Monday, August 10, 2015

And So It Begins.....

Monday Morning Musings...

It's a glorious day here in the mountains of Upstate NY, a day filled with all the beauty nature has to offer - blue skies with puffy white clouds, green all around, the odd leaf changing color already. The kind of day you'd like to share with your friends and family...if they were all here right next to you, sharing a pot of coffee. Since they're not, I have, after much consideration,  decided to start blogging about the things that make me feel blessed....the things that touch my soul, or just make me feel. Feel anything....sad, happy, mad, elated, fortunate....scared. I'm not sure that anyone will actually ever read my blog with the exception of my two beautiful daughters, but perhaps they here goes. 

This is a sampling of what I am so very fortunate to see from the deck of my home. The home I moved into this spring, the first home I have owned completely on my own, with only my name on the deed. It was a scary move to buy a home on my own at this stage in my life, but now that the boxes are unpacked and the dust has settled I just feel incredibly blessed. 

When I stepped onto my deck this morning I had to run back in and grab the camera - the sun was just peeking over the edge of the mountain - what a glorious way to start the day. 

The Morning Glory seeds I planted in the spring have finally started to bloom. They climb up the lattice on the deck, entangling the Gloriosa Lilies with the Nasturtiums and it all becomes a jumble of bright, beautiful blooms. 

The Gloriosa Lilies were successful this year - last year at my rental house the tubers I purchased were a complete flop. Now they make me smile as I see their bright colors right outside the window over my kitchen sink. 

The Coneflowers mingle with the Bee Balm and Queen Anne's Lace - the hummingbirds have been visiting them regularly, attracted by the bright colors. I have yet to see the birds enjoying the new birdbath, but the Japanese Beetles seem to love swimming in it. The beetles are not welcome in my garden and there has been a Beetle Battle for the past few weeks as I try in vain to eradicate them from my vegetable garden. The beetles are especially fond of the Morning Glory leaves and the climbing bean leaves. The leaves are unfortunately looking more like lace than leaves these days. 

The Clematis happily scrambles up the arbor I installed over the veggie garden gate. For a new vine just planted in the spring it's putting on quite a show! I look forward to seeing how it covers the arbor in years to come, to mingle with the climbing roses that were also planted in the spring. 

I planted an assortment of tomatoes in the veggie garden but with the exception of a select few teaser tomatoes they have yet to ripen - the many cool, rainy days we had on the mountaintop earlier this summer mean our tomato harvest is still a ways off. 

The banana peppers are happy and coming along nicely. You can see my one lonely tiny baby eggplant in the distance on the right.....I'm not sure if there will be any more so I had better enjoy that one!

The butternut squash vine has scrambled all over the veggie garden, over the garden fence, and into the lilac tree....I'll be overrun with butternut squash in the fall - which means lots of soup to fill the freezer!

The cucumbers have more than made up for the eggplant's shortcomings by happily rambling all over the garden and producing a mountain of cucumbers! It's incredibly fortunate that I discovered last summer that cucumber infused tequila makes an EXCELLENT margarita!! Batch # 1 of cucumber infused tequila is in the fridge 'cooking' right now! 

Despite the Japanese Beetles putting forth a valiant effort to destroy the bean plants, the bean crop has been terrific so far this year. Once dry, ends trimmed, they go into a freezer bag in small portions to enjoy in the long winter months ahead.

Other winter preparations ensued this weekend with 2 cords of wood neatly stacked and ready for the wood burning stove, which I use as my primary heat source. There's nothing quite like a crackling wood fire on a cold night....perhaps along with a lovely glass of vintage port!

But for now, the lilies are blooming and winter is far in the distance. There is a large female deer who visited the property frequently at the start of the summer and had a feast on the lily buds further away from the house. Fortunately she left the ones closest to the house alone so there were plenty of beautiful blooms to enjoy.  The lilies put on quite a show!

The ornamental grasses are gorgeous, this is the first time I've used them in my landscape but it surely won't be the last!

The Achillea (Yarrow) is coming into bloom everywhere I look, which is a wonderful spot of sunshine in the August garden.  

And summer nights in the mountains are cool enough to end my day like this. 

I am so blessed. 


  1. Congratulations on your first post! I saw your link over at CLH, and just had to stop by and find out about the bear. I see you're in the Catskills. I lived in southern NY all my life, and last year moved to the Berkshire area where bears are a common occurrence. One even found his way into the screened porch.

    It's wonderful you bought a home on your own, and it sounds like you're truly happy there, and wow, what a pioneer woman you are! Gardening and homesteading and all that! Good for you!

    All the best with your new venture!

    1. Thank you so very much, Doreen! I absolutely love my new home....but I'm hardly a pioneer! I'm just a country girl at heart.

      I would completely freak out if a bear managed to get inside my house - it happened to 2 friends of mine up here and it scares me terribly!!

      Thank you so much for your visit and your kind words!


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