
Have a wonderful Saturday. I hope you’ll have a great Memorial Day weekend with the ones you love.
This season we have a trail of raccoons from the woods around our house to our feeders on the deck. We caught another one last night. A big one. We’ll have to ‘relocate’ him later.
I wish we could teach them to SHARE the sunflower seeds we put out. We don’t mind putting out more to accommodate both birds AND raccoons, but NOOOOOO – the raccoons insist on not only eating every single seed, but also damaging or trashing the feeders, as well.
Many times they also trash the humane trap we use to catch them, too. We have a small plastic bowl screwed to the trap at the far end. Many times they break THAT and we have to replace it.
I insisted on the humane trap because I WANT to think we’re giving them another chance to be happy raccoons frolicking in the rural areas about 5 miles from our house, enjoying the little stream off the road and the pasture lands. I LIKE to think they reunite with others we’ve relocated, creating happy families and living their lives.
Whatever the reality of the situation, at least we TRY to give them another chance. I hope that there isn’t a memo with a map out there that they read and study before they make the trip back…
“When I say I love you more, I don’t mean I love you more than you love me. I mean I love you more than the bad days ahead of us, I love you more than any fight we will ever have. I love you more than the distance between us, I love you more than any obstacle that could try and come between us. I love you the most.” – Unknown
“I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day” ~ Jimmy Cliff
I can’t believe we’re having such a beautiful day. I had almost forgotten what it looked like when the sun was shining! It’s supposed to get into the 70s with low humidity this afternoon with lots of sunshine. What could be better?
I’m hoping to spend several sessions outside when we return from seeing our friends at Lunch Bunch. I want to take my time pruning my tomatoes, giving them tomato food, spraying blossoms, re-anchoring the plants to the supports, etc. When I feel I’ve done all I can do for them, I’ll turn my attention to the garden I’ve been neglecting since the rains started. It it isn’t too wet, my husband will try to mow this afternoon.
We can probably open the front and back doors in the house to get a nice breeze throughout, too. Ahhhh!
I’m trying to adopt new eating patterns now. My doc told me to take my thyroid med by itself in the morning, then wait at least an hour to eat or take my other meds. I have an alarm set for that now as I type this. Today that means I won’t eat breakfast, since we would leave in another our for Lunch Bunch. Most days, though, I’ll plan to eat a bit of breakfast when I take my other meds.
I’m concentrating on adding as many good veggies and fruit as I can to our diet in this first push toward a Mediterranean plan. When we’re busy, I’m eating a Healthy Choice Cafe Steamer Bowl while my husband eats something else, and making us another veggie to go with our meal. I’m eating a piece of fruit as a snack each day. We’re cutting back on meats, using them as flavoring, instead of the main focus. I’m making a beef stew in the crock pot tomorrow, with lots and lots of veggies.
So far, I think this will be the thrust in the change in diet, since my husband rarely meets a veggie he likes. I downloaded another Mediterranean cookbook onto my Kindle last night. It got lots of good reviews on Amazon, but so far, the recipes I’ve seen in other cookbooks or recipes online center on chick peas, couscous, eggplant, kale, tofu, etc. and this would cause not only derision, but revolt from my other half. I’m hoping I can find a few good things in the new book. It may be that I just collect one or two from several sources, add them to the recipes I already have that my husband likes, and start a rotation. Whatever the case, I’m hoping that eating lots of fruits and veggies coupled with my moving more regimen will result in a happy result on the scales and from my measuring tape.
“I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days.” ~ Bill Dana
“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.” ~ Garrison Keillor
“The cat is above all things, a dramatist.” ~ Margaret Benson
“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.” ~ Hippolyte Taine
“A happy arrangement: many people prefer cats to other people, and many cats prefer people to other cats.” ~ Mason Cooley
“Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them.” ~ Jim Davis
Still rainy here. We’re going to need a boat soon. I keep hoping the weather will allow me to see if my tomatoes need pruning and to feed them, and I really need to get out to my garden. Mother Nature is laughing at me being frustrated at her.
The weather is also delaying the man who is going to spread chat on our driveway for us, plus the plumber, who is going to help us create another garden line in the well house for irrigation in the front.
My husband and I are harder to get along with as we age. I think Mother Nature has beaten both of us at this game. We’ll just have to wait her out and hope to not make her angry…
I have on my calendar that my husband and I are due for teeth cleaning this morning. The dental office hadn’t called me as they usually do. It takes us 45 minutes one way to get to Ft. Smith and the dental office, so I called to make sure I had the date correct.
She checked her computer and said, “Yes, we called and you confirmed via text.” This was interesting. My husband doesn’t text. He won’t even answer his phone unless he thinks it’s me for some reason. I DO text, but I didn’t receive anything from them. She is going to look into it a bit more to see if she can find out anything. It’s a mystery. But we ARE expected.
I always get nervous about going to the dentist. I’m like a little kid. My mom died of oral cancer, so the kind hygienist checks for that first for me, rather than last, as is her usual routine. That always helps calm me down.
I’ve had one cavity in my life and that was last year. I also had to have a wisdom tooth that broke off pulled. Other than braces when I was a teenager (and the work didn’t hold – my teeth went back to being crooked even though I wore a retainer for a year or so after the work was done). That’s the total history of my teeth. I have no real reason for the fear, but logic doesn’t help.
Fingers crossed that I don’t have another cavity or any sign of oral cancer. I will feel much better when this cleaning is behind me and I don’t have to worry about it for another 6 months.
We just got home from trying to dash into and out of stores between bouts of rain. It seemed we were driving into some really dark clouds, then were swamped suddenly, then they had passed. Really fast-moving! We drown once, but were, for the most part, lucky.
We got the timer we needed for the well house, replenishment of our supply of sunflower seeds for the birds after the raccoons cleaned out our supply, and groceries.
We’re in for the day now, and the rain will probably decide to stop. We’re forecast to have more at 4pm and again tomorrow morning.
Things are put away. I’m going to do some serious resting now. :0)
The pantry is coming together finally. I’ve spent several days in there, trying to make sense of things that we’ve been stashing wherever there was room. Since it’s a walk-in pantry (one of our priorities when we built our home about 35 years ago), there is a lot of room to stash before attention is seriously needed.
This is the ‘supplies’ side of the pantry. It holds kitchen and bathroom supplies, cooking supplies and appliances, cleaning supplies, medicine, etc.
I tackled this yesterday. I hate to admit that I found some cans that had failed on the bottoms, making a mess, expired foods, boxes of food that were old or failing, etc. I cleaned it all out, threw out a bunch, cleaned the shelves and reorganized things so they’re easy to see and access. This was the part my husband noticed yesterday. :0)
This is the area I’m planning to attack today. I have boxes and a loose organization, but again, things have been stashed. Some things need to be tossed, due to age or non-use. I want to organize better, so I can find the things I’ve purchased for particular recipes, as well as figure out things that I need for the new Mediterranean form of cooking I’m starting. I’m hoping that this project will wrap up today. I’m loving the clean smell as I enter the pantry now.
“The squirrels, leaping joyfully from branch to branch: not a single one doubts its existence.” ― Marty Rubin.
“Sitting under a tree in a park in the summer, listening to birds and squirrels chirping while reading a good book is priceless.” ― Charmaine J. Forde
“I like squirrels. They’re so adventurous.” ~ Gabby Douglas