In spite of a lot of bursts of rain and big time humidity, we had a good three day holiday at the lake. The lake itself was overrun with boat traffic so we refrained from going out. But we are taking advantage of the last vestiges of summer to get some outdoor work done. It's never ending there. I haven't been buying or even picking flowers at all this summer as I'm here or at the lake in spurts and I can't really enjoy them long enough. Somehow these had broken off the plants so they kept me company near the kitchen sink this weekend.
I was surprised to find that my neighbors were still out of town so I took advantage of their good will in letting me pick whatever I wanted in their garden. The beans are fun to pick...they grow pole beans so there is no stooping around like I had to do when I grew bush beans. I may sound crazy but I get such a thrill when I lift up a leaf and there is a big handful of these juicy babies hanging there! And the tomatoes were so ripe and heavy that they were falling off the plants. This time I avoided the really red ones, some of those would absolutely squish in my hands. And I leave everything sit outside for a few hours so any sort of creepy crawler can take leave if it so desires...then I give everything a good washing. No chemicals and you can wind up with all sorts of bugs and eggs. Anyway, the beans are blanched and frozen and I will get the tomatoes ready for the freezer tomorrow. Again, I found a recipe on the Pioneer Woman's blog (she must grow tomatoes), this one for a Chicken Avocado Flat Bread Pizza. And yes, it has tomatoes!! I'll be sure to share it if I try it. I'm really happy that so many of you liked the Tomato Tart recipe.
The Husband was quite a happy and busy man over the weekend, too. He had ordered this handy~dandy wood splitter and has turned into a real Paul Bunyon. This is pretty cool though and you can get a real workout. Of course he was having so much fun...
...he had to go out and get another truckload of firewood. He just drives along the country roads until he sees a sign. Now what we will do with all this wood, I'm not sure. We have the fireplace and wood burning stove in the Great Room, but gone are the days when we never missed a weekend in the winter. The kids were very involved in ice skating and learning to downhill ski. Rain, sleet or snow, we were at the lake year round. Now, we are lucky if we go once or twice between November and March. It can get a little boring. In the summer we have the outdoor fireplace as well as the chimnea. The latter is nice as we can move it around and we mostly use it to keep the bugs away. Anyway, Paul Bunyon wants to get back into cooking over wood, so we'll see where that goes. In any event, you can bet we are going to be spending a lot of time in front of the fire this fall, inside and out!
I had such an incredible urge to go to our little nursery/grocery store. I was dying to see what was left and on sale. Obviously a lot of black eyed Susan's. I may be back to get some for my yard here in the city.
I had never seen this display of galvanized watering cans before. At $19.99 I walked away. I'm sure I will stumble on an authentic barn sale one of these days and they will be nowhere near this much. I did find a birdbath marked down and I hemmed and hawed over it. I have been wanting one for years and now that I have birds coming to the feeder (yes, after one week it was empty! And I saw two hummingbirds in my garden!). So I bought it and brought it home, proudly revealing it to The Husband after we had lunch. Alas, the top had a crack in it. He brought it back the next day to exchange it for the one and only one left just like it and that had a crack, too. So I have a credit and will have to wait until next spring. That's okay I guess because I would be storing it in the shed over the winter anyway.
And...hang on to your pants. The Husband forfeited over one of his garden beds. He tended it for years very lovingly and for some reason nothing would grow. I couldn't even identify what he had in it, but he finally said, "You can have it, Blondie." So that's the real reason I was at the nursery. I cleaned it up and what a job that was. We used to have a huge evergreen tree near this area that had to be removed to make room for the Summerhouse (guest house). If we fought with stones last week making the other flowerbed, this was the battle of the roots. I could dig down about two inches and then I had to use my clippers to get down deeper. It was hot and muggy and the gnats were everywhere. Sometimes I wonder why I do this. We had a good rain right after I finished. I'll add mulch the next time I'm there and I think I'm going to edge it with flagstone, if I even edge it. The cobblestones are just not doing it for me.
I have a pretty mix of Dianthus, Liatris, Beardstongue, Balloon flowers, Yarrow and something else, I have to search my car for the stick. At least I am making little maps, or legends, because I forget from year to year what I have and I'm not good at all at identifying plants.
I purposely looked for plants that would get tall and blowzy, something to sort of sway in the wind. The garden we worked on last week is mostly compact sort of plants.
And lest you think I won't have any projects next spring, never worry. This is the back of the shed and it's begging for a fix~me~up. Nothing is safe from my evil hands!
Other than that bit of toiling on Sunday and Monday, it was quiet and we did have a relaxing time. Milo and Layla love lying in the garden while I work and they do a considerable amount of rolling in the grass, I guess it feels like a good back scratch. And then Layla discovered a big ugly toad which she had fun toying with (think Scar in the opening of the Lion King with that poor little mouse). As usual when she finds something gross, she rolls in it, the stinkier it is the better. So both of them got their little behinds thrown in the bath for a good scrub!
We came home today and The Husband worked from here. I lolled around, not yet adjusting to my routine. Tomorrow I have a zillion things to do. This coming weekend will be a reprieve from the lake with a baby shower on Saturday and a birthday party on Sunday. People time! That will be refreshing. No gnats or dirty hands!
I hope all of you had a good holiday. And it's a short week! Yay!