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If we were having coffee: Almost 4th of July edition

On the porch.
On the porch.

Somehow the Fourth had its quiet moments, too, even for little feet and childish voices, and small hands stole into each other as we sat looking at our fire-works with a sense that independence was a fine thing to declare.

~Lucy C. Lillie, “Memories of the Fourth,” Harper’s Young People, 1885 June 30th

A terrapin making her way the side of the house.
A terrapin making her way along the side of the house.

If we were having coffee, tea, water, or some other beverage, I would be happy to see you again.  Come on in!  I have drinks and snacks set up on the porch where we can enjoy the breeze and the view without being bothered by the insects that would happily nosh on us.  It feels pretty good outside today, doesn’t it?  Even though the temperature is in the mid-80’s, the air is dry and fresh, and the breeze makes it seem cooler.

How are you?  What you have been doing lately?  Have you gone on any adventures, walks, or hikes?  Have you traveled anywhere or seen anything new?  Have you read any good books or seen any good films?

Resting on a marigold.
Resting on a marigold.

I finished reading Life Class by Pat Barker, and started Toby’s Room, the follow-up to Life Class.  Both fictional novels take place during World War I, and follow three artists from the Slade School of Art in London.  Life Class was an excellent read, and I suspect I’ll say the same of Toby’s Room when I finish it.  I got the books through an interlibrary loan, and I’m hoping they have the third book, Noonday.  I haven’t had a chance to look just yet.  If not, I may end up buying it.  That’s how much I want to read it, and read it soon.

I think there might be a small fairy trying to peer around the hosta flower.
I think there might be a small fairy trying to peer around the hosta flower.

If we were having coffee, tea, water, or something else to drink, I would tell you that it seems like such a long time since our last coffee chat even though it has only been a week.  I think that’s because I haven’t had much time for blogging lately.  It is the busy season here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  I spend a lot of time outdoors keeping up with the gardens and mowing, and now that the harvest has begun, I also have to spend time indoors preserving some of that harvest.  I made my first batch of refrigerator pickles (for this season) a few days ago, and they are yummy!  Try some.  I put them out with our snacks and drinks.  M wants to try canning pickles which we might do later on in the season.  I like the refrigerator variety because it’s less bother, but it would be nice to open up a jar of home canned pickles in the midst of winter and be reminded of the summer growing season.

Swooning in the heart a few days ago.
Swooning in the heat a few days ago.

The sugar snap peas, green and wax beans, and Swiss chard continue to do well.  We harvested our first eggplant this week.  We decided on a Japanese type of eggplant since they are small and tend to be less bitter than other varieties.  It’s thin-skinned too, and doesn’t need to be peeled.  We grilled our first one and, boy, was it delicious.  We also picked a quart or so of black raspberries the other day.  Some of those went into a blueberry, peach, and raspberry cobbler which we’ll be having for dessert tonight.

Simply divine.
Simply divine.

Tomorrow we’ll be harvesting more beans and peas, onions, and broccoli.  I bet there are some cucumbers ready to be picked, too.  I don’t think it will be long before we have peppers and tomatoes.  Things grow fast here south of the Mason-Dixon Line.  I heard a rumor that the local farm markets will have local corn by next week.

Enjoying the morning light.
Enjoying the morning light.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that this might be our last big coffee chat for a while.  I am about to embark on an adventure, and will have to spend time getting ready for that while keeping up with things here on the ranch.  I’d also like to get a few things arranged for M who will be here on his own while I hop on a train and travel west.  I’m going back to the Bogs for a few weeks to visit and help out with the Little Wookie (in case you missed it, he is my new grandson).  I love traveling by train so I’m looking forward to that, but not quite as much as I’m looking forward to spending a few weeks with Little Wookie.  It will be nice for us to get reacquainted.  I haven’t seen him since he was a week old, and he’ll be almost three months old by the time I get there.  His parents have been wonderful about sending me a picture or video nearly every day, and it is amazing how fast he’s growing.  I’m afraid if I blink, he’ll be a grown-up, on his way to college or getting married or having children of his own.

Rosemary, the herb of love and remembrance.
Rosemary, the herb of love and remembrance.

I’ve been thinking about a blogging break.  If you follow Frank, you might have seen his post last year regarding blogging breaks: On the Blogging Blues.  My break will be a Level 5 which is not listed among Frank’s levels of blogging breaks.  For me, a Level 5 break means occasional posting, usually short posts such as Wordless Wednesday or Silent Sunday or maybe a postcard or two, along with occasional visits to other blogs as time permits.  I wouldn’t mention it at all, but I might slide into one of the other levels so don’t be surprised if I disappear completely from time to time.

