Saturday, September 30, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 193

 A cooler week arrived, making some outdoor activities much more pleasant! 

The lady’s tresses (Spiranthes cernua) that volunteered in my pitcher plant and equisetum container last year returned and multiplied recently. They are so beautiful and I think create a perfect combination. It’s a joy to walk by and see them together along the walkway to our front door.

This corner of the bi-level pollinator bed remains one of my favorite autumn combinations, with beautyberry, swamp sunflower, the foliage of threadleaf bluestar, and the purple flowers I’m forgetting the name of right now. 

Yesterday my grandson was here and he and Baloo had their very first playtime together outside. Baloo and W have had a blossoming friendship which continues to grow. Baloo is our most active dog and in some ways he is a force of canine energy, but he tolerates the active, curious energy W brings at age 2.5 well and they have worked out a good relationship together. Yesterday Baloo stayed with W the entire time and controlled his herding instinct admirably. 

It’s amazing to behold a 2-year old here on November Hill. My two children were 8 and 9 when we moved here and the farm is a real paradise for a toddler’s curiosity. Now that cooler weather has arrived, we’ll be exploring more of the outdoors.

W found a newly-emerged Monarch yesterday, in the grass below the pollinator bed and in front of our garage. Because it was at risk of being squashed, I gently moved it up to the top of the bookcase (on its way to Habitat after the garage clean out) so it could dry its wings and fly. The entire body was soft, damp, and malleable as I carefully moved it. It flew about half an hour later.

W loves caterpillars and butterflies and talks about the “life cycle.” I’m so glad he was able to be part of this rescue effort and admire the wonder of the Monarch.

In other news, my creative nonfiction flash piece Remedy For an Excited Amygdala has found a home with Streetlight Mag’s Street Talk. I’ll post the link when it is published. 

Saturday, September 23, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 192

Very relieved to report that the big garage project was completed yesterday just in time for the rain rolling in this weekend. For the past year we’ve had random flooding happening in the garage/basement storage area that came from water seeping in through the cinder block foundation walls on two sides of our house. It wasn’t happening every time it rained, but the last time it happened it was a lot of water and spread across the entire basement, which it had never done previously. 

After a lot of research I found a reputable company and we got an assessment and quote. In order to do the work, the large storage room and one side of the garage had to be completely cleared out, our HVAC unit in the garage storage room had to be disconnected, moved out for the work, then reconnected, and the hot water tank had to be turned off. We initially planned to move it out too but that ended up being so much plumbing work the plan changed to route the work around it. 

I coordinated with the basement repair company, electrician, our HVAC company, and the gas company to get this all done in the right sequence during the two-day project. I’m very grateful that it went very well and is now complete. We have a drain system going around the interior walls, a waterproof shield up to the ceiling of the two walls, a huge pump system to route water out and away from the house, and a dehumidifier to keep the entire basement humidity level low. 

Thankfully this work didn’t involve anyone coming upstairs, so managing the menagerie wasn’t part of the coordination. Though the jack-hammering of concrete meant I had the TV and air filters on the entire first day to mute the noise a bit!

Part two of this project is sorting through every single thing that was in the garage storage room prior to being moved into the other garage bay. My goal is for less than half to go back in there, but with the rainy weekend upon us, this chore will have to wait until next week.

I have two more large projects to complete this year: one is having a new walk-in shower installed in our upstairs bathroom, and the other is having new stall windows put in at the barn. Other than that, I’m going to do a little interior painting, get back to gardening once the Monarchs and other butterflies have moved on, and that is it for 2023. 

Of course, the power company who told me they would be doing tree removal along the easement at the back of our property in December showed up two days before this big basement project. Thankfully the one tree they’re removing on our property is still slated for December as I had requested, but many trees on other properties that I have no jurisdiction over have been removed and a huge and very ugly “road” has been made for all the machinery they used to do the work. It is awful, but they at least left the native plants that are currently feeding all kinds of insect and bird life, including Monarchs. 

I won’t get onto my soapbox about what an environmental fiasco this is when they do it, but suffice it to say, there are better ways than what they did, but they didn’t butcher everything in their path this time, so I suppose that is a small victory. 

Meanwhile, the natives on November Hill are going wild. This ironweed has a pretty passiflora lutea climbing through it. In years past I pulled the passiflora not knowing what it was, but it has many benefits for pollinators and I’ve been leaving it the past few years. The larger passiflora species I planted in the front bed to replace the non-native clematis is growing madly this year, all the way to the roof of the porch! 

