Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Blackberries and Memories

It was a long, dry July, and Central New York has been in a moderate drought.  This last week we've had a few hours here and there of rain, but we're still well below our average rainfall.  Still, the moisture is making a difference - a little fresh green in the lawns, and some brighter greens in the fields and on the trees.

My containers of tomatoes are happy, although I still have to water them by hand every day it's hot.  None of them are ripening yet - I'm hoping that changes soon.

But, oh my, the BLACKBERRIES!  Behind our house, edging the woods, is a massive wild blackberry patch.  So far we've picked and frozen 8 quarts of berries.  I'll be making blackberry jam, and sharing berries with my sister, so she can make a pie


Blackberries = memories.  When I was little, my mother and sisters and I would pick blackberries near our house.  We spent many buggy afternoons pushing aside brambles looking for juicy berry gold.  We would leave the house slathered in bug spray and toting Tupperware bowls, and we'd return sweaty and scratched tired and victorious, with all the berries we could find.  Mom made jam, cobbler, crisp, and pie, and nothing ever tasted so good.  Now I'm blessed to share blackberry picking with my daughter, and I can show her how to make jam, and cobbler, and crisp, and pie....


Friday, July 8, 2016

Breaking the Drought

Where I live in Central New York has been slowly baking and withering under a moderate drought.  I've been hand-watering my new garden and containers.  Today we finally got more than a trace of rain, for more than a few minutes.  We actually have a flash-flood warning for a couple hours.  I hope some of it soaks in instead of running off the hard-baked ground.

Fourth of July 2016, sunset over Oneida Lake.

I'm enjoying having a reduced case load of students for the summer, and I'm slowly tackling projects around the house, as well as catching up on routine chores.  Being beyond stressed at the end of the school year, and having problems with my back, really derailed me for a while.  I'm making up for lost time now.
Adirondack chair project, photobombed by my daughter.
One of my "wouldn't it be nice" projects was to refurbish my beat up old Adirondack chairs.  This week I scored a quart of good outdoors paint at a crazy low price.  Sometimes those "oops, we mixed it wrong" shelves at the big box home stores are a good place to find stuff for projects.  Khaki-olive green?  Okay, I can live with that on my chairs.

I know this one made the move - this is
last year's photo of my seedling 'Dixie Highway.'

A couple of my long-suffering, much-transplanted daylilies have bloomed.  I know I lost several in the move last winter (it's a long story - let's just say thank goodness it was a mild early winter, so I could dig up my plants in December....).  But several have made it, and a few more are yet to bloom.  I have the awful sinking feeling I lost my favorite one, though - we'll see....


Monday, June 20, 2016

There And Back Again.....

It's been a long time since I've done anything with my blog.  Another year has passed, another move has happened, another job has been fought for and done for a year, and many things have changed in my family.  In the interest of my kids' privacy, I've decided to refocus my blog simply on gardening and simple pleasures in my life, like quilting and cooking and reading.
Borrowed view from the back of my new home.
Someone else mows it - isn't that great?

The duplex I was so happy with over a year ago turned into a nightmare of repeated flooding (both groundwater and sewage in the basement).  The landlord was just as much of a nightmare, not fixing the issues, and six months ago I decided enough was enough.  We're back out in the country, and very happy to be here.  Downsizing has been interesting, but good.

A daylily and tomatoes.  LOTS of tomatoes.
I have the freedom to garden my little plot of paradise with few restrictions from the park manager.  Since this place was starting from near zero in the landscaping department, that suits me just fine.  I can do it my way.  I hope to be here for a long time, God willing.

New bed by deck - a work in progress.
There's a nice deck, and I've added a bunch of containers to it.  It's shady at the front from a large maple, and baking full sun at the back, so I've had to adjust what I put where.  It's a learning curve, but not a bad one.

The hardest thing about moving was hauling my daylilies with me.  Thankfully we had a mild winter, and when I'd had the last straw with the sewage in the basement and the inept landlord at Christmas, I was able to dig up my plants and bring them with me in February.  Good thing my family is tolerant of my love for my plants....

So here we are.  New home, new teaching job (as of last September), and assorted other changes in my family.  Still relying on God to supply grace and necessities, and grateful for the many blessings He has given us besides.