Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It's Too Hot!

Today I will be linking up with Wildflower Wednesday to share the beautiful wildflowers blooming in my neighborhood, southern middle Tennessee, USA, zone 6b/7a.  However, it is too hot to be outside taking pictures. It hasn't rained around here in forever and my garden is looking quite sad.  I decided to drive around in my air-conditioned car and take shots of magnificent flowers from the comfort of my front seat.  It didn't happen. This was the temperature outside (96 degrees) according to my car; I was stopped at a red-light when I took the picture.  To make it worse, the relative humidity was 57% so the heat index chart stated it felt like 110 degrees.  The high humidity makes you feel hotter.  The moisture in the air reduces the effectiveness of sweating by preventing the evaporation of perspiration from your skin. You sweat and stay wet.  It is miserable and dangerous.

 This is the best I could find, scraggly Queen's Anne's Lace among litter.  Not very impressive, I know.

I did find these cattails blooming in a drainage ditch. 

After burning up a fourth of a tank of gas, I realized if it wasn't being watered by someone, it was not worth looking at.  This month is an epic fail for Wildflower Wednesday.

So I turned my short attention span to other interesting things. Isn't she the cutest, most fashionable scarecrow ever?

The cows were smart, they had moved out of the sun and were resting in the shade right beside a creek.

Sheep?  Not as smart as cows.  They could find the shade but didn't seem to realize it was hotter standing scrunched up in a bunch instead of spreading out.

Just when you think it can't get any hotter, I passed a government road crew also under a shade tree. Bless their hearts.  Sitting on top of an asphalt paving machine must be a dangerously hot job.  Yet they were gracious when a crazy lady jumped out of her car and asked to take their picture for her blog.  I thanked them but should have been a bit nicer by complimenting them and saying they were way smarter than sheep.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Who Does She Think She Is? An Irritating Expectant Mother!

This used to be my favorite floral arrangement which I made last Fall at a special event organized by my garden club.  The experienced members helped and advised me so it would be perfect.  I hung it on the front porch by the door and enjoyed looking at it every time I came home.  I took it down briefly to hang winter decorations, then put it up as soon as I got spring fever.  My plan was to remove the Fall colors and replace them with Spring colors.  It did not happen because an IRRITATING EXPECTANT MOTHER RUINED EVERYTHING!

I first realized something was amiss when I noticed the silk flowers were askew.  Moss was scattered on the porch floor and also all over the  bench seat.  It had been stolen out of the pots of petunias.  Who would steal moss?

I decided to investigate.

On the back of the wreath was a brown house wren's bird nest with eggs inside!  I quickly and gently hung it back on the nail.

Then life changed.  I cancelled the plans to remake the arrangement for Spring, pressure wash the siding, wash the windows and recover the cushions on the lounge chair.  Everything came to a grinding halt because of the IRRITATING EXPECTANT MOTHER!  We learned to open the front door slowly because it would startle HER which caused her to fly out of the nest only inches from our head and startle US!  Everything had to be moved to the other side of the porch to avoid HER droppings.  She is lacking in her housekeeping skills. When she began to fly back and forth constantly, we knew it was feeding time for the noisy little ones so we had to keep a close eye on Scooter.  

Then THANKFULLY it was suddenly quiet.  She had flown the coop, leaving her dirty apartment behind.  I was thrilled she was out of the neighborhood and could begin sprucing up my house.  We waited a while then checked the nest again.  Everyone was gone except for one bad egg.  Every family has at least one.  I quickly razed her home and threw it in the burn pile as a discouragement to keep her from returning.  I should not be a snob, welcome all to my neighborhood but she is too irritating.

I went around to the backyard to the shed to get the cleaning supplies and noticed Scooter acting odd.  He was looking at something in the shed.

It's HER!  She is back!  She has built another nest and this one is in my tool shed!  I will not tolerate this again!  I am knocking her nest down, cleaning up this second mess and evicting her permanently!

Oh no, too late.

I suppose we could leave the door open and move the tools to the garage.  It will only be for a little while.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Today's Blooms, July 15, 2017

Today I am linking up with Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for July to share a few of the flowers blooming in my garden in lower middle Tennessee, USA, zone 6b/7a.  It is summer and oh so hot.  My daylilies are almost finished, just a bloom here and there.

