Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Sunshine

I spent all of yesterday in the garden.
[Not 'all', of course, but many hours.]
It is chilly first thing in the morning and the sun is at a lower slant which doesn't warm the wicker bench on the front porch.
The house felt too cool, so when the cats insisted I get out of bed, I put on an old pair of sweatpants, and layered on a top and a raggedy zip-up hoodie.
I stamped out into the sparkling dew-wet morning, booted, and bustling to keep warm.
Horse fed, cats fed, litter boxes cleaned.  I've been stuffing paper and cloth snippings into the downstairs stove all summer.  It seemed a good morning to add a few pieces of dry wood and set it all alight.
The warmth drifted up the stairwell and took away the chill inside, even as the sun warmed the air outside and dried up the dew.

I ate homemade soup for breakfast with toast from homemade bread.
[One can have unconventional meals when the husband is away!]

I took my camera out and plodded around the lower gardens.
This savoy cabbage was a-glitter with dew--the photo doesn't do it justice.

This photo pleases me--although more of a lucky shot than because of any skill in using the various 
camera settings.

Only a few hovering butterflies where even a week ago there were many.
As autumn moves along flowers, butterflies, food from the garden, become ever more precious.

The late Michaelmas daisies have sprawled out from their center, a tumble of muted purple.

Edward waits for me under the sweet gum tree.

Raisin, J.'s very elderly cat, was out of sorts when she found that her favorite porch chair is no longer
 in the sunlight.
After huffing and complaining, as only a Siamese cat can do, she settled for a spot on the rug 
by the front steps.

I decided to clear the small garden behind the clothesline.
It didn't fare well this summer as the heaviest rains cut a sharp path through, taking out the clumps of dianthus I planted in May. I located 3 of the 5 peonies, clinging to the soil for dear life.
Achillea has struggled on through wet and weeds.
I have some thoughts of moving the peonies, making do here with annuals.
This was all cleaned and weeded early in July--just in time for the rains.
I began weeding around 11 o'clock and worked until almost 5--with a short break or two.

I spent the final 45 minutes of my work day weeding in the lower flower strip--visible just below the main garden where the phlox and salvia are flourishing.
The phlox has a sweet scent.
The dianthus here has flourished and spread--I may move some of the clumps which are being a bit pushy.

So lovely!

The late roses are a bit raggedy, but cherished as the 'last roses of summer.'
As usual, by the time I quit gardening I was stiff, aching, suddenly tired enough to drop.
I staggered in for a hot shower, a mug of tea, clean clothes.
Grandson D. was waiting to go to Wal Mart with me.
I handed him the key and requested that he drive granny to the store!

I had managed that morning after 15 annoying minutes on the phone, to cancel our DISH network service!
My errand at WM was to buy a Roku streaming 'thing' so that J. can have Netflix for movies and such.
D. read the instructions, fitted wires and plugs, then I sat at J.'s desk and using his now unfamiliar to me laptop, entered the information to register the wireless device and sign on to Netflix.
A number of free 'channels' loaded as well including a sort of video game called 'Angry Birds.'
D. demonstrated to the amazement of Bobby McGee.
Somehow I can't imagine J. being intrigued by a video game.
I'm not  one for watching TV at this stage in my life, although years ago I enjoyed Public Television in the evening--specially the BBC offerings such as Mystery and Masterpiece Theater.
Should I take the notion, I can watch some of those shows, and re-acquaint myself with such favorites as All Creatures, Great and Small--perhaps Poldark is available.
I can see it now--the old couple glued to the action on-screen during a long winter's evening!

Wednesday morning, my last day home alone, still dark when the cats and I woke at a few minutes before 6.
The front yard, all mist, shimmer, sunlight and shadows at 8.
Too chilly to take my mug of coffee out to the porch.
I dressed in the heavy old jeans and scruffy pullover I wear for painting, did the usual chores while waiting for the sun to move around and shine through the trees into the carport.
I taped off the glass sections of the back door, applied green paint to match the trim on the garage.
I was about to put away the paint when I realized the only bit of dull blue still around was the shabby cupboard built into one side of the carport. 
It backs up to a decorative wall of brick and I should guess its another of Mr. Rogers' frugally constructed examples of farm carpentry.
Even on a step-stool the top edge was out of comfortable stretching reach--the resulting paint strokes aren't the best example of 'cutting in.'
We will need to make another trip to Lowes when J. is home to purchase two more sets of shutters for the back of the garage--I wonder why we didn't get them on the initial trip for supplies.
Night has settled hours ago; my rocking chair and a book beckon me to spend a few minutes before the cats and I go to bed. 


