Wednesday, October 7, 2020

September: Finally-the heat breaks

September 7, 2020                                                                  Most Recent Posts:
Quarantined at Greenfield Mountain Farm                           August 2020
                                                                                             July 2020: The Heat Goes On

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
a monk,
a hunk,
a drunk
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.


Howdy neighbors!


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.

Celia and Nana

Colin Celia and Nana reading

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.


IMG_0348More 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. 


IMG_0405The 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?


All finished.


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! 


  1. Glad you figured out the trouble with your blog. I can't get over that Colin is two already. You're doing a great job spoiling your grandkids, that what grandparents are supposed to do. :c)

    PS: I don't look as good in long dresses as you do. :cO

    1. Great to hear from you Paul. Thanks for the comment. I'd love to see you in a long dress!!

  2. Also glad that your blog posted and I was actually able to see it. Internet here this morning is very strange. I can see some things and not others. Ahh cable internet is good but not always perfect. I am amazed at how much Celia looks like Carrie. Fun time with grandkids. Mine are all in their mid 30's now or mid 20's for a couple and that is a very different thing. Puzzles. I was hoping that it would be possible to someday redo the ones we have finished. Smoky skies here now that we are back in Oregon, but rumor has it the rains will show up by the weekend. Have a good October, Sherry.

    1. I'm so glad you were able to comment Sue. I do love hearing from you. Can't imagine those two being in their mid 30's. Lucky you. I don't think I will live that long unfortunately. Because of the pandemic I have more puzzles than ever but I still have my favorites. Hope the smoke is letting up for you.

  3. Nice neighbors, even if not conversational. I too like long skirts, but only hike in calf length, and haven't worn them in way too long. Hiking, but no mushrooms here. I ate a puffball before it dried and it's surprisingly meaty. I think birthdays could last at least a month. You are fortunate to have and visit family. Sounds/looks like a productive month. Soon you'll be on the road again. Don't like the painted trees. Hugs to you.

    1. I definitely have the best neighbors. I had no idea I could eat a puffball. Unfortunately for me my birthday is between Thanksgiving and Christmas so I'm lucky to get a week for it. So good to hear from you.

  4. The paint on the trees is something I find dismaying.

    I've been looking at a jigsaw puzzle with Monet art the other day.

    The deer make very good company.

    As for Blogger, I don't like the new formatting they forced on us, but it takes time and practice.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. Dismaying is just the word for those trees. I don't know why blogger can't leave well enough alone.

  5. I've had issues with formatting on the new blogger layout. Glad I don't blog as much as when we traveled with RV. I bet you are glad that summer is over and it's not too hot anymore. We're on the east coast for a few weeks, and the weather has been beautiful.

    1. Thanks for your comment Laurie. I am glad summer is over though I don't want it to rush into winter until I can get out of here. Hope you have a good time with family out here in the east. We at least have no smoke or fires.

  6. Darn....Had a whole message typed out and hit the wrong button and lost it. Technology makes some things too easy - like MISTAKES! Glad to see you taking such good care of the farm. Our trees need some trimming here in Texas too but your trees make ours look like shrubs. Pictures of the deer and turkeys make me mindful of all the wildlife that was so abundant in that part of the country. Nice pictures of Celia and Colin. They are growing up so fast. Hope we can get back East sometime soon for a visit...

    1. Hey Roger. So good to hear from you. I've lost more things I'd spent time on through some finger slip or technology glitch. It is definitely too easy to make mistakes. Love your icon!

  7. Enjoyed your pics, esp the kids and Carrie. We just celebrated Arya's 7th birthday! How can she be 7? Growing up so fast! So glad we got our puppy. He is also growing fast, but so cute and fun to watch. Lots of entertainment. Ted and I just spent a week with my youngest brother, his wife and their dog at our beach house in Duck. The dogs were best friends and we all had a grand time. Warm enough to swim in the ocean and pool.
    Always maintenance, a lot to do.
    Soon you'll be on your way. Maybe we can get together before you leave.

