Saturday, October 31, 2020

Treats, Not Tricks


Arachne the Spider Witch is reprising her act to bring you a Halloween greeting. She has updated her costume with a 2020 style mask. 

Yes, she has a basket full of treats. Not even witches want tricks this year. 2020 has been plenty tricky enough, and we still have a long way to go. 

Arachne is happy that color is finally coming to her garden, and even though she is a spider witch, she is happy that the spiders are through spinning their webs and dangling in the faces of unwary gardeners. 

Don't tell the grands, but Arachne plans an evening visit to their house to share her basket of treats. We're never too old to trick-or-treat if we are the ones bringing the treats. 

Wishing all of my blogging family a Happy Halloween. I hope you find some treats and some JOY on this fun full moon night. 


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Fall Gardening

 Today we finished another big job. We got the tulip bulbs planted.

Last week I worked on clearing out the beds where the bulbs would be planted, while Tom worked on his raised garden beds. Then Tuesday we began getting the blubs into gallon nursery cans and then into the beds.

We used garden soil to fill the pots

Tom had to do much of the labor this year, as I am not so very mobile these days, but I did a little digging and I determined where everything should go.

We planted 150 bulbs in this bed, orange, pink and purple.

Others are planted here, and in several other places that we can see from the house.

Last week Tom got all of the raised beds cleared and most covered with ground cloth for the winter.

One day while he was doing that, I picked our small crop of apples and made applesauce. 

We had some warm applesauce for dinner and the rest went into the freezer. 

For his final act today, Tom covered his cloches with heavy plastic sheeting. 

Tom will overwinter his bonsai here, as well as plants he digs out of the garden that he can't help but saving. I'm usually happy to have them, though, come spring, when I have holes in the garden to fill in.

Monday I made a very big pot of beef stew. We have been eating it all week so far. All I have to do is heat some up and make a salad. I am very happy to not have to start dinner from scratch when I am tried from working in the garden. 

And gardening keeps my mind off of politics. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

What A Difference A Year Makes

 I guess we all know that 2020 is a whacky year. I didn't realize that our trees knew it too.

I mentioned in my last post that our maple trees are slow to color up this year. As long as we've had these lovely trees they have always been aglow by the last week in October.

This was last year on October 25th, 2019, in the front yard. 

The Full Moon Maple, the dogwood, and the viburnum were all in color.
And yes, it was raining.

This is October 25th, 2020.

The Full Moon Maple is just getting a hint of color.
The viburnum, above, and the dogwood, below, are still green.

In the back yard, the maples and dogwood were also in full color in 2019.

This year, in 2020, they are still green.

Well, I see in the photo that there is a hint of color. The maple seeds are a pretty pink.

The good thing is we still have all of that beauty to look forward too. 

But like so much this year, it is a little strange. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Seeking Autumn Color

 On Thursday we thought it would be raining and we decided to use that afternoon to run an errand way across town. We were picking up a new locking mailbox directly from the supplier, which was in Redmond, right at the entrance to Marymoor Park. 

Well, the rain stopped early, and once we had the mailbox transaction done, we dicided to take a short walk in the park. Our maple trees are slow to color up this year and I needed some autumn foliage color. We found some.

Canada geese love the green lawns of our parks, and as long as you can dodge the poop on the pathways, they are fun to see.
I asked them politely to move and they did, unhurriedly.

The Sammamish River borders the park and it's stillness reflected the foliage beautifully. 
We only walked about 3/4 of a mile, but it was lovely, and after some hard work in the yard this week, it was enough. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A Pick of Pretty Peppers

 Last spring when we were visiting a produce market/garden center, we saw pots of Poblano pepper plants. We don't have luck growing peppers in our garden because we don't have enough sustained heat and sun for the growing season they need. But we thought it would be fun to try one in a pot and leave it in the greenhouse,

When we got the plant it had three tiny peppers set and a few more blooms. In time those produced peppers. The little plant grew and bloomed and produced all summer, and this weekend Tom harvested the final crop.

Poblano peppers are not too hot and they have a wonderful flavor. I use them in my version of shrimp and grits.

To preserve them, I halve and seed them and roast them. 

Then I dice them  and store them in the freezer.

With the peppers I harvested through the summer, I have quite a few. I think I'll have to find another way to use them. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

It's An Honor and a Privilege....... have voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

Of course there were other things on the ballot too. I had my voters guides in advance and had studied up, marking all of my choices in the guides.

Our ballots finally arrived in the mail late Saturday afternoon. We set a date to vote together Sunday morning.

Tom hadn't studied up as much as I so I gave him a brief synopsis of my choices. He agreed. 
We marked all of our choices for candidates and judges and tax measures and the procedural measures and THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! 

We carefully followed all of the instructions, although we automatically know what to do by now. We have been voting by mail for a long time. 

And then we drove to the local public library to the official ballot drop box.

Our votes are on their way. 

It will be a long two weeks, and then probably more beyond that until we know the outcomes. 

But we can wait. We can be patient. We have completed our sacred duty of voting. 


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Another Day on Whidbey Island

 Since we didn't get all of our recycled tulip bulbs planted in the Whidbey cabin garden last week, we decided it was a good reason to have another run-away-day. Besides, the rain was stopping and the sky was clearing.

We didn't push it to get there, taking time for me to get my PT done before we left. It was noon by the time we got to work on the bulb planting, but we finished up before our usual 1:00 lunch time. We brought a light lunch with us and I got my reading-the-newspaper-time in before we packed up and went adventuring.

We drove up to Freeland on Holmes Harbor, and the first thing we did was stop at the Whidby Coffee drive up kiosk to get our after lunch coffee and, of course, a chocolate chip cookie. Then we took our goodies to nearby Freeland Park and sat in the sun to enjoy the view. Friendly people out walking greeted us and commented on what a beautiful day it was. The preceding days had been quite stormy. 

The tide was high so there wasn't much beach to walk on, so we walked out on the dock. 

In Freeland we stopped at the nursery at ACE Hardware, one of our frequent island stopping places. Then we drove on to Bayview Nursery and Garden Center, just to look and enjoy. Autumn is a fun time to visit garden centers.  
I took photos of things that caught my eye, like sunlight shining through brilliantly colored leaves. 

Need a helping hand?

We were back on the ferry about 4:30. There was heavy traffic, but we were in no hurry. It was a good little get away. 

Here's a bonus photo from Tom. I found it on my email. He apparently took it while I was upstairs doing my PT exercises. He said it was for my blog. 

Every once in a while when a beam of sunlight lights up an object momentarily, we call it a little miracle. The history of that is sort of sacrilegious, but never mind that. This little glass pumpkin certainly had a glow on.