Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

June 23, 2014

Summer Day 4

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 1:34 pm
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Theme for today? “In the Weeds”. Funny, that’s what I used to say in my waitress days – if we were bogged down with lots of customers needing many things at the same time, we used to yell out that we were “in the weeds” to see if anyone had an available hand to help out.
Today’s interpretation of in the weeds is much more literal:
Weedy

I spent my morning weeding the veggie garden. I forgot to take a picture for you before I got started, as you can see, but if you can imagine the whole garden looking like the upper half of this picture, you will understand how things started out today.

I made progress slowly but surely:
Making progress
Here I’ve hoed down most of the weeds, but still need to rake them up and take them away.

Job done
I didn’t nab every single one of them today, but it is enough. I did, unfortunately, accidentally mow down two pepper plants that were not doing very well, darn it! I was careful to hand weed around each plant before hoeing the larger area to avoid just such an accident, but my fervor to get the job done must have blinded me to them.

Yes, it is a bit dry looking out there. We haven’t had significant rain for about a week I’d say. I put Miracle Grow on the plants after I weeded and will do a more thorough watering later today.
Keep Cool and Summer On!

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May 18, 2014

Going Green

Filed under: For the Birds,What's Blooming — Karma @ 8:50 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I don’t care what Kermit the Frog says, I think it is pretty easy being green.

Robin calls it “a visit from the green man”. I call it finally feeling like spring. We’ve had some good rain, followed by days of sunshine, and my world is finally going green around me. The neighbors’ houses on the street behind mine have disappeared into the green:
Finally green

When I look around me I see fresh green leaves and green grass and I love it.
Greening

Next weekend, with any luck and a LOT of work, I will be greening-up my garden. I went to my favorite garden center yesterday for my “annual pilgrimage” and made my plant purchases.
Getting ready to garden

I’m yet to get a picture this year, but I have seen that wonderful “flash” of green – the ruby throated hummingbird. I’ve seen several taking sips at my feeder and flowers over the last week.

I do, however, have pictures I can share of another bird, in fact a bird family:
baby robins (1)

A robin has re-used the nest that was built on my flood light last spring and the 4 babies have quickly grown.
feeding time

I hope your world is going green too!

ETA: WordPress has just informed me that this is the 500th post here on Karma’s When I Feel Like It Blog. Wow! I’ve hit that publish button 500 times? Thanks to all of you who have been here and said hello anywhere from 1 to 500 times!

post-milestone-500-1x

July 29, 2013

State of My Year

WordPress’s Daily Prompt today says to “Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us NOW.”

I’ve been receiving the Daily Prompt in my email for quite a long time now and often thought the idea presented sounded interesting to blog about, but I’ve rarely participated for no good reason other than being busy with other things or just being distracted by daily life. I was thinking I’d like to write a blog post today but wasn’t sure how to collect my thoughts. The prompt arrived in my email and seemed like an interesting “take stock” idea. The prompt calls it “mid-year” – it is the end of July, that’s really a bit past mid-year, isn’t it? It is also just a little past the mid-point of summer vacation from school too, so here’s where things are at for me.

Anticipation for Meghan’s move to campus has begun. We’ve been out shopping for dorm supplies.
dorm supplies
Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Christmas Tree Shops have all provided us with some great deals and bargains to get her set up in the place she will live for 9 months starting on August 22nd. It is exciting and scary and happy and sad all at once. My stomach does flip-flops whenever I think about it.

My garden seems to be doing nicely. I’m pretty much keeping up with the weeding this year.
garden mid-summer
Those piles to the right of center are weeds I’ve pulled and hoed and raked, but I just haven’t removed from the garden yet. I’ve harvested some of nearly everything I’ve planted this year, including tomatoes.
garden harvest
I’m not used to having tomatoes until mid-August, so those early girls were a nice treat.

The butterfly bushes are in full bloom and the swallowtails and hummingbird moths have returned to drink their fill of nectar.
tiger swallowtail

hummingbird moth

Other plants surrounding my deck, I’m ashamed to admit, have not fared so well. During the intense heat wave most of the country endured a little over a week ago, I spent little time outside and forgot about my poor little potted plants needing water!
oops forgot to water them
Oops! I’ve never been so neglectful. I killed every one of my potted annuals, except for this mini-rose the girls gave me for Mother’s Day.
mini-rose
It was lucky enough to be planted in a “self-watering” container with a little reservoir in the bottom of the pot, so it survived. Maybe I should look for a few more of those containers, huh?

