Category Archives: Gardening

Wednesday Tomato Harvest

I just went out to check for ripe tomatoes before it gets too hot. (We’re due for a heat index of 110-115 today.) Look what I found!

I don’t know yet how this summer’s harvest will compare to years past, but the QUALITY of the tomatoes so far is stellar. NO blemishes. NO bad spots. Nice and firm. Delicious. It just doesn’t get better than this. :0) I wish I could share some with you.

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Garden Update

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The zucchini are growing, but very slowly. I’ve never grown these before, so I’m not sure what to expect. The red onions seem fine. All else is gone, with the exception of my two tomato planters on the other side of the house.

The elephant ears are doing well, in spite of our having to water them manually.

The FIRST ripe tomato of the season!!!!!

The tomato plants were looking dry, so we ran the watering system for the back manually to make sure all was working as it is supposed to.

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Another Monday

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The company who supplies our water is sending a man with a sample bottle and instructions today for us to take a sample of our water first thing tomorrow and put it out on the porch for them to pick up. They do this from time to time and then send us the results. It makes me feel good that the quality of the water is being checked from time to time and that they would let us know if there were any problem. This the the Milltown-Washburn Water Authority. We also have well water. It tastes good, but I’m glad we don’t have to rely on it for household use, as it was tested and found to be ‘highly aggressive’ (read acidic) and would eventually eat through the pipes in the house and our own PERSONAL pipes…. something I don’t like to think about.

We have our front and back doors open. It’s a GLORIOUS day today. A cold front came through overnight. I don’t know if we got rain or not, but the temperature was a delicious 69 this morning. It’s 76 right now, a bit overcast and feels WONDERFUL. The high is supposed to be 86 today and the humidity is in the comfortable range for the first time in a month or so. AHHHHHHHHHH!

I’m planning to check my garden today, plus my tomato plants.

Enjoy your day!

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Whacking Wednesday

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The next time you see me, the weed whacking will be finished, the sidewalks blown free of debris, and I’ll be clean from my shower. I just have a bit more weed whacking in the front to do – session 3…

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H-O-T

NY Times

I’m resting from my first session of weed whacking. By noon today, until 8pm tonight, our heat index is going to be 106, so I’m out NOW, trying to get the weed whacking done while it’s ONLY 85.

There’s about half an hour towards the end of the day, when the sun is starting to go down when it’s fabulous outside here. I try to arrange things so I can walk around then, soaking up the glory of it. I take pictures, make mental notes of the next thing I need to tackle, wish I had more flowers (there are never enough), play with Amber and Abby, who follow me around, and maybe sit for a bit on the front porch steps or on the back deck before going in. The world is perfect then, ‘free’ from problems, strife, and stupidity, when I feel filled with the joy of being alive.

If our weather here were like that for more of the day, I might spend all day outside. Since I’m older than dirt, it’s probably a good thing that our Arkansas weather in the summer is totally UN-civilized, hitting you in the face with the heat the minute you step outside, moving from one place of a/c to the next as fast as you can.

I have one more weed whacking session in me before I will have to stop for the day, clean up outside, then come in and shower, getting ready for the rest of my day.

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This is Wednesday

“Flopped Squirrel” – flickr.com

I think this squirrel looks ready for action, not ‘flopped.’

We had a really nice evening cooking out last night. My husband had a bottle of Corona with a slice of lime. I had a sugar-free Dr. Pepper Creme Soda over ice. Our dog, Amber, went between checking each of us, tail wagging frantically, and running around in the yard, nosing everything. Our cat, Abby, just found a spot on the deck and sprawled on her back, feet up in the air. We had the LED rope lights on, so everything looked party-like, and colorful. The charcoal smelled good even before my husband added the hamburger patties. No one was mowing, so it was quiet. The worst of the heat was gone and it was pleasant with the deck ceiling fan stirring the air. We talked, played with the animals, thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

We added corn on the cob to our dinner. We were too full for our strawberries and ice cream, though. We’ll enjoy some of that tonight.

Today I’m dressed to the nines in sweatband, old shirt, old jeans, long socks, old shoes, ready to go out in a minute and weed whack before it gets too hot for man or beast outside. Actually, it’ll be ‘regular’ summer weather, nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s smart to work first thing in the morning or right before dark to avoid overheating. I’m going to try to get the main yard done, front and back, to go with my husband’s goal of mowing the yard yet again, although I think he’s planning to only hit the high spots today. The lack of rain has finally meant that some of the grass is holding steady while the more weeded areas have shot up again. By the end of the day it should look like someone cares around here.

