Thursday, July 30, 2015

Planting Weeds

As ludicrous as it sounds, that is exactly what I did this morning.  Even more horrific (BLUSH), I paid about $36 for those weed seeds!  I planted crown vetch on the hillside along our driveway.  We have tried multiple times to plant grass there, but it won't grow.   6 years have gone by, and now lots of other weeds (aka wild flowers) are growing on the banks, however, some bare areas still remain, and are eroding with rain and wind.  So despite the fact that I cringe to plant such noxious weeds purposely on my property, I did do my homework.  Crown vetch grows voraciously, but does not do well in the shade, so the woods should keep it from wandering too far off the banks.  There is already crown vetch that I did not plant growing in some places on the bank, which tells me that it should do well there.


So much for explaining my crazy behavior this morning.

There was a light rain the night we returned from our vacation last week, but it's been nothing but sunshine and humidity since then, in other words, typical Pennsylvania summer weather.  (We did get some rain early this morning too, about 5 or 6 hours too late for Rain Day.)  Consequently, I've been able to get some work done in the garden.

Our bumper crop of blueberries is over, so I was able to remove the bird netting and FINALLY mow around the bushes again.  I also picked beans for the first time.  I pulled out the Spring peas, and planted a Fall crop.  I'm up to my eyeballs in beautiful golden zucchinis and cucumbers.  Everything looks lovely.

On Monday, the girls and I went to Idlewild, our favorite amusement park.  We rode the spider first, and I got terribly queasy right off the bat...walked around positively green for a good hour and a half.  One nice thing about this park, is that it is in the woods - it is easy to find a shady spot, even on the sunniest of days.  We planned to head to the water park after lunch, but once we arrived there, the girls had a change of heart - they asked if we could go home and play in our own pool!

This afternoon we headed South to take in "Beauty & the Beast" the musical.  It was great fun, especially afterwards as we strolled up the street, eating ice cream.  We ran into some of the cast in their cut off shorts and tank tops, and thanked them for the nice performance.

JP had more cryosurgery this evening, and is currently in bed.  Each procedure has been bothering him more.  The other day, he asked me why I thought this was.  I told him that I figured it was because he had needles stuck in his eye approximately 20 times in the past 6 weeks, but who knows?

J made dinner tonight:  Bean and Corn Flautas.  They were delicious.

The sun is getting low, so I will go pick beans before nightfall.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Where's the Bear? #36

The bear is heading into the pool.  We have all been spending quite a bit of time in there lately, as it turned into summer with a vengeance this week.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sizzling Summer Get-Away

We slipped a quick vacation in between JP's eye surgeries (literally) over the past few days.  He had additional cryosurgery last Thurs, and is scheduled for more tomorrow.  This is getting old, people.

We piled into the van and drove to Northern Virginia on Friday, and arrived in time to visit with family before the rehearsal dinner for JP's niece's wedding.  (We sort of missed the actual rehearsal, as it was on Thursday PM.) 

The next morning, the girls made their bouquets.

That evening, we got all dressed up for the wedding, at which the girls were flower girls.

The girls with their cousins.

The wedding itself was outside, and HOT, but only lasted about 20 minutes.  The reception was inside in an air conditioned area, and was super fun.  The girls danced it up with the bridesmaids.  JP and I even got out on the floor once.

After breakfast on Sunday, we drove to a Metro parking area, and rode the subway into Washington DC.  We had tickets to ride a trolley that had stops at various monuments around the city - we were supposed to be able to get on and off as we desired for the entire day, but it didn't really work out that well.  It was 101* out, and we wilted fast.

We popped into the Air and Space Museum briefly, but the rest of the world was there too, enjoying the free air conditioning.

After about 4 hours, we headed for the nearest subway station, and got the heck out of town!

