Grow Up!

 

 

My sister-in-law used to have an interesting sign in her garden

which stated, GROW UP!

It amused me to no end because it could have two meanings.

The minute I spotted it,

with a little chuckle,

I imagined a teenage girl yelling this at her younger

brother who may have teased her incessantly.

True story for many.

A casual whisper to the roots in the soil

may help with some sunshine

and water. ( you know what they say

about people talking to their plants!)

 

But unlike the catty girl,

my whisper will be in a gentle yet pleading tone.

 

Grow up and flourish!

 

 

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Our corn is coming well…things are starting to grow. The whispering helps!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Mysterious Flowers

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Good afternoon to you all! Yesterday I walked around  my yard checking my flowers and plants out. I guess most people enjoy doing this…hearing the birds, having the sun shine on my cheeks, seeing beauty and growth in my flowers! These moments I am truly grateful for because it feeds my soul and alleviates everyday stresses. If you garden, you probably know what I mean. Gardening is a peaceful activity and reminds me of a meditation that I can do at home and several times a day.

 

 

As I walked the lawn’s edge past our towering pine tree ( it’s about a hundred feet tall) and approached the birch, I was surprised to find my little purple gems blossomed! I’m not sure if they are a morning glory variety but I speculate they are since they open up in the morning and close late afternoon and night.

 

 

 

Several years ago my husband’s employer had her flower garden reconstructed and had a few flowers that she didn’t want anymore. Tom happily took these beauties and planted them at our house beside a lone birch tree by the road. We have never really taken care of them and didn’t need to. They seemed to do well where he planted them but now I’m not sure if I should divide them? The clumps look quite big and messy and I even had to stake one bunch because the flowers were drooping down on the ground.

 

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I need some gardening advice, folks! Should I stake the rest and divide them in the fall? Any other suggestions on what to do with them? If you know this plant species name that would be helpful too. Am I right with the morning glory guess?

 

Blessings to you all. I hope your summer is off to a great start! Lately in New Hampshire, we’ve had beautiful sunny warm weather with a cool breeze which absolutely equals heaven! It’s spectacular weather for gardening, strolling along your yard and reading a book!

 

 

Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

 

 

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All My Best,

Heart and Soul >3

 

 

 

 

The Jubilant Days of June

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A little Goose family trekking along the town cemetery

 

 

In the jubilant days of June…

I awake to spreading goosebumps

and a chill from cool

and refreshing morning air.

Little enchanting birds

sing their triumphant

melody in tandem.

Their familiar sing song stirs

my rising soul.

A pleasant wake up call

simply soothes.

No shocking alarm clock

this morning!

Thank goodness

for nature’s peace!

 

 

 

A family of geese waddle

along the cemetery green,

parading proudly and always

together.

Suddenly the  mesmerizing sun

glows amid the clouds

and I whisper,

“Welcome back dear old

Sunshine!”

“Please stay awhile!”

 

Long lost winter dreams

melt away with the sun,

as picnics and bare feet

take over.

The jubilant days of June….

must linger and stay.

That’s my wish!

 I  cherish all of its gifts 

with a contented sigh.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

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Planting Our Garden

 

Two weeks ago my husband and I planted  our annual vegetable garden. It was quite a project and took longer than we expected. As the sun warmed the earth, there was that sticky change in the air. It was the distinct sign of rain, as bugs went crazy in our face and nibbled at our exposed ears.  Although our bout with the annoying insects drove us crazy and tried our patience, we still persevered at our gardening task with a farmer’s steadfast determination. 

 

 

 

 

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A tilled sandy garden plot from the very beginning of the season.

 

 

 

 

My husband and I  are quite a team because we work together in tandem like a well oiled machine, but we should, as we have been doing this for a few years now. It’s our fourth year planting here at our home overlooking our pond. Before that we worked and enjoyed a vegetable plot for sixteen years. It’s just what we do in June with persistent faith in what will grow. Tom raked the rows and I planted the seeds and plants. After it all was planted and marked, we watered the rows for the first time. 

