Living in Wild Kingdom

My garden looks rough.  There’s no way around it.  Granted, it’s the middle of October and everyone’s garden looks rough.  August and it’s lack of rain combined with September and early October’s deluges have just left everything looking rather unfortunate.  Partially inspired by an article I recently submitted for publication on the topic of how to winterize one’s garden and partially inspired by the purchase and renewal of the house behind us that has sat vacant for well over a year (and had slipped into neglect the last few years before that), I found myself with a few free hours the other day and decided to do a little bit of a clean up in my sunny perennial bed, aka, the ‘down by the side of the road’ garden. Continue reading

Fading Fast.

It’s a grey, rainy Monday morning here.  Summer is fading fast – the cherry tree in the front yard, always the first to drop her leaves, has been bare for a few weeks and the dogwoods are quickly changing color.  It seems as a good as any to catch up on posting pretty summer flower pictures.

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Scenes from a vacation.

We spent a few days last week down at Granny’s cabin at Smith Mountain Lake with our dear friends the Smileys.  There was lots of fishing, swimming, tubing, skiing, boating and photo taking of it all.  Walker, two, doesn’t quite swim yet (although he thinks he can) but he can water ski.  Why yes, it was sort of like watching a squirrel.  Pat caught sight of a big ole catfish hanging out under the boathouse and made it his mission to catch it, which he did Friday morning.  Every male in the house ran down to assist bringing it in, yelling for me to bring the camera.  It was a big deal. They now sell little tubs of peanut butter to put on your toes for the carp to suck it off down at Carp City.  Of course Edie and Abigail went for it.  Walker had me take a few hundred fish pictures, Will had me take a few hundred pictures of Walker water skiing and that’s at least part of how I ended up with over a thousand shots on my memory card from the trip. Mollie and I added clean-out-the-fridge nachos to our meal line up this time – definitely must remember to do that again. I averaged a book a day – nothing says vacation to me more than being able to sit and read for hours on end. The weather was absolutely lovely, with the hottest day being of course, the day we were packing up, which resulted in a last minute jump in the lake, then driving home with a bag full of wet bathing suits which promptly went into the washing machine and hung on the line to dry. It was a wonderful break – thanks to Will and Mollie for having us (and to Granny!).

The point of it all.

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“The car is packed.”

“I saw.”

“Did you see what an awesome job I did packing the trunk?  I did it in record time too. I even took before and after pictures.”

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“So you can post it on your blog and tell everyone how awesome you are?”

“Well, isn’t that the point of having a blog, so that you can brag about how awesome you are?”

Official Summer kick-off.

It’s officially summer here at the homestead, and not just because it’s been hot as all get out or because the calendar says so or because I’ve picked the first tomatoes and cucumbers in the garden.  Edie’s bff Soph is home from Guatemala for the summer and we had our first (of many) river days with the Smiley clan, which is our official measure of the summer season.

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Baby birds and pretty flowers.

I spent the weekend weeding all the gardens – and I do mean ALL the gardens.  I hate weeding, but three straight days of rain last week meant that weeds had completely taken over and when you get down to it, there is something so satisfying about weeding when you look back at a freshly weeded bed.  It just seems so neat and orderly, if only for the time being.

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Nature on top.

Five Photos, Five Stories, #5

IMG_2185 (1024x683)I don’t know why this sign amuses me so much, but it does.  I pass by this sign several times a daily, as it’s just up the street.  It’s had the plummage on top for over a year, so I’m guessing I’m not the only one who finds it amusing.  If only every road sign had a little welcoming flair….