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Monday, September 1, 2008

Morning in Pokeberry, Home Again.. Sept. 1, 2008

While we were out in Washington & Idaho, Charlotte got quite alot of rain, possibly remnant rain from tropical storm Faye. Our lawn which was cut a couple days before we left has grown a good 2 inches and has seed heads! Wow--I've never seen it that long--and it was less than a week. My plants did well. One of the morning glory vies has climbed to the carport/patio roof. Little sunflowers have cropped up and bloomed all over the place-- from the party feeder and the birds. Our thistle feeders are all nearly empty and so is the party feeder--so apparently alot of birds were here while we were gone. The fire ants have been very busy while we were gone and there are many new mounds in the yard. Sigh.. There's much to do in the yard today and in the house.

Hurricane Gustav is aimed pretty much smack dab right at Hubby's brother's place in New Iberia Louisiana, so we're anxious to hear about that. He is not home of course. We have close family in Louisiana and in Florida so we are interested in following the hurricanes when they come. Seems like most summer/falls there are lots of trips away from home for those folks. So far there have not been any disasters happen to them, so we are thankful. My brother-in-law has also lived in Houston and Galveston Texas over the past several years so hurricanes have been impacting the family a long time now. Here in Charlotte hurricanes are almost never a problem--if anything they tend to send welcome rains our way--if we are lucky. There was one that did hit here some years ago I hear, but probably it was not so strong. Of course the locals here do think they have extreme weather--but I guess they haven't been to Fargo. ;)

From my window this morning I can see a bumper crop of habenero peppers out in the garden. The bright orange peppers are 'peppering' the plant. :) I can also see yellow wax peppers and ripe red tomatoes and several eggplants. All my plants look a little bigger and a little lusher.

I'm turning my thoughts toward how to keep 'starts' of various plants for spring. I'd like to get some cuttings going of begonias and geraniums and a variety of other plants for next spring before we get cooler and frost begins to threaten. There is still plenty of time before that--we are not done with summer here--but I need to do this in a way that is economical, convenient and hopefully mainly outside--since I do not have a big house and I do not want to pay to light anything. Charlotte has fairly mild winters but we do get frost and it can sometimes get quite chilly--as low as 19', so far as I've lived here. Usually winter is someplace in the high 40s or 50s with some days dipping lower and some days warmer. Even with such a nice climate some plants do need protection. I think I am going to go with makeshift coldframes made of plastic bins, with perhaps some bales of pinestraw around them for insuallation--then in spring I can use the straw for mulching. At present I am thinking I will not have much of a veggie garden for fall. Maybe just lettuces and cilantro. ...ok.. maybe some peas too, and carrots. ;)

I think I like growing ornamentals more than I like growing food. I like to have some fresh food on hand--but I am not huge on canning and freezing and so far we've been mainly eating our produce--with some exceptions. Hubby would like to preserve more of it--and maybe next year we will. This year I did freeze several gallons of tomatoes and I had some homemade sauce done up--but we've already eaten it!

My main interest seems to be in landscaping type plants. I like to multiply them and grow them and would like to possibly market some --or have them for our own home when we finally get it.

My neighbor over the fence did talk to me into the veggie garden this summer and it did phenomenally well--but I have to admit I really prefer the more relaxing pace of tending shrubs, vines and flowers. Veggies need much more attention.

While we were gone our #3 son moved away. He is up in Wisconsin now with his buddy. We'll miss him. I hope to see him at Thanksgiving though, maybe Christmas too. It was very difficult saying good-bye out in Idaho to son #1 and his sweet little wife as well. Hugs and kisses and off we went again. I will be going out there again sometime in either December or January depending on the baby's time table. She is now named Ruby Anne. Very pretty name! My daughter in law and I went shopping and got some bedding for her crib and put lots of nice things on a registry for baby showers. I'm hoping to have a long distance baby shower in November with my family in Wisconsin--we'll bring the gifts to the party unwrapped and then wrap them there and pack them to ship to Idaho. That will be fun I think, and a good way to help out the new family from afar. Of course we're all checking Craigslist and other 2nd hand sources as well for good deals on baby things.

It is good to be home, though home is 'shrinking' in a way with children in distant places.

Still I have to admit--as pretty as the North West is-- I do prefer the warm weather here. It was quite chilly out there--I had to go buy warm clothes! First thing we did when we got home was uncover the pool and take a dip--not chilly here. ;)

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