Well, Hello Again!

School let out for the kids at the end of May, and of course we plunged full-speed ahead into summer vacation; the beginning of which was anything but a vacation. I spent the month of June shuttling kids from baseball to softball to soccer to band camp. It’s all finally over and I am looking forward to a lazy July that includes lots of knitting, reading, gardening, sunning myself while the kids swim in the pool, and one camping trip to the beach……

I started this post about a month ago. I am just now finishing it by saying that I really wish the above description of July actually happened. July was anything but relaxing, and that beach vacation never happened. We all got sick, and after a rogue storm blew through town, an equally rogue strike of lightening caused our A/C to blow up – literally. And just when I thought things were about to calm down again, dear hubby found out he’s possibly being transferred to another state. Needless to say, not much knitting, sewing or reading has been happening in this house.

I have been gardening though. I thought I would give an update in photos. For the most part, the garden is doing well. The milk jug irrigation system worked really well during the record hot temperatures and drought we’ve been experiencing this summer.. I did have a losing battle with squash bugs and vine borers. The dastardly bugs took out all my zucchini plants and my pumpkin vine before I won the war.

I guess we’ll have to buy our pumpkins from the pumpkin farm again this year. I decided to try a second planting of zucchini because I didn’t get my fill before the plants lost their battle with the bugs. Hopefully the bugs will stay away this time.

I spent so much time picking bugs off of plants, squashing them, and removing their eggs, that I had nightmares about giant squash bugs attacking. It was awful. And now they have migrated to the tomatoes. I’ve never had them on my tomato plants before. Their numbers are dwindling though, so I don’t think they will be a problem anymore.

The trellis system is working out great this year. I don’t want to speak too soon, but the bugs seem to be staying away from the melons and cucumbers. Hopefully I haven’t just jinxed myself, because we have some Sugar Babies almost ready to eat.

And a volunteer Cantaloupe from last year is looking very nice. It only has this one fruit on it so far, but I’ll take it.

The Honeydew vines look good as well and hopefully all the fruits they are producing will make it to harvest. These are my favorite melons.

The tomatoes are doing much better this year than last year.  I attribute much of that to the irrigation. It seems to be keeping them better hydrated than the sprinkler, as well as keeping the water off the leaves so they don’t get scorched and diseased. They have lots of green, healthy looking fruit on all the plants. I’ve gotten to eat one of the Bradley’s and it was yummy – so sweet and juicy. And even though the Roma’s I grew from seed started off sickly and leggy, they are doing much better than the ones I bought from the local nursery.

The peppers and green beans have had a hard time this year. We’ve had quite a few strong storms blow through this summer and the peppers and beans seem to take the brunt of the wind damage. We are getting a few peppers though, but the plants aren’t as big as they should be.

My grape tomato is a mutant. It seems to multiply overnight. I had to do some major trimming before it took over and smothered the other heirlooms on either side of it. This picture is before I trimmed it back. I didn’t take an after picture. It’s still huge, but much more manageable now.

Here is some of yesterday’s harvest. I”m thinking salsa is in my future. How is your garden doing this summer?

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Photo Moment: Sandhill Cranes

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One of my favorite signs of spring is the Sandhill Crane migration. Hundreds of them visit the fields near my house every March. I love watching them stretch their wings and fly from field to field. And I could sit and listen to their distinct voices for hours.

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If you are interested, you can see more of the photos on my flickr stream.

Happy Earth Day

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children.”
Native American Proverb

Earth Bugs

Earth Bugs

At school today, my son made Earth Bugs to celebrate Earth Day. They are his newest comic book characters. He informed me that he is working on the script now so that I can develop the animated version for him this summer. Maybe by next Earth Day I will have a cartoon to share.

I was hoping I would have a purse to share. I started working on a purse made from a couple of old sweaters and some remnants left over from other sewing projects, but it isn’t finished. I got interrupted and never got back to it. And today was entirely too nice to spend at my sewing machine. Instead, I took Chuck to the park for a round of frisbee. Maybe by the weekend’s end I will have a completed purse and a short tutorial to share. In the meantime, enjoy the bugs and the earth, and try to keep in mind the next generation from whom we are borrowing it as we go about the rest of our days.

You Might Be a Redneck If…….

A little back story here for those of you new to the R household….

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.  I spent most of my college-age years a vegetarian.  I even spent one of those years vegan.  My husband grew up in Upstate NY in a very small town.  So small, that they did not get their first 4-way stop until the year we got married.  He is a carnivore.  In fact, I’m not so sure he is completely aware that there are other food groups besides the meat group.  He also hunts.  I used be against hunting somewhat.  Never completely, but as a former vegetarian, killing Bambi’s dad never appealed much to me.  Somehow, despite our differences, we hooked up.

And oh my, how things have changed……

deer head

I’ve never been a fan of Bob and George (and Ben who will be joining the family in February thanks to a successful hunt this year), but I’ve learned to live with them.  And I thought maybe if I decorated them for Christmas, they would look a little less, what’s the word….

deer head

inanimate….dead….creepy? 

My husband thinks I’ve come to like Bob and Sam since I got close enough to them to actually put a hat on them.  I don’t know if “like” is the right word.  But I have definitely come to accept them.  As long as they stay out of my living room!