looks ok
Ah, the pool. It has been both a blessing and a thorn in my side this summer. I told you in this post about the liner tearing and needing replacing. Then, I explained here what happened when we did replace it. Since then, hoses have sprung leaks and needed replacing and parts have come loose, unbeknownst to me at the time, and drained a couple hundred gallons of water from the pool. Then last night, as I was cleaning up from dinner, I noticed the lights in the house were flickering. I looked around trying to figure out if there was a brown-out going on, when smoke billowing up from my backyard caught my eye! At that moment, a small burst of flame appeared in the area of the pool’s filter. I ran outside, unplugged the filter and turned on the hose. The flame was gone, but this was discovered:
yikes
I have no idea why but the power cord to the filter shorted out and fried. Goody, yet another pool part that needs replacing this year. I do feel lucky, however, that the flame didn’t go anywhere and cause any other damage.

Before the smoking adventure with my pool, we had just returned home from our annual camping trip. This is a tradition 20+ years in the making which you can read about here if you are interested. I didn’t take any pictures this year on our trip to Tolland State Forest in Otis, Ma, except for this pretty great one of our whole group of campers, couples and families who have been friends since we were teenagers/young adults:
da gang
We were all pretty happy we made it through the weekend without a drop of rain. That isn’t usually the case for our camping trips! In fact, this past weekend had to be one of the nicest we’ve ever experienced while camping: sunny skies, pleasant temperatures and no humidity.

I am looking forward to the rest of what summer holds. My younger daughter turns 16 this week! Party and learner’s permit coming soon. Our annual vacation to Maine is less than two weeks away.

That’s the “now” of my life at this little-more-than-mid-point of the year. How is your “now”?

May 25, 2013

Stream-of-Consciousness-Blogging…

It is raining here today…cold for May 25th…”the rain, rain, rain, came down, down, down, in rushing rising rivlets, til the water crept out of its bed and crept right into Piglet’s!”…I should write a blog post to pass the time on this rainy day…really wish I was outside planting the veggie garden…what could I write a blog post about?

Mmmmm, chocolate…that chocolate fountain I borrowed for Meghan’s graduation party looks very interesting…
chocolate fountain

maybe I should experiment with it before Meghan’s party!

Blog, blog, blog…I need some inspiration…stuff I want to talk about but I can’t go outside and take pictures…hey the rhododendron is blooming and I can see that through my dining room windows…
rhododendron

I can see the perennial bed too…
perrenial bed

Not a great picture, but more complete looking than the last one I posted…I wonder why Flickr changed their layout…have to learn how to navigate it all over again while I post photos to this blog post…finally found the link to the archives that I complained to Kate about in my comment to this lovely post of hers…I wonder if blogspot users get notifications from wordpress users…Boy I really wish I could have been outside planting today…I hope my poor little plants aren’t getting drowned with all this rain…
waiting to be planted

At least I got the whiskey barrel planter done earlier this week, but still so much more to do…so much to do coming up soon…prom, graduation, recital, graduation party…at least I got the party invitations sent out…Inkgarden.com did such a nice job…

Ooh, hey, the bearded irises are budding…not as many buds out there as I’d like to see, darn it…
irises soon!

Wait a second, I thought I bought a pink foxglove for the perennial bed…that looks white…hmmm….
foxglove

Not going to get any new pictures of the baby robins in all this rain…oh but hey! I do have a lovely picture of my baby girl to share this week…she’d probably hate it if she knew I just referred to her as “baby” girl…”Moooommmmmmm I am going to be 16 in 2 months”…oh don’t remind me…another with a driver’s license soon…so proud of her for receiving that computer award!…sophomore with highest grade point average in computer class…wahoo!…

sarahaward

Blogging, blogging, blogging…where will I find some inspiration? 😉

May 19, 2013

Nest Watch, week 2

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 5:42 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Things are getting busy these days! Meghan’s final days of high school are sliding by in a hurry, the paperwork for college is rolling in, preparations for recital and graduation are busily moving along. I feel like I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride for the last couple of weeks, and I don’t think the ride will be coming to an end any time soon. In the meantime however, I have been keeping an eye on those robins’ nests I told you about in this post.

The first nest has babies in it. I poked my head outside one day to see 3 hungry open beaks swaying in the nest.
first baby robin sighting
It’s difficult to see all three in this photo, but I think they are all there. One particularly hungry little one made an extra effort to get some attention.
hungry baby

I moved around to the other side of the nest and was able to get this little charmer:
baby robin gets some sun
I love the tuft of down and the satisfied look!

feed me!
Feed me!

