Category Archives: Mother Nature

Ahhhhh!

Random Words

Ahhhhhh! We’re finally getting a bit of rain.

We’re in the middle of a bad drought that started in August of last year, I think. It’s to the point now that the lakes that provide the water for Greenwood don’t have enough water when they do their semi-annual ‘turnover’ to keep the water from having a smell and an off taste. Thankfully, we get our water from Milltown, down the road a bit, and we haven’t noticed a problem, but the whole area is being affected.

I don’t know how much rain we need to have to cure the drought and get us back to normal; but thankfully, we have good chances for rain from today through the next week. You can almost hear the plants and the grass saying, “Ahhhhhhh!” when you walk around outside.

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Mother Nature’s Gifts

Monett Times

“Where the tree tops glisten

And Children listen

to hear sleigh bells in the snow….”  (“White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby)

I guess I never really thought about it before. I’ve sung the song a million times, but just glossed over the words. Today Mother Nature had iced and frozen the trees to the point I thought it had snowed for a minute, looking out the window. Then the sun came out, after a really dark, dank day yesterday, and the tree tops DID ‘glisten’ – spectacularly!  You could almost see every branch as the sunlight hit the trees. We both remarked on how beautiful it was on our way to town. Multiply the sample above by about a thousand and you’ll have an idea what we enjoyed this morning!

Fox 4 News

The icing on the cake was when we rounded the curve and saw FOUR deer crossing the road! This picture gives you an idea of what we saw – 4 deer, one following the next in a parade as they crossed to the other side. There was no other traffic around, thank goodness, so we just slowed and watched them as they crossed safely to the other side, and then moved on.

Mother Nature was in a really good mood, smiling down on our part of Arkansas today.

 

 

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Thankful and Happy

Humor Mash

It’s cold for Arkansas today, well below freezing and a gusty North wind. The wind chill is ‘too-darned-cold-to-be-out-here!’ We got freezing rain last night and our deck is treacherous. The evergreens are looking really weighted down, but all else looks like we dodged a bullet weatherwise.

Still we froze our parts off taking animals out this morning. My husband went back out because he noticed that we only had ONE feeder with seed in it and a gazillion birds – plus a squirrel – all trying to get something to eat. The one feeder that still had food was one I filled with small bird seed, rather than the sunflower seeds we put out for everyone else. We decided that the feeder is defective and that the sweet birds aren’t getting anything before the seeds freeze at the bottom. So I’ve washed out another feeder and will put the small bird seed in the better feeder and we’ll put it back out. We’re thankful and happy to be able to stay home today where it’s safe and warm.

Projects Update –

1) My husband is working on the welding lathe, some in the shop and some in the office. He got a nice face plate for the control box that will house the motor so that he can mount the buttons on the front nicely. Otherwise, we’re waiting for some parts to come in.

2) The new-computer-for-me project came to a screeching halt when we had a defective motherboard. We returned that, got another, only to find after my husband worked with a tech on the phone at the place we’ve always trusted to get computer parts couldn’t make it work, either. So the 2nd motherboard was mailed back to them yesterday. They should get in Monday and hopefully have a replacement in the mail to us next week.

3) My clean-out-the-pantry project is entering Day 5.  I’m hoping to finish up today. I have to get up on a high ladder to reach things up there, so my husband has agreed to receive things we’ll give away and put them somewhere until we’ve culled out all that needs to come down. Then I’ll clean and organize the rest. Pics to follow.

Since it’s so yucky outside, I’ll start a stew in the crock pot before getting up on the ladder. I know after going up and down and cleaning a bunch today, I won’t feel like cooking later.

I hope YOUR Sunday is a good one.

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Welcome Visitors

Recently we’ve received a wonderful gift of being able to look at lots of birds we don’t often see. When we’re eating breakfast, we love watching the birds come to eat the seed we put out. We’re not official birdwatchers, and identify most as just ‘pointy headed birds,’ ‘cardinals,’ bluejays’ (my husband tries to shoot the bluejays because he read they eat the eggs of other birds), and more.