A little fun inside the house… my grandson inspired me to get some Play-doh and tools to play with it in advance of his next visit. I’m as excited as I think he will be to have these colors and tools to work with. We are going to have fun on Sunday!

I was taking photos of figs early in the week for a writing project I’m doing. The figs this year have been beautiful and the biggest I’ve ever seen them. Most of them fill my palm. And are still ripening, though we are likely nearing the end of their season as the temperatures cool down.

I think all of us are ready for fall days and the end of horsefly season. Those too have been plentiful and BIG this year. 

A little writing news - a flash nonfiction piece called Swallows has been accepted by JMWW for publication in October. I’ll share the link when it’s up. 

Friday, September 15, 2023

Monarchs and Argiope

 This week and especially today we are getting fall weather, finally! I also had a wonderful experience this week finding numerous Monarch caterpillars in my raggedy front bed, and this is why I am not in any way trying to do gardening chores right now. This Argiope spider is the only one I’ve seen this year and I almost planted my face into her web because she is so well camouflaged!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 191

 We are still very much in summer mode here, though yesterday’s big rains came in and have given everything a deep watering before this week’s predicted cool-down. The tulip poplars are yellowing and leaves are falling and the dogwoods are changing over to their autumn colors. 

The fig tree is still producing and the figs this year are the biggest they’ve ever been, much larger than the usual figs one sees locally or in the grocery store. They’re delicious and I’ve done nothing but eat them as they are. 

The potager has slowed down some. I think the cucumbers are done and the tomatoes are mostly done as well. We have eggplant and basil and sweet potatoes still coming in. It’s almost time to plant fall vegetables if we want to do so. 

The pollinator beds are a jungle - I should say the two original “main” ones are. I’ve removed some huge burnweed (native but prolific if left to spread) and also cleared out a largish area of stiltweed (nonnative and the bane of all gardeners in the southeast). There are plenty of things still blooming but they’re not as visually lovely as they would be if I had kept up with my weeding this year!

I’m hoping this week’s cooler weather and the soft ground post rainfall make it easier to do some tidying. 

In two weeks we have the basement/garage work being done and I’ll be both happy and relieved when it’s over. Because the storage room and wall along the back side of our garage have to be completely clear this is going to force the garage space clean out I’ve wanted to do all year. We’ve done bits and pieces but this pushes the whole job getting done. This is one of those repairs and chores that are using up a lot of resources and it’s not one of the “fun” updates that you see every day and enjoy. But it means I do not have to worry every time we get one of the increasingly common torrential rainfalls that water is seeping in through the foundation walls. 

We’re all doing pretty well - humans, horses, donkeys, pony boy, cats, dogs, honey bees. It’s been a long, hot summer.

I’m looking forward to fall and some increased energy for writing and also for being outside more.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 190

 It’s a mostly hot and lazy month here on November Hill. The one thing here that is loving the heat this summer is the fig tree. It’s beyond laden and the ripening has kicked in: up to 15 huge ripe figs a day this week. As you can see, we have a fig thief, and my daughter caught her in the act.

The butterflies also seem to be thriving in the heat. We generally have a lot of them but it is traffic central out there this year. I found this female black swallowtail on a volunteer ironweed near my mulch pile yesterday. So beautiful.

Inside, most of us are relaxing. 

I’m personally feeling exhausted by the season. But thankfully we haven’t had anything seriously scary here, like wildfires and torrential rain riding in on hurricane winds. So I’m trying to focus on the lovely parts of this time of year even with it being my absolute least favorite. Onward to fall and chilly mornings. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Witts End Quarter Horses in Fayetteville, NC

UPDATE on 9/30/23:

UPDATE on 9/28/23:

Austin Wayne Simpson, of Hope Mills, was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals and felony conspiracy. Kylie Lenore Parker, of Fayetteville, was also arrested and charged with cruelty to animals and felony conspiracy.

UPDATE as of 8/28/23:

Please follow link for full story. Three of the five foals that were taken into custody have signs of injury consistent with the abusive training methods shown in the video linked below.

UPDATE AS OF 8/21/23:

Seven horses were removed from Witts End Quarter Horses (Kaylie and Austin Simpson, aka Kylie Parker) and you can follow the link posted below to read more about this.


