Oops! I Forgot September’s Flowers

I didn’t post my September flowers the other day I had not even gotten them ready for posting lol

So here they are! Enjoy them as much as I did.

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I Have Gone A Little Old School For This Post

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.

Close up of the sprouted sweet peppers.

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).

July’s Flowers

marigolds

alyssum

petunia

coleus, shadows were a bit funky
first cosmos
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.

AUGUST’S FLOWERS
I did not do a walk around in August, but I took lots of flower photos.
marigolds

petunias
cosmos

zinnias

Gladiolius

    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!

A Little Bit of This and That

 

Computer Maintainance

Saturday (04/22/2017) morning I was going to get on the computer to do a few things. When I got over to it there was a note on it saying that the anti- virus program needed to be downloaded. I knew it would be ending soon. I clicked on the program button in the tray. It said it needed reactivated. Now this is Nick’s ( my son) laptop. I knew he did not want to renew the paid subscription. So the reactive choice seemed ok to do. I thought this would just revert it back to the free subscription. I pushed the reactivate choice. It loaded and of course the program needed to do a restart. I let it do that knowing I would not be doing any computer stuff. Nick has his laptop set with a password. I was not going to wake him at 8 am on a Saturday on his day off. So I had to find other things to do until he got up.

When he did get up and he put in his password.  I was concerned by reactivating it I may have actually bought the subscription again. When Nick checked the virus program it had just given a free 30 trial. So I was happy that I had not accidentally bought a subscription. 🙂 Whew!

Sully’s Saturday and a Photo Shoot

Well Sully had been begging at the door all morning. So one thing I could do was take him out for some outdoor time. I walked him around the house and then clipped him to the deck rail. He was able to eat his grass and sniff some catnip under the steps. While he was doing that I decided to take some snapshots of me modeling the new hat I finished crocheting the night before.

I did my modeling by the back of BOB. I took a few with my glasses on and some with my glasses off. The glasses off ones I am doing a whole lot of squinting. I was facing east. 🙂

 

After the photo shoot, I decided I would move some stuff out-of-the-way to get this flowerbed ready to dig.

When I took the picture I had already moved the window glass out of the bed. I then moved the lawnmower. Well after I did that I looked over at the deck. Sully was up on the deck scratching the rail support. Then he was at the door telling me that he was ready to go back in the house.

The Spring Cleaning of BOB’s Loft and Living / Dining Room

After I let Sully in I had lost my motivation to dig the flowerbed. The wind was a little chilly yet. I thought we were going to go fishing later in the afternoon. So I thought I would spend the morning cleaning up BOB. I started by taking down the curtains in the loft bed, the living/dining room and the storage area for fishing gear. I got the extension cord and the vacuum out. I vacuumed the loft bed. I put a queen sized fitted sheet over it. The curtains were now washed and dried so I began putting them back up. The loft ones are always fun. I tend to forget the low ceiling and bonk my head scooting around  to each window. The front window in the loft is on two rods, one that goes through the top of the curtain and one that goes through the bottom. I got them onto the rods and was trying to clip them to the brackets they would not connect. I had put the top rod through the wrong pocket on the curtain. So I had to take them off and rethread them through the smaller top pocket.

I then put all the extra bedding up on the loft. I stowed some other extra bedding under one of the bench seats and some extra dish towels and dishcloth. I was then able to get the sheet and pillow cases off the couch and took them in to wash. While those were going I vacuumed the couch and bench seats.

Oh, by the way when David got up at 9:30 I realized that this job was not going to be done by the afternoon. It turns out that was ok, because David told me we were not going fishing until Sunday. I guess I picked the right day to Spring Clean BOB!

I had an old sheet of plexi- glass that I broke to fit over the flow through in the storage area. I cut the extra bin lid to fit in the bottom of the storage area. I now had a neat tidy place to store all the pole holders, fishing net, fish stringer, tackle boxes, branch cutter, 3 pound hammer, flashlights and umbrellas,  and shovel. We use the branch cutter later in the season when our favorite spots start to get over grown. The hammer is for pounding the pole holders in the ground. We use the shovel to level out spots for our chairs or dig steps down the steep banks. I thought you might be wondering what we used those strange items for when we went fishing.

Now that all that was safely stored I went about putting the living/dining room curtains back up. My plan was to use some old plastic plumbing tube as curtain rods like I did for some of the other curtains. It was a fail as the windows were to long and the plumbing tube would sag down in the middle. 😦 So I had to put them up like I had them before with the rings placed over the end of the boards that use to hold the blinds.

