Soaking in the Summer in the Flower Garden


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I kept thinking that at some point this summer I would be all “caught up” in the flower garden, enough to sit around for about three days to enjoy the look into a non-existent state of garden homeostasis and relish the garden for a few moments. But, I never got around to that for a variety of factors. The weeds stayed in the path–though the path got weeded in parts–but it never made it to fully being weeded; the deer continually barged through, digging around for roots or whatnot, ripping plants to pieces or pulling them out of the ground in the meantime; and while I managed to keep one or two beds maintained at a time, I never got around to having all of the beds maintained all together at one time.

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With all of that said, there are plenty of glorious views in the garden and if I can get past looking at the weeds that need to be pulled, plants that need to be moved, or whatever else, I can find plenty to enjoy around here.

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While there are many parts of the day that I enjoy being in the garden, evenings are by far my favorite. The light makes everything look more pleasant and wild, like the mess is supposed to be there.

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The beautyberry on the side of the house spreads every year and I’ve never regretted keeping it and making it part of the flower bed, though it always gets a trim in late winter.

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And despite a lot of time without rain through July, the sprinklers had no problems sending the rain lilies into bloom.

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Our thicket of tropical milkweed has thrived this summer. It makes this particular bed look more finished than it has in a few years.

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Ah, there would be one section of path that hasn’t been weeded yet. Sometime this winter when the weeds are gone it will be time to get more decomposed granite to put down so that maybe next year won’t be so bad weed-wise. The ‘Wendy’s Wish’ salvia has bounced back from the freeze quite well, though not as bushy as it was last year, and the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds have been enjoying it immensely.

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Some beds switched places in regards to lushness—others that were fuller in previous years were a little thinner this year than other beds.

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I am sensing the slow change in seasons, too. The sun is shifting on the horizon and while we won’t have cool weather for awhile, I’m itching for a bit of crispness in the air, to garden without dripping in sweat.

Slowly. But first, we get through August.

Evening Ramble at Kleb Woods


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One thing that was been hard for me to adjust to over the last three years since Forest was born was not being out and about in the evenings. Where our house is located, it makes driving anywhere a bit of a chore, about 20 minutes into town and then further for just about anything else, and having a newborn, then older baby, and then toddler, made going out after dinner or doing anything else not worth it. Before Forest was born Chris and I had a standing dinner night out during the week, and we attempted to keep that up during my maternity leave but it became clear evenings out were not in the cards for us and we quickly switched eating out during the week for a weekend lunch out.

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And then of course as Forest got a little older there was bedtime and meltdowns to contend with and it still just wasn’t feasible. But over the last few months I’ve made some treks out (Chris has always gone out, of course, while I was nursing Forest or putting him to bed) and being out in the evenings feels like revelation of sorts, something I’d completely forgotten about. I enjoy spending time at the house but I do miss running out to wherever, whether it was for errands, dinner, or evening hiking or exploration. Slowly, it seems, we’re able to add that back in a bit.

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All summer I’ve been hankering for a short hike or exploration at a local park after dinner but we’ve just never had the chance or made the time. After the brief cool front last week that turned the temperature down from 100* during the day to 90* during the day I knew I needed to get that evening time in before the months slowly ate up the daylight in the evenings. Those golden hours are already fading as we head into August.

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So, we went out for a walk to Kleb Woods. Recently we bought Forest his first backpack, one suitable for hiking, complete with the two straps across the front of the body. It’s an REI Tarn and made especially for little kids. It took some getting used to, enticing him to wear it, but when we let him know he could carry some toys and his gummies he was a lot more game to wear it. And he wore it for about 3/4 of the hike the other night!

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We hadn’t been to Kleb Woods in quite awhile and I wanted to start off at the entrance on FM 2920. It has a long area of mostly loblolly pine and yaupon with a small wetland area before it connects up with the wider area of the park where a little nature center and the original farmstead that Mr. Kleb lived in is located. (You will want to read that link!) It was 0.7 miles from the parking lot on FM 2920 to the nature center and walking with toddler legs took time. We paused a few times to swat mosquitoes, look at ripe grapes on the muscadine vines (I snagged a couple—tasty!), and ogled at the beatyberries. Forest kept calling the beautyberries grapes and we had to keep correcting him.

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Along the way Forest managed to find the perfect stick to use as a walking stick and he kept it for the majority of the hike. Unfortunately I think he’s got my tripping on over roots and sticks gene because there were several near misses. Finally we made it to the nature center where we took a short break, looked for hummingbirds in their garden area, and scoped out the little pond near Mr. Kleb’s old shed. Chris found a bullfrog and pointed it out to Forest and later Forest declared that was his favorite animal he saw during the trip.

