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News from the Nest, July 17

Good Morning!

Well, I guess I shouldn’t complain. It is mid-July in Southern North Carolina. But it’s my party, and I’ll complain if I want! 😂

I do not like 90° days, especially when it ‘feels like’ 102°! Do you know those days when you walk outside to look at your garden at 7:30 a.m., there’s not a breeze to be found, and you instantly start sweating? UGH! There is nothing good about that.

This is that time of year when my well-tended garden becomes less so. It looks like the heat will be with us for a while, so I will have to find a way to get over it and give some love to my green babies.

But, while I’m still complaining, the d@mn#d birds are still getting to my tomatoes, even though we’ve put up bird netting and even added chicken wire on top of the bird netting where there are ripening tomatoes! Without exaggeration, I’ve sacrificed more tomatoes to the birds than we’ve enjoyed this year. And even the ones we’ve ‘saved’ have peck holes! So, here’s my list of what hasn’t worked to keep the birds away:

  • Rubber snakes…7 of them literally laid on top of the ripening tomatoes
  • Shiny, moving things….4 of them
  • Bird Netting
  • Chicken Wire
  • We are even laying out tomato ‘sacrifices’ for the birds, taking ones with a few peck holes and making them oh-so-convenient for them to nosh on!

This is enough to drive a diehard animal lover to drastic measures!

O.K., enough bellyaching (but thanks for letting me get that off of my chest!)

The silver lining to the oppressive heat and humidity is that I’m tackling a few indoor projects. I’m giving my office/crafts room a hard look and weeding out items that don’t fit this admonition from William Morris. I do try to live by this adage:

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris

new on the blog

  • If you’d enjoy a salad that speaks of summer (not a ‘feels like’ 102° summer, more like a gorgeous 77° and 50% humidity summer), then this Spinach and Nectarine Salad is it! The Basil Vinaigrette is just the perfect summery finish to the salad. It couldn’t be easier to assemble, and it is lovely, delicious, and summery!
Spinach and Nectarine Salad in a white bowl with nectarines, basil and basil vinaigrette in the background.
  • These Blueberry Banana Muffins get their bakery store ‘dome’ from a quick bake in a hotter-than-normal oven. Use bread flour, if you have it, to prevent all the moisture from the bananas from weighing down your muffins.
Blueberry Banana Muffin on Cooling rack.
  • While we are talking muffins, have you noticed that muffins tend to get soggy rather quickly? Or, they get dry rather quickly! I’ve done a quick dive into why that happens and how to prevent soggy muffins in this post, How to Store Muffins.
Muffin in paper muffin cup.

staying cool in the kitchen

  • We’ve been known to eat Tomato Bruschetta for dinner in the summer (not this year, of course, because the d@mn#d birds keep eating my tomatoes!)
Mozzarella Bruschetta on bread.
Chicken salad wraps
Two Margarita glasses with tequila and limes.

❄Christmas in july ❄

What better way to avoid the aforementioned oppressive and soul-sucking heat than to start channeling cooler temperatures and Christmas? (apologies to my Southern Hemisphere friends!) I’ll share a few Christmas projects this week as well as next week.

Even if you don’t actually start making these projects now, it’s not a bad time to figure out your game plan.

If you’d like to knit some project for this year’s Christmas, check out these ideas:

White knit pillow with pom poms against a blue sofa and blue and white pillows.
Knitted Gnome in Evergreen Tree.
Embroidered Christmas Trees on wrapped packages.

in the garden

A close up of a flower
  • A garden project that can keep you out of the sun! Make concrete garden orbs from old glass globe light fixtures.
Flowers on a steps, with white ball.

in the home

If, like me, you are all about A/C this time of the year, here are a few projects that will keep you cool:

odds n’ ends

Some of these links may be Amazon affiliate links and I may earn a small commission from the sale of these products to help defray the costs of operating this site, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

  • One of my favorite artists is David Arms. He has added to his free phone wallpaper options. ‘Hope’ is my favorite, though I will always love his original ‘Be Still and Know.’
drying rack
  • Stay cool with an ice cream maker!
  • Finally, you know we love our sugar-faced girl, Flora. She is twelve, and lately, her back feet have been sliding out from under her on the hardwood floors. It was especially hard for her to get up from lying down; she really struggled. I talked to our Vet, and she recommended these booties and socks for her back feet; they work like a charm! They stay on 24/7 and don’t bother her at all. They aren’t cheap, and I spent some looking for more inexpensive alternatives, but the reviews convinced me to go with our Vet’s original recommendation.

