What have I been up to this summer?

You may have noticed that I’ve been quiet lately.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy, just the opposite.  So I thought I would take a moment and review where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing over the past months.

Beets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, there has been the yard and the garden and the house.  This is my second year in the backyard garden, and that continues to take up a lot of my time.  I plant and mulch and weed and water.  My spring crop did well.  I recently picked the last of the lettuce, and plan to plant more after Labor Day.  I had a lot of slugs slugs this year.  They did damage on the strawberries and cabbage.   The blackberry hedge has grown over the six foot fence, and is spreading everywhere.  I covered it with a mesh, but the berries poke through and birds come and snack.  When I replaced that with a light cloth, the wind blew it off and I spent time every day trying to tie it down, only to have a gust of wind blow it off again.  So I have had to learn to share.  The birds get some, and we get some, the animals get some, and we get some.  Actually, we don’t get that much.

In between spring and summer crops I got a case of poison something.  Then a few weeks later, I got it again.  I say poison something because I don’t think it was poison ivy.  Maybe poison sumac?  I had it on my face and neck and arms, and even on my hand.  Parts of my face swelled up.  This is the hazard of doing work outdoors and being outdoors.  Then there is what the dog brings in on his fur.  It doesn’t affect him, but we touch and hug him and, well, you get the picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Campaigning

Larry and I formed our committee.  We have a PAC and a back account and held a fundraiser in late June.  It was a huge success and I now have all the money needed for a successful campaign.  I have a list of volunteers and more offering help every week.  The enthusiasm about my campaign has been so humbling, and also exciting.  People  want responsible, honest, and competent elected officials who treat everyone equally and don’t play favorites.  That doesn’t seem like too much to ask, but here, we haven’t had it for a while.

Nashville

The Parthenon in Nashville, TN

We did get out of town a few times.  We went to Nashville to visit my cousin.  That was a lot of fun.   I hadn’t seen my cousin in a long long time, and I also caught up with her son and his family.

Statue inside the Parthenon. Yes, it really is this big!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And historic homes from the pre-Civil War era.  We also visited some battlefields.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family affairs

I made a quick trip north to see my parents.  My father had minor surgery, but when you’re nearly 90, nothing is minor.  He did great and was recovering nicely.  A few weeks ago we went back again to help him celebrate his 90th birthday.  He enjoyed cake and family and the congratulations of his family and friends at the assisted living facility.  He really liked his cake.

Over the 4th of July holiday, we had a houseful of company.  My head swims when I think about how many people we had over so I’ll just say it was a lot.  It was great for everyone to get together on both sides of the family.  We ate and hung out and related stories and repeated it all.

In late July we spent a week in Orlando attending the International Jewish Genealogical Conference.  We mostly split up for the sessions as Larry is more advanced than I am at research.  I learned a lot about where to find information about ancestors, how to build a family tree, and so much else.  I met people whose ancestors were from the same village as mine and learned how to use newspapers to put together a social history.  When I got home I began to tackle the job of sorting and organizing the boxes of photos, albums, newspaper clippings, and letters I have from my parent’s house.  I  am dividing them into families and then into timeframes.  Next I need to label and digitize them.

And on to August . . .

If it’s August then it must be time for the garden and the campaign.  I had a campaign committee meeting and worked on strategy.  I drafted the next piece of literature for my door hanger.  I recruited volunteers for GOTV (get out the vote – activities in the weeks before the election).

And I still work daily in the garden, planting and weeding and fighting all manner of insect life with my organic weaponry.    The green beans did well, tomatoes did not –too much rain and wet.  For the first time in years I am not going to can tomatoes.  No one in my area has enough to sell me the large boxes I need.

Hot Thai papers, red and green.

The tomatoes and peppers are just now starting to get big, slowed down by the wetter and colder than normal summer.  Last year I had baskets of them, this year only a handful.  The life of a backyard gardener is not easy.

But sometimes there are other joys that lift our spirits, like this little green guy who made my day.  I know he can’t completely solve my insect problem, but it’s a start.  I saw him for a few days, each day getting bigger after his snacks, until I didn’t see him.  He must have moved on to another plant.

Look carefully you will see a praying mantis in between the real stems. Hint: it’s in the middle of the picture.

 

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