Monday, July 8, 2019

This morning and another week -

I know I should be doing 'stuff' - such as cleaning, perhaps baking, throw in
 some gardening. . . . . .and writing more posts about Ireland as promised. 

Eventually I'll get around to those things, but meanwhile I'm having a 
lazy start to another summer week of predicted heat with storms and rain, 
usually late in the day, and the outdoors totally inhospitable to me with swarms
 of mosquitoes and other biting little buggers (yes, I swore because they turn
 me into a not nice person). I will not apologize.

I've tried the latest home remedy on dealing with mosquito bites, the hot
spoon! Guess what, it really does seem to work. Immediately after being
bitten (this is if at home close to your kitchen or a bathroom), and the itch
 is felt, you run a spoon under hot water and carefully hold the back of it on
 the bite for a few seconds.
 Be cautious, especially if using on a child, don't want to burn the skin.  
I used this method over the weekend when bitten several times as soon as
I ventured outside. I noticed instant itch relief and the bites didn't swell up into 
the usual red welts. 

As for the garden, it's fast losing the fresh green lustre of spring/early summer. 
The somewhat overgrown plantings, now displaying brown leaf tips, 
dried or shriveled blooms, are melding into masses of fading leaves.
Deer have nibbled, squirrels have gnawed.  It just seems much too soon
for a glorious garden to be changed so drastically, and all mostly due to the
 climate here in the southeast. Perhaps the WELCOME flag should be 
stored - seems all it brings is more biting bugs and hungry animals.

 Sitting here in the dining room I'm surrounded by vases of hydrangeas and yes, 
they are drying up too but, as mentioned in earlier posts, this is on purpose! 
 Some plucked blooms are already 'crisping up' so hopefully I'll have some for
decorating in the autumn/winter months ahead.

My thoughts are with people in California where the earthquakes have occurred
 over the past several days.  Here is an eyewitness description from blog friend 
 Kim at MY FIELD OF DREAMS . Kim tells it like it was sitting in her pasture when
 the larger quake occurred on July 5. How frightening!

My very dear friend Gina in Utah, of the gorgeous blog ART AND ALFALFA , 
who welcomed us to the most beautiful home I've ever visited last summer, is, 
after waiting 25 years, picking the first apricots from her tree. 
Patience has paid off!

I love apricots and actually found a recipe today on another of the
 most beautiful food/photography blogs, Linda Lomelino's CALL ME CUPCAKE ,
for an Apricot Blueberry Galette. Personally, galettes are my favorite pies to 
make - easy, attractive in their rustic beauty, and the fruits are always so tasty.

With plenty to keep one busy at this time of year I will sign off now.
Watering the pots - just in case the rains don't show later today - is needed.
Of course as you well know, it just about always rains after you water!
I'll smother myself in bug repellent and head out into the garden for a brief
time. . . . . . then who knows, bake a galette perhaps?

Dear friends, do have a wonderful week wherever you are.


  1. Your garden looks lovely Mary...and I can totally sympathize with the plight of the mosquitos. I have bug spray at every corner...I will try the spoon too! Happy Summer! xx

    1. Do let me know if the 'spoon' works for you Jeanne!

  2. Hello Mary,
    Thank you so much. Your blog is as ever beautiful. I have been bit up too. My goodness. Its must be because we are sweet tasting right?
    Blessings to you.

  3. I am sorry you have such a hard time with those pesky bugs biting! I have some SC peaches that would make a wonderful galette! I think I just might do that.

  4. Hello there! My son is enroute to RDU for business AND to house hunt. The weather is not going to make him happy, or the mosquitoes. LOL

  5. I love my Dynatrap for taking care of biting insects without harming bees. I don’t like cleaning it.

    Hope that a galette found its way to your table and a photo of it to your camera. 🙂

  6. After a period of intense heat, we are experiencing a rather cool week now. It gives us a respite, and as it is still sunny and dry, makes me want to spend more time outdoors again, running or walking.
    Hydrangeas are at their best in my area right now, I so love seeing them in people's gardens!

  7. I hate biting bugs too but sadly they adore me, in particular my legs - fortunately we do not have any here where we live.
    When I was in Sri Lanka visiting a Spice Garden I bought, on their recommendation, a pot of citronella balm. It worked for me whilst I was there and it smells lovely and lemony too.

  8. One of the good things about being British is that we don’t get lots of mosquitoes .... I get the odd bite but nothing major. My favourite time in the garden is Spring and now it’s going over a bit but still nice ..... my hydrangeas are coming out ..... my favourite plant in the garden ..... mustn’t forget to dry some. Chin up Mary ......hopefully those dreaded mossies will go and plague someone else soon. XXXX

  9. The mosquitoes are voracious here in my area too, and I know this is controversial, but we do have our property sprayed every three weeks. We just started doing this last year and for us, the benefits outweigh the negatives. We literally couldn't even step outside the door without being eaten alive. We couldn't garden, enjoy the patio or porch, mosquitoes would fly into our house and our walls were covered in mosquito guts from us trying to smash them all...visitors would complain when they came over that they didn't even want to get out of their car! Not to mention, West Nile Virus is pretty prevalent in this area.

    Funny you should mention perhaps baking a galette today because I am going to be making a strawberry-rhubarb crisp.

    I'm not familiar with the blogs you mentioned. I will check them out! Hope you have a good day. :-)

  10. It does seem that bugs bother some people more than most. I know that mosquitoes love me and dislike Tim. I'm having problems with aphids in my garden this year, and stink bugs. Horrid. I'm sacrificing the poppies to the aphids in hopes that they will leave my tomatoes and zucchini alone. We'll see. I'll definitely try that hot spoon trick!
    Hydrangeas are in full bloom here and loving the cooler weather we've been having. I'll cut some to dry later as I find these earlier ones tend to wilt and crumple rather than dry nicely. Your garden looks lovely in the photos, Mary, and your galette sounds delicious. Is it all gone already? I read Gina's blog and was amazed that apricots appeared after so many years of fruitlessness.
    Have a wonderful day!


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