It looks like we’re going to have another week where our plumber hasn’t been able to make time to help us with our 2nd line. We’re watering manually in the front planters. I’ll be glad when it can be automated, but it’s not that bad yet.

I hope that you are able to stay cool wherever you are today and that you’re doing something fun.

Happy Wednesday!

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Garden Update 6-21-2022

My zucchini are doing fine, though they are growing a little more slowly than I expected. The only things left in my raised bed, square foot garden now are sweet red onions and zucchini.

Our tomatoes seem to be doing fine. No sign of disease or bugs or worms yet.

“Niche” planter

I’ll spray the tomatoes and the zucchini today with EIGHT to protect them from pests. Otherwise, I’ll try to do some weed whacking. I didn’t do anything after the last time my husband mowed, so maybe I can say I’m AHEAD of him THIS time… Weed whack, and then spray with KILLZALL to try to at least keep up with things, if not get a little bit ahead of them…

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Tomatoes

Lee County Center-NC State University

My pruning tomato plants experiment continues. The tomatoes in the 8 foot brick planter to the side of the house look pretty good. The ones in the ‘niche’ planter nestled in beside the house looked way too bushy, so I’ve just come in from giving them some attention. I got the obvious suckers and any branches with leaves touching the soil and then got more aggressive. The video said the plants did best when they can get lots of oxygen, and that means cutting off some of the extra branches that aren’t serving a particular purpose. I did some of that – although I admit that still kind of gives me pause – and got some taller, stronger supports for a couple of the plants. I think things are happy out there now.

“I” am way too hot to be a happy camper right now. I’m trying to rest and cool down a bit before I tackle the whirlpool tub and surround upstairs. I have read how to best deep clean the redwood that surrounds the tub. I’ve only been wiping it down for a long time and it really needs some deep cleaning. Happily, I have what I need for that.

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Sunday Thoughts

A couple of days ago I began a deep cleaning of our master bathroom. This includes a room with countertop and double lavatories, a whirlpool tub, my walk-in closet, two open closets for supplies, and then another room with a toilet and shower. I found myself also cleaning the guest room bathroom at the same time, thinking that, as I concentrated on one part or another, I could use the same cleaners and get both rooms at the same time. Today I’ll tackle our tub and then the baseboards and floors of both. Wish me luck!

My other project for today is another pruning of my tomato plants.

The long planter seems to be doing well, although there are a few branches that need to be pruned. The ‘niche’ planter beside the house is looking ‘bushy,’ so I’ll need to give it a bit more attention. The idea of the careful pruning is that you get more yield when you get rid of the extra leaves and branches that are taking energy from the main stems that produce the tomatoes. I’ll try to do that today, too.

I also wanted to share the elephant ear planter.

So far, it’s doing well, even though we haven’t gotten the 2nd line for our irrigation system yet. I’ll check it today to see if I need to water by hand.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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Wednesday Thoughts

M D Parr-Getty Images-flickr.com – martinparrsnaturepics.com

We have gone from monsoon type, flooding rains (12 inches in one week) to ‘excessive heat warnings’ (heat index of 118) to regular mid summer temperatures and no rain here. The only thing is that summer hasn’t officially begun yet! Kind of impressive. I’m just happy we have air conditioning and can insulate ourselves from the worst of it.

I’ll go and get a haircut in about half an hour. Right now I look like a dandelion-gone-to-seed with hair everywhere. When Michael finishes with me, I’ll still look like me, but it will be obvious someone had a plan. :0) I’ll do a couple more errands and then come home in time to fix our lunch.

We didn’t catch a critter in our humane trap overnight, but ‘someone’ was eating sunflower seed, triggered the trap door to close, but didn’t get caught. We’ll reset the trap nightly until we get someone else.

I’ve been spraying weeds lately, trying to get all the super-growth of greenery due to the rains under control. I’m making slow progress since it’s so hot, but I’ll keep at it, a bit at a time. I’m going to check my tomato plants and my zucchini plants today to see if I need to do anything.

