Simple Pleasures

The calendar says it’s mid September but looking at the gardens it’s hard to believe. After a couple of weeks of needing to close the door early evening to keep from freezing and an extra blanket to sleep comfortably yesterday and today have been in the 90s.  The fan even got plugged in again, poor lonely fan that had very little use for weeks now is happy to be out. Yesterday I was so busy the day flew by.  I had food I needed to get prepared and in the freezer, I had furniture that was being picked up today and wanted to get more work done on them.  Today I simply wanted to enjoy the day.  So today’s theme is gratitude and beauty.


The colors in the Little Cove are finally coming out.  I purchased a hibiscus earlier this summer.  At first the leaves were being munched and I worried this would be yet another plant to be lost to the wildlife. Then a couple of days ago I spotted a bud.



Today I found this on the hibiscus


There are a few more buds on it, the little one was mesmerized by the deep color contrasting with the pale pink of the petal.


The marigolds have come back after being eaten earlier this summer  I thought nothing liked to eat marigolds? Someone needs to tell my resident animals.




The bees and butterflies are enjoying the patch of wildflowers I planted in the spring and I’m enjoying the colors.




I found a new caterpillar, well new to me.

Anyone know which type of caterpillar this is?

Anyone know which type of caterpillar this is?


Of course it’s not all about flowers, the gardens are still producing.  We still get a couple of strawberries a day, we refer to them as our snacks.



Plenty of watermelon still growing



I still have squashes growing, these are growing so quickly it amazes me.


And the pie pumpkins are slowly ripening. I took this at the wrong angle, the pumpkin is slowing getting its orange color near the stem.


I put up 4.5 quarts of tomato sauce. and bought a pear squash to try.  Both are frozen now.  I paid .50 for the pear squash and today cleaned off 64 seeds that weren’t damaged from my clumsy cutting open of it.  They are now sitting out to dry and I will see if I can grow my own.  Just think .50 might give me 64 plants. who says eating healthy is expensive. :-) Okay it is until you have a good stock of seeds and healthy beds to plant them in.


While I cut up and froze the squash last night I didn’t have the time to clean the seeds until today. I sat outside in the Little Cove enjoying the breezes that reached me from the lake and listening to the birds while cleaning seeds.

Speaking of the birds, they have slowed down on eating the seed I put out. I usually have to fill it daily, but this week it took 3 days before I had to fill it again, a sure sign of autumn approaching.  The chickadees that hatched are gone, I enjoyed watching them while they were here.  The first bird to land at the feeder once I refilled it was a blue jay, I found hilarious.  He flew in, landed about 20 feet from the feeder and let out a few warning calls, after which he would repeat this process every few feet.  Finally he landed on a branch directly above the feeder and again called out looking around.  Once he landed on the edge of the feeder he repeated his warning calls before eating.


And, to make my day. I was able to help a young college student who needed furniture for his rental.  He put an ad on Freecycle two days ago asking for open end tables.  His description so closely matched the two end tables I had just started I sent him a message with a picture of the tables.  They were exactly what he was hoping for.  I offered to let him know when I had them finished, he wanted them now and said he would finish them.


I couldn’t let them go in the shape they were in, I finished sanding the second table and then took it apart, repaired and glued it back together to stop it from wobbling.  He was thrilled.  Since the paint I used on the first one was free and only enough for the second table I gave him the paint as well.  It was nice to make his day.


Yes, I planned to paint the scratched laminate top and just leave the edge around it a natural wood to break up the white, but going to a young man I wasn’t sure if he would want all white tables.  I pulled out a few colors I had here, but not knowing anything about his home I gave up and left it to him to decide.


It’s not always about money, I always say.  I would have sold these when they were finished, but I don’t NEED the money,  My real purpose in restoring my finds is a hobby and a way to keep good items from ending up in the trash.  I succeeded today and I am happy.


That was my Wednesday, what did you do, what have you noticed lately?


  1. First loved the flowers, sometimes we need only to appreciate and be filled with gratitude for the simple pleasures in life often taken for granted… Like Flowers or a clear blue sky…
    Also loved that your tables found a good home and the student was so thrilled with them… Giving and sharing is a rewarding experience..
    I am uncertain as to what the caterpillar is I am pleased one of your followers knew his name… HORDES of caterpillars is an understatement within our allotments, they have devoured the cabbages to look like lattice leaves… And to top it all as Hubby dug another row of potatoes today he has discovered a rat has found them and eaten along the whole row.. We have 5 rows now remaining, with some hug sacks already safely stored,.. But he had to throw them on the compost heap as they had gone and nibbled through the lot..
    We had thought we had escaped these little beasties, but as many allotment holders keep chickens and corn etc, there is bound to be a rat not far away….
    I just hope our shed is rat-proof,,, Hubby doubled lined the floor so fingers crossed.
    Glad your Wednesday was a good one ..

