This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD

THIS WAS OUR 2013 JAYCO FLIGHT SWIFT 198RD, PARKED AT THE TOMBSTONE TERRITORIES RV PARK IN ARIZONA



Sunday, 5 July 2020

Summer at our house

Since our return from Florida this spring our RV has been parked outside our house. By the looks of things, and I mean the Corona Virus situation, it will probably be stationary there for quite some time before we think of traveling anywhere. So we have been homebound enjoying doing little projects around the house and garden. 

 

Last year I had a lot more flowers planted but decided this year to try and grow a few vegetables like zucchini, peppers and tomatoes in addition to my usual herbs and radishes. It sounds easy but I have discovered that there are a whole lot of facts and knowledge to be learned in the process.

 



From an entire package of zucchini seeds only three seedlings made it into plants and it looks like only two of them are producing fruit. Every morning I inspect all the plants and while I was looking them over a red bug flew into the plant looking for a spot to land. I waved it off although it was pretty to look at. I had no idea what it was.  Curiosity got me checking at Google to find out what kind of bug I had seen. Well, shockingly I discovered it was a “Squash Vine Borer”. Actually it was a moth called the Clearwing Moth that lays a cluster of eggs on leaf stems or at the bottom of the main stem of the plant. A week after the eggs are placed, they hatch and these larvae are called the “Squash Vine Borer”, quickly bore into the stem of their host plant. The larvae will feed inside the tender plant tissues and will block water that flows along the stem, causing the plant to wilt and die. However, that is not the end of it. This little bugger will then exit the stem and burrow deep into the soil to pupate until next year to start this destructive undertaking all over again.

 

I took this picture off the Internet as I didn't have my camera on hand when I saw the insect

 

Upon that information, armed with several Band Aid strips, I hurried back out to inspect the plants to see if in my absence this creature had done any harm to my zucchini plants. Just in case I wrapped Band Aid strips around the stems as it was suggested on the Internet. 

 


Of course there are so many more destructive bugs out there and secrets no one will tell you of how to and how often to water, what fertilizers to use, how to prune and on and on that will bring success and satisfaction to growing your own veggies.

 



A few weeks ago Benno replaced a couple of his saws (emergency buys, while fixing up the house eight years ago) with newer models that have a few more functions, like soft start etc. than his old ones. I thought he should try them out right away and pointed out that we had some cedar planks laying around and they would be perfect to fabricate a little birdhouse. This he did, he built me a gorgeous birdhouse, he used stainless steel screws from our boating days so I can open it up and clean it when the occupants abandon it after the mating season. I really like it a lot and hope he will make another one perhaps with multiple units (bird condo, Haha!). By the way it was occupied within a couple of days and all our birdhouses are constantly in use even now during the summer. 

 

The new birdhouse is the middle one

Our local Internet provider, Wave Direct, had contacted us and asked if they could mount a repeater unit on our antenna mast, which sits on a tripod on top of our house. It seems we are the tallest point and free of obstruction in the area and the density of the trees in the area gave many people problems with their wifi reception which should now be somewhat improved.

 

This picture was taken with Benno's drone

Here in Ontario Canadian residents will not have to purchase a license to fish for a couple of weeks at the beginning of July and fishing is free for all. Several of our neighbors have yearly licenses and go out fishing every week or more. David, our next-door neighbor was out this morning for only three hours with his little boat and caught 18 Walleyes and a trout during that time. Sometimes we are gifted some fish and today he handed over a bag of freshly caught fish that he had already fileted for us. Thank you David Weil and we will eat it tonight. Coincidently, our grandkids were out fishing too but their catch was not as plentiful. I could save some fish and serve it when they come to visit. Here is the e-mail I got from my daughter-in-law:

 



We took the kids out to a little spot by the water, as they all wanted to test out their new fishing gear. It was futile to try to explain that noontime, in full sun; during a heat alert was not prime fishing weather. Hans’ fishing rod came from Dollarama, but Daddy modified it by adding real fishing line and hook…the plastic rod and reel actually held up quite nicely.

 

After three hours in the blazing sun, Heidi ran some distance over to us, proudly holding out her fishing rod and excitedly exclaiming, “I caught a fish!” She then went on to say, “I dropped the rod, but luckily Annaliese saved the day and grabbed it, and she only fell in the water partly.”

(Annaliese is alright…and so is Hans…you must already know the 5-year-old boy fell in too).

 

Also, while out there we saw Heidi’s Stand Up Paddle Board instructor from last summer. She remembered Heidi and mentioned that Heidi’s picture is one of the pics on her website…Heidi had just turned 10 last summer…the youth program starts at 12!

 



Hope you are all enjoying this great summer weather we are having and thank you for dropping in again.

 

Thursday, 11 June 2020

We’ve been busy

June is my favorite time of the year. The days are long, everything in the garden looks gorgeous and most days are warm enough for t-shirts and shorts for me to wear outside. Even if it gets hot some days I am not complaining because I like it. Given though that we do have central air-conditioning in the house so that is where we can retreat to cool down.