Recently, though we’ve seen –

a wonderful roadrunner who looked like a baby. He sat in the dish of one of our deck planters, then finally made it over to the shovel bird and found sunflower seeds in the shovel part.  We see full grown roadrunners from time to time in the summer, running in their characteristic, comedic way, where they put their head and tail down to form a kind of horizontal line with their body, run like mad for a few feet, then stop putting head and tail up – frozen as they survey their surroundings – and then the ‘horizontal line’ runs again as they cross the yard.

We also saw –

TWO robins! I guess we probably have a lot of these around, but recently was the first time we remember actually SEEING them on our deck railings and feeders. I realized that I didn’t know if we were seeing two males, or two females, or a pair. I found this –

 

So we saw two males – meaning that we hopefully have at least two pairs of robins close around!

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Arkansas, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Rain!

quotesgram.com

 

I love it when it rains – even when we’re not in the middle of the worst drought this area has seen in years.  We’ve had so little that the lake where our town gets most of its drinking water is down to some 16 feet deep now, not nearly enough to allow the water system to work as it should. The people who get Greenwood water have switched to bottled water until further notice. I don’t know how much rain we need to get back to normal. Luckily, we – on top of the ridge line southeast of Greenwood outside of the city limits – get our water from Milltown-Washburn water and a different lake that isn’t having problems yet.

It isn’t raining now, but it did overnight. Everything is still very wet, so we’re finally able to burn some trash we’ve been stashing in the house and in the shop. On the way back from helping my husband take boxes out for the burn barrel, I stopped in the back yard to simply enjoy.  It’s still gray, clouds so thick they’re not letting a lot of sun in. The air is so dense it almost feels as if it’s raining. I tipped my head back and slowly breathed in.

AHHHHHHHH!

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Mother Nature was Smiling This Morning

The picture above gives you an idea of the LOVELY glistening grass with the sun shining on it we saw as we drove to town early this morning. It was almost as if it were “jeweled” – with glints reflecting as we passed!  I was thinking about how beautiful it was and my husband said, “Isn’t the grass beautiful this morning?” :0)  Mother Nature was definitely smiling at us!

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Sun Through Clouds

This isn’t that great a photograph, but when I was taking the doggies out this morning, I was really struck by the beauty of the sun streaming through the clouds. This only lasted long enough for me to go back inside and grab my phone. It’s now overcast and we’re supposed to have rain the rest of the day and evening – a wonderful thing to help with the bad drought in our area.

I think it was Irene who suggested that I try emailing the photo to myself to get it off the phone. It worked! THANK YOU, Irene!

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“Sunrise – Lake Waccamaw NC”

“Sunrise-Lake Waccamaw NC “- Lisa Bearnes Richey

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No Ice!

It has been really cold for Arkansas already this winter. Our ‘worst’ month is usually February, and it has snowed on my birthday in March. Usually, though, we have a cold snap and then Indian Summer type weather through January. I think I mentioned before that last year I was still harvesting lettuce in January…

We have had no ice, though, and I’m very grateful. That’s the only thing that truly paralyzes us. We live on top of a ridge line. Our driveway is steep, 650 feet or so down to the road that runs in front of the house. It becomes a ski slope in the winter. We can navigate it down and up again if it snows because of the snow tires on the truck. Ice is another story. Not only does the ice make it impossible for us to go out, it breaks the branches of the trees. We still haven’t fully recovered from the damage from an ice storm in 2000!

That said, our 90 pound,  10-month-old lab puppy, Amber, LOVES this weather. She finally isn’t panting from being too hot. Her coat is very thick and she seems to grin all the time she’s outside. When it’s seriously cold, we don’t let her stay out long because she’s a huge dog with very little brain at this point, but we try to let her out often. When it warms up to our high of 36 today, I’ll take her out for her no-pull collar training session on the leash for the day – Day Three.

The fact that it’s too cold to be comfortable outside has helped in my efforts to declutter our house. Religiously every 30 years or so I go through the stuff in our house, taking everything out of an area, cleaning, donating what we think someone else might be able to use, throwing out what should have been thrown out years ago, and then reorganizing what goes back in. Yesterday it was our “coat, hat, muffler, and glove area” in the utility room and back bathroom. Today it will be the front hall closet.

So far, I’ve kept my promise of filling an EXTRA big trash bag to put out for the trash people each week. I’m piling things up for donations to our local library and the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith before the end of this month. My goal is to have donations each month, but if I don’t make it, the goal still stands and will remind me that I have much more to do. I’m trying not to be overwhelmed by how MANY areas in our house are crying out for my attention!