Orange is the new black in the scrounger's garden.
Orange is the new black in the scrounger’s garden.

If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would tell you that we had a lot of rain this week.  It was pretty amazing.  I think we got somewhere around 5 inches.  In places south of us on the peninsula, they received over 8 inches just yesterday alone.  When it rains, it pours.  In between, we dry out quite nicely.  The marsh takes up most of the extra water.  In places where we had problems with drainage, M solved the difficulty by directing the water towards a rain garden.  The rain garden has lots of life going on in and around it.  Toads and lizards, bunnies and flowers, and blueberries that are almost ripe enough to pick.  The birds will probably get the blueberries before we do.

Nestled in the zinnia.
Nestled in the zinnia.

If we were having coffee or tea or whatever pleases you, I would tell you that Bella Cat has been sick this week, and I’m a little worried about her.  When we finally managed to get Izzy and Bella to the vet in May (after the attempt that resulted in a car accident and traumatized us all), the vet noticed that Bella has what she thinks is feline tooth resorption.  Early this week, Bella was acting like she didn’t want to eat unless it was very soft food.  On Thursday and Friday it seemed as though Bella was getting better so we thought perhaps she’d lost the tooth and that was that.  Naturally she started getting worse again today.  Because it’s the weekend.  That’s how these things work.  She’s still eating and drinking, but she won’t eat hard food and she needs a very wet food with lots of broth.  Bella doesn’t appear to be in pain, but it’s difficult to tell with cats.  I’m hoping she’ll hang on until Tuesday.  However, if she appears to be getting even a little bit worse or I think she’s in pain, there might be an expensive emergency vet visit in her immediate future.  I don’t want her to suffer.  I just hope we will be able to get in touch with the vet.  Holiday weekends make it tough to find some services here in the Middle of Nowhere.

Broccoli waiting to be harvested.
Broccoli waiting to be harvested.

If we were having coffee, I would ask if you brought your swim suit and, if you had, I’d suggest we go for a walk and then for a swim.  We’ll have to watch out for snakes while we’re walking.  I saw three the other day when I was out trolling for deer flies.  It was the usual eastern black rat snakes which are good to have around (it’s why we don’t see rats or many mice here on the ranch), but they are healthy specimens (meaning: large!) and they can be startling.  Somehow they blend in to their surroundings until they decide they want you to see them.  I’m sure we’ll see plenty of rabbits, and if we’re lucky, maybe a doe or two.  We should watch for terrapins as well.  Both M and I have seen a couple of them on land so it must be egg laying season.  Oh, and don’t mind the Great Blue Heron squawking at you.  He does that to everyone.

Our resident doe a deer, a female deer.
Our resident doe a deer, a female deer.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else, I would tell you it is time for me to turn this chat over to you.  Thank you so much for visiting and listening to me ramble.  I always enjoy our coffee chats, and hope we’ll be able to get together again sometime in August or maybe September when things calm down a bit.  Because this is beach season, we will likely have visitors here at the ranch when I return from my trip to The Bogs so August might be a busy month, too.  In the meantime…

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂  And take good care of you.

One of the gifts of rain.
One of the gifts of rain.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it.  Also, a big congratulations for the #WeekendCoffeeShare being featured on WordPress’s Daily Post.  So glad to see it being shared among the rest of the community!  Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

One more zinnia, just because.
One more zinnia, just because.
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

34 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Almost 4th of July edition

  1. I love all the photos, Robin! I will miss hanging out with you. I’m finding I’m not on as much either. A lot because of technological problems, and lack of internet coverage.

    I loved seeing your doe, a deer. A female deer. We have one here hiding in the willows. They go in there to have their fawns end of June beginning of July. I can’t tell if she is pregnant or if she has has her little one(s) yet.

    I’m so sorry about Bella! I hope she is ok! Bad timing with July 4th.

    Well, I hope we see snakes, turtles,lizards, bunnies, deer and the squawking heron on the way to our swim. 🙂

    Don’t be too much of a stranger, please…but have a nice time. Enjoy your time with your Little Wookie and the Bogs and the clickity clackity of the train.

