Tag Archives: summer

So now that it’s fall…let’s still talk about summer!

Now that it’s Officially Fall you might think I’d write a fall-inspired type post. You’d be wrong. I still have a few pieces of summer show-and-tell that I hadn’t got to. And I really want to!

Earlier in the summer I bought my first solar string lights from Amazon for a few dollars. I put them on my seasonal screen tent and have loved them ever since. The photo doesn’t do them justice but here they are. They are so fun! Very colorful at night. They turn on as if someone flipped a switch (I try to “catch” them going on sometimes).

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A few flowers have continued beautifully into September.

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Thunbergia vine (an annual) took all summer to get “going” but it’s so sweet now

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Today. Morning Glory vine I grew from Dollar Tree seeds. How great is that?

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Morning Glory flower

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Best view is from above

 

Moving on… A few photos from when the “fair” came to town Labor Day weekend.

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I have never had deep-fried food like this. I thought I might try something – a deep fried Oreo perhaps – just once for the novelty but they were $5! And I said hell no.

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This did not look like a seat on which you would be doing either.

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I love merry-go-rounds/carousels. Yep I paid my $3 and rode it but it was too slow and kind of boring.

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I saw a squirrel run up this tall tree stump to get away from the fair commotion. Top left.

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He looked down at me while I talked to him and took his picture. Sorry, no “zoom” on my tablet! But I like his ears silhouette and the little paw hanging.

 

Finally, despite the fact summer is supposed to be about eating fresh vegetables, I found I wasn’t getting a lot of variety and was eating rather odd meals at times. Determined to straighten up, in late August I finally fixed an old favorite, “salad plate”, which is a mix of cold vegetables, whatever you want. I made a white bean dip to go with it.

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I needed to be *tempted* and this beautiful array did the trick. Geez, it tempts me now looking at the photo! But I’d have to actually get the stuff again and make it, sigh.

 

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July rains bring…August mushrooms

August is usually a brown month. The plants are spent and dried out, the ground parched. Not this year. An unusual amount of rain has kept everything nice and green as well as brought up an array of mushrooms around my town that I might not typically see.  I’ve got mushrooms on my mind lately because of the recent release of the remake of “The Beguiled,” a Clint Eastwood movie I saw on TV when I was a child that did for my feelings about mushrooms pretty much what “Jaws” did for my feelings about shallow water at the beach. (I’ve yet to see the Sofia Coppola-directed remake but I absolutely will – eventually.)

I’m too lazy to look up their names so here’s some interesting and nameless mushrooms that caught my eye.

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Follow the leader?

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What a color!

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I liked how they formed a mysterious circle. “Crop circle mushrooms?”

 

p.s. I am still having internet issues so forgive me in advance for not replying promptly to any comments. I do still like ’em!

Come on in!

In my last post I wrote about the importance of passions to happiness or contentment. One of mine which is incredibly satisfying is gardening; that is, making nature beautiful (or more beautiful if you will). I love both the working part and the enjoying part. Creating a gorgeous garden is like creating art and in the end there’s something to look at, just as with a painting or sculpture. It has a calming effect and delights me. Even a small yard can have many charms.

In the fall a large nearby tree came down (it was pretty much dead) and its absence gave me more sun which means brighter flowers and even a crack at vegetable growing (veggies need a lot of sunlight). I think the 2017 yard is the most beautiful it’s been. When I look out I am sometimes taken aback by it. I took these photos on the last day of July.

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MUST have a screen against mosquitoes

 

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On the right, a fabric shower curtain to block a not great view

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Lydia, the one-armed watering girl

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BASIL!! My favorite

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The coloring on this moth is fantastic

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This is a prize. It’s a dipladenia (an annual flower that’s supposed to die) I bought in summer 2016, wintered inside and brought back out and BAM! Gorgeous again.

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Silver Arrow grass plant, a garden star

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The grass plant kept getting bigger so I dug/wrestled a piece out and potted it

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The Bathing Station (for the birds not me) 2017

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Trying some different basil types, Purple, Thai

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More basil types, Lemon, lime

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Tomato attempts

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This guy kept a beady eye on me

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Gliding into summer…

I love being outside. I am a summer girl. I like decorating the outside too making it a comfortable, beautiful place to be, on the cheap.

I recently posted about several lovely things that have come my way of late, including a free bench style glider. Now, I’m the sort who likes to rearrange items till they’re “right.” This season I started with a red bench in my seasonal screen tent. I had finally needed to knock apart and throw out my preferred bench because it passed the point repairs could keep it going. While the red bench looked cute it really isn’t too comfortable because of the shallowness of the seat. I don’t want to sit rigidly upright like I’m in a church; I want to shift positions and sprawl at whim.

I moved another bench in, a legless one that is intended to be a porch swing (which I sit atop cinder blocks instead) but out it came once the glider arrived. Space-wise it made the most sense to put the glider in the tent, space being not “spacious.” I wanted to share with you my inaugural glider ride and popcorn snack.

