Day 27 -Spring Fever, it’s really a thing


Having had my walk and fixed up my favorite, non-weird, chocolate blueberry smoothie, I sit here and contemplate what I want to write. My thoughts keep turning to the seeds and the dirt that I bought yesterday. My favorite thing to do right now would be to plant those seeds, and spend some time in the sunshine fussing over them. That’s something I will be doing tonight. I have the pots, the dirt, and the seeds. I just need the time to plant them.

Yeah, I’ve got Spring Fever pretty badly. I’m really tired of all of the darkness and cold. I would really love to sit in the sunshine and soak up some heat and light.

Yesterday, I shut off my furnace and opened several windows. It’s so nice to get the stale winter air out, and I don’t care if it was only 8 degrees yesterday. At work, I am fortunate to have a working window. It faces North, so I don’t get any sunshine, but I do get fresh air if I need it.

Funny thing about my window at work – the pigeons like it too. One day I came back from lunch to discover that Bob the Pigeon had ducked into my slightly open window while I was gone. I was able to get him out again but, lesson learned, I always make sure the window is only open a crack now.

Here’s hoping you have lots of sunshine and fresh air where ever you are, and that your pigeons are less curious than Bob. Blessings all!

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Garden update – only two months and producing!


My camera was out of batteries for a while, so I couldn’t take any pictures of the garden. Now I’ve got it all juiced up and have been documenting its progress again. I didn’t get to put my garden in until almost the end of June due to all the stuff that was going on with having to move the shed and getting the tree chopped down. Truthfully, I despaired that I would have planted in vain…not so! I am pleasantly surprised to report that I’ve already been eating grape tomatoes every day…they don’t even make it in the house. That’s my favorite snack while I’m outside.  Here are the latest pictures:

First day after planting, June 19th

As you can see, it looked pretty sparse the first day of planting, but the garden really has taken off, even though it didn’t get near enough water as it should have.

I took this today, almost two months later, August 15th

Something that was nice to see is that I have quite a few volunteers. The tall thing to the right of the bird bath is a sunflower that just sprouted by itself. The tomatoes, on the left, have really suffered and aren’t as big as they should be, but as long as there are tomatoes coming from them, I don’t mind.

The big bushy stuff in the back is all the volunteer tomatoes that grew in my compost heap! Younger Son came in from checking his pumpkins one day and let me know that there were two tomato plants growing  in the compost heap, and I just let them keep growing. They’ve got tomatoes on them, and I see no reason to get rid of them, even though

I love these grape tomatoes...they are like garden candy!

they are siphoning nutrients out of my compost. There will be time enough to build the compost heap up in the future.

Younger son so badly wanted to grow his own pumpkins, and didn’t have very good luck with it last year. This year, he’s had much better luck, though the leaves seem to have some kind of powdery mold on them that causes them to turn white and die off the vine. The main trunk of the vine seems to be ok, and now he has at least one pumpkin on the way, and a couple of others that

Younger's pumpkins have started to take over the yard, and they are flowering like crazy!

appear to be developing.

I only lost two pepper plants, which leaves me with 20 plants left, of varying types, all of which are producing!  Not only do I have some peppers that are almost ready to be picked, but the plants are flowering like there’s no tomorrow. As long as it stays warm, I’ll have a really good crop of peppers.

My one big regret is that the herb garden Older Son and I had planned never did get planted. Next year I’ll be able to get my garden in on time and we will have more time to putz with the gardening. I can’t wait to see how the harvest is going this time next year!

These are cherry peppers. I can't wait to try them!

Family night at the State Fair


Last night my family and my brother’s family all went out to the Fair so the kids could go on the rides. My boys took Older Favorite Nephew on the rides while my brother, his wife and Younger Favorite Nephew walked around some of the exhibit buildings. It was nice just to wander around and catch up on stuff.

What mini donuts really look like. OMG they were good!

Last night was a nice mellow night, and the weather was beautiful There wasn’t too many people around, and there was no fighting for parking, or standing in line too long for the boys to get on the rides.

I finally got my mini donuts…HHHHHMMMM Good!

I’m looking forward to the Sugarland concert next weekend, but I think I am more looking forward to just hanging out with my friend who’s coming down from Canada. It’s going to be a good time!

What a beautiful day in the park…


Rental for a picnic shelter at the park for a day: $30

Chips, dips and beverages: $20

Availability of sunshine and nice breezes: Spot on!

