That’s Better

That’s Better

The heat wave broke today, thank goodness. I’ve been sitting out on the back porch, or wandering around the garden, most of the day. Not only did the temperature fall to 25C, but it also rained. It has been weeks since a quenching rain has occurred here. Lawns had turned brown and crunchy, the earth in the garden was cracking. Attila watered the gardens every single day, using all of the 1200 litres of rain water that had been collected in the last big rain storm, and then having to depend on the municipal water supply to continue. The garden stayed green and healthy. Now that it has rained, the garden is downright lush. And we have about 700 liters of rain water collected in the rain tanks today. Who looks forward to rain? We do!

Every day Attila brings me treasures from his gardens. Today it was a fresh carrot, a very small zucchini, and six large leaves of Swiss Chard. These were sauteed with chopped onion, and some edible pod peas that I picked this morning out of the garden. It seemed a waste to compost the carrot greens. After some research, a plan was devised for using them. First the woody stems were removed, and put in the compost. Then the greens were blanched for three minutes in boiling water, drained, and added to the saute pan, along with the other ingredients. I didn’t notice the carrot greens in my dish, they weren’t strong tasting. A few woody stems remained though, that is something to watch for next time.

Another grocery order was ready for us today. With the exception of that bag of rotting carrots last month, the orders have been filled perfectly. There are items that aren’t available on the shopping web site, I wonder if they are still in the stores, just not on the product lists for online shopping. There is no way to tell, since we don’t go into public buildings, even though masks are now mandatory where we live. We are getting good at washing the incoming items with soap and water, a system has developed. I am particularly careful with frozen foods, washing them well, because research has shown that smooth surfaces and low temperatures facilitate a long life for the Covid-19 virus.

The happy Clematis on the fence, Chamomile in bloom at its feet, Edible Pod Peas further down the fence, with Wild Strawberry plants and Daikon Radish plants. Moving further down the fence are Granny’s Rose, the roses are spent and Rosehips are developing, Day Lilies from Granny’s garden, and then the half filled rain tank (500 litres in the tank, 1000 litre capacity), with the overflow rain barrel in front of the rain tank, and the drain hose from the rain barrel, through the fence, and into a large garbage can that is acting as a makeshift rain barrel.
The “lawn” is indigenous plants, so it is still green, while the yards around ours have become expanses of crunchy brown dead grass. The “weeds” that constitute our “lawn” are drought resistant, and so still primarily green. But with this rain today, everything is greening up again, even the brown crunchy yards.
Attila’s garden, as of today. In the foreground are mainly Curcubits: Zucchini, Pickling Cucumber, Pie Pumpkin, English Cucumber. In all that green is a row of Rhubarb, several Tomato plants, and several Tomatillo plants. The fence posts and pea netting are for the tomatoes, and there are Sunflowers at the end of those rows. Beyond that, just barely visible, is a covered row of Cabbages. Even further beyond are garlic, onions, potatoes, more Rhubarb, Italian Oregano (the bees are crazy about the Oregano flowers), Dill, and Blue Hubbard and Butternut Squash, and Melons, and, oh I can’t remember it all, there is so much!
I forgot to mention Borage, it is growing all over the place in the garden, the bees love Borage blooms!
And finally, just for the beauty of it, Zinnias. These are planted in the front yard, in a garden box near the house.



Date: 8:00 PM EDT Sunday 12 July 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.6°C
Dew point: 20.0°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: W 3 km/h
Humidex: 30
Visibility: 24 km


“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”
G. K. Chesterton
1874 – 1936


  1. Eileen Barton

    Gorgeous garden! I got some zinnias this year and plan on getting more next year as they do so well in my yard. Your clematis is beautiful.

  2. Bex Crowell

    Your garden is just spectacular.
    Re the groceries that come delivered, around here – the employees are at a completely separate “store” where they go to pick out the groceries for delivery. They are not in the regular stores. It’s even in another town… just for the purpose of picking for delivery. Probably so they don’t clog up the regular stores. xox

  3. Thanks Bex, Attila spends most of his free time in his garden, and I think it shows, lol.
    I don’t think they do the orders at a separate store here, I can’t be 100% sure, but it has happened that the fellow who is filling the order phones me from a local number to check order details, and Attila was talking to him from a distance yesterday. Great fellow, good job except for those rotten carrots, which hasn’t happened again, so it was just a one-off incident, I hope. We are getting used to the online ordering, and washing everything we get in hot soapy water when it comes into the house. We have a routine now, clearing out the kitchen cupboards, wiping everything down with soapy water, washing the items, rinsing them, placing them on a clean towel to drip, then drying with another towel to prepre for storage, washing those towels in the laundry, washing down the kitchen counters and sinks, washing clothes we were wearing when handling the items. It is a big job, but it is getting easier as we get used to it.
    We don’t know who has handled all of the food, so everything gets washed with soapy water, even the green pepper, and cardboard packages.
    For sensitive items that can’t be successfully washed in soapy water, we have a quaranteen tote, and stuff sits in there for two weeks before it is touched again.
    I don’t know if the stores here get clogged, hard to tell since I haven’t been anywhere near them for quite a while. Masks are mandatory now in public places here, thank goodness.