Though I don’t enjoy going through things and cleaning, I DO enjoy each area when it’s finished. I like the feeling of accomplishment, the cleaner, more organized area, the feel that I’m getting better control of our ‘stuff,’ and the happy feeling that I’m sharing things that we have enjoyed with others.

I hope you’re having a happy Saturday. Stay warm and enjoy your day!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Amazing Animals, Family, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Mother Nature, Organizing/DeCluttering

Cold Front and Riches

The Owl Report via Cathy Ruggiero -peace-thatwastheothernameforhome-Kathleen Norris-illus-Johanna Wright

A cold front is due this afternoon. It’s 60 degrees F (!) outside right now. By mid afternoon, it’s supposed to be freezing with “wintry mix” and trickle-the-water-in-the-sinks time tonight through the middle of next week, at least.

Happily, we’re rich in books around here. I already told you that

  • I bought and read the 44 books in the J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts “In Death” series with the strong female detective, Eve Dallas.  When I finished those, I switched to re-reading
  • The 40 Robert B. Parker “Spenser” series books. When I finished those recently, I found that book # 45 in the “In Death” series had finally come out in paperback, so I bought and finished that a couple of days ago. (#46 in the series, “Dark in Death,”  comes out in hardback sometime this year, but I’ll have to wait quite awhile before IT comes out in paperback)
  • Now I’m happily re-reading the Robert B. Parker “Jesse Stone” series. There are 9 books in this series by the author. Several other authors are trying to carry on each of the series, but I’ve tried a few and they are just a pale imitation.

So the weather can do what it will. We have hot apple cider for my husband and coffee for me, two dogs, two cats, 4 fish, comfortable recliners and throws, and lots of books to enjoy!

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The Wonder of Mother Nature

Niagara Falls – Frozen Solid – CTV News via Robin Gras, LinkedIn

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Amber on Ice

Amber is thoroughly worn out – for the moment anyway – after her first experience with ice.

My husband let the dogs out this morning. It was 24 degrees F and there was a thin layer of ice everywhere. Amber went bounding out, landing immediately on her rear and sliding for several feet into the grass. My husband said she looked surprised, then got up again with no damage done, and continued to cavort, as usual.

She’s been out several times today, coming in cold and energized, and this time finally got on her bed plopping down in a huff. She oozes off the bed like this most of the time. I’m not sure why.

By early afternoon the sun was out and things were melting. We decided to go to town . Even though we got ice overnight, it’s been warm enough that it was only a problem for a few hours. Next weekend, when the next wintry mix is forecast, we probably wont be so lucky.

As we were coming home I was struck by the beauty of the grass on both sides of the road. Even though things were melting and the sun was shining brightly, the individual blades of grass and other vegetation were encased in ice. Everything “glistened” just like in the I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” classic.  stunningly beautiful.

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Sucky Forecast

February 4, 2009 – Coco the siberian tiger plays with an industrial strength bungee cord in her habitat at the Toronto Zoo in Toronto Ontario. Toronto Star/Pawel Dwulit – quotesgram.com

We moved to Arkansas over 30 years ago because the climate was mild. We really don’t like the cold.

Our forecast for today through the first day of January sucks.

We woke up to a temperature of 40. That’s good, but the forecast is that THIS was the high for the day and that the temperature will drop from there during the day and then will be below freezing the rest of the week. We’re forecast to get rain/freezing rain/sleet/and/or snow this evening through tomorrow. Arkansas doesn’t do winter well. We tend to get really bad ice storms that break our trees, kill our power, and make it impossible to get around in one piece.

We prepare for winter here on top of our ridge line seriously. We put on our snow tires in November and take them off mid March or April. We have public water plus well water plus extra bottles and containers of water ready. We have extra food in our pantry. We have a generator that will run everything except heating and cooling. It comes on automatically when it senses the power is off and turns off automatically when it senses the power has returned. We have a wood burning fireplace. We have cold weather bags we put in the car if we’re going any distance. We carry a basic tool bag in the car. We have good hats, mittens, boots, coats, long underwear, etc. We have extra food for our dogs, cats, and fish.  We have a winter checklist we go through to try to keep things from being damaged by the cold.