    1. It's amazing how fast they grow. Arya's 7 - wow! Swimming in the ocean sounds fantastic! Not sure it will be warm enough when I get there in November. Would love to see you before I leave. Thanks so much for commenting.

  8. That's some crazy pruning going on. I like the long dresses.

    1. Thanks for commenting! Yes they did an enormous amount of pruning because it hadn't been done in so long.

  9. I love the long dress, but it really does look strange because, after the summer we’ve had, my brain can’t remember that cooler weather is even possible! But, yes, you’re also in your pioneer persona, which is site-specific. But#2, I would think you actually have THREE personas, not two, to go with your three abodes and lifestyles.

    It’s wonderful that that the turkeyklatch keeps meeting daily at your place! I think we were on the phone when you caught sight of them for the first time. I guess they settled in for the season. Do they vocalize at all? (I don’t know if only toms do the gobbling [and whatever other things turkeys say], and perhaps only during nesting season).

    Wow, I’m seriously offended by the painted trees; sure, a temporary decoration would be fine, but to mar their trunks because stupid humans don’t think they’re interesting/beautiful/worthwhile just for themselves — this is just such a sign of everything that’s wrong with our species. Does this make me a crackpot? Or are the other people the crackpots?

    1. LOL - my pioneer persona! Wish you could come visit me there. I haven't heard anything from the turkeys but they are pretty far away, at the other end of the farm lane. The article explained that it was some sort of honoring for people who had recovered from addiction but me thinks there must be a better way. Talk to you tomorrow!!

  10. Love your beautiful deer neighbors! I've never seen a deer stand up to reach leaves. The turkey girls are funny. I wonder what they discuss in their coffee klatches? The pool pictures of Colin and Celia are really cute! Love the bedtime book stories pictures. Reading and snuggling with Finn are some of my favorite times. Had I been hanging over trying to prune those trees, I would have fallen on my face and likely cut my nose off with the pruners. The picture of the sunset is lovely- xxxooo

    1. Thanks for your comment Pam. You need to come out and see the farm again. Maybe my neighbors will show up and do something interesting. Yes reading in those big chairs was great. I love the picture in my mind of you up in the trees pruning.

  11. Oh, it's so good to read your post, Sherry. The pictures of the farm are so beautiful and I particularly like your dress. The kids are so adorable. I see David in both of them and feel very sad that he's not here for them to enjoy his company. I know that you will keep his memory alive for them. They have a very special grandfather. Thank you for sharing. BTW, I need the name of your tree surgeons if you were pleased with them. Will email you. Take care!

    1. Thank you Pam. It's so good to read your comment. It is so very sad that David is not here to enjoy his grandchildren. I hope Carrie and I can keep his memory alive. The guys who did the trees are from Nelson County - Arrington maybe but, who knows, they might come to C'ville. Happy to tell you about them.

  12. The kids are SO darling... they are sure growing!!
    Last read One By One by Ruth Ware, and currently in RAGE by Bob Woodward... very readable
    In process of clearing leaves from that darn backyard.. It is small and enclosed, so the leaves do not blow away... AND there are 4 FOUR huge trees back there. Word to the wise, there is NO reason to plant 4 trees where one tree would have worked quite well!!! (i bought the house with them there, so it was NOT me) I did get to the beach, with niece and her daughter,, it was a great time. wish i could live there for a time, know i would more than likely get tired of the rain/drizzle.. BUT would like that choice. Can't imagine just being able to go down there tomorrow or next Monday....
    Take Care... think of you often.....

    1. Glad to hear about what's going on in your world Loree. Thanks for commenting. I'm not sure I could read Rage, I'm afraid it would put me into one. LOL at your "word to the wise". So true. What WERE they thinking? Looks like they didn't think about the fact that trees GROW. Thanks so much for thinking of me.

  13. I haven't seen this many fungus in many years. My cousin's visiting from WA. a couple of years back were amazed by the variety we have here in the east.

    1. Good to hear from you Karen. The variety of trees and fungus and well everything in the East is what I really love about it as well as the swimmable Atlantic Ocean at least in the south.

