Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our Beautiful Sunset

Check out our stunning sunset from a couple weekends ago!

This was created just for us!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hosta Haircut and More

The woodchuck war wages on here at the ole homestead.  As you can see above, they're done a number on this hosta.  Fortunately they're not bothering with our vegetable garden, which I believe are simply too far away from their comfort zone.  However, they are doing a number on the perennials along the end of the woods - the hostas, comfrey, cornflower, balloon flower and even the raspberry plants.

I've set the trap several times but with this crazy hot, humid weather the bait just doesn't last, so no luck yet.  I've found two of their holes and in an effort to get them to move I've cleared the over growth around both holes and even dropped shovels full of Trixie's droppings - no luck. 

These dudes are way more allusive then those in the past, as I've only seen them once or twice but clearly, by the defoliation, they're out there.  I'm patient and will eventually eradicate them, mark my words!!

Trixie Dog - Help Me!

Bath time.

I'm pretty sure she's thinking, put down the silly camera, get over here and help me!

She just loves to lay spread eagle on the kitchen floor, especially when it's hot.

We lucked out, she's a really good dog.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Proverbial Needle in A Haystack

So, we've been struggling with a leak in our pool.

We've been loosing water almost as fast as we've been adding it.  Of course the lack of rain and the hot, humid weather we've been suffering does not help the situation.

Have had the pool company that installed our new liner on-site several times but the crew (rookies) have been unsuccessful in determining room cause or locating.  They did pressure test the lines, which all came back fine, and visually checked the entire liner, with focus on known areas that tend to give way first, and found nothing.

They did, however, mark the water line each time then came out with electrical tape, see above.  All this did was give us a visual at the water loss.  Like watching money go down the drain...

So, last week I ran a series of tests and in the end I determined that in the 48 hour testing period we lost 1" of water.  Now keep in mind our pool measures 20'x40'. so 1" is a lot of water.

Much to our surprise the owner of the company stopped over this past Sunday evening and within 5 minutes identified where the leak was!  He chalked this up to "years of experience".

It ended up being in the one location that was NOT touched with the installation of the new liner.  It was the seal behind the water return jet coming out of the fiberglass stairs. The under side had simply worn away, which you couldn't see unless you were under water looking up.  The good old, pool guy leak test proved out his theory - simply squirt this dye in and around the affected area and watch the dye get sucked into the hole and gone.

Sealed the entire area around this jet with a special underwater sealer and WA-LA, no more leak!


1973 vintage Perfection game by Lakeside

Moon Over Echinacea

How's this for a balancing act?!  Pretty cool I thought.

This is a purple cone flower, otherwise known as Echinacea, with the leaf of a peach tree perched half-moon like on top.  This was not staged. This is how I found these two hanging out.

My guess is you could look high and low for years and never find something like this.  Think I'll play the lottery.

Play Ball, Well Sort of...

First garlic of 2012!

I harvested (6) of our garlic this past Sunday and have them hanging on the clothesline to dry!

I was very surprised at the size when I dug the first one out.  It was about the size of a baseball, no kidding!  The picture above doesn't show the size that well.  I will need to take another with a baseball included, so you can see what I am talking about and also to prove that I am not exaggerating. The other five followed suit and are about the same size, they're monsters, yummy!

Without going outside to count at the moment I'm guessing we have about 30 more plants to harvest.  We're going to have garlic coming out of our ears.

Again, I will need to check to see what kind of garlic these are and be sure to plant the same in the same in the future.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First Cucumber of 2012

These are the first two cucs of the summer and boy were they tasty!

Sadly, our cucumber plants are not doing nearly as well as they did last year, not even close.  Although, planted in the same location, this years plants pale in comparison - they're much smaller and have yet to really get climbing up the trellis.  I need to look back to see what I planted last season versus this.  I'm sure the super hot, humid weather isn't helping too much, even though we've been hand watering almost every night.

In any event we'll take what we can get and enjoy each and every bite!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blue Sky!

Here is a visiting Northern Oriole sitting atop one of the tallest tree on our property.  I'm gonna guess somewhere in the 120' to 150' mark.

Talk about a birds eye view!

These dudes have been around all Spring and often times I'll see them in and around this Boxelder tree.  I'm guessing they have a nest hanging in there somewhere.  I bet come fall, when the tree is bare of leaves, we'll be able to spot it.

First Tomatoes of 2012

Here are our first two tomatoes of the summer, yahoo!

The plants are beautiful and have, once again, taken over the garden.  So much so that it's almost impossible to walk amongst them to water, let alone pick the ripe ones, but we'll git-er-dun!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

We're Here to Pump You Up!

So, after running an errand to Patriots Place late Monday morning I decided to stop in and have a quick lunch at Five Guys Burgers and Fries.  I've seen it, I've heard about it, I've walked past it many times.  We even have a new store that opened up in my town but have never been, so I went.

The burger was good and tasty, as were the fries but very greasy.  Certainly not a place I'd eat in too often but not too bad for a change.

Ironically, when I was standing in line waiting to place my order there were two dudes standing behind me talking about the gym.  One proceeded to make this profound statement, "I don't go to the gym.  The gym is my life.  That's all I do is the gym." - deep right.  So, the first thing that comes to mind is, 'if your such a gym rat and into working out, why are you standing in line for food at a Five Guy's joint?  Shouldn't you be at GNC picking up some supplements and bark and stuff?!"

Of course I was curious at what Arnold Schwarzenegger junior was all about and was NOT surprised to some some early twenty year old weenie standing there.  I would NOT have picked him out of a line up of health, gym-rats, nope.  Just your typical everyday weenie...

Sunday, July 15, 2012


1967 vintage Nile-The ancient game of strategy. As old as the pyramids! game by Lowe

Saturday, July 14, 2012

We've Updated & Upgraded



We pulled the trigger and decided to have our garage doors replaced!  It was time, as they were the original ones installed when the house was built.  They were solid, heavy wooden door but the New England weather had taken it's toll on them.  Many of individual panels were bowing and starting to separate; you could see daylight between some, so it was time.

We went with pretty much the same style but changed it some and had the windows moved to the top.  The new doors are aluminum, so they much lighter, and have much higher rating on their insulation value as compared to the old wooden ones.  It's something like an R-value of 8 with the new versus a 1+ with the wooden.

Hopefully this will keep the garage better insulated, which we're hoping has a positive effect on the family room above where we spend most of our time.

Now, onto the next home improvement project.  Just need to win Megabucks, alas...

Friday, July 13, 2012

First Squash of 2012

Behold, our first Summer and Zucchini squash of the season!

We picked them back on 7/1 and have picked oodles since.

We could use some much needed rain...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Son

Happy 17th Birthday Christopher!

Where has the time gone?!

I love you, Dad

Happy Birthday Lady Gregory

Despite the photo I admire you and love you like a brother!

Happy Birthday!!