Monday, May 31, 2021

The potager is in

The vegetable garden is mostly planted now. I put in sixteen tomato seedlings on Sunday morning. There are nine kale and about eight Swiss chard plants, two zucchini, and a long row of beans, half green and half yellow. I still have two seedlings each of eggplant and jalapeño peppers, gifts from a friend. They'll go in soon. And there are climbing beans and peas planted along two sections of the trellis fence. I have room for two more long rows of beans. One of them will require an extra length of soaker hose.

Wish us luck!

So, the 2021 potager (vegetable garden) is in! Today will be the first day to test how the soaker hose works. Until now, I've watered the garden by hand, filling and lugging watering cans to each plant. Not very efficient. If I spend less time on watering, I will have more time for weeding. That sounds like fun.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

The oregano patch

For lack of new photos, here's a close-up of the oregano patch. It formed years ago when some oregano I had planted in the vegetable garden escaped and naturalized itself as part of the "lawn." I let these patches grow without mowing them so I can harvest and dry it for kitchen use. There's a lot more out there that does get mowed down. I guess it likes growing there.

Patches of oregano ready for harvest.

Interestingly, the oregano doesn't taste like much when it's fresh. Only after drying does it get its intense flavor. A few years ago, we got ourselves a dehydrating machine and started drying vegetables and herbs. Tomato wedges dehydrate well for use as "sun-dried" tomatoes. And the oregano works great. It's time now to start harvesting and drying it so that we'll be able to enjoy it throughout the coming year.

Saturday, May 29, 2021


The most common wildflowers in our yard (aside from dandelions) are yellow renoncules (buttercups), blue véroniques (speedwells or veronicas), and white paquerettes (lawn daisies). They grow as part of our "lawn" and get mowed down a lot. But they thrive, especially when I can't cut the grass for a while because of rain.

Wildlowers and grasses make up most of our lawn.

Last weekend I was able to mow and cut all of these away. Since then, the weather has warmed up and the "grass" is growing again. The flowers are starting to reappear. I'll probably mow again in a day or two, but first I want to get the vegetable garden planted. I redid the soaker hose configuration so that it will water where I need it. There's a section that needs some more hose, but that is being reserved for a third crop of green beans later in the season, so it doesn't need water yet.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Soaker hose

This is my first attempt at configuring the soaker hose in the vegetable garden. The good news is that the hose seems to work just fine. The bad news is that I might need more. I'm going to rework the layout today so that I can get things planted, leaving space for future rows of green and yellow beans. I may have to get another shorter length of hose in the coming weeks.

The first layout attempt comes up a little short, but now I know what I'm dealing with.

The hose is fifty meters long. I may need another ten or fifteen meters to do what I originally planned. I'll see how I feel when I lay it out a little differently. I want to plant the kale and chard plants along the edge of plot (that's closest in the photo) so that if we decide to leave them over winter, they won't be in the middle of the plot when it's time to till it up.

The weather has improved as forecast. I should be able to plant out the seedlings on Saturday. I'll also plant the first row of green bean seeds.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

The west forty

This is the largest section of our back yard, home to the vegetable garden and the garden shed. On the left is one of the two remaining apple trees. The vegetable garden plot is visible in the middle. And, look! There's Tasha on the right!

Looking westerly. The posts on the right edge of the garden plot support a trellis for climbing beans and flowers.
The green clumps in front are the oregano patch. It's time to start harvesting and drying the oregano.

The vegetable garden plot is now ready for seedlings. I added some amendments to the soil on Monday. Yesterday I put up the tomato supports (not in the photo). The last step before planting is to lay down the new soaker hose and make sure it works. I have a plan for that and I'm anxious to see how it works out.

Then the tomato, zucchini, chard, and kale seedlings can go into the ground. I will also plant a first row of green beans. When they sprout and begin to grow, I'll add a second row, then maybe a third as the summer progresses.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The north forty

This is a view of the section of our yard that I call the "north forty." I'm standing under the Himalayan cedar looking east. Our house is on the right. The three birches are the ones coming down this summer. Behind them is the big round juniper bush that is also coming out. It's hard to see, but it's full of tree saplings and thorny blackberry vines and is a general mess. We'll have a bare patch for a while before the grass and wildflowers fill in.

The birch branches on the ground are what's left of what fell on the fence in December. I cut the bigger branches up with a chainsaw and burned them in the wood stove when we ran out of heating fuel a few weeks ago. That metal contraption is a sawhorse.

