Monday, June 22, 2020

Small Projects Among Other Things

This summer, I hope to get the back deck and the side deck painted. Before that happens, some rotten boards need replacing. Prior to that, I need to chop down the lilac bush. It has grown so tall that, in its search for light, it is leaning well over the deck. Time to say goodbye.


It is such a forest back here that one can't even see the lilac bush.



Things are so shady again in the back yard that nothing grows in the raised bed that John built for me. My sister-in-law Mary offered me that hosta you see in the box. She has had it since 1999 or before. It's never been a favorite for her and she has tried to dig it out herself over the years and it kept returning. I knew that I couldn't dig it out so my son and grandsons did it for me. Yay! Plus they planted it. Double yay!

 
The hosta seems to be doing well. I have marigolds and chives there and hopefully they'll all do fine.


That's Jake just visible through the lilac bush. Only three blossoms on that this year. Must have over trimmed it last year. 



Sam Pondering... I am pondering painting that deck.


Now I am certainly glad that I never saw this bit until I was reviewing the video frame by frame. Yikes!



The things boys do!

If you have had quite enough of this foolishness, feel free to scoot off. I am about to share a bunch of strawberry pictures and then a bunch of peony pictures, then a "it's no wonder you're fat" picture and finally I'll close with a windowsill pic because you wouldn't know where you are without that.



Fresh strawberries in June! 



I have ditched my old huller for a cheap straw. Works ever so much better! 



Strawberries look even better in a red colander.




My favorite way to enjoy strawberries is with sugar and cream. 


These are gifts from a friend...cranberry orange muffins from a mix: Krusteaz  They were just the best things!






I have a small peony bush and how I love that week of blooming peonies. It is winding down these days.


Thank you for stopping by. I am using all my powers of restraint to keep my mouth shut. ;>


36 comments:

  1. Mornin' Vee! I hope the hosta does well for you. I smiled at the video of your grandson.....I would stumble just getting to the first step, let alone jumping over all five steps! lol Those strawberries look so delicious. I have tried the Krusteaz blueberry muffins and had wondered about the orange/cranberry. I'll give them a try next time. Your peony pictures are so pretty and you know how I love your window sill photos. Wishing you a very nice week. xo

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  2. What a nice backyard. We have to replace a few boards on our deck as well and paint it. I am hoping for a larger deck this year so I will wait a little longer. I am sure your grandson knew he could make those steps. Such joy these kids bring. I love the peonies- they are my favorite flower!

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  3. Morning Vee!!! Hey, I can't believe how much the grandson have grown!!! I can remember when they were little tiny babes/kids. Oh my goodness, have I know you this long? (don't answer that, because than it is a affirmation of how old I am).

    Thank you for the smiles and I shall try that straw thing.

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  4. I'm so thankful with you for your son and grandsons! I think the hosta will thrive! That's quite a jump! Well done, Sam!

    Nice strawberries! Yum! I need to buy some more before they are gone! I did get some from my three new strawberry plants this year! Yay!

    Your peonies are so beautiful! What a lovely color. They bring so much beauty but the time with them is so fleeting!

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  5. Yes, the things boys do. (We had a fairly lengthy conversation about that yesterday.) That was an impressive jump though! Such grown up grands you have there . . .

    Love your strawberries in the red colander! Yum! Wasn't strawberry shortcake one of John's favorites? Do I remember him ordering that when we had brunch together on our trip to Maine? (And was that really SEVEN years ago?!)

    It's fun to see your creativity in your windowsill shots. It might be a fun blog post to see a series of those through the years.

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    1. Good memory, Cheryl! John always asked the waitress if she knew how to make a good strawberry shortcake. I could tell all those whom he asked that the secret was lots of juice. I was always trying to outdo myself making strawberry shortcakes from fancy tea biscuits to pound cakes to angel food cake. Finally, John let me know that he really just liked my plain old biscuits. They were good enough for him. Seven years ago? So much has happened through the years.

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  6. Those boys did some fine work for you. Yikes that is a skill I don't think I could ever muster. I wouldn't even attempt to jump up to the first step these days. Love the look of your raised planter. I always enjoy your window sill shots. I have a vase with one pink peony and a few shedding white ones right now. Restraint is something that too many are ignoring right now. Happy summer to you!