    Peace
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary. 🙂 I probably won’t be a stranger at all. It seems like whenever I declare I’m taking a break or partial break, I suddenly find (make) time for blogging. The mind can be so contrary. lol! Not only did we see the snakes, turtles, lizards, bunnies, deer, and squawking heron, there were two turkeys in the backyard and the hummingbirds were buzzing us. 😀

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  2. As always, your photos are beautiful and the visit delightful. I have been short of words lately, and this month my daughter, Kat, is here, so my words are shared with her. Enjoy your visit, and we will be here when you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m finding it so difficult to keep up with everyone, so I can certainly understand you need a blog break. I do hope Bella is OK! Enjoy all that fresh produce, and even more your trip to see your grandson! I will miss seeing your glorious photos, but I’m sure you’ll be back with more before too long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I’m sure I’ll be in and out, some weeks more than others. It depends on how busy my grandson keeps me. This week is all about getting ready to go so I’m sure I’ll have time now and then to try to catch up a little and share some of what’s going on here. Poor Bella is about the same, and I will call the vet tomorrow. She’s eating and drinking, and doesn’t appear to be in pain, but she also doesn’t appear to be her usual noisy self. She can’t purr or meow (it causes her to sneeze or cough).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful flowers, esp. the zinnias, which I love. Summer is a busy time and blogging is much more of a challenge to keep up. I’ve been barely able to do so.
    Have a wonderful visit with your grandson. See you when you get back. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I love the zinnias, too. They have been so easy to grow, and I have so many volunteers this year that I’m thinking I might not have to plant them at all next year. The birds enjoy the seeds and leave enough that they come up on their own.

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      1. Self-sown zinnias – how wonderful! There will be surprises each year, as they must cross. (If they get smaller and revert to the ‘native’ you can always refresh the plot with a bought packet every couple years.) I have many self-sown annuals that prove to be the backbone of my large garden.

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  5. What a wonderful time you will have with your new grandson—and it’s so lovely that you have the opportunity to for that adventure.

    “Regeneration” by Pat Barker is one of my all-time favorite books. I haven’t yet read the art school trilogy, but it’s on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My favorites here, the back of the pink zinnia w/the bug…and surprisingly, the broccoli, because who but you thinks to photograph the beauty of this mundane vegetable. Enjoy your break, enjoy your grandson, enjoy the bounty from the garden. Enjoy life. I know you will! I’ll miss you, but I”ll be right here when you’re ready to resume your thoughtful musings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dawn. 🙂 You probably won’t have time to miss me since I expect I’ll be dipping in and out. It’s raining here again today, and I decided to take a break from the gardening which has made room for a little blogging time. Yay!

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  7. Enjoy your time with the baby. I last saw Mati when he was four and a half weeks old (that was only two weeks ago) but I miss him so much. I’m hoping they’ll invite me to come back up soon so I can see him before he’s much bigger. Crossing my fingers!

    I’m also thinking of taking Spencer and Anderson for a long drive to Wildlife Safari. It would be either a one or two night sleep over at a motel. Just the boys and me. We’ll see if that happens. I’m thinking it will be in the next two or three weeks!

    Love the photos. Looking forward to more, maybe postcards because they’re so wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hope you have a great trip, Robin! Taking the train sounds like a great way to travel, but it also sounds like a long trip so hopefully have a place to lay your weary head from to time. I am thinking of adding Pat Barker to the list, with the only hesitation being that embarking on a trilogy sounds daunting at the moment! I am reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood at the moment, and very much enjoying it. It is the first of hers that I’ve read.

    Peace
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Michael. 🙂 The trip isn’t too long at all. A mere 4 hours if the train is running on time. The Pat Barker books are pretty fast read so it’s not as daunting as it might sound. Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, and I enjoyed that book too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, PhilosopherMouse. 🙂 The realm of people… that will be different from the realm I’m used to out here in the Middle of Nowhere. A nice change of scenery and tending. Bella Cat has been to the vet who diagnosed her with asthma (of all things! who knew cats could get asthma?). After a few doses of steroids, she’s improving. The wheezing, coughing, sneezing, heaving has mostly stopped. Just a few episodes now and then, but nothing like it had been. And we all got some sleep last night! Poor Bella’s asthma seemed to prefer the middle of the night to really act up.

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  9. Beautiful flowers. I love the rich, saturated color of the zinnias and broccoli (although I’m not a fan of the taste of broccoli). I equally love the soft tones of the hosta flowers. Love it all, actually.

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  10. I am playing catch up on my reading of my blogging friends. Have so much fun with your grandson! Your train ride sounds like soooooo much fun!! And glad Bella is feeling better. I read that she is in a more recent post.
    I am so very busy renovating our LakeHouse. It is my childhood home and there is so much to do! Take care and have fun!

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  11. Just getting around to catching up with this coffee chat. I was away for the long holiday weekend. So much wonderful going on here. I will miss reading this regularly while you are busy and having a blogging break!

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  12. I know you stay busy because lazily sitting around isn’t your style. As I like to say, life has a way of getting in the way of blogging. I too have been taken away because of adjusting to my wife’s retirement, working part-time, and other things – such as an interesting wall project that I will post about once it’s done. I think you’ll like it. Meanwhile, good addition of level 5 … 🙂 …. thanks for the link.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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