Tag Archives: summer

A Truly Blustery Day Four In Michigan

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Thursday dawned warmer, slightly, and full of sunshine. We didn’t waste a minute more than needed for breakfast before taking our bikes out for another ride. It was so invigorating the day before, Kelly and I weren’t going to pass it by again. My poor mom. We dragged her out everywhere. This time we stopped at another coffee shop on our way to the Walmart. We needed a couple necessity’s. Ice cream for Hot Tin Roofs, for one. And very few other things, being we were on bikes with tragically little carry space.

By the time we got back to the house, hubby had closed the windows I pre-emptively opened. The sunshine fooled me into thinking the day would be warm, but really it was so chilly even my husband ran from the too-cool breeze. I wasn’t wasting this light, though. Kelly threw on some clothes, we packed Cooper into Mom’s van (along with the cat) and we made for the beach for some more pictures. We found ourselves at the Oscoda public beach. Stunning. Beautiful. Clean. Void of people.

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The wind blew around us like nothing I’ve experienced in the summer. If not for the sun, we would’ve given up for warmer places.

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White caps, the wind-blown look, secretly shivering beneath that thin little blouse and the water lapping at her bare feet. Brrrrrr.

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But the lighting was pretty great.

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Not sure which day we’ll pick, but I like taking pictures of my little girl.

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Naturally we had to include Cooper-duper into our outing. The pier was safe and secure. But the wind blew even harder out here. Thank goodness I didn’t give that pooch a trim before we left Arkansas. He would be shivering, in need of a sweater!

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Last one… take in the color of the water, the way the light winks off the waves or ripples. Imagine gusts of wind chilling you at least another fifteen degrees.

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One last look… just admiring my handiwork.

All that wind and sunshine gave us an appetite. Mom found a little German restaurant down the road. It housed a bakery and only served food until 2pm. Walking into the place, it was old fashioned and in need of an update. Old tables, collector plates lining a ledge on three sides of the room, blankets hanging on the walls. Nothing too fancy. We were hungry and not discriminatory. When the food arrived I was flabbergasted.

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A reuben sandwich on toasted rye, REAL batter dipped onion rings and fresh coleslaw. It was soooo delicious. The perfect end to a perfect day.

Later that night we chowed down on a huge bowl of Hot Tin Roofs…. scrumdilly-icious.

Thanks for spending a moment with me in my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

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Late Season Bounty

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This year has seen the most inordinate growing seasons of all time. Our summer was a long three months of intense, scorching heat, little rain and record highs. The results of which yielded nothing from my tomato garden but a few measly pieces of fruit and a lot of wilting green leaves. Blooms on the plants died off in the heat, ergo no tomatoes. It is what I call ‘fried flowers’. Not until the rains came in August did the plants show any signs of flourishing.

I must also mention we are plagued with a small herd of deer from the neighboring woods. They have found our garden a cornucopia of snacks. This year, discouraged from the decimation we endured last year, I planted only tomatoes. When the plants were still very small, before the deer could nibble them to death, our son made large wire cages to place around the plants. It is due to those cages we are now blessed with tomatoes. Yay kiddo!! The idea was my husband’s. It has been said he is a man before his time. He is truly quietly brilliant.

Well those plants just needed a little water to get them going. In October those plants are still growing out the top of the cages.

I have never had plants grow to this height. They have a shovelful of horse manure at the bottom of the hole. I tell you, manure makes the difference.

There are a bunch of tomatoes on those vines. Granted, I don’t cut off the sucker rods at all on these plants, but they aren’t stunted in the least.

But now we are well into the fall season. Leaves are red and brown and the trees are almost bare. As you see, the pasture grass is its own shade of done. Bermuda goes dormant under 80 degrees.

This doesn’t deter those tomatoes in the least, though. A couple frosty mornings scorched the upper-most vines, but still these sturdy plants endure!

There are a few brown leaves here, but that doesn’t diminish the size or the number of the fruit.

There is some frost damage but….

Check out these tomatoes! They are ripening on the vine. To me this is a huge accomplishment in gardening. This fall the weather is still mild… mildly warm. Temps in the 70s and 80s at the peak of the day. This allows the garden to finish its growing season. Remarkable.

If you look carefully, those broken ends on the stems are where the deer took liberties. They can only reach the pieces hanging out, thankfully, leaving the bulk of the plant to flourish inside the wire.

With giddy smugness, we enjoy fresh tomatoes despite the summer and the animals. The summer I thought would be a total loss is turning out to be stupendous.

Let me know how your growing season is this year. I love the out-doors and gardening is pure joy for me.

Thanks for visiting my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

A break in the Weather

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This summer has been the hottest summer on record in the state of Arkansas. I can tell you uncatagorically that I felt every day of it. It was darned hot. And this from a woman who freezes instantly in the air conditioning of every restaurant and mall she sets foot into. We spent our days inside and ventured out only in the early morning and almost never in the evening, for the summer never relented.

In the midst of all this heat, we experienced perhaps only one really good gully washer of a storm sometime in July. It was enough to stave off the imminent drought looming over us, but the brief bout of relief wasn’t near enough to carry us through the next three or four weeks. Until…

The most wonderful stormed loomed on us last week and brought with it more that just one tempest in its wake. We watched the clouds gather and foreshadow us. Our greatest fear they only teased us with much-needed shade and very little water was shattered as the first drops of water soaked the parched ground and gathered into rivulets of welcome refreshing relief.

The formation of the thunderheads is absolutely fascinating. Please excuse all the senseless cloud shots. Couldn’t help myself last Monday as we waited with bated breath for the invigorating downpour that followed all these pictures.

Don’t you just love the separation of light in the sky? Ordinarily this is a bad omen, heralding a tornado, but the conditions for such were nonexistent this day.

Just the roll of the clouds drew me in. Heck, my whole family ran around coaxing me to take pictures of the process.

Then it cloaked us in its last throes of darkness before gracing us with the most glorious respite of the entire summer. The horses welcomed the shower, water drenching them in blissful relief as the goats sought shelter in their igloo – all three of them crammed into the space to escape the down pour.

Incredible blessing it was. That is all I can say, making our farm our own little piece of heaven on earth.

Love,
Jeannene