What We Did Over Summer Vacation
I know I said I was going to post from the library, but with getting photos ready and I tend to go on abit, I would be sitting there for hours. I would feel like any minute they would kick me off so someone else could get on. I just would not feel comfortable. I would feel rushed and my post would not be up to my satisfaction.
That being said, I am now typing this at home on my son’s computer in word pad so I can save to a gigistick and then copy paste into WordPress at a later time.
Oh, did I mention this is going to be a long post with lots of photos and several galleries? 😀 I guess I just did.
Ok, so let’s get this post started.
A new developement this summer was that my daughter, Kay rejoined the workforce. She is now waitressing at a major food franchise Monday thru Friday. So I am now babysitting my grandson, Martin(we call him Marty). I watch him 3 days at my house and 2 days at his house. He keeps this Grandma and Grandpa( Marty calls him, Papa) on their toes.
Next up is gardening and yardwork. I have been calling it Yardening. I don’t know what type of project I will be doing for sure when I step outside for the day.
Yardening In 2017
Gardening has been a bit strange this year the weather has been a bit cool and wet at times. So things seem to be growing at a slower pace. We have had our hot spells too, but they have only lasted 2 or 3 days, then back to cool and wet. The cool wet days were great for the June barer strawberries.
They produced many a nice sized berries so I was able to freeze a quart size bag, before everyone at them all fresh.
This is how I freeze them. I cut them in to pieces, place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then take them out and put them in a quart bag. This was done over several pickings to fill the bag. I had an assistant on this day.
I was having troubles getting pepper seedlings to stay alive or even sprout at all. Part of that, I think is I started to many too soon. I did not have enough pots to transfer them to, while I waited for the outside temps to warm up. The package also says that the seedlings should have at least 5 leaves before you transplant them outside. Thus the shortage of pots after they started to outgrow the starter peat pads.
I need more of these size pots like I started the moonflowers in. Since I was having so much trouble with the peppers, David bought some from the nursery when he got his tomato plants. He bought 8 plants of a variety called Big Bertha for the peppers and 4 plants of the Big Beef variety for the tomatoes.
I was able to get some of the seedlings transplanted into these sized pots and my long rectangle flower pot and eventually out in to their garden spot( 17of my seedlings and the 8 Big Berthas, one of the Big Berthas did not make it) among the strawberries or into the flower beds on the south side of the house(14 seedlings, two did not make it).
Speaking of the moonflowers, they were a challenge also. They got to a nice size in their pots and the weather had warmed up so I figured it was time to transplant them outside. Of the 6 seeds I started only three made it this far. They are the large leaf seedlings in the photo. The other seedlings are some peppers. I planted one by Rocky Raccoon, one by the deer skull in the south bedroom window flower bed , and the last one in the corner of the new bed under the west bedroom flower bed, more on the building of that bed later.
All of these soon died. I did not keep them watered. They were the only things planted at the time, so I tended to forget about them. After the voulenteer marigolds started coming up and I had planted other seeds, I decided to give the moonflowers another try. This time I just planted the seeds directly into the bed. They are doing much better, but I still don’t think I will see a flower before the first frost. I think I still have some seeds to try again next year.
I mentioned above that I made a new flower bed under my west bedroom window. I had been thinking of putting one there for a few years. I finally got around to it. I gathererd rocks and old concrete chunks, that have just been laying about the yard doing nothing useful, the shovel, the rake and set to work.
David also made a new flower bed/garden spot. He needed to dig out the east side of the shed to replace one of the lower walls that had rotted out. There was alot of dirt to be moved so David had Nick assist with the project. The dirt in question was the old compost pile alot of this was used on the south side of the shed to level it out and provide good soil for the bed.
Now that the compost pile was cleaned up and moved, David was able to make two new squash hills.
The iris bulbs that I had tossed on the compost pile a few years ago continued to grow, so David moved them to the corner of the bed. I then planted eight of my pepper seedlings and marigold seeds around them.
All did well. As you can see in the last photo the weeds did well too. They got way ahead of me. I had weeded it twice though before they did.
Another little project I did was to clean up underneath the back steps. I moved a bottle of windshield cleaning fluid, a floor jack, a plastic bin lid, four windows, and an oil pan to the shed. It was alot easier to find a place for it all as David had been cleaning it up over the late spring months.
I thought it would be a simple task, but nooooo!! It turned into an earth moving and an eviction. All I wanted to do was move that oil pan to the shed. It was stuck it would not budge. So I crawled under the steps to see what the deal was. There was a big pile of dirt all around and under the oil pan which had wedge it under the bottom step. Well I was going to have to “dig” it out using one of David’s concrete trowels. I moved dirt aside then wiggled the pan and repeated, until I was finally able to lift the pan enough to move dirt from under it. I then was able to scoot it from under the step and lift it fully up, as I did this all the dirt from inside fell out. I also dislodge something in the pan that started to move. It startled me, but it was just a toad. 😀
I had just evicted him! He hopped off to the side and watched as I finished demolishing his home. Then he hopped over by the water spout and hose to worry about being a homeless toad. I finished leveling out all that dirt and sloping it so it would drain when it rained instead of puddling under the steps. I then spread some grass seed under and around the steps.