  1. You are so like me - once I get going in the garden, I work till I drop. I should love to be out there today (sunny and clear blue skies), but I need do do some quilt-making too.

    Your garden has some beautiful plants in it. I love the Phlox too, though mine struggle here. We have poor soil, acidic and thin above a layer of clay or sometimes straight onto a shaley slate bedrock. Good roses don't do well (as in David Austin ones!)

    I am not missing the painting, although I did see a Farrow and Ball colour the other day which I thought would be perfect for our hallway and stairs . . .

    Had to smile at soup for breakfast!!! Why not?

    1. Jennie; We are blessed with good soil here, although many gardeners nearby complain of heavy clay. We have a rich deep loam on most of the property, the back field being the exception with slightly denser soil.
      Our former home in Vermont was a good growing area--clay, but workable. Wyoming soil is thin, alkaline, gritty--and since it never rains there, gardening was a disappointment.
      I wish I could set up my sewing machine next to yours and stitch along with you--when I was first making quilts a friend and I often did that--with plenty of breaks for tea.

  2. I do wish we could use Netflix but our broadband just won't support streaming video like that. There are so many of those old programs I'd love to watch. Poldark! It's been a very long time. Haven't they re-made it recently?

    1. Em; We don't have a choice of internet/phone providers in our rural area. Our daughter, a mile away, is forced to use a different one and has on-going issues with unreliable service.
      Its been so long since I've watched any form of TV that I've no idea of recent programming--I can't imagine Poldark with any but the familiar actors! My daughter and I fell in love with Ross and Demelza when PBS was first available--and Upstairs, Downstairs--I shall have to watch those again!

  3. Great post. I loved starting out your day with you "I stamped out into the sparkling dew-wet morning, booted, and bustling to keep warm." That sounded so invigorating. Your whole day was one of productivity and I enjoyed it all.

    A friend recently told me about Roku and I've been thinking about getting it, so that I can sit in a more comfortable chair to watch you tube movies, etc. on the tv instead of sitting in my desk chair at my computer. Now that you've done it, I need to check into it. I'm sure I'll have to have someone 'geeky' to set it up for me as my dear husband was the one who could do all of that stuff.

    Thank you for sharing your peaceful and inspiring life.

    Have a great day today ~ FlowerLady

    1. Lorraine; There seem to be a great many 'ports' on the back of TVs today--but I gather the Roku installation was quite straight forward. I could probably have managed it, but with a savvy young man around I let him do it. The prompts which come up on the screen walk you through the rest of the online set up.
      I find it helps me--physically and mentally--to go outside rather early in the day--to stretch, move about, take note of things in the dooryard and beyond.
      Our life here is indeed bucolic--though not always 'peaceful!'

  4. that butterfly photo is just perfect!

    1. Kath; Sometimes the 'subject' of my photo holds still at exactly the right moment!

  5. I am amazed that your phlox is still flowering. Ours was over weeks ago. Everything in your world looks lovely. I wish I lived in the country!

  6. Isabelle; This is a second round of flowering for the phlox--our season is long enough that cutting back perennials often brings this last beautiful burst of blossoms before frost.

  7. My word! That was a marathon weeding session. How ever did you unbend yourself? Soup for breakfast sounds great. When I lived by myself, I often ate oatmeal for dinner. Or popcorn. The things you do when your alone!

  8. Jane; I'm paying a bit of a price for my weeding session--and the painting next day--I tell myself it has to be worth the aches!
    Quirky meals are definitely the rule when I'm on my own for a few days!

  9. You are always such a busy lady how do you fit it all in? Beautiful flowers and butterflies and happy, happy pussy cats sleeping in the sunshine. xx