Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Flowers in the Garden

Flowers in the Garden

The herb garden looks really pretty at this time of year. The echinacea are blooming:

Echinacea.jpg

This is the common echinacea that is easy to find in nurseries. At one time, I also had some Echinacea paradoxa, which looks just like a regular echinacea except that the flowers are yellow, not pink. It’s very striking. Unfortunately, it is also a bit too tender for Montana and I had trouble keeping it going. (I believe it’s native to Missouri.) I might try again one of these years, though. I think Baker Creek sells the seeds.

The hummingbirds LOVE the bee balm:

JacobClineMonarda.jpg

This is the most common variety—’Jacob Cline’—at least around here. At one time, I had probably six or eight different varieties of bee balm of all colors in the herb garden, including white, a light pink rose geranium-scented one from Susan, hot pink, deep purple, and red. Bee balms are in the mint family, though, and they like it on the wet side. (They are prone to powdery mildew.) It’s been so hot and dry for the past several summers that the less hardy ones died out.

I still have a little clump of this one, which I think might be ‘Lipstick’? It’s a bit pinker than the ‘Jacob Cline’ but not as purple as “Raspberry Wine,’ which I also used to have.

OtherMonarda.jpg

I’ll try to encourage it. Or maybe I should find a different spot for my bee balms.

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We are under a red flag warning from noon to 11 pm today. A dry cold front is supposed to come through. “Cold front” is a technical term at this time of year, because it’s not going to drop the temperatures much, but it will bring with it strong winds and dry thunderstorms—storms where the rain evaporates before it hits the ground because the humidity is in the single digits. Ugh. I have the sprinkler on the tomatoes for a few hours before things heat up. We run it early in the morning, alternating days between the tomatoes/potatoes and the lettuce/beans/squash.

The baby rooster (who is going to need a name soon, because I can’t keep calling him “Baby”) has figured out that “hoomans = treats.” Both the husband and I have been able to feed him by hand. Unfortunately, he thinks that the hoomans should dispense treats whenever they come into the coop, so he waits for us on top of the trash can that contains the bag of scratch grains. I told him that I can’t get to the treats if he is sitting on top of them but he just cocks his head at me. I now have to work on teaching him to wait on the floor.

And that broody Black Australorp is going to be forcibly removed from her nesting box soon, as some of the eggs are starting to smell. The husband maintains that she is missing a few crucial components. I give her an A+ for effort but an F for execution.

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I have some reward money to spend at Amazon. As the construction company bookkeeper, I am pretty particular about cash flow management and paying bills on time. We have one general contractor, though, who drags his feet on sending out checks to his subs. I suspect he just doesn’t like paperwork, so he leaves it for the last possible second. He always pays us—and this most recent job was a big one—but when the husband does a job for him, I know it’s going to come with some creative cash flow management. For the last two billing cycles, I’ve put the payment for one of the husband’s material suppliers on a credit card, then paid it off at the end of the month when the check shows up from this general contractor. As a result, we have some reward cash for travel, gift cards, or to spend at Amazon. The husband and I are splitting the cash reward and I am trying to decide what to get with my half.

[I asked the husband what he wanted and he said, “Two plane tickets to Iceland so we can go sit in the hot springs and relax,” but there is no way we could shoehorn that into the schedule right now.]

I was going to buy myself several new dies for the Accuquilt cutter, but for some reason, the ones I want aren’t available on Amazon. I contacted Accuquilt and they said they aren’t planning to sell every die there, just select ones. I think I am going to get myself a second serger. I’ve been checking thrift stores for a couple of months now for a used one with no luck. A second serger—so I could keep one set up for knits and one set up for wovens—has been on the list for a while now, but I’m still thinking about it. An impulse purchaser I am not.

Grading the Apron Pattern

Grading the Apron Pattern

A Mixed Marriage

A Mixed Marriage