I’m feeling good about my eating plan now, including as many veggies as I can each day, enjoying some fruit again, and watching portions, trying not to snack. My scales showed some progress this morning, so that’s a step in the right direction, too. I’m reading my new Big Yoga book, too, trying to find poses to add to my regular yoga practice. I’m planning to do the short online videos (warm up, balance, and weights) today, too.

We’re hoping our good plumber will be able to make time to help us this week with a 2nd line in the well house so we can irrigate our front yard planters automatically. I’m watching my elephant ear plants in particular. I’ll need to take water out to them if our guy can’t get here in the next couple of days.

This week is flying by! It seems I was just talking about Monday of another week and we’re already to Wednesday. My too-long hair is blowing as the time flies past.

Enjoy your day.

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Good Morning!

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As we start another week, I’m thankful that I’m on the road to getting and staying healthier.

We’re going to replenish our supply of veggies and fruit today. The only other thing I’m trying to do this week is to STOP SNACKING – or at least choose something from my list of healthy snacks. My husband threw some bags of fritos into the grocery cart when I wasn’t looking. I emulated a lemming, finding them in the pantry and descending on one of the bags. We took turns gorging, polishing off an entire bag in one day. :0(

As soon as we shop, I’m going to fix a bowl of ready-to-eat veggies and make some dip to go with them. A colorful variety of those, or a piece of fruit, or a hard-boiled egg should satisfy me while my husband enjoys attacking a 2nd bag of fritos…

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Yesterday I warned my husband about the ‘excessive heat warning’ with a heat index of 118 yesterday afternoon. You would THINK I would know better by now. He went out in the hottest part of the afternoon to mow. I was so angry with him I just let him have at it. The mower ran out of gas and he had to walk out to the shop, get a can, and bring it out to pour it into the tank in order to finish the yard. I did get him a cool drink and brought him a wet towel to run over his face and neck when he came in. He cooled off and then went up to take a shower. I watched him surreptitiously like a hawk all evening to make sure he was all right…

All I did yesterday outside was spray everything for bugs. All I have left in the garden right now is red onions and zucchini. Our two planters of tomato plants are doing well with green tomatoes. I did have to pull one tomato plant that was completely broken off by the last storm, but I was glad we didn’t lose more. Today I’ll mix and spray weed killer.

I hope that wherever you are today you can stay cool and safe and enjoy the day.

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Too, too Hot!

Lewis Mailbox Decoration

My computer says it’s 97 degrees F. out there now, with a heat index of 108. They’re now forecasting a heat index of 118 this afternoon. Oh, GOOD.

I’m trying to get my husband to wait as long as possible to mow. I’m purposely NOT reminding him about a hat and sunglasses because he’ll react by NOT wearing them, so the best I can hope for is that he does it because it’s a smart thing to do…

Our plumber called last night to tell us he’s trying to get here sometime next week to help us with the 2nd line we need in the well house in order to set up automatic watering of our front yard planter boxes. (With 12 inches of rain the past week, we aren’t in huge need yet; but since the rain has stopped and none is forecast for the coming week, we WILL be more interested as the week goes on.) Our weather tends to give us more than we need and then cuts off, with no more rain for weeks at a time, cooking our plants. When we get the 2nd line and timer installed, we’ll be doing as much as we can for our greenery, other than perhaps running the system longer or twice a day when needed.

My husband is actually hoping for NO rain for the foreseeable future so that our lawn will turn ‘brown and crunchy’ – his favorite condition of grass that doesn’t need to be mowed every 5 seconds the way it does now.

I’m planning to get out late this afternoon with a two-gallon spray container of KILLZALL, the weed killer, trying to get the rampant weeds under better control. I’ll need to mix and spray several containers of this, but will handle it one container at a time.

Stay cool and safe!

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Garden Progress?

MSU

Two sessions outside so far today.

I’m being very careful, since the heat index for today is 115 today. The sun is strong. You feel the heat slapping you in the face the minute you go out. I sprayed my front and asked my husband to spray my back and back of my legs with Deep Woods OFF! before I went out. I wore sunglasses and a sweatband.

The first session I concentrated on pulling out the bolted lettuce plants. They were over 2 feet tall!