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The return trip was slower, which was a bit problematic because the park closed at 8pm. The sun was lowering on the horizon, the forest was darkening, and Forest was slowing. He ditched his backpack, sweat wetting the back of his hair, and we kept plodding along. We weren’t far from our car when we heard the security truck over a loud speaker proclaiming the park was closing. I ran ahead to flag that we were on our way and we hustled to get out of the park and home.

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I don’t know if we will have any more evening hikes this summer but I’m glad we got this one in while we could.

June & July 2017 Book Report


I took a binge into fiction-land the last two months. Must be something about summer!

Completed
The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon: In prep for Season 3 of Outlander I read this stand alone/Lord John Grey novel that takes place in the mists between book 2 and 3 in the Outlander storyline. This is a Jamie and Lord John centered story and gives some backstory on how they became friends instead of just guard and ward. It was captivating and I really enjoyed it, and it also answered some other outlying questions that we don’t get in the main series.

Letters from Paris by Juliet Blackwell: This present day story begins in rural Louisiana and is about a woman disconnected from her life in Chicago, coming home to take care of her grandmother in her last days, and finding there are answers to her past unsolved. A broken replica mask in the attic and a strange letter sends her to Paris where she first soothes her soul with being a tourist but finds herself working on the side in the shop that had made the plaster mask. A sweet story ensues and it took me quite awhile to figure out one of the two mysteries in the story. An easy and enjoyable read.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: After reading Code Name Verity last month I knew I had to finish up the series. This takes place after CNV but involves another set of characters almost entirely, with references to a few of the other characters from the first novel. I actually enjoyed this novel more despite it being very tough to deal with at times—heavy concentration/work camp imagery.

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein: A prequel to CNV, this revolves around the main character in CNV in her adolescence, with a backstory on her life pre-war. You get a sense of who she was becoming and it was a bit disheartening knowing where her life would end up. I enjoyed the story, though! Pre-war Scotland and some aristocracy talk.

Blackmoore by Julianna Donaldson:
Pure Regency romance, this book. There are some characters in here that were annoying and a bit implausible—think Mrs. Bennett from P&P on steroids—but otherwise entirely entertaining.

Edenbrooke by Julianna Donaldson: Since I was on the Regency romance bandwagon with the novel above, I went down the rabbit hole with this one. Edenbrooke was far better of a book and I could handle this one made into a movie. It’s even better on the romance section with some swoon worthy moments and the main male character has some Mr. Darcy-esque moments with a more likeable personality. He’s a combination of Darcy and Bingley in a way, without Bingley’s goofiness. Hard to explain, but if you like Regency romances, this is one to pick up.

In the Middle Of
Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway: I got this one for my birthday and am about 3/4ths of the way through but it is not a book you just read straight. It’s one to pick up over and over again through the years.

Companion Planting for the Kitchen Gardener by Allison Greer: I started this one back in June but it is on hold for now. I need to do more companion planting.

Coming of Age at the End of Nature: This is probably one to put on hold, it is essays about the environment from various GenX and Millenials about the doom and gloom of where we are headed. It’s good but not a read straight through kind of book.

Unlatched by Jennifer Grayson: Finally picking this ARC copy up that I received from my friend Lisa awhile ago and am really enjoying it so far. I’m not that far into it but she’s got a lot of great information about the state of breastfeeding in US.

Still Reading in Bits
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer: Haven’t been in an audiobook mood lately so this one has been in bits and spurts. I only have about two hours left to listen.

The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd: A compendium of essays from the Coffee + Crumbs ladies. A slow read, an essay at a time.

What are you reading?

Late July in the Edible Garden


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The current lull between crops is actually very soothing for me. Sure, there’s weed pulling, supplemental watering, and something I’m trying to be better about—fertilizing with fish emulsion—but there’s not a lot of harvesting going on. Blackberries are completed, the beans stop producing when it gets too hot—if we get a light front come through with rain there’s always a new flush of fruit—and squash and pumpkins have yet to begin producing.

