Articles (Blog)
Posted on February 11, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
 
Saturday night the sunset was so pretty, I took another picture.  Then I saw these houses on the ridge.
 
Patty said it looks like they forgot to turn off the lights before they left.  Hahaha!!!!
 
I'm certain they didn't forget, but it sure looks that way!  
 
We NEVER get tired of our sunset pix.
 
 
HAPPY FEBRUARY!!!!
Posted on February 8, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
 
 
Yoohoo!!!!   Daffodils getting ready to bloom in my garden!!!!  
 
The bright yellow trumpets make me happy, but so do these buds.  I know they will bloom soon, well, March.  Whenever they bloom, I'm happy to see them!!!
 
Did you know that daffodils are in the same family as onions and garlic and Easter lilies?  It's true!  Liliaceae is the family name, and the family contains onions, garlic, lilies, and trillium.  Or is the plural Trillia?  Whatever.  Daffodils are also in the Lily family.  What great relatives.  I love them all.
 
If you turn left when you leave the neighborhood, on your way to Blairsville, then right onto Moccasin Church Road, you'll see Daffodil Hill on the left.  I love that there are so many of them all on that little hill.
 
I hope you have daffodils in your garden, or at least in your travels.  
 
 
HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!
Posted on February 2, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
 
 
Today is Groundhog Day.  It has been celebrated in the US and Canada since 1887.  Legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow, he'll freak out and rush back into his burrow and spring won't come for 6 more weeks.  Actually, spring comes in 6 weeks anyway, but it's interesting to contemplate the arrival of spring like weather.  
 
I don't know about you, but we've been anticipating spring ever since winter started!  Sorry...All the seasons are good!  Without a certain number of cold days, we'd have no daffodils. OK, I'll take winter, just on that premise.  
 
Back to the groundhogs.  They are also called woodchucks, whistle pigs, and various other names.  We have lots of groundhogs  in our neighborhood.  I wish we didn't.  They burrow under decks, under houses, and wreak havoc in the garden.  But they're here, so we just deal with them.  
 
Ask Mark Mobley about his experience with the groundhogs and his ingenious solution.  I'd tell you, but I'd mess it all up.  I think it involves ammonia and a tennis ball.  Just in case they get under YOUR house, call Mark.
 
Let's hope that Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow this morning.  Then we can look forward to spring like weather. I'm ready to start planting seeds.
 
 
HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!!!
 
 
Posted on February 1, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
 
Al took this picture on Wednesday when he was driving in.  The haybale snowman looks SO good with snow on the ground.  He looks in his element.
 
Too bad the other snowmen got put away with the Christmas decorations.  They would look good too.
 
Honestly, that's why I decorate with snowmen, they can be left up til Spring!!!!  Wait til you see what we have planned for the haybale for spring!!!!!   But not yet, winter isn't over.
 
 
HAPPY WINTER!!!!!
Posted on January 30, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
 
You heard correctly:  Jon feeds the deer in our front yard.  They stand out there and wait for him to bring the corn. They step off into the woods just a bit until he starts to leave, then they're on it!!!!!  They don't even wait for him to get all the way away.  Who trained whom?  Just sayin....
 
Back to the point of this blog:   Deer will eat just about anything.  No garden is safe.  I've seen lists of plants they don't like as much, but without enough of their preferred food, deer will eat anything!
 
You can see the Rutgers University list of plants rated for deer resistance at https://njaes.rutgers.edu/deer-resistant-plants/
 
We buy dried corn to feed them, hoping they will leave the Forsythia bushes alone.  We plant things that we know they don't like so much, like Rosemary and Sage and Marigolds.  But when they are hungry enough, they'll eat the Leyland Cypress trees and Junipers!!!
 
Mark had a good point about feeding the deer.  Spread out the corn, so that it isn't in a pile. If it sits too long and gets wet, it can mold and kill them.  Turkeys can die from moldy corn too, so let's not do THAT!!!!!!
 
 
HAPPY GARDENING!!!!
 
 
Posted on January 28, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: Health and Wellness
 
Yep, it's true. This my mom and she's 95 years old.  We should all look this good at 95!!!
 
She certainly didn't look this good last month.  She spent 9 days in hospital, followed by nearly a month in rehab to regain her strength.  At 5 foot nothing and 95 pounds she's quite a powerhouse.  Not everybody could have recovered from that one.  We all had our doubts for a bit.  It definitely took its toll, but she's back!!!!!!
 
