I’m happy to say that I have lived through my second summer in a row in Virginia since beginning full timing. Last year it was David’s memorial that kept me here and this year it is the pandemic.
With nearly constant 90 degree heat from mid May until mid September, I was wilting. As we all seem to be saying amid the heat and the fires, the hurricanes and the floods, we’ve never seen anything like this before.
And of course the pandemic too is a kind of natural disaster.
I saw this “poem” about the quarantine
At the end of COVID,
you’ll either be
or a chunk.
I know which one I’ll be. How about you?
As with most folks, I suspect, I haven’t done much this month. Time seems to DRAG. My neighbors drop by in the mornings and evenings but they don’t have much to say. This young buck is a frequent visitor.
Today with two ladies.
Isn’t he handsome?
And what velvet antlers he has.
These girls gather each morning for what looks to all the world like a coffee klatch. Not sure what they are looking at here Maybe their guy is over there out of my sight.
As it gets cooler in the mornings FINALLY, I’m able to wear some of my farm dresses. I’ve had them and many long skirts through all the years of organic gardening and canning, freezing, drying food and caring for farm animals. I like long dresses and the feel of earlier times. But they don’t work well on the road hiking, biking and kayaking. It’s nice to have two different personas. Like most of us I suspect, there are many sides to my personality and interests in my life.
You can probably understand why my long time friends were shocked when we bought an RV and totally changed our life.
On my hikes around the property, I’ve encountered some fungi neighbors as well. The one on the left is a shelf mushroom of some sort and on the right a puffball. Puffballs are named that because clouds of brown dust-like spores are emitted when the mature fruitbody bursts or is impacted
Puffball a couple of days later. Flattened out and larger. Fun to be able to see the same fungi day after day and watch as it goes through its lifecycle. Are you hiking?
A couple of the books I’ve been reading. What are you reading?
I’ve been here so long I’m forced to redo puzzles. Here’s Noah’s ark take 2.
The young buck and his family are getting quite brazen. On this day I’m looking out the bathroom window and they are in the yard.
And then one heads over the fence.
View from the bathroom shows nobody there but then . . .
As I start to leave, the young buck and fawn walk into my view.
The full moon view from my second story bedroom.
Full moon every month of course but complete dark shows me a halo out my window.
Since I’ve gone to monthly posts, Every one seems to have the same things in it during this covid 19 pandemic, full moon, neighbors, food, puzzles, books.
One thing is different this month. It’s Colin’s 2nd birthday and I go up to Maryland to help him celebrate.
Here he comes with his sister Celia hot on his trail. This is an 18 second video of the chase.
He’d sure like to ride his sister’s bike but it’s a little too big for him.
Few things more special than reading bedtime stories.
Children never think Nanas bring too many presents but sometimes parents do. So I’m a sneaky Nana. I give some presents each of the 3 days of my visit.
Happy 2nd Birthday Colin. Celia tries hard not to help open the present while Mommy reads the birthday card.
A train, and a book about a train.
Party time – cake and cupcakes and friend Caleb.
Mommy poses with the birthday boy.
Big sister has a lot of that cupcake on her face and hands.
Mommy’s turn to read.
I think Colin likes his train. He had been playing with his Papa David’s wooden train but this one is easier to keep the cars attached.
He’s his Papa’s grandson – checking out how this thing works. How we wish Papa was here.
The next day we go on a birthday hike to Oregon Ridge Park. Who says a birthday can’t actually be 2 or 3 days?
The park is known for the 50 painted trees which have created quite a controversy. Here is a 2018 article from the Baltimore Sun.
Personally, I’m opposed. A forest is enough of an art gallery without painting the bark of the trees.
Celia poses to show the size of the paintings.
Back at home, it’s time for sun screen and a pool party.
Mommy, Celia and I think Auntie Jess.
She’ll always be my baby even with two children of her own.
Matt grabs the raft! Dig Daddy’s sun hat, isn’t it great!
Birthday boy in his water wings.
I’m sure his dad appreciates the help in cleaning the pool.
