Summer Dew Point

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Busy Fall

It's been real busy and will be more so until next week. I just got home from a beautiful wedding and now Hubby and I head to Marshall for his surgery. But I got a few minutes yesterday to take photos of our grove this fall. Some of the leaves are already brown because of our "mild" drought. But some, like the mulberries are really spectacular. So I thought I would share a few. I'll talk to you later.
Red Twig Dogwood in October
Red Twig Dogwood.
Fall Mulberry Leaves
Fall Mulberry Leaves.
Fall Wood Vine
Wood Vine.
Fall Buckthorn
Baby Buckthorn.
Ready for Harvest
Corn Ready for Harvest.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hubby's New Toy

You know how everything changes in the blink of an eye?  Well it has happened again here at Anniversary Grove.  We just got back from the foot doctor and Hubby has to have surgery on October sixth.  In some ways that is good news, and of course there is always a down side.  The good news is his foot pain will be gone, and after 6-8 weeks of idleness, he will be able to do all the winter work around here…foot pain free.   The down side: because he is on pain pills every day for a variety of problems, and because he will have to get off them 7 days prior to surgery….he will not be able to go to Rapid City for my best friend’s wedding.  He cannot travel very long, nor can he sit very long without pain pills.  It will be a very hard week for him. 
But Hubby has a new toy that will keep him occupied for the long recovery time and for a very long time to come.  Perhaps 15-18 years?
Meet Guy, a pug cross puppy.
Watching football
Watching football together?
The boys will be able to watch football, tell guy jokes and generally hang out together during recuperation. 

I have always thought that what is meant to happen, does; and little life experiences lead you to where you should be.  So because Hubby went to the store with me when he usually doesn’t; because Hubby read ads on the bulletin board that he never looks at;  because Hubby has been especially missing little Cricket that we lost last year….we now have a new puppy.  Hubby’s best girl, Ren, is getting old and he wanted someone around to learn from her while she is still able to help train. 

Beautiful Ren.

As most of you know, I am a sucker for animals; especially dogs and cats.  So I would never say no to another pet. 

And I miss Cricket too. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall is Coming

As much as I hate to admit it, I have been very distracted for the past few months.  And now I am paying for it.  Summer has passed me by.  Granted, we had months of cold and snow, months of flooding and rain, a whole month of sweltering heat and days upon days of biting bugs.  But that is no excuse for me to hide in the house and watch my gardens get choked by weeds.  Well…I think they are good excuses.  My poor plants don’t agree. 
But with all my neglect, most of my plants have survived and even thrived.  I attribute that to my hubby and the type of plants I have; hostas, peonies, lilies and iris.  All of them are very hardy perennials; lucky for them. 
The vegetable garden is a different matter.  Because of the heavy moisture with cool weather, then the oppressive heat….our garden and many others are not producing well.  So we have had to resort to buying produce to can and freeze.  Thank goodness some of the farmers around here have had good luck in their gardens.  Our beans are just now starting to produce, and not many at that.  So we bought enough green beans to put up 24 ½ pints.  We got some great sweet corn and froze 24 cups, enough for Hubby to have this winter while I am gone. The cucumbers are hit and miss.  Some have ripened, some just hang on the vine and rot.  And there not even enough to share, so no pickles this year.   I have harvested some tomatoes, enough to put up 12  half pints of salsa (I had to buy the green peppers).    I have bunches of green tomatoes on the vine,  but they are not turning red very fast. And I am not sure the weather will hold long enough for them to ripen. We are going to get very chilly soon.   The only produce doing well this year are the Fairy Tale eggplants and our raspberries.  Once the berries got started, they went crazy and I can’t keep up with them.  So the birds are getting a good treat this year.  I have already shared bunches, eaten bowls full and frozen 3 gallons for winter.  And they are still going strong.  Thank goodness they freeze well. 
 Arkansas Traveler and Pittman Valley
Arkansas Travelers and Pittman Valley
Fairy Tale Eggplant
Fairy Tale eggplants
Mandolin and corn
Hubby using the mandolin.

So the canning season is here, although not as productive as we wanted.    And fall is coming, sooner than we would hope.  How do I know?   Because they are gone…left without so much as a goodbye or thank you yesterday.  And now you ask “Who”? 
Our hummingbirds are gone.  After a month of scrambling daily to keep 6 feeders full (they are in a feeding frenzy before they migrate), being buzzed by up to 6 per feeder and watching them fight for control of the food….they are gone.  And we won’t see them again until somewhere around the second week of May.

