We have had a few beautiful days here in New England but changes are coming. So as I watched the Boston Red Sox play their way into another World’s Series I made lists of things that needed to be done around here. I worked at planting my two huge Mums from the garden club sale, they are the hardy type so with any luck they will rest in the winter and be in bloom for next fall. Lawn mower was placed in the barn and snow blower brought up to the shed. You know regular stuff all homeowner must do unless they have a handyman yes my man is handy but you know the kind I am taking about.
So as I checked off each item I had on my list, I came to my Monstrous Spider Plant. There was no way I could bring it in for another year like it was. It is in full bloom, mid October in New Hampshire, oh how she loves the outdoors. Well I am sure it will go into shock and I also hope they all make it. There is nothing like having a living plant in each and every room.
So JT and I headed over to our local Wal-Mart so I could by some potting soil. I picked up six bags, yes it would take at least that to begin the task at hand. We headed home and I played with her for 15 minutes and then I began.
I usually make up my own mix but this will have to do, with shoulder pain there will be no stirring dirt for me .
This is worse than I thought, as this is a huge flower-pot.
See what I mean.
I really do not know how it could be so gorgeous with so many flowers and babies, this is crazy look at those roots!
They must love being root bound like this.
Much different tools used in this mayhem.
OH yes it was bad.
Lots of the Mother plants babies came of the plant
and would need to go into water or straight into new soil.
The last of them are potted up. I extra-large pot, two large ones and three medium ones.
So my yard and home plants have been cared for, tools put away that I use spring, summer and fall.
I said a little prayer for them to all make it through till spring, when they will be placed outside to soak in the sunshine and drink in the rains.
Let this be a reminder to knock your plants from their pots loosen up the old soil if you can get away with new soil added and you will not have Botany Mayhem occur at your place.
LOVE YOUR LIVING THINGS as much as you do your silly things.
Until March I had never gone away, well from anything besides my home and I shared it with the love of trucking. I had two pups then that traveled coast to coast when loads took me that far away.
Then again there was one occasion when we had six of the seven from their litter and they were small but weaned, that I packed up them up into the van and left them with my brother. There were their four children and the two of them perfect as that left a pup for each of them to dote on. I took the parents of these pups overnight on a run to Maryland with my then husband, as we needed the load there quickly and he could not do the hours alone.
So as we jumped into the rig and headed down the road I could not get them out of my head. They were the most rambunctious English Springer Spaniel’s, already with names. Remington and Diamond showed no signs of missing them, as each mile south was behind us. I was not very good company I missed them so much. We delivered the load and grabbed or return haul and headed north once again, me calling my brother at every truck stop, no there were only payphones back then. He told me when I called they were having so much fun not to hurry back , can you imagine. Many of you know me by now I just put the hammer down and got back home, as quick as I could get those 18 wheels moving!
So that brings me back to March. This year. I knew the cat and dog would be fine here with their Dad but JT has been my constant sidekick and if I was hurting so bad, I knew she would never understand why I was gone.
So while I missed the man in my life, he understands why I went away but my furry babies would be top on the list for me to be Home Sweet Home!
I live in New England where there is still lots of opportunities to barter. You just have to ASK.
I would love to put myself out there to get some things done around here without reaching for my checkbook or breaking what is left to my back.
Let’s see I have lots of SKILLS to Barter with but are they worthy of what I want them to do for me? Not sure. I guess I am afraid, yes me, to find they have no use for a house sitter, driver, photographer, dog trainer, gardener, errand runner, cleaning, debris removal, pruning, painting, planting, dead-heading and babysitting.
I am worth a lot for what I know but would they be worthy of real work I need done HERE.
Guess I better get busy since I have yet to add my Barter request to Crag’s List wait are you good at painting real tall barns
The one above, there in my rig, took me to some of the most wonderful places a girl could go.
My home is now filled with LOVE
I swear I appreciate that more than you will ever know.
So I am torn
If I ever came into enough cash, I worry down the road I would leave this place I love.
Never of course until all who call this place home with me have passed on. You don’t hear about too many woman my age running away from home. I suppose he would go with me but it is not fair to ask another to live your dream is it?
You see all the miles I drove my own rig I only worried about me.I went where the loads took me.
Never just one place . I just went. All across this country of ours.
I am a rolling stone in my heart I know this but I try to settle myself the best I can and do things around this place to show how grateful I am but it is hard.
The open road calls to me.
I know I make it sound sort of romantic but for me it is.
I love my country.
I love its people.
I love driving in my own rig and taking pride in the fact I am a female driver and a really good one.