Some winters here are downright balmy. Last winter, for example, I was still growing and harvesting lettuce in one planter beside the house through January. Some winters are brutal. We got serious about preparing for winter after having a really bad ice storm in 2000, where we were trapped up here without public water, public power, or being able to get down our driveway for the ice and fallen trees for 14 days.

I’m hoping that the weather people have been bored lately and are hyping the possibility of bad weather. Sometimes I suspect that the weather people must get kickbacks or perks of some king for forecasting bad weather causing everyone to rush to the store for milk, bread, eggs, batteries, etc.

I promise not to gripe if we just have some cold weather. I won’t gripe, either, if we get a dusting of snow, or a bit of sleet. I won’t gripe if the north wind takes my breath away when I’m out trying to play with our lab puppy. I promise!

 

 

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Brrrr!

imgarcade.com

I know I’m going to show you what a weenie I am when it comes to cold weather, but the weather is really getting our attention this week. In Arkansas, last year, I was still growing lettuce outside in December and January.  It’s 24 degrees F. outside now. It’s supposed to get to 38 this afternoon. AND we’re having a cold front come through this weekend!  Lows in the single digits or teens usually comes to us in February…

The good part of this is that, other than gathering the sticks Amber has laboriously gathered for display in the front yard, and cleaning up the two empty planters in which she continues to dig, I’m not even thinking about spending much time outside.

The one thing I AM planning to do in the next few months is organize my greenhouse so I’ll be ready to start seeds around the 1st of March (depending on the temperature in there.) I’m reading every day and researching on the net ideas for how to get set up. I’m making plans of which seeds to start first. I’m even dreaming about where to put my first-ever home-grown transplants in my raised bed square foot garden this spring! And THIS from the lady who still wears the moniker, “Serial Seed Killer.”

 

While the weather is wet and cold, I’m concentrating on trying to go through our STUFF, room-by-room, closet-by-closet, shelf-by-shelf, drawer-by -drawer, in the hope I can do some serious damage by the start of spring. I’m trying to get into a ruthless frame of mind – using a ‘less-is-more’ mantra.

I hope that you’re able to stay warm and dry wherever you are, making this a fun day.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, greenhouse, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature, Organizing/DeCluttering

Mr. Bountiful

behappynowbook.blogspot.com

My husband and I work in harmony each morning to get all the animals fed, breakfast fixed and eaten, dishwasher unloaded, and our basic chores done.

He usually takes the animals out first thing, stopping at our big bucket of sunflower seeds in the garage to take out to the deck for the birds. We put out both sunflower seeds and the small seeds you see in the picture above.

After he comes in and we are sitting at the dining area table for breakfast, it’s like the memo went out – “Mr. Bountiful has come!”

All of a sudden we’re awash in lots and lots of birds of all stripes bouncing from feeder to feeder, plus a squirrel or two, entertaining us as we eat.

We put a special squirrel feeder up, right on the other side of the window. It has a gallon glass bottle held up by a wooden closure. The squirrel has to come into the wooden enclosure and then stretch out to get the seed in the bottle. We get a really great look at him. There are little pointy-headed birds that also use this feeder, popping in and out with regularity.

With the birds and squirrels outside the window, our two dogs and two cats sitting on the floor around the table, and the fish happily eating in their aquarium, we feel happy and rich.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Family, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Mother Nature

“December 25th”

“December 25th” – Paul Militaru Photography

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First Day of Winter 2017

I’m ambivalent about this being the first day of winter.

I love some things about winter –

  • hot chocolate
  • fires in the fireplace
  • warm clothes
  • building snowmen
  • curling up with a good book under a cozy throw in my recliner
  • watching big, fluffy snowflakes fall
  • Christmas
  • not having to mow the grass every week
  • comfort food

We live on top of a ridge line in Greenwood, Arkansas. It’s good because we don’t have to worry about flooding. It’s bad when we have ice. Arkansas doesn’t ‘do’ winter well. Instead of having snow, we have sleet and ice first and THEN snow. We have snow tires on our Honda Ridgeline Truck, but they’re useless on ice. Our driveway is 650 feet or so and steep. When there is snow, we have little problem getting down and back up again. When it’s an ice skating rink, we might end up across the street in the field across from our place, and it’s impossible to get back up. We just have to stay home until all melts. Since our driveway is on the north side of our property, that could be a week or more after the rest of the area has forgotten about the inconvenience.