After session # 1 I closed up the house and turned on the a/c. My husband started to object, feeling comfortable sitting and reading in the living room, but then decided that ‘living’ was a better option than fighting me. I didn’t do this until I had tried to cool down for a half hour or so from the first session, but decided that it was time to get a little help on trying to stay cool the rest of the day. He looked at my still-red face and decided to go along. :0)

I just came in from my second session. I filled my two-gallon spray container with EIGHT bug killer and hosed down the zucchini plants in the garden and then my tomato plants. (We lost one tomato plant in the storm. The main stem was completely broken off and the plant was hanging over the side of the planter.) The rest of the tomato plants are looking good with green tomatoes!

I’m drinking a bottle of cold water now, trying to cool down.

I’m not sure yet what I’ll do for session # 3.

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Ah, Yes…

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We’ve now gone from getting almost 12 inches of rain in the past week to a heat index of 100 degrees F. today and 110+ tomorrow. Seat belts aren’t enough.

We DO have a driveway left, even though we did get some damage along one side. I’m really amazed that ALL of the crusher dust the nice man spread for us, allowing us to finally get down our driveway – and back UP again – didn’t end up in the road that runs along in front of our property. We’re just pleased that Mother Nature seems to have calmed down, or at least moved to the east now. Hopefully she won’t bring problems to others.

I plan to get outside in several sessions today, mainly this morning and late this afternoon, to try to catch up.

Lee County Center-NC State University

I need to check my tomato plants first. I need to prune them and may need to add more support. I’m hoping that tomato worms haven’t descended. I’ll spray everything heavily with Eight, looking carefully for signs we’re infested.

This is what the zucchini plants are supposed to look like.

I need to get out to the garden. I’ll pull my lettuce plants – which are probably trying to touch the sky now – and see what else needs to be done. I’m hoping I’ll have some little bitty zucchini. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to prune and stake them, as the pic above shows I’m supposed to.

With the heat index this high, I’ll need to keep my sessions really short, resting a lot in-between and drinking lots and lots of water. I would like to have things under reasonable control by the end of the weekend. I’ll plan on sharing pics with you.

There was a lot of flooding in Greenwood yesterday. I’m hoping things are getting back to normal today and that there wasn’t a lot of damage.

Have a nice, safe Saturday.

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Happy Camper

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I’m a happy camper today. Things are really looking up around here. :0)

I’ve told you that we were FINALLY able to arrange our freedom yesterday since Jeremy Young came with his equipment and smoothed out the crusher dust pile that made us captives up here for a week. Even with the really heavy rain most of the afternoon, the driveway stayed beautiful with very little damage. We’ll see how long this lasts and then get back with him on what he thinks we should do more long term.

We replenished some supplies after relocating raccoon # 6, getting home around 5:30 or so. I slept much better last night, knowing we could get out if we needed to, or someone could come up, again, if needed. Peace of mind is priceless.

Today we’ll get our mower gas cans filled, plus the truck. The only downside of all this freedom is that it is expensive! Grocery prices were up, of course, and gas prices will make us gasp today. At least we can GET most of what we would like to. We’ll also replace a flashlight that died suddenly. Not only did it need new batteries – the batteries had ‘frozen’ inside. Oops! That one lasted over 30 years, so I guess needing to get a replacement now is understandable…

Changing from the Keto eating plan to the Mediterranean one is helping me gradually. And I’m starting to see a difference on the scales, too, finally. My focus has been on getting my system working right again, pushing lots of veggies, cutting way back on meat and fat, eating fruit, etc. Now I’ll start paying attention to calories as well, comparing that to what I’m burning with my yard work and exercise. I’m hoping I can manage a good balance where I’ll feel good, sleep well, and have more energy as I get stronger.

We’ll set the humane trap on the deck again this evening. “Something” triggered it to shut overnight, but we didn’t catch anything. We’re having a record year, having trapped and relocated six raccoons so far in the past month or so.

Tomorrow we’re supposed to get more heavy rain. But TODAY the sun is shining brightly after being fogged in this morning. I’m looking forward to spending time in the garden and checking on my tomato plants.

Have a glorious Thursday!

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Tomato Plants

So far, the tomatoes are doing well. Yesterday I got out with my clippers, ties, and stool for a good pruning session. I cleaned things up, supported the plants well, and delighted in seeing some green tomatoes!

