A Journal During the Coronovirus Pandemic Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove June 21, 2020
We are enjoying a bumper crop of strawberries this season. . . another of God's blessings to brighten the mood for all that our nation has been going through. Strawberry varieties fall into three classes. June-bearing plants produce one monster crop of large berries once a year, usually in June. Ever-bearing plants produce smaller crops of smaller berries, but bear throughout the summer. Day-neutral plants have three peak periods of bearing. Strawberry plants have a short life span (3-4 years), and we just replanted our patches last year with June-bearing strawberries.
I love fresh fruits and vegetables, and I love summer because they are plentiful. Combining them in a salad makes a perfect lunch or light dinner. You can select those that are your favorites or use what you have on hand. Serve it with a light lime dressing and your choice of herbs and cheeses to make it your own. For this salad, I used strawberries, grapes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, fresh basil, feta cheese and a light lime dressing. Other options may include tomato, avocado, mango, kiwi, Romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese.
A Journal During the Coronovirus Pandemic Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove June 14, 2020
While taking a walk this week, we happened upon a mother duck guarding her brood of 15 ducklings. Ducks will typically lay a clutch of 10-15 eggs, so this mama had a full nest. The mother duck leads her brood out of the nest about 10 hours after being hatched. From the appearance of these little ones, I would guess this was their first time out, a very hazardous time for them. She was patiently guarding them while we paused to admire and take photos.
A Journal During the Coronovirus Pandemic Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove June 7, 2020
It is the first week of June and the twelfth week since the sheltering-in-place order was given. Our area has just entered the "green phase" of re-opening. Shops and restaurants are beginning to open, and people are getting together again. It's a beautiful time of year with everything growing greener and flowers blooming. We've been shooing the Robins away from building nests on our porch rafters and window sills. They love to build in areas where overhead cover such as roofs or overhangs provide shelter. I was caught off guard when I discovered a Robin's nest in my Clematis plant.
A Journal During the Coronovirus Pandemic Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove May 31, 2020
Today is the last day of May, 2020, and it is the eleventh week since the stay-at-home order was issued. This past week had many emotional highs and lows. Our Pennsylvania Governor announced on Friday that our county is included among those that will enter the "green phase" of reopening, but this good news was overshadowed by some horrific news. Late in the day on Friday, however, God reminded us of His eternal love by displaying a beautiful rainbow in the sky.
Do you grow a vertical garden? I have used trellises, poles and fences to grow vegetables vertically, primarily tomatoes and pole beans, but last year I wanted to try my hand at growing pumpkins vertically on my garden fence. I have a small garden, 16x16 feet, so I thought it might be a challenge, and it was. But to my delight, it actually worked!
A Journal During the Coronavirus Pandemic Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove May 24, 2020
We are now in the tenth week since the stay-at-home order was issued, and we are glad to have entered what they call the "yellow phase" of reopening the country with some eased restrictions. That is a bit of relief, and we are hopeful that we can continue to move toward what we think of as "normal." It would also seem that the winter weather is finally behind us. What a month of May it has been. Nothing has seemed normal. With no more frost warnings in the forecast, I was able to plant my Kitchen Garden this week. I had started tomato and pepper plants from seed back in the middle of March, and I was so happy to transplant them outdoors. I have a small Kitchen Garden, 16x16 feet, so I practice the square foot and vertical methods of gardening. Last year I decided to try to grow pumpkins vertically. That was a challenging experience, but mission accomplished!
A Journal During the Coronavirus Pandemic Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove May 17, 2020
I like to decorate for each season. Toward the end of May, I switch from spring to summer decor. Because the upcoming months recognize the national holidays--Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day--it's fitting to display Americana. We made this American flag art several years ago. (You'll find a link to how we made it at the end of this post.) The crucifix is very special to us. When Danny student taught for his degree in Industrial Arts Education, one of his students made it for him. It has hung in our home since we were married forty-four years ago.
A Journal During the Coronavirus Pandemic Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove May 10, 2020
Do you do "spring cleaning?" We do. Spring cleaning and Fall cleaning. That's when we clean a little deeper and wash windows and power wash outdoor spaces. That's also when we clean the hen house. We built the hen house eleven years ago, and it is need of a few repairs and renovations. So that's what we've been working on during this eighth week of stay-at-home distancing. I'm really excited about some of the updates we will be giving to Cluckingham Palace.
A Journal During the Coronavirus Pandemic Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove May 3, 2020
We've turned the calendar to the merry month of May, but we are still in stay-at-home mode. Our Pennsylvania Governor has eased restrictions in 24 counties, but ours is not one of them, not yet. One of the projects I worked on during this seventh week of sheltering-in-place was cleaning out my Potting Shed. During the winter, we store our patio furniture in it, but once we bring the furniture out, the shed becomes my Potting Play Shed. I took down the curtains and washed and ironed them, and gave the shed a good thorough cleaning. Then out came all the tea party paraphernalia, which of course I had to play with.
A Journal During the Coronavirus Pandemic Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove April 26, 2020
Six weeks of sheltering at home, and one day this week I had the sudden urge to make a pie. Just like that. I don't know why. Maybe I just wanted to feel like things were normal again. Maybe I just wanted to feel like America is still America. You know the old saying, "As American as apple pie"? The urge hit me and I immediately set the gears in motion. What kind of pie would I make? Last summer, we bought large quantities of fresh fruit when it was priced low. We canned peaches and applesauce, and we froze cherries, strawberries and blueberries. Throughout the winter, I would use the frozen fruit to make desserts or toppings. I thought I'd make a cherry pie, but I didn't have enough cherries left, so I used both cherries and strawberries. I made a Berry Cherry Pie. It really lifted our mood, so in the end I jokingly called it a Very Cheery Pie.