Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Homebody

Cooler weather and rain swept into the area on Monday. After more than a week with everything baking in the hot summer sun from dawn to dusk and a mild drought still in effect, it was a very welcome relief. So far this summer I've learned that water from a hose can't compete with a good drenching rain for making a garden happy. Watering will keep the plants alive during the hottest part of summer, but rain makes them thrive. I'm beginning to harvest the earliest tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, parsley, and basil. The indeterminate heirloom tomatoes and the cantaloupes are coming along nicely. Then there's all the flowers I planted as a living mulch, the marigolds and nasturtiums. They're blooming like mad.



                            Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui) and marigold blossoms.

I've been spending a great deal of time outdoors these days, even when it's hot. It's a pleasure to be off work and enjoying the garden, the porch, and the neighborhood at my leisure. This morning when we were out walking George one of our neighbor's cats came out to be petted. She's sensible enough to wait for Gregg to walk on ahead with George before trotting over to say hi. (George can't be trusted around cats, unfortunately). She's a sweet little creature.


I've only left home in the past week to go to the farmer's market or to the grocery store. Yesterday I cleaned and organized my pantry, tossing expired foods (thankfully there wasn't much of that) and rearranging stuff nearing it's expiration date so that it's closer to hand. I'm thinking about buying some bulk fruits and vegetables at the market (things I don't grow, like peaches and sweet corn) and then freezing and canning them for winter use. Everything is so good right now, at the peak of the season, and the prices are as affordable as they're going to get. I haven't canned anything in years, but I have all the equipment I need to do so. Having all this free time helps.

Today I mowed the lawn to surprise my husband. I can't wait until he gets home from work and sees it! We got a new mower this summer and it's much easier to use than the old one, plus our yard is small. It felt good to be working (and even sweating) outdoors. I've lost a few pounds from the extra exercise and I'm getting very brown from the sun. So far it's been an excellent summer.

36 comments:

  1. So glad you're enjoying your time off! You're absolutely right about water from the hose not being able to compare to the rain, especially a good soaking rain. We've reached the point of having too much rain, though. Lake Junebug is quite full. Your shot of the flower is beautiful. You are a very good photographer.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. Here's hoping for some drier weather for you! Thanks for the compliment on the flower photo. It would have been hard to take a bad picture of it, though. :)

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  2. Your neighbour's cat is a cutie alright!

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    1. It's always nice when she comes out to be petted (she doesn't always).

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  3. I am so happy that you are making the most of your summer vacation Jennifer. You seem to be in happy state of mind that contrasts vividly with your state of mind as the school year petered out. Perhaps things got slightly out of perspective and you were tired too. Plus COVID-19 has impacted on all of us in different ways.

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    Replies
    1. It was a hard and stressful year for everyone at the school. Next year should be better, and if it isn't, I have options. Thank you Neil.

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  4. What’s that old joke? Hello, this is Brown from the Sun! Never mind. Oh, that cat. I’m in love. (Sorry, George.)

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  5. I started my summer vacation last Friday, and it has been great not waking up to an alarm clock every morning. Great photos! Enjoy the summer!

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    1. I read your latest post and still mean to get back to it soon and comment, so I knew your summer had finally started. I'm so glad you're getting your strength back--please take full advantage of the break for R&R and fun. You deserve it!

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  6. What a great summertime post. Sounds to me like you are taking full advantage of your time, the weather, your garden, and your abilities. Hurray for you, dear woman!
    That photo of the butterfly on the marigold is pure...gold. Absolutely.

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    1. I got so many great shots of this butterfly that it was hard to pick one! It was so enamored of the marigolds that it just kept landing on them and staying put for a while. :)

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  7. This is your happiest summer, ever. I am smiling by the second sentence.

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    Replies
    1. I'm determined to squeeze out every drop of happiness possible from this summer. You never know what might be going on by next year!

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  8. You are letting me enjoy a day at home with you, in your garden, with your words and photos. I have no idea how to take a photo closeup of a butterfly, it is a wonder. And you mowing the lawn, what a gift for Gregg.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Terra. I hope you're doing well!

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  9. I read it all but I can't get beyond that cat face. it almost looks like his eyes are crossed, but he's adorable!

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    1. There's no "almost" about it, Bob...it has the most crossed eyes I've ever seen on a cat! It's cute, though.

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  10. Physical work is good for the soul. It might be exhausting, but we always feel so much better after using all that energy. Mowing is a perfect example.

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    1. I agree, Cro. And fresh air and sunshine are good for the body/soul, too. Yesterday I spent hours giving our back porch a thorough scrubbing and mopping. It looks amazing and really gave me a sense of accomplishment!

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  11. What a wonderful summer you are having! I'm so glad you have this time off to enjoy your garden and everything else around your lovely home. That cat is gorgeous!

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    Replies
    1. The cat is super sweet, and delicate, and light as a feather.

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  12. I am so happy to read that, Jennifer! When you were so downcast and unhappy about work recently, I felt for you and was truly hoping life was going to have better times in store for you, and look what it's like now :-)
    A good idea to bulk buy fruit and veg and can it for the winter months, especially seeing as you have all the equipment anyway. Some of it will also make nice gifts when visiting friends, or for your nice neighbours.
    Lovely cat!

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    Replies
    1. I've already considered making some extra jars of jams and pickles to give away at Christmastime.

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  13. Food expiry dates are often nonsense. Yesterday we found a jar of mustard seeds with an expiry date in 2015. We used them anyway, with no adverse effects.

    Mowing the lawn is tedious but good exercise. I hope your husband was duly impressed.

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    1. He was very impressed! It was the first time I've done it since we moved into this house.

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  14. After such a difficult school year, it is good to hear you in such a good mood...doing things you love at your own pace. Hope the rest of summer stays as pleasant for you.

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    1. I feel really good right now, Mary. Thank you!

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  15. Look at that kitty's teeny little paws! So very cute! I missed the point of this post, didn't I?

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  16. The picture of your painted lady on the marigold was very cool. She was so perfectly matched that her wings looked transparent.

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  17. Sounds like a great summer, indeed. I didn't know there were painted lady butterflies in North America -- I've see them here and in continental Europe but never in the states. Turns out they're on every continent except Antarctica and South America! Who knew?!

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  18. We have very few painted lady butterflies this year = but it is early yet - they travel to here form North Africa.

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  19. Pretty cat!
    Cool weather and rain! I will take some of that.

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