We’ll miss the little darlings.

PS…I wrote this yesterday, then last night we got a freeze.  The cukes, beans, squash and eggplant are gone.  We covered the tomatoes and they still look good.  Now I need a couple more weeks of warmth to get them off the vine.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do You See What I See?

Round circle

I know, it just looks like dying grass doesn’t it?   Look again.

Hidden cement

I’m not sure, yet….but it has the distinct shape of a circle.   And it has pieces of cement hidden under the grass going around in that circle.  So, I'm not quite sure.....I think I know, I hope I know....I will know soon.

Most of you know that the home site we purchased here in SW Minnesota has a house built in 1910. This house was a step above the ordinary farm houses. It has an entryway closed off by double doors, a beautiful newel post on the staircase. It had a separate pantry and a small alcove separated from the living room by posts and railings. The woodwork is elaborate and it had a beautiful front porch with gingerbread trim. Rumor has it that the house also had a cement pond. And I think we have found it.
The people we purchased our home from are the children of the farmers that bought this place in 1950. We were told that the wife didn’t like the pond and filled it in with dirt. I have secretly been looking for it ever since I’d heard the story.  I want to find it and preserve it as much as possible.  And oh I do love ponds.
You are probably wondering why I care. Most people wouldn’t. Well, I have a love of history. I love antiques. And I spent 10 years working with South Dakota’s archaeologists; 8 of those were as the assistant to the curator of all of South Dakota’s archaeological collections. I learned to dig, and learned to identify, catalog and curate artifacts of all ages. I loved my work and especially the historical (instead of the prehistoric) artifacts. My passion is of course the textiles.  But to actually find the pond would be wonderful.  And then there is that one memory….
When I was in about the 6th grade I went with my parents to visit my mother’s cousin Ester that lived in Big Stone, SD. She still lived in the family home amongst all the family heirlooms. I remember her taking me outside and showing me the cement pond that had been in the yard for years. It had lily pads and koi or goldfish. I spent hours sitting by the pond watching the fish swim around in the lilypads. It was in the fall and Ester asked me to help take the lily pads and fish into the basement for the winter. She kept them in some sort of tank and would put them out again in the spring. I have always remembered that pond. And I have always one of my own. I finally got my wish around the year 2000 when garden ponds again came into vogue and were easily obtainable. Hubby built me a pond and my own secret garden with a cedar moon fence and deck surrounded by hostas. And again, here at Anniversary Grove, he has put in pond for me.
Oh, look… I have another one.

We found it. And I will have more pictures for you when it is completely dug out. I am so excited.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Small Changes

Well, we have downsized to two vehicles.  Hubby lovingly sold his PT Cruiser to our daughter Brook.  He has always felt bad that we could not get her a car when she was younger.  She is now a single mother raising a teenager, going to school and working.  So, like many others these days, she has no expendable income.  NONE.  And as her old car was slowly dying, Brook was slowly panicking.   Hubby sold his car for the price of “you’d be a fool to pass up this deal”.  And trust me; we did not raise a fool. 

Hubby's F150.
So Brook is happy with her new car, Hubby is happy with just his pickup and I am happy that our daughter is safer and that our insurance rates will now go down. It has been a good day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Bloggers

Just a quick note to let you know I'm still alive and busier than ever.  But I wanted you all to meet the new bloggers.  Larry and Kathy have been our friends for around 30 years.  They live in Oklahoma and travel around about half the year in their fifth wheel with the cat Allie.  I have been helping them start up a new blog.  Give them a few days to get use to it and then go over to meet them.

Here are some of photos to share with you.  What to do on a swealtering summer day.....

Sleepy Time


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hello Again

I have had a lot of complaints because I haven’t been writing in my blog lately. Can you believe it? Complaints. I didn’t even realize that people looked forward to reading about my life in the cornfields. So I am going to try to update you on everything that has happened since February 3.

February? Oh my, it has been a long time.

So should I give you all of it, the good and the bad? No…not today. Today I’ll give you highlights of the good. It is too beautiful a morning to talk about bad. And I’ll start there…..It is a BEAUTIFUL morning. The wind is not blowing at gale force, it is not raining buckets and there is a strange yellow ball in the sky that we haven’t seen for SOOOO long. I couldn’t sleep in today because the sunrise woke me up. Yep, we had a sunrise. It was a glorifying site. With the heavy mist in the creek bed, the land around us looks like what I imagine an English countryside to be. And it is mornings like this one that justifies to me moving out to the country. Quiet, peaceful, green….everything I was looking for.

