End of a weekend

Plants

Not Plants

Colors

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Supper is in the oven: Baked Chicken Breasts

Our butcher posted his weekly specials, this week, on his web page. We had been forgetting to stop at that store, somehow, without specials posted, even though we did not always take advantage of them. I had been wanting to bake chicken breasts, and that was one of the three specials, so we stopped by the shop before Al went off to his volunteer work, this afternoon.

With two pounds of meat, I washed and dried the chicken breasts, rubbed them lightly with olive oil, added seasoning to top and bottom (crushed peppercorns, sea salt, and cumin), and put the baking dish into the oven for forty minutes at 350°F. Twenty minutes to go!

The strong winds, combined with heavy rain, this morning, pretty much beat down and soaked the plants in the backyard wildflower garden. The ornamental clover is still doing well, and there are some Black-eyed Susan and Siberian Wallflower plants that still have blooms, but that’s about it. The blue wild flax … may dry out. If not, I will be taking photographs of fallen leaves until the snow flies.

In this morning’s rain, I saw two Northern Flickers hunting out bugs in the front yard. I’m glad that they are still around. I don’t imagine that the raptors do much hunting in the midst of thunderstorms or torrential downpours. (See Hunting Circles for background.)

Leaf and Flower

autumn leaves fall
blown against the fence by strong winds
sharp raindrops turn to icy snow

Written in response to WP Daily Post Prompt: Leaf.

Photos and verse, Copyright © 2017, September, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.
All rights reserved.

Middle of the night

I woke up from a sound sleep, an hour or so ago, with a dream lingering in my mind. It was about my dying, alone, and breaking my promise to the dogs that I would not ever leave them. One wonders where the dreams originate. Which might be significant, and which are simply twitches from the subconscious as it rolls over in its sleep.

Charlie, cocker spaniel puppy, sleeping on the wood floor
Taking a Nap
Thaddeus, cocker spaniel puppy, asleep on the loveseat, under the lamp
Sound Asleep

Thursday – Before Friday’s Rain

I don’t know how we have reached the end of this month already! Today, we went shopping for meat, fish, and salad greens. Then Al started work again on the workshop, calling upon me sporadically to lift, steady and hold siding while he measured the boards for cutting and then trimmed and nailed them in place.

Yesterday, I got a couple loads of laundry washed. Still trying to make inroads into the dish-washing. The dogs are asleep on the sofa, right now, and looking so very peaceful. Charlie did find something inviting to roll around in, in the back yard, but I never did figure out what it was.

My current bed (recliner) is on its last breath of life, and I am still waffling on how I want to replace it. Al’s fell apart, last weekend, and so at the beginning of the week, we went shopping and found one that he likes. We’d thought to get mine at the same time, but I’m not feeling decisive, this week.

I did sign up for the 20-day Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration course at WordPress. That’s at TheWrittenWord.net. Also, I have made private the posts at TheArtOfDisorder.net before the summer, mostly. I am hopeful that I will begin using that domain (another WP blog) for challenges and such. A lot of that blog revolved around trying to cope, and then getting organized, and then tracking my health, and such. I decided to put a lot of that aside for the time being, as far as topics go.

The pollen season is back in full force. Spring = tree pollen, Fall = ragweed (and nettles and sagebrush). I long for the first snowfall!

snow piled on tree branches
Snowfall

Morning visit to the garden

Hoverfly with blue wild flax: The bright light of the morning sun did not lend itself to photographing the hoverfly, but it’s always fun to see them work their way through the wildflowers at the beginning of our day.

The California Poppies are scarcer, now, since the plants have started dying off with the changing season and cooler night temperatures. Plains coreopsis, wild flax, and poppies are pretty much what’s there, along with a couple stalwart wild sunflowers.

And these are a few of the photos I took of blue wild flax flowers, today.

We haven’t had the massive smoke in the air from wildfires to the north, which changes the way the sunlight interacts with the flax colors. Also, I suspect that the soil is different enough in this new garden bed that it will take a few years of building it up. Probably has something to do with the colors. I found that with the wild violets, white in the garden and blue throughout the lawn.

I am going to look through posts from previous years to find a couple of good flower art pieces, next time I get near the computer.