There's another dead birch next to the carport that is also coming down this summer. It's sad to have lost so many trees in such a short time, but I understand that birches don't have a very lengthy lifespan and they've been here for close to fifty years. Still, it's nice to open the yard up to more light and better views, so there's an upside. We don't have plans to replace the trees or or the juniper in the north forty.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Tasha Tuesday

Here's Tasha standing in front of the damaged sections of our north-side fence. I did my best to tie the fence to the posts, but the guide wires that support it between the posts were severed when the branches fell on them. The wire fence itself is significantly deformed and actually sliced in two at one spot. Still, I think my patch job will keep deer out until the fence can be repaired.

Tasha "helped" me gather downed branches and twigs. One of us had fun.

I see from the weather forecast that our chilly weather will be gradually warming up through the week. It can't happen soon enough. It's time to get the garden planted. The seedlings are wanting out of their pots and into the ground. Hopefully, I'll be able to get that done by the weekend.

Tasha's going in to see the vet on Thursday for her annual shots. I'm scheduled to see my doctor the same day for my normal checkup and prescription renewal. I'll ask him when he thinks I'll get my second covid shot when I see him. And Tasha's got a (much needed) grooming appointment for a week from Friday. Yippee!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Their days are numbered

These three birches stand in what I call the "north forty," the section of our property that is just north of the house. Since we've lived here, it's the shadiest section of the yard, but that is changing. Two years ago, we had the pear tree removed after it died. It was in the northeast corner, just outside the upper right of this photo. Just over a year ago, we had an ailing spruce removed. Now, two of these three birch trees are dead and are scheduled to be taken down this summer. The third may go, too.

Looking north. Tasha stands in front of the section of fencing that was damaged. It's not easy to see in the photo because the fence's green color blends in with the foliage. The piles are some of the smaller branches that I'm saving for kindling.

A big wind storm came through last December that caused the upper branches of the dead birches to come crashing down on the fence that separates the yard from the woods to the north. Yesterday, I took the last of the fallen branches off the fence and tried to fix it up a little until I can get somebody to repair it. One of the fence posts was yanked out of the ground, so that will have to be re-set in a concrete footing before the broken sections of the fencing can be patched.

We had the fence put in nearly eighteen years ago to keep the dog (Collette at the time) inside and to keep the deer out. Unfortunately, the guy who did the work passed away about twelve years ago. I'm going to ask the landscape contractor whose crew will remove the trees if he can fix the fence.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Radis multicolores

Yesterday's market run was successful. I found everything I went for. As usual this time of year, I got une botte d'asperges (a bundle of asparagus that weighs one kilo), deux barquettes de fraises (two containers of strawberries), and une botte de radis multicolores (a bunch of multi-colored radishes).

Brightly colored locally-grown radishes. These are larger than the more common red radishes. We haven't tasted them yet.

I also got twelve nems (Vietnamese fried spring rolls), four each of pork, chicken, and shrimp. They're small and we ate them all with our lunch of Ken's home-made fried rice on Saturday. Delicious. I'll definitely get them again. I also walked down to the butcher shop in town and got a nice slice of faux filet (sirloin) for the grill today.

Because it's a holiday weekend and France just came out of a modified lockdown, the market was bustling with more people than it has been lately. I saw lots of families with children and many other people who were obviously tourists. The lines at most vendors were long, but that was ok. Almost everybody was masked (including myself), even though the market is outdoors. That was reassuring.

Saturday, May 22, 2021


The pivoine (peony) is flowering now. There are more open flowers today than since I took this picture on Monday. The red color is really intense and I have a hard time making the photo look like what I actually see, but it's close.

Peonies in the back yard.

Today is market day in Saint-Aignan. I'm going for asparagus, strawberries, radishes, and some nems (what the French call Vietnamese fried spring rolls). There's an Asian vendor at the market selling nems, fried rice, and other Asian food. I think he has a restaurant in town, but like other restaurants, it hasn't been open since covid. We can get pretty good commercial nems in the supermarket, but I'd like to try this guy's for a change (and it helps to support local vendors).

I finished cutting the grass on Friday, both the south and north forties. I had a burst of energy, and I wanted to get it done ahead of any rain we might have this weekend. Earlier in the morning I made another run to the dump and got rid of a bunch of things that were cluttering up the garage. There's still a long way to go, but getting started feels good.

