Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dirty bird update #2 ..............

We don't have to worry about dirty bird any more. Mazie Grace had him for a morning snack. I hate for her to catch birds, but I had to thank her for getting this one.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Pleasures # 2 - Watermelons ......

Nothing refreshes on a hot summer day quite like an ice cold, sweet, juicy watermelon. A picnic is not complete without this treat for dessert.

When I get a watermelon, I will usually cut it into chunks and put it in the refrigerator. It's convenient for snacking on whenever I need a sweet treat.

I always have to save one slice to eat whole. What fun it is to get your face down into the slice and to have the sweetness dripping off your chin. Ahh ... the pleasures of summer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Pleasures # 1 - Hammocks .............

I have always loved hammocks. To me they are a symbol of the lazy days of summer. When I was young, we had a hammock in the front yard. I spent many summer evenings in that hammock, sharing secrets and dreams with my best friend. As I got older, I shared it with my boyfriends. It was a good place to get away from the big ears of my younger sisters.

Today, I love to go out to my hammock with a good book and perhaps a tall glass of ice tea. It's so relaxing to gently rock in the breeze. I can look up through the tree, watching the squirrels play. I can listen to music provided by the birds. In the peace of my hammock, I can think more clearly.

Some of my best naps occur here. The gentle rocking is soothing and guaranteed to lull you asleep quickly. In the summer, I keep my hammock in the shade. When the weather gets cooler, I will occasionally move it into the sun. This is one of my most favorite summer spots.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garden bounty .........

My garden is providing lots and lots of vegetables. Above is the bucket full that I picked this morning. By tomorrow morning, I will have another bucket full. The taste of vegetables straight from the garden is so much better than that of store vegetables.

The cucumbers have grown so much, they are flowing over the edges of the garden squares. I have to really hunt around in all the vines to find both the cucumbers and squash.

My pepper plants which are in the front have grown so much, several have fallen over. I don't have any peppers yet, but the plants will have lots later. I've gotten a few tomatoes, but most are still green. Once they start getting ripe, I will be inundated with tomatoes. Can't wait!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TOMATOES!! and a dirty bird update..........

We finally have a tomato from the garden. I have lots and lots of green tomatoes that are growing nicely since we got rain. This is the only ripe one I have. The cucumbers are really producing. I've been getting about five every day. I've gotten only two zucchini and no yellow squash, but within a week I should be getting lots of both.

I've been looking through cookbooks for good squash and tomato recipes. I've found several that I can hardly wait to make. Gardens supply good healthy organic food for summer eating.

Thought I would update you on the dirty bird problem. When I brought my brand new car home and parked it in the driveway last weekend, I was hoping the bird would leave it alone. No such luck. I had to wash it off the next morning. I tried putting plastic grocery bags over the side mirrors and so far that has worked! Evidently the bird doesn't want to roost on the bags or they cover the mirrors which were attracting him. Removing the plastic bags is so much easier than having to wash the car every time I want to go somewhere. I'm hoping it will continue to work.

We've been getting lots of rain lately. The grass is growing so fast you can almost see it getting taller. I'll have to spend tomorrow on the lawnmower. It takes me about 4 hours to get everything cut. I may have to go back over some areas with the bagger once it dries since it is so thick and tall.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Veggies and Cars ............

I picked my first cucumber and zucchini from the garden today. By the end of the week, we will probably be inundated with both. I'm ready for fried squash and for cucumbers sliced in vinegar. Now if the tomatoes would get ripe, I'd be in vegetable heaven.
Hubbie and I had been discussing getting a new car. My 2000 Maxima was low mileage and in good condition, but we thought it best to get a new car before he retires. We went to Richmond this morning just to look at the new Nissans to see what they had to offer. Well, he fell totally in love with a new Maxima that has all the bells and whistles. So, we came home with a new car. I still haven't learned everything about it - I have the owner's manual here at my desk to study. Some of the neat features are the back-up camera, the heated leather seats and steering wheel, interface for my iPod, Bluetooth phone system, and XM Satellite radio. I have every intention of keeping this car for at least 10 years and hopefully much longer. Since I've retired, I put very few miles on a vehicle.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fancy fire hydrants ..........