WeekendCoffeeShare, 2017-08-20

I thought to bring my #WeekendCoffeeShare post over here, this week, where I usually include photographs from my wildflower garden. If you and I were getting together for coffee, this weekend, I might be a bit distracted. My city is in the top five “Worst Cities” for pollen counts, this weekend, and I very much wish that I were taking a nap, right now.

The week has been long and filled with many conflicting emotions as the process of grieving the loss of my parents continues. Writing out my feelings has been helpful. And looking at the many photos of the two of them and our family is contributing to relaxation and celebration of our time together. I realize again how involved in each other our parents were from the time they planned to marry, throughout the war, and on through the many decades that produced nine children and a plenitude of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, until our parents’ deaths, less than four months apart.

Our family was involved in gardening in order to eat, and also to enjoy flowers from tulips to lilacs (which we children dug up as shoots in pastures and transplanted to the borders of our two-lot yard. I still have tulip bulbs (which I must dig up and replant, this fall) from the order my mother got from the Netherlands, twenty years ago. (See Tulips at Springtime.)  We rented a garden space for many years from the veterinarian/farmer down the hill from our house. I remember helping to gather eggs and candle them before they went to market.

So many things come to mind, and I wonder. I wonder if my father would have come awake briefly from his nap, the evening of his death, and said to himself, “Yes, it’s been good, but 100 years is long enough”, and decided just to go back to sleep. I would live…I would want to live with such contentment and quiet accomplishment that I also would be pleased to let go when the time arrives. It will be interesting to find out what the next decade or two or three bring.

Thank you for dropping by! I expect that I will be back at Stray Coffee Breaks for next weekend’s coffee share. I will be taking a nap, I think, before anything else happens.

Best wishes for your week!

Elizabeth

Diana, our host, has put a Linkz button on her WeekendCoffeeShare post where you will find links to the blog posts of other participants. Please visit!

 

The end of the week and gardening

The reports of the Nile Virus on the news broadcasts sounded daunting. Since I can’t use insect repellents or insecticides, I may be spending more time indoors than I had planned on, timing my gardening around pest-free conditions. I expect that may involve being out on a breezy, dry day in long skirts/long-sleeve shirt and work gloves. I still have to improve the soil along the front and sides of the house, where nothing grows, now, but for the tulips in the spring. I’ve the “aged” used coffee grounds and the peat moss. I have only to dig out half a foot of soil all the way around (in sections), mix the barren dirt with the additives, and smooth it out, again. Then I can water the soil and tamp down the seeds. I’ve only the annual flax seeds, and only two ounces of those, and so I may have to order more for summer and autumn blooming.

The new garden is in shade more than I’d planned on, by the backyard fence. It catches tree and house shadows before 9:00 a.m. and late in the afternoon until dark. So, I must pick wildflower mixtures next year that fit better with that.

In the new garden plot

At last wildflowers are opening in the new garden plot. Most of what’s emerged, actually, is clover. Several different kinds. When I was a small child, I used to eat the sweet clover flowers. They really do taste sweet. California poppies are among my favorites, although they’re not great to photograph.

Last Friday, the Scampers finally got their summer haircuts. They’re looking really cool. Here are “before” and “after” photographs. And Thadd having a wonderful time rolling in the grass when we brought them home and let them out in the back yard.

I think that I’ve finally gotten my eating patterns squared away as I want them. I do forget to eat, more than I’m comfortable with. Trying to do better while not raising my blood sugar levels. Weight loss has slowed. Isn’t it such nice timing, our having to replace the bathroom scale when we did? The new scale shows the tenths of a pound! We can be really obsessive, now!

For tonight, assuming the rain holds off, I am planning to mix the latest batch of spent coffee grounds into the sandy dirt that contains little to no organic material (other than the seeds that I sowed, which did not germinate) along the south side of the garage. Then I am going to plant clumps of wild flax seeds with bricks on the downward slope to keep all of the water from running off and taking the seeds with it.

One of my husband’s ham radio buddies has come back into the area for a short visit with relatives, and they’re getting together for an evening out, whoever can make it. That will give me time for the planting procedures, assuming nothing comes along to interfere. Must check the radar before I get everything readied for gardening.

Later in the week, some of my husband’s family are coming over to help wrap the workshop building in with whatever it is that blocks the wind, once the inner and outer walls are up. Windows are ordered and a couple more things. Not getting ahead of what’s being used almost immediately. I keep thinking that June is the “rain” month around here and worrying that everything is going to either drown or blow away.