Summer sunrise 2011
This morning’s sunrise.

It has been so long since I’ve written that I am apt to forget a lot that has happened. I should have kept a log. Let’s see….

Work went well in Marshall this winter. I finally got home April 19th. Because of all the bad weather and snow…Oh, right. No bad news in today’s blog. Work went well.

Hubby got to see something I have longed to see since I was in high school. A whooping crane. So it was exciting and wonderful news, even though it was second hand for me. It was migrating north from the Wisconsin flock of whoopers. Hubby saw it resting by the creek a mile away from our place and as he drove by, it flew up and headed out. To be able to see one of less than 400 wild whoopers was so special for him, and by proxy, for me. We find ourselves looking at the same spot every time we drive by, in hopes of seeing it again and probably will for years.

The garden is finally in and growing. I hope the fall frost holds off as long as spring did, so we can get a good harvest. This year we have the ever present onions, tomatoes, pole beans and yellow squash. We have shifted a few things around and are not doing bush beans this year. They take up too much room for so little result. We have added more cukes and broccoli; we double the amount of peppers, both green and frying varieties. And this year we are trying small eggplant and some of my favorite herbs.

My peonies were glorious this year, if only for a short time. The high winds managed to shorten the bloom time, but since all are finally staked, I didn’t lose any plants. And I got enough blooms on most to finally identify them. Of my mother’s plants I have a Festiva Maxima, Monsieur Jules Elie, Myrtle Gentry and two I can’t identify. Of the homestead rescue plants I have a Memorial Day, Laura Dessert, Felix Crousse, Sarah Bernhart, and Shirley Temple (I think). Of the rescues there are some I haven’t been able to identify and some more that are not blooming yet. Then I have purchased a Chocolate Soldier in memory of my brother, a Philippe Rivoire and a Raspberry Sundae to replace those left behind in Piedmont and a Duchesse de Nemours because I wanted a pure white. This sounds like a lot of peonies and it is. Between what I brought from my parents house, saved from the old fence line here and purchased I have about 27 plants. Some of the rescues will be duplicates, because I dig up all the little shoots that come up in the yard and replant. After a couple years, they are full grown plants and blooming. I hope I have them all now, because I am running out of room in the sunshine. Don’t tell Hubby I said that.

Sarah Bernhart
Rescued Sarah Bernhart.

We finally have outside work done enough that we can go fishing. Hubby got a new (very used) little boat for lake fishing and I have my entire fly fishing gear ready. We just need a good day. Today would be perfect……

Daughter and granddaughter both have very good grades in school. Brook has figured out her majors and is focusing on Psychology. Along with work and raising a teenager, she is busy studying hard and hopes to be finished in a couple of years. I am proud of them both.
We have had some medical scares in the family, most have turned out well. But I think I’ll leave that for another day.

This blog is starting to sound like a Christmas letter, all the year laid out in little paragraphs. And as much as I like to know what is going on in someone’s life, 365 days is a lot to put in one letter. Or in my case, 145 days. So I am going to finish up and try to get this posted.

It’s good to be back. Hope to talk to you soon.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


New Hair
Yep, it’s all gone.

I got tired of my long hair always in my face or pulled back. I will probably grow it back just because I am not too fond of beauty shops. But for now I love it. Easy to wash and go.

It's Short
Hey, you can see my earrings!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello Again

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday. I have been so neglect lately and haven’t even been reading my favorite blogs. But I did get goodies baked for Christmas, a trip back to Rapid City and a safe trip home in the time I have ignored my computer.

And now I am packed and ready to head up to Marshall to work the tax season. I was going to leave today, but the storm yesterday and the bitter high winds with ground blizzards today have kept me home. I hope to go tomorrow when the plows have been out to clear the roads. Once I get there and set up, I am going to try to get reconnected with my blogger friends. I know there is a lot of reading for me to do. And I’ll strive to even do a little more writing.

In the mean time, I’ll leave you with a few photos.

The Storm

Yesterday’s storm with HUGH snowflakes.

Grove Snowstorm
The grove during the storm. Somewhere in there are a lot of deer.

Hunting Squirrels
And last, Obie and Gandalf squirrel hunting. A constant pastime.

PS. My brioche did not turn out a pretty as the earlier photo, but it was very tasty. And after 3 trys, I had good enough loaves to give some away.