Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Friday, May 20, 2022

Yesterday Mark got the composted manure on this flower bed and an area of foundation planting in the front of the house. I got a little more weeding done, as well. We had a light rain overnight, today is breezy, overcast and chilly. 


Morning glories reseed themselves every year and climb twine I tie to the electrical box. It's where the power line comes in, the box is front and center. Nothing I can do about that.


Dinner last evening was linguine with a sauce made from tomatoes I roasted and froze last year.


I got results from blood work I had done last week. I'm told I'm remarkably healthy according to my blood work. I said "tell that to my body". She said the body doesn't lie and no one would know my age based on my blood panels. I got the same response after x-rays and an MRI, no arthritis in my hips and very little deterioration of the lower lumbar. Yet, I can't walk any distance nor can I stand very long. Mark tells me it's Kate (my mother) sticking pins in me. He may be right....

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Nothing Much

Warning....butter!


 And bacon fat.

Last evenings dinner, grilled pork chop, sweet potato and Brussels sprouts roasted in bacon fat. Accompanied by some butter. I never eat the whole chop, I usually use the remainder with faro and sweet peppers for another meal. I did eat that sweet potato, it was probably one of the best I've had. I bought them from Misfits and I'll buy them again.

It's another nice, cool day. Our neighbor, Bill, he who takes care of us, brought back Mark's chainsaw this morning and then proceeded to cut up a large limb laying on the ground. He is a doer.

Today will be another yard work day for me. Clients keep getting in the way of my wrangling Mark, pesky people. That's about it from here.


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Girls Girls Girls

The girls in my life.


Keetah looking at me like I cannot be trusted.


I tried to get a photo of those magnificent ears, but a vehicle rumbled down the road just as I snapped the photo. The head pops up a little higher. She takes the job of guardian seriously.


Frieda the Brat Cat was not to be ignored. She wanted in on the photos.


 I then hear this one mewling. I had to take her photo from a distance. She loves to show her disdain for me and would have walked away if I started to approach her.

It's another nice day. We had rain overnight, the sun is shining and the temperature is cool.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Weeds, Wine and Wanton Ways

Nature has had her wanton way with me. I'm not taking it laying down. Well, sitting down, but she's getting my raised first. Yes, she is.


As you can see, the Minnesota Hurricane we had at the beginning of the month knocked over part of the fountain and loosened the flexible vinyl fencing. This flower bed is silently but desperately calling for help. I hear. I'm coming. Maybe tomorrow.

I finished the flower bed I was weeding yesterday. I didn't think I would, there was so much to do, but I did. I was so pleased with myself, it's been quite awhile since I have been able to do much of anything. This is a fist bump! I was tired and in no frame of mind to cook, so what I had planned got put on hold. Instead I made something that only took as long as boiling water and cooking pasta. I put some bread in the air fryer for a quick garlic bread and called it a day.


Today started slow. I went out for an hour of mowing in the morning, came in, heated soup and intended to do laundry. Instead I went back out and mowed the encroaching prairie I call lawn. I spent another four hours doing that. I'm not finished. It's a good thing I had kind of an interesting life for 41 years before we moved here because I certainly don't have one now! 

I am seeing light at the end of my tunnel. That I could weed the garden tells me I can weed another. And so on. I'll get there, I feel I will. I did heavy guilt Mark into stopping his fidgeting with farm equipment and weed a bed in front of the house. 

This is the news from my end of the world. My Big Dog wants to eat and think I want a glass of wine....

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Weeds to the Left of Me, Weeds to the Right. Here I am, Stuck in the Middle With Weeds......

I spent an hour weeding this morning.


Saplings growing in the rambling rose. That's fun to clean up.. 


I was not exaggerating when I said my flower beds are a disaster. This is one of the better ones.



I'll be heading back out after I finish my tea. I am a slow weeder, that hasn't changed, so I'm not sure I will finish this today. Mark was going to weed but somehow has been distracted by vines. We have black clay soil which is about as bad as it can get. I have mulched my beds forever with composted manure. I know it sounds weird, but it works. Lay it on thick and it keeps the weeds down, the soil moist and it helps amend the soil, too. And...I have a whole lot of it just waiting for me.



I made soup before I went outside this morning. I actually thought ahead, so we had lunch waiting for us. Sometimes I have a brilliant mind. 



 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Isn't it Organic....

I took myself out this morning to buy tomato plants. I saw a private party selling them for $1.75/plant and the plant list had San Marzano. Unfortunately for me they sold the last five to one person yesterday. I did pick up: Rutgers, aka Jersey Tomato; Yellow Pear; Amana Orange; Black Beauty. I also got a zucchini plant.

When I came home I went online looking for San Marzano but they are sold out everywhere. I usually buy my eggplants online because I have a wider choice, so I did some online plant shopping: Midnight Queen and Black Beauty Eggplant; Summer Squash; German Winter Thyme, new to me; Sweet Basil, Italian Parsley; Albion Strawberry. I overwintered sage and rosemary, I'll go to the nursery next week for Italian and Thai basil. I also buy mint to put as a trailing plant in my hanging baskets on the veranda.


Look what I found when I was pulling out the dead wood from the Russian sage plant.


It's a tiny horse hair nest with a little organic material and a piece of blue plastic. It must have blown out of the Norway pine by that flower bed. Such workmanship!


I spent about an hour pulling weeds in one flower bed. I didn't get far. 
I have developed a intolerance for heat, even when it's not all that hot. If I feel ok I'll go out later when the garden isn't in full sun and put in another hour. Mark told me he will put off hauling manure until Monday in order to clean up the flower beds tomorrow. He's been dealing with trees and vines and all matter of organic mess. 

