Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Fog Rolls In, the Fog Rolls Out

We have only seen flashing glimpses of the sun for the past 10 days now and it's getting to be a bit tiresome. The seeds in the veggie garden are rotting in the ground and the slugs are taking over despite my best efforts. There is no end in sight!

We haven't been able to see beyond Hog Island for days. On Friday, we did have a few brief moments of sunshine, but the fog quickly regrouped and came creeping back in.

Fortunately, many of the annuals actually like the cool mist the fog brings along.

Several years ago, my eldest son brought me a few amaryllis bulbs from his garden in Florida. Those few bulbs are now bursting out of their pots and I'll have to be gifting a few to some of my gardening friends. These babies are so easy. Every autumn, I put them down in my unheated mechanical room, don't even water them all winter long. Along about late April, I begin watering them again and in June, as soon as the danger of frost is over, I place them outside and feed them with Miracle Grow. When they're done blooming, the green, strappy leaves give the deck a nice, tropical feel.

The gazanias don't seem to mind the foggy weather.....

nor do the lobelia and nemesias.

Every year, I anticipate the blooming of the poppies and this year, I counted 19 buds....

unfortunately, the rain has beat them down and they are not in their glory which is sad as their bloom time is so very short.

The Cranesbill is in full bloom along the perennial border......

and the catmint is keeping up it's blooming. It's one of the hardest workers in my garden, blooming almost all summer long!

I have a confession to make. I'm somewhat of a kleptomaniac when it comes to sedums. Just about every public garden we've visited seems to have an overabundance of sedum varieties, and in my need to "help out" these gardens, I tend to prune a few of their sedums. As a result, I have quite a variety, but have no idea what their names are. However, I can tell you which garden I nicked them from! This beautiful bloomer came from my neighbor's garden, but I did have her permission to "pinch" a bit!

Lastly, I'm happy to report that the poor, abused Japanese Maple I transplanted this spring has been deliriously happy in her new spot next to the pond. The Gnome in charge of the water feature has been keeping an eye on her and reports she's growing by leaps and bounds!

And so, my friends, Giddy hopes to have your wishes and crossed fingers for a really, really, sunny and warm July!

Life is Good!

Hugs, Giddy

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rainy Day Blues

Well, friends, it's raining again - for the third day in a row. And not just nice, gentle rain, but big cloudbursts, sending sheets of water zipping down the road toward us! Luckily, we have excellent drainage and none of it is entering the house.

Nonetheless, we are in good spirits and this post will just meander on about what's been happening over the past few days.

Last week, I was stacking some of the firewood we had delivered last week and I came across what I thought looked like a piece of lichen. Much to my surprise, the lichen opened his eyes and looked at me!

The rain has kept me out of the garden, but I've been busy knitting away the hours in the house.

I finished this vest this week.......

and popped out a quick wine cozy.

We did have a beautiful, sunny day last Tuesday, so we took advantage of it to revisit Asticou Azalea Garden and make the first of our summer visits to Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor.

Most of the azaleas had already bloomed out, but there was enough color left to make for a wonderful visit.

there were so many photo opportunities........

each one lovlier than the next.

At Thuya Garden, the blooming had not begun in earnest, but there was still plenty to delight the eye!

These Himalayan Blue Poppies were stunning.

These cute little Blue Orchard Bee (BOB) houses were peppered throughout the garden. H has promised to make a few for our garden.

The above link about the bees was quite interesting.

And last, but not least, we discovered who the thief with the sweet tooth was who had been draining the hummingbird feeder on the nights that I forgot to bring it in.

This little guy is obviously a descendant of "Big Booda, the Fat Raccoon", who undoubtedly grew so fat he could no longer make it up the stairs to raid the feeders.

And that pretty much sums up the highlights of the past week. Despite the rain, we are grateful for the cool weather and wish we could send all you southerners a respite from the awful heat you are experiencing.

Life is Good and Soggy!

Hugs, Giddy

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unusual Sunrise

We are situated on a peninsula and our home faces southwest so we are usually not able to see spectacular sunrises. On occasion, however, atmospheric conditions are just right for some great shots when the sun peeks out over the tops of the trees behind us and spotlights Calf Island across Flanders Bay.

H was up at his usual hour of 5 a.m. and got these great photos. It was a bit foggy out so the close ups look a bit washed out, but as usual, the camera just couldn't quite capture the beauty!

Calf Island stands out orange in the distance.

Life is Good

Hugs, Giddy

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Where's a Kid When 'Ya Need One??

Today, we had our annual five cords of wood delivered. The next couple of weeks will find us schlepping this pile, one wheelbarrow at a time, to the area under the deck so it can season nicely until we begin using it in October. We still have a bit left over from last year and that will be used on the occasional cool summer nights to ward off the chill of the evening.

We stacked about 7 wheelbarrows full and then decided to quit and fix our lunch. I suspect it will take a considerable amount of time to get it all stacked.

In the meantime, it was a beautiful day and we dined on grilled steak, steamed mixed veggies and yellow rice.
After lunch, I meandered out in to the garden to see what was blooming.........

the Columbine is in full bloom.......

as are the Centauria.

