Category Archives: Mother Nature

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

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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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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, Mother Nature

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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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

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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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“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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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

Nice Fall Saturday

“Red Tree in Fall” – Paul Militaru Photography

I WISH our trees looked like this.  We had a lot of rain this spring and summer compared to what we normally have followed by an entire month of August with not one drop of rain. This caused the trees, in survival mode, to shed their leaves early.

We do have a lot of leaves in the yard now, though, and I’m HOPING that they are dry enough that I can use the leaf blower to pile them up and then run them through the shredder this afternoon. It’s on 44 degrees out there now, but it’s supposed to get to high 5o’s or low 60’s this afternoon. It would be good if I could clean up the yard, making good leaf mulch for my flower planters in the process.

It seems like the yard work is neverending around here. I still need to do more weed whacking, plus prune and clean up the flower planters. I need to harvest the lettuce in the garden, too.

Since my to-do list is much longer than my energy supply, I’ll choose one thing to try to accomplish outside and see how it goes.

I hope the weather is nice where you are and that you’re planning something fun for the day.

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Heavy Mist/Light Sprinkle

When Amber and I were walking this morning, I saw a beautiful sight – everything in the yard was covered in stunning drops of water. It was completely still, so the water beaded up as if all had been waxed. I tried to get a couple of pics to give you an idea of what my world looks like right now.

 

Even the GRASS had droplets of water sitting on the blades!

 

Like a fairyland, except a bit too cool – at 42.

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Weathering the Weather

distractify.com

I’m delighted to tell you that my veggies and my tender flowers seem to have made it through the 2nd freeze of the weekend! I just came in from taking the sheets off of everything. The rest of the week is supposed to be warmer with no freezes, so, once I get all the sheets dry, I’ll store them in the shop for the next time.

Our 65+ pound ‘puppy’ Amber seems to love the cooler weather.  She is actively sniffing everything while we’re around the garden, following paths all over the yard while I stand shivering, holding wet sheets in my arms. After waiting for what seems like a LONG time, I finally put the sheets on the ground, throw my arms in the air and yell, “Run like a bunny!” Amber looks delighted, and then tears off running as fast as she can all the way across the yard, around the house and back out to me by the garden. She then demands a treat, which I give her. And THEN she’s amenable to going “IN.”

I’m hoping that it’ll warm up enough this afternoon that I can do some weed whacking.

I hope that wherever you are right now, the weather is bringing you pleasure.

 

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Brrrr!

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It was UP to 32 degrees this morning at 8:30, when I went to uncover my plants. We still had the a/c on a couple of weeks ago! I bundled up and took Amber out to the garden with me to uncover my veggies. It LOOKS like they came through the freeze last night and this morning, but lettuce, in particular, is fragile, so I’m not sure yet. PLUS, it’s going to do it again tonight.

I brought in my two newest tomato plants and put them by the window in the dining room. I’m learning from my good greenhouse book that the greenhouse won’t protect my plants from freezing without a heater  (DUH) – something we just can’t afford. We won’t put a/c out there, either, so it looks like what I’m going to be trying for is the longest regular growing season I can get – maybe from mid or late February through the next December or January. I’m getting lots of good, practical information, and I’ll be sharing that with you as I use it.

I gathered up the sheets I had put over the plants in the garden, plus the one I put over my elephant ear and exotic purple plant that my friend, Laufrain, gave me. The sheet for the flower planter was fine, so I just left it on the ground to be put over the plants tonight.

The sheets I put over the garden plants, though, were thoroughly soaked, with a thick layer of frost still on the sheets at 8:30! I’m running each of those through the dryer so I can use them again tonight.

If we can just make it through tomorrow morning, I think our weather is due to go back to more fall-like temperatures with no freezes for a bit. Hooray!

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Bathing Suit or Overcoat?

petcommunitycenter.org

Last week it was in the 90s with air conditioning.

Yesterday it was in the 80s with doors and windows open.

Today the high will be 53, with a cold front and high winds bringing it down into the 40s with freezes tonight and tomorrow night.