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There’s a lot of growth, though. With the Seminole pumpkin going gangbusters throughout an entire bed, two squash plants attempting to thrive, and new rounds of beans being grown, I’m happy with this later summer growth. In addition, the okra is getting to the near flowering stage and I’m excited for it to begin producing because I just found out you can eat okra raw and it supposedly tastes really good. The tomatoes I planted for fall are doing well for the most part. A few that got a little bit of a later start are struggling a bit but the others are growing well, including one of the Roma plants I did not rip out—it is putting on new growth! I definitely think starting seeds when I did in mid-spring and keeping them in containers on the side will be the way to go for the future but only time will tell. I have been seeing people just starting their seeds in early July, like I did last year, and I’m skeptical about them getting enough growth for a fall harvest before a freeze. It’s what happened to me last year. I’ll be interested to see how my plan works out for me this year.

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It’s mostly quiet out there with some tinkering going on from time to time. I’ve been focusing on the flower beds over the last week, making progress on the path and a few of the other beds, including the one that wraps around Chris’ man-cave. Fire ants abound in just about every bed and they aren’t bothering to mound, either. You can easily pull a plant up and with it a pile of ants that you quickly have to throw into the grass to avoid being bitten.

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The afternoon and early evening thunderstorms have continued to evade us the last week or two and it is really showing around our neighborhood. Not only are some of our smaller trees looking stressed but the native plants like beautyberries are looking haggard. We could use an inch or two of rain this week but I don’t know if we will get it.

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I hope to get out and take some updated photos of the flower beds soon to share with y’all!

Life Lately | July 2017


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+In My Head
I’ve got a lot on my mind these days, namely some things surrounding pollinators and separately, plastic. Both of these deserve their own blog posts to be expounding upon but I’ll get to that at a later date.

Regarding pollinators, my main qualm is hornworm hate and the lack of interest in other pollinators other than the big two: monarchs and honeybees. Now, don’t get me wrong I love both—I grow milkweed for the monarchs and we have a honeybee hive. But I’m also very interested in creating an equal opportunity (mostly, I’m not sure we need mealybugs or scale.) wildlife habitat and trying to come to terms with caterpillars who use the edible garden for their life cycle. Maybe this includes being more proactive in using netting over the brassicas in the winter instead of spraying Bt. It makes me a little queasy when we have such a problem with declining insect populations. Sure, Bt is organic but organic kills, too. Like I said, there’s a lot to wrap my head around and do some research on this topic, but it is something I’ve been pondering. This post on Garden Rant the other day had me nodding my head in agreement and glad someone else was mentioning it, too.

On the subject of plastics, this is something that has also slowly been building. Sure, we usually bring bags when we go shopping, though not always, but we try. I’ve also been noticing just how much plastic is covered in other things from food products we buy to things like cutlery at restaurants. It’s been a recent change at Chick-fil-A I think, but now their plastic cutlery is individually wrapped in plastic. I mean, plastic cutlery was bad enough but additional plastic around it? Arrrrrrgh. And straws are something that I’ve thought about in passing but never really thought a lot about until the last six months and now I’m attempting to start not using them when I can. Chris brought up that I need to actually hand it back to the waiter at restaurants because if it was left on the table it will probably be just thrown away, too, even if unopened.

I started thinking about plastic even more last month when the Slow Home Podcast talked about Plastic Free July. There are lots of ways to take the reduction of plastic consumption to further steps and hopefully we can start implementing some of them. One thing I’ve been better about lately has been to take my Nalgene with me when we go out on weekends. There’s nothing more annoying than having to buy a bottle of water because I’m thirsty! I don’t drink sodas so having to buy water just irks me.

So, I’m really thinking hard on these two subjects as of late.

+Watching

Not a whole lot. I am super stoked about the Outlander Season 3 Trailer. The new season debuts in September! I watched Bad Moms over a few evenings and caught the last 30 or 45 minutes of Free State of Jones and then went and found it airing at a later time to record the whole movie so I can watch it in full. Most recently I watched Lion, which I highly recommend.

Not watching a whole lot around here!

+Outside My Window

Green with slight tinges of brown because all of the afternoon thunderstorms that have popped up recently have been avoiding our house. Yesterday it thundered from all directions for several hours but every cell kept moving around us. We’ve had a light shower here and there but nothing that would result in a good soaking and we really need it.

+In The Art Studio

I went over to the studio this morning to do some cleaning up while Chris and Forest went to the grocery store. I finally feel like I’m getting to a point where I want to be there again and once I wrap up a scrapbooking project I think I can bring Forest over to color on the table while I do other things. I found a blanket I was making for a friend’s baby two years ago and I thought it was still in a state of disarray but apparently all I need to do is put the binding on it. So, that’s one project I can work on!