More people weighing in with personal experience with Kylie Parker aka Kaylie Simpson and husband Austin Simpson:


In the event these people change the name of their farm to avoid the very bad press they are getting regarding the extremely abusive videos revealing their horse handling and “training” methods, their names are Kaylie and Austin Simpson. 

Kaylie is aka Kylie Parker. 

There’s a coordinated effort happening to stop this breeder - KYLIE PARKER - from continuing the abusive treatment of horses. Please read this and help if you can:

Here ya go 👇🏼👇🏼
Good morning everyone, here are email addresses that I would like to ask you guys to send emails to about the abuse on the foal by Witt’s end quarter horse! You can copy links to my post here on Facebook to add to your emails for them to see everything!
Let’s flood them with emails asking for the suspension or revocation of her membership.
And let me add it’s under the name Kylie Parker NOT Kaylie Simpson 😉
Without her membership she cannot continue breeding and showing thus putting her out of business.


 Today this popped up on several horse groups I’m in on Facebook:

It’s a post that includes several videos taken from the road of abusive “training” methods being used on a foal. I have only glanced at the videos as I do not want to see the full images of what is clearly described by others who reviewed them. The videos show a foal being dragged with a Gator, “waterboarded,” and beaten while lying down. A FOAL. 

Witts End Quarter Horses have removed their Facebook page as of an hour ago due to so many people commenting negatively. 

They are in Fayetteville, NC. 

All the links to their website are dead; I’m not sure if the links are old or if they’ve taken down the site. 

Here’s the number to the Cumberland County Animal Control and if you feel like adding to the growing list of complaints, give them a call:


Below is contact info for the AQHA and it would be a good idea to give them a call or email as well.

Feel free to share widely. They need to be shut down.                                                 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 87: Pluchea camphorata (or odorata?)

 This summer we’ve had a new native plant volunteer, Pluchea camphorata, commonly known as camphor weed. It’s quite beautiful and is growing in the screenings of the riding arena, so clearly thrives in less than ideal soil. 

There’s a lot of differing info online about this plant and its identification, as well as whether or not it’s a host plant for any pollinators. It’s possible this is Pluchea odorata, but there’s also some info that says odorata is a hybrid, so I’m not going to dig any deeper than this. 

I’ll be interested to see if it returns next spring. For now, I’m enjoying its bloom time. 

Sunday, August 06, 2023

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 85 and 86: early and late figwort

 I’ve missed a number of things I planted or that have volunteered here on November Hill, but am trying to start where I am today and then backtrack as I can. 

Our local extension agent and the queen of native plants in our area recently posted about her “new native plant crush” this year, which is late figwort. She took glorious photos of this plant currently in bloom (YOU CAN SEE THEM HERE) and I immediately went online to all our local native plant nurseries trying to find a few to put in. 

One of our nurseries had early figwort listed online and when my husband stopped by to get it for me, found they also had late figwort, so I ended up with two of each species. 

This morning I put them in along the front walkway which has turned into quite a showplace for some very distinctive plantings, including Gray’s sedge, wild columbine, pitcher plants and horsetail, spotted horsemint, Henry Eilers sweet coneflower, butterfly and milkweed, and a number of other things. The spotted horsemint and Henry Eilers coneflowers are quite intricately beautiful as will be these figwort, so it’s a perfect place to walk alongside them for close inspection and enjoyment of their flowers. 

It will be a year before these figwort show off fully, but I’m living in the moment and planting what I want to plant even as we continue searching for a new farm in Orange County. 

Here are a few photos of the figwort section and a number of other blooming things in the garden right now. 

Henry Eilers sweet coneflower:

Maypop, which I allowed to climb onto the American hollies this year:

My most beloved spotted horsemint:

Not on the walkway but this volunteered at the gate to the riding arena, known as stinkweed AND sweetweed because apparently it smells differently to different people:

Pitcher plants and horsetail:

The new figwort area:

A closer shot of the late figwort:

From the front porch you can really see the maypops starting to… pop:

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Friday, July 21, 2023

WHAT?! Rafer Johnson is 16 years old?! No way!

 We met this little guy in 2007, shown here with his mom Contessa. We fell in love that day and that feeling has never faltered. 

Rafer Johnson turned 16 this week and he remains a central figure in our lives here on November Hill. 

My photo taking seems less lately and thus I do not have a birthday photo or even a very recent photo of this handsome guy, but trust me, it’s July when donkeys in this area of the world tend to shed out fully and become as sleek and shiny as can be. He remains as stunning as ever. 