Well friends, I hope I gave you some ideas to help you stay cool this week! I’ll be back next week with more useless useful information that you just can’t survive without! If you have any suggestions on dealing with the birds, please send them my way, we are becoming desperate, and nothing good ever comes from that!

Many Hugs,

Signature of Lynn

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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  1. I absolutely love this webpage! I love everything about it! I’m especially drawn to the recipes and knit projects and love that there’s not so much stuff popping up everywhere that you can’t stand to try and get through it. 😳 My daughter and granddaughters are fans too, seems like I’m always saying – I saw something Lynn had on the Nourish and Nestle site you guys would love. 😊 You made me giggle this morning referencing the heat and pesky birds. I’m feeling like same pain, but instead of the tomatoes, it’s our fruit we’re trying to protect. Anyway keep up the good work!

    1. Oh Lisa,

      Can you see my cheeks blushing across the internet! You’ve just made my day. And I’m beyond tickled to have the whole family onboard! 😘❤😘

      I’ve received some great suggestions relating to the birds! One I’m going to try immediately is hanging red Christmas ornaments…the birds peck and don’t like hitting a hard surface. I imagine that would be harder with fruit trees.

      Another suggestion was lines of fishing lines…they don’t see the lines and don’t like hitting them, thus avoiding the area…possibly. Not sure if that’s feasible with your fruit trees, either. Good Luck! I guess misery loves company, anyway!

      Have a fantastic day and thanks so much for your lovely note!

      Hugs, Lynn

  2. I have just “discovered” your website and blog…and I LOVE IT! Some great ideas, recipes and just a great read! thanks much for putting it out there….now, good luck with the birds and your tomatoes!

    1. Hi JoAnne,

      I’m so glad you found us! I started this little blog several years ago and still love every minute I work on it. But truly, it would not be any fun without readers like you on the other end of my musings, recipes and projects.

      I received so many great bird suggestions after Monday’s plea, so I’m going to give some of them a whirl. I’ll keep everyone posted.

      Thanks again for joining our little group and for taking the time to write in! Both are very much appreciated.

      Hugs, Lynn

  3. Lynn, This may sound counter intuitive but I have found having a water source for birds helps keep them from raiding my fruit trees and tomatoes. I keep different size/depth containers for the birds (&bees!) all with a rock above the surface (so the lizards can climb out) throughout my yard.
    Here’s a question about the Christmas pillow. I made 5 last year as gifts that were very well received. I just finished one that I knit in the round reducing 4 stitches with the new row starting at center back. I did a provisional cast on and have my live stitches on Waste yarn waiting to be blocked. I will Kitchener stitch the bottom and top after the pillow goes in. It looks good size wise, the step is in un noticeable in the pattern to my eye so far. So the question is…what do you think or know that I don’t since you do front and back pieces?
    Thanks, Chris

    1. Hi Chris,

      Hmmm…we have one water fountain right near the garden, but I’d gladly put a few more out! That’s a great suggestion. Thanks

      As it relates to the pillow, I’m picturing that you’ll just need to sew the top and bottom…is that right? If so, that’s a great idea! Let me know if I understand correctly and how it turns out! I’d love to see a picture. What yarn did you use?


  4. Love your newsletters; your information is always fun and informative, never useless!! 🙂 You have tried all of my tips to keep critters from your tomatoes; guess a green house might be in your cards for next year! Or a friendly neighborhood owl?

  5. Hey, I can think of a couple things for the bird problem. One is owls. They sell large plastic owls in some of the gardening stores, as most birds are afraid of owls. (Agway, Rural King, etc.) Even better if they move a bit on a pole top, or swing or maybe move them around. The other thing I see down here in Florida at outdoor restaurants is they crisscross the outdoor seating area with fish line because if they come down, they hit the line since it is kind of invisible. That scares them off a bit. Of course they soon find ways to walk in from the floors, but it does keep them away from the tables. But I think you have fencing anyway. I hope maybe one of these can help. 🤞🏻

    1. Hi Joan,

      We did not try the owls yet, but will order some today. And I had read about strands of fishing line, but had forgotten about that! I need to figure out how to make that work…need to noodle on that. Thanks so much for the suggestions!

      Hugs, Lynn

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