Happy Anniversary???

So today is our 35th wedding anniversary. It is a much cooler and far more pleasant day today than it was on that day. I swear it was the hottest day of the year. We got out of the car at the church and it felt like we walked into a furnace. Well, I am not sure if it was that bad, but it sounds good. I really wasn’t all that hot, but the photographer kept going off about how the men in tux’s needed a fan going. Having the fan going caused the candles to burn faster and since they were purple and not a standard color they were not dripless and so I am thinking that there just might be some residue of that wax left in the carpet on that stage. Good grief!!

I really was not intending to take any trips down memory lane today. I brought it up because from the way the day is going, I am not sure how many more anniversaries there will be. Yesterday we went to a gathering for James’ oldest sister and her husband as they were celebrating their 50th anniversary, which technically is a bit later this month. This morning James was all out of sorts to the fact that Paulina asked if he had slept well last night. We finally dug out of him that he wanted to get out and do something, as in mow the lawn, but it was damp and foggy outside and he couldn’t get started at 6 a.m. as he would have liked. (Not sure if that was a serious comment or a dry joke.) He is mowing now at 2 p.m.

Cutting in the tree

So in the meantime, he decided the tree branch that has been hanging by a bit of bark way up near the top of the tree just must come down today. He called the local electrician/plumber/appliance salesman and begged to use his boom truck. I had told him to lay off because he does not rent out that truck for all sorts of reasons, but somehow James always gets his way. Well I started off watching this process then quit then finally stepped back in to call it off. Even after he had cleared several branches to get to the one he needed to cut, he continued to diddle around up in the air with a chain saw. As soon as I heard a break I gave a yell to let him know to quit. It went something like, “as long as you haven’t killed yourself yet, you should quit, it is enough.” Myron had been teasing him if he wanted the tree shaped like a bear or a porpoise. I think we were all ready for him to get down. The picture to the right shows him on the broken branch. It was damaged in December in the ice storm and the poor thing has been hanging ever since. It took three cuts to get it out of where it was wedged in.

Now that he is on the mower, I waited for him to mow under the clothes line so I could hang out the one small basket of items that should not go in the dryer. I had said I would not do laundry and hang it out today just to give my back and hip a break. Well I waited and waited and finally I went outside and stood on the other part of the lawn so he would have to mow under the clothes line. He stopped and said I should move because he will use the hand mower there not the rider. Why is it that some days you just want to beat them?

Well he did take the broken branches to the dump and he cut up some of the trunks. Perhaps it would be a good night for a fire pit. Maybe if we do that some of the bugs will leave the yard. Some time we will be able to do that with the grand kids here and they can eat hot dogs and marshmallows straight off the sticks cooked over the fire and they too will have great memories of being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We were hoping to do that this weekend but we were all too tired and it was a little too wet. That’s all for now, catch you later with more on the sale and the birthday.

Garden helper

Last week when I was working in the garden, I soon found I was not alone. When I looked at the tomato plants, I found a guard cat watching me. Roger often stands guard in the area where I am working both inside and out. I sometimes wonder if she thinks she is a dog. Haha!

I had started a longer post today about cleaning out some of my closet and sorting through boxes from the basement, but early this afternoon I had to back off and am currently sitting up in bed trying to rest until whatever hit me goes away. I am blaming my ears, but am not real sure what this is. James made an observation that Tuesday’s are not my best days especially when I do lots of laundry on Mondays and hang most of it on the line. I think it started yesterday already as I kept feeling like I was walking sideways. I just know that I don’t want to think about going out in the heat,but now I am under the covers because I am cold. Maybe it is a psychosomatic reaction to sorting and throwing away stuff saved forever. Enough said, just wanted to share this picture of my guard cat, Roger. Hope you are having a great Tuesday.

Garden progress: fruit trees

Ripe choke cherries

Lots of choke cherries

The other day when I was out in the garden, I took a walk around the yard and checked on the trees. I found that the chokecherry trees are producing this year and the birds have not eaten all of them off yet. This morning James picked the tree that is fully ripe, hopefully we will get to the others before the birds do.

 

apples

plums

The apple tree has lots of apples, unusual to have two years in a row of good produce around here. The apples are pretty small this year, and I suppose that is because it was so dry early on. I am not sure if that really makes a difference, but it seems to be this year because the plums are also really small. The good news about the plums is that so far we have not seen any of the webs indicating that little worm in the fruit. I would appreciate getting enough of a crop to make some jelly. The hard part will be that they won’t ripen until after school starts and I am in the middle of that long-term substituting situation. Well it will be good to be busy and to be paid.

