We spent some time today out in the gardens, now that the humidity is down and it is FINALLY not raining. The weather is gorgeous– sunny, crisp air, and 70 degrees! I’m loving it!
We checked the condition of the vegetable beds. I haven’t spent nearly enough time in them this year. That, and the late frost we had, soaking constant rains, and the humid blast we had last week had been really rough on the poor plants. It was painful to wander back there and see them struggling for life.
My zucchini didn’t make it. This is the first time in all my years in New York State that we have had this happen. Zucchini is the staple of any vegetable garden, usually producing woefully excessive amounts of squash to share. This year, we probably got a dozen or so fruits out of FIVE plants. Usually, I’d probably be getting 5 times that.
The root vegetables turned out very well, as they usually do. I harvested half my potato patch today! And we pulled out a few Monster Turnips. Look at these things! What on earth am I going to do with them?! And there are about 15 more in the garden, still!
Speaking of giants, we spotted this humongous fly on the fence. NEVER seen one so large! Yuck!
Best of all, there’s my grape vine. My beautiful, beloved grapes! *sigh*
From what I hear, many gardens across the U.S. have not fared too well. My tomatoes did poorly, but I don’t eat tomatoes much, so I didn’t care. I’m very sorry to see my zucchini die, though. How did your garden do?
The United States is in the midst of another hurricane season. New York State was completely drenched by Hurricane Bill (THREE inches of rain in two hours!) and my yard looked like a lake again…. I can’t complain, really- other areas suffered flash flooding and there were multiple car accidents from it. And my area is not anywhere slammed as hard as folks along the coastal areas…. yow. I don’t know HOW you guys in those areas deal with this, year after year, having to nail plywood to your windows, and batten down the hatches, only to see the ocean swirling in…. *shudder*
So it is with some fascination that I found this brief video by BBC, about how a hurricane forms. Very interesting…. so a hurricane is formed by a little African girl playing in the sand, eh? lol
Well, the outdoor activities will soon be ending here in the Northern Hemisphere.. and with it comes up to six months of dormancy for us in the Northeast. :-p The only nice things about it is that we have plenty of time to plan out our designs for the next coming outdoor season. In mid-autumn, I start to acquire a growing stack of books and software to help me learn and plan the next steps for my gardens and home renovations– and I SURELY hope to get that new kitchen in next summer!
So of course, the natural thing to do is look for deals while I’m acquiring. And look what I found! Some very cool home design and landscape design software is selling for very low prices! That’s the 3D Home & Architect Home & Landscape, on sale for $36 with free shipping! That’s 40% off retail price.
This is the time of year when I scarf up cheap gardening books for the coming inactive days of winter. Yes, while my beautiful plants sleep their dormant slumber, I am busily planning away our next exploits for the coming growing season. And in the autumn, many books go on clearance and on sale, so it’s easy pickins. Buy.com has a terrific selection of books, did you know that? They do! This lovely little book, Stonework: Building Rock Gardens, Walks, Wall, and Ornaments is on sale for $9!!
So this is a great time of the year to nab up any books you will need for the coming season– it is always cheaper to get things at the end of a season; I do that with just about everything! And while you’re at it, you may want to look around for other great deals at Buy.com. I love this place! They have everything– from firewire cables to garden tools to footwear! Buy.com has special deals on everything, and many times it all comes with free shipping. Definitely check them out next time you need anything under the sun. Or the latest “Idiot’s Guide To” book.
Gosh, we only have another month of home improvement time. Uhhh… I am far, far behind this year. My front porch needs to be painted, as well as my front and back doors. Yikes! I had really, really good intentions to do it last week (I REALLY did!), but the Bermuda humidity we were slammed with put an end to that. No sense painting a door that will never dry… :-p
So… I expect the nice weather to come back soon. And then, we will be painting like CRAZY I tell ya! But whoa-hoh, what happened to the Big Box retail stores and prices?! Did they suddenly get hit with a high overhead or something? Prices on home improvement stuff has really crept up. I’m looking online more often, even for home supplies.
