A military spouse's take on blooming where you are planted. I continue to pretend I am living on my dream farm while in reality, I live on a military base, gardening in a plot alongside a Navy flightline, with half of my homesteading supplies perpetually packed in boxes and have a habit of being overly involved in every community we live in. I'm a busy mom to 2 boys and a spouse to a Navy sailor soon nearing retirement. I love this chaotic life wouldn't trade it for anything!
It's been crazy here with getting to the kids' school orientations at 2 different schools, meeting teachers and figuring out 2 different bus schedules, whew, I need a break! I don't have much on the garden front to muse about, I've been dealing with a lot of things elsewhere lately, but am getting some pumpkin puree baked and frozen today if it kills me!
A few photos, of course...
Loch's new classroom at the Math & Science Academy, I think he was embarrassed that I was taking pictures :)
Finn's new 1st grade classroom...
We've only had 1 decent meal prepared in the past 3 days, and the lucky meal was...EASY!
Quiche with fried potatoes out of the garden
In between stressors today I'm trying to get the pumpkins baked, mashed and frozen.
Bear with me the next few days since my mind is going a million different directions, can't write about it now but we are all A-ok, just a little crazy at the suburban homestead :)
Last night something amazing happened here... the a/c was turned off, temps were in the 60's - that hasn't happened since early May! Last night I couldn't even concentrate on my book because I kept getting surprised by a wonderful cool breeze blowing through the house. Today was more of the same. I put off working in the garden today in favor or more "seasonable" activities like canning and going to the library. Today was cool, in the 70's and breezy, and just felt like fall to me. (I wasn't so happy the past 2 days, when we were cleaning up Irene's mess in the 90's!) Fall always means putting up the last of the summer garden and activities like reading a book outside or a visit to the library. After that library visit with the kids, I tackled the red stuff!
Left: Poblanos, Right: Bell Peppers
Since I already have oodles of Poblanos hung to dry into Ancho Peppers...
I thought I'd try roasting and canning them to use as Stuffed Poblanos/Chiles Rellenos this winter.
Roasted, peeled, seeded and left whole for stuffing - pressure canned at 10 lbs of pressure for 35 minutes.
The very, very last of the large tomatoes and beans. These were harvested the day before Irene stormed through, and sadly the plants were damaged to the point of being ripped out. All that's left out there are 2 little Juliet hybrid plants that I will use for drying.
One thing is definitely done for the year, no more tomato canning! The kids go back to school next week, so I will have more uninterrupted time to continue the fall chores outside, but for today it felt nice to just do whatever felt like fall to me :)
Several more to go! The center garden got all the attention today. The side areas will have to be worked over the next week or so, but most everything there is ready to be pulled anyways. The center beds looked like they would keep producing peppers for a bit if staked, so I did that as well as pulled out all the broken storm damage and other flattened stuff.
It was like foraging for food out there - here's today's forage picked up off the ground :)
Below is what the center garden looked like right before Irene...
Here's what the "center garden" looks like now. All that's left are bell peppers, Poblanos, one tomato plant and some Zinnias.
Bug Fun... don't freak out! FYI, below these bugs are pretty much neither a pest nor a beneficial. These are Milkweed Bugs, a true bug, and their sole source of food is pretty much the Butterfly Weed plant. If you grow Butterfly Weed you may have seen them before. They certainly look menacing LOL, but won't bother any of your plants in the garden. They feed on those seedpods of the Butterfly Weed plant, which helps control the spread a bit, they do spread like wildfire every year, but are really pretty and of course you need them for the Monarchs. You can kill them if you want, but there are so many seedpods produced and gazillions of seeds anyway, I say let them be, there are certainly more offensive insects out there to go after, like the ones that actually eat MY food :)
This is just one plant.... there are many more that look the same! The bugs won't show up until it's about done flowering, so late summer is when you see them.
Here's Butterfly Weed in early summer...
We're exhausted and sweaty from working in the humidity cleaning up for what seemed like all day...imagine my surprise when I walked in for a bite to eat and saw that it was only 12:31 pm! Ugh...
Another gem from today... snuck up on Loch to see what he was doing so intently in the yard....
I wonder how long he'll keep trying!
Still listening to generators around us, really makes me feel lucky this time around. I felt kind of guilty last night when I let the dogs outside and noticed the street behind us was still pitch black, I had to turn off the tv so the neighbors wouldn't see the glow, I don't want to rub it in since I know all too well what extended power outages are like!
Even though we did get 10 inches of rain, Irene was a breeze for us here! (hahaha) Seriously, we only lost power for a little while, which I'm still in shock over. Even a "light" nor'easter here leaves us without for at least 4 days. 20 years of hurricanes and nor'easters here and I've never had power throughout like this time - we only lost it for about 3 hours. I do attribute it to the fact that a line snapped though that put us on a priority list since it was a live wire down. We were out over 10 days with Isabel. We don't even have any standing water. This is because we live so close to the oceanfront, we are actually on a bit higher ground than the rest of the Tidewater area. The worst parts here are around any bays, inlets and tributaries in Norfolk, because they have to deal with storm surge that has nowhere to go, whereas at the oceanfront - when the storm moves on, so does the water.
Unfortunately, the area did have several tragic deaths, some children, and several roofs blew off nearby in Sandbridge. The floodwaters are still high and impassable in Norfolk, 20 minutes away.
Here the damage is confined to tree branches only, a downed fence and flattened garden - I'll take it!
All in all, a normal hurricane wind-wise for us with above normal tidal surge. I sure hope the Northeast fares well and look forward to hearing everyone's updates. Although down here we consider this one to be "normal" and not the Armageddon they were predicting, I hope it doesn't disrupt and damage things further up the coast. Not because we are more used to it or anything, but here our structures are built to a hurricane code, unlike other areas further up. We actually have to be up off the ground on crawlspaces or stilt supports and have special roof trusses. Kind of like us not being built to withstand earthquakes LOL, like last week... what was that all about?!
Here's a photo from just down the road, there are several houses that had similar damage, so we are very lucky to only be dealing with a broken up and downed fence and peppers all over the place.
Not too bad! Now it's outside to clean up the mess and play with power tools!