Better Now

Before I head out on my working vacation I wanted to get a few things done around here. The Little Cove was over grown with weeds thanks to all the rain, but it was too muddy to work in until now.

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I had friends visit Monday who I invited to join me there under the shade, the whole time I wanted to apologize for how things looked. It definitely didn’t look like my little oasis any more.

When I travel its nice to get away but even better to come home, but I like things to look good when I come home. Friday I spent 9 hours working in the Little Cove for just that reason. I kept telling myself I would quit after this one section, then after this section. I finally quit when I was in too much pain to continue. From my shoulders to my toes hurt. So here’s a peek into the day and how I hope things will still look when I return in a weeks time.

These weeds, I have no idea what they are are, I put off pulling for way too long.

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There is a very good reason why I kept putting off clearing these. They hurt! I have never encountered weeds with such thorns before I moved here. The thorns are not only on the stems but on both sides of the leaves. Getting them stuck in your skin is torture, there is no way to get them out.

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Here’s that area now cleared of what the kids call our pricker plants

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Another view, when I return I have plans for this section. first up will be to dig the whole area to remove the root systems of both those pricker plants and the roots from the Sumac trees. Anyone know how to contain Sumac roots?

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The little ones came over, happily busy on their own projects. This spot they have claimed as their own and named it the kids clubhouse.

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Snacks are eaten in their chairs.

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Meal time they at least act civilized by eating at the table.
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I’m pretty happy with the Little Cove, you can finally see the plantings.
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I was always more of a tomboy, I grew up playing with bugs, worms and snakes but there is one thing I hate – the feel of a squished slug on my fingers or my feet, I’ll be nice and spare you from that sight.

I don’t weed too far behind the bench you see here. The first two summers we had a ground hog who lived there. It never bothered us and we did the same. This year there is a skunk, no not the pet one in the building, who has taken up residence. Not wanting to be sprayed I decided to leave a little more of that area alone this year.

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Strawberries are abundant right now. We have been picking them every day so far. I have left three neighbors in charge of picking berries while I am gone so none go to waste. I really can’t tell you how many we get each day because this is what I spot every few minutes.
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Of course I also spot this, the wild strawberries seem to be just as big of an attraction to her, as her brother does what he likes best, collecting rocks.
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After dinner this was what was left of their all day snacking, leftover for me.
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Since I was weeding it made sense to start a few more beds to fill when I returned. I decided to give the little ones their own fairy gardens, they did all the work themselves after I weeded the area, from laying down newspaper as the weed block to the arrangement of the rocks-which we find everywhere on the property. We headed to the thrift store to pick up the needed amenities for the fairies. The end results the kids are thrilled with.
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We will add a few small flowering plants when I return next week, but they are content to wait.
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While at the thrift store I spotted this tea pot. My daughter-in-law keeps telling me she’s been looking for a pretty one. This will make a great housewarming gift for her, and for $2 I couldn’t go wrong.
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Just in case things don’t stay like this till I get back I’ve been spending all my free time out here. When I’m not having to clean up a child that is.
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16 thoughts on “Better Now

    • Jean, that has to be one of my favorite pictures of her because it’s so typical. She can find dirt anywhere and can spend all afternoon playing in one spot with nothing but the dirt and her imagination. She also finds humor in seeing just how dirty my rags are, and how often I have to rinse them out, washing her before letting her indoors. She’s a stitch.

  1. I sure hope you are using gloves to pull out those weeds. I know the kind you are speaking of, just didn’t know the name. Loved the pictures of the kids doing what kids should do. Playing in the dirt is probably the healtiest thing in the world for them. I see your face in your granddaughter too. That looks like pure joy there.

    • Marlene, I let them go way too long to even consider pulling them this week. Since I will be digging up the area when I return I simply cut them off at the base to get them out of there. I’ve used gloved on them before, but the thorns go right through the gloves, its a painful process I’ll be glad when I’ve gotten rid of all of them.

      My granddaughter is actually the spitting image of her mom, we call her mommy’s mini-me. The children are very much outdoor kids, no couch potatoes here, indoors holds no interest for them which I’m thrilled about. Yes, she was in all her glory at that moment, she lives dirt!

  2. Have a good vacation. A word about digging out the roots of those weeds. Make sure they don’t have any runners under the ground. Thistle, for example, will form a new plant from every cut in the root, thus trying to dig them out creates more than you started with.

    • Thanks for the tip, Live and Learn, I had wondered if that might be the case with the sumacs. In areas that I pulled up some of the roots last year it seems that I have several new shoots at the spot where I left the ends of the roots intact.

      As for the prickly weeds they have a root system similar to a dandelion. I got a lot of the roots last year and found just this one spot where a neighbor decided to help by simply cutting them last summer which came back. So I hope with digging the rest out I can completely get rid of them.

    • Dan, there is something about being out in nature, I work harder outside than I ever do indoors as its so much more relaxing and grounds me. Unfortunately I have hands that took a beating this time.

      Thanks, I’m looking forward to spending an entire week with my son and his family, I still can’t get used to having them so far away even after 5 years.

  3. After putting in the work as you did to the activity in your Little Cove it must be a wonderful experience to know what you have achieved. The wild fruits have yet to appear in Colchester, the cherries can only be days away from being ready for me to harvest. I am looking forward to my foraging expeditions.

    • Alex, the only fruit ready yet here are the strawberries. We do t have any wild cherries near me and I didn’t get the ground cherries planted this year so its,one of those things that will be on next years list. Enjoy your foraging.

    • Jen, our spring weather was so late in arriving that these two who are always outside when possible were getting really frustrated being cooped up. Meal time the first question they ask is if they can stay outside to eat. Indoors in their view is to use the bathroom, refill water, or sleep. Nothing else. My children were the same way.

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