Tomorrow is Pentecost, which means that Monday is a holiday making this a three-day weekend in France. I wonder if the market will be more crowded than usual this morning.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Our first artichoke of the year

It's one of two or three little artichokes on our biggest plant. Not enough to do anything with except watch it/them go to flower.

It's a small artichoke, about two or three inches high.

Ken got the final tilling done in the garden plot on Thursday and it looks great. Once the rain and chilly weather calms down, I'll be able to plant our seedlings out and sow bean seeds. But first I need to set up the tomato tripods and lay out the new soaker hose for watering. I was also productive yesterday: I took a large load of cardboard to the dump. It's nice to get all that clutter (Amazon boxes mostly) gone. I'm planning a second trip today to take our collection of old paint and paint cans. More clutter heading out.

And I got the west forty cut. If the predicted rain holds off, I'll get another section of the yard mowed today.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Pivoine et artichaut

Our pivoine (peony) is in flower now. It seems like it took a while longer than usual. That might be because our spring has been less warm than in recent years. The artichokes are doing well, too. The one in the middle is the largest of the three. We're expecting a day or two without rain, so I'm hopeful that I'll get some grass cut, starting today.

Behind our two apple trees you can see the row of dead hazelnuts that will be removed this summer.

Our central heating boiler is still having problems. The flame keeps going out, especially on windy mornings. We had another technician out to look at it on Monday and he agrees that the wind is the likely culprit. He also agrees that the best solution is to hook the exhaust up to the old boiler's chimney. When the new boiler was installed, the exhaust was routed out through the side of the house using a special exhaust/intake system called une ventouse (a forced pressure system used with condensation boilers). In our house, it's on the south wall, directly exposed to the prevailing southwest winds.

We're waiting to hear what this re-routing of the exhaust/intake line might cost. By the way, this morning there is no wind and the boiler is working normally. Yesterday was windy, and the flame blew out several times requiring us to reset the system manually. We think the evidence is pretty clear: it's the wind.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Funky feline fotos

It's been a while since Bert sat for his portrait at the same time that I had the camera out. Tuesday was the day! Here he is in the west forty, a favorite hunting ground, on the lookout for a mouse or vole. He's getting one or two every day now. And, yes, he eats them.

Bert just turned fifteen years old. He still loves to hunt.

By the way, this is what our yard looks like when I can't mow. It's been too wet recently, so all the little plants and wildflowers can flourish. I'm hopeful that over the next few days I'll be able to get out there and cut them all down. They're pretty, but if I don't get them under control they'll grow to be waist-high.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Tuesday (with Tasha)

I can't really call this "Tasha Tuesday" because she's hardly visible in the photo. But she's in there. This is the spot where we turn around on our morning walks to head back home. More or less the half-way point of our walk. The dirt road we walk on through the vineyards ends where it meets two paved roads. Cars move quickly on the paved roads, so we don't walk on them.

Tasha rarely comes out to the intersection with me. She waits further back.

I used to walk with Callie along these paved roads. She was afraid enough of cars that, if one approached, she'd sit down in the grass until it passed. Tasha wants to run around moving vehicles to get behind them, and when she does it looks as though she's charging the oncoming car. It's usually ok on the dirt road where vehicles don't move as quickly; I have time to get her attention and move her away from the car into a vine row. But that doesn't work on the paved roads. So we stay off them, unless I've got her on a leash.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Moon over sunrise

I took this photo a few Saturdays ago. As the sun rose behind me, the close-to-half moon was starting to set out toward the west. I had the 24mm wide angle lens on the camera for a much broader view of these vineyard parcels than I usually get with the 50mm lens.

The moon is just visible in the upper left of the photo.

Our landscape contractor emailed me the other day to say that he's got us scheduled for late June/early July. He and his crew are going to renovate the garden path, remove a row of dead hazelnut trees, take down three dead birches, and rip out an overgrown juniper shrub. It's a lot of work but it should be a real improvement and I'm looking forward to it. Still no word from the deck contractor about a specific date for his job. I'm willing to bet that it will happen at the same time as the yard work. Chaos!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Hot house tomatoes and other delights

Not that it's hot. The tomatoes are growing crazily and should be planted in the ground now. But the wet weather means I'd have to plant them in mud. Not what I want to do. And it's not warm. So in the green house they'll stay for the time being.

Plants in the green house a few days ago.