This dahlia is my new favorite.  My son Reese got it last year from a lady who was thinning her beds so he accepted some tubers and brought them to me.  He said it was beautiful but I would have to wait to the next year to see what it looked like.  I am not disappointed.  Thank you Reese

Sweet Pea from a volunteer seed
My coneflowers are blooming.  These were given to me years ago and were supposed to be some spectacular new color.  Nope.  The seeds had crossed but I enjoy them anyway.

White Swan Coneflower
Originally my purple coneflowers were planted in the empty spot in front of the fence below.  I had a long row backed up against the fence and they were magnificent; however, they had other plans.  The sun sets behind the fence which is why they are leaning to the right in the picture.  They are slowly leaving my flower bed and are moving out into the field toward the sun.

We have been constantly harvesting our feverfew but I decided to let this one bloom because they are so pretty.  The seeds will be planted.

My creeping thyme is creeping out of control!  

My hibiscus blooms are lovely but the Japanese beetles have devoured the leaves.  When we had chickens they kept them under control.  I could poison the bush but hate to do so.  Eventually we will get chickens again and the problem will be solved.  The only other things they bother are okra leaves. I go out early in the morning when they are sleeping and knock them off of the okra leaves into a jar of soapy water which kills them.  I don't worry about the hibiscus plant; too many other things to do.

Which brings me to the progress I have made weeding my garden.  Not quite finished yet.

But the areas in the cool shade are shaping up nicely.

In keeping with my tradition of adding a picture of Scooter so Mom will be happy.  I called him to pose in front of my flowers.

"NO SCOOTER!" I yelled. "I said IN FRONT of my flowers, NOT IN THE MIDDLE."

"You are smashing everything and we can't see you!"

"Am I in trouble?" Scooter asked?

"No, but Nana won't be happy unless the picture is perfect." I chided.

"Ha, Ha, Ha" laughed Scooter.  "I am not falling for that fib!  Nana likes me better than she likes you and thinks every picture of me is great.  This is all you get unless you give me a hamburger!"

Thursday, July 13, 2017

What Were They Thinking? A Cow in the Restroom

There was a cow in the ladies' room.  No bull!  Not a holy cow, since it was not a church, but a country cow.  

Being udderly buffaloed, I casually prodded one of the male employees as he trotted down the hall. He replied, "We are short on storage so she is stabled in the men's room."

GASP! GULP!  I WAS IN THE MEN'S ROOM AND DID NOT KNOW IT!  I was embarrassed! How could I have made such a horrible miss-steak?  Did anyone see me as I hoofed it out the door? I would be the laughing stock of the barnyard!  

Noticing the horror on my face, the gentleman continued, "Don't cry over spilled milk. We were expecting a large herd of women for the moo-sic festival so we changed the sign on the door to beef up the number of stalls."

I suppose I should have suspected something was haywire by the blue walls and no one was waiting in line. All of the other heifers knew the truth and stampeded to greener pastures.  

Hay, this tail does sound like quite a bit of hogwash. I do not wish to lock horns with anyone over my butchered facts which were straight from the horse's mouth. I would never make up a story then milk it for all it is worth.

Rump Roast

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Bush Hog Came to Visit

We had company come to visit last week.  He arrived in this.  Scooter was not hospitable.  He barked, then ran and hid behind the bed refusing to come out and pose for a picture.  I told him his fan club would be disappointed, he did not care.   My apologies to everyone.

Batwing bush hog
He began to mow carefully since last time he was here he had a flat tire.   

This past spring was rainy and the farmers had difficulty harvesting the hay between rain storms.  We understand and are patient for our turn since it does not matter because we don't have livestock.  We don't mind being last.

Almost finished.

FINISHED...until October.

We presented him with $175.00.

People who say it is cheaper to live in the country, don't really live in the country.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Amish, Harvesting Oats

Recently I passed through the Amish Community in Ethridge, Tennessee, and it was oat harvesting time.  Well, I think it was oats.  It was lunchtime and no one was out working in the fields.  This is the machine they use.  I have no idea how it works or how they use it.  Feel free to post any comments if anyone has any information.  I just enjoyed the scenery.

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