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Uncle Sam

Santa Claus

The Flag

Cats (Of course I like this one)

A local organization recently painted fire hydrants throughout my town. It's been fun riding around looking at them all. I think this is such a cool and fun project. These are some of my favorites. Which do you like the best?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The garden is growing .......

The rain we had a few days ago has perked up my garden and it is continuing to grow. I now have tiny yellow and zuchinni squash and tiny cucumbers. The tomatoes are growing, but are still very green. I've pulled up all the radishes since they were getting too big. They will keep for awhile in the refrigerator. I'm beginning to get anxious now for fresh vegetables from the garden.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Relaxin' ...........

Maggie May

Mazie Grace

Wish I could get that comfortable! Since the weather has gotten so hot, both girls are staying up all night to play or hunt and sleeping all day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The class of 2009 .........

I went to my nephew's graduation from Charlottesville High School last Saturday night. While watching the ceremony, I started thinking about how much the world has changed since I graduated from high school. These young people have so many more opportunities than we did back in 1965. They live in a global society. Through the internet, cell phones, and other electronics, they are connected to people all over the world. They can follow events in other countries as if they were happening next door.

They are exposed to a wide variety of ideas and opinions. When I wanted to explore a subject, I had to go to the library and hope that I could find something relevant. Today, all one needs to do is Google a subject and page after page of information is instantly presented. The abundance of information available to young people today makes them more sophisticated and mature than we were at their age.

The youth of today have important and complex problems that they will need to face and try to solve in the future. I know some people in my generation complain about young people calling them lazy, spoiled and trouble makers. I have faith in our youth and believe that they will meet the challenges ahead of them and make this a better world.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rain ........

This part of the country has been getting lots of rain lately. But it seemed like all the storms either went North or South or East or West of us. We were getting quite dry and I was afraid my garden was going to suffer.

Well, my prayers for rain were finally answered. The rain began yesterday and has continued on and off through this afternoon. It looks like its trying to clear off now. I checked the rain gauge awhile ago and we have gotten 1.5 inches. We never had a downpour - just a steady light rain, so all of it soaked into the ground. My squash plants appear to have grown several inches over night and the rest of the garden has perked up.

We pulled the cover off the pool Wednesday afternoon in anticipation of the rain. The rain has filled it up enough, so tomorrow we will get everything set up and get it running.

Lots of areas have gotten way too much rain and flood watches have been in effect. I sympathize with those of you who are totally water logged. Hope you dry out soon.

Mazie Grace is anxious for the sun to come out. She has been so restless. She meows to go outside, but once I let her out she discovers the rain and wants to come back in. She gives me these looks like I'm suppose to stop the rain for her. She is spoiled and used to getting whatever she wants.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I will be going to Charlottesville tomorrow to see my nephew graduate from high school. Then, I'm sure Sunday will be spent on the lawn mower.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hot weather and the garden ..............

From back to front: Burpee Burpless Cucumbers, Bush Cucumbers, Zuchinni Squash, Yellow Crookneck Squash

From back to front: Big Boy Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Better Boy Tomatoes, Onions, Green Peppers. You can't see it, but beyond the tomatoes is a hill of watermelon, and what is left of the radishes.

My garden has been looking good, but if we don't get some rain soon, it will not produce. It never fails, we have a dry spell when the vegetables start to fill out. I water as much as I dare, but I have to ration water when it gets dry since we have a well. All watering seems to do is keep it alive. We need a good soaking rain to really make it grow.

It was 97 this afternoon - Hot, Hot, Hot. Everything is drooping and looks cooked. I'll go out in a few minutes and give the garden and my flowers a drink. I've been trying to add water to the pool this week. The water level drops almost a foot during the winter - probably from evaporation. I need to get the level up high enough to run the filter. We will probably uncover it and get it running this weekend. If it had been ready, I would have been swimming this afternoon.