Cost of good times with old friends, and new, on a lovely Sunday afternoon: PRICELESS!

Today, I met my friends at Oak Park, and some great new people joined in. It was a fabulous afternoon with lots of sunshine, bubble blowing, foot ball throwing, joke telling, and food eating. It’s been so long since I’ve had a nice day like that, I’d forgotten what it’s like to just get away for a while and forget about everything else. I feel so relaxed right now, I could just noodle out and go to sleep. In fact, I was so relaxed, I left completely forgetting to take my stuff with me! (thanks for grabbing my stuff for me Brea!)

Ah, but it’s back to reality time. I managed to get a little housework done before I left today, so now it’s time to get some more laundry rolling and get the rest of the housework done. Before I know it, Monday will have dawned and it’s back to the grind again. Oh, but it was a lovely time while it lasted!

Inch by Inch, Row by Row


We (me, my boys, my Dad and my two nephews) just came back from a concert in our Oak Park, where we listened to Dennis Warner sing. He was absolutely wonderful, and I think my favorite song that he sang is called The Garden Song. I couldn’t find Mr. Warner’s version on You Tube, but I found a good version of it by John Denver, and wouldn’t you know it but he’s singing on The Muppet Show:

As much as I love John Denver’s music, I have to say that Dennis Warner did it better. He has a You Tube Channel, and I urge you to go out and give his songs a listen. His music is really worth taking the time:

I think the nicest thing about his concert tonight is that he had us all singing together, and it was a such a beautiful evening. I’m so glad we advantage of the opportunity to go hear some great music and enjoy a nice evening outside. Mr. Warner has published eight albums as well as a children’s book titled Beads on One String which is now being used in elementary school education programs.

The garden is in, and an early Fathers Day


The weather was gorgeous today, and so we went out right away this morning to finally put the garden in. Now, most of you are probably thinking to yourself, “shouldn’t the garden have been planted a loooong time ago?” Yes, it should have, but events conspired so that it just wasn’t possible to get the garden in before now.  No biggie. It’s better than no garden at all.

Older son helped me plant, starting with the onions. Younger planted the pumpkins, watermelons and cucumbers earlier, and they made it through the recent prairie hurricane that blew through (thanks for that, Brea. It’s an apt term given all the wind and water that came our way!) . We’re not quite done, though…the herbs and flowers, and two packs of peppers still need to be planted.

Here’s a quick list of what we have so far:

  • onions (Walla Walla)
  • garlic (left over from some a friend gave me from their garden last year. Hopefully they will take root!)
  • six kinds of  hot peppers (Jalapeno, Hungarian Yellow Wax, Anaheim, and I can’t remember exactly the other three at the moment)
  • three kids of tomatoes (Amish Paste, Sweet Cherry and Manitoba)
  • cucumbers
  • watermelon
  • pumpkins

I have more space to dig up, and I want to plant zucchini and spaghetti squash. I know it’s late in the season, but I’m hopeful that we’ll get at least a few squash by the middle of September.

Well,  we are off in a few minutes to go celebrate father’s day early with my Dad, since the kids are going with their father tomorrow. Oh…I forgot about what I got my Dad for Father’s Day…and I got some for myself too! When I was picking up the other vegetables, I ran across some Yellow Husk Ground Cherries. I have heard that they are very delicious and easy to grow.  I’m hoping that the seeds can be saved to make some more next year too! Here click HERE to read more about these interesting plants.

I’d post a picture of the garden, but the yard’s a big mess, and we’re not quite done yet. I’ll post one after we get it all done and cleaned up.

Oh well…off I go to order the pizza and get dressed for the day. It’s going to be a nice day at Mom and Dad’s with the boys.

Nothing like a bonfire and good company


I was invited to spend the evening at a friend’s house in the country last night. In this particular housing area every home sits on no less than two acres of beautiful North Dakota rolling prairie…gorgeous wide open spaces!

We stood outside trying to get the bonfire going, but then a storm rolled in and we had to go inside. That was ok, because we all had a good time just chatting, no matter where we were standing or sitting. There was a lot of good food and good company, and I was able to catch up with some old friends, which was fabulous.  Eventually, the skies cleared and we all piled back around the bonfire (which burned brightly through the storm).