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With shredded cheese and Nutritional yeast, yum (seriously)

But of course I must show you the view from inside which is really what it’s all about.

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Panoramic view (sorry, it’s not the clearest)

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Calibrachoa

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Lydia, the One-armed Watering Girl

Let’s make a smallish outdoor dining table!

I was in the mood for a project this week. In the summer I put up a seasonal screen tent because the mosquitoes are god-awful and there’s no other way to be outside. I’ve used small tables in it which are fine but I was thinking it’d be nice to have something larger for a “dining” table, but not TOO large because there just isn’t space. Tables like I had in mind aren’t cheap and sticking to my usual policy of finding castoffs or making stuff, I thought maybe I could make something from the limited scrap wood I had on hand. The lumber I have is almost all wood that other people have tossed out; I very rarely have bought any from an actual store. So I usually try to work with what I have – I like stretching my mind that way and I do think it’s better than going out and buying stuff if I can avoid it.

I don’t trouble myself with looking up instructions or using intimidating “plans” – I wing my projects and learn from doing. As I said, I was going to use what what I had in my scrap wood, which wasn’t much, but I had an idea! I had made the little table but it was never quite as sturdy as I’d have liked and I was no longer using it anyway. Here’s the raw parts.

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First I made the outer frame. While I’ve never made a large table, I’ve looked at them and know that most have a square or rectangular frame on which the top of the table sits.

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Then I knocked apart my old little table to use the legs. Here they are attached. As you may see from the holes, they started life as some sort of IKEA furniture, which somebody later threw out. I just faced the sides with holes toward the inside.

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Since I only had little boards I came up with the idea of addng a middle support so I could use 6 small boards for the top. Here are the boards in place.

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Paint was going to be of the essence. I have a small collection of paints, most of which were free, either found by the road (this community tosses out A LOT of stuff) or given away by someone. This one color was so loud I wasn’t sure what I’d ever use it for but this seemed perfect. Here is one coat. I thought this color would look great contrasted with white on the legs.

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The next morning I applied another coat and clear spray gloss to the top only to help preserve the paint. Not that I think this table will last forever but just to help sustain it

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Here it is in its new home.

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I had used the legs “as is” because I was disinclined to have to handsaw those thick pieces but I could see the table was too tall. I’d left open the possibility of making it shorter (in terms of where I’d nailed on the low support pieces on either end) so I sawed off about 2.5″. Much better! (I decided to only take off a little at first lest I accidentally end up with a coffee table!)

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Oh, I should mention the bench in the photo is an old “reclaimed” bench I fixed up and the chairs were also – what else but – roadside freebies.  They aren’t exactly what I’d like (I had nicer chairs that wore out) but they are okay for now. Eventually I want something comfier again.

A day or so later I was having my “inaugural” snack at the table when it occurred to me you might like to see that. So here is a glass of homemade tomato juice and a bowl of salted peanuts in the shell. It happened to be a very hot day and it was delightful! I was so tickled with the table.

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I tend to accomplish things in spurts and when I get ideas they build on each other plus I have Serious Spring Fever. I had two little outdoor wood tables found by the road last year (I took the best two of several that were tossed). I had painted one this light green but decided to perk it up. Here is the change between the colors.

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The other little wood table is kinda shabbier and the wood is not as nice and I decided to just paint its top the same red/orange as my new “dining table”.

IMG_20170517_072458_kindlephoto-7948172I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble to paint the legs since as I say the wood is disintegrating. But what a difference even a little paint made!

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I also added fresh paint to the top of this little metal table because it was looking a bit down in the mouth. This “moss green” spray paint was another freebie someone tossed out. What a pretty shade.

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Mystery vine delighted me this summer

I’m an outdoors girl. I delight in being outside and hate being cooped up indoors for long periods. I love to have beautiful plants and flowers around me. I look at them the way I would a painting or a decoration. It’s satisfying in that same way. Maybe the more so because the objects of my gaze ate temporary, seasonal. The garden is a canvas, a piece of art. Pretty things, in this case living things, just make me happy.

A mystery vine turned up mid-summer and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. It just came up in the mediocre herb bed which happens to be located next to my seasonal screen tent this year so it had somewhere to climb. The leaves look like morning glory which I’ve seen with big purple flowers. These tiny white ones are not familiar but I looked into it and there’s many, many varieties of morning glory so maybe that’s it.

A vine like this could be a big nuisance and problem if there were LOTS of them – I’ve seen places overtaken by vines – but just this one showed so I let it be. It’s kinda funny because I wanted a flowering vine this year but I never bought one.

 

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Aug 31

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Bumblebees like it

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Sep 14 clearly a happy vine


 

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Not pictured but the little blooms close at night, so sweet

Short Thought 156 (air conditioning)

Did you know this? People who spend their time in air conditioning consume more calories than those who tough it out with the heat. I read this years ago and filed it away in my mind. It makes sense. There’s a natural inclination to eat less when it’s hot (and eat bigger, heavier meals when it’s cooler and you feel nice-and-comfortable).