I think the second nest is maybe a week or so behind the first one, but I have seen mama robin sitting on it fairly consistently over the last week, so I’m thinking another set of babies isn’t too far away.
mama robin

My perennial bed is looking fresh and healthy with its new coating of mulch, but I’ve neglected to take its picture. I’ll remember one of these days.

Planting will be continuing as well. I’ve been back to the garden center for annuals and vegetables:
garden center purchases
There are tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers, geraniums, dahlias, zinnias and much more all awaiting their summer homes. Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, my traditional planting weekend, so they won’t have to wait too long.

Whether you are enjoying your own gardens, visiting vistas around your home state, unpacking and getting used to a new home or just trying to fly a kite, I hope you have a lovely week!

July 10, 2012

A Few Firsts of the Summer Season

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 9:47 am
Tags: , , , ,

Summer, summer, summer; I love it so.  And not just because I still have 7 more weeks before I have to go back to work!  The days are long and seem to pass slowly with no particular place to be.  It is warm and green and lush.  Some of my favorite things about summer are also starting to appear around me, a bit early I believe.

On July 4th, I harvested my first cucumber and summer squash from my garden.
first harvest

Zucchini quickly followed and I already have a few over-sized specimen.  Meghan and I ate the first zucchini like this:

Breaded and shallow-fried, delicious.

Like many flowers in my yard and gardens, my daylilies seem to make later appearances than others I’ve seen around town.  My first opened on July 5th this year.

first daylily

And now that the butterfly bushes are in full bloom, the butterflies have returned to my yard.  Surprisingly, the monarchs were the first I saw this year.

First monarch spotting

King of butterflies

The swallowtails, hummingbird moths and a great spangled frillitary have all made subsequent appearances.

Another of my favorites of the summer season happens this weekend – the annual camping trip.  I know that camping is not for everyone, but you can read about what makes this tradition with my group of friends pretty great right here.

Now that the heat wave that has had so much of this county in its grips for a while has started to ease back, I hope you are getting out and enjoying summer too.

June 22, 2012

What I’ve Been Up To

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 12:16 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve been out of school for a week now and I thought it was about time to show you what I’ve been up to and what’s going on around the yard lately.  Of course we had recital this past Saturday, so getting ready for that took up time but I’ve been puttering around taking care of other tasks as well.

garden progress

The garden is progressing along nicely.  I’ve had one major weeding session since planting everything a few weeks ago and I’ve been pretty good about remembering to water in the morning when needed.  Fairly low maintenence so far, and I’ve got…
baby cucumbers

baby cucumbers,

baby summer squash

baby summer squash,

baby zucchini

baby zucchini, and even

baby cayenne pepper

a baby cayenne pepper!

The raspberries are coming along too..
raspberries

..I’ve already eaten a few!

As for those flowery-type thingies that I love so much, the bee balm is back..
bee balm

..and I’ve purchased and re-potted a few others, like this geranium,
geranium

and this cute purple, puffy algeratum:
IMG_8395

In addition to weeding, watering and repotting, I’ve been scrubbing and conditioning too. No, not me! Well, okay, yes me, but I was referring to this:

pool finally clean!

After quite a bit of opening work, the pool is finally ready for use.  Just in time too!  Here in the northeast, as is much of the country, we’ve been experiencing our first official heat wave of summer with temps in the 90’s for 3 days in a row.

I’ve also been taking care of this little patch:
yard work

This past spring, hubby finally finished burning all the debris that was left behind by all the violent weather we experienced in these parts last year. Unfortunately, we had to use a spot in the middle of the lawn to do it since the fire had to be a certain distance from the house but within reach of the garden hose.

I shoveled out the pile of coals, loosened the earth beneath and planted this patch of new seed: watching grass grow
Scott’s tells me I’ll have nice thick grass here in about a month.

I won’t let you think I’ve been doing nothing but work over the last week.  I’ve had plenty of time to enjoy myself in my happy place, too:

My happy place

Happy summer everyone!  So what have you been up to lately?

July 7, 2011

Garden Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:05 am
Tags: ,

I don’t know if anyone would be interested in a peek into my veggie garden since I first planted and I last showed it to you, but it seems to be doing well this year ***knocking on wood***.   No signs of the dread blight so far.  I’m thinking maybe the landscape fabric is helping?  Anyway, here’s a little slideshow of the progress so far:

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June 27, 2011

A Good Day

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 10:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

School got out last week.  I felt like I’ve been in a flurry of activity every day since.  Today was the first day I really felt like I was out for summer break.  With the exception of my older daughter going to driving school (at her high school), I didn’t have to go anywhere.  Today, I did summery things!

