The Return of Winter Evenings

Winter has returned. It was touch and go for most of January but wintry real deal has finally showed up. Late in the night, with my cat, I watched the snow coming down in the still and quiet. Roused from slumber by some unknown reason, we looked out at the empty, snow covered streets.

It was so relaxing and pleasant it made me want to stay up and enjoy the moment…for a couple hours!

But, that would not be conducive to being productive the following day.

So,  I returned to my slumbers.

And somewhere dancing in my head was the fact the record setting winter of 2015 didn’t get started until the end of January!!!

Uh-oh!

copyright 2023 Christopher Donahue

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Christmas Week

Christmas week just ain’t what it used to be.

And that’s largely because I used to be a child and now, I’m a semi-old guy. My sell by date is long gone but my episodes of being fresh to various people keeps me …fresh.

Now, back when I was a kid there was no school Christmas week and the whole family would be home.  And, to the non-stop soundtrack of Christmas carols, my father would be arguing with my mother, my mother would be yelling at us kids, and my sisters and me would be skirmishing all over the house.

It was great fun!

And, they are nice memories on quiet December nights, sitting in the dark, Christmas lights glowing and stars twinkling in the sky.

Stay fresh this holiday season dear reader.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!

and Happy Holidays!!!

Copyright 2022 Christopher Donahue

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Too Cold for Softy

Too Cold for Softy!

That was today’s weather report.  I did not get the report from the radio or internet. Instead, I got it from Quiet Rustle, my cat and weather reporter extraordinaire.

Each morning my wife and I enjoy waking up and starting the day in the sunroom. We have coffee and listen to the news and weather and play around with Quiet Rustle who is also waking up.

As always, we eventually have to get on with our day.  And that means determining if Quiet Rustle wants to go outside.   To this end, we open the back door and watch to see what happens.

If the weather is nice Rustle goes out on the porch. But, if too chilly, Quiet Rustle, our otherwise tough-mouse-hunter, does a U-turn and goes back inside!  And that’s when we sing:

Too cold for Softy!

Too cold for Softy!

Too cold for Softy today!

Quiet Rustle, a cool cat indeed, takes the cajolery in stride and strolls inside for his first nap of the day while we start working from home.

I think Softy got the better deal.

 

Copyright 2022 Christopher Donahue

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Thanksgiving Excitement!!!

It’s early Monday morning and I’m sipping coffee and looking out the window at the November scene outside.  The trees are mostly bare and the leaves are down. Earlier, I went out in my bathrobe to feed the birds and was surprised how cold it was out. Certainly, the thought of a three day work week put me in a good mood but even that isn’t what it used to be now that we work from home much of the time.

We will be hitting the road early Thanksgiving morning and making our rounds.

As always, despite all the bad things in the world, there is still quite a lot for which to be
Thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

copyright 2022 Christopher Donahue

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October Nights

October nights

when the wind is high

and clouds

scud by the moon

Quiet Rustle

and I

think twice

before peeking

through the blinds

to find out

who scratches at our window

while the wind is high

and the clouds

scud by the moon

could it be

a Witch

looking for an orange cat

for her stew

or the forsythia

I forgot to trim

on forgotten days

under summer suns

copyright 2022 Christopher Donahue

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September Tomato Report

It was not a good summer for tomatoes. The verdant promise of May and June wilted during the drought of July and August. And while I watered faithfully, output plummeted during the dry spell. Now that we’ve enjoyed normal September weather, a decent amount  of green tomatoes that won’t ripen before the frost are on the vine.

Back in the day, we would put the green tomatoes in a brown paper bag in the basement where they allegedly would ripen quickly in the cool and dark.  Unfortunately, and as a practical matter, what usually happened is we put the tomatoes in a brown bag in the basement and forget about them until Spring!  In the April or so, we’d find a smelly soggy, bag and toss it.

This year around we will try something different: Air Fried Green Tomatoes!

to be cont’d …

copyright September 2022 Christopher Donhaue 

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Hot August Tomato Report

The first few weeks of August are usually rainy.  I can attest to this because every summer since childhood, I go out late on August evenings to witness the Perseid meteor shower.  It is best to go out after midnight and lay on the grass.   More often the not, the sky is cloudy when I go.

This year the sky was clear but the meteors were obscured by the full moon. And that experience revealed the problem:  no clouds mean no rain.

 

New England is experiencing a drought and despite my best watering efforts production is down I bet by a quarter.  It is still better than last year when we got a 50% or less harvest because of too much rain!

Which goes to show that in the world of amateur farming, it is always something!

BTW- I usually water my tomatoes in the morning with the pure water from the dehumidifier! That way I don’t violate any watering bans although the city does not have one as of yet!

As always,   KEEP GROWING!!!

copyright 2022 Christopher Donahue

 

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July Tomato Report Part 2

There’s a lot of terrible stuff going on in the world these days: the war in the Ukraine, social injustice, and problems with the environment.  But,  in this little patch of the world we call home I can find a little tranquility among my thriving tomato plants!

This week, I’m happy to report we got our first tomato but it really was  a close call. I had been keeping an eye on a pair of tomatoes that clearly were going to be the first to turn red. The pair started the week yellow, turned to orange and were now almost perfect red for picking. Maybe one more night was all they needed for perfection.

But should I chance it?  If these tomatoes were looking good to me , they must be looking good to Mr/Ms Rabbit.

I thought about chancing it one more night but good sense won the day. I got some chicken wire from under the shed and put it around my soon to be first tomatoes.

Later, when I was admiring the tomatoes I noticed the rabbit was right out there on cure looking at my protected tomatoes.

It’s nice when you make the right call!!!

copyright 2022 Christopher Donahue

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July Tomato Report

It is approximately mid-July and I am happy to report that my tomatoes are doing really well. We are having a moderate drought here but can easily make up with the garden hose anything we might be lacking in precipitation.  Last year it rained too much and there was nothing we could do. The harvest was down  2/3rds  by September!

But this year the plants are doing great and barring misfortune we should have a bumper crop!

Hmm…maybe I should have named my plants…onward with the gardening!!!

copyright 2022 Christopher M. Donahue

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A New Tomato Season

Once again, the tomatoes are in!

Each year, I plant my tomatoes at the end of May. This year, things were postponed a bit because I came down with a mild case of Covid-19.  In any event,  I have finally got my ten little plants in the ground this past weekend!

They might not look like much now…

But from humble beginnings come great tomatoes!!!

Copyright 2022 Christopher Donahue

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