    • Sue, I am so sorry you have lost so much of your crops to rats and caterpillars. To lose all your cabbage and an entire row of potatoes at this late stage is so sad. Did you get any cabbage before it was eaten? I had trouble last year with worms eating my cabbage, but fixed that by sprinkling hydrated lime over them. This year I moved the cabbage to a different bed and had no trouble at all.

      I hope your shed protects your food from the rats, you have put so much work into your garden.

      • Big smiles, as our daughter rang tonight and her Dad told of the rats eating the potato row ,, She laughing said Oh Dad, just got this image of this huge Rat sitting on your chair in your shed with your cap on and saying he enjoyed his dinner ;-) We can laugh.. even Rats have to eat.. but we left the ones he had nibbled so hope he doesn’t start on a fresh undug row.
        The cabbages we got some good ones early on, but the caterpillars have really enjoyed their feast.. We had hoped to harvest some red cabbage but they have been got to as well… You win some and loose some, Nature has enjoyed and I enjoyed the butterflies so we cant have it all ways I guess

        • Your daughter is a stitch. Got a good laugh at the rat comfortable in your shed munching away.

          I lost quite a bit this year to frost, deer, and even rain but the experience was worth it and I have more food from the garden than I spent money to grow it so it’s all good. Plus the little ones had their fun out there as well. Next year is another year, hopefully we’ll do even better.

          • Yes we learn as we go along, and we have planted more Kale seeds in the green house and hope they overwinter, the other Kale became infested with White fly, so I pulled it all up.. But we loved eating the young leaves raw in salads… We experiment each year and still we have our successes and failures depending on weather and nature..

  2. Every Spring, my wife goes to the market, and buys the right flowers for our garden. This is a yearly ritual. We spend as much time in the back yard as we can. Fall is in the air, the flowers will be gone, the leaves have to be raked,(vacuumed in my case) and we will settle in for the winter we both love. Your photos are outstanding. . The colors are so soothing to the eyes, and your soul, if you will. God’s beauty is all around us. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

    • Parrillaturi, what a lovely ritual your wife has, your backyard must be a fantastic place to sit and enjoy the summer days. Yes, the flowers will be gone soon, the leaves are already changing and the gardens are nearly over. It’s bittersweet but it gives me another chance next spring to tweak a few more things and start over. I don’t care for winter like you do, but it does give me the time to rest a bit more and work on other hobbies I put off during the summer months.

      I am so glad you enjoyed the colors from my garden. Beauty is all around us if we take the time to stop and notice it and what a gift it is.

  3. congratulations on the garden successes as well as the tables given kindly to a student. Yesterday, as I drove my grandson to school I noticed 6 (yes, SIX!!) cane back chairs sitting at the curb for the trash. They were all sitting properly along the road; looked to be in good shape just a bit worn. I desperately wanted to drag those chairs home but knew I had no means of transporting them the distance required. Reading your blog has made me more aware of the need to restore and recycle these gently-used items. I was/am sad that I couldn’t think of anyone locally to call & tell them of these chairs which I know many people would have loved to own.

    • Oh, Jan how I wish I lived near you. I have a vision of caned back chairs done in white with blue removable cushions (my daughter-in-law’s colors) for their patio. I see a large planter or something similar for a table base and most likely a painted wood top. It would be a lovely place to enjoy a meal when outside grilling. At the same time the table would come apart and take up very little space for winter storage. I’m lucky in that my daughter-in-law has similar tastes as I do and I can bounce ideas off her that she will then ask me to help with. Her dining room chairs are all chairs I found out for trash. She loves them. What a shame the owners didn’t at least take them to a thrift shop where they could be loved again. I’m glad you are noticing items set out for trash collection. One day you will spot something you could really use and wanted.

  4. oh Lois I am so impressed at your harvest quantities (and you’re not even done)….WOW …

    re all those watermelon, don’t forget to save their seeds too (grin)..also, I have been reading a lot about dehydrating lately, and Watermelon keeps popping up as “highly” recommended/tasty to dehydrate..So, if you have more than you /small boy can eat…

    re the critters..something just occurred to me…
    maybe your grandchildren could plant several “critter gardens”…(seems to me I recal you saying there was goodly amount of room still available?)…the kids could plant several small gardens, at distance from the main garden group…could even include a few handfuls of bird seed (from the stuff you feed your wild birds), and toss that in too…likely go over great. There is a chance if the critters are offered tasty eats at a distance, they may choose not to go so close to human smells?

    • Lynn, I plan to save all the seeds, can you imagine just how many plants I could get from that? :-) I will need to prepare more beds for all the seeds. Dehydrating sounds like a good idea, but I promised the grandkids we would make ice cubes for them to eat like Popsicles from the extra this year. I also thought I was done with tomatoes, but I made the mistake of telling the kids ketchup is also made from tomatoes. Now they want homemade ketchup. I plan to have them help to see how it’s done. Any way to get my grandson to eat more veggies is a win.

      I’m sure the kids would love to tend more gardens next year. Right now they each have a small plot and their own fairy garden. If I gave them the option they would fill the field with plants. Not a bad idea and one I will consider.

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