Sunday, September 24, 2023

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

 How does your garden grow?

Raised bed garden and friends, September 24, 2023

It has been about a month since I last posted, and not much has changed in the garden, although she is dressed for Halloween now. Soon the hummingbird feeders will be brought in, and the elephants ear and pond will need to be prepared for winter storage. 

A collection of

But for now the fall flowers are blooming and a few friends still visit. Eventually, the winter birds will arrive, and the suet & seed feeders will go out. Until then, I intend to enjoy the rest of the season in my garden.

Friday, August 25, 2023

More Gardening

 Today was dirt day. I topped off the garden box (almost, it needs more, but next year), and covered some of the shallowly planted bulbs along the house and between the lilac and the garden box. I also replanted the chipmunk-planted nut tree (butternut, bitternut, hickory? Time will tell.) and staked up the bird(?) planted sunflower.

Raised Garden Box, August 25, 2023

And despite the sad outcome of the lettuce we planted (They should be growing in that bare spot to the left back of the pool, but they all vanished!), I am pretty pleased with the outcome of the watermelon radishes (even though we only got about five and it took over two months instead of 29 days). And just look at my tomatoes ripening! So excite!

Swimming Pool Veggie Garden, August 25, 2023

So I gave myself a pep talk, when I came back inside, dirty, sweaty, itchy. I can do hard things, physically hard things! I carried (dragged) those big bags of dirt to the garden box and scooped all that dirt in, carefully spreading it around as to not squash the already growing grape hyacinths (I guess I didn't get them all, that's ok). I moved those heavy containers around. I can get all hot & sweaty & dirty, and all beat up by the mosquitoes (bit up), and it's OK! I did it and didn't die. And now I have a pretty place to look at! Proud of me.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Adventures in Gardening

My parents weren't much into gardening, but my grandparents on my mother's side were very into gardening. They built a greenhouse onto their house and would start seeds inside, 100s if not 1000s of them. They would start marigolds for the garden that ran down the length of their driveway, and tomatoes and other veggies for the big garden in the backyard.

May 28, 2023 - Marigolds

They were also into canning and preserving, even going to pick-your-own farms, gathering bushels of tomatoes, and spending days processing them into canned tomatoes to use throughout the year. My grandfather would make pickles and they both would can the tomatoes, and other veggies like beets. They also froze a lot of fruits and veggies.

June 26, 2023 - Watermelon radishes & tomatoes

I doubt I will ever get into it that much, it's far cheaper now to go and buy canned tomatoes, pickles, beets... at the store. Seeds are cheap yes, but the canning supplies are not, and there is so much work involved. Also, I've never had much luck growing my own vegetables or flowers from seed. From rained out gardens to gardens plagued with pests, or gardens that just don't produce more than a few tomatoes or squash, that's been my luck.

July 20, 2023 - Still nothing ready for harvest

This year I tried again though. I bought a kids' swimming pool and some bags of dirt -- we are blessed with gravelly loamy sand for our soil type, which isn't good for growing -- and planted a ring of marigolds for protection, and scattered some watermelon radish seeds. They took much longer than the packet said they would to come to maturity, and they were SO HOT. Also of the whole packet, I only got 5 actual radishes. I was also given some tomato seedlings from work (Ag in the Classroom started tomatoes this year) and bought a beefsteak too.

August 18, 2023 - The start of some lettuce...

Only one beefsteak has deigned to grow, but have several Romas from the seedlings. And with most of the radishes gone, Jacqueline & I thought we'd try some leaf lettuce. So we've sprinkled a packet of those seeds across the empty space. They sprouted, but now seem to be disappearing. The tomatoes, though, are finally ripening! I hope they finish before the first frost!

August 20, 2023 - Ripening Romas!