+In The Garden

Over the last few weeks I have been working steadily on getting the paths and beds in the vegetable garden to a state of less weeds and I finally feel like I’m semi-on top of that now. I’ve moved over to the flower beds again and have been working on beds and the paths as well. I noticed a female monarch laying eggs yesterday so I went around and found 8 of them and collected them to hatch and raise over the next few weeks. Hoping I’m successful in getting them through their full cycle!

+Reading

I hit a lull recently but just devoured Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson over the last two days. A June and July book report is on the agenda soon so I will be sharing more of my reading soon.

+Loving

+I’m really loving the last few weekends at home. Being able to relax in the middle of the day and watch movies with Forest has been wonderful.
+Aristolochia fimbriata seed pods!
+The Seminole pumpkin taking over an entire bed. Waiting on it to start flowering, though.
+Painted lady beans beginning to bloom!
+Woodstorks on the pond! We’ve never seen them on our pond! I can’t remember if it was before or after Forest was born, but I was driving on Tx 6 between Hearne and Riesel somewhere when I looked over and saw birds flying. I did a double take because I thought they were ibis at first and then I realized they were woodstorks. I hadn’t seen any more since then, but when Chris came running outside where I was pulling weeds one evening exclaiming that there were woodstorks out with the roseate spoonbills, we rushed over to try to get photos. I got a few photos in passing with the 50mm lens that was on my camera before they flew off. We haven’t seen them since, but maybe we will get them again before the summer is out.
+Getting Grow Curious in the mail last week. It is the first and only Kickstarter I have ever backed and I am extremely happy with the book and what Gayla has created. It reminds me a little of Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith in the thinking outside the box creativity.

What’s up with you?

A Golden Evening


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I find myself longing for hikes and camping these days. Most everyone else not in the humid south is out enjoying hikes and adventures and here we are sweltering in Texas, hibernating indoors during the afternoons. This is fine, I enjoy letting Forest play upstairs for awhile as I read a book or do some chores. I peer outside the windows at the garden or pond, often falling into a daydream. It looks enticing to get out there but the heat has a way of making us cranky. I’ve actually been enjoying getting a run in at lunch twice a week with the searing sun beating down—the only thing I keep forgetting that would make it more enjoyable would be to get my hat off the rack when I leave the house and maybe slather some sunscreen on my arms. *Duly noted.*

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Over the 4th of July weekend we were at Chris’ mom’s east Texas house for a few days. It was last 4th of July that I had taken Forest for a mid-day walk in the stroller to get out of the house for a bit. He wasn’t quite two yet and playing outside with some self direction wasn’t on the table at that stage so off we went for some diversion and sanity. I ended up finding a little trail to explore at a later date and made a mental note to go when I could. It only took a year to get back there but I finally got to explore the trail.

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Chris, his mom, and Forest went fishing one evening after it had cooled down a little and I took the time to explore the trail. I knew it wasn’t long but my goal wasn’t to put in some miles but really to just go see what I could find, enjoy the evening, and get some peace and quiet for myself.

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I found it.

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The trail was wide at first, following a slight slope down a cleared powerline before turning towards the bottomlands adjacent to a creek. Ferns stretched wide across one section and I was immediately enticed to stop and search for tiny bits of delight. Plants were labeled in some areas but I didn’t have a field guide for some of the ferns so I wasn’t sure if the labels were accurate.

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Only wearing tennis shoes, I didn’t linger in the fern areas long as I didn’t want to get my shoes wet. Moving down the creek I saw the sun was lowering on the horizon, rays of sunbeams reaching through the forest canopy. The creek bed was made of red clay and the sunlight made it look more spectacular than it might have been during the middle of the day. The nearness of a populace and access to the road meant there were pieces of trash here and there.

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If I’d had boots I would have climbed down into the creek bed and begun walking up the creek but I kept to the banks and went looking for plants and interesting tidbits beyond where the trail dead-ended. I wasn’t disappointed. Getting off the beaten path is delightful and I haven’t done it enough in recent years.

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I tinkered around for awhile and then got the feeling I needed to check in with the other three. Sure enough Forest was being very toddler-y and needed a little mom time. I attempted to get him to come back to the trail with me, which he was interested in at first, but quickly became even more challenging and wanted to be in the company of all of us. Bedtime was calling and things were going downhill fast with toddler behavior. No extra trail time to poke about a little bit longer, though I know he would have liked going if he’d been up for it.

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It wasn’t much but sometimes you take what you can get and hold onto it until the next time.