Clematis "Firecracker" is popping.......

and the viburnum "Marisii" is blooming for the first time!

the tiny blooms of the Cranesbill fill the garden. They are quite prolific with their seeds!

And so ends another day in the life of Giddy's family!

Life is Good, but really busy!

Hugs, Giddy

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Long Road Home

On our last day in Florida, H and I spent a pleasant few hours early in the morning sitting on a bench in Crystal Beach.

The cool ocean breeze and the birds singing overhead made for a very relaxing respite from the heat.

Everything was going along just fine. We'd had fun with the kids, didn't eat too much and blow the diet, got some exercise despite the gawdawful Florida heat and now it was time to quickly jet back the next day to our beloved Maine for some cooling off.


The clouds were lovely looking down from the aircraft 36,ooo feet above the earth.........

until we began seeing the ominous thunderheads accumulating. If you click on the above picture to enlarge it, you can almost imagine a diabolic head on the right side of this cloud cluster.

The day started off well enough with our 6:20 a.m. flight getting off the ground on time and we were just about to make our final descent into JFK on time to make our connecting flight to Portland.

Oops! All those pretty clouds I'd been photographing from the airplane were a good indication of what was transpiring on the ground - severe thunderstorms in New York. We were being diverted to Richmond,Virginia for refueling and waiting out the T-storms. Darn (this was not the word I was using at the time).

After two + hours on the ground, we were finally headed to JFK once again. H, being the anal retentive personality that he is, had Jet Blue's number in his cell phone and called ahead to get us on the next available flight to Portland at 1:55 p.m.

When we landed, we checked the board and found the flight had been delayed until 5 p.m. Darn (another bad word here). Upon further looking at the board, we realized that our original connecting flight had not yet left and were waiting on a crew. We rushed to the Help Desk and gratefully, got reseated on our original flight! Yay! Only one problem. Our bag would not make the flight and we would need to pick it up the next day - a six hour, round trip drive. But, what the hey, we were exhausted and wanted nothing more than to get home as soon as possible.

H spoke nicely with the Jet Blue lady about our predicament and she told us that, unfortunately, since we were "technically" on a stand by basis, we would have to pick up the bag ourselves. H, being the kind, polite person he is, thanked her and commiserated with her about what a difficult day she must have been having with all the weather delays.

And so, we headed home. Later that day, the nice Jet Blue lady called to say our bag had arrived and that she would talk to her supervisor to see if they could have it shipped via FedEx with whom they had a contract. Two minutes later, she called back to let us know our bag would be arriving the next day!

It pays to be nice to people!

And so, ended the Great Florida Adventure. Giddy is back home, her garden has burst forth with color, and tomorrow's blog post will feature photos of blooms, blooms and more blooms!

Life is Good.

Hugs, Giddy

Monday, June 08, 2009

Giddy's Big Florida Adventure

The trip began with a last respite at the Portland Jetport before heading into the eye of the hurricane known as "The Grandkids"! We were so looking forward to seeing everyone and the anticipation was high as we lifted off for warmer climes.

Of course, we hit the beaches first thing and it was good that we did as the heat was just about to do us "Mainahs" in.

The Divine Ms. Kaiya happily dug in the sand and helped dig moats around the sand castle we built.

Master Ashton helped find shells after we got out of the water because Gramma was pooped. The waves were coming ashore pretty fast and I took more than one tumble. But hey, one pays pretty good money for exfoliation at spas and the sand did a nice job on my skin!

Grampa sat quietly with Ms. Kaiya and made sand creatures.

Youngest Son, Brian and Dad got to spend quality time, deep in conversation.

After the beach, we headed back to the house for some delicious smoked barbecue with baked beans and potato salad, compliments of Brian and Amy and then launched into the "project" which Gramma had planned for the kids.

We purchased terra cotta pots, paints, potting soil and flowers at the store and then Ashton and Kaiya each painted thier pots (and themselves!).

One would think that by then, the kids would have been worn out. But NOoooooo! There was more in store for Gramma and Grampa. Gramps showed off his artistic bent by coloring with the kids and Gramma danced the afternoon away when Ashton held out his hand and asked "Would you like to dance"? Kaiya joined in for a really fun Conga Line! What a hoot!

After dragging ourselves out of bed, every bone in the body creaking and complaining, we headed up north to see Eldest Son, Jason and his girlfriend, Sabrina.

After yet another delicious meal of smoked salmon, smoked pork tenderloin, coleslaw, salad, yellow rice and black beans and other yummy side dishes, we headed back to our hotel and crashed in preparation for another day.

The next day, we enjoyed another day at the beach with Jason and Sabrina's son, Noah.

Jason entertained us with a few tunes, none of which we recognized, but then he probably didn't know any tunes from our era! He's a fine musician, however, whatever generation he's playing.

Today, we head back to Tampa for an early morning flight back to Maine and gratefully, cooler weather! While Florida is nice and we certainly enjoyed getting to see the kids and grandkids, the heat here is brutal and we look forward to firing up the wood stove if the evening cools off at home!

Life is Good!

Hugs, Giddy