I've heard nothing in response to my question about the Blogger malware and virus issue from the user forum. I can't find anything about it on the internet, either. Typical. Thanks to all my readers who responded yesterday. I feel reassured now that it's them (Blogger), not us! I got nine more messages yesterday afternoon from Google saying that, after further review, they've found nothing and reinstated my deleted blog posts. I had to manually re-post them all because they were restored as drafts (thanks for the tip, Judy!).

There is either some bad bot out there reporting randomly to mess with the system, or Google has some over-active automated search and detect program running. Either way, it seems to be fixed for the time being.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Window boxes

Here are the surfinias (cascading petunias) that I planted in the kitchen window boxes on Thursday. As they grow, the plants will spill out of the boxes with an appealing cascade of color. If I'm lucky.

A nice splash of color under the kitchen window.

I got nine email notifications that Blogger deleted nine of my posts from this past March for violations of their Malware and Virus policy. This completely stumps me. I thought the messages were spam, but it looks like they are legit; those posts are indeed gone. I just can't imagine what was in those posts that could be considered a malware or virus danger. The posts are consecutive (which is suspect) and are, for all intents and purposes, the same as every other post on this blog. I reviewed the comments that I published for those posts (they're still accessible) and I see nothing nefarious.

Ken wondered if it might have something to do with the third-party widgets (clock and weather) on my sidebar. Those widgets exist in the overall blog template, not in individual posts, so I don't see how they could be the issue. Still, I've disabled them for the time being, just in case.

I've asked about this on the Blogger community forum and am waiting for replies. Ken has not seen this happen on his blog. I wonder if any of my readers who use blogger might have experienced a similar problem?

Friday, May 14, 2021

Me and my shadow

Well, my shadow, no me. The weather remains very spring-like. And not in a good way. It's not warm. We're having wind and rain squalls. Can't really do much outside.

Looking west on a sunny morning a couple of Sundays ago.

I did have a successful trip to the market over in Selles-sur-Cher yesterday. I got the flowering plants for the kitchen window boxes. I chose a two-toned deep red surfinia (cascading petunia). The choice was difficult because there were some very interesting colors to choose from. I planted them after lunch. I'll take photos one of these days. And I also got some strawberries for dessert. Tasty.

Thursday, May 13, 2021


These are blettes (Swiss chard), sometimes also called bettes and many other names depending on where you are. Once the seedlings get bigger, they'll go out into the garden. We've had great success in the past with this white-stemmed chard, not so great with other colors. I think the white-stemmed stuff is more common where we live than other varieties.

Blette (chard) sprouts. The seedlings have pink stems, but they'll turn white as the plants grow.

Now that the saints de glace are behind us (today is the last day), we should be able to plant our seedlings outside. But first we need some dry weather for the final dirt tilling. We're in a showery period right now, and temperatures are on the chilly side, so the seedlings will continue to hang out in the green house. I may start hardening the tomatoes, though, by putting them outdoors during the day.

Blettes on the left, tomatoes on the right. The unruly looking plant you see reaching out from the left is a parsley volunteer that grew last year on the greenhouse floor. We're letting it go to seed in hopes of getting another plant or two this year.

Good news: the old chest freezer is now empty. I pulled the plug on it yesterday and this morning it's almost completely defrosted (there's still some ice in the bottom). Next, we'll drain it and clean it up for its second life as a storage locker in the garage.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Our wisteria was really nice this year. The flowers were abundant, but now they're winding down. The past few rain events took their toll on the petals, and now the leaves are growing as the flowers diminish. This is one of the few photos I took during the wisteria's peak.

Wisteria. Glycine in French.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is l'Ascension (Ascension Day), a national holiday in France. Many people will faire le pont (make the bridge) by taking Friday off for a four-day weekend. The weather is not expected to be great, at least not in our area. There's a Thursday market a few towns away that I'd like to go to for some flowers to plant in our kitchen window boxes. Whether or not I go will depend on how much, if any, rain is expected. I was going to go last week, but the rain stopped me.

Yesterday I had another of those "senior moments" that are becoming all to frequent. I had a supermarket coupon for some organic sandwich bread that looked worth a try. I carefully selected the brand, type, and amount of bread specified on the coupon but, by the time I got to the checkout, I completely forgot the coupon in my pocket. Oh well. It doesn't expire until July, so maybe I'll try again in a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Tasha Tuesday

Here's a recent photo (well, two weeks) of Tasha on one of our morning walks. She's doing what dogs do best: sniffing around on the ground.

A walk with Tasha on a chilly spring morning.