Ah, Arkansas!

I’m as ready as I can be with two newest tomato plants dug up and repotted in the greenhouse, sheets and clothespins ready to try to protect veggies in the garden and tender plants in a planter. Irrigation systems have been turned off and drained. Hummingbird bird bath emptied, turned off, and drained.  We repaired the greenhouse and generally tried to batten down the hatches.

I was going to try to gather leaves and make mulch, but yesterday’s 30 mph gusty winds discouraged that. Same for finishing my pressure washing. Same for weed whacking.

As you can see, the freezes will last only long enough to kill a bunch of my sweet plants and then we’ll have more fall-like temperatures again. :0(

I’ll TRY to quit my ‘whine and cheese’ act,  but my nose is pretty out of joint this morning. I’m glad we can look forward to seeing our good friends at Lunch Bunch in about an hour.

May YOUR day be just the way you like it best!

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Getting Ready for the Freeze

Arkansas doesn’t do a great job of winter.

We have a short fall, going from 90+ degree weather a week ago to a projected freeze Friday night and Saturday night, and then returning to fall for awhile longer, while threatening bad ice storms, rather than pretty snow throughout the winter.   I hate this sudden short weekend of freezes because it kills my flowers. I cover up the raised beds in my garden and a couple of other things, but there is no way I can protect everything. :0(

 

Since my flowers will probably be gone by the end of the weekend, the first thing I did today was cut some of the twice-blooming purple iris and some of the hydrangea blooms, bringing them in so we can enjoy them for a few more days.

I then went out to the garden. I had stored old sheets and clothespins in a tall trash can that just fit under one of the raised bed planters. It occurred to me last night that ‘something’ could have gotten into the trash can, since it doesn’t have a lid, and that I might not want to encounter whatever it was.  This morning I brought the trashcan out from under the planter box,  dragged it out of the garden and dumped it on its side quickly on the ground. Nothing showed up, so I grabbed the bottom of the trash can and shook out the rest of the contents, throwing it on the ground again, staying well away. I lucked out. No critters, No snakes. No insects or nests – just sheets and a bag of clothespins. I’ll put the sheets out tomorrow night and Saturday night, and then put them back in the trashcan, but I’ll move the can into the shop for safekeeping this time.

I found four tall stakes that I can put in the planter that holds the purple plant and the elephant ear plant. I put a sheet and some clothespins in the planter, ready to cover the plants tomorrow night.

I dug up the two youngest tomato plants after finding two large pots. I replanted them in the pots with Mel’s Mix and left them on a table in the greenhouse.

 

While I was out there, I heard a ‘CRACK!’ which turned out to be the plastic PVC pipe holders breaking that hold the wood at one end of the greenhouse to the curved PVC rib of the roof. The whole horizontal piece attached to the two vertical pieces was FREE, moving in the gusty wind! I put one of the tomato pots on the table up against one of the vertical pieces of wood. I put a tray and a full gallon jug of water against the other vertical piece of wood until my husband got home. We took a ladder out there and replaced the plastic holders with metal ones, fitting them over the PVC pipe of the rib and screwing them into the vertical wood uprights.*

*NOTE – Don’t EVER use the cheap plastic PVC pipe holders for ANYTHING. Always get the metal ones.

I then spent about 20 minutes securing the sheeting that is stretched over the ribs where it was coming loose. Since we’re having gusty winds, about 30mph this afternoon, this will be a good test of the greenhouse. Fingers crossed.

I think I told you that I finally got the book on starting my greenhouse. It’s called Gardening in Your Greenhouse – Greenhouse Basics,  by Mark Freeman.  I’m learning a TON. This was just the book I needed.  I particularly love the sections about starting seeds. He does it a completely different way than I have, using the same seed starter stuff I’ve been using. Since my nickname is the “Serial Seed Killer” I need all the help I can get!  I’m making a list of things I want to get to use out there, plus I’m getting ideas on how to make the best use of my space, and a realistic idea of what I can do – plus my limitations – so I have a better idea of what to expect.

