Monday, August 5, 2013

A New Monday

A year ago today was my first Monday as a retired person... laying in bed and listening to the cars going down our road to the highway, off to work. 
I thanked God then, and I thank Him now. 
It is a miracle that I can take care of this place, of the animals, and Keith, and be so happy doing so. 

Here is the state of some of the garden beds today: 

The zinnias are still going strong, and look!  There are some daisies that are blooming just behind them that I had forgotten about!  Serendipity! 

The butterfly bush to the left is the one I pruned back so hard, and it is fine and blooming now.  Butterflies are everywhere in this bed. 

Ooops... there IS some grass encroaching. 

I'm especially proud of the purple flower in the middle. The agastache is one that I raised from seed started in the house this winter.  I'll have to move the one just next to it, almost below it now. 

Epic fail in two tomato beds.  The tomato "Gypsy" from Baker Creek succumbed to wilt, and went quickly. 
The only reason these plants aren't pulled up is that there are a few tomatoes left on them ripening.  The other two died, also.  I'll have Keith burn these plants, I don't want to put them in the compost. 

I did get four batches of salsa or chili base or spaghetti sauce made from them.  Since there are only two of us here... that's enough. 

Please ignore the weeds to the right (laugh)
Here are the green bean beds, finally flowering... this one and the one away down on the right in the above picture.  We are going to get just about enough green beans for what we need for the two of us. 
The German butterball potatoes were dug up last week (center, where you see the straw). The bed was absolutely fertile and lovely... but the potatoes were disappointing, not big at all, for the most part.  I am going to use them this week, though. 

Since Keith is eating so few potatoes now, I don't know if we will grow them again.  Too much bed space devoted to them. 

The two muskmelons from Baker Creek are going like gangbusters. 

While the watermelons planted in the whiskey barrels are also going nuts.  

Grass?  What grass????

About 3 weeks ago, I planted some generic pumpkin seeds I had saved... and not one germinated. 
I stopped in to a local nursery and bought some Howden seeds (Just happened to be Baker Creek).... and look here... they are germinating nicely! 

(tiny bits of green). 

The deck planters are still going crazy, too... here at the almost-end of summer. 

I read on someone's blog last week that she always was overcome with the urge to pull up all her gardens and fling it all into the compost heap at this stage of summer... and get all her fall decorating things out.  I understand the urge, believe me! 

Swamplandia, this morning.  Actually, I have not bucketed the pool all weekend.  We have had rain off and on since Friday, and it is predicted for several more days this week.  See all the leaves on the ground?  It's not from the rains, believe me.  The goats have been very busy in there.  Actually, it is still taking a long time for pictures to post for me, and I have been sitting here watching out the window into the pasture.  I have seen Kelly come out alone from the wet chicken yard and go back into the goatyard... jump onto one of the benches, and lay for a while.  Pretty soon, I saw Kody come out to join him.  I saw branches waving from the direction of the chicken yard, so I know where Kaycee was. 

Keith built the boys a little bench/table last night so that we can keep their water bucket in their barn out of the reach of the ducks... the boys just have to hop up on to it.  No more dirty buckets! 
I will take a picture of it today.  While we were cleaning in their barn, we surprised a HUGE black snake that was hiding.  My camera battery had just died, and we were unable to get a picture of it. 

It is very cloudy out this morning, and not very warm, though there is some humidity.  We expect highs in the 80's this week, and that's unlike our temps here normally, and certainly unlike last year's triple digit temps.  It's a blessing that we are happy to accept. 

Here's Kelly heading back into the barn this morning, I think he just wanted to see what I was doing.  Little by little, he's coming around!  He's sure a cutie, and we really enjoy having these goats. 

Don't forget to sign up or leave a comment for the copy of 
"Homegrown and Handmade"... we will be pulling the winner's name tomorrow morning, and I hope to get the book in the mail to you immediately. 

If you have not already signed up, you can do so HERE. 
Good luck, everyone! 


  1. OH your zinnia's are so cannot believe she FORGOT to plant the seed she had saved from the year before. We really like all your raised beds. I hope your new little goat is adjusting to his new sibs. We thought we were gonna get rain over the weekend but it never happened..if it doesn't rain today mom says she will have to water the coleus tonight. That is one of her fav looks alittle dark out so cross your fingers.
    stella rose

  2. Mary Ann,

    Everything looks great. I am so jealous about your retiring & so happy for you!

  3. I sure love my zinnia's. So easy to grow and bloom all summer.

  4. i'm glad kelly is settling in. i am about to start pulling some things out of my garden too. i got wilt on my cukes and already pulled them out. my zucchini have not set one blossom! tons of tomatoes and tomatillas though.

  5. After a month of monsoons and a week of vacation, I have a job available for a good weeder!

  6. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary of retirement. It is wonderful. I've been retired now 3 years and have enjoyed every moment. Glad you are enjoying some cooler weather and some rain there. We've had almost a whole week now without having to use the air conditioning and I'm loving that. We've had some rain, but it's not overwhelming like it was the beginning of summer. Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

  7. Your flowers are so pretty, Mary Ann! I love the cheery faces of zinnias...(and just about any flower that can be grown) Your tomatoes remind me of mine...could it be early blight? If it is...and I just learned this after many years of having failed tomato plants...they can be sprayed with liquid copper when they are transplanted, and it should really help!

  8. Goats can be fun! So is retirement.

  9. Isn't retirement great? I'll be so glad when hubby is retired, too. Only a year plus a few months to go! Your gardens and flowers are looking great after the rains. Our tomatoes didn't do well this year, either. We know last year it was the drought that was the problem, but haven't figured out what happened to them this year. My green beans are ready to pick. The zucchini has bugs taking over, but I've harvested enough by now.
    Have a nice week!

  10. Great to see Kelly exploring and enjoying himself! Retirement this way sure looks fun, enjoy!

  11. Every thing looks so lush and green. I just can't believe all of rain this year. My poor zinnias are blooming but are so tired.
    It all looks so great.

  12. I am so happy you have such a beautiful place, can manage, and can enjoy it. You deserve it and I sure enjoy you being able to share it with us.


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