 

 

 

Here we are immersed in the June season…a time to start anew and plant in hopes of mother nature’s cooperation. It’s a rush to plant because if you wait until now  it may be too late. The growing season is so short lived here that time is of the essence. I always start the first weekend of June for I fear the weather will have a frost or my delicate saplings won’t make the cold weather. So we plant  hurriedly in hopes of a harvest in July, August and September depending on what vegetables they are.

 

 

 

 

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A little view of our planted product in the early stages!

 

 

 

A New England tip for gardener’s is to not only sow seeds but buy or start plants for a head start. I don’t have a sun room or anything ideal to start seeds in February, although a greenhouse would be nice someday! Buying started vegetable plants boosts your garden and you will harvest much quicker than if you started planting seeds. Some veggies grow super fast, so those you can sow seeds and it’s fine. They are green beans, carrots, spinach and lettuce, herbs, and radishes to name a few. I always choose tomato, squash, cucumber and eggplant plants so that I can harvest in June for the cukes and August and September for the rest.

 

 

 

 

In previous years my dad always has his ground seeds planted by mid May while my plot hasn’t even been tilled yet! The amazing thing is that he lives even more north of me and has different weather but it seems to always work out for him. I have to remember that he’s retired as well and has more time on his hands than me! This year he has a little greenhouse with shelves in it to grow veggies in containers and then he’s placing the containers outside where his garden was. I wish him well with his new system and there will be less weeds doing it this way.

 

 

 

 

 

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my spooky owl that hopefully will scare little critters from our harvest.

 

 

This year we had a deluge of rain, raining just about every day and as that happened, our brook bordering our woods was churning and bubbling fast because of all the water rush. I hoped that our seeds wouldn’t rot in all the muck but with  wishful thinking and the warm sun pulling its weight now,  it all will be fine.

 

 

 

 

Gardening takes lots of patience…patience for it to happen on it’s terms and not yours. Here it’s been two weeks since I planted and little has changed with the plants, although most planted seeds have sprouted from the earth.  I can continuously check every day like an anxious elementary child who has sown her bean seed in a little cup. Even so, if I constantly watch for some growth, it’s definitely not going to speed up it’s progress.

 

 

 

 

This year our vegetable garden includes corn, green beans, carrots, two kinds of cucumbers ( straight 8’s and pickling), beets, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, basil, thyme, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, buttercup squash, zucchini and summer squash, tomatoes ( cherry and early girl), and marigolds lined up as soldiers to ward off the pests.

 

 

 

Have you planted your garden yet? What did you plant for your family and friends? I wish you many harvested goodies from your countless hours of gardening! The pure gift of sunshine and freshly fallen rain helps a bunch and a never ending faith of what will be.

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

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My little row of carrots, broccoli, and Swiss chard. Oops! A footprint!

An Afternoon on the Lake

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Beautiful Pearl Lake in Lisbon, New Hampshire

 

 

 

My husband and I are practicing spontaneity in our new life. One Sunday afternoon, on a whim , we decided to pack up the little boat and go to Pearl Lake in Lisbon, New Hampshire.  It had been a few years since I rode in the boat, far too long to stay away from this vehicle of peace. Life gets hectic and filled with plans and every time Tom got the boat out it was for a long fishing night when I had other things to do.

 

 

With a bottle of bug spray, a tall blue cooler jug of ice water and my trusty camera, I boarded the boat. Tom brought his fly fishing pole and kit of flys and his trusty binoculars he brings everywhere, with hopes of discovering wild life.  I expected a quiet afternoon and couldn’t wait to snap photos.

 

 

 

Tom backed his Chevy truck back on the  boat ramp. Getting out, he warned me that poison ivy was laced along the bank and to stay away from it. I’m dreadfully allergic to it and always end up going to the doctors for a prescription when I come in contact with it. With significant apprehension, I squeezed by it. This endeavor was worth the risk, for once in awhile a peaceful adventure involves a little peril.

 

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A swamp like edge of the lake

 

 

 

 

 

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Cool water lopped at the sides of the boat, as my husband rowed us into a swampy area with lily pads and strewn logs. A hot sun cooked our faces and arms, as if we were roasting in an oven. Nearby lively teenagers hooted about their catch. Don’t they know the rules of devout fishermen? No making noise, for that scares the fish away! But seriously it was awesome to see teens enjoying the outdoors! Quiet whispers came from our boat, as I snapped photos of the welcoming country landscape and my handsome husband.