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  7. Your peonies are lovely and their bloom season is so short. We must enjoy them to the full while we have them. Strawberries, too. They are in season here and we're feasting on them. How great to have help around the garden. The hosta looks like it's happy in your planter box, along with the marigolds and chives. I'm so happy summer has arrived.

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  8. What fun seeing your grandson jumping the steps, it wasn't so long ago I would have joined in. The strawberries looked delicious. Yummmy!

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  9. WOW, Sam is tall! That jump from the base of the steps to the top was incredible. I doubt that I could have ever done that and certainly not now. - Thank you for showing us an easier way to hull strawberries. Great idea! - Such beautiful, delicate peonies.

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  10. Yes. Young men. The chances they take. However, I am very impressed!!

    Raised garden planters: Beloved has made several of them for me in the back yard of two of our houses and I just loved them. I like what you've done with yours.

    It's just waaaay too hot here to play in a garden. I've got 6 large pots on the back patio that I tend and the rest of the landscaping is made up of trees and bushes planted by our builder. This is one of the sacrifices I make with living in Florida. Your yard looks so homey. Love your pictures.

    As for keeping your mouth shut, I'm with you. It's just safer that way.

    Blessings on you!

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  11. Oh my goodness I held my breath each time I watched it. I just picked up strawberries to make jam from the Amish and I am definitely going to try the straw method. Your garden looks great, I love hostas and probably have way too many around our farm.
    P.S....I have a new blog come on over and check it out.

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  12. Love all the pictures and boy oh boy what I would give to be able to JUMP like that! LOL! I have one Hosta left out of three that made it and girl, I got so aggravated with it that I called myself pulling it up. WELL, guess what? It came back! I need to get Marty out there to dig it up. Thinking if I move it somewhere else it might do better. It looks so green though since I tried to kill it! LOL! Strawberries look delicious! What ya know...a dang cheap straw! Well, I have learned something new today. Vee, I hope that you are doing well my friend. Pray for you often. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  13. That was a great jump! Love your pretty peonies.

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  14. Hi Vee - Nice to see you posting. I'm happy you could rescue some of Mary's Hosta. It's quite hearty, I know this because most every living plant that comes my way, meets its demise unless it's hearty. Those strawberries and muffins looked good. The grands are getting tall. I guess that happens when you feed them.

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  15. Good jump, Sam! What a pleasant surprise to see a post here from you this morning! So nice to see the boys lending a hand and making things beautiful over there! The hostas will do great there. Pretty peonies, juicy strawberries and yummy treats from friends...summer is off to a good start over there! Take care of yourself, my friend. PS You are allowed to open your mouth. :)

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  16. Jumps such as Sam's amazing one make me feel really ancient! I've been bending over this morning to dead head petunias and water, and now I can hardly stand up let alone jump!

    Garden/deck looking good Vee - hostas like shade to should do well. The peonies are beautiful - unusual color with the creamy center, Jan van Leeuwen perhapss?

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  17. I think I remember a delightful video that you did in your garden last summer in which that lilac pruning might have taken place? Too bad it has to go, but wonderful that your son and grandsons were able to do the job.
    I was just wondering when Sam got so tall and had a good chuckle over that amazing leap.
    I'm going to be giving that straw trick a try. I usually just use the paring knife. Man, those strawberries with cream and sugar look scrumptious. The muffins also look delicious. I do like the Krusteaz brand. Have a box of their lemon bars in the pantry currently.
    Your windowsill shots never disappoint!

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  18. It's wonderful to have helpful family, Vee. I bet Mary's hosta will be thriving in its new home. You go to a lot more trouble than I do preparing strawberries. I use a knife to hull them--your way is a lot prettier with the straw. Sam is a great jumper--oh to be so energetic!

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  19. This was such a fun post Vee...thank you for sharing your grandson and lovely back yard....a great summer livim' post!

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  20. Your grandson's are getting so big! Look at Sam's big jump! It''s nice that they are able to help you with some chores. We enjoyed seeing our grandchildren for a Father's Day brunch at my son's in-laws home yesterday. We all sat outside in the fresh air. I brought a fruit salad -- I have to say that fruit has been extra good this summer, especially the berries. I like your straw trick!