That he is 16 years old completely blows my mind. And all I can think about this week with him turning 16 is this: him getting his driver’s license and asking for the keys to the car! I can so easily imagine he and Redford (and of course Little Man would be there too) going out for a spin. 

Rafer is the very sweetest donkey boy anyone could ever know. I don’t know how we got so lucky but boy are we grateful for his presence here. 

Happy Sweet Sixteen, Rafer! We love you!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 189

 I’m feeling the stress of the planet today, with temperatures breaking records all over the world and hazy skies and air quality alert pinging my phone today, as well as the meetings I have today: one with Duke Energy because they once again want to remove very mature trees that pose no threat to power lines and are actively working to help our planet; another with a company that will hopefully offer solutions to the foundation seepage we are having during the increasingly regular torrential rainfall here. 

What more does anyone need to experience to recognize that we are destroying the place we live with our unsustainable practices?

Today the horses are in the barn dealing with a high of 95 degrees predicted (with heat index of over 100) while also in an active air quality alert due to smoke from wildfires in Canada rolling into our area yesterday. I can’t bring them inside, and I can’t prevent this toxic air from rolling through. It occurred to me yesterday as I drove across the lake near our home and saw haze so thick it looked like heavy fog that it is not at this point even ethical to consider living with any new equines because I cannot insure their safety and wellbeing as our environment and climate deteriorates. 

We’ll do our best to care for the animals we live with now; we’ll do our best to live with intention and educate ourselves on best practices for caring for the land that we live on and own. 

This is brought home to me all the more when I get multiple notifications each day on the mountain property. The trees, the wildlife, the preciousness of it all.

Duke Energy should be planting trees as fast as they can, not cutting them down. The insanity of our practices astounds me. 

Sunday, July 09, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 188

 July 4th went better than I expected. Although there were a lot of booms, the Rescue Remedy and pheromone gel worked well for us. I gave out peppermints during a couple of the most actively booming times and all was well. We also had a delightful day with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson earlier in the day, so that energy definitely fueled my own calm state going out just before dark to sit with the herd. 

A little chaos on the hill this week. Our daughter had an anaphylactic reaction to what we think was a fire ant sting. She was photographing osprey and thankfully wasn’t too far from us. She ended up getting an epi pen at a fire station on the way to the ER, then got IV benadryl in the ambulance, and spent a chunk of that day being monitored in the ER. We’re grateful for the people who helped and also for epi pens (which she will now carry) and for the possibilities of venom immunotherapy. 

Husband was at urgent care prior to that with cellulitis and thankfully the antibiotics kicked in and assisted. 

We’ve continued to have both heat and rain and it’s jungle season in the gardens here right now. I am officially tossing in the towel when it comes to keeping up with growing things. Will target a few things as I can from now until fall. 

I’m enjoying prolific coneflowers this summer. 

And the mountain min and pitcher plants along the walkway to the front porch. 

This patch of ferns are doing well. I removed a few interloping natives that I didn’t want growing up through the ferns.

The front bed is its own habitat right now, with the button bush blooming and the understory plants also doing their things. I can’t fully capture the constant activity of many butterflies, all species of native bees, honey bees, and some moths who all make the button bush look as if it is constantly aflutter. 

Just one shot of one swallowtail among many.

I would call these the lazy days of summer except no one living with cats, dogs, horses, ponies, donkeys, and family members can be lazy! Life is full of things to do and sometimes full of challenges, but always full of love. 

Monday, July 03, 2023

The Environmental Impact of Fireworks

 For anyone intending to use them, at least educate yourself about the impact of your action. 

Read this.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 187

I think it’s safe to say I’ve officially lost control of the native plantings for the season. I have a few things to do in the beds but I’m not willing to go in for big work because the Monarchs have arrived and between them hopefully laying eggs and all the other butterfly and bee activity I just want to stay out of their way. 

My focus now is shifting to the removal of a few nonnative things a day from the farm, which is important and also one of those tasks that will never end. There’s a certain pleasure in it because what I’ve found is that often when you remove a nonnative, a wonderful native will pop up to replace it. 

Keil Bay has had a little “offness” - nothing major but I have doubled his Pergolide as we’re into the seasonal rise now and I suspect his ACTH is on the rise (beyond the normal range). I have the vet coming out to do some ACTH testing on the horses and pony, and we’ll check numbers. But it’s hard to get things under control once they go past the normal range, so I have gone ahead and increased his medication. I’m also giving him APF and cut back his pellets some - he has put on weight (what I wanted) but now I think we’ve gone too far. As if all that isn’t enough, I think he has a chiropractic issue and his vet is out of town and won’t be out until July 26. He’s on the cancellation list so maybe sooner. Meanwhile, he seems happier with a couple days of increased Pergolide and APF, and less calories, so I hope things are shifting in a good direction for the Big Bay.

