Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Heat ...................

My grass has turned brown.

My squash and cucumbers are gone.

I like hot weather, but this is going a bit too far. Every day for the last 10 days has been in the upper 90s. Four of those days were over 100 - we had 3 days at 102 and 1 day at 101. I usually avoid turning on my air conditioner, but it has been running constantly except for the early morning. I turn it off and open the windows when I get up, but by 10 AM I have to turn it back on. The days that were over 100 were just too hot to even go in the pool. The pool water temperature is up to 85, so the water is not that refreshing - more like a tepid bath. We're suppose to get some much needed relief tomorrow.

We had a very brief shower last night - the first rain we've had in three weeks. I'm afraid it was too little and too late for my garden. I got one tomato from the garden on June 17th. Since then every one of the tomatoes has had dry rot. The squash and cucumbers are gone and the green peppers look sickly. I've been watering almost every night, but it hasn't been enough. Maybe next year I can have a good garden.

Between the heat draining all my energy and being busy with repairs to my Dad's two John Deere lawn tractors and John Deere Gator, I have gotten behind on reading blogs. I apologize for my lack of comments. I'm hoping I can get caught up later tonight.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An update ...............

I've been neglecting my blog. Hubby and I have been busy washing the siding on the house and trying to clean out the garage. The siding is done, but we've only made a dent in the garage. I'm almost at the point where rather than going through things, I'm tempted to just take it all to the dumpster. It's amazing how much stuff one can accumulate. While going through the bottom cabinets, I discovered that a mouse had invaded the area and had made a mess. You would think that the cats would keep them away. Then again, it could be a mouse they caught, brought into the garage to play with, and let loose.

It's much too hot to work in the garage today. I just checked our forecast. It's suppose to be 97 today, 99 tomorrow, and 102 Thursday. With our high humidity, those temperatures are almost unbearable. We've only had 4/10 of an inch of rain so far this month. The lack of rain and the heat have turned the grass brown, wilted all my flowers, and just about ruined the garden. All the pretty green tomatoes I had are getting dry rot, the cucumbers and squash are not filling out, and some of the plants are dying. I've tried to water the flowers and garden, but it's just not the same as a good rain. Seems like this happens every year.

Hope everyone had an enjoyable Father's Day weekend. My brother came home for the weekend from New Jersey on Friday. Saturday, my cousin and her husband visited at my Dad's. We had an enjoyable time remembering the summers we spent together as children. Sunday, my sister and brother-in-law were here from Charlottesville. It was nice that my brother, my sister, and I got to spend Father's Day with my Dad. He'll be 96 next month, so we won't get to celebrate with him many more times.

I haven't seen the skunks for a few days. I heard a gun shot across the road the other morning. I'm afraid my neighbor may have decided he didn't want skunks around. I don't know how anyone could shoot such cute little creatures. Maggie May is now fascinated by a snake that keeps sticking his head out from a crack between my front porch and steps. She has no fear.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An almost ripe tomato .............

I have one tomato that is turning from green to red. It should be ready to pick in a few days. It's small, but doesn't have any blemishes. There are lots of green tomatoes on the vines. We need rain to fill them out and make them juicy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Maggie got skunked ............

I knew it would happen! This morning I had the windows open and caught a brief odor of skunk. I went out in the back yard and called Maggie, but didn't see her. I could still smell skunk, however, and was silently praying that it wasn't Maggie that tangled with the skunk. I went back inside and happened to see Maggie on the front porch. When I opened the front door, it hit me in the face - SKUNK! Poor Maggie's left eye was shut and the left side of her face and left paw were wet. She wanted inside, but of course I said No! and quickly shut the door in her face.

I called the Vet's office to see if they had anything I could use on her. They gave me a recipe using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn dish detergent. You are suppose to bath them in this solution. Yeah, right! I had no idea we would be able to give Maggie a bath, but I called Hubby, who was in Richmond, and told him to pick up some hydrogen peroxide on his way home.

Maggie sat at the door begging to come in for awhile, then stretched out on the porch and sulked. Just before Hubby got home, she disappeared. I think she went under the deck. She finally came out a little while ago. The odor didn't seem as bad, but we mixed up a batch of anti-skunk solution. Hubby held her and I tried to wipe her face and paw with the solution. She wasn't too happy about the process and put up a big fight, so I only got in a few wipes before Hubby had to let her go. The odor that is left will just have to wear off.