 

 

” Look over on there!” Tom pointed out two turtles sun batheing on a smooth rock. There was a mother Painted turtle and her young offspring.  Tom said they resembled Jurassic creatures. I agreed, as I peered through the binoculars to get a clear view. Their shells were dark with a faint colorful design, while their underbellys had a rich red pattern. Their heads poked out proudly, reminding me of snakes for some reason. I liked the looks of these guys but don’t particularly like snakes.

 

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Tom cast his line and  it cut a few feet away in the water. Something jumped ten feet away, leaving a big pool.  Wow, a huge bass or trout! I watched as he calmly and effortlessly reeled in a small perch. It bounced wildly in the boat with a free will to survive. He smiled and dug his little trusty tool from the lining of his pocket. With a snappy thrust, the hook was removed and Tom threw him back home. ” I’ll catch him another time.” His usual statement, as most of the time this nature lovin’ man practices catch and release.

 

 

After a few hours we looked at each other, heard our rumbling tummies expectant of a late dinner. Tom rowed us to shore and led the bow on land.  He gingerly stepped out first. I stood up too quickly! I guess this was my inexperience, rocking the craft on the water. I almost lost my balance and I imagine those onlooking teen boys got a good laugh!

 

 

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It was a relaxing and peaceful boat ride and I do hope we do it again before a few years pass. Have you gone on a boat ride lately? Possibly on a familiar body of water or maybe in a new exciting spot?

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Flea Frenzy😝

Here we are engulfed in a blazing hot summer in beautiful New Hampshire. As you all know, this season brings numerous insects and creatures out. Many thrive with the intense heat, such as those annoying  fleas. I’ve heard people mention fleas on their pets nonchalantly so I never thought twice about it. Slap a flea collar on and they should be all set, right? ( at least that was my belief) Think again.

 

 

 

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I haven’t written as much as I’d like lately for my household has a lot of activity. As most of you know, our son’s getting ready and packing for college. Not only do we have that chaos of boxes and trash bags, but unwelcome visitors once again. ( see my blog in December about flying red squirrels!) This time our family had fair warning of their arrival, but we all looked passed the signs, not considering the possibility of fleas.

 

 

 

 

About 6 weeks ago our cat Smokey started itching all the time. A few weeks into it, he started losing quite a bit of hair. Patches would fall on my rug, a sure sign of something wrong. So I took him in the crowded cat carrier to a vet twenty minutes away. It was a haunting ride of terrified squeals and meows, he was a poor little fellow of ebony with uncertainty floating about him.

 

 

 

The vet thought Smokey had anxiety. Had any new changes happened to our family? Was he depressed? I laughed at this because I didn’t know cats had depression. No, no changes, the same comfty window waited for him, a scratch of love everyday, comforting talks from us, a nice bowl of water,and  two feedings a day.

 

 

 

When I got home that afternoon I noticed our other cat furiously scratching as well. Then I knew. Parting her brownish gray fur, it took a scant few seconds to spy little black bugs scurrying in there. Fleas! Yuck!  We have had cats for almost twenty years. Never, never, never had we had to deal with or even think of fleas! Now it’s our turn to suffer and fight the fight!

 

 

 

Not only did we have a good month of cats harboring fleas, but our home was simultaneously being infested. Unfortunately our livingroom diningroom, stairs and upstairs hallway is all carpeted. It’s a breeding ground for these pesky insects and really difficult to eliminate.

 

 

 

After reading much information on the Internet, we decided to buy Cat Armour Plus, similar to  Frontline topical medicine at Wal- mart. You apply it to the cats back of neck where they can’t reach. It’s supposed to work within 24 hours and last a month. Let me tell you, as a concerned mother and house wife with most of  the responsibilities of their extermination, you can’t always believe the package. 24 hours passed by, then days and finally weeks with little results. Meanwhile I started my new exercise routine of swinging the 45 pound vacuum here and there for three hours a day. I pulled out furniture and snuck in the tightest spaces to vac in cracks and crannies. I sprinkled Borax down every night and kept our pets secluded in an untreated bedroom. My son and I religiously combed their fur once a day ( sometimes twice a day for good measure) and found numerous critters.

