Finished cleaning out all the gutters, cleaned up the yard and traded some veggies!

I’m tired, but it is the good sort of tired you feel when you get stuff done. I got both of the gutters in the front of the house cleaned out and I noticed the front down spout chains had several extra links that tend to block the down “spout”/drain.  I drilled a couple of holes at the end of one of the gutters where water pools up if the down spout/chain is blocked.  The water from the drilled holes drains into the lawn away from the foundation so the basement should be safe from water and the roof area won’t have a standing pool of water that will attack the wood along the roof line.  I have to say that I have had no problem with water in my basement since I installed the gutters.

The little 3 week heat wave of 100+ degrees F. took its toll on the yard and I got a few brown spots in the lawn.  I did pretty good over all on limited watering (my choice). Mom did a bit of direct water in the backyard and I tried to keep water usage down in the front yard but, I added lawn “feed” just before the hot spell and the timing just sucked.  Adding a good lawn feed just before a heat wave almost guarantees brown grass.  I am adding water slowly, mowed the grass and it should recover in time.  I got the kiddy pool/new strawberry bed,  painted, drilled for drainage + soil, set up in the front yard.  I think Mom was less than enthusiastic about using a kiddy pool idea as strawberry bed,  but she likes it and I got several positive comments about it pool looking good/great idea from the neighbors.   The alley garden is doing great since I added the wood mulch. It is not perfect as it takes some time for a new ground cover to become established and choke out the weeds. Early days yet, but if I can convince enough neighbors to invest in mulch and good ground covers, eventually we can eliminate the nasty weeds in a few years.  Building/maintaining a good soil naturally takes time, effort and energy. It won’t happen overnight and using Round up or some other type of “grass killer” usually kills the soil and you spend more money hauling in good soil/manure and other minerals to replace what the chemicals killed.

Neighbor “A” borrowed my de-thatching rake as the planted grass looked great when he bought the house but the soil was terrible and the first heat wave killed the grass! A used my de-thatching rake this weekend and I think the grass looks a bit better. Getting rid of all the thatch that was dead and clogging up the soil growth might be why the lawn is looking better.   The Buttercrunch lettuce and swiss chard held up very good during the heat wave. The Kale is doing much better than I expected in the front yard beds.  Plants seldom work out the way I foresee in my garden. Often what I think will work, doesn’t and a plant I take chance on explodes with growth.  So if things don’t work out the way you think they should in your garden, you are not alone. I’m constantly surprised by what comes out of my raised beds.

I traded a few cukes for a bit of early summer squash/Zucchini with a neighbor. I focused on winter type squash for storage this year rather than summer squash. Mom is looking for a few good cuke pickle recipes. I tend to like a “dill pickle” but I think Mom wants more of a sweet pickle relish or sweet canned pickle.  If you have good recipe for refrigerator pickles or canned pickles I’d would love a recipe.

Smokey the cat has not like the new pekes and it is taking time to find some work around to make all the critters happy. Smokey is not a “lap cat” she like to hunt and patrol so she is not big on comfort though she does want/need a safe base of operations. Tucker the peke is big on play and “chase the cat” seems to be high on his play list.  I setup the front porch for Smokey and opened a window so she can come and go as she please, food and a safe a dry spot to rest without dealing with the dogs. Smokey the cat does seem much happier and relaxed. Plus she seems to recognize the different dogs that want to play “Chase the cat”.  I’m trying to introduce the cat and new dogs, so my cat feels safe and that takes time.

Overall I got a lot the little jobs around the house done and got some extra work done on setting up Smokey’s kitty spot. I would recommend you get the “costco type” multifunction ladder for your tool kit.  I’m disabled but even I can clean gutters if I have a good solid ladder.

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