Because we might have trouble getting out and back in again, we spend a lot of time and effort preparing to spend a bunch of time up here, away from the rest of the world. We try to have back up systems so we have water and electricity. One year (I think it was 2000) we had a BAD ice storm. There were trees broken and down all over our property, including in our driveway all the way down. We stood on the front porch and listened to the awful sound of branches snapping like gunshots as they broke. The generator we had at the time blew a gasket. My husband and son rigged a big barrel outside the well house and filled it with water to try to cool the generator. We had to check it every half hour 24 hours a day. We were up here, trapped, for 14 days. No electricity. No public water. No way to get down to the road. That makes you get really serious about preparing for whatever might happen.

I don’t like it when I have to worry about whether I can get to an appointment or not. Plans made during the winter make me nervous. I know that I can reschedule doctor appointments, and that friends and family will understand if we get trapped up here, but I don’t like worrying about whether we could get out or not if we really needed to.

I’m happy if I can stay home and just take some days off to enjoy the ice and snow up here and it doesn’t bother anyone else. I can just decide to stay up here ‘until further notice,’ make snow angels, snow people, have a snowball fight, see how our animals react to the white stuff, and make some hot chocolate and some beef stew with garlic bread…..

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Filed under Mother Nature, security, taking care of yourself

Can You Smell It?

“Falling Rain” – quotesgram.com

 

We had a bit of drizzle, and sprinkling on the windshield as we went to town for errands yesterday. Then we had a more serious rain late yesterday afternoon. The intermittent rain is still going today. We really need it. We’re in a drought and under a burn ban. I’m not even complaining as I stand outside in the rain waiting for the doggies to take care of things. :0)

I’m especially grateful because we have an excellent chance of a cold front with rain that MAY change to flurries this weekend! A double gift from Mother Nature for sure if we get more good rain PLUS a pretty, white Christmas with snow that will look pretty, but not cause problems on the road. The very BEST kind of snow!

__________________

Yesterday I consolidated two notebooks of low carb recipes into one, plus punched holes into a whole stack of recipes I printed from the net and put them into the notebook. Now I have all the loose recipes in one place, organized so there is hope of finding the one I’m looking for again! I have the notebook on the kitchen desk along with the most used low carb recipe books.

Today’s project is moving my warm weather clothes OUT and my cool weather clothes INTO my closet.

 

balletpumpsandroses.com

 

If I finish that, my poor little duck and hedgehog yard ornaments are awaiting possible repair after our 81 pound lab puppy, Amber, bit off beak and nose respectively. I have some pieces I retrieved from the yard, along with the critters, but I’m not sure I have enough for a full repair. Fingers crossed.

I hope that your day is productive and fun.

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Mother Nature, Organizing/DeCluttering, project refurb

Bird Feeders

My favorite bird feeder was damaged – this time beyond repair – so we went on a hunt for a replacement today.

Thankfully, we found one almost just like the one that was damaged. We like this design because it has plexiglass sides that make the place where you put seeds, and it has two holders for suet, one on each end. It’s easy to fill because the whole top lifts up and moves to the side. There are lots of spaces for hungry birds to sit while they eat.

We got this filled and put up, only to have it crash to the ground immediately! Whoever made this thing didn’t install the cord efficiently, so it came apart the minute we tried to hang it. We retrieved it, took it back to the garage for another fill, and put it up. We’re due for some freezing temperatures later this week – starting on Friday, so I’ll put the suet in the holders just before then.

 

We usually put out sunflower seed, but some of our visitors like the smaller, round seed. We have this tall feeder on one end of the deck, plus the cute little bell made from seed we got today. The shovel bird to the right of this picture is the place a bunch of our birds like to eat, so my husband puts sunflower seeds in the shovel part for them.

 

Here’s another view of some of the feeders. We put up the snowman feeder this time of year. The birds really like it. I need to fill it every day or so.

 

Here’s a close up of the snowman feeder. I love it that it’s not only cute, it’s easy to fill and the birds like it.

 

To the right of the snowman feeder is another one that holds sunflower seeds. We fill the one on the post to the right of this picture for the squirrels.

