Bees

Bees pollinate everything, and without them, our flowers and food would not exist. Now more than ever, everyone’s attention needs to be drawn to how they can save the bees. Recognizing that we cannot live without them is one of the most important things we can do. Knowing this, we can help them by letting dandelions grow—don’t spray your lawns, and plant flower gardens full of the kinds of flowers they need for their survival. Dedicated to the hardest workers of spring, summer, and fall—the bees!

Happy Summer Solstice (21 hours and 4 minutes of daylight today) to All living in the Northern Hemisphere!

Plant a bee garden

      

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Out of the office

I don’t know about you, and I’ll preface this by saying, it’s probably just me. But don’t you just hate it when a blogger “suddenly” stops posting or someone you’re following goes quiet? No explanation, no note, no update, nothing. Sometimes, though it’s rare, they do stop back after a short period of time and actually give an explanation. Most of the time, though, bloggers come back (or they don’t) as if nothing went on and everything moves on again until the next time–and inevitably, because life is life, there is always a next time. It is concerning when a blogger stops blogging and doesn’t come back for months. I followed this wonderful UK blogger who blogged about the royal family. I looked forward to her posts every week. Suddenly, she stopped blogging for two months and then came back, stating a mental health issue. Admittedly, blogging about the royal family must have been nearly impossible these past few years. After disappearing twice, she finally stopped blogging altogether, with her blog disappearing along with her IG account. I half suspect her overall reason for blogging was to vent. I often wonder about her and pray everything works out for her.

Another blog I followed was just as curious. It started out as one thing and ended up as something totally different, which, by all rights, is perfectly fine. It was a home and garden blog, and the author posted regularly until, suddenly, all posts stopped. She came back after a while, redesigned her blog, and continued to post about her home and garden. She had a nice little blog. The only thing lacking, that I think frustrated her quite a bit, was she refused to do as others like her were doing, and that is post videos or step-by-step up-close and personal tutorials. She disappeared again, and this time for much longer. Out of the blue, I received her news letter. She had also been suffering from mental health issues. Promising no further interruptions, she began again. Another redesigned blog and promises of new and better content. Slowly but surely, her posts started becoming farther and farther apart, and alas, she disappeared altogether without a word. I truly feel her sole reason for blogging was loneliness and the idea that she could make money, get free stuff, and claim success, like some of her blogging friends. She wasn’t one to interact with her followers and, in fact, never once answered any of my questions. I pray she has found something more worthy of her time.

Which, I will now take the time to remind my readers, as long as I’m on the subject, is the sole reason I’ve never aspired to do more on my blog than ramble. And I ramble. I am always humbled by any like or comment and I thank you for taking the time out of your day or night to leave one.

So, let me spare 5 minutes. I have scheduled posts for all of June while I am traveling. If you leave a comment or email me, I will answer that comment or email upon my return. Look for that response the first week of July. Thank you for reading my blog, stopping by and leaving a comment, or emailing me. My blog is important to me and you are too. Hence, why I’m letting you know vs. leaving you hanging, high and dry.

June on the Farm

Bike rides on gravel roads; cool water, the trusty sprinkler, picnics and grandma’s salads, Old Dutch chips, fireflies, bible camp, babysitting, teen beat, lollies, and boys. These are just some of my memories of summers on the farm. Oh how I remember wanting to go camping, but that was out of the question. My parents were so not the camping type. So, we improvised. I would throw blankets over the clotheslines and crawl in and lie there and watch the reflections of bugs and bees fly over my “tent.” I loved the thought of sleeping outside with all the kittens, our dog, frogs, and all the birds. Why, I’d be right there with the fireflies and whippoorwill.

I waited all year for summer to come. Oh how I dreaded school. As the month of May wound down, so would my angst at school be replaced with daydreams. Boys, bike riding, chasing fireflies, walking the valley, hanging with the neighbor kids, picnics, easy times, and best of all, gardens of flowers in bloom all over our farm. Don’t let me forget to mention the strawberry bed and the first tomato, or walking barefoot everywhere and trips to town. My first stop at Rexall Drug and the magazine racks for me. I would save all my babysitting money and pray there was a new Tiger Beat out that week.

Summertime meant more time to read, earn money, and reinvent myself for the next school year. The first picnic would be for Dad’s birthday in June. As I type this post, it is his birthday. Ah, I wonder if anyone celebrates birthdays in heaven. He’s been gone for almost twenty-five years now. Grandma, his mother, always wanted to have a picnic for him. Eventually, we bought a picnic table and, thereafter, a picnic we had. Grandma and her strawberry jello with fresh strawberries and cool whip, Mom and her Old Dutch chips, and at the last minute, grabbing a couple of cans of 7-up so that Dad would have a cold drink after chores. Summertime meant sitting in the crook of an old tree and daydreaming away the afternoon, or walking through the woods to bird song and finding a cool spot to lie down in the grass.