I don’t want the tomatoes to get much taller, but the video I am going by didn’t say much about the indeterminate tomato plants growing up too tall for the supports. Usually mine spill out over the sides of the planter and sprawl all over the ground. That’s what I’m trying to avoid this year, because the guy in the video says the plants will concentrate on producing more tomatoes, rather than all the greenery.

The plants should be getting lots of oxygen. That is supposed to help them not get any diseases. I’ll mix up some bug spray next, because I don’t want the tomato worms sneak in and start eating the plants.

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Sweet Saturday 6-4-2022

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It’s my sister-in-law’s birthday today! I hope she has a wonderful celebration.

Saad Engineering

This is the type of tractor (with operator) we’re trying to get to come to the house and spread the crusher dust pile that has us trapped in our house. The pattern over the years has been – I call and nothing happens. Then my husband calls and the guy (or his dad) come and do their magic on the driveway, pulling up gravel from the edges and then smoothing it all down. Both of the men are really artists. The problem is that our job is very small and probably a headache for them.

Update – My husband called this morning and left a message. Within 5 minutes, the driveway guy called him back, but said he’s covered up with work and can’t come. We’re trying someone else, and the driveway guy said to call him back if we can’t find anyone else who can help us.

Our weather is supposed to be nice today, with a 70% chance of rain tomorrow the last I checked – so it will probably be an outside day for me again today.

Lee County Center-NC State University

I plan to check my tomato plants carefully to see what I need to do. The plants are getting as tall as the supports now, so I’ll watch the video again to see what I’m supposed to do at the top. I’m also planning to use my new pressure attachment for the hose to clean our deck chairs and maybe the deck. I’ll see how the day goes.

IndiaMART

Some actual progress on my diet! I’m finally beginning to see some progress on the switch to the Mediterranean eating plan. I’ve lost a couple of pounds this week and my system is calming down gradually. I’m feeling a bit more energetic, too, and so I’m able to get some things done around the house. All good signs!

Tenor

I found some new yoga poses I’ll add to my routine that are all for strengthening my ‘core.’ I’m doing about half an hour now, so the new ones will make my yoga session around 45 minutes.

Happy Saturday!

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Making Our Time Count

This is similar to the system we use to water our plants on the deck. We put it in YEARS ago. We plugged old holes and made new ones as we changed plants and containers, etc. over the years. It has gotten to the point where the main tube that ran around the inside top of the deck was stiff and brittle. The whole thing needed to be replaced.

I told you earlier that we’re stuck up here on top of our ridge line until the guy who has helped us with our driveway before (or someone else) comes to spread out the crusher dust/chat the guy with the dump truck brought yesterday and was unable to tailgate due to the wetness of the driveway.

Happily, we had everything we needed to completely redo the irrigation system out there. We tore everything down first, saved the parts we could and threw the rest away. We ran a new large line around the top of the deck and new irrigation lines down to each container from it. We just finished by lunchtime, so we came in and ate and then took naps.

We just tested the system and tweaked all the controls for the lines running to each container. It looks like we’re fixed now. It’ll run this evening on the timer and we can see how it goes. I moved all the chairs and tables back where they are supposed to be.

The next thing will be to pressure wash the deck chairs and see what the deck itself needs, but that’ll wait until at least tomorrow.

My husband will call our driveway guy later today to see if he can get him out to help us.

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Spirit Lifters

These are the geraniums my friend Kay gave me for my birthday in March.

And we have pink petunias in the big pots.

When I get down, I make a point to at least walk onto the deck – if not sit outside for a while – and look at my flowers.

I hope that you have a place you can go when you need your spirits lifted, too.

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Attitude on a Tuesday 5-31-2022

FreeSpirited – gritgraceandgratitude.net

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(

nutandbolt-store.greatergood.com

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.

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Memorial Day 2022

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.

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Session 1

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I’ve done one session with the loppers so far today.

I cut down the weed trees that have suddenly grown up around our burn barrel between the house and our shop. They grow fast, so most of them were taller than I am. I also tackled the low hanging branches from a tree that cause my husband grief when he tries to mow. I have another tree right in the same area to do next, but that’s for session 2.

I told you that I was going to cut down a bunch of branches in the trio of planters that run between our front yard and the top of our driveway. I didn’t lie to you, but I haven’t done them. :0( My excuse is the daily rain we had last week, but it may have been BEFORE that that I said I was going to cut them back… Those are on the list, as well.