It may sound a little silly, but it seems to me that there’s something very primal and essential about the activity of standing around a fire with other people. Yes, I said essential, and I used that word very purposefully. Sitting around a fire with others is something I used to take for granted when I was growing up, as we spent a lot of Summer weekends at a cabin and always had a fire burning.  I love the smell of wood smoke, and the sight and sounds of the embers burning and the sparks popping off the logs. I love the heat of it and how the luminescence of the flames lights up people’s faces. I love sharing a fire with others, whether we’re talking or not. For me a campfire is a total mind/body experience, and I thirst for it. I didn’t realize how badly I missed it until last night.  It’s been many years too long without.

So, I stayed until about 1am and drank in all the fire and good companion ship I could.  Being able to sit around with other adults in a non-work setting was a complete balm on my soul, and the fire was the big fat icing on the cake. I hear from my friends that they are planning to have a bonfire once a month, and I’m invited back.

I just can’t wait!

Quiet morning thwarted by my own mind


Given all the excitement that’s been going on around our little house, I’ve been jonesing  for a little peace and quiet. This morning there is nothing I have to do, nobody to see and the sun is out. Finally! All I can hear is the traffic out front and the fish tank bubbling.

The boys don’t have to get up today for anything, and that means that I can just sit here listening to nothing, reading and posting to my heart’s content. Then why is it that I am drawn to think about all the things that need doing? There is always housework, and yard work, and organizing…I could go on ad nauseum about all the little things that constantly need keeping up with.  There should be some metaphysical door one can shut on thoughts of those kinds of activities so one can fully enjoy a peaceful, sunny morning like I have now. But, noooo…it seems that the way is open for intruding thoughts of work. Bugger.

Well, if it’s thoughts of work that I have, I guess I should think about what exactly it is I feel like I need to accomplish today. So, here’s a to do list:

  • Laundry (When isn’t there any? At least that can be going while I’m doing other stuff!)
  • Dusting (It’s a never-ending battle in North Dakota)
  • Cooking (I have another 8 lbs of meat that needs cooking up or it will go bad soon. Hm…sounds like meat loaf for supper!)
  • Finish cleaning out the entryway closet.
  • Clean out the hall closet
  • Organize the basement (that’s really two weeks worth of work right there, but I should get a start)
  • Crack the whip on those boys to clean their rooms this afternoon (ugh…what is it with teenage boys and stinky rooms?!)
  • Mop the kitchen floor
  • Mop and oil all the wood floors…boy are they DRY…

Ugh…I could go on and on and on. I think this list is long enough, though. First thing I think I want to do after I put a load of laundry in, is go for a walk. At least that way I can feel like I am getting something done while I’m doing something for myself!

Well, It’s 9am, and I hear Older Son stirring. It’s been a nice quiet morning while it lasted!

A nice Sunday for all


Today was a very nice Sunday. The weather was very pleasant, if windy, and I was able to open the windows and get some nice fresh air in here. I cleaned up a little, did some laundry, then washed my bathroom rugs and hung them outside to dry.

The boys were supposed to go with their dad today, but they ended up canceling that because he bummed his leg up. So, Older son went to a movie with a friend, and Younger Son and I went plant shopping. After doing some shopping around to see what is available here, we had supper at the Chinese place, and then made the actual purchases.  What we ended up bringing home were a Schubert’s Choke Cherry and two Nanking cherry bushes.

The new additions planted between the shed and the house

In the picture, you can see the whole of my back yard and straight through to Southern and Eastern Neighbors’ yards. I was standing in Western Neighbor’s yard while taking the picture.  The little shrubs I bought should be a good 4-5 feet tall by the end of the season. I don’t expect to get any fruit this year, but it’s a start!

Younger son and I spent a nice few hours in the back yard planting the new shrubs and doing other small odd jobs. I was lucky to run into Western Neighbor and asked him if he minded if I replaced the small piece of fencing (just barely visible to the right of the shed) with some new fencing, which would require cleaning out some of the unruly lilacs (I’ll miss them!) toward the back of his property. He gave his blessings, and we had a nice chat. I don’t get to see him very often, but he’s a nice guy. The fence will run from the front of the Western side of the house all the way around the back end of the property and wrap up to the back door. It will make a nice grape arbor!

Now that Older Son is back from the movie and Younger is back from walking to the local Loaf & Jug, I guess I ought to get back to work and get some stuff done before tomorrow.

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