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Heading Out

Monday, August 7, 2023, 6:38 AM

My photos don't upload here as easily as they used to. I think I mentioned that a few weeks ago. Google doesn't really seem to be doing anything to fix the issue; there are many complaints going back months.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023, 6:39 AM

So I'm considering posting these to Instagram as a daily project, instead of posting here weekly, since it's become such a hassle. I don't seem to get much interaction here anyway.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023, 6:39 AM
Photo by Jacqueline, enhanced by me

In other news... This summer has been a roller coaster of drought and rain, sun and clouds.

Thursday, August 10, 2023, 6:40 AM

I haven't had to water the garden much lately because of all the rain, but it also hasn't been warm enough to get the really good growth of my plants.

Friday, August 11, 2023, 6:40 AM

Of course when it was supposed to be cooler, and I had just planted my radishes, the days were hot hot hot, leading to hot hot hot radishes that didn't grow fast enough.

Saturday, August 12, 2023, 7:36 AM

So, yeah... I htink I'll be posting these on Instagram daily from now on. Follow along if you'd like!

Sunday, August 13, 2023, 7:07 AM

Sunday, August 06, 2023


Monday, July 31, 2023, 6:41 AM

I'm starting to realize my exhaustion is never-ending. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 6:41 AM

The only way to have any kind of a life outside of work is just to push through.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023, 6:40 AM

So that's what I did this week. Saturday errands run after work over the course of a few days. 

Thursday, August 3, 2023, 6:37 AM

A fun after-work walk on Wednesday at the park, something I haven't done since last fall.

Friday, August 4, 2023, 7:55 AM

And Friday off of work to adventure! We went to see Fall Out Boy and were up SO late (3 a.m.!!!), and although I *did* wake up at 7 a.m. and take a walk, it was because I had an ankle cramp (which I always get sleeping on those soft soft mattresses), and I only walked around the giant hotel room we were given. I did open the blinds all the way to let the sun in while I did, but I didn't take a photo, and then I crashed for another hour before getting up for the day. We visited a friend vending at the Lockport Farmers' Market, had Lake Effect ice cream for lunch, Arthur Treacher's fish & chips for an early dinner, and made it home without crashing.

Sunday, August 6, 2023, 7:08 AM

This morning the sky gave a big (silent) cheer for all I did.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Birthday Week

This week was the birthday week for three of our five kids. Boom boom boom, all in a row. Yes, just a few days after my own. It makes for a week filled with lots of fun & treats.

Monday, July 24, 2023, 6:37 AM

Because of the event I worked over the weekend, I had to flex some time and so I took Wednesday off.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023, 6:42 AM

And I slept late late late for me!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023, 8:11 AM

I also took Thursday off to attend a fun art event, but sadly both it and my morning walk were cancelled due to rain. :(

Friday, July 28, 2023, 6:41 AM

The mornings may look lovely, but often I am fighting off hoards of mosquitoes and deer flies while attempting to take my photo(s).

Saturday, July 29, 2023, 6:52 AM

They've been so bad this year. If I keep walking, they can't catch up, but the moment I stop...

Sunday, July 30, 2023, 7:22 AM

Sunday, July 23, 2023


I've been working for hours this morning, trying to find a work-around to having to download and re-upload my photos for this blog, since both platforms are owned by Google. There *is* a tool that should allow me to add them directly from my Google photos, but that tool is not working. This certainly doesn't make me want to keep blogging here, but here we are. Anyone have other options for similar platforms?

Monday, July 17, 2023, 6:05 AM

Monday, I woke before my alarm, and we took our walk as the sun was just breaking the horizon.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023, 6:40 AM

Tuesday, the sun was red and sky dark from more Canadian fires. As before, I don't know why my camera won't pick up the colors right. The sun in this image is almost the accurate color, but the sky wasn't so dark & purple, more of an hazy yellow-grey along the horizon and blue above.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023, 6:44 AM

Wednesday and Thursday were sunny but hazy, foggy mornings, but not due to poor air quality.

Thursday, July 20, 2023, 6:39 AM

Friday was a cloudy morning, but not all day.

Friday, July 21, 2023, 6:38 AM

And Saturday was my birthday, but I had to work, and earlier than usual. The sun was just climbing over the horizon again during our walk.

