The ten days since my last post have been busy, and yet I find it difficult to list any grand accomplishments of my own.
Jim launched himself into a late spring cleaning out doors, using the power washer and a long handled brush to scrub down the siding of both houses and his workshop. A few summers of muggy heat and patches of greenish mold accumulate especially on the shady side of a building. He used a ladder, managed to soak numerous shirts and his shoes, coming indoors for a break squelching and dripping.
Poppies, 'Lauren's Grape.'
With the scrubbing finished, Jim roared about with the lawn mower, tractor and bush-hog to cut the pastures and the verges of the lane. He obligingly ran the weed-whacker over a tangle of mugwort which made it slightly easier for me to continue the herculean task of forking the noxious stuff out of the perennial strips.
While Jim labored with power tools and machinery, I divided my time between gardening and doing much needed sorting and tidying in the house.
When it has seemed that I could do no more I have collapsed into a rocking chair on the porch, mug of tea or a glass of icy lemonade at hand, and enjoyed the company of the hummingbirds who zoom and dart on a near collision course with each other.
Clary sage in bud.
The front door was needing a touch-up coat of paint. I found the can of dark red paint and offered to take on that task. Jim, unstoppable, did the job while I was making lunch--and went on to paint the side door from the porch into the Amish 'washroom' which has become our garage and back entry.
[Amish houses are built with many exterior doors--Jim thinks it may be for cross-ventilation.]
We have remarked that all the exterior doors on the lower house needed paint--the former owners painted them in an odd shade of muddy pink--a most unusual color for an Amish house.
Consulted as to an appropriate color I chose a mossy green.
Clary sage in exotic bloom.
Hours of labor involved in grubbing up mugwort--a 5-gallon bucket filled several times with stringy roots and such stalks as grew too close to salvageable plants for lopping with the weed whacker.
I set in three starts of asclepias incarnata [a relative of milkweed much loved by butterflies] and two achillia which I hope may be self-sown starts of the variety 'Moonshine'--should it prove to be the common white wildling at least it may hold its own with the mugwort.
Two veronicas, purchased more than a month ago at a local nursery, went into the space left when two monardas vanished over the winter.
Willis, as usual, has been a constant companion while I labored in the garden.
Sadly, I must report that he has been digging in my freshly turned earth--not for the expected purpose of creating a latrine, but seemingly in a frenzy of flinging dirt about--just because he can!
The surviving monarda [bee balm]
Autumn clematis 'Sweet Summer Love'
Last year this clematis scrambled along the board fence but didn't produce flowers.
I was delighted to note the dainty buds.
This is not a showy clematis, the blossoms being small and delicate, but I am pleased to have it extending the clematis season.
Heavy rain last night left the flowers a bit bedraggled.
Along the roadsides the ubiquitous orange daylilies are already in bloom.
Mine, planted in the shallow coarse soil below the concrete landing, are all in bud.
These are a double-flowered 'sport' transplanted from the roadside near our first Kentucky home.
Achillea raised last year from seed--a welcome change from the native variety in muddy white.
Lysimachia clethroides/white gooseneck loosestrife.
This is also flourishing in the gritty soil of the landing patch.
This was shared by a friend who also brought me spiderwort.
This is a plant which may grow wild in the edges of a pasture, but also available as a nursery plant.
The name of the plant escaped me for awhile this evening.
I couldn't recall the proper spelling of 'lysimachia' and finally in frustration googled 'white gooseneck.' My brain is stuffed with odd bits of information--too often the bit needed is elusive!
I lost one of the miniature roses to late frost in spite of swaddling them in covers.
So exasperating--all three wintered against the outside wall of the washroom, but broke dormancy in the first days of March--the false spring that immediately regressed into freezing temperatures.
'Hawkeye Belle' in full bloom before the rain--and one day before I discovered the vanguard of the Japanese beetle arrivals.
Nellie, who thinks he is invisible.
There were five cucumbers ready in the lower veg garden [Jim ate one before I thought to record the moment.]
Today the first blueberries from the local berry farm!
Willis, appearing most innocent.
So, two weeks of being very busy, trying in vain to keep up with Jim. The results of his labors are very visible: buildings gleaming in clean whiteness, weeds subdued, grass cut, pastures mowed.
I seem to have gone in circles--here a little, then on to another small area tidied; mounds of wet or muddy clothes laundered, errands done, meals prepared.
I've struggled with Windows 10 on the laptop, not getting down to the typing of notes for the current genealogy project. Time that might have been spent to read online, post a blog, type a comment, has been wasted in attempts to work around this newer system and fine tune the laptop to my preferences. The 'address book' for my email program has gone missing, not transferring in the download . I've been able only to use a 'reply to sender' mode.
The laptop has been parked on my desk, an awkward height for prolonged use of the keyboard.
A light-bulb moment on Sunday when I thought to plug in the regular keyboard on its comfortable pull-out tray--why-ever didn't I think of that earlier?
I've been notified that my big PC has been revived and is ready for pick-up at the electronics shop in town. Perhaps there will be time tomorrow to retrieve it.
I'm thankful for the rocking chair on the porch, the hummingbirds, the nasturtiums in their pots, the company of the cats--all there for the moments when I quit going in circles.