To the Beach and Back
We just returned from a road trip to Delaware to meet our youngest son and his family for a week at the beach. For us it was a 2-day drive there and another 2 days back. For them it was just a 2-hour drive, but I can totally understand why they wanted someplace close, since road trips for them involve babies and all their gear. My 4-year-old granddaughter wanted to do art, of course. And I was ready with my Grandmother art kit, which contained plenty of paper, markers, paint, brushes, my gelli plate, baby wipes, watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons. We don’t mess around.
We had a wonderful time, but it’s always good to get back home.
Our neighbor fed our kitty, and the 3 dogs went to a fabulous air-conditioned kennel with real rooms and a big tree-canopied play yard, complete with a kiddie pool and kids to play catch with. I found out what “dog tired” really does mean — they did nothing but sleep for 3 days after we got home. The kennel even has a facebook page and posted pictures of our dogs running and playing so we could see how they were doing. It was the first time I’ve ever left them anywhere that I had complete peace of mind.
Summer Blues in the Garden
Back home to the weeds! Every single morning since we got back last weekend I’ve been out there in the early mornings, weeding until it gets too hot, then coming inside to cool down and shower. Finally we did hire some outside help for 2 days, which gives me hope that it will end sometime soon. I know I’m not going to have many more years to do this. In the meantime, I’m exploring less labor-intensive gardening methods. More mulch — and if that’s not enough, even more mulch. Self-watering containers are turning out to be a blessing as well. There are going to be more and more of those, and fewer in-ground beds as time goes on.
Here are my fabulous homemade blue-tub self-watering containers that I’ve been using for 3 years now. All of the tomatoes in these tubs are completely volunteer, growing out of the added compost. They are out-producing all the rest of my tomatoes, hands down. Not a great picture, but you can see how loaded they are if you look closely. This is a small fenced enclosure at the back of my yard (reportedly a “dog pen” built by the previous homeowner.) I’m able to keep the weeds down in this area by piling on pine needles, leaves, and grass clippings — all free. Note: How can anyone pen up a dog outside? Heartbreaking.
But wait — there’s more! I have saved these images to share with you. These are more paintings I sent to the gallery just before we left.
I hope you find some inspiration here. I know I need some. Have a great weekend.