The littles are so happy for each meal they get. Rafer Johnson’s ‘sprout’ caught my eye yesterday. These three are something else. 


Back to pollinator beds. This Monarda fistulosa (wild bee balm) is spectacular. You can see the empty spot behind it where I removed the final nonnative butterfly bush earlier in the spring. I’m not sure what to put there in its place but for now letting it simmer. 

Out at the gate I have a few low-hanging branches to trim and while perusing the shape of my “tunnel” of branches, which I love and carefully maintain, I noted this very cool bronze leaf on the sycamore tree. It is beautiful and like a tiny sign of autumn, which I need as we move into the heat of summer.

Another native pollinator bed, which I call the bluebird bed because of the bluebird box which is used every year. We’ve had a nest of bluebirds already and often they’ll repeat this one or two more times, so I keep an eye on the bed for the flowers and the birds.

Dear husband went up to the mountain house this past week and on his way in the first night sent me this stunning shot of Solomon’s Seal near our driveway. Who knew that night shots of natives could be so dramatic? I love it. 

We had gotten quite dry on the farm and have over the past week had daily rain which was honestly perfect - not too hard, not all at once, just a daily deep watering for the earth and the trees and the plants. It’s sunny today and I think will be dry, and I am sure there’s going to be a surge in growth coming, hence me knowing I have now totally lost control of manicuring! 

I’m feeling the richness of summer right now and hope for mild temperatures even as I prepare for the heat. Not to mention the f-i-r-e-w-o-r-k-s.


Please just do not set them off. Find other ways to celebrate. The planet, the wildlife, dogs, cats, horses, people thank you in advance. 

Friday, June 16, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 186

 I haven’t taken any photos in the past 10 days so have nothing to share today, but sometimes no photos mean life is busier, or good things are happening and I just sink into them to the point that I don’t even think about documenting with my phone camera.

Mostly it’s been a busy week and a half. We continue to keep an eye on properties, I’m in the process of working with a land conservancy who are interested in conserving the mountain land we own, and working as usual on keeping up with farm stuff. 

The holly trees have been nicely weed-eated and fed with mature compost. I had been planning to do a bit of limbing up but they developed a few yellow leaves and I don’t like to stress a plant or tree when it’s reacting to something - in this case I think they just needed the compost and we’ve been dry for awhile so a good rain would be helpful. They’re past the year point of being transplanted so I’m not doing regular watering. If we don’t get rain in the next 4-5 days I’ll give them each a good soak. 

Our farm helper did a weed-eating pass down the path to Poplar Folly and also on the inside and outside of the fence down there, which has made walking up and down much easier! He also cut a perimeter path in Arcadia, leaving the center area to bloom on with forage for the insect pollinators, including the honey bees. All the hives are busy and working hard. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have never yet leveled the empty hive box that lured its own swarm earlier in the spring, and for sure it will be a mess inside with bees building down as they do. At this point if I level it everything they’ve done will be crooked. This is not great beekeeping on my part! It will sort itself out at some point and mostly that means we will have a hard time accessing those frames without tearing things up. Live and learn. Or know and do in this case!

I have a lot of work to do in the larger pollinator plant bed near the house, and need to do some work in the bird haven area, plus in Poplar Folly. There are many native volunteers down there that I’d like to mark, and some invasive non-natives that need to be pulled. Also some buck-eyes that are native but there are far too many of them right now and we’re going to have to be thoughtful and cull 2/3 of them. 

What I have not yet done: washed/put away horse blankets, done a spring clean inside the barn, power washing porch, deck, camper, exterior areas on barn. I’m sure there are more things pending but at this moment I do not even want to remember more than what I just listed! 

This is writing weekend and I’ve also started my ongoing 6-week at a time writing class, so my mind is on that work and was also fueled by an acceptance of a piece of flash fiction. The horse folk who read here will enjoy it - I’ll link when it goes live which I think will be in August. 

