Monday, October 16, 2017

Fifty five and counting!

No, not my age, although reverting to such a younger age would have its benefits!
Would I really like to be younger?  In all honestly yes. . . . . . .and no!
Definitely mixed feelings on this subject. To what age would I want to return?
A lot of thought will have to go into that question. . . . . .perhaps for another post.

Today it's 55 years since I arrived here in the United States of America as a

legal immigrant. An entire day spent at the American Embassy in London early
 in 1962, several months prior to getting my paperwork in order to enter this country,
included interviews, medical exams, swearing to uphold laws, signing papers
 and such. I was sponsored by an agency who would place me in a job.
 I was almost 19 and planned to come for a year to work as a secretary in 
Washington D.C., save some money, travel a bit, then return to England. 
What happened?
 His name is Bob, haha!!!!!
The United States Capitol building in Autumn - Washington D.C. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

My favorite month - October. . . . . . . . .

Recently at the pumpkin farm I also found a small bunch of the last of the
 golden sunflowers. This pumpkin above is a roasting pumpkin - to be used
 as a vegetable - I need to get chopping soon!

This weekend I'm hoping to start cooking autumn inspired foods in the kitchen.
With the cottage rehab finished, and the weather just starting to cool off,
 I'm ready to settle in for autumn. This will include enjoying the falling
 leaves - through my now sparkling clean windows - as the fragrance of 
comforting foods waft from the kitchen.

Have a great October weekend wherever you are.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Scribble Picnic - my 'art'. . . . . . . . . . .

Some of my 'artwork' from recent months.

I've enjoyed my weekly involvement with the small art co-op SCRIBBLE PICNIC
for many months now.
 Hosted by Michael in beautiful Colorado, our small but dedicated group creates 
the most amazing art for each new theme. Michael definitely stretches us and is 
generous enough to even allow those of us who aren't great at drawing, illustrating
and painting, such as yours truly, to use other creative ways to show our love of art.
 A love of photography has been my way to join these talented artists. Editing 
and adding watercolor and pencils to my photos has enabled me to join the group.

This week you may have noticed we're taking a little break. We'll all be back next 
week with quite a challenge - it will be interesting!  If you would like to join us, and
 we'd truly love to have you, check Michael's blog HERE for all details.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Early morning and dirty windows . . . . . . .

I'm up early this morning. 
Another watery, pale sun is rising over the housetops to the east down
 the street, and above the changing autumn trees.
The renovation work is done on the cottage but the windows are so dirty. 

The window cleaner is due here at breakfast time. 
Coffee is made. Perhaps a croissant will be warmed and the pot
 of homemade fig jam offered.

"Rain, rain go away, my window cleaner is coming today."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Watch out for garden fires!

Still decorating with pumpkins!

The weather over the weekend was dreary, hot, humid. . . . . . . thanks to the latest
 hurricane which, although far away from here, still sent signs in the clouds and a
 few rain showers. We do need rain, especially for the trees and gardens.
We are wondering if the brilliant autumn colors will come this year, all seems
 stagnant, almost lifeless after such a long dry spell.

Did you know that garden mulch can catch fire?
We had a scary incident on the last day of painting on Thursday - when the 
painter was working on the front porch posts. For an hour or so we could
smell burning in the air but couldn't pinpoint it. When the painter, kneeling on
 the flower bed noticed his drop cloth was scorched along one edge, he pulled
 it back and saw smoke coming from the ground close to the foundation of the house! 
He pulled back the mulch which was smoldering and very hot!  We immediately
 saturated the entire bed with the garden hose, also the second bed in front of our
 bedroom window, just in case.
Both these areas are where we had all the shrubs and ground cover, other
 than the hydrangeas, removed to do the work on the house. The soil/mulch
 is now exposed to the sun which has been constant and very hot every day.
With no rain for several weeks, the intense sunshine on the thick layer of 
built up mulch - ours is mainly shredded pine bark mulch and nuggets which
 break down into a rich soil - caused spontaneous combustion and underground
 burning as it turned into fertilizer.
I was online in no time flat looking up what was happening in my garden, as
 nobody seemed familiar with such a situation. What I read about houses/buildings
 actually catching fire from similar situations was really frightening.

I'm writing this as a brief heads up if you also have a build up of old
 mulch in your garden beds. If exposed to sun and there has been little rain,
you may want to get out there with your hose and do some watering.
We are planning on restoring our front beds - will have the old mulch 
dug out and removed, perhaps changing to decorative stones for 
ground cover. Any tips regarding the best way to mulch garden beds will
 be appreciated. 
~ Thanks ~

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