  4. Sandy

    Your yard and vegetable garden is wonderful! The Clematis stunning. When you say you wash frozen foods, do you mean the exterior box? I get frozen spinach and wipe down the box with alcohol before putting it in the freezer. Because I heat the spinach when i cook it, I thought that would do in any virus that might have survived. I’m curious how you do it. Thanks!

  5. Thanks Sandy, I am so grateful that gardening soothes Attila’s soul, the garden is wonderful here for so many reasons.
    I wash the only the outer package of frozen foods, the contents will be cooked, as you point out, and that will kill the virus, we wash our hands constantly when dealing with packaged foods. Alcohol would work better than washing the packages I think, but we don’t have access to alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and just recently managed to get a jug of real bleach, rather than the scented silly stuff for laundry, which does not sanitize properly. Our access to sanitizers is still non-existant. I keep trying to find it at a price that isn’t ridiculous, but it is always out of stock.

  6. Joan Brennan

    I planted Zinnias the year before last and will not be without them now. And 4 o’clocks.
    Your gardens look marvellous. Kudos to Attila! And to you!

  7. Thanks Joannie! I love the Zinnias! They were Attila’s idea, they are thriving in a spot that kept getting dug up by squirrels, little diablos. They don’t like zinnias it seems. 4 o’clocks you say, I’ll have to have a look at those for next summer!

  8. Margarett

    Dear Maggie, and everyone: I have realized that no matter how “hard”
    I wish for a faster recuperation, it will happen when it is ready. How do I thank y’all for your prayers and warm thoughts? I will be 3 weeks
    Post-op tomorrow, and I want better, faster! Your garden is beautiful, and the Clematis is wonderful. Aren’t colors in the garden prettier than any where else? Baking your way each week….special hot dog buns?? FUN AND FANTASTIC! Every time I read your posts, I want to bake. Can’t right now, but I will bake again, at some point. Mike is attempting to reach my garden helper, for an extra day of work, since I am not able to dead-head or anything. I was able to sit on the deck for about 30
    Minutes yesterday. But, all I could see was what needed to be done. Cooper (Bichon) hates the cane and the walker…he goes crazy wanting to get them away from his “Mama”… no one has ever even shooed him away with anything, but he does not like my assistive devices. Talk about heat….our heat index has not been under 105 in the past 2 weeks,
    And our humidity is way up there. We have been fortunate to have a couple of quick, but drenching, thunder storms lately, and I think our grass is growing at least an inch every day. I am slowly progressing, health wise. B/P and heart rate is still not therapeutic, so I am going thru medication changes every 4-6 days. No stamina yet….that will have to be re-gained later. I am praying that the CT Scan on 7/29 will show that all the surgical repairs are intact and working like a charm. It is truly amazing what can be done for and to, the human body. Oh, remember when I ordered and planted 50 big, white caladium bulbs? They are absolutely beautiful….making the small bed that I planted for my Jason, absolutely beautiful. I said that twice….must be the medications!!,,
    I will check back in with you all soon. xxoo margarett

  9. Hello Margarett, so glad you are safe and sound. Healing takes its own time, sure you know that better than anyone, 🙂
    It sounds hot there, and at 105 with humidity, it must be dreadful.
    On top of all of your healing challenges, the heat, the humidity, it sounds like the pandemic has hit Texas hard. If ever there was time, which there isn’t really, to be moving slowly and staying home, this would probably be it.
    Stay safe dear friend!!

  10. Sandy

    Hi Maggie. Oh good, that’s close to how I clean my frozen foods too. I haven’t seen any hand sanitizers online that aren’t priced like gold. My neighbor said there are no hand sanitizers in our local grocery stores either. We just have to make do with what we can get. 🙂

  11. Sandy

    Hi Margarett. I’m glad you posted here so we know how you’re doing. It sounds like you have a strong spirit and family to help as you recover. Slow and steady wins the race! I hope there’s good news when you have your CAT scan. Humidity saps my energy too! Get well soon and please keep us updated. My cat, Sam, sends greetings to Cooper 🙂 Sandy

  12. Hello Maggie
    Atilla sounds like one very dedicated fella…….that looks like a fairly large plot to tend but it certainly seems to provide plenty of goodies for you both to enjoy
    Thank you so much for your recent email. I am very lucky to have blogging ‘friends’ who care. I think I’m over whatever it was that was ailing me. These are very testing times for us all, times we have never experienced before so have no real knowledge of how we will cope.

  13. Hello Cathy
    Attila loves his garden, it is his escape. It is the perfect hobby with benefits for him. I like to putter a bit, I will go out there and pull a few weeds, pick a few peas, but other than the two raised beds, the garden is tended by Attila.
    I knew your area was hard hit with the pandemic lately, so when I didn’t see an entry for a while, I was concerned. The times are unprecedented in our lifetime. Things are so very different now, I feel that if I were to venture out into the world I would feel a little lost, it has been so long, I haven’t been out since February. New skills are being developed by everyone, which is fine when you choose change, but not so fine when change chooses you!
    Stay safe dear friend!

  14. Margarett

    Hi Sandy….first, thank you for your prayer list. And tell Sam, a huge
    YA-HOO from us in Texas….Cooper(Bichon), Annie ( mini schnauzer),
    Sheldon (85 pounds of lab and something), Caesar (rescued kitten on a mountain), and Thelma ( Grand kitty rescued by daughter)
    Again, thank you for caring.
    xxoo. Margarett

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