Not much else to mention here. We had our first meal from the garden today. I made some stir fry that included the peas that were picked a few days ago. We also put half of a zucchini into it, and James and Paulina ate that part of the stir fry. I dislike how soft and soggy zucchini gets when cooked in stir-fry. I ate the other half of the zucchini grilled with Cajun spice on it, oh yummy!! We had fresh peaches and fresh strawberries for dessert. I don’t think that I will need to nibble on chips this evening, hurrah!! Today is my last day of lounging around. Tomorrow starts my serious effort to drop 5-10 pounds before I have to squeeze into dress clothes five days a week. Yikes this could be a major challenge. Hope you are enjoying the rest of the summer.

Garden Progress: weeding and trimming

Cucumbers crawling

Today was a morning in the garden. By the time I got up, James was already working on the weeds along the peas and then the cucumbers. Later I picked the peas and worked on training the cucumbers up the fence, which is what you see to the right. Most of the weeds that James had to deal with were what we call creeping jenny. It is a vine with white morning-glory shaped flowers, but all much smaller. The vine is quite fine, but as tenacious as can be, and it has almost a wire-like quality to the way it goes about choking other plants. It seems not matter how deep you go on that plant, you cannot get all of the roots. James is also adamant that it is disposed of rather than tossed on a pile of other weeds. He thinks just having the dead plant in an area will start a new growth. I have to laugh at him sometimes.

Two pumpkins growing

I made it outside about an hour after him, and went to work on that invasive pumpkin plant. The problem is that I let three plants grow thinking that they were all different, when in fact they were all pumpkins. I found that there were a few pumpkins already growing, so I followed their vine back to the root and I was really careful, and a little lucky, about keeping those intact. At one point I was afraid that I had pulled out the wrong root, but fortunately not the case. I ended up leaving the other two plants just to be safe. I did cut as much as I could off what was left. It was necessary to get some of it out of the tomato cages. The vine that has three pumpkins growing on it actually loops through one of the cages, and it might be interesting before the harvest is over. I will have to keep on top of the trimming because I know that plant will try to grow more. Hopefully with this trimming we will get five nice sized pumpkins for a change instead of 25 dinks.

Pepper area

Besides the pumpkins, I did as much weeding as I could along the peppers and that row of red onions to their south side. I also tried to free the yellow onions that are north of the peppers, but that was a feat that will not happen in one day or especially one morning that was already partially used. I ended up pulling out another pail of cosmos. Not sure where this batch will end up. I might need to dig a new spot in the yard just for them. I look back at some of the pictures that I took earlier this summer and found out those cosmos were not there the first time we weeded. They came and grew up while we were in Baltimore, literally during those six days they sprouted and took over. Good Grief!!

James took the wheelbarrow to the garden when he started weeding this morning. By the time I got there, he had it nearly full. It only took a few of the pumpkin vines to fill it, and then he dumped it. When he returned, I had the rest of the discarded vines stacked to start the next load. By the time I was finished with the pepper/onion rows we had the second load full. It is to the point that we no longer count how much is clean, but we gauge our work by how many loads of weeds we remove.

Tomato

James also went around the tomato cans and cages and pulled out the weeds there. He mulches the tomatoes pretty heavily each year, so there are never many weeds in those. We need to do a better job of rotating those around the entire garden in the future. We are finding that the mulching has really improved the soil and so the more times the tomatoes are planted in a space, the better that soil is. I guess we fertilize them pretty well too. Our next issue will be to clean out the area around the zucchini and then that south area where I planted the zinnias and where there is a second batch of snow peas. I am not sure how soon we will get to that. The rest of today I will be working on the message for tomorrow and after that, we will need to get going on cleaning the house for company next weekend. James has a birthday coming up and the girls want to be here. It is also nearing out 35th wedding anniversary and we might need to do something fun for that. Not sure, I think James and I have had enough traveling for the summer, so maybe just a few hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Ha!! Right in the middle of those two days, Ana will turn three. I think that is what we will celebrate.

So, what are your plans for the rest of the summer???

Garden Progress: First zucchini

I picked the first zucchini today after we unpacked from coming home from the North Dakota Coaches Convention. I wanted to post more about being at the convention, but did not have a functioning laptop with me at the place. I did manage that one post from the iPad, but it is just not that easy to type from that thing. Sitting down to a real keyboard after a week without one is like, well I am guessing sort of like being able to finally touch a full sized instrument after being away from one for a time. But this is off base so I will more on.