We had planned to return to the city on Monday as well, but scrapped that idea due to continuing heat.  Instead, we headed to our old stomping grounds in Harrisonburg, VA.  We toured our college campus, ate at some of our favorite places, visited the cemetery where JP's parents are buried, ran into old friends, and visited with JP's cousins.  It was much cooler, and much less crowded than DC.

After spending a wee bit of time at Sparkling Springs, where as a child, JP used to spend summers with extended family, we headed home. 

These waters are said to have healing properties.
And it is fabulous to be back, let me assure you!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Where's the Bear? #35

Here's the bear taking some peas to Grandmom's house.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Where's the Bear? #34

While on our soggy jaunt North last week, we happened upon the Bear's cousin.  He was chillin' out near the mini golf course.

Friday, July 10, 2015

I Wish That I Had Duck Feet

The sun that was out for July 4th & 5th, disappeared quickly, and we've had nothing but wetness the rest of the week.  Monday the sky fell, the road and our field by the creek flooded, and we got a bit wet at the 4H picnic at the Fairgrounds.  Luckily, our homes on Poplar Ridge were fine, although our driveway was a bit washed out.

Today, our "free day" of the week, the girls and I hoped to go on an outing.  The forecast called for 0% chance of rain until 8 PM, but the skies were grey and a light rain was falling as we headed down the driveway this morning.  The girls were distressed, but we packed a lunch, and I grabbed our rain jackets on the way out, and decided to make the best of another wet day.

We went North to play a game of mini golf in the mist.  Surprisingly, we were the only ones there.  The fellow behind the counter, gave us a discount and a bag of candy each because of weather.  It was squishy on the course, but we had a good time any way.

After a quick detour to Target, we headed to our favorite park for a picnic lunch.  As we were carrying our lunch to a pavilion at Mingo, we noticed this snake in a tree.

It ends up that a gentleman had just finished up a presentation on snakes and turtles to the day campers there, and he was nice enough to show us his reptiles and talk to us about them.

L was determined to play in the creek, and as always, she got soaking wet.  We thought ahead, and brought extra clothes and a towel, so it was all good.

With a final stop at Rita's (for the girls) and Starbucks (for me), we headed back to Poplar Ridge, and arrived home just minutes before JP.

It might have been nice to have duck feet today, but we managed to have a fun day with our damp, human ones.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Where's The Bear? #33

Oops...caught the bear in the outhouse this time!  He looks a little embarrassed, doesn't he?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Independence Day Bash

We have had gorgeous weather for the past 2 days, if you don't mind the humidity.  I was worried that our July 4th Cook Out would get rained out, but we had perfect weather.

The girls kicked off the festivities, by having a snow ball fight.  The 3 of them gathered these snowballs during one of our many snow days last winter, and they have been safely stored away in the deep freeze for the past few months.

We had our usual wonderful spread, thanks to the good cooks that we happen to be friends with:  JP cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, and we had delicious salads, beans, and patriotic cup cakes, along with the typical chips, veggies and watermelon.

The major trauma of the event came when the kids swarmed up the ladder to the tree house, and unknowingly irritated this enormous nest of hornets located under the deck.  3 kids got stung, and 3 more had to be rescued by ladder from the opposite deck of the tree house.  Last night JP destroyed the nest, so it's safe to return to the Poplar Ridge tree house...whew.

After all stings were treated, 15 of us set off on a 30 minute hike around Poplar Ridge, picking wild black raspberries along the way.

Of course, after all of that exercise, we needed to eat some more.  Then it was time to cool off in the pool.

When dusk came, we all reconvened in the back yard of another friend to watch the fireworks at the Fairgrounds in town.

All in all, we had a fabulous day.  I hope all of our guests felt similarly!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Where's the Bear? #32

The bear is taking advantage of a lull in the precipitation to try out L's new bike.

I might as well take this opportunity to report on my exclamation point fast.  I am over half way through the 30 day time period, but I have to admit that I have used 2 or 3 well deserved exclamation points so far.  I guess I can't really call it a fast, but rather an extremely restrictive exclamation point diet.