A Summer Sunday


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Every morning after I wake up I realize that I get to have coffee. And on weekends I realize I get to have it while sitting on the couch, relaxing. It’s such a small delight but it is one that makes me very happy.

For the moment the house is quiet as Forest and Chris are on the porch working on a leaky faucet. There’s a rosy wolf snail crawling on the siding on the porch and someone is chainsawing across the pond. Last night’s thunderstorms are gone and we’ve got a warm and sunny morning gracing our day. Today I’m hoping for no rain so that I can do some garden chores that I didn’t get to yesterday. It’s time to get another last summer crop sown, something I wanted to do about two weeks ago but I just hadn’t gotten to it. The blackberries are done and I need to prune the dead vines off the fence so it will look a bit cleaner and let the new vines grow for next season’s crop.

My birthday was last week—37! Didn’t I just turn 30?—and I got a couple of garden related items from Chris’ mom: a butterfly tent for raising caterpillars and Gaia’s Garden, a book about permaculture. I did see a monarch the other day, something I hadn’t seen for awhile, so maybe they will be migrating back through here soon. The milkweed became its own ecosystem this year when the oleander aphid population swelled, and the milkweed bug population blossomed, and then the ladybugs came in with their are cute alligator-like larvae all over the plants, in addition to juvenile green lynx spiders. I also noticed something different than I was used to and I figured out that it might have been a syrphid fly larvae. I’m sure there were/are other critters that I haven’t seen yet but it has been such a fun experience seeing what all have made the milkweed home this summer. I need to start looking more carefully for monarch eggs so I can begin raising them.

Over Christmas I received some money and Amazon giftcards from family and mostly squirreled away the money until I could figure out what to buy. I used some of the cash to beef up my summer clothing wardrobe a few months ago but I finally put some other birthday money into the pot and decided to buy a full sized digital piano. I played piano through my growing up years on a smaller sized keyboard and have always wanted an actual piano. A piano is not in the cards at the moment but a decent beginner keyboard was so I found one with good reviews on Amazon and it arrived last week. I still have all of my sheet music from those formative years and while I am very rusty I can manage to play some of the very basic tunes. I’m having to remember where to place my fingers and how to read some of the notes (thank you younger self for writing in the notes!) and now I need to Google some of the other accompanying symbols and language to get up to speed. I’m hoping with some practice I can be decent enough to teach Forest a little and maybe he will want to learn himself in a few years. We’ll see!

If you don’t visit the site much and read in a feed reader or via email, could you pop over to the blog and check it out? I actually updated to a WordPress theme instead of keeping the coded HTML that I’ve used for years. It took some banging around with dealing with the CSS but I finally got it to look decent, but if you are viewing it on a phone, tablet, or just another computer, can you take a peek and make sure it looks alright to you too? It had been awhile since I did any banner changes and I also streamlined a bit more on the side bar. I have a few more favorite posts I want to add to the side but other than that I think it is how it is going to look for good while.

Happy Sunday friends!

Skipper + Agastache


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Did you know there are a ton of skipper butterflies? I sat down yesterday to try to identify this one flitting about on this anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) the other afternoon and and I came up empty handed on an identification. There are a couple that look similar, and man, I lost patience pretty quickly with it, wishing I was flipping through a book instead of the internet. We have a butterfly book for Florida, Butterflies Through Binoculars, and it is helpful sometimes but the different region definitely makes it difficult to figure out solely from that book sometimes.

I really love the anise hyssop for the sole fact it is pollinator friendly and *crossing fingers* the deer have not chomped it down yet. Maybe they aren’t hungry enough? I thought they didn’t like lemon balm, according to internet sources, but they do. They’ve kept the lemon balm nice and tame this year instead of its usual cascading-over-the-bricks-and-into-the-path manner. Also, the anise hyssop spread easily by seed so it can fill out an area of the garden if you want it to. I’ve seen several people mention other varieties of agastache on their blogs and I’m very interested in possibly diversifying with more cultivars around the garden because of both of the reasons listed above.

We are definitely hitting the height of summer where we want to hibernate inside for a lot of the day. You can look outside and feel the humidity and heat from the comfort of the A/C and know that you’d be sweating in a few minutes without doing much other than sitting.

I’m trying to drink it all in, this summer, but we got a taste of fall the other morning when a storm front came through—darker than typical at 7:30 am and in the low 70s—and it had me yearning for early October.