Plants are quite expensive, like everything else, so I am going to use what I have for my flower pots. I have an abundance of wild catnip and wild violets. I'm going to put these in my pots. I'll buy a few marigold and petunia plants, but the majority will be what I dig up around the farm. Even when they aren't blooming both of those plants have nice foliage. I cannot justify the cost of annuals. Before I can put the pots on the veranda (we got into the habit of calling the open front porch 'the veranda' because we have another porch, which is screened), I need to paint the ceiling and the floor. I started in 2020 and then my mother died and that was that. Last year I did nothing. We have a lot of catch-up around this old place.

I guess that's the report from the Northland today. If I survive the weeding I'll probably have more to say tomorrow.


Friday, May 13, 2022

Violets, Creeping Charlie and Swans

I never fail to be amazed by the seemingly instant changes in the landscape. Last week there wasn't a sign of life and now the wild violets are beginning to fill the spaces amongst the red twig dogwoods and the dogwoods themselves are leafing out. Last week they weren't even budded. In my past days of blogging I had a friend in Australia. She was dumbfounded by our climate, she truly could not grasp how someplace can have -30 F then be green and full of blooms a few months later. I have no idea, I just know it's my normal.


Minnesota Public Radio this morning had a conversation about Creeping Charlie and how to get rid of it. I embrace it, as well as all the wild violets which show up everywhere. I am no longer lawn centric. It would be impossible even if I wanted to try. Between the size of it and the desire of the natural landscape of woodland constantly inserting itself I would be driven mad with trying. I have a large patch of Charlie that's grown out from a tree line on the north end of my yard. I think it's lovely, with its lush dark green foliage and purple flowers. Another really large area is in front of the pole barn attached to the main barn. When this stuff takes over it chokes out the grass, e voila! I don't have to mow that spot. Mowing my lawn takes a minimum of four hours, I appreciate the help!

I know it's No Mow May, another impossible. would need a farmer to cut and bale if I didn't mow all of May. I think it's a perfect idea for city lots but not for a couple of acres. When we lived in St. Paul most of my yard was garden, only enough green space for the dogs. That was almost 30 years ago!

We had another stormy evening/night yesterday. We have a large pond on the edge of the lower pasture at the moment. In the past when this has happened swans have congregated there. I'd like to see that again. Years ago I was in the barn and heard loud bird sounds that weren't geese. I went out to see what they were and it was at least one hundred swans flying northwest. I was awestruck. That was the first and last time I saw that. It was in the days before smartphones, so no photos, just amazement. The next few days will be mild, mid to upper 60s, so we can hopefully get some yard work done. We meaning he. I can mow.

I could ramble on forever, it seems, but I guess it's time to bring my chatter to an end. Until the next time....

 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

A Humdinger

First I want to say that I found yesterday that comments from several people were going to spam. I'll make it a point to check that folder everyday.


We had  a BIG Storm yesterday evening. There were tornado warnings but we didn't have one come through. At first I thought the roaring sound was wind, which was intense, ranging from 50 - 80 miles per hour. The wind suddenly stopped but the roaring didn't, it was up in the atmosphere. This storm was intense. We had almost 2" of rain and some small hail. On my way to have blood drawn this morning we saw trees uprooted and a couple of trees sheared off. We were lucky.This photo was taken through the window so there is reflection but you can see the rain. More strong storms with damaging wind and hail forecast for tonight. It's been a wild couple of months. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Stormy Weather, Bill and Out of Warranty

Dinner last night was good. Asparagus, fennel, a little goat cheese and fennel pesto.


Last week we had early March weather. This week we have July temperatures. I was able to mow the lawn for a couple of hours this morning, before a thunderstorm rolled in. I got a little over a third done. It's supposed to storm all evening and night so no mowing tomorrow. It just started to hail, poor horses. We didn't have any warning this was coming our way.

I think Covid has changed a lot of us. My neighbor, he who adopted us years ago because he felt we needed looking after, came over yesterday. He spent about an hour talking about the state of our country, the state of his family and whether the fields were dry enough for planting. Somehow the life seems to have been sapped out of him. I would guess he'd say the same about me. So much isolation is difficult. I'm a loner by my nature, but this much was too much even for me. I really hope the spark reappears in Bill and in me. Bill has made living in the closed society we found here better.

This round of storming just passed. The horses didn't have to endure much hail. I would have liked to finish mowing, but that's how it goes. 

I have an early morning appointment for a blood draw tomorrow and I think that will be it for the day. It's going to reach 90 degrees tomorrow, which is too much for me. I have heat intolerance, it started about six years ago. I originally thought it was medication I was taking, but I don't take any meds, not for five years, and I still have it. I think I needed an extended warranty.

So much for rambling thought.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Last evening we had cod baked in foil. Hiding behind there is quinoa. I usually fry cod, I think this would have benefited from opening the foil and turning on the broiler for a couple of minutes. It was good, but it presents a little off.


 
Today will be my annual Grade the Driveway Day. We have a few pot holes. I know I go on about the state of my property, but I have to again. Because it bugs me and my damn body won't allow me to fix it. I can sit on the skid loader, although I can't climb up now, I need a step stool...BAH! We were in winter a week ago and now the lawn needs mowing. I do not need a step stool to get on the mower.

That's about all I have here in crabby land. Oh, it's been hot and humid. Did I mention last week was still winter?