Today I sit on my blue, padded lounge chair on my lovely front porch, typing away on my HP Pavilion x360. I’m also listening to some of my favorite music; so peaceful. The weather is so perfect this morning! It’s cloudy, about 75 degrees and breezy; I can sit here for hours. It’s just perfect!!! The only thing disturbing my Zen is a skinny kid wearing a neon yellow shirt, khaki pants operating a gas weed whacker in the yard next door!!! Will he ever finish his job??? My husband and I basically have been living on this porch recently. The thing that has changed is…The Covid-19 virus! In the past, Bob and I haven’t been able to take full advantage of our porch due to sharing our house with our B&B guests. The guests always had first dibs on the front porch. Currently, the world is the middle of the Covid-19 Corona Virus Pandemic. It’s mid-August and the pandemic started in March.
Regretfully, we had to shut of accommodations down for the Haven Suite (B&B) until a vaccine is created. Most businesses have closed down as well: hotels; restaurants; movies; library; shops; coffee shops; retailers and churches. This has been quite the shock to our economy to say the least! Many businesses have closed permanently. Unemployment is at its highest rate since the great depression. We are getting close to a depression. It’s a sad time we are living in. So far 160K Americans have died from the virus.
When sitting on our porch, I’m able to enjoy the beautiful Hummingbirds drink from our strategically placed feeders. I read on-line the further apart you place your feeders, the better luck you will have attracting birds; it was true! Bob and I sit for hours watch these little feisty creatures fly from one feeder to the other. Their colors are stunning; blues and greens almost like peacock feathers. My favorite hummingbird is the Ruby Throated. We also watch red and yellow finches, cardinals, chick-a-dee’s, wrens, robins, doves, blue jays, and sparrows. We also get Red Barred Owls and Red Hawks in our neighborhood. This sounds crazy, it’s during this time I can let my worries go for a while. When I lived on the east coast, I would drive to the shore and watch the ocean for hours to release stress.
I’ve been investigating nature trails near Clinton State Park and the Kaw River recently. Apparently, many Eagles roost on these paths. When the cooler weather permits, I would like to hike and bird watch here.
Trying to find new subjects to write about isn’t always easy. I prefer to write about uplifting events, inspiration subjects or stories with some humor behind them; however, it’s not always easy. Recently I wrote a blog post which was brutally honest regarding my Early Onset Alzheimer’s. That blog was extremely difficult to write and even more difficult to post publicly! I received several private messages stating how moved, saddened and effected my readers were about my brutal honesty regarding this recent post. I took the post down after the third private message; I never want my blog to give my readers a negative or sad experience. I will admit, it was extremely therapeutic spewing all of my feeling out in that particular post!
Their comments helped me so much! They brought me to a better place. The readers helped me recognize how important it is to stay positive instead of being a Debi Downer. By nature, I’m typically a positive person, a glass half full and a believer that for every bad thing that happen, a great thing follows. My disease has made me more paranoid, confused and anxious; but I won’t discuss that now. With more free time on my hands, I have been blessed with the freedom to create new hobbies and spend time on old ones. The Pandemic has put limitations on most of my hobby’s.
In the Spring I decided to plant a Victory Garden. I wanted to get closer to mother earth. Even though I hate bugs, spiders, weeds, snakes and anything other than a plant or flower in the ground. I don’t mind dirt. Why the sudden interest? It was actually my husband Bob idea. A neighbor several streets away made a raised bed in the front of their home several years ago and we both passed it during walks, thinking it was really cool. I had container plants many years ago. I enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to weed as much, watering was easier and I could move the containers to different locations if they weren’t doing well. We had great lettuce and tomatoes. The truth is…I really enjoy watching plants grow!
So, I started my research. I opened my laptop and went straight to Pinterest. I found everything I needed to know right there. Bob and I discussed the size and decided on 4” X 10”. According to Pinterest, 2X10 or 4X10 was perfect. Next, I had to determine the material I wanted to use; we used treated wood. My daughter Jillian and husband Adam built the raised bed for me. It took them about 2 hours. It was filled with Vegetable Soil from Home Depot and ready to be sowed.
I purchased Tomatoes, 2 types of Lettuce, Spinach, 2 types of Strawberries, Orange Bell Peppers, Rosemary and Cilantro plants from the nursery. I also purchased heirloom seeds from our local nursery. The seeds I bought are watermelon, honeydew, cucumbers, corn, chives and cantaloupe. The seeds were planted inside first and then transferred outside in mid-May. I had to study the sunlight patterns in the yard before planting I had Bob’s help doing this.
The sun wasn’t shining long enough on the tomatoes, so I had to buy containers, transfer and move them; they seem to be doing well now. We have had two small tomatoes so far.
I’ve waited four weeks to write again to let you know the progress of my Victory Garden. It’s been interesting to put it mildly! We had a week of heavy rains; and then the summer sun heat hit. The raised garden bed has been doing really well. The lettuce was harvested several times until it became bitter. The spinach and cilantro never grew. Rosemary and thyme are growing well; I was able to pick, dry and jar them. Peppers are healthy, yet haven’t bourn any peppers yet. The corn is growing like gang busters! Five ears of corns are getting ready for picking. The melons and cucumbers are growing; yet showing no signs of fruit yet and it’s a few days before August. Cauliflower strawberries, and carrots foliage’s are growing, we will see what happens.
I have learned so many do’s and don’ts for next planting season. My garden will be more vertical next year. Even though I did companion plant this season, I will put more focus on this next season. I will also plant in different locations.
This garden has been a great chore to focus on during the Covid-19 Virus pandemic. Giving plants life when hearing day in and day out about death has been a nice thing. Until then, enjoy Mother Nature!