Monday, June 26, 2017

How Does My Garden Grow.

The heat wave is almost over! Last week was like running a marathon. Every day was hotter than the last.The petals of this poor sunflower got a tad sun-burned. Today, 103 will feel like a nice spring day. The garden liked it, better than I did. 

I love looking out the secret gate to the garden. When I walk out that gate, it is always like my own magic garden. I love being out here in the early morning, in the twilight and yes, even when my game cam says its 125.

The first zinnia.

Ron put More Bloom on everything yesterday. I don't know what is in that stuff but it makes everything bloom so much faster. When I went out to the pumpkins this morning blooms were every where.

Pumpkin blossom

pumpkin vines.

Three tiny cucumbers
As I was taking pictures of these tiny cucumbers this morning, my thought was, "Oh yes, you are cute now, but when I am drowning in cucumbers, I doubt if I will be so excited." I am going to make lots of pickles this year.

 I hope my dill continues to grow like crazy. I am going to make fermented pickles this year. I wish I could find my grand mothers recipe. Every year she would make hundreds of jars of pickles. I have never been able to find any recipe like hers. She would pack her jars. Then she would pour the brine over the dill and the cucumbers. She wouldn't tighten the lids real tight but put them in this dark cupboard she had. The pickles would ferment and get cloudy for about a month. As soon as they cleared, they would be ready to eat. They were always crunchy and perfect. I wish I had paid better attention.

  We moved our blackberry vines this year. I have a few blackberries. I don't know why, but these taste like hair spray to me. I don't think I am going to keep these vines. They are pretty though.

My lovely tomato vines

Green Tomatoes

A perfect tomato this morning!
Standing at the end of the garden. It continues to surprise me. I planted two more beds of pumpkins and they are coming up and I planted more sunflowers. I hope by staggering the planting of sunflowers it will keep sunflowers growing out here much longer.

The zinnias did pretty well in the heat. They are such a durable little flower. I can't wait until this bed is filled with fireworks of color.

I planted some Jack Be Little pumpkins with some of my sunflowers to see if I can get them to climb up the sunflowers. I did that year before last and it was so nice to get those tiny pumpkins off the ground. Now that I finished planting this morning, I can watch it grow.

 Ron put in such nice hoses for watering this year. Each plant has its own little hose. I have kept every thing mulched and because there isn't water every where, I don't have the weeds. When we have a heat wave, things get away from me. When I was out working this morning, I had a few weeds to pull, not chop mind you. I did a little raking and it was so clean and nice. Trying to have a garden in the land of drought is always about learning to conserve water and make better use of what we have. 

I hope you have a lovely week, and thank you so much for stopping by to watch my garden grow.


"All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world."

—L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Heat Wave!

Good Morning! We are in the midst of a heat wave. I have survived them before and I will this one. I seem to be out in it more than in the house. My garden seems to be holding up pretty well.

The zinnias thrive.

The pumpkins seem to be holding their own.

The tomatoes are very happy.

The chickens are having a harder time of it. I have this one little silkie who wants to sit. I have to go out five or six times a day and take her out of the house and off the nest. She was staggering around one day after I got her out in the yard, I watched her and pretty soon she was better. One of my new little hens got too hot yesterday and I put her feet in cold water and after a while she was fine too. I worked out in the garden yesterday from 5:30 to 6:45 A.M. and when I came in it looked like I had been swimming in my clothes.

I guess the morning glories decided that it was to hot already to open today. I was outside this morning at 5:30 and it was already 89 degrees. Today is going to be a scorcher. I really ponder how on earth people lived before air conditioning. Here is a story Peter told me yesterday when he came home for lunch.

Peter works for Channel 23 here in town. Yesterday Channel 29 was giving out free fans for people who didn't have air conditioning. A little old lady and her walker walked from her house in Oildale downtown to the news station where Peter works. She went to the wrong station. The station manager was so upset, they found her a fan and he called Uber to take her home. I guess all of the people there at the station were just as upset as I was when Peter told me. It still makes me cry to think of that poor little lady walking all that way with her walker. It was hot yesterday. It was 111 and the thought of her walking all that way breaks my heart. The really ironic thing was the news station Peter works for didn't have air conditioning yesterday because it had gone out and Peter was having to climb on the roof and go in the attic to trace lines. When he got home at lunch he was sick from the heat. He thankfully went swimming before he went back to work and that helped.

At least I wasn't making jam this week. Normally it seems that whenever there is a heat wave, I have to make jam. You know what is really weird, I missed making jam. I did draw out a couple of rug patterns. I need to hook.

 I have been reading this book called The Lost City of the Monkey God, by Douglas Preston.
Great book!!! This city has also been called the White City. They found it using high tech military Lidar. So every time I start whining about the heat, I go read a few chapters to get my mind in the right place. The snakes and bugs and wildlife are incredible not to mention the rain, the jungle and mud. The culture they found has never been found before and they know nothing about it. It was perfectly intact with no robbers ever being there before. So its quite thrilling. Have you ever read the Journals of Percy Fawcett? He was looking for a lost city too and he never came back. So I have been reading books like the Lost World by Sir Conan Doyle. Which he took I am sure from Percy Fawcett. to write that book. I am such a chicken, I don't think I would ever want to even camp in a tent. Ever!