As I try to implement some of Mark’s good suggestions, I’ll try to share them with you.

I still have a to-do list as long as my arm of things I’d like to do outside, but I really don’t like trying to gather leaves for mulch in a gusty wind. Except for the actual covering of what I can cover tomorrow night, we’re pretty well as ready for the freezes as we can be. We’ll regroup after and see where we are.

I’m going in to put my feet up and read more of my greenhouse book. I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

 

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

I Love Fall – Take 7

 

 

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Favorite Quotes, Mother Nature

My Yard Before the Frost

I’m feeling a bit sad, having to cover up as much as I can in the garden and the yard, digging up plants to try to winter over in the garage, digging up the last of the tomato plants to TRY to winter over in the greenhouse, so I took some pics to share with you in case we have an abrupt end of season. The frustrating thing is that the frost will come Friday night and Saturday night, and THEN the lows will be in the 40’s the rest of the week. :0(

Two colors of impatiens in the planter to the left side of the front porch. (Amber attacked and demolished the others on the right side)

 

Here you can see the impatiens as above, plus the volunteers below the porch from seeds from last year! (You can also see why I pressured washed the front porch, porch pad, and front sidewalk a couple of days ago)

 

Gerbera Daisies

 

This is the completely root-bound, overflowing iris planter I dug out recently, now replanted.  I have two buckets full of rhizomes to plant elsewhere in the yard, sometime after we have our frost.

 

This is the metal duck we made to perpetually fly over the iris planter.

 

Here you can see the whole planter, with the pole and the duck on top. You can also see my new greenhouse and my husband’s new ham radio tower recently erected.

 

Our hydrangea plants are just now reviving after the 90 degree + weather we’ve been having until about two weeks ago, and now they’ll probably be stopped dead in their tracks by the coming frost. I’ll try to bring in some more blooms before the weekend.

 

Also, some nice white.

 

Twice-blooming purple iris.

 

I thought I had pulled out all the zinnias, but more volunteers arrived. I haven’t had the heart to weed whack them.  The shovel bird is standing guard.

 

More, with a hint of phlox on the left.

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Protecting my Fall Garden Plants

preschoolgarden.blogspot.com

Isn’t this a cute picture? He looks like he’s having such a good time.

 

We usually have a freeze in the fall that kills some things and threatens others. When I had my first fall garden, I missed the freeze warning and lost all my plants. Now I listen carefully to the weather reports and cover my garden plants with sheets. Most of the time this will bring the garden plants through and I can continue harvesting until we get a truly hard freeze.

Here you see my sole spinach plant. I’ve harvested 4 leaves so far and cut them up with fanfare in our salad the other night. :0)

 

This is the Simpson lettuce. I’ve been harvesting this for salads most nights.

 

My husband is only interested in head lettuce. I started this one from the core of the head I bought at the store. I don’t know if it will do anything before a hard freeze or not.

 

These are carrots.

 

And this is Bibb lettuce. You can see where the recently rain was hitting the Mel’s Mix so hard it splashed up on the lettuce leaves.

 

usethatherb.com

I’m lucky to have raised beds, but this gives you an idea of what the garden planters will look like with sheets over them. I’m hoping for another couple of months of harvest time after this first frost.

 

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

We’re Going to Have a WHAT?

We’ve been enjoying a reprieve from the 90 degree weather lately. I was just breathing a huge sigh of relief and then last night the weather man was talking about the first chance of an area-wide FREEZE will be Saturday night into Sunday.  WHAT?  WHAT!  We’ve only had three days of fall!

So – added to my outdoor list for the week is

  • emptying out and storing all the parts of the hummingbird bird bath
  • getting out sheets so I can cover up the veggie garden plants and some of the more tender plants in the yard planters Saturday night
  • digging up the two late tomato plants and putting them in the greenhouse
  • digging up the elephant ear and purple plants to store them in pots of peat moss in the garage for the winter

Anything else I get done will be ‘gravy.’

I hope you have a good day today.

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

Garden Progress

We have a LOT to do outside.