Aren't you glad odors don't travel through the computer? She's still outside, but I will have to bring her inside before dark. I can't smell skunk right now, but I'm sure she will deposit the odor around the house when she comes in. Just one of the joys of having pets in the country.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Skunks and rain .............

We've had all sorts of animals in our yard - deer, rabbits, possum, raccoons, snakes, huge turtles, all kinds of birds, etc. Now we have a skunk family that has been traveling across our yard every evening. Mama skunk has two babies that run along behind her. They really are cute, but I've been keeping my distance. I'm sure Mama skunk would get upset if anyone came near her babies. So far, the cats have not seen them. I'm hoping Maggie May doesn't catch sight of them and decide she is going to chase them out of the yard like she chases dogs. That could be disasterous. Maybe I should stockpile tomato juice.

The last two days have been very HOT and very HUMID. Yesterday was 96 and this afternoon was 98. We spent yesterday afternoon in the pool, but today we retreated inside to the air conditioning. I think we are suppose to have one more very hot day before it cools down to the upper 80s. We had a very brief shower last night and got all of one tenth of an inch of rain. I think that evaporated into steam as soon as the rain stopped. I'm still doing my rain dance.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Deer and kitties ....................

I hadn't seen the albino deer lately, so I was hoping nothing had happened to him. Last night I looked out the kitchen window around 8:30 and saw him in the field beside the house. He later came up in the yard with his three friends and they chased each other around the back yard. I was relieved to know that he was okay. I wish I could get a better picture, but it's always too dark when he gets closer to the house. I'll keep trying.

We have been a lazy bunch lately. Mazie Grace has been sticking close to home since her week away. This is how she spends her days. Every once in awhile she'll get up and turn around, but that's the extent of her activity. She'll go out at night for a couple of hours and then she's ready to come back in. I think she gained a huge appreciation of home while held captive somewhere else.

Maggie May thinks she is the queen of the neighborhood. She loves to chase any dogs who happen to invade her yard. I just hope she doesn't pick on the wrong dog one day. She caught a bird last week and was so happy and proud of herself. She's been trying to get one for months. She would spend hours stalking and lying in wait for one.

I have been even lazier than the cats. My left shoulder and neck have been hurting nonstop for the last four or five days - my arthritis is acting up. I can ignore it for awhile, but then I get really aggravated by it. I think it may be a little better today. The garden is wilted and turning yellow in places. I've been watering, but we need a good soaking rain. We've been eating squash, cucumbers, and onions. The tomatoes are still green and aren't growing very fast - they need water now to make big juicy tomatoes. I'll keep trying my rain dance.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My tomatoes ............

My husband picked up this hanging tomato kit at Lowes this spring. I had my doubts as to how well it would do, but I was willing to give it a try. So far, it is still alive and growing and has a few blooms on the upper plant. The reddish pots on the deck have cherry tomato plants in them.

These are the tomato plants in my garden square. Since we have had plenty of rain so far this year, they have grown and gotten really thick. I probably planted them too close together, but it doesn't seem to have stunted their growth. They are full of blooms and little green tomatoes.

Here are some of my little tomatoes. It will be awhile before I'll be able to eat tomato sandwiches for lunch. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Squash ..........

We had squash from the garden for supper tonight. The fried squash and onions were delicious! I've got some little cucumbers on the vine that I'm anxious to harvest, and some little green tomatoes. The garden was wilted this afternoon from our heat. We just had a very brief shower, which I hope perks it up.

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend. We stayed at home and worked around the house and yard. We got the pool up and running, all the grass cut and trimmed, all the vehicles washed, and the house cleaned. Today we visited a few antique shops. We rarely buy anything - we just enjoy looking.

It is still very humid and very warm. Seems like there are scattered thunderstorms every night. We've gotten very little rain from them - usually just a sprinkle. Maggie May hides under the chair when she hears thunder, but it doesn't seem to bother Mazie Grace. I'm going to get some Aconite, an herb recommended by Sweetflutterbys3, that is suppose to calm pets. I will use it when we have bad storms and when I have to take them to the vet.