Hello Readers! 2020 is dragging on, but there is some “light”. Hats off to summer! The year is not turning out like any of us expected, but we’re making the best of it. Life’s still pretty good.
First off, SHE DID IT! My daughter officially graduated from high school.
I am grateful to our town’s school officials for granting us an “outdoor graduation”. We did not have all our family fly in from around the world like we envisioned, but in times like these, we need to focus on what we have, not what we “could have had and missed” (not easy sometimes, I know). For our high school’s graduation, seniors were divided in groups, alphabetically, and graduation was spread over several days. Seniors picked up their gowns, programs, and a few gifts in a goodie bag the week before. On our “day”, we pulled into the parking lot, parking in assigned, socially-distanced spaces. When it was her turn, Audrey approached an outdoor stage, picked up her beautifully-bound diploma, and stopped at the end of the stage to be photographed. Afterward, we did what we could to make her graduation day special. It turned out to be a wonderful, memorable time.
Mother Nature hasn’t disappointed! We had such a cool, wet spring, and now we’re having a hot, dry summer. I love it, and so do all the plants!
The flowers have been blooming so beautifully this year. It’s hard not to feel joy with so much color abounding!
I started my vegetable garden from seeds indoors in early spring, and now the plants are doing great! Things were a little “iffy” at first, because of the cold temps we were experiencing so late in the season. I used seeds I had on hand from previous years. Seeds will generally germinate and last up to five years, IF stored properly, in a cool, dry place, like a wooden box or in a closet.
We’ve also seen lots of sweet babies this year. Mother Robin started a nest by my kitchen. There must’ve been too much activity, because she moved to the top of a topiary on my front porch (my “back” door is actually my “front”).
She sat on that nest for several weeks. Babies hatched from the three eggs, and we delighted in seeing them grow. We could peek through the glass, without disturbing them. Mama Robin is often in the yard, right nearby when I’m gardening.
We stained our back deck, badly weathered through the years. My husband was happy to hear he could work on staining the front deck, since the robin babies had flown the “nursery”, (though I felt a pang of “empty nest”). However, he has to wait. Our lil’ Mama Robin now has FOUR big eggs, working on her second brood.
Here in Connecticut, it was a long haul, but we’re in “Phase Two” of reopening from quarantine. All the hard efforts seem to have paid off, as Covid infection is lower. It’s kind of uncomfortable, but necessary, to wear masks in public. I spent many hours sewing masks to give to any friends and family who needed one. Mine are washable, and only take about twenty minutes to air dry. If you have to wear a mask it should match your personality, don’t ya think? Mine matches my kitchen, of course.
When news gets overwhelming, I need to do something creative to “reset”- things that require little expense and errand running. I moved my sewing room around to fit an antique sewing table gifted to me from friends a while ago. It now sits next to my favorite machine, as a cutting table, with my cutting mat on top.
A $10 tabletop ironing board from Target, recovered in leftover fabric from a long-ago sewing project, now sits ready. I sewed up a matching bag to hold my iron’s cord, and one to keep my sewing machine’s pedal and cord. Everything is neat and ready to go.
To hold my scissors, I repurposed a little metal planter on hand from Ikea. I decoupaged the tin with free printouts found on Pinterest, using Modge Podge. I love how it turned out. Pinterest has dozens of free, vintage-inspired printouts, including some that look like old canned food labels or advertising. Vintage postcards, seed packets, or even your own photos, can be used with a color printer. The possibilities are endless. For outside, such as for on planters, use the waterproof Modge Podge meant for outdoor use. To keep things from bubbling up, use a sponge-type brush applying thin coats, starting with the back of the paper piece that you are applying to whatever you are decoupaging. I also made a “cherry themed” can, using a clean dog food can. FUN!
It’s amazing what you get used to, (I’m a homebody by nature), so getting “out and about” took a bit of coaxing. One recent beautiful day, we took a ride up to one of my favorite antique haunts, having lunch outdoors on their patio by a beautiful red barn.
Driving home, we found an animal sanctuary, Action Wildlife Foundation, open for a social-distanced, drive-through “safari”.
Patrons are allowed to feed the animals at the edge of the fence. It was beautiful there!
I never imagined I’d be so close to a zebra! It was exciting, inexpensive family fun, and left us feeling renewed.
Much of our summer fun and plans are canceled. There’ll be no camping this year. That’s okay…we’ve been “camping” at home, opening “Gidget”, sitting around the fire pit on beautiful summer evenings. We look at this time all together as a blessing.
Life’s getting somewhat back to “normal”, though I will miss events such as our local “Comic Con”, county fairs, and other get-togethers. We’re content to enjoy simple things, savoring the slower pace of 2020. I’m surprised that I’ll look back and miss some of the unexpected joys that appeared during quarantine – being rested from no alarm clock, quiet evenings by the fire pit with my family, the sound of nature and no traffic, neighbors surprising us with home-baked goodies, and the sense that we were all in something together. I pray eventually Covid-19 completely disappears from our planet, but that the slower pace of life, counting of blessings, smarter ways of doing things, and sense of community, will linger on.
Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs (virtually & 6 feet+ apart),