Sunday Reads


Ahhh, good morning! I’m sitting here watching, over the screen of my laptop, a cartoon called DinoTrux on Netflix—a toddler’s idea of the perfect cartoon—dinosaurs turned into trucks, what’s not to like? Although, we *have* watched Toy Story 3 a gazillion times over the last week, so maybe that’s the perfect cartoon? Anyway, I’ve got a great mug of coffee and am finally able to lounge and relax away my mornings over the weekend.

Here are a few interesting tidbits I’ve read this week. Let’s start off with a couple of tweets!

In response to:

And in a similar vein: The Tale of the Dictators Daughter and her Prince by Sarah Kendzior. Yeah, yeah, I’m dipping my toes back into politics again after a few months away.

Jane Austen: The Political via The Weekly Standard

Sheila Michaels, Who Brought ‘Ms.’ to Prominence, Dies at 78 via the New York Times. I had no idea the history behind the title and it is one I prefer, too. Mrs. just sounds very 1950s housewife and unprofessional. And to be honest, just use my first name.

A preview of the Piet Oudolf documentary.

Season 3 of Outlander preview photos!! *squee*!

As “OMG, it’s a hornworm!” season has begun on social media I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable by the upturned noses by gardeners to other important pollinators that just so happen to use our tomatoes as host plants (or insert other edible here) when somehow the swallowtails are ok because they eat parsley and fennel and dill, and of course, happen to be really pretty. I don’t know, call me crazy, but there’s some pollinator bias going on in the gardening world. It’s all “Save the monarchs! Save the honeybees!” and kill anything else it seems. Yes, this deserves more than a little blurb I’m writing here so it may be a real blog post eventually—more pondering and thoughts need to occur first—but in that vein, More Than Monarchs: All Pollinators Need our Attention, Where Have All The Insects Gone, and No More War in the Garden.

Anything good you are reading around the ‘net lately?

July


Gaillardia amblyodon

If I’m out and about in the car, which we have been quite a bit over the last several weeks, I notice changes, the changes signaling the upcoming seasonal shift. It is still two months away, but it is coming. It is noticeable on social media feeds and garden blogs, too, with people thinking about fall crops. We may be smack-dab in the middle of summer but for me it already feels like we’re on the top of the peak and about to start the downward slide. Sure, there’s plenty of heat left in store for us but it took living in Florida for me to really pay attention to the phenological changes that mark the passing of a season. It always drove me batty when I would hear from people in Florida that there weren’t any seasons! Sure, there might not be snow on the ground in January, but there was a season called winter. There are seasons, they are subtle and that same effect is here in my area of Texas, too.

I’ve noticed the goldenrod already begin lumbering over the surrounding vegetation, aiming for that late August and September bloom period. The beautyberries have been blooming for awhile and there are already little green fruits forming, patiently waiting to turn that wonderful shade of purple. I was going to call it aubergine but it isn’t that dark. It’s beautyberry purple. Can we have a shade of purple named beautyberry?

In the garden the formosa lilies are the stars of the garden currently. There are plenty of other plants blooming right now but the lilies are what you see front and center when you pull up at the house. It’s been an easier time trying to maintain the gardens this summer though we are by far not on top of everything. I’ve pretty much put weeding the flower bed paths as lowest priority and that has begun to show, so I guess it is time to start working a little bit on that. The deer have been something awful this summer, mostly thanks to our neighbor feeding them. It wouldn’t be a big deal if, you know, we didn’t have a garden, but they migrate over to our yard between their meals over there and not only are they eating some plants but their hooves are tearing up the mulch so I’m constantly trying to fluff the dirt back.

We’ve had busy out-of-town weekends the last three weekends with a fairly full schedule the weeks before that. Needless to say, I need some introvert time at home. All of the travel has really helped to speed up the summer, too. I wanted to do a few crafty things with Forest and maybe some evening park explorations around here. It is really too hot to do a lot of hiking but evenings are sometimes cool enough to enjoy something like that.

Along with just taking it easy for awhile, it is time to do some cleaning out and moving around of baby and toddler items. Forest is officially out of his high chair or booster seat and is now a full-fledged member of the dinner table. And his crib came down in May and so he sleeps on the crib mattress on his floor for now. There are transitions afoot. Three is coming up fast for Forest!

That’s where summer is for us right now. I’ve been reading fairly heavily and will have another book review at the end of the month. I’m also finally in a lull with tv/Netflix watching. I caught up on Orange is the New Black and Better Call Saul so I have nothing until the fall tv season starts up unless something gets scheduled for an August release that I’m not in the know about.

What about you? How is your summer going?

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