We have a lot of HAVE-TO’S – where we’re acting like grownups, making sure we’re ready for the coming cold weather. In this group, my husband is turning off the irrigation system that automatically waters everything in all the planters around the house, plus the deck planters.  In doing this, he found that two of the three outside faucets leak. This isn’t surprising after 30 years, I guess, so we went to Yeagers and got some replacement washers and he’s trying to get them installed in all three faucets. He finished the one for the well house, and is now working on the two on the back of the house. To do THAT, he has to shut off the water to the house.  Always happy to do my part, I immediately wanted to get a glass of water from the tap and go to the bathroom…

We also have the group of things that SHOULD be done to show that someone cares what things look like up here. In this group is weed whacking, weed and bug killing, cleaning up the beds around the house that are now full of leaves, pruning, etc. I did some of the pressure washing this morning. This afternoon I’m doing some of the weed whacking. I’ve been at it for a couple of hours now, so I’m taking a break and drinking some water. I’ll heck on my husband’s progress, armed with more kleenex and band-aids, and then I’ll do another hitch. None of the ‘should’s’ will be finished quickly. I figure if we try to do a bit each day, eventually we’ll get things under control or run out of good weather.

Finally, we have my real LOVE, working in my raised bed square foot garden. The fall garden is small, but is coming along fine. I’m still waiting for my book on the basics of getting my greenhouse organized well and running right. I’m supposed to get the book by Halloween or before. I’m watching the weather forecast for when we’re due for frosts or freezes, and I MAY have to go ahead and dig up a few things before I have a clue what I’m doing. I have some sheets ready to put over the garden plants at night, so hopefully I can keep that going until we have a deep freeze.

I love this time of year, thought I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by my to-do list. I keep reminding myself – one day at a time…

 

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

After the Storm with Amber

I found poor, neglected Amber like this awhile ago. She had only been out three times this morning, once with my husband playing ball with her, so I took pity on her and took her out again.

A cold front came through about 1am, bringing lots of rain (FINALLY!) and cooler temperatures through the end of the week, we hope.  I went out, jacket on, dog zapper in one hand, coffee in the other, dog treats in my right jeans pocket, to see what the storm had wrought.

We went first to see if the greenhouse and the ham radio tower were still up after all the high wind. Both are doing fine. Whew!

Amber found wonderful branches in the yard, picking them up and running around like a mad thing with them clamped in her teeth. She had a large one that, when she had one part of it in her mouth, the other part came up across her face making it hard to see out. She still ran around, doing a victory dance, clearly saying, “Look at ME!”

Everything was gloriously wet, and the sky was promising more to come, so we walked from the greenhouse all the way across our property out to the shop and the garden. On the way back to the house I saw one, bright red leaf on the ground. Almost buried by the other leaves, I almost missed it. It has been so dry the whole past month that the leaves were coming down due to lack of water, rather than falling temperatures, so we haven’t had much color here.

Of course, the minute I picked it up, Amber wanted to EAT it. I brought it in so I could take a picture of this sole sign of glorious fall color.  It brought up my spirits this morning, and I hope it does the same for you!

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, Mother Nature

Wonderful Gift

Our friend, Carla, called a few minutes ago, asking if we could give her a ride to Fort Smith to pick up her car that had been being worked on. We jumped into the truck, picked her up and got her to the Kia service shop with about 10 minutes to spare before they closed for the day. It rained on us – from one cloud – on the way over there, barely enough to need the windshield  wipers.

As we got into the rush hour traffic headed for home, though, it started raining more seriously. As we got closer to the Greenwood turnoff, we saw this –

2pat.wordpress.com

This isn’t OUR double rainbow, but it’s very similar to the wonderful gift we experienced from Mother Nature.

When we turned into the road that runs through Greenwood, one rainbow was on either side of the road ahead of us.  Just stunningly beautiful!

As we neared home, it was obvious that at our house, the driveway was barely damp.  If we hadn’t helped Carla, we would have missed the whole thing.