I just finished getting the beef stew ingredients in the slow cooker for our dinner tonight. I cleaned up the kitchen and it will be time to get our lunch in another 20 minutes. I’m resting in serious fashion until then, enjoying a cup of coffee and writing this post to you. I just closed up the house and turned our a/c on, too, since it’s 80 in here now and the temperature is due to be in the 90s this afternoon. Whew!

The past couple of days I have been in the yard most of the day, so I’m calling that my exercise for each day. I know that I don’t use the same muscles for yard work that I do with the more formal exercises, but I’m just too pooped to do both, so it’ll have to do. When I get things a bit more caught up outside, I’ll switch back. ( I really do plan to. :0) )

Weed spraying is on my list once the lopper work is mostly done right around the house. And THEN you can see my new toy above – a much simpler power washer than we have, which I HOPE will do a good job without me having to fight with our old one so much. If I can just put it on the end of the hose and get started, I don’t have to spend the whole day doing it to justify all the hassle. I can do a good chunk, put it away, and do more later, or the next day. :0) I’ll try it soon and let you know.

Lunchtime.

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Thoughts on Sunday 5-29-2022

cali7-4GIFs.com

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!

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5 of the 6 Done

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.

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Work Cut Out for Me

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.

The zucchini plant seems to be thriving. The spinach plant next to it needs to go.

The red onions are very happy. The spinach here also needs to go, as do the abundance of weeds.

I’ll be harvesting lots of lettuce in the coming days.

sent to me by my friend, Susy.

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Garden Progress

Gertrude Jekyll-QuoteMaster.com

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.

Lee County Center-NC State University

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.

Google

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.

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Bright Sunshiny Day

Horizon Education Centers

“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!

Abram L. Urban – LivingLife – QuoteMaster.com

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Getting a Handle on It

Handles4U

Yesterday I finally made some progress in ‘getting a handle on’ how I can make the Mediterranean eating plan work for us. (This is complicated because my husband rarely meets a veggie he likes or will even consider eating.)

Yesterday we had a huge fight-with-technology trying to get a Mediterranean cookbook downloaded onto my Kindle. I hardly ever use it, preferring to hold real, treasured books in my hands, but cookbooks are a different ilk, as far as I’m concerned. There are usually only a few recipes I’ll actually cook in each, so I can download a cook book, use what I like, then decide if I actually want to add it to my collection or delete the book from my Kindle and try another.

Making a long story much shorter, we had to DE-register my Kindle because it was listed under my old email address, then RE-register it under my current email address. THEN call for technical help on getting ads off, THEN fight to get rid of ‘freebies’ I didn’t want. I was able to finally get the cookbook and read it last night. As usual, it focused on eggplant, kale, couscous, tofu, Brussells sprouts, cauliflower, chickpeas, etc. Even after more than 50 years of marriage, I know my husband would leave if I tried to cook these things for dinner.

I thought about it a lot, and finally came up with ‘doing my own thing,’ incorporating as many veggies as possible, concentrating on those to which my husband doesn’t object, and flavoring with meats he likes. That means veggie casseroles with chicken or beef or pork ‘flavoring.’ It also can mean stews of various kinds. And fruit as part of our meals and as snacks.

If I cook these, making enough for more than one meal and freezing the leftovers into individual servings for the freezer, I can have lots of meals both of us like, increasing the veggies and fruit I want in my diet and not causing a revolt-among-the-masses. I can also try the recipes that sound reasonable. If my husband doesn’t care for them, I can freeze any leftovers for ME to eat later when my husband is having a Lean Cuisine, Real Food, or Stu’s frozen meal on busy days. Not a complete plan, by any means, but a workable start.

I’m feeling better every day now, with my digestion getting back to normal. I’m now taking my thyroid medicine first thing, eating a small breakfast an hour or so later, then taking the rest of my meds with lunch. This is workable for me. :0)

It’s still rainy here, so the guy bringing us a truckload of chat for the driveway hasn’t called or come. Neither has the plumber, whose work will be outside in the well house. If we can go to town between showers, we’ll get another timer to join the one we just installed in the well house, to be ready when the plumber does his thing.