I've done nothing about making a grooming appointment for her. Or for myself, for that matter. I really need a haircut. Tasha is also due for her annual vaccinations some time this month. And I'm due for my second dose of the covid vaccine.

I feel like I'm in a holding pattern. Waiting for the weather to warm up. Waiting to plant the garden. Waiting for the deck work to start. Waiting for the landscaper to schedule us. Waiting to see the doctor. Waiting to get the dog groomed. Waiting to get a haircut. Inertia is a strong force. And it's winning.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Green-ish thumb

Three pots. Two bare. One thriving. I'm still waiting for the basilic (basil) and turnip green seeds to sprout. But the weeds are doing well. I might as well take the credit.

Basil on the left, turnip greens on the right. Weeds out in front.

The tomatoes, zukes, and Swiss chard are also doing quite well. The tomatoes are almost ready to be hardened off and planted out. That will have to wait, though, until the frost danger is over and Ken gets a chance to do the final tilling of the garden plot.

In French folklore, the next three days are known as les saints de glace (the ice saints), the last of the coldest days when frost can still occur. Certainly, frost can happen later and warm weather can happen earlier, but tradition holds that you shouldn't plant frost-sensitive plants outside until after les saints de glace. I'll follow along.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Cuisses de pintade farcies

I found these delicious-looking mini roasts at the poultry vendor's stand on Saturday. They're Guinea fowl legs, boned and stuffed with seasoned ground poultry, wrapped in a strip of pork fat and topped with a slice of bacon and a bay leaf. I was looking for something to grill and these fit the bill.

Two servings of stuffed pintade (Guinea fowl) legs, ready for the grill.

Ken made a gratin dauphinois (similar to what we used to call scalloped potatoes). He added some grated cheese to the top for extra flavor. While the potatoes cooked in the oven, I grilled the artfully tied pintade parcels.

Ken's version of a rustic potato gratin, ready for the oven.

Here's what they all looked like just before serving. We started with a salad of steamed white asparagus, chilled, as an appetizer course.

Above, the cuisses de pintade farcies. Below, the gratin dauphinois.

The guy from whom I buy the asparagus had his first strawberries yesterday. They weren't his usual Charlotte variety, but garriguettes, another well known strawberry in France. The cool weather we've had has slowed the strawberries down, but he said he thinks he may have Charlottes next weekend. He told me he didn't think the garriguettes, an early variety, were as tasty as the Charlottes. Ken and I both thought they were delicious.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Messy path

I haven't been working on cleaning up the garden path this spring. Reason being that we're expecting it to be renovated once the contractor schedules us. He's going to dig it up and re-level it with new base material, including some kind of weed fabric barrier, and then top it off with new, smaller gravel. In the meantime, I've got piles of twigs and pruned plants piled up in the path. It's a little obstacle course, but manageable.

The garden path is a mess and is becoming overgrown with weeds. It's temporary. I hope.

The maintenance/repair technician arrived just after lunch yesterday to have a look at our central heating boiler. I explained, as best I could in French, what the problem was. He seemed to understand and spent about an hour working and making adjustments. Lo and behold! The boiler seems to be working properly again. It came on normally this morning, but only briefly because it's not very cold. So now we have fuel oil and a working boiler. Of course, today's high temperature is expected to be in the low 70sF. And, tomorrow, even warmer. Maybe I'll cut some grass.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Walnut tree

There is a lone walnut tree out on the vineyard road. The nuts it produces are small and not really worth harvesting. One of our neighbors (now deceased) used to walk out every now and then and pick a bagful off the ground in the fall. Our dog Callie was very curious about the nuts. Birds (or other animules), cracked some of them open. Callie would sniff and sometimes even eat a leftover piece of a walnut, but not very often. Tasha sniffs, but I've never seen her eat one.

Lonely walnut tree.

Ken called the heating fuel people yesterday morning to let them know the delivery didn't happen. They said we were scheduled for May 12! Ken reminded them that we were out of fuel and the woman on the phone said, well, THAT changes everything! I know he told her we were out of fuel the first time he called, and she said they'd have someone out "tomorrow." I heard the conversation. But that conversation must have happened in a parallel universe. She said she'd try to get someone out "today," and she did. The truck arrived just before noon and we got our fuel. Then the driver's card reader machine could not connect to the network. I tried two cards. It was him, not me. I asked if he could take a check and he said of course. Jeez.