I worked in my garden, which looked so cheerful in the morning summer sunshine:
IMG_5104

Everything seems healthy and happily growing.  I added tomato cages to the sprawling vines today. I also noticed my hydrangea is starting to bloom:

 IMG_5105

 I am delighted with all of the buds it has this year.  I have often lamented my lack of luck with hydrangea.  I don’t remember this hydrangea always being pink either; I know that soil pH can affect their color, but I haven’t moved this plant in probably 10 years. It has never been a great bloomer for me, so maybe I just don’t remember!  Lots of buds still to come:
IMG_5107

After the garden I picked up the yard for lawn mowing.  I got to use a little chain saw to chop up a large branch that had fallen into the yard – that was kind of cool!  After mowing the lawn, I vacuumed the pool.  It looked nice and sparkly.  I should’ve taken a picture.

My bird feeder has been extremely active since I refilled it a couple days ago.  I also learned today that my squirrel-proof feeder is no longer squirrel-proof:
IMG_5113

Industrious little thing, huh?  I couldn’t understand just how the squirrels were getting at the seed.  The feeder is set up so that if something heavier than birds lands on the feeder, that wire covering with the perches on it slides down and covers the opening to the seed.  I went out to investigate.  One of the openings had the plastic chewed away so that the opening was not completely covered when it slides down!  That is the opening our little friend here is jamming his or her head into!  The squirrels broke the other feeder I had put up for them in a near-by tree in the hopes of keeping them away from the bird feeder, so I’m not sure what I’ll do next.

At the end of my busy day, I landed in my second-favorite summer place – my deck with a good book (first favorite would be the beach, but that is a few hours drive away).  And my little hummingbird took what seems to be one of his favorite places these days too:

hummingbird silhouette

That is a skinny little branch at the top of a small tree at the side of my property.  I look for him there now when I am outside in the evening.  I thought this made for a pretty cool shot of a hummingbird at rest; not a sight you see all that often.

Let me know about a good summer day for you in the comments if you’d like!  June Photo Hunt re-cap coming soon – I’m waiting on a couple folks taking advantage of the extension.  In the meantime, there are plenty of links to check out in the comment section of that post, so please go check out the submissions when you have the chance and leave them some love in their own comment sections.

May 30, 2011

Mama’s Bounty

A wise woman once said, “All weekends should be three-day weekends; then you’d have a day for running errands and chores, a day for socializing and a day to yourself to do whatever you want or nothing at all.”  I may be paraphrasing a bit, but the wise woman is my sister and I couldn’t agree more!  Thanks to the wonderful servicemen and women of this country who gave their lives for us, we are able to celebrate this three-day holiday weekend.  I got to thinking about all the things I am appreciative for this three-day weekend and thought I’d share my appreciation with you.

I am appreciative that I was able to get my veggie garden planted with a minimum of back pain.  I finished off that garden today by planting my little sentry row of critter-guarding marigolds:

 the marigold guard

I am appreciative of the warm weather that we have been granted after very wet spring.  It allowed me to continue my planting frenzy this weekend.  In addition to the veggies and marigolds, I planted all of my containers of flowers.  A sampling:

 hanging plants

(I can’t take credit for that top one – that was my mother’s day gift from hubby._

new guinea impatiens

New guinea impatiens in my whiskey barrel

I put the bee balm that I bought for the hummingbirds in the ground near the butterfly bushes and fuchsia, and I found a spot in one of my flower beds for the new columbine:

columbine

I am appreciative for my home, my family and my friends.  As I’ve enjoyed my yard, and having my hands in the dirt this weekend, I’ve taken a good look around.  As appreciative as I am that we are past the long, harsh winter that Mama Nature had us endure this year, I couldn’t help but feel she was making up for it with an absolute bounty of beauty this spring.  Remember all those wonderful lilacs I showed you?  Now in bountiful bloom I’m enjoying both my rhododendron and my irises; I don’t remember such huge displays last year:

overflowing rhododendron

bountiful irises

Looks like I’m also going to have plenty of rosebuds:

rose buds

and that the chipmunks are going to have plenty of strawberries:

strawberry buds

( Lord knows I never get any of them!  Really need to get around to moving these one of these years)

While they are not bountiful yet, the very first of my peonies opened too! 
first peony

So thank you Mama Nature, thank you fallen soldiers, and thank you blogging friends; you are all appreciated.

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