Meanwhile, my husband actually NOTICED that I had been working in the pantry yesterday! I’m making my way through the food side of the pantry, getting rid of a lot of stuff, cleaning, and then re-organizing. I may finish the main part by the end of the day today. It feels good to be getting things easily accessible, plus smelling the ‘clean.’

If it ever stops raining, I’ll need to get out to my tomato plants and my garden to catch up there…

I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday.

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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________

Cloudy Sunday

Silk Roads-flickr.com

I LOVE this troll! He’s so ugly I want to adopt him, though he looks like he’d wreak havoc on an hourly basis around the house…

ML Lewis

A last look at the beach. And what a virtual vacation it was! My SIL is home safe and sound and ready to take up her ‘regular’ life again. I’m hoping I’ll hear more details of her time on the beach soon. A last sunrise over which I can drool. Ahhhhhh.

Here in Arkansas it’s quite cloudy. A cold front is pushing through and the HIGH will be 66 today! Quite a change from the 90 degrees F. we’ve been having the past couple of weeks. At least we did not get any severe weather yesterday as we could have with the change. It looks like we could get rain at any time this morning. What a difference!

We have our yard irrigation system half solved. We got a timer yesterday, but it will only control one outflow. We have it set up for the BACK of our yard so it will handle the two tomato planters and our deck flowers. We’ll need to call our plumber to see if he can arrange another line for the front and then we can put another timer on that. We’ll see what he says.

No big plans for the day yet. I hope your Sunday is a good one.

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Filed under Gardening, Mother Nature, Thoughts on a ________, vicarious enjoyment

It’s Friday

EBENBLATT-Katzen-amzn.to

Happy Friday!

Sad to say we’re not having Lunch Bunch today. Everyone is under the weather – except for my husband and me – so hopefully everyone will feel better soon and we’ll see each other NEXT Friday.

ML Lewis

This is probably the last beach photo this trip from our virtual vacation with my SIL. She’s spending the last day on the beach searching for shark teeth and enjoying perfect weather there. I’m so glad she gets to do this with her friends each year. AND I’m delighted that we get to share the ‘calm’ and beauty with her vicariously. :0)

Source Unknown

Yesterday I got out and pruned and staked my 4 zucchini plants. If it isn’t a good thing, it’s not a problem. My husband won’t eat zucchini anyway. If it’s successful, I’ll be a very happy planter. :0)


You can see two of the four plants here.

And here are some of the tomato plants on the other side of the house.

And finally, I went ahead and brought in three of the four cauliflower plants. They were showing signs I didn’t like. The heads are small – about 4″ across, but they are the first actually heads I’ve grown and I’m grinning from ear to ear. (My husband won’t eat cauliflower, either, but that’s HIS loss….

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Cloudy Beach Thursday

ML Lewis

I’m getting spoiled enjoying a gorgeous photo of the beach every morning. My SIL hasn’t kissed a sandpiper for me yet, but I’m still hoping. She says it’s cloudy there this morning and they may get some rain. What a lovely thought – walking on the beach in the rain…..

Back in the ‘real world’ in Arkansas, we’re having “spotty showers” this morning and 90’s this afternoon. I’m hoping that I can get out to my garden this morning in a bit and see if I can figure out how to prop up my zucchini plants and prune them.

Irrigation System Controller

My husband got frustrated with the yard irrigation system controller yesterday. I told him I would tackle it this morning and just came in from trying to do just that. I reset the whole system, which thought it was January of 2007… Hopefully, I have it reset now, but we won’t really know until this evening, when Station 1 should start watering at 7pm and Station 2 at 7:10. Fingers crossed.

healthy_thyroid-Endocrine Web

We go to the doc’s office this afternoon. I had Graves Disease years ago and had my thyroid radiated. I’ve taken a medication since then that simulates thyroid hormone. When my levels go wonky, I’m in pretty bad trouble. The thyroid controls a LOT of what goes on in your body. Usually, I go along on the same dosage for years, sometimes, with no problems. My test results showed my thyroid levels are, indeed, wonky now. What I thought was diet-related is probably due to this. I have other symptoms, too, that I haven’t had in a long time. I’ll find out today what my doc thinks is best. Help is on the way. :0)

I hope that you’re having a pleasant Thursday. If not, keep gazing at the gorgeous photo of the beach above, That’ll make it better.

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Filed under Challenges, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________, vicarious enjoyment