Late Summer Porch Changes

Not sure that I am ready to see summer go…. But some late summer changes had to be made on the front porch.  While it is not time here for mums or pumpkins or hay bales yet, late summer means that what was working on the porch in July and August has changed somewhat.

Back in late May everything was just starting…

porch 4   porch three

Midsummer had hanging baskets and flowers in pots and planters….some were doing so well that they needed to be transplanted into the ground in the front or side of the house.

front porch changing

Only a few weeks ago the sweet allyssum and marigolds were overflowing and needed watered two times a day.

Sweet William in planter with squirrel on chair

Yes one of my little squirrel visitors is sitting on the wicker chair enjoying a peanut. They were steady visitors throughout the summer. I would often have two at a time, occasionally as many as four, but the smallest one has always been the tamest.

squirrel on chair close up   little squirrel collage

In the last two weeks the flowers in the hanging baskets were clearly signaling end-of-summer and I finally took them down, and the overflowing sweet alyssum  planter was gasping its last breath as well.

I took a plant stand and some other things down to the basement and did some rearranging. I had spring lettuce in a planter that had finally bolted in July. For the fall, I have a large tub that held a fairy garden. I dismantled the fairy garden and planted the rest of my Salad Bowl lettuce seeds in that tub. Now that it is cooler the lettuce should ( hopefully ) grow and be happy and I’ll have some fresh fall lettuce! :)

While Blog Land is awash with chalkboards, the only chalkboard that I have is one the children play with out on the porch. Brent and I went out to visit my mom and came home with another chalkboard that had belonged to my sister. As you can see below, he was thrilled with it. ( his mama just cut off  all of his hair…I get a jolt when she does that : ) Buzz cuts are fine but if you don’t know about them ahead of time, one day you have a grandson with pretty white blond hair and the next day he’s bald! :) 

brent with chalkboard collage

So the tub with the soon-to-be-fall lettuce is behind the table and we now have a chalkboard school corner for the remaining months of decent weather.

chalkboard kids corner

The morning glories in the background should last a few more weeks. At some point they begin to drop blossoms like crazy ( more than the 20 or so that I clean up each day ) and at that point I cut them down and by then it is time for mums and cornstalks :)

Over at the other side of the porch it all seems quite bare to me without the abundance of flowers …

Other side of porch

Just a few now, and my garden gnome ( yes I had her in the children’s fairy garden but she was always really for me : )

Lady Gnome and Watercan

At any rate, even with summer’s end close by, there is still a nice amount of flowers here on the porch, though a good half or more are done for this season.

This pansy / violet plant…that used to be on the wooden planter that I took to the basement and that is now on my ‘bare’ side of the porch… has changed colors throughout the season. Once purple; now white. Interesting… :)

Meanwhile these violets change colors

While my little bungalow is small, I think that I am blessed that it is one with a nice old-fashioned front porch and I enjoy it immensely : )

You might also enjoy : Tuesday Muse: Pollen or Tuesday Muse: Bee in Flight


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Grandkids and saving money while cookie baking

While I mostly blog about the grands over at Homespun, they’ll pop up here sometimes and here is an intro. If they look happy and well fed I think it is because on the afternoon that I took these pics they’d done nothing but eat since they arrived. We had BLT’s for lunch with pickles and carrots, baked some cookies, and in between I think they had some fruit as well.  They sure do love to eat at Grandma’s house :)


Kate and Brent Collage


Feeding a family today with the ever-rising cost of food is one of the reasons that I thought to start a blog with some emphasis on frugality. It first occurred to me the day that I stood at the grocery store deli counter, amazed at how much the cost of cheese had risen recently.  6.99 per lb.!  Generally I purchase on sale but on this day I needed some, and yet I’d never seen it priced that high before.

I’ll tell you one tip. I mentioned that we baked cookies.  I had a price shock the last time that I purchased chocolate chips for cookie baking. I resolved right then and there that we would all be eating less chips in our cookies. I adhered to the original recipe but halved the amount of chips, and added a handful of oatmeal ( approx. 1/2 cup ) to the recipe. There are still plenty of chips in the cookies, no one noticed the difference, and I get two batches now from one bag. Saving money while cookie baking helps pay for the rising cheese prices! :)

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