Julie took this picture just 5 days after she moved to Sweet Memories.  It is the memory care section of Kings Grant House in Virginia Beach, just 5 minutes from Julie, and 15 minutes from Betsy.  There are about 20 residents and lots of excellent caregivers.  We know that Momma will be safe there and well cared for;  and we're hoping for happy.
 
The reason I'm sharing this is to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.  It was a difficult decision for daughters to make.  But I'm proud to say that we understand things now, that we never imagined we would ever need to know.  
 
But this we know:  Getting old isn't for sissies.  It is hard work to keep your body healthy, but worth the effort.  
                            Patience and kindness are virtues that we should all practice, cause someday we might need them.
                            Love is stronger than everything. 
 
When you love somebody so much, it's easy to work at making them happy, whatever it takes.  Sometimes it requires listening to the same stories over and over, sometimes it means answering the same question again and again.  Sometimes you have to sing, recite childhood poetry, or just sit and watch them sleep.  But we do it for love; she did it for us all those years ago.  Now it's our turn to show her how much we love her. 
 
I know that Momma is proud of us, even if she can't remember.  She did a good job raising us.      
 
 
THANKS FOR CARING!!!
Posted on January 22, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
 
We were walking up Clifford's hill today, and saw this.  According to Siri it's called needle ice.
 
It occurs when the ground is wet and the temperature drops below freezing. It looks like ice is growing up from the ground.  It's beautiful!!!
 
We learned something new today. We'd seen it before but didn't know what to call it.  Now we do:  needle ice.
 
I hope you see some in your hikes around the mountain.
 
HAPPY TUESDAY!!!
Posted on January 21, 2019 9:39 AM by Mark Conde
Categories: General
Thanks to a question from one of the neighbors I had to do some research to learn something. If we have a gate closed all the time how do the emergency services get in if they dont know the new code? Our gate system has a service called “SOS”  or Siren Operated Sensors. You can read more about how this works and what this is here: Www.sosgate.com
 
The next time you come in look on the keypad post and see this box..
Posted on January 21, 2019 9:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
 
 
We woke up to this today!!!!!  "Yikes," said Sandy Bradley, from Florida.  
"Impressive," said Mark Conde, who's here.  He was responding to the temperature, and this:
 
 
Both "impressive!!"  Tere Christensen's response was "Ahhhh-magical!  She's in Florida too.
 
We are so fortunate to be viewing the Super Blood Wolf Moon.  This picture is looking west watching it set over the Southern Appalachians.  
 
My understanding of the title is this:  Super moon because it is in perigee, nearest to the center of the Earth right now. Blood moon because it was in eclipse last night about 10:30, (we missed that part.)  Wolf moon is the name given by Native Americans for the January full moon, when wolves climb the hills and sing together.  
 
I hope you you got to see it.  If not, you can enjoy my picture.  I went outside in 10 degrees so you could see it.
 
 
You're welcome!!!!!
 
 
Posted on January 20, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
 
This is Camellia japonica.  I was surprised to see it blooming in January. But I just read that it's sometimes called Rose of Winter, since it blooms between January and March.  OK.  Normal.
 
My sister, Julie has these huge bushes (15 feet tall) growing in the middle of her circular driveway. They are beautiful right now.  The blossoms are about 5 inches across, and each branch is loaded.  Kinda messy on the driveway, but beautiful when you look up.
 
Camellias will grow in our area too.  They like bright light, but will do well with a little shade.  Roxanne and Jim have some in their yard, and they seem to do fine with a lot of shade.  The leaves are thick and leathery, making me think the deer probably don't eat them.  I'll get back to you on that assumption.  
 
Maybe I'll write a blog all about deer and their food preferences.  For Karen.  ;)
 
There are several species of Camellia.  They are all evergreen shrubs or trees. Camellia japonica has large leaves and big, showy flowers and the plant can grow to 36 feet!  Camellia sasanqua has smaller leaves and flowers and the plants grow 5-6 feet tall.  These two species are common garden plants, available in local garden centers.
 
Another species grown mainly in Asia is Camellia sinensis. It has small white flowers and is sometimes called tea plant or tea shrub. Because the leaves and leaf buds are used to make tea.  Leaves are collected at different stages of development producing different tea qualities.  Too much science for this blog entry;  I just like knowing that Lipton tea comes from a familiar plant.  
 
If you see a bush booming in winter, look closely, it might be a Camellia.  
 
 
HAPPY GARDENING!!!
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