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  21. Oh my don't those strawberries look delicious.
    Wow Sam has gotten so big. I believe him and my grandson are the same age. I haven't seen mine in a couple of years. :(
    So nice to see all the pictures of your back yard.
    We are still waiting for our decking to get in so we can finish our deck. Getting Trex so we won't ever have to paint it!

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    1. I'm so glad that you made that choice. I can't afford to replace the entire deck and, when I suggested doing it piecemeal both my son and brother-in-law nixed my idea. 😕

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  22. You have a lot planned for this summer, but it all sounds good. The raised bed looks fine with the hosta, chives and marigolds! I had some delicious strawberries today, but I'm a little sad that they were imported from Canada and were so much sweeter than the ones I got last week from our local market people...But my daughter Emily and granddaughters grew some very nice strawberries, even if there were not a lot this year. I'm going to have to investigate that Trex. But I think my oldest grandson is going to paint my deck floor this year.

    Is it too late to take a shoot of your lilac and relocate it somewhere where it can grow larger? Or isn't there really a good place for it in your yard? Mine is blocking our security light by the garage. Another job for my grandson!

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    1. I am fortunate that the lilac tree has already sent up shoots that are now small trees, which are set back from the deck several feet. Otherwise, I'd leave this leaning one stay. My daughter gave me this lilac nearly twenty years ago so I am attached to it.

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    2. 1995, but who's counting? Obviously, time is getting away from me.

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  23. Hi Vee - I love you yard and the strawberries. Saw a TV show today about real estate in Maine and now I am thinking I would love to move there. What do you think? I am so done with living near family, so maybe a cross-country move would be just thing. Hope you have a great day!

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  24. Always really enjoy my visit here, love how you share the bits and pieces of your life! That video clip was a bit scary indeed... oh those boys, lol! It is strawberry time here, and my favorite way to enjoy them as well, a bit of sugar and milk - what a lovely cool refreshing way to enjoy them! Always enjoy your windowsill pictures, and the glorious blooms in your gardens! Just a beautiful time of year!

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  25. I’m sure that you’ve enjoyed that lilac bush for many years! Oh, I do love the smell of the blossoms. Thanks for sharing your world with us. We will keep praying for our country, our leaders, and for the world. Love and blessings to you, Vee.

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  26. Good Morning Vee! I'm late to read your post but so glad I did. Your back haven is so pretty and the raised bed with the hosta looks lovely. The hosta will do well there! Over the years the trees here have grown and reached so far that many of my perennials needed to be moved as well to get more sun. Sam is so cute and has grown so much. What a great jump. Strawberries are in season over here too and I haven't indulged too much yet. We have a pick your own field just down the road! I giggled at your comment about not knowing where we are without the windowsill shot. So true - I always enjoy that shot. For me I think I take a lot of rail arbor shots from my window to keep me oriented. Take care my friend and we will all keep praying for this world and it's leaders. I'd so love to hear your thoughts!

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  27. The strawberries look fabulous!

    We are painting our deck this summer too. Have you done it before? Any tips?

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    1. Yes, it's been painted three times in the 28 years I have lived here. This time, it will be air sprayed, which I don't believe is as good as the old-fashioned way. John, my husband, painted it very well the "old-fashioned" way on hands and knees with a paint brush (no rollers) paying particular attention to nail heads and any little problem areas. All the best with your project!

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  28. Our peonies are just coming into bloom this week. Yours are lovely. That's a nice raised box John made for you. I hope your plants do well in it. The strawberries -- yum -- especially desirous after seeing the sprinkled sugar and cream over them. Hope the deck repairs and painting goes well. Projects always seem to uncover other things that need fixing too. Must be Murphy's Law or something (wink).

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend, Vee.
    Brenda xox

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  29. So lovely to see a post from you, Vee!��. I'll miss seeing our peonies this year, but must say the trade-off is worth it. Glad I got to enjoy seeing your peonies, at least! The strawberries look wonderful, as do the muffins!

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  30. How wonderful that you are getting some great help to tackle the deck and back yard! That was quite a leap that Sam did on those steps. Yikes! Thanks for the great straw tip. I'll try it on the next strawberries that I buy.

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  31. Yes, I'm still among the living but just barely...I'll fill you in later...been MIA from blogland for a bit. What a great job those grands of yours did on your deck...sorry about the lilac bush...I'd love to have one but not sure they grow well here. I have been eating my share of strawberries lately and yours look so delish...I need to remember the straw trick!

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