 

 

 

Okay, so this is how Im spending my summer off from school! Most teachers and paras are lying on the beach, traveling or doing what they love and I’m inside vacuuming and picking fleas off my cats. All I can surmise is that God is teaching me patience and this is a test that I must pass to be flea free. At my lowest moment in this mess, I was feeling sorry for myself and even crying in misery when I received a phone call. It was my co worker who has fought cancer for about three years. I was telling her about my flea situation when she filled me in on her vacation…that she had just had brain surgery last week to remove a tumor. Silence. Stupidity. I was tongue tied and shocked. That’s when I knew in my heart that this was a lesson and that my God had dealt it. I guess fighting fleas wasn’t so bad or the end of the world, while this woman I know was fighting a much bigger fight. Cancer.

 

 

I won’t ramble on about outrageous flea baths, a bombing incident that lasted a day or the silly soap and water traps I left out one night. Now our kitties have Seresto  flea collars on their necks.  It’s been one day and I noticed they’re not scratching. I know this isn’t over yet….for we have to rid the house of them. So the vacuuming, spraying and paranoid drama continues. And that was my summer.

 

As I write this and lovingly watch my cats sleep with some relief, I realize there are bigger and more encompassing problems in this life. If anything ,this is a nuisance but it will pass. The fleas will die and life will carry on. If I can give any of you advice, it would be this, embrace difficulties, take them for what they are, lessons. Remember this too shall pass.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

 

A CUCUMBER FOR THE AGES

 

 

 

It’s been a hot fiery summer in our state and my garden is showing it. Everything seems to be thriving from good ole Mrs. Sun. Despite this, we all know a cleansing rain shower feeds the plants as well and makes a difference in growth. The last couple of days have been cooler with the anticipated showers soaking the patch.

 

 

 

 

In past summers,  I’ve noticed that the saving rain brings forth miracles. Let me explain before you think I’m crazy…after rain showers I wait a day to dry up my crop. I really don’t mind getting my gardening clothes damp by walking through or working in a wet patch, but have found that the day off brings unexpected surprises!After a day’s wait,  I have entered my squash patch to find numerous treasures ready to pick and ripe red tomatoes bursting for my picking. Just yesterday a miracle veggie hung on my new fence, vines trailing up the lattice. When I approached this amazing wonder, there was a jaw dropping cucumber for the ages. It’s definitely the longest and  most hearty one I’ve ever grown!

 

 

 

 

Tom and I couldn’t stop laughing at this miracle and chalked it up to the fertile soil and the splash of mother nature’s juice. While taking a picture for posterity ( because you never know if this gem will ever be matched), promising thoughts of our town’s special annual day popped up …wouldn’t it be hilarious to showcase the town’s potential longest cucumber on display at the town hall? People from every corner of its borders would relish in this wonder! Saturday is the big day, a day of celebration, a firemen’s auction and community dinner and playing band to wrap up the day and my 18 inch cuke could be a part of it! Haha.

 

 

With the cuke harvest in full swing, I dream of delicious creamy cucumber salad and scrumptious cuke sandwiches! Cuke sandwiches are simple and so easy to make! Once you taste one, you may just be addicted. Here’s a warning, though, it must be made with fresh grown cucumbers, preferably from a local garden.

 

 

Simply choose your favorite bread ( I like multi grain from the store’s bakery) and spread a thin layer of mayo on both sides. I love sliced onion and tomatoes and lay them down first. Follow with sliced cukes. Sprinkle with McCormick’s Salad Seasoning, which is a delicious spice combination of paprika, poppy seeds, celery seed, black pepper,sesame seed, Romano cheese, salt, sunflower oil and a few more things. Add salt and pepper and you’re ready to eat! It’s very tasty and adds some punch to your veggie sandwich!

 

 

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Yesterday’s picking, washed and drying

 

If anyone knows wonderful cucumbers recipes, please share! I’m bombarded with cukes! I would like to give away some but my veggie table isn’t working. People are not stopping so I need to find a different way to give them away!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️