Not to be TOO greedy, I’m hoping we see a few meteors tonight from the Orionid Meteor Shower.

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Digging Up Iris Project – Take 2

I’m going to try to finish digging out my iris plants today.

 

We devoted a square brick planter in the back yard for new iris, with the plan  to redistribute them all over the yard when it was time to divide them. We made this bird to “fly” over the planter.

 

This is the actual planter. You can see that this has really gone nuts in the past two years. I have dug out approximately half of the rhizomes now. I plan to get out there in a few minutes and see if I can finish getting the plants dug out, and the excess roots and leaves cut off. I have one plastic basket in the garage already of the half I dug out recently.  I’ll plant some back in this planter, but most of them will go in spots up and down the driveway, out to the shop, and in groupings here and there around the yard.

I started with 15 plants in this planter which is almost 4 feet on each side. I can’t believe how many plants I have now, or how difficult it is to get them out carefully. I have 5 different colors – a bright yellow, a yellow with a brown striped ‘beard,’ a pretty blue, some small purple, and I THINK a fuchsia, though I’m not sure.

I have a really nice day to work outside, so please wish me luck on finishing up the digging out today.

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature

I Love Fall – Take 4

CountryLiving

The high today is forecast to be 90+ with 70% humidity. UGH. Overnight, though, a glorious cold front is supposed to come through, bringing much welcomed rain and a high of 71 tomorrow! AHHHHHHHH!  I worked out in the yard for a bit yesterday, just planting some hyacinth bulbs and cutting back some hydrangea leaves. I had to take a shower when I cam in. I’m really ready to be outside more, organizing my new greenhouse, dreaming of the seeds I’ll plant, trimming back things in the yard, working in my garden. Tomorrow can’t come fast enough! :0)

 

“Red Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography

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“What a Difference a Day Makes…”

John Greenleaf Whittier

Yesterday the high was 92 degrees F. Today it’s 62.

Yesterday we worked in the yard wearing sweat bands. Today we worked in the yard wearing light jackets.

We’ve been using the attic fan for the nice, cool breeze to help us sleep better. Last night I almost froze my rear end off, getting up to turn off the attic fan, shut the window, and turn on the electric blanket for a bit when the temperatures touched 46 degrees.

Amber is in heaven today. I think she thought that having to pant much of the day was just the way it was. Today the cooler temperatures energized her to the point we stood and laughed as she ran round and round the house, then turned and ran full out the other direction several times. We also played ball for quite awhile this morning, and my husband is out with her right now.

We started to have the doors open this morning, and then closed up because we were too cool in here!

My husband went to the basement to get us some jackets to hang up.

It’s only going to be this way for a couple of short days, and then we’ll have Indian summer, with temperatures in the high 80s again, but what a lovely dose of fall we’re having!

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Filed under Arkansas, Changes, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Shoot!

zazzle

We usually go bowling, and then for ice cream, on Monday nights – the night the bowling alley makes it affordable for us. We go with up to three others, and have been doing this for several years now. We can catch up with what’s been going on with our friends, get some good exercise, and then celebrate or console ourselves with delicious ice cream from Braum’s afterwards.

We had to cancel it for tonight, due to a significant cold front and the prospect of severe weather right when we would be trying to go for ice cream and then take everyone home.

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After a mostly sunny and warm Monday, (92 degrees F.) a cold front will be marching through our area Monday Night. Not only will it drop our temperatures BY OVER 40 DEGREES, it will also bring the chance for some showers and storms (rain, wind, hail, flying hairballs, possible tornado) overnight.”

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kfsm

We are just southeast of Fort Smith, in the darkest green blob.

So, although we’re disappointed we had to cancel bowling and ice cream with our friends tonight, we’ll be thankful we have dry homes to “weather the weather” tonight.

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I Love Fall – Take 3

 

 

“Yellow Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

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I Love Fall – Take 2

 

 

“Untold Autumn Lyrics” – Paul Militaru Photography

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I Love Fall – Take 1

Albert Camus

 

“Leaves Rust Fall on the Path” – Paul Militaru Photography

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