Sorry this is so rambling. Time to get this day underway. Today I didn't go for my walk like normal. I could see an animal and it was digging I thought so as I watched and thought it must be a skunk. I waited. Finally I decided I would go get my binoculars. It wasn't a skunk but a cat playing with something. I sat there and thought, my goodness, I sat here and wasted all that time. I thought that there is a good lesson here. When I perceive what I think is one thing, observing and waiting because I suppose I have the truth. Then on closer inspection,  I realize that it was my perception that was skewed. Because what I see, isn't always what it is.
How's that?

Have a lovely day, I hope its cool where ever you are.


"It was rapture enough just to sit there beside him in silence, alone in the summer night in the white splendor of moonshine, with the wind blowing down on them out of the pine woods."

―L.M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Fast Week

I have sat down at the computer to write a blog every day this week. I finally thought I need to come up with something to write about. Walking continues to be what I do most. Now though, I am doing a big portion of my walking in the evening. You know that time between sunset and the skunking hour? I have to juggle it because if I wait too long after sunset, the skunks just start showing up and they aren't afraid of me in the least. I am sure if I just stood to one side and waited they would bumble on past, but alas, I am not that brave or trusting.

Emilie had her wisdom teeth out on Monday. She did great. I had a luncheon yesterday. Chickens are keeping me busy. The barred rock rooster continues to be a Psycho. Freddy has toned down a bit and Poor little Poirot has become lowest rooster on the totem pole, so he doesn't do much. I picked him up one night and he poured out his little chicken heart on my shoulder about all of the injustice in the world. The barred rock actually ran behind me and attacked the back of my legs last night when I was putting them to bed.
I am not a nice person because I thought of just leaving him out for fox food. He is going to have to go see a chicken pot pie man soon I think. He is not nice at all. Drama in the chicken coop. I did see one of the big hens whip the tar out of him this morning so he has been rather subdued today. I cheered from the side lines.

In garden news. A couple of nice peppers are on the pepper plants. They make my mouth water. I love peppers.

I picked a few cherry tomatoes this morning.

They only lasted a second because I ate them,  I just wiped off the dust and they were fantastic. With our heat wave coming starting Saturday I hope to eat lots more.

The Cherry Tomatoes are loaded already.

These are the big tomatoes. I noticed on one of the plants I must have bought a plum tomato.

Here is how they look today. I might have to tie them up this weekend. They are going so crazy this year.

They have out grown the sticks we used to stake them up. This year when I planted tomatoes, I really did it with a heavy heart. For the last few years it has been such  terrible years for tomatoes I just didn't think I could take the defeat one more year. I am so glad I have a crop. Well at least so far I do.

The pumpkins are really growing now.  I have one more area I hope to plant more pumpkins in. Those are the white ones, and the Cinderella and the Jack be Little. We can still plant until Fourth of July and still have a nice pumpkin crop for the fall. Its getting close though and I don't want to miss my window. I am going to plant some more sunflowers and then I am done. Well, I am going to try to be done.

With our heat coming I bet next week when I stand here and take a picture you will see a big change in how much everything will grow.

This morning I could smell the heat coming. Its funny. It smells hot and toasty. Nice because that is just what summer smells like when you live here. Our nights will be in the 80s so I expect lots more activity on the game cam. I got some really good video of skunks breaking in the gate at night but I haven't learned how to post them to the blog.

I hope your week has been a nice one.
Thank you so much for stopping by today,

 "It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside."
―Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib

Thursday, June 8, 2017

How My Garden Grows!

I thought I would show you a picture of how this week garden is growing. It needs to be weeded but watching it grow is just breath taking right now. I feel like I can almost see it growing and its taller day by day.

The whole garden
It is my favorite place to be right now. This week though I haven't got to spend as much time out here. It has been nice to get cleaning done and feeling like I live here full time.

Last night we got some amazing pictures off the game cam. My field of dreams is  in the middle of suburbia. Yes, I live on one of the last original 80 acre sections zoned small family farms. All around me is houses and very busy streets. So to find this small area of "country" is very valuable to me. Living out here has always been a gift but taking these night pictures has just made me realize how really blessed I am.


Cats lots of cats
We decided that we needed to put the camera on video. So we got a video of this guy walking around out there. Its a good thing I keep the chickens locked up at night. He is so pretty. He looks in much better health than that poor fox.

So when we got this picture of him that first time, I didn't know if it was a fox or a cat, now we know it was a raccoon. So he has been here awhile. We are still pondering how on earth did he get here in the first place without getting hit by a car. This makes me so happy. I know, crazy but when I was a girl I had a raccoon named Misty. I had more fun with her and she went every where I did. She even swam in the swimming pool with me and she slept in my bedroom. Every year when Peter was in school we would read Rascal by Sterling North.  Does this raccoon know that his source of water is swimming pools? Something to watch and see. He has never bothered my trash cans or even tried to get in the chicken coop. I have noticed that the fruit that falls from the trees are gone in the morning.

It makes me just so happy, and I am so glad that Ron bought that game cam for me at Christmas. Each evening we walk out get the memory card and come in wait with baited breath to see what kind of pictures we got from the night before. This one was the best. Now all is needed to make my life happy is a picture of big foot. :)

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I am so excited to be able to share this with you. Have a lovely day today.


"The castle grounds were gleaming in the sunlight as though freshly painted; the cloudless sky smiled at itself in the smoothly sparkling lake, the satin-green lawns rippled occasionally in a gentle breeze: June had arrived." (J.K.Rowling)