"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Monday, September 9, 2013

Catching up on Monday

     Following closely on the heels of perhaps the most beautiful (read: cool and rainy) summer EVER, we are now more than a week into a September that feels like a normal July. Oh well, we take it as it comes around here and are delighted to be alive to see another day dawn. ( + spin) This morning I donned hat, mask, gloves and glasses, climbed up onto the heavy duty mower, and attacked the Johnson Grass jungle previously referred to as Maggie's Wood.
      I won...after about four hours of mowing. Well, I at least won this particular skirmish. Whether or not I win the entire war against Johnson Grass is yet to be seen.  I am absolutely certain that at some point, after I am dead and gone, J.G. will once again gleefully run rampant across the gardens if no one here to relentlessly beat it back with a whip and a chair. 
     Here is the roll call of trees surviving after three years of drought and one deliciously wet summer:
2 mature apples (Granny Smith and Black Arkansas)
2 sapling heirloom apples (iffy at best) (Cinnamon Spice, 'I forgot')
1 sad looking five foot Winesap apple
2 weeping willows (thanks, Diane and Mike, and Sarah)
2 Chinese Pistaches (looking strong)
2 American Elms (small but sturdy)
3 Chinese Elms 
1 healthy Mulberry
1 heirloom Cherry (yes, Bernard, it lives!)
1 very small oak of some kind (I am sending it positive vibes, and hoping)
4 small Red Buds (thanks, Mom)
2 Rose of Sharon bushes (from Dad's house :)
2 medium Red Buds
2 small Silver Maples (thanks, Tracie and Sarah)
2 mature Silver Maples
1 beautiful seven foot Burr Oak (thanks Troy)
2 mature Cottonwoods
2 small Ashes
12 young thornless blackberry vines in between the central line of trees
a cluster of Privet for rabbit cover (thanks, Dad)
6 small Chinaberries (within the wood)
a small army of Chinaberries advancing from the creek bank

I realize there is a good chance that no one really cares what has survived to this point, but it encourages me to see the numbers in print. I feel that I need to add a few evergreen types (not cedar, unless one plants itself) into the mix and maybe this Fall would be a good time to do that.  
    In other news, I am brown as a berry from all the time spent out in the sunshine this summer. Nice. Yes, I have been fairly good about wearing a hat and sunscreen.
      I still love my new Nissan Altima. It is extremely quiet, comfortable and gets great milage. What else could you want? (Well, okay, not as good milage as the Chevy Volt, which my brother is leasing, but for a normal car that I could afford, it does great.) 
    I have been spending some time on the road, traveling here and there, but am now back in the state for quite awhile. Business is beginning to pick up at the spice store and we are adding new staff for the holiday build and season.  If you know of someone down in the City who knows their way around cooking or would just like a part time job helping with bottling spices, send them to the shop to pick up an application. 
    This blog could use some pictures. Where is my camera? Who knows. I believe it is somewhere in the bags from my last trip, but it has not yet been unearthed. Not yet....soon. Is it Halloween yet?
     I have wonderful Moon and Stars Watermelons on the vine in my garden, as well as many, many perfectly delicious cherry tomatoes, perfect for popping into my mouth as I wander around pulling weeds and watering things.  The Dill ripened and dropped while I was away so I will have more next year without having to plant. I would like to have a little section that was an established Dill bed for pickles and such. (Like I'm ever going to have time to make pickles again! Such a dreamer these days.) 
     I had some wonderful time with Abbey and her kiddos this week-end. It had been quite awhile since I was there and we all had lots of catching up to do. Good times.
My hand is getting better and better but is not strong again, yet.  It doesn't hurt now, most of the time, which is a good thing.  I think I will probably wait and have the other one done later, since there is so much to do at the shop in the last three months of the year and I will need to be able to use both hands for all of it. 
    That's the news from the farm. Nothing earth shattering.  The locusts continue to rattle and sizzle in the tree-tops and the grasshoppers have eaten every blade of Iris down to the nubbins, BUT the Lantana, Purslane and Four O'Clocks are still in full, glorious bloom and are gorgeous. Hooray for plants that can take hot weather and serious neglect and keep on blooming to beat the band.  That is the pioneer spirit if I ever saw it.  

1 comment:

manda_hladik said...

Oh good! I am delighted to know that the cherry tree we brought over is still kicking! If it ever starts producing, the cherries are wonderful in pies! They're very tart, but perfect if you doctor them up a little bit! Glad to hear all is well at the farm :)