Friday, October 14, 2016

Mid October! Really?

Well, this month is going by as fast as September did.  Crazy.

We've had mild (coolish side) days and some brisk nights dipping into the high 30s.  Last night it dipped a little lower:

There is also a very light frost.  Will be interesting how the annuals fared later in the day.

Mild days/nights in the next 4-5 day forecast so if anything got toasted, outside chores won't be all that uncomfortable.

Speaking of comfort, so many big-ticket expenses this year forced me to cancel another big ticket item.  Namely, the sagging front bay window.  This window was sagging when I bought the house in 2002 and the darn thing has always slipped to the bottom of the expense list every since.  

This year was the year!  I had the $$.  I had the motivation!  Then one thing after another was prioritized:  Our private road needed to be regraded/repaved. $$$ The R/O water system which had never recovered from the breakdown in 2015 needed to be replaced. $$ The car took another couple checks. $$ And now the dying/dead ash trees need to come down before they fall down. $$$

So the bay window and getting the driveway sealed -- off the list this year.  

Plastic over the window was not cutting it.  The leakage at the window is so much so that strong winds actually pop the plastic right off the tape.  This year - I went radical and totally foamed up the sashed into place.

I will still have to put plastic over the windows to prevent condensation since the glass itself is no longer insulated between.

One thing I noticed right off the bat yesterday - I'm getting a lot less outside noise.

Supposed to be a harsh winter this year.  Last nights earlier-than-traditional date freeze seems to indicate such.  Hope the foam helps.

Meanwhile, after over 3 weeks, I'm still recovering from the biop.  When I went back Monday, the surgeon said he's not seen these kind of problems that I'm having before.  What's he doing?  "We'll look at you again in 2 weeks."



Saturday, October 1, 2016

October? Really?

Seems I just posted a couple of weeks ago.  Oh dear.  I guess I'll stop looking at the watch and start looking at the calendar.  Time goes so fast anymore.

It was a long, busy, stressful, summer with highs and lows, things broke, things got (mostly) fixed.  Some things got planted out, some have spent the summer on the deck where it was easier to water. Health issues.  Etc. Etc. 

I'm not going to try and recap - there lies madness.

Instead I'll start with the best news - last week's biopsy showed no cancer.  Yay me.

Everything else is secondary.

As you saw in the last post, the spaRRows (the container garden) turned aces this year with over 100 cukes (Manny) from 2 vines in 1 pot, more than 16# of bush beans from 4 large pots, 42 various bell peppers (8 smaller pots), over 45 hot banana peppers (2 med pots) and from 5 large pots/plants of bush goliath - 36.5# ripe and 12.5# green (now all turned ripe).  From the 2 sauce tomatoes (in ground) I got 22# ripe and 12.5# green (turning ripe on the shelf). The potted flat parsley turned into a small shrub. The sweet success cukes nearly covered the pergola over the deck, but did not produce well giving me only 24 cukes from the 2 vines.  I'll not grow that variety next year, instead trying some Gita beans in the same spot.  All in all - a great year for veg.

The annuals held their own in the hot, humid, rainless months, not giving a great show over the summer.  But they hung in there and were ready to snap back when September brought cool, dry air and good rains (6.25" - 2.25 in the past 2 days).

You can also see in the background that the original privacy fence got a facelift when all the planks were removed and repositioned to eliminate the 1/4"-3/8" gaps due to 5 years of drying out.  It looks fab now, and lives up to it's name.

The swing bed came into it's own, also late in the day. The Black and Blue salvia blooms are at eye level, the zins, marigolds and agastaches are buzzing with bees as are the Autumn Joy sedum and the anemones.  I love how it filled out (don't mind the weeds - I choose my battles these days).

Winter forecast is not favorable with a return to cold, snow, winds and storms.  Not looking forward to it at all.  I've got furnace and fireplace service scheduled, plans for caulking up the front bay window, and other prep on the list.  

But I'm pacing myself (still recouperating from the biop).  Mom and I continue with our 2ce weekly fitness sessions and both are looking forward to some downtime with books and movies and more leisure activities this winter.

Anyway - I'm not promising the moon here, but hopefully I'll be able to catch up some of the sidebar blogs too.  Like I said, there were a lot of things fixed and I know how much you enjoy my MacGyver entries (well, that's what I tell myself).