Now we're getting error messages on the boiler. Something's wrong with the boiler's fancy exhaust and fresh air intake system and the flame on the burner keeps going out. This is not new, but we thought it only happened in very windy conditions. I've told two service technicians about the problem. The first one shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well, it shouldn't do that." The second one looked at it and told me he boosted the flame's strength. Didn't work. Now the error is happening all the time. We've got to call the service people again (we have a contract) and get them over here. Double jeez.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Snowball bush

This spring bloomer is in our neighbors' yard, right across the road from our house. We can see it from the kitchen and living room. It used to be covered in foliage and flowers all the way down to the ground. This year, the neighbors pruned the tree into this parasol shape. I think it looks good this way.

The neighbors' snowball bush seen from our deck.

It's raining this morning. We waited all day on Wednesday for a promised delivery of heating fuel that never came. I'm hopeful that it will come today. The mornings are still on the chilly side. Soon we won't need heat at all (crossing fingers) as the summer season builds in. Thankfully, we don't rely on our boiler for hot water as at least one of our neighbors does. Our water heater is electric.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Wide angle

I took this photo not far from yesterday's "Tasha Tuesday" image. The camera is pointed almost directly at the sun. In yesterday's shot, the sun is actually in the picture. It's more or less a white blob in the center right. I cropped the sun out of today's photo.

Looking easterly on Sunday morning toward our hamlet.

These photos were an experiment with my wide-angle lens. It's a 24mm fixed lens, not the widest of wide angles. My standard lens is a 50mm fixed, so this is almost twice the "width." To take the photos into the sun, I increased the shutter speed to 1/2500s with an f-stop of 11. I think I should have tried an even faster shutter, but I didn't think of it at the time. I like the way the photos came out and am encouraged to try some more soon. All I need is sun.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Tasha Tuesday

Here's Tasha on Sunday morning. The sky was clear and we had a good walk, even though the grassy areas were wet from melting frost. My hiking boots are no longer waterproof, I found out. Oh well.

Tasha looks toward home over the vineyards on Sunday morning.

The wind kicked up over night and we're expecting rain to start mid-day. And we've run out of heating oil. I knew we were getting low, and this unexpected chilly weather has been making the boiler run more than normal for this time of year. I gambled and lost. Now we'll probably need to wait a few days for a delivery.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Frosty Sunday morning

Frost formed in all the usual places on Sunday morning. As the sun rose, the frost started to melt and Tasha's feet got wet when she ventured into the grassy places. Then, as she walked along in the road, her wet fur picked up sand and dirt. I rinsed her off when we got home, but I can never get it all off, so we get little piles of sand on the floor where she sits.

Frost outside our back gate as the sun rises on Sunday morning.

The sunrise was pretty, though. The sky was clear and there was some ground fog, especially down in the river valley. This morning seems to be a repeat with our temperature around 5ºC. The wind is still and the birds are singing.

Today our latest confinement ends. We're now allowed to travel beyond ten kilometers from home, although there's still a curfew in place. Restaurants and bars are looking forward to a mid-month opening.

Sunday, May 02, 2021


I took this photo before the cool-down and rain of the past few days. The flowers are now way past their prime. This is what they looked like a week or so ago. It's been so chilly that I've built brief fires in the wood stove the last two days. Brrr. I hope things warm up soon.

Our every-other-year lilac is having its "on" year this year.

We're making progress on emptying the old chest freezer. We're down to a single layer of UFOs in the bottom. I dare say we're within a week of emptying the darned thing and unplugging it. Then it can defrost, and we'll clean it up before moving it into the garage. We plan to use it as a storage bin until we can put it out for collection. Our refuse company normally picks up bulky items, but they suspended that service during the pandemic. We have a bunch of stuff waiting in the garage.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Seedlings, again

Last weekend I posted a photo of the tomato seedlings in the green house. Here they are again this weekend, about twice the size. They look happy and healthy. And the zucchini that I thought had been eaten by something? Well, it's there. Turns out it was trying to grow upside down. I freed the leaves from the soil and righted the plant. It survived. It even looks pretty good. I'm waiting for the third one to sprout, but I'll only plant two out in the garden. You CAN have too much zucchini.

I love it when the things I plant actually grow.

The chard seeds that I planted last week are starting to sprout, too. Yesterday, Ken planted some turnip greens seeds that we found in our seed basket. They're kind of old, so we'll see if any come up. Turnip greens are tasty and, since we both like greens, they will be a welcome addition to this year's garden. And that reminds me that I have to plant some basil seeds now.