Saturday, August 14, 2010

The garden winds down...

One of the things I did manage to do was keep my community garden plot going. Overall, I'm pleased, although a lot of things did not turn out as well as I had hoped. Leeks, onions, and fennel did not do well. A number of plants didn't survive my haphazard care, especially when it came to watering. And the most recent heat while I was away (see previous post!), devastated my magnificent pumpkin and melon vines.

And yet, I have 5 or 6 sugar pumpkins ripening. Four or so melons -- one that's gianormous and should be ready for harvesting soon. The cosmos and sunflowers were fantastic. The zinnias and marigolds took care of themselves. The herbs went wild (I could feed pesto to the world, I have THAT much basil!). I learned a lot of good lessons to apply to next year so, even though things didn't go as expected, I know that next year will be even better.

During the month of July, the garden just looked glorious. The vines were taking over everything, the flowers were blooming happily. Now, the garden looks like the end of summer. Things are dying back, the leaves aren't as bright. It's the natural order of things so it's OK with me.

At home, the patio garden did OK. My tomatoes were doing very well, but some critter kept eating my huge, ripe tomatoes so I lost a number of them. Still, I managed to get some lovely specimens. The hot peppers are wonderful. I'm hoping to make my own paprika from the Hungarian peppers. Although, they're quite tasty when eaten fresh. I've had a few beans and peas that were quite yummy. I plan to plant more of them next year.

Overall, a good growing season. The recent heatwave wasn't all that good for my plants, but most of them were hardy enough to take hold and keep going.

I never did win the battle with the ants. Every time I come home from the garden, I have new bites to contend with...why I don't use insect repellent before entering the garden, I don't know. Right before I went on vacation, my forearm was hideously swollen from insect bites. Luckily, it healed before I left. But, after visiting the garden a couple of times this week, I'm back to my itchy, lumpy state.

Did you miss me? And a few notes about a sailing ship

OK, so I know I have a immensely small (nice juxtaposition of opposing adjectives, eh?) readership. But, I've noticed that when I do get around to posting something, some one reads it eventually.

So, I'm back :-) Did ya miss me? (that's a rhetorical question, of course).

Not sure where the summer went this year. It's just about mid-August and there's tons of stuff I still haven't done. Didn't take out the kayak once. The bike is still in storage with flat tires. I didn't do any of the home renovations that are desperately needed.

What I DID do:

Go away more than usual. A weekend in New York City, a weekend in the White Mountains. And then there was the sailing vacation.

My dear friend B invited me to join her on a sailing ship cruise around the New England coast. Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cuttyhunk. I've always wanted to take a trip on a sailing ship so, of course, I agreed to go.

What a marvelous trip. Really. It was the first time I went away when I wasn't eager to come home. I could have stayed on that ship for...well, I don't know how long -- maybe forever?

The ship is a beautiful three-masted schooner called the Arabella and she was glorious when under full sail. The routine went like this: Get up in the morning and go up to the deck for coffee and breakfast. By then, we were under way to our next destination. So, we would spend an hour or so sitting on the fore deck, just enjoying the wind and sea. Then down for a shower (the cabin was about as small as could be -- we took turns in there if we weren't sleeping). Then, back to the deck to read, talk, or just sit. The ship was only half full with passengers so there's was always a great place to sit. Then, we'd anchor, have lunch on board, and head off to the day's island to explore, shop, or watch a sunset on the beach. After dinner, it was back to the ship for our nightly session in the hot tub on the aft deck.

One of the best vacations ever. To just sit on the deck, listening to the wind in the sails was sublime. To not have to make any real decisions about what to cook, where to go, what to do...such a relief. To have no real responsibilities...fantabulous.