Whippoorwills at night in the tree by our bedroom. Peepers and big fat toads croaking in the pond across the street. On our farm, every single day was the best time of the whole year. Whether it was the smell of freshly mowed hay or green chop, the anticipation of the first peony, strawberry, or green bean, or summer storms that had us sitting on our screened-in front porch, laughing at the loud claps of thunder and smelling summer rains. Oh, how I miss this part of my life growing up in the 70s on my family’s farm.

Nothing compares to the innocent times of childhood where a simple storm, a favorite magazine, an afternoon stroll, hot dogs for lunch, the treat of a cone from A & W on a Sunday afternoon, or watching Dad come flying down the hill on his old John Deere, standing up, letting the cool breeze blow through his bib overalls, happy to be hauling the last load of hay home for the day. Simple times, beautiful memories, cherished days. Summers on the farm.✨ 

revised and reposted 6/16/22

🐝kind be well, until next time

June is for picking strawberries

We picked 8 pounds of strawberries the other day and paid approximately $3.25/lb. I froze half of them and the other half I am going to make jam with. I plan on using this recipe from Martha Stewart for the jam.

Ingredients

  • 1 quart hulled strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

In a food processor, process strawberries until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large skillet and stir in sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high, stirring frequently, until jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover surface, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature. (To store, seal jar and refrigerate, up to 10 days).

Summer Garden 2022

This year’s garden seems to be taking off. We are, thus far, having luck with our potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans. We are hoping for at least a handful of our green beans, a few slicers for salads, a meal of new potatoes, and peppers with our pizza all winter long. At the current moment, we have beans and tomatoes flowering, new growth on my bare root roses, flower buds on the mandevilla (tropical flowering plants), cucumbers climbing, my petunias and geraniums thriving, bee balm getting ready to flower, and thyme and oregano overflowing their pots. We feel blessed, but at the same time, there is a lot of effort, time, money, and care behind it all. Gardening is my therapy, so in the end, bounty or not, it’s a great experience every year, and every year I can hardly wait to do it all over again.
I hope wherever you are or whatever season you are in, you are feeling alive, happy, hopeful, and well. Until next time, K.

My 2022 Container Garden

My container garden contains the following herbs–bee balm, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. It contains the following flowers–lavender, petunias, impatiens, dahlia’s, x3 David Austin roses, a mandevilla, and geraniums. It contains an Arborvitae, tomatoes, a pepper plant, cucumbers,green beans, and x5 potato plants. Grown from seed–potatoes, tomatoes, pepper plant, cucumbers, and green beans. Total cost -$250.00, total time per week from Mid-March until October 31 approx. 96 to 100 hours.

Gardening is therapy for me. Whenever I share pictures or information about my garden, I’m always told “you’re so lucky, you must have a green thumb.” I’m not. I don’t. I put a lot of energy, time, love, and money into gardening. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, I continue. Because gardening is my therapy.

I’ll be posting several close up updates throughout the season.

Until next time, 🐝 safe and 🐝 well.

Memorial Day Weekend

When I was a kid, Memorial Day signaled the end of the school year and summer awaited. It also meant our report cards would be coming out and the grade you were going into next would be posted on the top of the report. I grew up on a farm, so plans included pulling milk weeds from the corn in June, running through the sprinkler, lawn mowing, and weeding our many gardens. I also had my own babysitting business by age 12 and babysat for eight different families. Of course, there was biking, eating fresh strawberries and going to the county fair. Even with all of this fun summer activity, I didn’t forget the bigger meaning of Memorial Day. We would attend a parade that honored men and women in the service, with special attention being paid to those that lost their lives serving our country. I felt sad then, and I still feel sad now. Thank you to the many men and women who have served and lost their lives. And to the many men and women who continue to serve our country, both far and near.

This weekend we are putting the finishing touches on our container garden. I have planted two of my three David Austin roses, spinach, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lavender, petunias, geraniums, mandevilla, dahlias, peonies, impatiens, and bee balm. We are planning on seeing the new Downton Abbey movie in the theater and finishing our to-do list once and for all.

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend for those that celebrate it, and I’ll see you back here on Monday with a tour of my container garden.

blue bells