I made muffins for breakfast today. I experimented with the fruit and nut muffins from the King Arthur Flour cookbook and substituted a cup of oat meal for one of the cups of flour. Applesauce and almonds were the fruit and nuts, and they turned out splendidly. We had them with home made fig preserves. Yummy.
I realized that I completely missed Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day this month. I was distracted from actually taking picutres of the place yesterday by the tornado warnings and the severe thunderstorms. So I ran around today and snapped a couple of views I think are worthy of showing what is going on. The following is the herb garden.
The vegetable garden is enjoying the rain too.
I got an email from azahar today, and, along with many of my real life friends around here, she is wondering where the pictures from Seville that I promised to post are. Oh. My. God. I am so far behind, it isn’t even funny. It is almost exactly two months since we arrived home from vacation, and I left you hanging in Funchal. I apologize to everyone. When I replied to her email, I mentioned that it seemed to be a rainy day today so I thought I might work on a Seville post today. Since then, the clouds have cleared a bit, and I may get out into the garden for a bit and do some more weeding and then transplant some more of the Creeping Jenny into my new path.
I hvae been working very hard on the stroll garden. I finally got all the shrubs I bought last fall (except the roses) planted, and they look like they are going to survive the neglect they suffered during the spring. Part of the reason I am so hot on the trail of stroll garden is that I still have the Knockout roses to plant, and I can’t do that before the rose bed and the rain garden are formed. So I have been addressing that task rather than processing pictures.
Notice that this area of work has led to my next entry on the “To Do” list:
All those rocks are destined to be either stepping stones around the rain garden or border for the viburnum and ornamental grass enclosures.
We have been having so much rain here, it isn’t even funny. The Ozarks is over 17 inches above normal for the year, and aside from everything being lush in the extreme, when you can get out into the garden you had best get there when it is raining so frequently. Last night, in addition to getting ourselves ready for possible tornadoes in the area, we got another half inch. Everything is soaked. We have been spending inordinate amounts of time keeping the lawn mowed, too.
All these excuses! We have to open the door for Smokey so often we decided to do a little experiment to see exactly how many times he goes in and out each day. Turns out it is about 8 to 10, depending on the weather. Not as many as it felt like! Interestingly enough, we have learned that he can let himself out the cat door, but requires a doorperson in order to come back in.
I have been very good about walking Ruby every night. She is the reason that I have actually been able to lose the weight I put on during the cruise. We go a minimum of 2 miles every day. Unfortunately, the walks and all the gardening has not put me under the amount of calories per diem that would also allow me to get my weight under the level I was at before the cruise. But the summer is yet young.
The downstairs neighbors finally moved out. The mama skunk decided (wisely) that she was sick and tired of being in danger of getting locked out of her house. As soon as her kits were big enough, she moved them to a different, more secluded, den. The other night when Ruby and I were returning home, we saw her out foraging.
The yard birds are busy feeding and fledging young. We have house wrens, Carolina wrens, cardinals, blue jays, house and gold finches, doves, robins, cat birds, brown thrashers and grackles all feeding babies at various stages of development. While some of them are carrying food back to nests, many of them are attended by importunate (and apparently starving) chicks.
I cleaned out the pond yesterday, sort of. I removed a wheel barrow load of plant material from it and made it possible to see the water fall again. The fish, frogs and dragonflies wished I was not doing something so disruptive. Apparently my activities were very distressing to the grackles, too. It must have been bird bath time or something. The whole job was accompanied by non-stop warning and scolding from the grackle clan. Ruby tried to help, but mostly just played and chewed on cat tail roots. I wish I could train her to weed, or carry stuff off to the compost piles for me.
Behind the pond is incredible right now. This area requires the weed eater for even a semblance of order. Sometimes you look back there and you know there is a path, but you just can’t see it. If you look closely, you can see the spiderwort, flea bane and bright magenta blossoms of globe swamp mallow.
Well, this about brings us up to date on what has been happening around here. I successfully switched my massage days from Monday through Friday to Tuesday through Saturday. I realize that all the newspapers and pundits are talking about the recession we are experiencing. I am thankful that my practice has not been suffering from the economic downturn. My hands could use a break though. Weeding and planting and digging are just as stressful for them as massage is. I’ll get a bit of a break next week, I am going down to Little Rock, Arkansas, to a continuing education class in “Below the Knee.” Should be good. That is, assuming that a tornado doesn’t hit the area between now and then. Which could happen, given the weather patterns we have been enjoying lately.
Apparently my services are essential for a large number of people. We are eating a lot of stuff from the garden and trying to limit our driving. So in addition to reducing our carbon footprint, we have been controlling our expenditures too.
Well, the sun came out and it is lovely (if extremely humid) out there. I believe I will snag another muffin and go out and do a little garden work. The rain is supposed to return like gang busters this evening, so I am keeping the “Tornado Baskets” packed.
Stay tuned, Seville and environs and Lisbon are next up!
Read Full Post »