I next vacuumed all of the carpet. I put the rug back down in front of the door and put the cooler back down on it in front of the storage area. Again, I did not get before photos as I had not planned to do this it was just a spur of the moment thing. I did get afters though.

The coach made up and the curtain up.

Update on the Moonflowers

They are opening up their leaves.

 

Breaking Soil!

The Moonflowers are breaking through the soil!

This is exciting to me!

I have never tried to grow these.

I am off to a good start.

Three of the six seeds have sprouted!

The sweet peppers started breaking the soil about a week ago.

I don’t know about those green peppers ,the pods with tooothpicks sticking up.

I had trouble getting them to sprout last year too.

Busy in The Backyard

 

David spent a couple of hours yesterday doing some more raking in the backyard. He hauled 8 more full blue trash cans around front to the growing leaf pile. It then shrinks a bit because we have had some crazy windy days. The wind was actually helpful to David yesterday, it was blowing from the west which was the same direction he was raking. No raking against the wind!

I just stayed indoors crocheting. I finished a baby beanie and started a baby bucket hat. I also vacuumed, did dishes, scooped litter boxes, and made pork soup for supper. So I was keeping busy too.

Here are photos of David’s Day of Raking Befores and Afters.

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The area beside the trailer and the back steps.

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David did this area last time but he just got the first layer raked.

He got down to the nitty gritty yesterday.

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He still has the strawberry patch to go. He saved that for another day.

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The back steps and under the swamp cooler after David arranged everything.

 

 

Moonflowers

NIGHT BLOOMERS!

I bought these moonflower seeds on clearance last fall. I had never heard of them or never seen them to the best of my knowledge. The reason I bought them is while walking to the park several times last summer with Kay and Marty we would pass this one yard that had these huge flowers that looked a lot like morning glories. I mean the flowers were as big as my hand. I thought these moonflowers might be them. I read the package and discovered that they bloom at sunset, so they could not have been the flowers we passed in that yard. I got them anyway because they looked a lot like morning glories and they would vine to 12 to 15 feet tall and so the flowers would be big too.

I did a little research on them this morning, there is not much info about them. One thing I learned was that they are poisonous especially the seeds. If I remember correctly, so are morning glories. They are pretty drought resistant which will be good for my area. I am also planning to transplant them under the west and south bedroom windows which get quite hot because the sun reflecting off the aluminum siding.

They are supposed to be very fragrant too. I am thinking these will bring the humming-bird moths around. I have seen one on occasion since I have now started planting flowers. I bet the butterflies out and about in the early evenings may even enjoy them.

One other thing  I learned was that you should soak the seeds in warm water over night before planting. I did this as it was a tip on the back of the package. I started them off in these peat pots and some potting soil. So now we will wait and see if they will sprout.

So my fellow gardeners, have you any advice or experience with these giants of the flower garden?

Oh, here is another question for you, do you have another species of night bloomers in your flower garden?

 

What A Difference a Few Hours Make

 

Yesterday I ended my post about our Weekend Yard work with this photo.

By 11 am the snow had stopped and the sun was pushing through the clouds.

I knew that the snow would not last.

I was correct this is a photo of the same location 12 hours later.

The rest of the snow in the shady areas should be gone before today is done.

A Weekend of Yard Work

 

David and I each had a productive day. Let’s start with Saturday. I spent the morning cooking a nice chicken dinner in the crock pot and some butternut squash in the oven to have when Kay, Justin, and Marty came over. I did some computer stuff and probably some crocheting.

David spent his morning tackling the backyard.

 

Saturday afternoon he had the help of Justin.

So he got on BOB the Rv to caulk and spray the holes in the roof that leaked over the winter.

So that concluded David’s productive day.

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I spent my Sunday morning digging and raking out the flowerbed around the deck after I got my peppers started in this little heated greenhouse, we received from my brother-in-law. I started them in the Jiffy Peat Pot kit which I then placed in the little greenhouse. The ones with the toothpicks are green bell peppers and the others are small sweet peppers.

The afternoon and early evening was spent eating, relaxing, and visiting with Kay, Justin, and Marty. Marty was in a bit of a grumpy mood. So Kay had him sit with her and read him his story books. He had her read the same one about five times. Then Grandpa had to read it two times. I was lucky, I got to read a different story but still had to read it twice. This helped him get over his grumpy mood. He then brought much laughter and joy to all as he was back to his happy self. 😀

It was a good thing that we got in a couple of productive days.