I love waking in a different spot each morning and as I say this to you I also know I love it here. With the man I love so very much and the best Cat and Dog anyone could ever ask for, always laying at my feet or with us in bed.
I have a new family now and a life far from the road well not far, I can hear rigs late at night doing what I loved.
I miss it really bad but maybe an RV and lots of cash and our cat and dog with the two of us, heading down an US highway would be OK, maybe it would take some of the pain away but there is nothing like driving a big rig. It get’s into your blood I swear it does. He told me if he ever hit the lottery he would buy me a new one, you see he knows I am truly a Rolling Stone and loves me enough to want to see me HAPPY.
It was 1963 and I was seven. We had moved to the suburbs from the city as so many did but I was just a little over four then.
I swear I can remember walking down the street we would be moving to and looking at the few homes that were already up for buyers to pick from.
We went up to the house on the hill and it had a HUGE frog inside we wanted THAT HOUSE, me and my little brother.
Mom and Dad decided up by the busy road was not the house for us so we were going to live in the first house as you started down the dead-end road. It was a dirt road still with 4 homes ready for families and we got number ONE!
The woods behind the house were off-limits to a 4-year-old and a two-year old and Mom was going to have number 3 soon, so she could not run after us.
I guess I was about seven when I first ventured into those woods, behind our family home,. There a stream that ran alongside our property out in the forest. Mom took us three out to pick wild Blueberries. High bush type so she picked the most and we carried the containers. It was so beautiful out back I never wanted to go back to the house.
Mom still lives in that home and when we lost Dad eight years ago to Cancer, I found out that when he was not there I didn’t want to be either, just wasn’t the same but I did go back because Mom is there and I once again stepped back into those woods and began to cut back the growth on the other side of her fenced property. See they had fenced it off to keep us in. Scary things can happen to children in the woods all alone, though somehow we never quite believed them. Boy that huge forest I remember so fondly as a little girl is really just a silly half-acre but it used to be HUGE!
I remember a day so long ago , running back to the house with an armful of Lady Slippers for Mom, oh how I loved these blooms that loved the dark, damp wooded areas. She saw how pretty they were but insisted I should NEVER pick them again as I would be ARRESTED! They had a law for that, can you imagine being so young and loving the woods as I did and being told to be good. My poor Mom had her hands full!
So yes I love the country as it is truly a part of me. I never pick the flowers instead I grow so many in my yard as I can and capture all the wild ones with a camera.
I never wear shoes from spring to fall ( well unless I leave the yard) just like when I was seven boy did that make Mom mad, she said it made her look like a BAD MOM.. I say it made her look like a Mom who loved to see her kids happy and free to experience all the wonders of the world, well until I stepped on that bee!
So my home here in New England has a stream for one side of my property line too and tons of deep woods( over a couple hundred acres) with many wildflowers and insects , wildlife too.
The city is Grand don’t get me wrong. I spent 27 years driving a big rig through each of our nations cities. Eighty feet long and at times longer and did it like it was second nature to me but come the end of a trip or the end of a sixteen hour day it was back to the woods for me, as I have always adored nature it seems, well for the last 50 years to be certain.
Here is my piece of the forest , well this year maybe closer to a JUNGLE with all this rain
I really thought when I joined just two years back this gardening thing around our little town would be so easy. You all see I know how to grow some real beauties so what’s the problem?
Well wanting something really badly, sadly will not make it happen. It takes members. Men woman and children if need be! You need a town who actually cares how they present themselves to the world. Sadly we were on a very slippery slope on that part. Four sickening murders in just the time I have been here, 27 years. All hitting the papers here and abroad.
This dream of mine to join was long overdue. I wanted our small little town to care for one another. Be a community. Like the one I grew up in. Sadly day in and day out I see the world around me not as it used to be. Have people changed that much? Do they no longer want what is best for their children. Are they so busy working to see there are more important things in life than 3 cars, a boat, 4 wheelers, motorcycles? Toys all toys with no substance. No family dinners as both parents work outside their home to pay for all the trips to the mall, no one sews clothes for their children anymore and if they do they are looked down upon and bullied.
So who was I to dream so big for my little town? Well Eunice of course and you know what a wise woman told me if I wanted to do something do it myself for I was the only one I could count on boy was she right in the beginning I placed my cell phone number up on a billboard in front of our town haul and waited for the phone to ring off the hook! I had the town place an Ad on TV(towns private station)looking for members again adding my private number. There were just three of us. President of club walked out in a huff her best friend stayed as did I and the treasurer. Now of us three I am the only one home and was nominated to be the secretary oh joy I wanted to get my hands dirty not make phone calls!