Most of the time when it’s cold we have quite a feast for the eyes as we watch the sweet birds and squirrels enjoy the seeds at breakfast.

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Rain!

A light rain started last night. I could almost hear the plants saying, “Ahhhhhh!” I don’t know how much we got last night. It’s foggy and sprinkling off and on this morning. We are in a drought here – having had almost no measurable rain since August – so every drop we can get is welcomed with open arms.

I’m also happy this morning because, after doing the weekly grocery shopping, we can curl up in our warm, dry house the rest of the day. :0)

On tap today –

  • figuring out a good, low carb thing to do with chicken for tonight
  • cleaning off the table by my chair in the living room
  • cleaning off my desk in the office
  • paying bills
  • re-reading Hush Money #26 of 39 Spenser series books by Robert B. Parker

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, too.

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Visions of the Waning Fall

“Exotic Tree” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

 

“Fir Tree” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

 

“Magic of Colors” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

 

“Tree Listens to You” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

 

“Willows” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Winter is Here

patch.com

In about 45 minutes my husband and I will go to Lunch Bunch – our long time, every-possible-Friday lunch with good friends. We’ve been doing this for years and I really miss it if we don’t go for some reason.

It’s 21 degrees F out there right now. I’m not even sure if I should just leave my lettuce covered up with a sheet until it gets above freezing or not. The high is supposed to be 42, I think. This may be a moot point, since my sweet lettuce plants may have croaked last night – sheet or not sheet. When it gets this cold, it’s beyond the frost or light freeze stage. If it’s gone, I’ll be a bit sad, but we’ve had a really nice crop this year and I shouldn’t be over-greedy. I’m looking forward to the spring when – hopefully – I’ll have some robust, healthy plants grown in my greenhouse ready to go into the garden.

I’ll see what the temperature is when we get back from lunch and errands and then make the decision whether to uncover the plants today or not.  I’m looking forward to seeing what mischief I can get into the rest of the day.

Stay warm and dry!

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Brrr!

lifesacollegevegan.wordpress.com

 

We’ve had two pit bulls and they’ve been the best pets, so when I see a cute pic of a pit, I just melt into a puddle.

We bought quilted “coats” for our pit, Bambi, and Molly a couple of years ago. They look cute, but the dogs didn’t seem to like them much, even though they weren’t restrictive in any way. Amber is finally not panting when she comes in. This seems to be the weather she loves. They go out as many times as they want during the day. At night they sleep in the utility room – Amber on one side of the gate and Molly on the other – so both can rest.

It got down to 29 degrees F last night/this morning. I had the lettuce covered with a sheet, but it was looking a bit stressed when I uncovered it this morning. The high is supposed to be 38 today, so I’m hoping that the sun will make the difference in keeping the poor lettuce going.  I’ll look at it this afternoon to see if I can harvest some of it today.

I had a glorious massage this morning!  I bundled up in a new jacket (one that is quilted, but very light and warm) plus a new white knitted hat with a pom pom on top.  My wonderful massage therapist is a friend, as well as therapist, so we exchange gifts at Christmas time. She gave us a beautiful assortment of nuts (since we can eat that with our low carb lifestyle) plus a gift certificate to the restaurant we go to each week for Lunch Bunch!

I’m very lucky to have such a kind, caring friend who is able to find sore places I didn’t even realize I had and make them go away. I look forward to my massage all month, knowing that I’ll feel pampered and wonderful – ready to tackle what life has to offer.

Have a fun, warm day!

 

 

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Ready for Winter?

We’re pretty much ready for winter now.

I finished mulching the flower planters yesterday – finally.

We cleaned out two square planters in order to plant new Rio Samba rose bushes in the spring. We converted two brick planters to be square foot planters for tomatoes, so four of our brick planters didn’t need mulch. The other 10 did. I feel good that things are cleaned out and protected now.

I dug up the elephant ear plant, potted it, and put it in the greenhouse.

 

Same for the Purple Passion plant. (I put two starter plants in water beside the big one. It would be fun if I could get those to grow. )

The jugs of water are an attempt to keep the plants warm in the greenhouse during the winter. I’m hoping the water will warm up during the day and keep the plants warm at night.