Saturday, July 22, 2023, 6:00 AM

And today I slept later than usual, and the sun was high and the sky was beautiful.

Sunday, July 23, 2023, 7:59 AM

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Rough Week at Work

I think these morning walks are a habit now.

Monday, July 10, 2023, 6:36 AM

Monday, there were torrential downpours and the basement at work flooded. A literal river from the front of the building to the back corner where the sump pump drain was. And the sump pump was completely overwhelmed, could not keep keep up at all. And leaks from the windows on the second floor into the walls and my office on the first. Also, no real management in the building so I muddled through, thankfully with help from the rest of the staff.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023, 6:39 AM

Tuesday was ok. Things still a mess at work from the flooding, but at least we could get some work done.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023, 6:40 AM

More rain on Wednesday had me worried about more flooding & damage, but it was a short-lived storm and caused no issues.

Thursday, July 13, 2023, 6:41 AM

Thursday started the local firemen's field days which takes place behind our offices and uses our parking lot; so there was more stress from moving the company vehicles around and blocking off the basement stairwell which drunken revelers use as a toilet if not blocked off.

Friday, July 14, 2023, 6:43 AM

Friday we said good-bye to one of the management team. 😢

Saturday, July 15, 2023, 6:39 AM

Saturday, we celebrated my mother's 75th birthday! It was a LOT of work, a LOT of walking, and a LOT of heat, but I think my mom had fun, which was the important part.

Sunday, July 16, 2023, 7:12 AM

Today was humid but cooler, and I was able to get a wee bit of yard/garden work done. Not all I wanted to get done, but enough to satisfy me. I still have so much I want to do.

Sunday, July 09, 2023

Messages from Mother Nature

This week was a wild ride.

Monday, July 3rd, 6:40 a.m.

I should have been listening to the message of all the Amber snails on the road each morning.

Tuesday, July 4th, 7:45 a.m.

Slow down. Be patient. Find your resiliency. Everything you need, you already have.

Wednesday, July 5th, 6:40 a.m.

Because despite the chaos-filled days this week, there were moments filled with family & friends, peace & joy, beauty & love.

Thursday, July 6th, 6:34 a.m.

And every morning, we got up and took a walk in the sun. Mostly. 

Friday, July 7th, 6:38 a.m.

The gardens need the rain to grow.

Saturday, July 8th, 6:54 a.m.

And we need the clouds to appreciate the sun.

Sunday, July 9, 6:56 a.m.

And the chaos to appreciate how serendipitously everything just works out. ♥♥♥

Sunday, July 02, 2023

Weekly Wandering


Monday, June 26th, 7:13 a.m.

I took Monday off to attend the interment of our boyfriend Joseph's ashes. Joseph died from COVID in January 2021 before vaccines were available, and it is only now that his family felt it safe enough to hold a gathering. His ashes were buried at a natural cemetery in a small grove of pine trees surrounded by rolling hills of meadows. It was good to meet some of his friends from the area that we had never met before. The thunderstorms held off until we were on our way home, and the evening ended with a beautiful rainbow just after sunset.

Monday, June 26th, 8:47 p.m.

The rest of the week was filled with sun ...

Tuesday, June 27th, 6:40 a.m.

... and rain off and on as is usual in the summer.

Wednesday, June 28th, 6:39 a.m.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) was high again from the Canadian fires, and Thursday the sun was otherworldly. 

Thursday, June 29th, 6:42 a.m.

My cellphone camera could not accurately capture the color, even when I zoomed way in.

Thursday, June 29th, 6:47 a.m.

The color was so much more red than this photo and the sky lit up more like the photo above.

Friday, June 30th, 6:30 a.m.

Friday still held a haze from the smoke, but the AQI wasn't as high.

Saturday, July 1st, 7:25 a.m.

Yesterday was hot, right from the get-go. The deer flies joined us on our walk.

Sunday, July 2nd, 7:17 a.m.

And today, although it had rained, was still hot. The grass & wildflowers along the road are almost as tall as I am now.