Of course, the first place I check is Buy.com. Its my favorite online store, and they really have MARVELOUS prices. With free shipping on a lot of stuff. Plus, I do like their selection- they have everything! I even found the special paint I was looking for: Rustoleum Regal Red Protective Enamel Paint, for my fiberglass front door. Nice. Price is nice, too, just under $14, including shipping. And look what else I found! One of those very nifty 5-in-1 Painter’s Tools– for ONLY $7! (Does not include free shipping, though). We got one a few months ago, and it was $17. :-p Sheesh.
It’s been so horribly hot and humid, that Livvy has been skulking in all sorts of fun places. So we’ve had “Find the Kitty” photo opps all over the place. Here are some mor ephotos for some bonus points, boys and girls! Can you Find the Kitty??
Hmm… you may need to enlarge the photo to find her. Hint: she’s not under or behind any desks. Look again.
Isn’t she absolutely adorable?! I love the previous photo, with her nose peeping out. She may not model gorgeous clothes like Daisy can, or leap lithely across countertops like Harley, but she’s cute and entertaining in her own way. And we like to think we have her trained… somewhat… lol.
I have a BILLION manuals in my file cabinets. I have two file cabinets, with TWO drawers-full of manuals, even to appliances that I no longer own. Yow, I have really got to go through those cabinets. What a wreck. And wouldn’t ya know– I needed to find a manual for one of my sanding tools the other day, and we can’t find it. OH GREAT. Here I have 2 billion manuals for every appliance I’ve owned since 1989, and I can’t find the one I need! Sheesh!
Well…. I’ll put this bug in your ear because it helped me– manualsonline.com. (No this is not a paid post!). I love these people. They have uploaded manuals to scores and scores of every thing under the sun– vacuums, coffeemakers, DVD players, printers, and for my Skil sander. Man, this place was a lifesaver– I heard about it from Kim Komando (the computer geek). The manuals are free. Bookmark the site, you’ll be glad you did.
Our old Gevalia coffeemaker was having problems… the clock and the digital timer on the screen would suddenly start sputtering and blinking, and the coffeemaker would suddenly turn on or off, again and again. I suspect it may be my less-than-adequate power supply here (the kitchen still has no electrical power, and we are “borrowing” power from a shared circuit). And I didn’t like the fact that the Gevalia was ALWAYS on– one of those “vampire” appliances we are always hearing about (appliances that continue to use energy, even when they are “off”). So I shopped around for a more basic coffeemaker that turned OFF when I turned it off and turned ON when I turned it on. And I didn’t need any fancy doo-dads like a digital clock, auto-programming, and etc. I just wanted a basic coffeemaker.
I got it with the Mr. Coffee 12-cup Coffeemaker. This is my first experience with Mr. Coffee. And I’m still “testing” it out (for example, at what point will the plastic basket start to smell like musty old coffee?). But I’ve been using it for a few weeks, and I really like it! And it’s SIMPLE!!! All is has is an ON/OFF switch. That’s IT. No blinking lights, no computerized features, no power-eating displays or lights. I’m a simple gal and I like my appliances simple. This fits the bill. And, at a price under $20, it was a good deal for me. So if you are looking for a simple coffeemaker, I’ve had good success with Mr. Coffee. It makes 12 cups which is *just* enough for the 3-4 coffee drinkers in the house.
My Tabby-Point Siamese, Livvy, has been working overtime with the game she plays with us: Find the Kitty. Maybe it’s the heat? It’s been very humid this week (with no relief in the near future for us). :-p
Well, whatever the reason, Livvy is finding all sorts of places to hide in! And she loves it when we go looking for her. I think she looks absolutely ADORABLE in these photos.
Here we are, folding very large drapes after ironing them. She decided to get in on the action, and “help” us. Find the Kitty!
Oh, it’s actually cozy in there!
So…. did you find the kitty? Isn’t she such a CUTE little kitty?!?!
:) I’m a married mom of four teenage children. We live in Upstate New York. We bought an old 1855 home and acre property, over 10 years ago. We've been in the slow, agonizing process of living in the home while (trying) to renovate it. When I'm not renovating, I'm a freelance writer and blogger.
We've learned to dig a French drain, plant huge flower and vegetable gardens, wire a circuit panel, install furnace ducting, understand the enigmatic complexities of the plumbing system, and more. It's been *quite* the adventure.
You can read more about us here, read up on the history of the home, and read about what we've renovated so far. Thanks for visiting!