Another lady who works nights joined and made it a point to come to our once a month meetings on a Monday night the others came as well. We made plans for plant sales, yard sales too! You need money to make a town such as ours pretty and not ugly as was portrayed over and over in the news, in books and around the world in the papers.
Well We still have those who stayed in club from a year ago and just recently welcomed another woman. She is a stay at home Mom and we love that she is young, loves to garden and can do more than us older crippled members.
I ordered business cards and gave each of us 50 to start with. Pass them around to local businesses they do business with. I went knocking on doors as I am home all day. I had a few positive meetings for things we can do down the road.
I received a wonderful email from our AD on TV who asked if he could donate some plants for our upcoming plant sales. I told him we would love to accept his gracious gift and made plans for another member to help me. The first load Ron and JT came with me as this was a stranger and wanted to make sure everything was on the level him not me I am too trusting. We went and filled the whole bed of the pickup truck and there were many we could not get that trip. I had one of the full-time workers go with me and filled the truck again! Now we were a real garden club! At the next meeting we set a plan in motion. We would all meet on a Sunday morning at 8 AM and tear out a whole intersection with our hand tools what were we thinking!
We showed up with rakes, shovels trash bags and water. Plants too, a whole pickup truck load, poor Ron no one else has a truck and you know me I am on a mission!
We pulled out the plants we could save and then we tore out grass, and bagged it to compost. It was now noon and time to take a break three of us said we would meet back there at 6 PM to start placing the plants back into the rotten soil after we added some sphagnum to lighten it up with. A friend of mine from town stopped to ask when I had gotten such a green thumb he knew me as only a female who owned and drover her own rig. He had his own excavating company. He asked if I needed anything and I said “Are you sure?” yes he was sure so I asked for some nice rich organic soil. Dream big I say! He came back with his own dump truck and dropped us off a nice pile of loam. We wanted a raised bed to keep plants protected from drivers and plows wait you know about the snow we get.
So here is when I will share with you a project done by first 4 then three woman from 8 AM till 8 PM with a few hour break in between for a cold drink and something to eat.
Hope you can see how it evolved into what it is now.
We had moved the pretty Urn here but sadly it was doing nothing for this corner downtown. Before the grass came up it looked pretty for a few days.
When the two ladies met back at 6 PM they were happy to see Paul’s gift of rich soil.
We raked it down and shaped it. Two of them lifted this heavy Urn up into the middle of the planting then we laid fabric down to keep weds in check.
We unloaded the truck and placed plants in a design the best we could and set about knocking them from their pots and cutting holes in the fabric where they would go into the new soil. This is back-breaking work when you have a wrecked back to start with!
Two of us stayed till dark as you can see the lights across the way have come on.
We were tired both of us in our mid 50’s. She with a desk job me with no job.
I came by the next day to check on our work
We needed to mulch this area to complete the look, hold down the weeds and fabric as well. Thankfully as we wrapped up the night before the rains began to fall gently upon our new planting.
JT and I took 3 half pick up truck loads of mulch I had saved in my yard all winter and added it to this space. The parade would be days away and I wanted it to be complete for Memorial Day.
Now some of you have seen these photos before others have not
Now I will show you some shots of what we have been up to all this summer no wonder I hurt so bad!
I went to a business the next town over who makes bark mulch, I used to love hauling mulch with my rig to all the local garden centers I miss my truck. Well back to the story I asked if we could get the wholesale price as we were a tiny garden club next town over and really needed to find the best deal. She says to me IS FREE GOOD? You already know by this post Thank You! Only deal was they gave me a sign to promote their business well I was all alone to I said yes the deal was made and each and every corner will look the same and only cost Ron gas money to truck it back and forth!
One of the members bought two 40 in long cedar window boxes we filled and put on our granite bridge downtown so our color draws you through town.
Ok the last photo in my story is of a corner Lowe’s gifted us plants for last year but needed to fit in with the rest of what we had recently done so Ron dropped of 21 bags I think he said it was and I spread it to finish off the intersection closest to my home.
It really makes a difference
So yes a group of driven residents can make a difference little by little one corner at a time our little town is feeling more loved.
So what do you think is it worth our effort?
I hope with each planting we do there will be another member joining our team and another business climbing on board with us as you know I am not afraid to ask help from one out-of-town!