I felt bad about making the toad homeless. Then I remember David and Nick said there was one living under the storage area under the deck. So I rehomed my toadie friend there. He got a new home plus a neighbor. 😀
My most recent project was to clean the deck and paint its stairs. It was a beautiful morning to do this project. Plenty of sunshine and a light breeze to move the paint fumes away. I only had a bit of the original February Gold from when we painted it in 2007, so I knew I would have to do some of them in white. The white paint was some we got when David’s brother cleaned out their sister’s home after she passed away. There were two different gallons of white exterior paint neither had been opened but the rims were a bit rusted. I opened the first can only to find a watery solution on top of a thick glob of latex that I could not stir into any form of being paint. I opened the second can it also had a water solution on top, but the latex was still liquid. Yippee, I was able to stir this into paint! I was going to paint every other step white, but this paint said not to use it on foot traffic areas as it was semi-gloss.
So I painted all the steps gold. I took a lunch break at around 12:30 pm. I finished the steps around 1:30 pm. I still had enough gold left to paint the top of the railing that went around the edges of the deck. It was pretty hot by now and it was starting to get smokey out.
I finished that up, then with white, I repainted the door frame, that had started to peel. David had not painted the sides last fall when he installed it as the wood was prepainted. I guess it just could not handle winter. I next I painted the lower half of the siding to the right of the door. After that I got out the broom, started moving things, and began sweeping off the deck. As I moved each thing and swept, I painted the east rail and the facing support beams white. By the time I finished at around 3:30 pm the smoke out was really thick. David had come out earlier and told me that the smoke was coming from four fires around Billiings, Montana. The smoke is still in the air this morning as I type this but not as thick and it is much cooler today.
I knew I would not be able to post so I took a few walk around photo shoots to show the progress of the gardens. I have lots of flower photos so they have their own gallery for each month that they were blooming.
MAY’S WALK AROUND
JUNE’S WALK AROUND
insert photos 94-113
JULY’S WALK AROUND
looking from above photos 183- 186
If you are wondering what is up with the summer squash plant in photos 129 and 130, this is due to another problem we have trying to grow a garden. GOPHERS!!! He tunneled right under the plant. First he ate the root’s tips so the plant got all wilty, because now the roots are hanging in the roof of his tunnel the water does not go to the root when we water. We think the plant is ok when it does perk back up for a short time. The next morning this is what we found, he had pulled the whole plant down into his tunnel! I guess he is trying to fill his larder for winter too!
So this is the reason for the new planting strateogy in photo 131. David made large mounds and placed a coffee can in the middle. I put potting soil inside the can and planted the seeds. This proved to be more successful(see photo 170).
coleus, shadows were a bit funky
first gladiolus cane
The first gladiolus cane was soon joined by a second. They were both a lovely yellow. I brought them inside and with a few other flowers I made this arrangement to enjoy.
I did not do a walk around in August, but I took lots of flower photos.
harvested big bertha peppers
Other happenings in August included these turkeys taking a strut through the butternut squash patch.
The biggest happening was the total solar eclipse. We were not in the path of totality, we would have had to drive 45 miles to view that. Judging from the traffic headed south a lot of people were doing just that. We didn’t get any viewing glasses. We did notice that the shadows were looking a bit funky. I was able to snap this shot of the leaf shadows on the driveway.
September happenings included David’s 60th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary. No big celebrations for either occassion, just quiet at home celebrations with the kids.
October brought my and Marty’s Birthdays, my 50th and Marty’s 2nd.We celebrated at an indoor play area with two bouncy castles. I baked,frosted, and decorated the cake Mama bought for Marty. He requested a pink cake through and through.
November has been unseasonally warm. Thanksgiving was spent eating turkey soup and marathon watching season 6 of “Bones”. My son was at a store here where you can buy, sell or exchange video games and gaming systems this month. He saw that they had a laptop for sale. It was 100 dollars, but we got it on Black Friday for 96.75 tax included. So now we have a laptop again. WHOOO HOOOO! No internet at home yet, but at least now I can take my own to the library!
The fishing season has been a slow one too. David has managed to catch some big catfish and pike for the freezer. I have not gone as often, I was doing more yardening and then I started watching Marty 5 days a week. Here are a few photos of David’s catches. He caught 7 other catfish but these were the biggest. He caught two other pike but this is the biggest one of them.
I have continued to do crocheting during the summer. I completed one big project and a few smaller ones. I will give a detailed post on that over at Skrappy Skarves and reblog here.
Well that is all for now folks!