[A short] summer reflection.

As the waining summer sets in a mishmash fusion of magentas, oranges, blues and crimson — the evening approaches as the day, and summer come slowly to an end. I gaze at mother nature’s painting across the sky; reflect and decide to take a few minutes to breath in what’s left of these fleeting moments of warmth, sunshine, greenery, and a blooming landscape.

The challenges we’ve taken on this season are nothing short of hard work and stick-to-it-ness, and pushed us to new levels of understanding of the world and ourselves as individuals and as a couple. Those challenges were nothing to sneeze at, but we gained knowledge and strength from them.

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We started the spring off with seeding — a huge number of vegetable and flower seeds in the basement — more than either of us had ever thought we could possibly handle. We invested in overhead lighting and daylight-temperature fluorescent bulbs. Overall we did good, some seeds never sprouted, but many we’re eating and canning right now! Each year, not only our seeds and plants grow, but we also grow as wiser gardeners and stewards of our little quarter acre.

More raised bed garden boxes were the first project of the spring, building a matching set of two 7’x5’ pine boxes and with the scraps left over building two other 3’x3’ boxes. Then getting enough good topsoil to fill them was the second order of business, luckily our neighbor owns a processing plant for topsoil and mulch and we got a great deal on the dirt! A good use of resources all around we thought.img_0001

After we got planting things seemed to take off with vigor in the warm spring sun and rain. Then after the end of June the rain just stopped — unheard of drought conditions set in for our region thereafter— making the growing season really tough. We were able to save most of our crops, but the yield is smaller in quantity and size, unlike our water bill! But we were still able to can some of our own peppers — a first for our garden!

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Just then a teenager on a skateboard rides down our street breaking my concentration while sitting on the front steps—Copper barks at the kid, he hates skateboarders and bicycles. I notice the clouds are moving in and light is growing dim and I remember what happened to poor Copper this summer.

My big guy, one of our golden retrievers, had a serious cervical disc injury in his neck. We took him to the emergency vet, where he was prescribed a number of pain killers and anti-inflammatories as well as serious rest and recovery. We had to take him off “backyard squirrel guard duty.” And after a full month we’re ecstatic and amazed he made a full recovery.

Other projects we accomplished were installing a new shadowbox privacy fence — which we could never have done without some guidance from family. We also saved up enough to get a new energy efficient boiler system installed — replacing our 45-year-old Utica Boiler — which was clocked in at less than 50 percent efficiency!img_0003

So I’m going to continue to watch the sun fade out — any second the streetlights are going to pop-on, and with that night will be here getting just a little cooler each day. Onward to autumn and off to new adventures with my best friend Kylie.

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