James and I stayed through the final four sessions this morning then grabbed a few things here and there as we were heading out of town. There is a great sale at the fabric store and I was able to purchase some outdoor material to recover a pad for our old swing at a really cheap price. I picked up 4 yards of material originally priced at $20.o0 per yard. The discount was 60% off with another 20% from a coupon I had gotten on my phone (wonderful young woman behind the counter cutting for me earlier this week, signed me up for the coupons via text). The bolt had an extra 16″ which they were going to have to set aside as a remnant and I could get that for 50% off the discounted price. Wow. Total bill was something like $28.  I will let you know how that project turns out, if I even get to it, which I hope that I do and soon.

The garden, this was supposed to be about the garden. Paulina left yesterday to go to Devil’s Lake to visit her friend Katie, who will be her next year’s roommate. She promised that she watered before she left, but did text me to say that the pumpkin was out of control and would need some clipping. This was a volunteer plant that is now trying to take over on the tomatoes. It is bad enough that there won’t be any beans or peppers to speak of because of the volunteer cosmos, I do not need to lose the tomato crop too. I think I will cut most everything of that vine except two pumpkins in the morning.

I also found several raspberries again, but now understand the importance of cutting the plants off in their first year. I may have to mark which ones are the old plants so that when they come back next spring, I know to cut off the new ones right away. Someone told me that trimming them encourages better growth and fuller production. I am willing to try anything to make those things produce, since I am not so great with the strawberries.

Well, I have left a few pictures of what I found in the garden this evening. The peas need to be picked and the cucumbers need to be trained up the fence. All work for the morning I would say. It is fairly warm out there and I am about zoned out from being away from my own house and bed and cats for four days. I am beginning to think that I have spent more time away from my home and bed than in it this year. Time to stay home and get some things accomplished. I was thinking that when school starts and James goes back to work, I will get much done. Ha, ha!! I will be in school this fall on a long term maternity leave sub job. It will be nice to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning, but it will also mean a little better time management. Oh well, enjoy the rest of July!!

Mid-summer growth

Over-grown garden

The zucchini is nearly buried in weeds.

The garden is growing and that is not an exaggeration. By this time on other years, we might be a little closer to picking a zucchini or peas or even a handful of beans, but I am not really sure how many vegetables we will get from this garden this year unless we top it off as a greenhouse later this fall. We have found out in no uncertain terms the benefits of rain water and sunshine. We were watering every morning and not much was happening, and the day that I fertilized, we had three or maybe four straight days of nice rains. Yes, we also had some winds and for a time, I didn’t think the one sunflower plant would stand up straight again, but the garden is still too wet to walk in or even think about getting into it to do any weeding and it is growing like crazy. We will need to get there before Monday afternoon, as we are headed to the coaches clinic for the week, but I think we will get in the garden tomorrow afternoon or evening for sure. In the meantime, we intend to enjoy the twins as long as they are here and awake.

Sophia on the computer bag

Roger embarrassed to be caught guarding me.

I usually don’t announce that we will be away from the house until we get back, but Paulina will be home so it isn’t like the place is empty. We are getting to the point where we cannot be away from the cats without someone taking care of them on a daily basis. Sophia with her special diet makes it a little tough to even depend on others to take care of her. Then of course my sister Kathy has to watch her one time and decide that the food is easier to eat if it has been heated and now we have to zap her food to warm it up every time she eats. Grrr. Why are pets so spoiled? I swear on that picture to the left, she is about to fall off, but she is so into textures as of late that I have to be very careful what I leave laying out. Roger on the other hand is either following me around outside or standing guard over me as I work or sleep, almost creepy.

Another morning rain

Rain clouds

Rain on the driveway

It rained again this morning. It was soooooo very nice, except for the part where we were drenched. I woke to sounds of thunder and flashes of lightning then stayed in bed to see if it would pass. Finally I got up, made coffee and decided it was passing, so I showered and got ready to go to the office. About the time that James and Paulina headed to the pool to grab the list of children in lessons so that Paulina could call the parents if necessary, it started to pour. At the same time my sister Adie called to say it was hailing in Selby, and she was concerned that it would hit here, so she asked that we try to get her cats to come inside.

Hollyhocks in full bloom

Grass may green

While Paulina was rounding up cats, James and I grabbed all of the solar lights and breakable flower pots dragging them under the porch deck for safety. By the time we were finished, we were soaked. I ended up putting our shoes in the dryer and changing what I was wearing. It never did hail, but that was ok, too. I would rather put the stuff away then leave it out and have it damaged. When I finally came home from Eureka, it was hot and humid. I put everything back to its place and hopefully we don’t have to do it all over again tonight or tomorrow, though we would gladly take a little more rain. It might even convince the grass to come out of hibernation. Some of it was so done with growing that it had turned white.

Well off to the softball game. Catch you later!!

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