June Update

I haven’t been posting here because I’ve had trouble finding anything to say that doesn’t involve something depressing, and there’s enough of that in the world! But in service of trying to make the world a slightly more cheerful place, here are some pictures of things that have helped me get through the last few months:

A picture of several pots with seedlings in.
I started with a lot of seeds. I … still have a lot of seeds.

I planted lots and lots of seeds this year, and found out that it’s both frustrating and exciting. Main frustrations: I lost track of what seed I had in what pot, and seeing how few germinated, in a few cases, was very disheartening. It didn’t help when I accidentally used my alcohol water to water the seedlings one day….

Picture of thorny black raspberry stalks.
Berry bushes!

I am absolutely delighted to find blackberry bushes growing wild on the property. I don’t expect to get any of the fruit, of course, not with the plethora of wildlife, but that’s okay. I’ll get around to domesticating the berry bushes another year. Right now I’m just pleased to see them; I’ve always wanted berry bushes.

Picture of a gigantic orange polyphore mushroom found in the wild.
Weird and wonderful mushrooms!

This mushroom has proven reliable; it comes back every year in the same spot. It looks like chicken of the woods. The app I’m using insists that’s what it is. I’m still not eating it….

A picture of red yarrow, and a lot of weeds.
Ignore the weeds!

I love yarrow, and this bright red variety is just ridiculously cheerful. I smile every time I see it. I’ve recently deadheaded it back, so it’s not this pretty any longer, but it should come back for a second round of blooms in the next couple of months.

A picture of a tomato plant grown from seed.
From seed!

I still smile every time I go up on the deck and see the tomato and pepper plants I grew FROM SEED. They’re developing very nicely, and have promising flower buds, and I’m desperately hoping they produce actual fruit. I’ve had so many, many problems with vegetables over the years; that’s why I normally stick to herbs. You can’t really screw up herbs.

A picture of a rosemary bush.
Rosemary is SO EASY.

See? Rosemary. Give it crappy soil and full sun and it will grow like anything. Easy as easy can be.

An image of a bumblebee on a lavender blossom, with a backdrop of zebra grass.
Lavender and zebra grass seem to like one another.

I like using concrete blocks for raised beds. It makes it easy to add in lots of smaller plants in the holes around the main bed. In this case, day lillies seem entirely content with the restricted space. And the lavender is just entirely cool with being crowded in against the zebra grass. I probably ought to separate them this fall, they’re both getting a little too big for their britches.

A picture of swamp azalea blooming.

I left this image a bit larger so you can see just how amazing these blossoms are. I thought it was honeysuckle at first, but if you look, it’s actually a shrub! These are swamp azaleas, and they smell amazing in bloom. I firmly believe that all the clearing out of the undergrowth and trimming up of the bigger trees has allowed these to flower for the first time in a while. They certainly didn’t bloom last year! Moments like this feel like the land saying “thank you” for all the work I’m putting in to improving it.

Picture of butterfly patterned wallpaper
Bathroom overhauls are NOT FUN.

I normally love painting. For some reason, the last few months I have just not been interested in picking up a roller. So I finally gave in and ordered self stick wallpaper for the downstairs half bath. It’s a pretty pattern and mostly obscures the less than perfectly smooth wall beneath… Now we just have to go get the baseboard and molding cut to size and nail it in place… Soon. We hope. Once I feel safe going to Lowe’s again….

Picture of a partially disassembled deck.
It’s more fun than it looks…

We need to replace the big pool deck, and after hearing a couple of estimates on cost, I decided that we’d save a huge chunk if we just tore it down ourselves. So this is HALF of the deck, in the process of being dismantled. (It’s a very large deck.) Once the top boards are out, we’ll cut some of the posts down to ground level and start amending the soil around them, which is currently a long standing soggy mosquito pit. I have high hopes of developing a garden in that area…

So I’ve been keeping busy, a lot of outdoor work, a lot of indoor work. I’ll spare you the endless images of my cooking, but my freezer, fridge, and garage freeze are pretty well stocked. Writing has been…. not great, to be honest. It’s hard to feel like writing has any value right now. I find more satisfaction in physical labor that shows tangible results. I haven’t entirely given up on writing, but it’s a slow, forced crawl right now.

What have YOU been using to keep yourself going? Tell me in the comments! I sincerely love hearing about other people’s strategies and successes.

Keep on keeping on, and may the sun warm you and the wind cool you and the rain calm you. Hugs all around!

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