THIS IS WHAT I WOKE UP TO THIS MORNING!!!!

When One Thing Leads to Another

 

Monday (03/27/2017) was looking like it would be a nice day of weather. After I got my indoor chores done and did some stuff on the computer I thought I would go out around 10 am to do some form of yard work. I had just gotten on the internets to begin some posts when David came out at 8:30 am. This surprised me as he usually sleeps in until around 11 am. He is a night owl these days staying up after 1 am most nights. So this lead me to fix him his breakfast and him getting on the computer to do his things. I had most of the indoor stuff done I want to have done before going outside so that is where I went. I had promised Sully the last two days that I would take him out when the weather was nice again, so he came out too. I took him for his walk around the house then clipped him to the step to enjoy the day.

My plan for the day was to rake out the south side of the flower bed around the deck. I was then going to turn the soil and level out the bed. Well I got the bed raked out, as I began to rake those leaves over to the big leaf pile in front of BOB I decided that I should rake by the container with small wood scraps in it. While I was at it I might as well dump the container and move it, go through the wood scrap, put it back in the container and rake where it use to be. Now that the container was out-of-the-way I could rake around the wood pile. Now, why just rake around I should move it and rake where it used to be also. So I found a suitable spot next to the scrap container and began going through the wood pile, moving it, and stacking it in an organized fashion. Well now that the wood pile was out-of-the-way I could move the big leaf pile in front of BOB further to the east end of the driveway. So I did that. Now that every thing was neat and tidy I could lay the garden hose along the railroad ties marking off the flower bed. This will make it easier to water the squash patch and the hose will not be stretched out across the driveway getting run over.

I was in the middle of all this activity when David came out onto the deck.

He says,” You know I have been looking at the wood pile thinking it needed moved and organized!”

He must have been thinking about it so hard I caught the vibe and just went with it. I did the same thing when I cleaned up the deck a couple of weeks ago. He was thinking it needed done and I did it. I don’t mind doing these things. It is getting me out of the house and being more physical. It also helps David out, so he can continue sorting out and organizing his inventory for his urban gold mining. It is one less thing he needs to do so he can get to more important projects like replacing  a section of the shed’s east wall, getting the garden started, or working on BOB. I discovered BOB’s roof leaked in the bedroom over the winter. This was not one of the projects he had planned for BOB.

After I was all finished, David came out later in the afternoon and backed BOB in beside the deck. He is now where we can run the extension cord out to do work on him. It is a good thing I got this done on Monday as the weather forecast calls for rain for the rest of the week.

Shave and A Haircut, Two Bits!

 

Sunday (03/26/2-17) was time for the Peter Parkers’ and the Shreks’ annual spring hair cuts.
I do this every spring to get rid of the brown tips from the dry winter air on the Peters. The Shreks get trimmed back to their pots other wise they would grow to the other end of the house. The leaves of the Skreks between the pots and the ends usually die off so I have all these rope like vines hanging from the bookshelf and faux fireplace mantle.

The Before Photos

This photo shows Peter Parker with Peter Parker the IV and one of Shrek’s twins Stubby.

I just named him that because he hardly grows past his pot.

This is Shrek’s other twin, Stretch, I named him that because he does grow beyond his pot.

He was quite wilty. I trimmed off his long vine back to the pot and I also added more soil.

This is Peter Parker the II he was in pretty good shape just trimmed a bit of brown tips and added some soil.

Peter Parker the III needed a lot of work. He had many brown leaves.

He also had a son dangling that needed a pot of his own.

I need to think of a name for him as soon as he is on his own.

I can’t call him Peter the Fifth because he did not come from Peter Parker.

Whoa, this means Peter Parker is now a grandpa!

This is Shrek. He likes to take over the book shelf and kitchen window during the winter.

I trimmed the longer vine back to the pot and curled it into the pot and added soil over it.

The After Photos

 

 

Peter Parker the III all spruced up and his son in his own pot. The son will stay attached for a week or a little more so he can put down roots then I will cut the umbilical vine. I will move him over to the video case to sit on the other end with Peter Parker the IV. I was thinking of naming him, Venom.

 

These 3 photos show how I arrange everyone on the faux fireplace mantle. The Shrek twins on the ends with Peter Parker in the middle and all my nickitty nackitty stuff arrange around them.

Now that the house plants are all ready for another growing season I think I will be starting some of my flower garden seeds soon. I need to go through them as I forgot what I bought last fall on clearance.  🙂