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How Does the Garden Grow

It grows slowly…very slowly. Much slower than I originally thought it would. We have had a lot of rain since we first planted. As a matter of fact, it seemed as if it rained the whole month of May. We thought that the rain may have caused the plants to start to die off as they were beginning to turn yellow and weren’t really growing much. My husband decided to go to the home improvement store and get a different type of soil to see if that might be the problem. He also purchased a few new plants (tomato, zucchini and a raspberry bush) to plant in the new soil. While at the store, one of the workers commented that the rain might not be the problem and it could be the soil. He said when plants yellow it usually means that there is too much acid in the soil. So, the organic soil that we used might be too acidic for the plants.

We have continued to have more rain than normal for this time of year. Of the original plants the tomato plants have a couple small tomatoes, most are still green, but there is one cherry tomato that is starting to go from yellow to red. The onions are doing well and the spinach doesn’t seem to be doing anything at all. It actually seems to be shrinking. We thought the lettuce might be lost for good, but they have slowly bounced back and are starting to grow. The plants in the new soil aren’t yellow and also seem to be growing. The raspberry bush has produced about 10 raspberries, so that is good. This was to be a learning experience, so we might learn that we shouldn’t use the type of soil again. The weather is going to be heating up next week, so we will see if that helps the plants. It should help the tomatoes as they usually like it warm and steamy outside.

The one thing that does seem to be thriving in all of the rain are the flowers. They seem much brighter than usual. Here is one of the Lily that we have growing.

Photo © lenalee



Good Bye Summer…Hello Fall

Labor Day, also known as the unofficial end to summer has arrived and now begins the push into fall. The weather has actually been very fall like during the past week or so with temperatures mostly in the 70’s and even dropping into the 50’s at night. Of course it is supposed to get back into the 80’s today, so we will get a reminder that summer is still around. The last two days were also rainy as Maryland was visited by Harvey as the former hurricane exited the U.S. Next on the horizon is figuring out the path Hurricane Irma will take as it gets closer. For those of us along the Atlantic coast, we hope that the path stays well south and avoids the U.S. altogether. But, in case things don’t work out that way, and the path brings it up the eastern coast, we will get ready the best we can.

You can tell that the seasons are starting to change as the trees are beginning to thin out their leaves. Before long we will be able to see the homes behind us again. It is nice during the summer when you only see the green of the trees. Or in the case of our Japanese Maple, a beautiful red wine color. The cooler weather also caused some of the leaves to change from vibrant green to lighter green with yellow tones. So it won’t be long before we start seeing the oranges and reds as nature puts on its fall show.

Our maple in April

Our maple now








We have started planning short day trips around the area now that the weather is more comfortable. We booked a fall foliage train ride in Pennsylvania in mid-October and are planning a longer trip in early November. We are taking a covered bridge driving tour and another that will tour barns, some which are hundreds of years old. I hope to get plenty of pictures.

Rainy Weather

We have had a lot of rain go through the area in the past week. While we received a couple of inches, some areas received a lot more. The good news is that we have cooler temperatures for a few days, which has been nice since we were in the upper 90’s for a couple of weeks. As the storms moved through, the sky looked beautiful….


Photo © Lenalee


Storm clouds clearing in the late afternoon

Photo © Lenalee

Chicken Soup Not Happening

chicken-soupNow that fall is here, the weather is turning cooler and I am planning all the yummy foods I can make in my crock pot. I use my crock pot during the summer, but it is usually to cook a roast or put in pork roast for some pulled pork. In the fall, I love cooking different soups and stews. There is nothing like coming into the house after work and smelling the wonderful aromas from the crock pot. So I’ve been thinking about what the first soup of the season would be. Last week, one of the grocery stores had rotisserie chickens on sale for $3.99 each, which is a deal. I usually buy one and we will have it for a quick-lunch on the weekend, but this allowed me to buy several. And after taking them apart, I had lots of chicken to use in different meals. I froze them for use later.

When I saw that this past Saturday was supposed to be cool and rainy, I decided that I would use some of the rotisserie chicken to make soup. So Friday, I asked my husband if he would bring up a package of the chicken from the freezer downstairs. He wasn’t sure which one I wanted, so he brought up two. I pointed to the one I wanted and he went to put one in the refrigerator and the other in the freezer.