The Bibb lettuce is still doing well in my square foot garden.

 

Here is the Simpson lettuce. Both are in the same raised bed box, so when we have a freeze coming, I just have to cover one box with a sheet and clothespins. I’m hoping I can keep these alive for at least another month, if not more, depending on Mother Nature.

I’ve started two celery plants in pots on the window sill. I’ve never tried this before, so it should be fun.

 

This tomato plant is also on the window sill. I’m hoping I can keep it alive for the winter and replant it in the spring. Fingers crossed!

I still need to clean out the plants on the deck, but these are much easier to handle. They can wait for another day.

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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, Healthy Eating, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Fall Leaves

“Oak Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

 

“Orange Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

 

“Red-Green” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

 

“Oak Leaves 1” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Mother Nature, Paul Militaru Photography

Garden Update 2017-11-26

Amber went out with me to finish cleaning up the garden today. She tried to eat some big faux terra-cotta pots, but that was the only behavior I had to warn her about. Otherwise, when I took a break, I called her. She came every time, knowing she would get a small treat. :0)

 

5 of the 6 raised bed square foot garden boxes are now cleaned out, ready for the winter. I still have two kinds of lettuce and one spinach plant in the 6th box. When freezes threaten, I now have only ONE box I need to cover with a sheet.

In the spring, I’ll mix a bunch of Mel’s Mix (peat moss, vermiculite, and as many different types of compost as I can get or make (I’m using some I made, cotton boll compost, mushroom compost, and barnyard compost). I’ll fill the boxes up to the rim and then use string (that hopefully won’t deteriorate in the sun as the stuff I used this year did), and I’ll be ready to plant.

I took this to give you a close up of the Mel’s Mix, and part of the irrigation system for the garden.

I’m going to rest a bit and then see if I can get the trio of brick planters between the civilized part of our front yard and the driveway filled with mulch.

I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Happy Saturday

mulpix.com

Good morning!

We’ve been up for hours, but I’m just now getting time to write. I hope you’re having a great day.

I’m going between ‘have-to’s’ and ‘want-to’s’ today, such as paying the bills and then taking the doggies out to play for a while; or filing paperwork and then giving myself time to look at wonderful stuff on the net. :0)

I think, by the time I go back to the eye doctor on Monday morning, I’ll be completely back to normal. I only have the vestige of a headache and eye irritation today. I’ll ask if there are any SOOTHING drops I can use going forward.  My husband says we have some protective goggles I can wear when I’m doing yard work that will hopefully prevent a repeat of this painful episode.

We’re having a spectacularly beautiful day today. It’s 68 degrees and sunny with almost no wind. A perfect day to spend a lot of time outdoors.

Other than playing with the doggies, I’m planning to see if there is anything left in my raised bed square foot garden. We had two freezes while I was incapacitated with my eye injury, and I was unable to cover my plants. If there is lettuce left, I’ll do some harvesting. If not, I’ll start the cleanup-for-the-winter process out there.  I have one tomato plant in my dining area window. I’m not sure if it will live or not. I would love to be able to keep it alive over the winter and put it back out in the garden in the spring.  I also just started some celery inside. I’ll simply plant it in planters to live in the greenhouse, or bring them in to also live in the window. It will be interesting to see what I can do over the winter.

I think I told you that year-round use of the greenhouse without expensive heating and cooling isn’t in the cards, so I’m concentrating on extending our regular growing season by starting things out there really early for the spring.

I’m still making Christmas gifts for friends, so I’ll try to get up to my art room some time this afternoon.

Have an enjoyable day. Try to make time to do something FUN.

 

 

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Filed under Favorite Things, Mother Nature

Before the Rains Come…

I just realized how MANY times we’re rushing around here, trying to get things done ‘before the rains come.’

 

Today I was planning to get out and work in my flower planters, trying to get them pruned and cleared out so that I can add mulch. Today is much too windy to actually put mulch in there, but there is a lot of work to do before the planters are ready.

