Saturday, July 26, 2008

Picking Beans & Cleaning Porches

My gardens have been sorely in need of attention since early spring. I have mostly perennials except for a couple of flats of impatiens in the back along the porch. I managed to weed most everything once this spring and get the impatiens planted, but that has been it. I now have some weeds taller than some of the daylilies, but I don't know when I'll get to them yet, so it's a good thing we live in the country! As far as vegetables go, we don't plant much anymore for just the two of us and I am not fond of freezing/canning anymore -- been there, done that and would rather be quilting! Bill plants tomatoes -- and ours are terrible this year - the vines are already dying and the tomatoes are few and far between; he plants green peppers and they are so bad that none of the 6 or 7 plants flowered at all -- there will be no green peppers; he planted radishes, but then we got too much rain and all of a sudden hot weather, so they weren't all that good. I talked him into building 4 square foot garden beds -- they are actually 4 square feet each. In two of those he planted green beans -- I love fresh garden beans! We started picking last week and had fresh green beans almost every night for dinner. Today the plan was to pick enough for next week -- but when I got out there, all these glorious beans were at their peak (you know if you leave them too long they go bad on the vine). So -- I picked all the ones I could find today and left the plants to flower again and produce again. This is what I brought in: That's full to the top of an ordinary brown grocery bag!

I spent another hour snapping and washing and bagging and ended up with 7 full quart bags which is more than enough for at least one meal -- probably two, and 5 half gallons also. I sent Bill on his way this afternoon down the road to all the neighbors with the excess!

Thursday I decided it was way past time to clean the porches. I didn't take a before picture of the front porch, but these are the after pictures. I cleaned it with a broom and the hose and washed the windows and screens and the furniture. When I started, Bill said he could probably borrow a pressure/power washer from the neighbor. I said I didn't need it, but then started to think about it. So I told him to go buy one -- it's not like we'd never use it again -- they are pretty handy to have around. I didn't clean the back porch on Thursday, because it was late afternoon by the time he went out and bought the power washer. These pictures are the front center porch, to the left and to the right after I cleaned it.

While I was helping Bill put the power washer together that afternoon, he said, "You don't even want to know what I spent on this thing!". I said I did, since I pay the credit card bills. He said he paid cash. I asked why, and his reply was, "I had too much cash lying around"!! I told him I have never had that problem! LOL (And really, if I'd known he had too much cash lying around, I'd have helped him remedy that problem, gladly!
Anyway, today we powered up that bad boy and I cleaned the back porch -- these pictures show the industrial sized spider webs and dirt before and the nice clean areas after I power washed those puppies right off the face of the earth! This is not technically on the back porch -- this is the corner of the back door to the house and the garage door to outside, before and after (the spiders really love this corner -- and the mud dobbers have a mud nest in the upper corner -- and I bet it would withstand a hurricane because I could not get it down with the force of the water -- I was afraid the stain would come off the house first!).

This is the center of the back porch and the filthy deck - these windows are in the dining room.
And this is to the left of the center -- the french doors open to the library.
This is the after picture of the left side.
And these are the pictures of the center -- after! I didn't take an after picture of the right side -- so you'll have to take my word for it that the kitchen windows and area of the back porch are also clean! vbg

A job well done and a whole lot easier with the power washer. (I did wash the windows again after I took this after pictures!). And maybe sometime this week I'll be able to get out into the gardens again and tackle some of those weeds.

The only quilting I've done is a donation quilt for a friend, plus working slowly on piecing some Chiclet variation blocks -- completely scrappy and dipping into my scrap bins that have already been sorted. I still need to sort, press, and cut a lot of scraps -- but they'll have to wait. I also have a friend's quilt on the longarm right now that I hope to start quilting tomorrow. It's not a big quilt, so it shouldn't take too long and I know what I want to do with it, so that is half the battle. Hopefully, tomorrow afternoon....

On a sad note, Randy Pausch of "The Last Lecture" fame lost his battle with pancreatic cancer yesterday. My heart goes out to his wife and 3 very young children. He was only 47. If you have not read "The Last Lecture" -- I heartily recommend it.

Steve's MRI was once again clear -- we're thanking God.
Steve & Kim are at a Jimmy Buffett concert tonight -- they have been to nearly all of his concerts that are in our area (Chicago/Wisconsin).
Doing some physical work this week -- it's good for the soul!
Having a sewing day with a friend -- that's good for the soul, too.


StitchinByTheLake said...

Wish I was one of you neighbors - I love fresh green beans! blessings, marlene

Carol said...

Oh those beans just look yummy! Your porch is sparkling...what a big job! Oh how fun that Steve and Kim went to see Jimmy...we've seen him several times and he is just so much fun. I'm so glad they are both doing well.

Mary said...

I love your porches! So glad to hear that Steve's MRI is clear.

Too bad we don't live closer, Keith LOVES string beans and the ones I bought from the grocery store last week were terrible!