Thanks for reading this very long post had I known I would have done it in many segments
Peace and Love to ALL of YOU
I changed my Hot Pink Peony to Sepia so more could hang it on a wall not many adore them as I do PINK
Mowing like crazy to stop the encroaching forest
Taking photos at Mom’s too as I am not the only one who has some beauties.
I have to tear them apart but have been beading around some cabs
Trying out different combos of beads so the stone, glass, jade etc. as the centerpiece is the real focal point.
Hard time finding ultra suede though.
Waiting for the Rain to STOP
So my flowers can shine and I can finish this house and enjoy SUMMER
More later a friend is bring over lunch for her and I to catch up and then tomorrow digging free plants from a kind donors yard for the Garden Club Then MORE RAIN oh and wind too
Stay safe everyone it is CRAZY out there.
It rained and rained I mean it really rained. We went weeks without one drop of rain and in one week we more than made up for it. I had a river here, you all know the one I am talking about, it had maybe two to three feet in it, after the snow melt then no precipitation. I was not complaining but the fire marshals were. I have used that time wisely getting more of the home painted and yard ready to sit back and enjoy this summer.
Mowed for the 2nd time. It smells so heavenly here after it is mowed, not sure of all the different kinds of grasses that are in the lower yard. There are all kinds of Violets, white and purple, Buttercups(do not know the real names)clover lots of clover and grasses are all mixed in, down here along the river. There is always frogs and snakes Chilin here as well as snapping turtles and sun turtles. I heard our Raccoon chattering along the stream as well. I had not one but two Red Tailed Hawks here yesterday afternoon, which meant most of my backyard birds spent some time hiding. I wonder if they were in their flight drying their beautiful feathers and enjoying the gorgeous day as were the three of us. We did not do a BBQ’s and saw no one it was such a very nice day in the yard after all the rain. I did a weeks worth of Laundry and hung them all on the line to dry in the sun and breeze they were done in no time and folded and put away.
Looks different from all the snowy ones you have seen. Spring and fall are my favorite times to be here in New Hampshire.
Soon I will have roses in full bloom all over this yard, with smells that are just as pretty as the Lilacs, which have been gorgeous but are now fading.
Doing something different above with a shot of a spent Dandelion seed head just learning to play again.
It has been so nice to get back in touch with you and more and more will be added as I find you trust me I am looking !
Cecilia over at thekitchensgarden put up a challenge which goes like this:
What I see from my back porch.
So before the rain started again I grabbed the camera to get you a few views of what is out there.
I see lots of gorgeous greens right out back and getting green with each rainy day we have. We did not have rain for weeks.
We have yet to put the roof on as we could still get feet of snow and 60 mph winds.
The garden is behind this seating area and not too far from the door and the kitchen inside. I only have corn, squash, Cosmos, Sugar Snap peas in at the moment and those went in a week too soon our last frost is this long weekend.
After having 70+ wild turkey and now just this one hangs out and looks in the window for me to scatter some Black oil Sunflower Seeds and some cracked corn in exchange it promises to eat all the nasty ticks it can find before they get us and the pets. We have Lyme Disease really bad here in New England. Sad to see just one lone bird but it will be safe here with us.
I have been taking care not to let these get cold at night but come Monday they will be added to hanging pots or large containers so they can grow into real beauties!
Tons of Lilacs all over the yard it smells wonderful too.
Off it goes to roost for the night only to return in the AM and come to the door and look for me and the dog and cat.
Now that Memorial Day Weekend is almost upon us we can really go to town getting the garden going, pots planted, and yard set up for warm summer nights by the fire.
Here it is Saturday in the US and I was up at 3 AM seems normal for me of late and I find I stay up all day till crashing about 10 PM boy those were my hours most days as a trucker lol maybe I am just getting ready no not for this girl though with the lottery tonight and a jackpot of over 500 million I could buy a new rig and take trips when I wanted too! I have one ticket out of the millions sold so not a chance of it being me. I just hope a prize such as this goes to those who really could do some good with it. Ron says I would have family and friends coming out of the woodwork looking for handouts I remind him that if they didn’t enjoy me when I was poor they would hate me when I was RICH!
Well so much of my home is now painted still not done but well on its way and then it is time to add some color, the same, to the barn! Now lottery money would go to things like new barn shingles on the roof and a team to paint barn in one day not a year like I do it in. I would have a new lawn tractor with implements to remove snow, till the land and get rid of brush. A new chainsaw oh wait I would hire a man for that!