The next morning I gathered up all of the ingredients for the soup and pulled out the crock pot. I went to the fridge for the chicken and didn’t see it. I searched the entire fridge, opened all the doors and even went back downstairs to see if he put it in the fridge down there. Nope, no chicken. Hmm, maybe my son ate it for a midnight snack. Nope, he didn’t know anything about any chicken. I called up to my husband to ask where he put the chicken and he said in the fridge. Nope. Not in there. My husband came downstairs and mumbled something about “I bet it’s so close it will bite you.” I let him open the fridge and search for himself. Nope. Still not there.

So I reached around him and opened the freezer. Guess what I found? Yep, two packages of frozen chicken sitting on two separate shelves. My husband looked at the chicken and then at me and said, “Huh, I thought for sure I put the chicken in the fridge. So can you put it in the crock pot frozen?” I shook my head, “No. That isn’t a good idea.” He looked back at the chicken like it had done something wrong, “Hmmm, so where do you want to go for dinner?” I looked out the window at the rain that was coming down, and had been for several days, “I don’t know. We’ll decide when it stops raining.” And for dinner, we had canned soup and sandwiches at home. It was still raining and I really didn’t want to go out. So Rotisserie Chicken soup will be in the crock pot again. I’ll just make sure that I take the chicken out of the freezer myself.

Hmmm Things

Some Random Things That Make Me Go Hmmm…

When you get a new cell phone, it is normal to keep playing your ringtone over and over until you think you can recognize it when someone calls you?

Why do we have days in the 70’s and 80’s during the winter, but when spring arrives and the flowers bloom, the temperature drops into the 30’s and we have to worry about frost killing off our flowers?

Why are people surprised when the strong winds blow the loose siding off their house?

Why don’t the people with the loose siding get it fixed correctly so it doesn’t keep blowing off when it’s windy?

Why is it that whatever we decide to wear for the day will be the one thing that needs to be ironed and there isn’t time to iron it?

Why can’t you find the flower planter that you want for your yard when you want it, but when you don’t need one, you see them everywhere?

Why is it when you take the time to pack your lunch, you really don’t want to eat it when you get to work and buy from the cafeteria instead?

Why do people expect their bosses to buy them special gifts on their special day, such as Secretary’s Day or Nurses Week, but they don’t want to contribute to a gift when it is Bosses Day?

Why do people who are late for their appointment think that it is wrong that the person behind them was taken because they showed up on time?

Are you really going to vote for a President because a celebrity endorses them?

Why do people say they aren’t going to vote if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination? If you don’t vote, then shut up. You have no say in anything for the next 4 years.

Why is a rainy day the perfect time for a midday nap?

Why do we find comfort in the sound of our pets snoring?

Rainy and Not Much to Do

It is still rainy here and has been for the last several weeks. Oh, we do get a day here and there where the rain stops for a little while, but really not long enough to get outside and cut the grass or weed the flowers. The grass is definitely growing, which would normally be a good thing. My husband made sure to weed and feed the lawn earlier in the spring and he hoped the grass would fill in and look healthy this year. Well, with all the rain, the grass has definitely filled in and is looking rather bushy right now. He keeps looking out the window and will mutter that the grass is growing too tall and it will “have to be baled like hay.” Of course, my smart mouth wants to reply that maybe he shouldn’t have fed it all the stuff he did to make it grow. The neighbors didn’t and their grass isn’t growing as much as ours despite getting the same amount of rain,  but I keep the comments to myself.

CardinalsThe rain has been good for all the bushes and plants that we put in after our deck was finished. They are starting to fill out and they are all looking healthy. The Japanese Red Maple trees in the backyard are exceptionally red and bright this year compared to last year. It seems they have also blossomed out more due to the rain. We have been seeing several cardinals popping in and out of the trees, so I think they have made a home there since it provides such good camouflage for them. The yard is finally getting to the point where all that has to be done is pruning them back in the fall and freshening up the mulch in the spring.

And speaking of the deck, with all of the rain, we really haven’t been able to spend much time out there yet. Occasionally the wind will be strong enough to cause the gliders to move back and forth. At night it seems rather eerie. This week the temperatures are supposed to warm up into the low 80’s so our cool spring may be coming to an end. Regardless of the weather, I am looking forward to a nice, extra long weekend. I have 5 days off starting Thursday and my husband will be off Friday. We will go back to work after the Memorial Day holiday. We are trying to figure out where we should day trip next.

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