I distract Colin from his card game with Daddy.
Last day of presents from Nana. Mommy and Daddy get peanut butter M&Ms. Lucky for Mommy, Daddy lets her have them all. He’s given up sweets. How does he do it? More will power than I have, that’s for sure.
This time there is a present for big sister too.
It’s a book titled Little Miss Big Sis
And then we’re off to the play ground. Where the Celia goes down the big slide with caution.
Birthday boy loves steps – up and down, up and down, over and over.
He goes down the middle size slide. Wish I could have gotten them both going down the double slide on on each side.
Big sis lets little brother drive.
This newly minted 2 year old takes on the big slide and does that over and over and over as well.
My three loves having a snack after all that hard playing.
And then it’s time for Nana to leave and back to work for everyone else. I LOVE BEING RETIRED!!
Back at the farm, it’s business as usual. Puzzles and food. I’m making progress on Noah’s ark after taking a grandchildren break. These are the windows out of which I often see the deer in the yard while I’m puzzling.
Vegetable bean soup and sweet and sour tofu in the 2nd picture.
It’s difficult to cook anything for one without having leftovers FOREVER.
Noah’s ark gets finished.
More pictures of the deer in the yard. I love his antlers. I allow Shannon to hunt on the farm in exchange for keeping a watch on the house. There are too many deer here and with no predators, they will starve if somehow the populations aren’t kept in check. I hope my little buck is still here when I return next. If so, he won’t be so little any more.
There are many beautiful sunsets at the farm. This one occurred around the time of the new moon.
I can see as I write this that I had a lot more pictures than I thought and should have broken it into two posts. But it’s too late now.
The hay in the fields is ripe and awaiting cutting. I love the red tops. It’s Fall Equinox and harvest is underway in the country.
Now what is she thinking she wants on that tree? I’ve seen them do this at our apple trees but there’s no fruit here.
There are a few more jobs I needed done at the farm after last year’s house painting and road work. These are smaller. Shannon’s son and a friend are clearing the bank of an infestation of yucca plants. Pulling them out by the roots won’t get rid of them but will slow them down more than just cutting them.
My neighbors take an extended week-end trip to the beach and I feed their horses. It’s fun to be back with equines. We had two horses and two burros and only went on the road after they all had died.
They also feed a feral cat with a snazzy set up.
She hops up on the platform and crawls in through the opening in the partially shut window. That’s what she’s doing in this picture. Inside is a box with a drop down door into which I have put cat food in a dish.
The bank clearing was all in preparation for having the trees in the yard and around it pruned up for my safety and their health. I’m so sorry I neglected to get a before picture of the huge maple in the yard. I can now see the barnyard from the house but it will take a year or so to have the same amount of shade in the yard.
The bank has dogwoods and crepe myrtle. With the clearing of the yucca and other growth, they can now actually reach them for trimming.
First you survey the situation.
Then you get into amazingly awkward situations to prune.
A crew of 7 spent an entire day taking down 2 trees and pruning up 20 trees including those mentioned already as well as apple, cedar, redbud, sycamore, mulberry. They hauled all the prunings to a chipper and left me the firewood. The clean up job they did of chippings, leaves, and twigs was fantastic. It was an overall amazing job which won’t have to be done again for quite a while.
In the meantime, this is the final picture of one of the puffballs. You can see how big it is. The next day, it was gone. Not a sign of it.
The month ended with the same old, same old. Food and puzzles. In this case beans and rice with cherry salsa.
An Ireland puzzle in progress that reminds me of our trip there when Carrie was an exchange student. Was it really 18 years ago? How can that be?
The last puzzle for this month was very appropriate. Carrie got it for me and it’s this size “RV” that I should probably have now that I’m alone. But there’s no way I could let Winnona go. So she and I struggle along together as we both get older.
Only one more month until she and I are on the road again. I’ll try to make October’s post much shorter than this one. Thanks for sticking with me.
It’s lonely out here in the pandemic and without David. Your comments make me feel connected and mean a lot!