  14. The grand kids have grown so much and they are adorable. Happy you at least get to go there and see them.

    Your deer are great and at least it's something to capture on film also the turkeys.

    I don't understand the need to paint the trees its awful.

    And soon you will take off and travel how wonderful is that. Stay safe and enjoy your journey

    1. I'm glad to read your comment JO. Not being able to see them while I'm on the road is THE only thing I don't like about my RVing life. But they are so busy that even when I'm here, I don't see much of them. Thank you so much for your good wishes.

  15. To say this has been a "strange" year would be an understatement!!! Still so many just seems so unsettled!! We know you will be glad to get back on the road and enjoying some of your favorite places. However, glad to see that your camera is still getting used and taking wonderful photos!!! The ones of the wildlife at the farm and of the Grandchildren are fantastic. Hope to see you this winter and do some catching up. Stay Safe and Be Well & Healthy!!!

    1. Understatement and unsettled indeed!! I am very anxious to get back on the road which will seem more normal to me. What up ended lives we've had. Hope to see you as well this winter and thanks so much for your comment.

  16. Although I know you didn't want to spend the summer in Virginia, you really have made the most of your time there. There's something wonderful about staying put and recording the change of seasons in your blog through your writing and lovely photos. And you got to wear your long dresses! (I'm trying to look at this positively, because you know darned well I want to be on the road, too. Here's to no more summers in the south!) Your grandchildren are absolutely darling, and you're doing a perfect job of spoiling them in good ways. :-)) Hope to see you in Florida this winter!

    1. The cooler it gets the more the long dresses. Wish I had some seasoned split firewood to put in the woodstove these last weeks. At least in the 40's early mornings. Can't wait to read your "house blog". What a job you took on. I know it's fantastic.

  17. This post made it sound like September was very busy for you! Your long dress looks so appropriate for the farm. Great catch of the deer on it's hind legs. They look too gangly to be able to stand that way. And those grandkids are just too cute!

    1. So great to see you guys here in my comments. I think about you often and those days when we were all starting out on the road. It's sure gotten crowded since then. September wasn't really all that busy, it was sort of the same thing over and over but so many pictures made the blog longer than I wanted.

  18. Your deer are delightful! Wish I could get decent pics of our doe and her twins - hopefully when we get back to Tombstone they'll still be coming to visit. Love that you had some more time with the grands, they're so precious. I actually don't mind the painted trees, there are millions of unpainted ones to enjoy and I'm a big fan of outdoor art :-) Glad you were able to get your pretty trees done - what a wonderful place you have!!!

    1. Great to hear from you Jodee. As you know time flies amazingly when it comes to grandkids. I'm hoping that having done the work on the farm these last two summers may mean I can spend an entire year out west if we ever ever get back to anything like normal.

  19. Lovely post! Cute pictures of the kids and deer. Impressive shot of the one going over the fence! I get the idea behind the painted trees (recovery from addiction), but I also think those 50 trees should've been left alone. That pruning at the farm was a big job. They did well.

  20. Thank you for the comment sweetheart. You guys are the highlight of this post and any in which I've seen you. They did do a good job on the trees. It was long long overdue and a very big job!

  21. Some lovely photographs of the deer! Did you enjoy The Forsyte Saga? Its many years since I read it, but I recall that I enjoyed it. I really recommend Burning The Books, A History Of Knowledge Under Attack' by Richard Ovenden. Its a thought provoking read. Richard Ovenden is the director of the Bodleian Library in Oxford and the book is about the ways people across history have tried to destroy written records and the people who tried to stop them. It sounds as if its a book of conspiracy theories, but it absolutely isn't. He writes from a librarian's perspective and its really interesting.

  22. Sherry, I really enjoy your posts and the pictures. You mentioned a shorter one for October, but longer is so nice! During this frightening pandemic, it feels like friends getting together. I sure need girlfriends! I’ve been slow lately with my art journaling and painting, but I’m inspired after reading about you~~ Patty

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed them Patty and glad that I inspired you. I know exactly what you mean about needing friends. Where are you now?


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