I’m closing in on my first embroidery project’s completion, and I will tell you now that the blanket stitch has mostly defied mastery for me. I do the same thing and it looks awful, then suddenly I hit a streak where it looks good, and I cannot tell difference in what I’m doing to have such varied results! However, in this endeavor I am practicing the philosophy of “not letting perfect be the enemy of good enough.” I’m learning, I’m enjoying the process, and honestly, if I do not look too closely at the stitches I love the little needle book I’m almost done making. It will be a very cheerful way to store embroidery needles and every time I open it I’ll see the first project and can thus mark progress as I hopefully get more skillful at this work! I have another project that will let me continue learning and practicing stitches before I move on to some of the more traditional embroidery kits I have accumulated and am eager to complete. 

It’s amazing to me that it’s June already. The summer solstice will be here soon and around that time the horses will get their ACTH tests and I’ll see if they need an increase in Pergolide as we move into the seasonal rise. Right now all are well. Little Man looks truly fabulous - very handsome and somehow perpetually clean and groomed even though we are not doing it for him. I remain convinced he has a team of pony fairies who come and attend to him daily. Keil Bay is good, very happy with his meals, and moving well, and Cody is hanging in there. He got an abrasion on his upper right front leg and because of a couple of episodes over the past year or so where he’s developed cellulitis, we started antibiotics and avoided a repeat. I’ve been having dreams of galloping and keep thinking I need to get him back into light work. The donka boys are also looking good. Between the dry weather and us cutting back some on hay amounts they are a little sleeker than they were, and for Rafer especially this is a very good thing. 

There’s an endless accounting of all the things happening here but this is enough for today, I think! 

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 185

It’s a beautiful week on November Hill, with the foliage feeling like it has really hit its lushest volume and  the sense this year that we really do have a haven of privacy here. The cedars and hollies we planted have grown and are healthy and offering food and shelter to birds and pollinators, and screening for us. On Sunday we decided to remove the HorseGuard tape that has kept the hollies safe from nibbling equines, and my hope was that they would do some weed-eating work for us between and around the trees. In one night they cleared out the grass and have subsequently finished off the rest of the palatable green things growing. Now it’s ready to be tidied up with a weed-eater and we’ll leave the tape off and start to do the first round of limbing up - my goal is a lovely row of hollies whose trunks are kept clear of branches up to about 4-5 feet, which will encourage them to grow fuller up top and eventually grow together. Perfect screen, great for wildlife. 

A few glimpses of the garden beds:

And the view from the potager corner of the upper front pasture. The pastures are not lush this spring and we have not done anything about that, with our herd of easy keepers. They get their 10% or less sugar/starch hay and we rotate them through the barnyard and the grass paddock periodically so they get some grass. In the fall we will spread lime and then compost and grass seed. 

I’m so happy to see the button bushes gearing up for their spectacular mid-summer bloom time! 

(Some may wonder - will I even be able to sell this farm? Some days I think not, and imagine it being a writing retreat, a guest farm, but still in our lives. An investment? We will see. I will continue carrying out my plans until I drag myself away to a new home.)

We had a special day on Sunday - my husband and I celebrated 29 years of marriage and Bear Corgi turned 13!  My husband worked hard on Sunday planting vegetables in the potager, first weeding the empty beds, then hauling up November Hill compost from the big pile. I have not spent much time sitting on the potager bench so far this spring/summer but it is on my list to take a break out there this week. 

For some reason Sunday morning struck me out of the blue as the perfect time to apply the annual tung oil to the front gate, posts, and the mailbox. I hadn’t even thought about this until suddenly the cool weather, cloudy day but with no rain coming, perfect tung oil opportunity, presented itself. I finished all but the cross bars and the large posts. The gate and mailbox look wonderful and fed. 

I had aimed to do some mowing over the weekend but when it came down to it, there were many bees of many species foraging the wildflowers and the clover, and I decided to let them go awhile longer. We will mow a path around the side strip area and will mow in front of the front pasture fence, and a path around Arcadia. The little bit of lawn we have our fire pit area in needs mowing in full but it can wait another week. 

On my list - power washing the front porch and back deck. It’s actually a satisfying task to do but we have to feed a hose through the front porch cat fencing and it’s just enough of a pain that I’ve put it off. A hot day is a good time to do it, so I’ll wait for one of those that fall on a free day. 

And, oh dear, horse blanket wash, sun dry, and pack away time. I have sworn to do it before the month is out after leaving it last year to the last minute in what was it, October? 

Otherwise I have done a little embroidery work this week and submitted several pieces of writing, and I’m now, at this moment, gearing up to start my work day with clients. All is well.