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Still on hiatus - but a spaRRows pic

I don't think I'll ever have such success in my container garden (spaRRows) as what I'm having this year.  Here is spaRRows in 2015 mid-July:

2015 mid-July
This year's growth is amazing, the bugs *knock wood* are few, and the lack of rain has helped keep mildew, mosaic and rust at bay.

I'm taking lots of pics to remind me what a container garden can do.  The Manny cukes started producing 6/26 and have given me nearly 40 8-9" fruits.  The Sweet Success started 2 weeks later with 14 cukes to date.  The vines have topped the trellis and are now sprawling over the pergola.  (Note: with early fruit, hardy growth, and doing so well in the pot, Manny may become my goto cuke in the future - takes full sun without wilting, cukes are fast and delicious.) 

(2016 mid-July)
Blue Lake bush beans will need to be picked in a couple days (note the climbing bean in the middle pot - it was mixed in with the pack, a sorting error; but has been fun to watch reach for the sky), the 3 Red Robin mini tomatoes are keeping me supplied with salad fruit. The peppers.  OMG the peppers!  I have not grown such good healthy peppers in years, ground OR pot.  I've picked a small bag of the hot bananas, the new Sweet Gourmet is setting well and already has ripened 3 nice sized fruit to bright orange already.  

The 3 non-determinate tomatoes under the bay window are heavy with toms while the Bush Goliaths are doing very well in the pots.

All in all -- deer, rabbits, moles, chipmunks and groundhogs aside -- this is THE BEST GARDEN (pot OR ground) I've had in years.  

How about you?  Best, worst or samo-samo this year?

P.S.  And would someone please tell Sue to stop banging that cup?  :-P

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Seems I've been on hiatus.  Seems it may last a while longer.  Just wanted to assure everyone (both of you) that I'm OK.  Just unmotivated right now.

I have tons of interesting posts in mind.  Hopefully they will be realized soon.

Happy summer.  Stay cool.  And if you have any extra rain -- SEND IT HERE!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Yay Yay YAY!!

After weeks and weeks of promised rain, two storms FINALLY delivered yesterday.

Early in the day we got .25" - not much, but it was the first rain in 2 weeks.

Then, while out shopping with Mom, another larger storm hit and it had a bigger punch!

I now have 5 full barrels of rainwater.  Could've been 6 if I'd gotten home sooner.

But this morning, outside, overcast, warm and MOIST air.  What a breath breath of fresh!

Total - 1.7" for the day.  Yowzah!

Happy happy joy joy.  What a lift to the spirit.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Still hanging in there...

Long time, no post.  I've been very busy between my garden, Mom's garden, Dr.'s appts, household repairs, etc.  I've done a lot - yet I have not been able to feel any sense of accomplishment.  Usually doing things gives me a boost, allowing me to do more.  Not this Spring.  I think my spring has sprung. 

And lately I've been dealing with some kind of 'spell' : dizziness, weakness, clumsy, easily angered, sometimes near tears.  Sometimes hard to catch a breath.  Sleeping doesn't seem to help. And what I have always called 'crying tired'. 

I'm feeling a little better today - some dizziness, but a little more 'in synch' with things, more adept.  You ever get spells when you are at all odds with the world?  You can't catch a break?  Can't focus and whatever you do at that time turns to crap?  I hate those spells.  And nothing seems to help except sit down, don't make any important decisions or take on anything new, and ride it out.

I hope the ride is coming to the end soon.  

To list my recent activity seems overwhelming right now, so I will post dribs and drabs as soon as I find motivation.  I don't feel depressed per se, but lethargic, unmotivated, uninterested.  I do what needs be done, but with no joy.  

I have an annual appt with my cardio next week.  If I'm not better, I'll mention this fatigue to him.

Meanwhile, I'm still here, still plugging away - in spite of the attitude.  Stay tuned for (hopefully more uplifting) future posts...

New blog header - that's a Great Blue Heron in the bottom center.  Saw it wandering around the back lawn yesterday.

Meanwhile - here's how the container veg garden (spaRRows) is coming along.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Too pooped to post

Sorry for the silence, but I've been too busy and too tired at the end of the day to even make a coherent sentence.

I'm beginning to forget all the things I've done lately.  Luckily, I take my trusty camera with me so I can remember why I'm so knackered these days.

More posts to come -- when we get a rainy day.  (Who knows how long that will be.)

Hang in there.  I'm sure you're all to busy to read anyway... ;-D