Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's (Gonna Be) the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

This year Larry decided we should be pumpkin ranchers.

In search of a garden goodie that would not take a ton of maintenance yet yield an easily
salable product, he planted all pumpkins in the front garden.  Their leaves have now exploded, literally filling the garden, and blossoms are visible.  

The blueberries out back, after doing squat the last few years and being afflicted by some sort of creeping crud last season, are bearing beautiful fruit.  Larry also planted a few beets, cabbage for his sauerkraut (oh, the humanity) and basil because what’s summer without fresh basil and mozzarella salad?

This past winter’s long, icy grip is a not very distant memory.  When the sweat is running down my back, I remind myself of how I couldn’t get close enough to the woodstove last winter.  I will not complain about the heat this year.  Not once.  It’s become a personal challenge.  Anyone who hears me do so has my permission to slap me.

Our big news is that we’ve put the house on the market in anticipation of Larry getting a job transfer and moving to warmer climes.  In an effort to look more mainstream, we mowed our yard this year.  I admit, it does look nice.  I left a few pockets of wildflowers, where they were actually in greater population than grass or weeds.  They provide pretty bursts of color.  I wouldn’t exactly call what we have a lawn, more like evenly cut green stuff, which, from a distance, could pass for a lawn.  To my dismay, it all grows pretty fast.  I’ve gotten back into the lawnmower groove, which is good exercise.

The front of the house has been power washed, scraped and repainted, and the porch has been reroofed to match the rest of the house (kudos to Larry for working like a dog on all this).  Rehab projects take forever when you’re chipping away at them on weekends.  The painting of the porch seemed like the never ending story and I wouldn’t wish painting lattice on my worst enemy.

When it was done, though, Larry couldn’t stop admiring how much better it all looked.  “We should have done this years ago,” he said, and it was hard to disagree.  We didn’t because we were always too busy working out back on pastures, which have gone by the wayside this year.

And we still have our Final Five chickens.  Tough old broads, they are.  They’ve become fixtures, following us around and gracing us with one to three eggs a day.  

I’m enjoying the yard more this year – futzing with my perennials and doing small yard projects I haven’t had the time to do before.  I don’t have the niggling guilt in the back of my mind that I’m not doing enough with the horses, because they’re out of my equation.  I’m getting the itch to ride again, but it’s not a burning desire.  At least, not yet, not here.  I’m not sure where I’m at with that right now.

Meantime, we’re enjoying our summer immensely – watching the gardens grow, giving the house some long overdue sprucing up, enjoying our time together right here, right now.  And oh yeah, we need to cracking on firewood.  So I can huddle up to the woodstove next winter.