I have yet to place one plant into my space for an English Garden just been moving Ruggosa Roses to different areas of the yard as a living fence, Lilac shoots added onto berm area Forsythia too. I want to dig up my Wisteria for the third time hoping it will be the charm to get it to thrive and bloom once again. The lawn is now coming in as are the wildflowers and last night he started mower for me and I did the upper yard and moved down by the river and the chain came off so there the mower sits in the lower yard now you know why I need a real TRACTOR.
Here are my beautiful but very tall Lilacs. When they are all done blooming and they have gone by out will come the small chainsaw and I will cut them back to maybe 5 feet tall.
They are huge. Reaching so far up I can no longer get many flowers for the home.
We trimmed that Pear tree too. Yes it was full of blooms I showed you the Northern Flicker sitting in it on my other blog Folsom Mill Studio, we took 10 foot tall branches from the top half off they say to never do that to a Pear tree but what good it is if I have no ladder long enough to pick the fruit before they ripen on the tree and smash to the ground for yellow jacket bees to swarm. I will make some yummy things this year with the fruit I will now be able to reach. The Pear tree actually looks like a weeping fruit tree but the soil here is so rich I am sure it will be a monster needing attention next year too.
Well for the good stuff now.
This was the BEST MOTHER’S DAY for me. Only 2 have been special the one the year Mike and I connected and this year as we reach a new level of understanding. He is hoping to be heading this way soon as he fishes up his painting jobs and Artwork he has going on. Yes Life Is Good!
So it is important for me to have it all done around this place should he come by to say hello I want it to be warm and inviting lol nesting 37 years later you got to LOVE IT!!
Missed most of you but with new reader working awesome I can once again get New Posts!
We have so much work to do here in the lower yard, along the stream. I hope we can get it taken care of before the snow stops us in our tracks. We have to haul the pieces he cut for me to use as a place to step upon in the garden path areas, I think I want them to stay natural but not sure what kinds of bugs they will draw to the garden, not that the birds won’t love them. Here is how many he got ready for me with just two of the trees limbs.
The ones close to the entrance the Beavers made, will be burned as they have dried out too much.
We have had one fire to get rid of all the small pieces now to burn the chunks, on a calm evening. I would have loved to do it tonight with the shooting stars above but I am very tired and do not feel like watching a fire in the cold, all night, even with the pretty stars above.
You are looking at what used to be my roadway. There used to be a bridge that crossed this tiny stream and the area at the end of this road, had a home on the left. The bridge lifted up 15 feet, as the water rose that high. Now I was beginning to wonder why all this water was filling our yard. I asked a town worker to locate the reason for this continued flooding. They came back and said they found a huge beaver dam, on the lot of land where a friends home had gone under water three times. They never said they had a damn over there, which cost them their home.
Well with three feet of water in my home enough was enough. I contacted the new land owners and they were adamant I too would lose my home and end up selling it to them for conservation type land but not really. They told me the government had given them money to buy homes and lands to help with flooding. Flooding what flooding this was because the place was over run by nasty large rodents, called BEAVER. I loaded the gun and waited till they came for some of my trees. We took a total of 6 Beavers and then I set about looking for people, neighbors who also abutted this huge dam to see if I could put on waders to pull half of it out to release the water from my yard as well as my home. Most of his land was under water and he said he would help. Two days later my beautiful lawn that was now trying to dry out was covered with nasty stuff as well as snakes.
Crazy that this was allowed to go on for as long as it did. All it took was me and my boyfriend and a neighbor and his teenage son to stop the insanity. This group then went on to place gates on each of these conservation type pieces of land. Signs, Signs Everywhere a Sign all over the trees , I thought they were into saving the land and trees, wildlife too! This has always been an upland game area. Deer, Turkey and Ruffed Grouse. NOT BEAVER PONDS. Why don’t I stop talking for now and let you see what one dam on my tiny stream did.
Above is where the bridge lifted and was taken away
Right behind where my Lilacs are along side the house right below the bedroom window.
I am so happy I raised the yard to level it for a garden and pool. This is where the water is just below us.
As we let water out of the dam area boy did it start to drop fast. It was right up against this side of the house.
You have seen my yard, in the post Chores Done, so you know there was a lawn there
Where I am standing taking this photo , it was under 10 feet or more of water in first photo, see how I take care of a rodent problem.
I worked 16 to 18 hours every day , not just five. I drove a rig for over 2 million miles and was not going to lose my
home to beavers or a group backed by our government, to buy up homes from people who loved living here along
a pretty little river and stream. The turkeys love it here as do we. Something you love is worth fighting for.
In this shot she is almost back within her banks, soon the Heron will return to fish.