View from the street



This past month was a flurry of outdoor activities. The deck, which is my annual painting and sanding project, got done as well as planting of annual and some perennial flowers for the flowerbeds.  I had been a bit disappointed by the poor offerings and selections of the flowers at the local garden centers so I planted less this spring. However, this year I added several vegetables to my garden. I had planted zucchini seeds back in March and of all the seeds in the package only three grew into plants, but they are in pots outside and doing well. Also different peppers and tomatoes are in pots as are the herbs.  I’ll see how this turns out and if I want to repeat this vegetable endeavor next year. And of course the grass is growing so fast at this time of year that I have to hop onto the John Deere lawnmower every week to keep up with the grass and weeds. 

View of the vegetable pots

Vegetable pots along the back of the garage

A garter snake hangs out in our pompom tree most mornings

When I showed Benno the snake he was relieved that the snake was not as big as the anaconda we saw on the South American jungle river while motoring up the current on the Orinoco river.

Benno was busy at the new shed and finished paneling it from the inside. That was after he wired it up for 120V, added 2x4th for holding the insulation in place and I got busy stuffing the insulation in-between the 2x4 frames. He also fabricated the casing and a framing for the windows and door, which I all painted. The shed even has indoor/outdoor carpet installed in it and LED lighting from the ceiling.  So all that took some time as well as shopping for the materials. The double door needs some kind of paneling and that is the only item left to do. Otherwise this turned out to be one really neat looking shed. My neighbor Teresa, and I had our coffees in there one morning enjoying the ambiance.














Yesterday evening we had a little storm blowing through the area. I knew it was coming so I had gathered all flowers, veggies etc. that were in pots and stored everything in my garden shed. When the rain started and quickly escalated into a full fury of horizontal torrent we just could not believe the force of wind with its howling noise and blinding rain. There were items flying by that turned out to be roof shingles, recycling bins full of recyclables, tree branches and other debris being airborne. I watched in horror the small Clematis shrub that is climbing up next to my garden shed being thrashed back and forth in the wind and driving rain to almost being uprooted. There is a small nest of a Chipping Sparrow in it with very little protection from the elements. Just yesterday I held my camera up above the nest to take a picture to see if any chicks had emerged. Today I am glad to find out that momma bird and chicks survived.  In the aftermath of the storm, as it turned out, we had to cut down a big tree branch that landed on our new shed from the tree standing next to it.  No damage to our shed but there is damage all over the neighborhood from downed tree branches and some houses lost roof shingles as well as damage to a gazebo in our neighborhood. Luckily we only had the one tree branch to deal with.

Hydro trucks on the street cutting down broken tree branches

It was a big mess but now a neat pile of branches and wood

The clematis on my garden shed

The Chipping Sparrow

The nest yesterday

The nest today

I leave you with some pictures of the Oriole birds that feast on the grape jelly I put out for them. The jelly was out of stock in all of our local stores for a while so I guess the word got around at the bird community that ours was the place to get some and they ALL came to pick it. I had to refill the plates several times a day!



Thanks for following the blog and please keep looking in ;-)

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Here comes our shed

Sooner than we had expected, our new shed got delivered. It is such a smooth process and totally painless for us.  Thankfully the foundation or shed pad was ready. Just a couple of days before we had added a little bit of clear stone to top up the sand and gravel foundation that we had filled in previously and I had posted about in my last update.

The finished shed pad

A heavy 4x4 pickup truck with a trailer that had two sheds on it pulled up yesterday. On it sat one shed for us and another one to be delivered to someone else in Leamington. 

Our shed has arrived

The driver had no problem backing into our lot and smoothly went along the fence and in-between the mature trees to get to the gravel pad.


Skilful maneuver along the fence and between the fence and trees



With a hand held remote control the Mennonite driver maneuvered the shed with the help of the high tech hydraulic on the trailer smack into the middle of the pad. He brought two guys with him who directed him where he could not visualize the position and proximity of the foundation border.  It all went very smooth. 



It's a marvellous trailer that can slide in all directions


Meanwhile our next-door neighbors struck a conversation over the fence with the delivery guy and his helpers as they discovered that they are all Mennonites from the same area. Small world.


Our trailer is loaded up with 2x4s, generator and tools, ready to go!







So here is now our new shed. I think it is a cute one. It has vinyl siding on the outside and should be maintenance free. The entrance doors are located just in-between three trees with enough clearance. There are a couple of vinyl window boxes in front of the two windows. The shed is tucked into a corner where the trees will provide a shady canopy in the summertime.



Benno is already busy inside wiring the shed up and preparing it for some inside insulation and paneling. Good thing he is working inside as it is pouring rain off and on today.

I am sure I will post more pictures of the shed and other beautifications on the lot, so stay tuned.

Hope you all stayed dry and had a good day today.