Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Behind in the garden again

In my head that title went along to "back in the saddle again" so now you know how to sing it right. 

Anyway, here's a conglomerate of garden photos, so if it's not your thing just skip it and I won't be offended. These were taken at least a week ago so things are either larger or more wilted now thanks to the heat and the lack of rain. I've been watering what feels like a lot, but apparently some things are thirstier than others and I underestimated how much good Dada's soaker hoses did in the old house's raised bed gardens...

Eggplant above, cabbage below, REALLY yummy cabbage below that... hmmmm....

The above guys are pepper plants and they don't look any different than the day we transplanted them, even today. 

Below are tomatoes and they're doing okiedokie for the most part. We did add some eggshells and coffee grounds around some of them as we were starting to see some of the blossom end rot.

Damon's mystery Kindergarten plant has revealed itself to be a green bean, which the bunnies seem to enjoy.

A mystery melon is growing in the compost pile:

Cattails flourishing in the creek.

We ghetto-styled our herb garden. These poor guys were all in pots forever, so if any of them make it it'll be a miracle. As we are pizza lovers and save our boxes to start our fires, we had plenty to hopefully kill off the relentless weeds that grow in the courtyard around this tiny tree. 

We popped the herbs and a few flowers in there (yellow ones are citrine, there's a sage, an oregano, two rosemaries, and other assorted sprouts my brain lost the names of) and just water the boxes and all. Eventually the boxes will decompose. We might toss compost on top this fall and let the whole thing set to see what happens over the winter. 

The Brussels Sprouts are on wave two of caterpillars, darn it, so we need to spray again. The shallots and garlic don't seem to be flourishing, but rather hanging in there. And I had no idea cucumbers would be so incredibly thirsty, but I suppose it makes sense as they're mostly water. Ours are brown and crispy and accusing-looking. The peas? Forgetaboutit. They didn't even make it to the trellis thanks to the bunnies. 

We do, however, have happy bunnies who think the world of their kind humans who plant salad bars for them...

These are purple morning glories but we call them "the Grandma Barb flowers" because I had her watch a pot of them while we moved back from Illinois or somewhere and they took over her front porch garden. She had purple twining flowers everywhere. EVERYWHERE. They were lovely. I'm trying to feed this one all through that little fence, but it is bound and determined to grow UP instead of sideways. I'll keep trying.

Slow down, summer! 

And here are the guys out front:

Christmas in July 2016

I'd like to thank the 77 of you who showed up for our Christmas in July shindig. We were so blessed by your friendship and fun fellowship and food!

Just look at all those cars in the yard! 

We had a lunch rush about noon, some downtime around 2:30, then at 4:00 I looked up to see my entire downstairs packed full of people. I had a moment of panic as I realized that it wasn't even dinner and we were pretty crowded, but then folks meandered outside and it looked more like this

Of course the tree was up and decorated by the kids:

That cracked some people up, but how could you possibly have Christmas in July with no tree? I'm stymied.

"And there was far too much food!"

There were some activities for kids:

And some for grownups, like reading in the library:

There was even green eggs and ham for breakfast for our out-of-town-and-overnight guests, especially to ones who brought along their own holiday cheer:

77 people (not counting us) was a lot, but we're sure there would have been more had it not been ridiculously hot with even more ridiculous humidity. Thanks to all of you who braved it to come check in with us, we missed those of you who couldn't make it (and there were quite a few of you, so don't feel like you were alone in missing out), and we'll see you next time! Merry Christmas!

Stormy S'mores, Continued

So I'd mentioned that when this crew was here

that it had stormed on our s'mores. Then the computer and camera drive decided to become like junior high girls and not speak to each other... my pictures were stuck on the camera but are unstuck and uploaded now, so here's the rest of what that evening looked like:

That little "bug" in the above picture is actually one of our most-welcome bats, who helps keep our mosquito population way lower. We cheer when we see him and his friends come out around sunset. 

The owls have been squawking to each other out back lately. We don't hear the hooting songs, but we do hear a lot of "scraaaaawk!" and "screeeeek!" though we never seem to see them. According to my bird identification app on my phone, those are female calls. Guess they have a lot to talk about just like my Lisa and I. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Make new friends but keep the old

So I've been blessed with this particular BFF since I was six. SIX! Damon is six NOW. You can not even imagine the shenanigans we've been up to in that amount of time. 

This is clearly not the best picture of us that's ever been taken, but this is my dearly beloved Lisa after three days and two nights at our house. With seven kids aged 13 to not yet 2 years old. Without her husband along on this trip. See how brave she is?

Clearly two of these children don't belong to either of us specifically, but one of my other besties joined us at the park. The now-nine of them bonded instantly and had a blast running and running and running and hollering like the crazy fools they are.

Is he big enough to count as a tenth child? Carrie found him. Big surprise.

And here's little mister, staying out of trouble while his mom packs the car. He was plunking lava rocks in the bin of water.

All day we'd watched the weather as it threatened online to storm. It didn't, it didn't, it still didn't. So we made s'mores. And it poured, POURED on our s'mores. And then it stopped.

Life is good.


To tide you over, there's a quote board up on the Telling It Like It Is site. (Just click on that underlined title)

 I'm swamped with Christmas in July party prep and the big post I'm working on has stuckified in the photo department. I may or may not get to it before the party, so head on over to catch up on (also behind and also old) quotes to make you smile. Have a super week and be careful in the heat and see you all on Saturday! ;)

Monday, July 04, 2016

Really Random June Wrapup

This was Liam chatting to PaPa on Father's Day. In my imagination, I'm seeing him on the phone with friends at 15 and with girls when he's 20. Ha!

While that all was happening, when what to my wondering eyes should appear out back:

"What the thunder...?"

Yes, that would be a Chris George and a Pap helping Dada unload the wood that he bought at an auction.

For those of you who aren't local, Dada's been bitten hard by the auctioning bug. Lots of Stuff has been coming home to stay with us besides wood. Some things have already proved their weight in gold, like the rototiller that got our garden ready. Others? Well, just don't ask me about the drafting table.

Anyway, good thing we have a handy dandy shed with a loft for the wood that was bought with projects in mind.


And then out front, what in the world is going on out here!?

Looks to me like Darth Vader and the Shrike from Hyperion put in an appearance... check out Vader using the Force!

Watch out, Vader, or the Shrike is gonna getcha!

Mind you, these were all taken in June, so we've had progress which I don't have pictures of yet. Shocking, I know. 

We had green caterpillars all over the Brussels Sprouts so we had to spray them down after feeding the frogs in the pond and squishing bunches of extra caterpillars. Blech. I did save a handful of them in a jar for the kids to watch, and sure enough, we released our first butterfly yesterday!

So then here are other random greenery things happening around here. We're particularly fond of the butterfly bushes or tickle plants. Don't they just look like the bees would be giggling and jiggling all through them because of the fine hairlike thingies on them?

Last year these guys were blooming around the Golden Oldie party and the hummingbird visited them. They're all done now, so the hummingbird zips by out front in the random flowers that sprang up under the birdseed feeders.

Liam's job this summer, well, one of them, is to keep the birdfeeder filled for our feathered friends, like these nuthatches:

Another fun visitor:

He's not related to the aforementioned green caterpillars, by the way. I'm not sure where he came from.

And then these guys are Downy Woodpeckers who visit often. There were three on the suet feeder, and the one on the left couldn't reach it. His buddy leaned way over several times and helped him out. Carrie and I were enchanted!

Here's up close, cropped versions.

And that was June! Sorry, Mommee, that it took so long.