Of course, my husband said, in a pained voice, “Do you have time for me?” Since I spoil him unmercifully, I stopped what I was doing and was sucked into a “paint the outside trim on the house” project. We each had a some paint in a throw-away bucket. While my husband was getting the paint and the buckets, I used a scraper to get the loose, peeling paint off the wood around the garage door. He painted one side while I painted the other. He finished before I did and went around to the back. When I asked him if I should tackle the inside wall of the back porch, he agreed that I should. So he was painting on the outside of the porch while I was working inside. I painted over all the places where our dear puppy. Amber, had chewed the wood, regardless of Bitter Apple spray or Louisiana Hot Sauce. The wall was originally painted white, but there were SEVERAL places where it was down to the bare whatever-it-was that was supposed to be solid wood. Is anything actually made of real wood anymore? Anyhow, when I used the paint on these places, the rest of the wall looked yellow. So I ended up painting the whole wall.

My husband announced that it looked like his patience and his paint would run out at the same time. We agreed that since we couldn’t get everything done today, particularly since part of what we need to do requires a ladder, we would stop when our paint ran out. Mine lasted JUST long enough to finish painting the porch wall.

We got our paint brushes cleaned up, threw away the old plastic buckets and closed up the paint. We’re using a new stuff you spray into the bucket of paint to keep it from drying up. It would be great if it works, because the gallon of paint we got is really good and EXPENSIVE.

So, now my husband is cleaning up the shop, and I am going to finish my coffee and then take the dog out to help me clean up a flower planter or two ‘before it rains.’

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature

Fog

 

I took these pictures early this morning, but it still looks mostly the same out there now. 
It's 57 degrees, foggy and rainy today. As you look at the valley below our house, this is the leftmost 
part. Farther to the left is my husband's ham radio tower and my greenhouse. 


This is the center of the back. I love the other-worldliness the fog creates. 


This is the rightmost part of the view. Beyond this, is our propane tank, the shop, and finally, my garden.


Fog

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

“Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain…”

funny-quotes.picphotos.net

We awoke to an easy, quiet rain this morning, just as our weather forecasters said we would. They are saying we’ll have rain off and on through Friday. It’s a very good thing I pushed myself to do leaf blowing and mulching yesterday. I spent 4 hours, filling TWO 39-gallon bags with mulch. So many more leaves have fallen since I cleaned up that it’s hard to tell where I worked!

I’ll wait until the leaves dry again and try to do at least one more good session of mulching.  Meanwhile, if the weather will cooperate, I’ll concentrate on cleaning out the flower planters and filling them up to the brim with mulch for the winter. Happily, I have more and more perennials each year. The mulch helps them get through the winter here and happy to bloom again in the spring.

Later today I will try to harvest some lettuce. I’ll plan to show you pictures.

 

Life is full of beauty. Notice it.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child,
and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
Live your life to the fullest potential,
and fight for your dreams.
– Ashley Smith

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Filed under Arkansas, favorite poems, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Maniac Mulcher

I THINK the leaves are dry enough today that I can blow them into piles and put them through our leaf mulcher. If they aren’t, I’ll have to wait until NEXT week, since the rest of the week here is supposed to be rainy.

I just finished unhooking and gathering the extension cord we’ve been using for the greenhouse. This was a job, because we had TWO 75 foot HEAVY extension cords linked together to get from the house to the greenhouse. I THINK I have the greenhouse ready for winter now. My basic book for using a greenhouse says that I can extend my growing season in the spring by starting seeds for hardy plants, such as broccoli and cauliflower, in mid February, and most other early spring plants, such as lettuces, spinach and such at the beginning of March. Until then, things will be idle out there, though I’ll get out and try to organize for seed planting soon.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to do things like final weed whacking, clean up, mulching, pruning, etc. to get ready for winter.  I’ll also harvest lettuce from the raised bed, square foot garden. I have two kinds of lettuce, Bibb and Simpson, carrots and celery left.

Right now, we have so many leaves in the front yard, you can hardly tell there is any grass under there.

This is our mulcher.

 

We attach a 39 gallon trash bag to the bottom part (orange). We dump the leaves in the top and run the mulcher to put the mulched leaves into the bag. Then I run the bag full again, because the first time doesn’t get nearly as small as I would like. Then the bags go into the garage until I have the flower planters cleaned out, and then I’ll fill them up with the mulch we’ve made.

This time of the year, it’s all I can do to try to get everything outside done, so I’m not doing yoga or my elliptical trainer until things are under control.

I hope the weather where you are is cooperating with your plans today.

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds